REDTAG prepares to enchant UAE homes for the festive season

 REDTAG, the Middle East’s leading value-fashion and homeware brand, is all set to usher in the festive season and infuse homes with joy and sophistication in the run-up to Christmas and New Year celebrations. With its specially curated homeware collection, the homegrown brand is committed to making the festive season a joyous affair by meaningfully catering to customers looking to elevate their spaces or find the perfect gifts for loved ones. REDTAG's new homeware collection offers a diverse array of products thoughtfully crafted for quality and affordability, with 20-piece dinner sets available for as low as SAR 79/AED 75. Shehbaz Shaikh, Chief Retail Officer at REDTAG, upbeat about the festive initiative, stated: "The festive season is a time for joy and togetherness, and we want our customers to experience that in every corner of their homes. Our products have been curated to not only meet but also exceed expectations, making this festive period truly extraordinary."As the festive season unfolds, customers are invited to explore REDTAG's diverse homeware collection. Patrons can add a touch of class to their home decor with versatile decorative dinnerware in evocative leafy patterns. Opulence comes effortlessly with REDTAG's gold bowl and matching stand combo — an ideal duo for showcasing festive spreads. Customers can manifest their artistic flair seamlessly by placing the stunning decorative plant in a chic ceramic pot adorned with vibrant artificial stones. Whether it graces the living room or the garden, this versatile piece promises a subtle hint of greenery and tranquillity. For the social butterflies, the tall and elegant cakestand can become a statement piece for flaunting festive treats, with REDTAG's embellished gold candle holder providing a warm and cosy ambience.Adding to the gifting spree, REDTAG'S bedroom collection offers a wide selection of gift ideas, from polycotton fitted sheets in vibrant colors and patterns to luxurious comforter sets, from plush paisley blankets, to gold and pearl beaded velvet cushions, from quilted bedspreads to jacquard curtains, chennile throws, and more, starting at Aed 17 only ! These glimpses into REDTAG's thoughtfully designed homeware collection only scratch the surface of what customers can find during this festive season. Whether one seeks elegant table settings or cosy home decor, the selection is bound to leave you with a sense of accomplishment as you seek value gifting options at affordable prices, courtesy of REDTAG’s ‘New Lower Prices’ campaign. Starting from SAR 25, the latest home décor launches accompany industry-best prices for relative quality.The campaign is inspired by REDTAG’s speciality in value-based pricing and a track record of customer-centric initiatives. Other similar, notable examples include the launch of hyper-convenience services such as ‘Anytime-Anywhere Exchange’, ‘Find Your Size’, ‘Fashion Stylists’, and ‘Free Home Delivery’. With several such first-to-market services in the Middle East and its tiered loyalty program — RT Rewards — which boasts over 15 million members, REDTAG continues to cement its position as the leading value fashion and homeware brand in the region.

Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports & Deliveroo partner

Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports, the foremost esports and education initiative, and Deliveroo, the award-winning delivery service, have unveiled a pioneering collaboration agreement. This strategic alliance is designed to elevate both the gaming and educational spheres in the UAE.Since its launch in the UAE, Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports has had a huge growth in the number of players and teams, participating universities, and organising competitions and events, becoming one of the leading players in the esports field in the region. The project is being developed in 26 countries on 4 continents and is hosted in the region by MENA Tech Entertainment (a company of GGTech Entertainment).Deliveroo, the British fast food delivery company, has a significant presence and growth in the UAE. Furthermore, it operates in nine other countries and more than 500 cities. This collaboration marks a significant step in bridging the gap between esports and education, providing students with unique opportunities to explore their passion for gaming while pursuing academic excellence.Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports and Deliveroo share a common goal of engaging with the local community. Through various initiatives, including esports tournaments and educational events, they aim to create a vibrant and inclusive space for gamers and learners.As part of the collaboration, Deliveroo will contribute to the digital innovation initiatives of Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports, ensuring that students have access to cutting-edge technology and resources to enhance their esports skills. In 2023, the MENA region is the fastest-growing domestic gaming market in the world, with a base of over 377 million gamers. Globally, the total number of gamers reaches an impressive 3.24 billion. According to the Statista Global Consumer Survey, the UAE leads the world with the highest percentage of adult gamers, with nine out of ten actively participating.Underlining its commitment to the gaming industry, the UAE is channelling significant investment through initiatives such as 'Abu Dhabi Gaming', which was launched just last year. This strategic endeavour aims to nurture regional gaming talent and establish the country as a year-round hub for gaming events. Mario Perez, CEO of MENATech commented: "We are thrilled to welcome Deliveroo as a key partner in our mission to redefine the boundaries between esports and education. This collaboration is not just about sponsorship; it's about creating a lasting impact on the lives of students who are passionate about gaming and learning."Aysar Joudeh, Senior Brand Manager of Deliveroo, added: "For Deliveroo, this partnership with Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports represents an exciting journey into the dynamic intersection of food, shopping, and gaming. As we continue to witness the extraordinary growth of esports in the UAE and globally, we are thrilled to be part of an initiative that not only enhances the gaming experience for students but also fosters a unique synergy between education and entertainment.As the UAE leads the world with the highest percentage of adult gamers, we see this collaboration as an opportunity to engage with the local community and create a vibrant, inclusive space for foodies, gamers, and learners alike. We look forward to the exciting journey ahead!” Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports is made possible thanks to the support of top-level publishers and brands such as Riot Games, Shahid, and Deliveroo.

Epic battle: Google guilty of running illegal app store monopoly

Epic Games has emerged victorious in its legal battle against Google as the jury in the Epic v. Google case unanimously declared that Google has turned its Google Play app store and Google Play Billing service into an illegal monopoly. This landmark verdict comes three years after Fortnite-maker Epic Games filed a lawsuit against both Apple and Google, alleging illegal app store monopolies.The jury's decision, delivered after just a few hours of deliberation, affirmed that Google holds monopoly power in the Android app distribution markets and in-app billing services markets. Furthermore, the jury found that Google engaged in anticompetitive behavior in these markets, causing injury to Epic Games. The verdict highlighted an illegal tie between Google's Google Play app store and its Google Play Billing payment services, along with anticompetitive elements in its distribution agreements, Project Hug deals with game developers, and arrangements with OEMs.Google's affairs and public policy VP Wilson White announced the company's intent to appeal: "The trial made clear that we compete fiercely with Apple and its App Store, as well as app stores on Android devices and gaming consoles." In response to the verdict, Epic Games issued a statement on its company blog, declaring the outcome a victory for all app developers and consumers globally. Epic Games said the verdict is a win for all app developers and consumers around the world. "It proves that Google's app store practices are illegal, and they abuse their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition, and reduce innovation."The future of Google's app store now rests in the hands of Judge James Donato, who will determine the appropriate remedies for the case. Epic Games did not seek monetary damages but aims for a court ruling granting every app developer the freedom to introduce their own app stores and billing systems on Android.

Equativ & Greenbids partner to reshape the sustainable programmatic future

Equativ, the global leading independent ad platform, has announced its innovative new collaboration with Greenbids: an advanced optimisation engine that powers sustainable ad operations using artificial intelligence (AI).The partnership is a major step in Equativ’s dual mission to both boost media effectiveness and help decarbonise programmatic ad trading. In a ground-breaking move, by providing access to granular data from its supply-side platform (SSP), Equativ has enabled Greenbids to build smart bidding models that fuel streamlined and sustainable media buying, with early trials driving strong results: including a 40% decline in gCO2PM (grams of CO2 equivalent per thousand impressions).This union reflects a growing focus on environmentally conscious action to reduce digital advertising’s carbon footprint, which accounts for more than 3.5% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Galvanised by industry initiatives such as Ad Net Zero, players across the ecosystem are embracing the need for positive change: adapting campaign planning, production, and execution to minimise the resources their activities consume. Building on Equativ’s extensive supply path optimisation (SPO) abilities, Greenbids’ solution will enhance mutual deal value by prioritising the most efficient routes. Media buyers can ensure spend is allocated to relevant inventory that aligns with unique country, device, and audience parameters, limiting energy use by making fewer hops and curbing wastage. Direct access to high-value demand will also limit carbon emissions and result in higher overall yield for publishers — with trials achieving an 83% uplift in supply-side platform (SSP) revenue.“Sustainability isn’t a fleeting trend; it’s becoming an increasingly integral consideration for consumers and businesses,” comments Antoine Verselder, Product Marketing Manager in charge of Sustainability Development at Equativ. “Until now, many companies in the advertising space have struggled to move with this evolution and maintain their bottom line — our partnership marks a pivotal shift on multiple levels.’ “For Equativ’s clients, it provides the opportunity to gain a distinctive competitive edge and fuel greater revenue by layering sustainable practices into their ad operations. In wider terms, it also illustrates that environmental and profitability goals don’t have to be in conflict — they can be seamlessly combined and achieved. As well as underscoring our ongoing commitment to ethical progress, we believe this collaboration has vast potential to transform the industry at large.”??Guillaume Grimbert, CEO of Greenbids, adds; “In an era where sustainability and innovation intersect, our partnership with Equativ signifies much more than just a huge technical leap forward. Together, we're shaping the future and creating a new paradigm for programmatic trading that’s efficient and ethical at the same time. Blending Equativ’s in-depth data with our sophisticated algorithms, we’re making it simple to automatically optimise bidding activity for profitability and purpose – and setting an example other pioneers can follow.”

Hyatt Regency continues its five-decade journey with a strategic brand refresh

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Hyatt Hotels Corporation launches a strategic brand refresh of Hyatt Regency, the global collection of more than 200 hotels and resorts that form part of Hyatt’s Timeless Collection. The brand refresh is the latest evolution in Hyatt Regency’s more than 50-year legacy, as the nature of guests’ trips has evolved substantially post-pandemic, with a more blended approach to hybrid and remote working manifesting itself in a greater mix of business and leisure stays.Business travellers across the globe trust the Hyatt Regency brand to cater to their needs. With the consumer landscape constantly evolving, the brand is one step ahead, implementing measures to respond to the ever-evolving blend of business and leisure travel. From incorporating a great selection of family-friendly amenities, to offering family and business lounges, the Hyatt Regency branded hotels across the globe remain focused on listening to their guests’ needs.An Open Invitation from Hyatt RegencyHyatt Regency hotels and resorts are proud to have been open to every guest and colleague for more than 50 years— seeking to be places where everyone is welcome, and anything is possible. Through ‘An Open Invitation’, Hyatt Regency aims to inspire an open outlook for guests and colleagues in search of enriching experiences and a genuine sense of community. ‘An Open Invitation’ embodies a refreshed brand framework, visual identity, logo, and brand tagline, to evoke the open spaces and open mindsets that have been at the heart of the Hyatt Regency brand since its inception by Jay Pritzker.AN EVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT: This brand refresh marks yet another milestone in Hyatt Regency’s five-decade legacy of guest-focused care. Hyatt Regency has a rich heritage of evolving its product design, communal spaces, F&B concepts, services, meeting and event solutions. Since Hyatt Regency opened in 1967, the brand has remained committed to addressing the ever-changing needs of modern travellers.A CULTURE ROOTED IN COMMUNITY: Across countries and cultures, Hyatt Regency invites guests to experience a world of possibilities. From urban getaways and serene beachfront resorts to bustling convention centres, the breadth and depth of Hyatt Regency’s destinations are designed to accommodate the ways our guests work and live, creating memorable moments that bring together families, friends and colleagues. With a visual identity familiar to Hyatt Regency’s loyal guests and colleagues, the updated logo serves as a visual metaphor of the guest’s journey, representing the multiple connections and conversations that take place in Hyatt Regency hotels, and emulating the elegant, dynamic and organic nature of Hyatt Regency hotels.AN INSIGHTFUL APPROACH: Hyatt is focused on listening deeply to guests, and anticipating their needs, with an open outlook towards evolving its proposition based on data and insights from across the portfolio. The Hyatt Regency brand refresh has been prompted by the substantial evolution in travel preferences, post-pandemic. Taking a break and relaxing is the most common travel motivation for travellers in Europe, followed closely by having new experiences and spending more quality time with family, according to a recent study by IPSOS.Hyatt Regency is already well known and trusted as a brand for business travellers, with hotels typically offering a range of well- equipped meeting areas and conference facilities, as well as Regency Club lounge access for Globalist members of the World of Hyatt loyalty programme. To cater to the blend of business and leisure travel, and taking into consideration that, according to IPSOS, [one in two British travellers / the majority of Spanish travellers / the majority of French travellers / one in two German travellers / six in ten travellers from UAE] travel as a couple and/or with children, Hyatt Regency hotels are increasingly incorporating family-friendly amenities - for instance, a family lounge at the recently opened Hyatt Regency London Blackfriars, a kids indoor play area at Hyatt Regency Pravets Resort in Bulgaria, and a kids programme at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill which includes interactive welcome packs, bedtime story books and child-sized bathrobes.Many Hyatt Regency hotels now serve a balanced proportion of business and leisure guests, and in the EAME region, this is especially evident in destinations such as Hyatt Regency Al Kout Mall (Kuwait), Hyatt Regency Baku (Azerbaijan), Hyatt Regency London Blackfriars (UK), Hyatt Regency Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Hyatt Regency Zurich The Circle (Switzerland).In terms of the shift over the past year, Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile, Hyatt Regency Belgrade, and Hyatt Regency Madrid are among the top risers for serving blended purpose stays. Hyatt Regency Belgrade, located in the heart of New Belgrade, is ideally located for business and leisure stays, being close to the capital’s main business and entertainment district, which has multiple shopping centres and a flourishing bar scene. Hyatt Regency, The Circle is situated at the most accessible location in Switzerland, adjacent to Zurich Airport. Just steps away from the terminal buildings, the hotel has direct access to the historical city centre of Zurich and Lake Zurich, and offers over 2,800 sqm of event space within The Circle Convention Centre, presenting the perfect destination for leisure and business alike.

Netflix spills the beans on viewer data with bi-annual report

Netflix has published insights into what people watched on its platform over a six-month period.  The streamer will continue publishing "What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report" twice a year. This comprehensive report of what people watched on Netflix over a six month period, including:  Hours viewed for every title — original and licensed — watched for over 50,000 hours2;  The premiere date for any Netflix TV series or film; and  Whether a title was available globally.  In total, this report covers more than 18,000 titles — representing 99% of all viewing on Netflix — and nearly 100 billion hours viewed.  Over 60% of Netflix titles released between January and June 2023 appeared on its weekly Top 10 lists. So while this report is broader in scope, the trends reflected in it are very similar to those in the Top 10 lists, including: The strength of returning favorites like Ginny & Georgia, Alice in Borderland, The Marked Heart, Outer Banks, You, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, XO Kitty and film sequels Murder Mystery 2 and Extraction 2;  The popularity of new series like The Night Agent, The Diplomat, Beef, The Glory, Alpha Males, FUBAR and Fake Profile, which generate huge audiences and fandoms;  The size of the audience of Netflix films across every genre including The Mother, Luther: The Fallen Sun, You People, AKA, ¡Que viva México! and Hunger;  The enthusiasm for non-English stories, which generated 30% of all viewing;  The staying power of titles on Netflix, which extends well beyond their premieres. All Quiet on the Western Front, for example, debuted in October 2022 and generated 80M hours viewed between January and June; and The demand for older, licensed titles, which generates tremendous value for its members and for rights holders.   The streamer said in a blog post that the success on Netflix comes in all shapes and sizes, and is not determined by hours viewed alone.  "We have enormously successful movies and TV shows with both lower and higher hours viewed. It’s all about whether a movie or TV show thrilled its audience — and the size of that audience relative to the economics of the title; and to compare between titles it’s best to use our weekly Top 10 and Most Popular lists, which take into account run times and premiere dates," said the blog post.  "This is a big step forward for Netflix and the industry. We believe the viewing information in this report — combined with our weekly Top 10 and Most Popular lists — will give creators and our industry deeper insights into our audiences, and what resonates with them," stated the post.

New Balance treads new ground with first store opening in Jeddah

KSA, Jeddah: New Balance, a brand synonymous with running excellence, proudly announced the opening of the first store in Jeddah on December 14th 2023, marking yet another significant step forward in New Balance's strategic growth in the Kingdom. The new store located in Red Sea Mall will solidify New Balance’s commitment to their customer base through direct-to-consumer accessibility.This new store opening is realised through New Balance’s new partnership with Alshaya, together constructing the foundations of a significant journey within Saudi Arabia. New Balance’s metro flex concept will also be implemented throughout the branch, allowing consumers to shop the full brand collection, in a brand environment. Accompanying the new branch opening will be the popular Fresh Foam X 1080, which will take the main stage alongside New Balance’s latest Running Apparel.Having observed the recent success of its franchise openings, New Balance intends to further develop its retail experience, integrating compelling narratives within their product showcases to truly elevate the consumer’s journey. The metro flex concept allows for seamless and frequent transformations of the retail space, engaging with the dynamism of seasons, events and occasions through their own shopping atmosphere to create a truly immersive brand experience.Stuart Henwood, New Balance's MENA Regional Manager, expressed enthusiasm about this significant milestone, stating: " We are delighted to announce the opening of our new store in Red Sea Mall, Jeddah. This is our first New Balance store in Jeddah which showcases our commitment to how we can best serve and engage with our consumers in the Kingdom. The store will deliver the best-in-class products cross categories in innovative retail experience coupled with great in store service. We look forward to many more store openings in the kingdom in the near future.”The store will begin welcoming consumers tomorrow December 14th starting from 10 am.

Radisson Hotel Group expands in the Middle East with the opening of Radisson Blu

Dubai: Radisson Hotel Group is pleased to announce the opening of Radisson Blu Hotel, Amman Galleria Mall, a new contemporary hotel located in the bustling heart of Jordan’s capital city. This new addition promises to offer an unmatched experience for business and leisure travelers in Amman.Located inside the Galleria Mall, one of the most prestigious shopping centers in Amman, the hotel boasts 178 modern rooms and suites. The hotel's design seamlessly blends contemporary aesthetics in neutral tones with authentic Jordan-inspired accents, creating a unique and stylish ambiance.The hotel’s prime location not only provides easy access to top dining destinations such as Swefieh Village and Wakalat Street but also serves as a gateway to explore Jordan’s vibrant culture and heritage, as well as historical treasures, such as the Amman Citadel and the Jordan Museum. Positioned approximately 30 kilometers from Queen Alia International Airport, the hotel is also perfect as a business base due to its proximity to King Hussein Business Park.Marwan Shennara, General Manager of Radisson Blu Hotel, Amman Galleria Mall, said “We are excited to welcome guests to our modern hotel in the heart of Amman. Our hotel offers a perfect blend of comfort and elegance, tailored to provide an unforgettable experience for both leisure and business travelers.”The hotel offers a wide range of culinary experiences. Guests can begin their day with a sumptuous breakfast, including a variety of healthy options as well as classic favorites. L’Olivier, the hotel's all day dining restaurant, features an extensive menu of dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. These dishes can be savored both indoors and on the outdoor terrace, providing a versatile dining experience. For a more intimate setting, Jade, the on-site bar and lounge, is the perfect spot to enjoy expertly crafted beverages. After a day of exclusions exploring attractions like the Wadi Rum Desert or Petra, guests can unwind in the hotel’s pool and steam room.Tim Cordon, COO Middle East and Africa, Radisson Hotel Group, adds, “The opening of Radisson Blu Hotel, Amman Galleria Mall marks a significant milestone for us in Jordan and a return to the country. This hotel embodies our commitment to delivering exceptional service and a unique stay in one of the Middle East's most dynamic cities.”The Safety and Security of guests and team members remain a top priority for Radisson Hotel Group. All properties across the Group’s portfolio are subject to health, safety and security requirements, ensuring we always care for people and property. As part of its ongoing commitment to the highest standards of Safety & Security, this property aims to obtain the Safehotels Certification with the first months after opening.

Riyadh Motor Show welcomes Hongqi's HS3 unveiling

Hongqi has chosen Riyadh as the stage for the grand unveiling of its latest masterpiece, the Hongqi HS3, a luxurious mid-size multi-purpose SUV, making an illustrious entry into the Middle East and Saudi Arabia during the Riyadh Motor Show.This marks the car’s second global reveal, following its captivating debut at the Shanghai Auto Show last April, where it immediately captured widespread attention and admiration.Renowned for seamlessly merging authenticity with cutting-edge innovation, the Hongqi HS3 stands as the epitome of sophistication and technological craftsmanship.Crafted under the expert guidance of Gilles Taylor, the visionary behind the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Head of Design at Hongqi since 2018, this exceptional car aims to embody elegance and practicality, precisely tailored for Saudi Arabia’s discerning drivers seeking a harmonious blend of style and performance.Jason Blane, General Manager of Hongqi at AL-TAWKILAT, highlighted, "Our presence at the Riyadh Motor Show reaffirms our unwavering commitment to introducing our latest offerings. Hongqi is deeply involved with our customers and car enthusiasts in the Saudi market, striving to resonate positively within the diverse and evolving Saudi market. Our objective is to have the new Hongqi lineup warmly embraced by consumers seeking a perfect fusion of performance and luxury."Highlighting the Riyadh Motor Show, Hongqi will showcase its luxurious H9, the fully electric E-HS9, and the versatile and sporty HS5, along with the recent addition of the striking, Ousado, all are perfectly set to leave a mark in the vibrant Saudi market.

Noqodi partners with Napier to secure digital payments in the UAE

LONDON: Napier, the London-based financial crime compliance RegTech, is pleased to announce it has been selected as the anti-money laundering (AML) platform for noqodi, the leading Digital Wallet and Payments Solution based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Napier is providing its Transaction Monitoring, Client Screening, Client Risk Assessment and Client Activity Review solutions to noqodi, in order to further strengthen its commitment to supporting the government’s initiative to a secure, cashless, digital economy. Napier’s solutions will equip noqodi with:A sandbox environment to finetune and optimise screening configurations;API enabled, real-time and batch screening, supporting transliteration of 22 languages, AI fuzzy matching and secondary scoring capabilities;Real-time graphical analysis of customer behaviour to analyse anomalies;Configurable dashboards with no-code rule building and AI insights for efficient decision-making.The Middle East region is going into a tremendous period of digital payment adoption, with a 44 percent increase in digital payment volumes from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in UAE alone in 2022. Supporting this is noqodi’s digital payment solution, which provides a unified and fully automated payments platform to send and receive money, integrated with partner merchants, banks and various government services for seamless transfers, now bolstered by NextGen monitoring and screening from Napier. noqodi is looking to stay ahead of the curve in financial crime prevention to remain compliant to the standards of the UAE’s central bank. Building on the announcement of the partnership between Napier and noqodi to fortify digital payments in the UAE, Zahi Kallab, General Manager of noqodi highlighted: "This partnership with Napier marks a significant milestone for noqodi in our journey towards revolutionizing digital payments in the UAE. Our commitment to innovation, security, and compliance aligns seamlessly with Napier's advanced solutions.Together, we aim to elevate the standards of financial crime prevention and contribute to the continuous growth and security of the digital economy in the region. This collaboration reinforces our dedication to providing a cutting-edge, secure, and compliant payments platform for our users, reflecting our strategic vision for the future of digital transactions in the UAE."Syed Zain Khalid, Risk and Compliance Manager at noqodi reiterated: “Partnering with Napier has given us the autonomy to configure and scale our payments platform securely in this exciting period of growth for the company. We look forward to the positive impact this partnership will have on strengthening our risk management framework, streamlining our compliance processes, and setting new benchmarks for industry best practices.” Greg Watson, Chief Executive Officer at Napier stated: “noqodi is changing the face of digital payments for the UAE. We’re proud to deliver our real-time, NextGen compliance solutions to support this and set a new standard of compliance excellence in UAE’s financial landscape.”

IFFCO Group partners with Tetra Pak

DUBAI, UAE: IFFCO Group, as part of its ESG-based strategic plans in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has signed an MoU with Tetra Pak, the world's leading food processing and packaging solutions company, designed to drive the momentum of sustainability initiatives within the group’s manufacturing facilities.This groundbreaking collaboration between IFFCO, the UAE-based multinational FMCG group, and the renowned multinational entrepreneurial organization, Tetra Pak, cements a strategic alliance that supports the implementation of global standards in state-of-the-art practices and technologies aimed at minimizing the group’s environmental impact.IFFCO is expanding its operations in the Kingdom by building a state-of-the-art factory equipped with the latest technology in order to locally produce sustainable, high quality and delicious products while adding value to the Saudi Arabian economy and contributing to reducing waste, lowering emissions and prioritising green industry protocols. The factory will initially focus on producing culinary creams, and has formalized the MoU with Tetra Pak to maximize efficiency without compromising on quality or food safety.Rizwan Ahmed, the Executive Director of IFFCO Group, explained that the KSA facility comes as a natural follow up to the group’s embedded ESG ethos, which is the principle driving force behind the group’s journey towards sustainability, saying: “IFFCO has since the very beginning, committed to a mission to manufacturing and marketing a well-integrated portfolio of FMCG food products that satisfy taste, quality and consumer demand without undermining our ethical values and commitments to eco-awareness throughout all processes and practices.“By working with the global expert Tetra Pak, we are actively contributing to ensuring sustainability at the plant, enhancing reliability, package recyclability, energy efficiency, and waste reduction, employing local skilled personnel and underpinning the country's economic growth and future ambitions while strengthening IFFCO’s standing in the region as an advocate for change, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and lowering our carbon footprint.”Niels Hougaard, Managing Director at Tetra Pak Arabia Area said: "We are thrilled to partner with IFFCO in this impactful project in Saudi Arabia, reflecting our commitment to protecting people, food, and the planet. Together, we introduce advanced equipment and processes that reduce waste, enhance recyclability, and lower CO2 emissions. Our innovation prioritizes water efficiency, recycling and reusing processed water, with state-of-the-art and energy-efficient equipment. Every package tells a story, and we eagerly support IFFCO's leading role in the GCC.”IFFCO has implemented a robust range of sustainability targeting measures that are based on a holistic approach to reducing the group’s environmental footprint. The group also establishes partnerships with local suppliers and third-party entities, encouraging them to also adopt sustainable practices.IFFCO group has recently released its Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) report, which outlines its commitment to sustainability goals, and puts sustainable practices in place across its operations and value chains, an important step in adopting changes to the food system that are genuinely sustainable, through an agenda of “Investing in the Future” to help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing endeavours to work towards net zero targets, decreasing waste generation, using packaging with a lower environmental impact, and addressing water scarcity.

Netflix teams up with Geico for its first creative campaign

Netflix has embarked on its first custom creative campaign for its ad-supported tier in collaboration with Geico. The campaign features a partnership between Geico's gecko mascot and Leo the lizard, the main character in the animated film 'Leo' starring Adam Sandler.In a 30-second spot, the Geico Gecko is depicted passing out on-set, and the creative content spans TV and online video ads, out-of-home placements, and social media elements. This signifies Netflix's move towards a co-branded marketing strategy to fuel advertising for future growth. The streaming giant is exploring co-branded partnerships that aim to strengthen the connection between advertisers' products and Netflix's original programming.The 'Leo' campaign is a departure from past initiatives, such as Domino's collaboration with 'Stranger Things' and Old Spice's ties with 'The Witcher,' as the ads are running directly on Netflix, providing Geico with a more direct line to viewers.Magno Herran, Netflix's Vice President of Marketing Partnerships, highlighted the significance of bringing together the iconic Geico Gecko and the new character Leo, stating that it delivers more entertaining ad experiences for members and more contextually relevant messages for advertisers. Netflix plans to explore more opportunities like this in the future.The ads were developed in collaboration with creative studio Framestore and animation experts Animal Logic. The content shows the Geico Gecko acting as an on-set consultant, offering Leo tips that include vocal warm-up routines and finding the right lighting for a shot.'Leo' itself has achieved notable success on Netflix, standing as the biggest debut for an animated film on the platform with 34.6 million views within six days of premiering. The film, featuring Adam Sandler, secured the top spot on Netflix's English-language top 10 list.

Cybersecurity in the AI era: How the threat landscape evolved in 2023

Adopting a multifaceted approach, the analysis explores the implications of AI, focusing on its use by defenders and regulators, and separately assessing its potential exploitation by cybercriminals. This comprehensive examination – part of Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB) – is a yearly compilation of predictions and in-depth reports illuminating key shifts in the dynamic field of cybersecurity.Amid the rapid pace of technological progress and societal shifts, the term “AI” has firmly positioned itself at the forefront of global conversations. With the increasing spread of large language models (LLMs), the surge in security and privacy concerns directly links AI with the cybersecurity world. Kaspersky researchers illustrate how AI tools have helped cybercriminals in their malicious activity in 2023, while also showcasing the potential defensive applications of this technology. The company’s experts also reveal the evolving landscape of AI-related threats in the future that might include:More complex vulnerabilitiesAs instruction-following LLMs are integrated into more consumer-facing products, new complex vulnerabilities will emerge on the intersection of probabilistic generative AI and traditional deterministic technologies, expanding the attack surface for cybersecurity professionals to secure. This will require developers to study new security measures like user approval for actions initiated by LLM agents.A comprehensive AI assistant to cybersecurity specialistsRed teamers and researchers leverage generative AI for innovative cybersecurity tools, potentially leading to an assistant using LLM or machine learning (ML). This tool could automate red teaming tasks, offering guidance based on executed commands in a pentesting environment.Neural networks will be increasingly used to generate visuals for scamsIn the coming year, scammers may amplify their tactics using neural networks, leveraging AI tools to create more convincing fraudulent content. With the ability to effortlessly generate convincing images and videos, malicious actors pose an increased risk of escalating cyber threats related to fraud and scams.AI will not become a driver for groundbreaking change in the threat landscape in 2024Despite the above trends, Kaspersky experts remain skeptical about AI changing the threat landscape significantly any time soon. While cybercriminals do adopt generative AI, the same is true about cyberdefenders, who will use the same or even more advanced tools to test enhance security of software and networks, making it unlikely to drastically alter the attack landscape.More AI-related regulatory initiatives, with private sector’s contributionAs fast-growing technology develops, it has become a matter of policy making and regulation. The number of AI-related regulatory initiatives is set to rise. Non-state actors, such as tech companies, given their expertise in developing and utilizing artificial intelligence, can provide invaluable insights for discussions on AI regulation on both global and national platforms.Watermark for AI-generated contentMore regulations, as well as service provider policies will be required to flag or identify synthetic content, with the latter continuing to invest in detection technologies. Developers and researchers, on their part, will contribute to methods of watermarking synthetic media for easier identification and provenance.“Artificial Intelligence in cybersecurity is a double-edged sword. Its adaptive capabilities fortify our defenses, offering a proactive shield against evolving threats. However, the same dynamism poses risks, as attackers leverage AI to craft more sophisticated assaults. Striking the right balance, ensuring responsible use without oversharing sensitive data, is paramount in securing our digital frontiers,” comments Vladislav Tushkanov, security expert at Kaspersky.On December 11, Kaspersky experts joined by prof. Dr. Dennis-Kenji Kipker of will delve deep into the multifaceted current influence of AI on cyber threats and the privacy landscape. To join the session, register here for free.To learn more about AI in cybersecurity, visit Securelist.comv.These are part of Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB) – an annual series of predictions and analytical reports on key shifts within the cybersecurity world. Follow?this link?to learn more about other KSB pieces.

Choueiri Group, ADNEC Group, and WAM hold a Gala Dinner

At the opening of the 2nd Global Media Congress in Abu Dhabi, Choueiri Group, ADNEC Group, and Emirates News Agency - WAM jointly held a Gala Dinner at The Ritz Carlton's Olive Tree Garden. The event, attended by Mohamed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director General of Emirates News Agency, brought together influential media figures, government representatives, and top UAE officials. It was a significant assembly of media and communication leaders, including senior executives, innovators, and decision-makers, highlighting the event's prominence in the industry.Building on the success of its debut launch last year, this year’s distinguished gathering was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court, with an aim of facilitating global business connections and brand reinvention in the new media landscape. Also speaking at the event, Choueiri Group’s Chairman and CEO, Pierre Choueiri, began by introducing Choueiri Group, as “a name synonymous with legal representation and commercial success”, elaborating on how the Group specializes in exclusively representing various media outlets and platforms, offering advertisers the finest solutions to maximize their ROI and effectiveness. He also paid homage to the UAE as being a key enabler of Choueiri Group’s success and lauded the visionary legacy of the UAE’s forefathers, the country’s current leadership, as well as upcoming leaders towards nurturing a brighter future: “Over 35 years ago we embraced the UAE as our second home, recognizing its unwavering support for the media and advertising industry. During those years the founding fathers of this great nation were shaping its vision and path to success one achievement at a time. Today, we take immense pride in being part of a nation founded on values such as hospitality, tolerance, safety and security, peace, and family values. The UAE is not just a land of big ideas, innovation, science, and technology. It’s a place where the belief in human capital and wellbeing is equally strong. We consider ourselves fortunate to develop our businesses and lives here. Arguably better than anywhere else in the world. This nation’s commitment to progress, excellence and tolerance has truly set an example for the world”.Mr. Choueiri concluded his speech by expressing his sincere gratitude to the UAE for being the Group’s second home, stating that: “We look forward to continuing our journey of growth and prosperity alongside this remarkable nation and in partnership with your good selves. May our partnership with the UAE, Emirates News Agency - WAM and other distinguished partners continue to thrive and illuminate the vibrant media and advertising landscape in the MENA region and beyond”.

Christophe Ginisty Joins MSL as KSA Business Leader

MSL Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Christophe Ginisty as Business Lead for MSL in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This strategic move underscores MSL's commitment to bolstering its presence and expanding its portfolio in the Middle East, particularly in KSA, a key market for the Groupe. Christophe, a seasoned communication professional with extensive experience in strategic communications, will take an important role in leading MSL’s business in KSA. His role will focus on driving the agency's growth, fostering client relationships, and integrating Publicis Groupe's innovative 'Power of One' strategy across multiple channels. This approach aims to provide holistic marketing and communication solutions by leveraging the combined strengths of Publicis Groupe's diverse agencies. It is a cornerstone of Publicis Groupe's vision to deliver seamless, end-to-end solutions to clients. Christophe's expertise in strategic communications, public relations, public affairs, and digital strategy, coupled with his deep understanding of the Middle Eastern market, makes him ideally suited to this leadership role. Prior to joining MSL, Christophe held roles in Hill and Knowlton’ Strategies and Consulum, where he worked in advisory for some of Saudi’s most important projects including the Royal Commission for Riyadh City and Expo 2030."Christophe's appointment is part of a commitment to investing in top talent and expanding our footprint in the Middle East. His leadership will be instrumental in driving our 'Power of One' strategy in KSA, delivering integrated public relations solutions that meet the evolving needs of our clients," said MacLean Brodie, MSL CEO for the Middle East. Christophe Ginisty expressed his enthusiasm: "I am excited to join MSL at this pivotal time. The opportunity to contribute to the agency's growth in KSA and to implement the 'Power of One' strategy aligns perfectly with my professional expertise and personal aspirations. I look forward to leading the team in Riyadh and building on MSL's strong legacy in the region."

ETML expands to the ME Market. Appoints Rupesh Mishra as Director, Middle East

ETML, India’s pioneering growth marketing and analytics agency, recently announced the appointment of Rupesh Mishra as Director to lead its aggressive expansion plans in the Middle East region. The appointment reinforces ETML’s vision to strengthen its offering in the global market further and to expand in multiple markets across the world. In this role, Rupesh will report to Raghav Kansal, Founder & CEO, ETML, and would be instrumental in driving the company's growth.ETML has already seen initial success helping some of the biggest Indian brands successfully scale their presence in the Middle East. With Rupesh’s appointment, ETML is confident to repeat the same with a much bigger number of brandsRupesh Mishra, a seasoned professional with over two decades of experience in strategic partnerships and digital business growth, emphasized the alignment of ETML's offerings with the growth objectives of businesses in the region, citing the company's strong focus on data, technology, and expertise in performance marketing, brand advertising, SEO, performance creatives, marketing analytics & insights, marketplace advertising & growth consulting.Speaking on his new role, Rupesh Mishra said, “I am really grateful and excited for this opportunity. Considering the Middle East is being predicted to be the fastest growing online commerce market, ETML has the right fitment for brands eyeing to grow business in the region.” Rupesh in the past have led cross functional teams across leading digital brands and agencies such as Y2CF, Snapdeal, Times Internet,, Infomedia and Just Dial. Rupesh has also founded and has been successfully running a media agency for a decade now before joining hands with ETML.Sharing his thoughts, Mr. Raghav Kansal, Founder and CEO, ETML expressed enthusiasm on this move and mentioned, “We are thrilled to get Rupesh on board. With his track record and leadership qualities, we are confident to repeat our success that we have seen in the Indian and APAC market. Having launched & scaled some of the largest Indian brands in the middle east market already, we deeply understand what works in that market and are confident to repeat that for a much bigger cohort of brands. "

How Shell navigates the trio of branding, marketing, and advertising

Authored By Sarah Trad, Co-Founder, Closed Captions CommunicationsTry existing without being targeted by ads and you’ll soon realize the absurdity of this experiment. (If you fantasize about a life with a small farm and no technology then you’ve had your unfairly generous share of ads already.) Commercial messages are ubiquitous in the digital age. Behind the scenes, companies are ravaging through strategies to connect their brands with consumers in crowded marketplaces, virtual may they be or physical.Branding, marketing, and advertising are related business concepts, yet distinct in their aims and methods. Understanding the differences is key for companies trying to break through the noise as well as for consumers navigating the saturated world we’ve created.I’ll take the globally known oil and gas company Shell as an example to map out how branding, marketing, and advertising are different from one another while remaining complementary.Establishing a brand identityBranding is shaping how a business, product, or service is perceived, and conveys in a cohesive, storytelling way what a company stands for. It taps into intangible qualities beyond a logo to connect emotionally with consumers. Strong branding weaves a narrative about reliability, quality, creativity, sustainability, or innovation among other themes that evoke some sort of emotion in people, which would hopefully turn into action (preferable a ‘buying’ sort of action).For a company to stand out, it has to leave an identifiable image in consumers’ minds. Shell, with its simplistic yellow and red pecten (scallop) shell logo, implements its brand identity and colors all across its digital assets — social media and website being the most publicly reachable. It uses the same friendly corporate tone of voice in all of its communications, splashes its logo everywhere it can, follows through its core values and main mission, and in general remains consistent like an old friend you’ve known for ages.Branded content in ads often tells stories from a company’s point-of-view to align products and services with desired consumer takeaways. This is when we move to marketing.Marketing strategies to capture consumer attentionWhile branding focuses on overarching identity, marketing refers to campaigns for specific products and services to raise awareness or sales. Marketing introduces brands to new audiences and retains existing consumers, with tactics that aim at directly generating interest and interaction.Digital marketing permeates platforms where people connect, discover, and spend.Paid search lands a company website atop results pages.Social media placements put brands in ever-scrolled feeds.Pop-up ads emerge in articles and videos.Native advertising blends sponsored posts within everyday content.Campaigns prioritize conveying product benefits clearly or making deals feel time-sensitiveHow does Shell, a nearly $50B brand-valued company, handle marketing in a world bleeding black goo and coughing natural disasters? It pays influential content creators on TikTok and live-stream gamers. This gets the company to Gen Z-wash its image and encourage the young generation to fuel up their gas-guzzling cars with Shell products!“Making customers aware of products by way of advertising on social media is one way we pursue business performance and a valid part of our marketing activities,” said Shell spokesman Curtis Smith when asked about the protests many activists (of the same generation they’re targeting, may I add) are throwing.The public relations (PR) company handling Shell is quite a famous one, Edelman, so we shouldn’t be too shocked that an oil and gas company is randomly mentioned in trending Reels and TikToks.“They’re [Shell] not just promoting a particular product, but trying to alter their perception in the public eye and maintain their social license,” opined Sam Bright, the UK deputy editor of journalistic and activist website DeSmog.Ads to actionAdvertising refers specifically to paid media placements. Ads are the vehicles carrying marketing campaigns and branded messaging to connect with audiences at scale. Commercial breaks on television, radio spots, website banners, sponsored social media posts, transit ads, and much more all provide real estate for advertisements.The most effective ads grab attention then hold interest to inspire action. Brands aim for memorable or shocking visuals, interestingly written copy, or stopping power.Video ads tell brand stories while text and visuals convey utility.Calls-to-action (CTA) urge audiences to download, subscribe, use promo codes, or visit websites for more.Advertising channels, formats, and content adjust across campaigns to hit marketing goals.Shell has been serious about embracing its human side and advertising its green and clean energy efforts. It does so, in each geography it operates in, using all types of direct or indirect advertising to remain close and under your nose. Reaching businesses and governments requires different efforts and messages than reaching regular consumers, and with that comes a detailed attention to personalized messages that go on the right platforms based on data from audience segmentation.Strategic synergyBranding, marketing, and advertising work closely together in the digital marketplace. Brand identity guides the tone for marketing campaigns, while standout advertisements channel brands in a creative manner. To drive impact over time and build credibility and trust, companies rely on consistent messaging across branded content, marketing promotions, and ads. Just like our friend Shell does so impeccably (except for the criticism, which everyone receives in one way or another just for existing).In cluttered spaces, cohesion helps breakthrough. When all three disciplines coordinate around core identity and campaign objectives, an acceleration is noticed in consumer recognition and recall. Distinct yet interconnected, these practices fuel competitive digital strategies when properly balanced. For companies clarifying “who we are, who we speak to, and what sets us apart,” unlocking the synergy between branding, marketing, and advertising makes standing out possible

OSH Del Mar Presents a Season of Splendor

Embrace the magic of the holidays as OSH Del Mar, located at The Address Beach Resort, welcomes guests to immerse in a seamless blend of Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve festivities, promising an enchanting experience for both families and revelers alike. Christmas Eve - December 24th: A Family Celebration On December 24th, OSH Del Mar transforms into a winter wonderland, adorned with a magnificent Christmas Tree, setting the stage for a heartwarming family event from 2 pm until 6 pm. Delight in four hours of joyous entertainment designed to create unforgettable memories for the entire family. For an affordable AED250 per child, young ones will embark on a magical journey filled with a delightful array of activities. Experience the joy of meeting Santa Claus, the embodiment of holiday cheer, as he spreads merriment and creates cherished moments. Witness the enchantment of a magician bringing illusions to life, captivating the imaginations of both children and adults alike. Let the little ones express their creativity with festive face art, adding a touch of holiday magic to their appearance.  Additionally, our Pastry Chef will lead young enthusiasts through a delightful Dessert Master Class, crafting sweet treats that can be enjoyed during the festive celebrations. It's an affordable opportunity for children to immerse themselves in a world of holiday enchantment and create lasting memories.  New Year's Eve - December 31st: A Night of Opulence and Panoramic Views  Transition seamlessly from Christmas to New Year's Eve at OSH Del Mar's grand celebration. Prepare for a night of glamour, gastronomy, and glittering entertainment. Ring in the New Year in style at one of the city's most coveted destinations, starting at 8 pm, featuring a 220-inch fireworks display, a carefully curated 5-course set menu, and a lineup of entertainment, ensuring an awe-inspiring start to 2024.  Select from three exclusive packages tailored to elevate your New Year's Eve celebration. Indoor Package at AED2,500 for an intimate dining experience within our sophisticated indoor setting, promising a cozy and refined ambiance.  Outdoor Package at AED3,000 offers the opportunity to revel under the starlit sky, surrounded by the crisp sea breeze—an enchanting atmosphere that adds a touch of magic to your night. Unlimited Champagne Edition at AED4,000, where you can enjoy endless toasts under the night sky, creating a truly unforgettable and glamorous experience for the ushering in of the New Year. Families are warmly invited to join the New Year's Eve celebration with our specially crafted Kids Package, ensuring an evening of joy and celebration for guests of all ages.  The festivities continue with an open bar serving premium spirits until 1 AM and a dynamic entertainment lineup featuring a magician, violinist, singer, dance show, and a DJ spinning the latest beats.  For reservations and more information, please call +971 50 914 4215, visit or follow Instagram @OSHDUBAI.  What: Christmas Eve  When: 24 December, 2023 Timing: 2pm – 6pm Price: AED250 per child Offer: Kick off the festivities on December 24th, with a winter wonderland, a magnificent Christmas Tree and a family-centric event. This heartwarming celebration guarantees four hours of joyous entertainment for the little ones, ensuring unforgettable memories for the whole family.  What: New Year’s Eve When: 31 December 2023 Timing: Starting at 8 pm Packages: Indoor Package at AED2,500           Outdoor Package at AED3,000                    Unlimited Champagne Edition at AED4,000 Offer: An extraordinary New Year's Eve celebration against the stunning backdrop of the Address Beach Resort, featuring panoramic views, a 220-inch fireworks display, a carefully curated 5-course set menu, and a lineup of entertainment for an unforgettable start to 2024.

Riyadh Air selects AMOS

Swiss-AS is very proud to officially announce the signing of a strategic agreement with the emerging Saudi Arabian airline Riyadh Air, for the implementation of our Aviation Maintenance and Engineering software solution AMOS. As a national carrier, Riyadh Air will play a significant role in promoting Saudi Arabia's economic and cultural interests globally, aiding in the development of Riyadh as a major destination in the Middle East.The signing ceremony took place in Dubai, with representatives from both Riyadh Air and Swiss-AS present to celebrate the occasion after their extraordinary debut at Dubai Airshow 2023 and the unveiling of several commercial agreements with leading companies such as IBM, Lucid Motors, Lufthansa Systems, and Saudia.The newly signed partnership will involve aligning AMOS’s capabilities with Riyadh Air’s strategic goals, such as enhancing customer satisfaction, improving operational reliability, and driving innovation in maintenance operations.AMOS as a best-in-class solutionThe selection of AMOS follows a rigorous and meticulous evaluation, which positioned AMOS as the comprehensive software solution that will seamlessly integrate with Riyadh Air's evolving ecosystem IT systems landscape. The airline is currently in the process of selecting and defining the solutions essentials for its commercial operations planned for 2025. A critical aspect of this partnership relies on AMOS’s ability to integrate Riyadh Air’s evolving fleet, accommodate new aircraft types and drive the carrier’s sustainability mission for engineering. AMOS is planned to closely integrate with the carriers’ digital initiatives to reach its sustainability goals. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in Riyadh Air's commitment to optimise its maintenance operations from the very start, with the goal of achieving the highest overall efficiency through AMOS.AMOS will be covering all aspects of the maintenance, engineering, and logistics processes required by airlines, and the software’s modular structure will provide Riyadh Air with a tailored and scalable system to meet their specific needs and challenges.Renowned for its cutting-edge features, AMOS is set to optimise Riyadh Air's maintenance and engineering activities, enabling it to become a leading player at the forefront of the ever-evolving aviation landscape.AMOS brings key benefits to Riyadh Air, including increased performance by streamlining maintenance processes for better resource utilisation. It also facilitates data-driven decision-making by providing access to real-time data for informed strategic decisions. AMOS also contributes to compliance and safety by ensuring strict adherence to industry regulations and safety standards, reinforcing Riyadh Air's commitment to operational excellence and passenger well-being.AMOS Operational Services to manage AMOS in the CloudIn line with Riyadh Air's vision to be "digital native" and its ambitious sustainability goals, the airline has opted for the full Hosting in the Cloud service package, including AMOS Operational Services (AOS). This strategic decision aligns with Riyadh Air's commitment to becoming a digital leader in the industry. The benefits of the Cloud Hosting and AOS go beyond operational efficiency, as it will allow the airline to maintain flexibility, scalability, and real-time access to critical maintenance data. The Cloud-based approach ensures seamless updates, reduces infrastructure costs, and fosters a dynamic digital environment.Riyadh Air's choice for AMOS is a testament to Swiss-AS' reputation as a provider of reliable and innovative solutions to the aviation industry. This partnership reflects the shared commitment of both organisations to excellence, safety, and technological advancement in the field of aviation maintenance.Peter Bellew, Riyadh Air’s Chief Operating Officer, commented: “We are building our technical capabilities to ensure readiness for our first flight in 2025 and an important part of this process is to ensure we have world class partners in place across the business. We plan to pioneer the use of AMOS to drive our sustainability plans from day one integrating it to enable fuel and carbon saving across our fleets. By selecting AMOS, we are further demonstrating the ongoing implementation of our detailed roadmap that brings on board industry leading technology well in advance of operations. AMOS provides us a strong solution to deliver reliable operational efficiencies and ensuing guest satisfaction.”Swiss AviationSoftware’s CEO Fabiano Faccoli states: “We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Riyadh Air and to support them in their commitment to being a visionary in the aviation industry. Riyadh Air will be the first digital-native airline and we are very much looking forward playing a significant role in achieving this ambitious target by leveraging AMOS’ full potential. Riyadh Air not only reaffirms its dedication to industry leadership but also showcases a strategic embrace of state-of-the-art technology that aligns perfectly with our mutual vision for the future of air travel.”

Dubai takes center stage as epicenter for global investment strategies at FBS

Dubai: The event underscored Dubai’s remarkable transformation, evolving from an emerging market to a true global contender that captures the world’s consistent attention.Experts throughout the day drew attention to the city's unparalleled appeal especially to International Investors and Business Leaders, emphasizing its role as a gateway to growth in the Middle East - now cited as the second-largest economy in the region.The Summit also focused on lucrative Investment opportunities in Indonesia, especially with the launch of their new Golden Visa program.Attendees gained valuable insights into offshore investment strategies, second citizenship options, and Bali’s real estate potential.Renowned keynote speakers shared their distinctive perspectives throughout the day, delving into comprehensive strategies for navigating the evolving geopolitical landscape.They highlighted the growing trend of individuals and families adopting multiple citizenships as a proactive measure to future-proof the next generation.“It was truly exhilarating to witness a dynamic gathering of thought leaders from diverse industries, converging to shape the future of investment. This event not only solidifies Dubai’s pivotal role as the epicenter for the future but also unveils the untapped potential for investment opportunities worldwide.” - Added Denys Dovgal, Founder of the Freedom Business Summit.KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE EVENTDubai’s Dynamic Investment Landscape: A robust hub for short- and long-term gains.Investor Guidance: Combatting “shiny object syndrome” with diligent due diligence for optimal opportunities.Indonesia’s Untapped Potential: Promising long-term growth and remarkable returns with a key focus on Bali’s rapidly growing real estate investment opportunities.Global Trend: Growing recognition of citizenship/residency through investment, contributing up to 50% to some microstate’s GDP.The Freedom Business Summit was Co-organized with Alex Villas. Alex Villas is the industry- leading real estate company in Bali with a mission to bring affordable luxury living to the masses.

Etihad Airways Pioneers Cutting-Edge Artificial Intelligence Solutions

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has become one of the first airlines to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance safety management systems, elevating them to an advanced level of sophistication. This strategic move signifies the airline's commitment to enhancing safety protocols through cutting-edge technology. This initiative is part of a partnership with Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) to establish joint training programmes, research exploration, and develop AI-powered solutions to support and enhance Etihad’s world-leading safety processes. Etihad’s AI-powered platform collects and analyses data including flight reports, maintenance, and training activities to accelerate and refine existing safety processes. The solution is enhanced by state-of-the-art machine learning technologies, including Google BERT, Microsoft Azure, and TF-IDF, which contribute to its advanced analytical capabilities. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Chief Operating Officer, said: “Safety is our top priority at Etihad Airways. Etihad is constantly exploring innovative ways to enhance our safety performance; we believe the integration of Artificial Intelligence is a significant leap forward in this direction and is set to be a game-changer in aviation. “By adopting AI to support and enhance industry-leading processes, Etihad demonstrates its commitment to utilising cutting-edge technology to ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of its guests and crew.” Mohamed Hasan Al Mansoori, Vice President Emiratization Strategy & Government Relation at Etihad Airways, said: “We always explore innovative approaches and partner with leading educational institutions to empower the next generations with tangible experiences within the aviation industry. This AI-powered system is a testament to the success of our collaboration with MBZUAI and wider strategy to support Abu Dhabi’s vision.” Through the implementation of AI, Etihad is refining its day-to-day operations and advancing its Safety Management System (SMS). This safety-focused approach demonstrates the airline’s commitment to maintaining industry-leading standards by investing in technologies that continuously improve the safety and wellbeing of its guests. Since the agreement with MBZUAI  was signed in July 2023, Etihad had trained five interns in various business divisions including Flight Operations, Revenue Enablement and Human Resources. Etihad had also welcomed eight Emirati graduates through its internship programme, Bedayati.

With AED6000 prize pool, Homegrown Gaming Platform is hosting many tournaments

GameCentric, a premier homegrown gaming platform, hosts an exciting tournament series from December 3rd to December 23rd. Gamers of all levels can join the ultimate face-off across popular titles like DOTA2, Fortnite, Valorant, COD Mobile, League Of Legends, and more. With over 50 game titles, GameCentric caters to a broad audience, and additional tournaments will be added in the coming months. Entry is free for participants aged 13 and above, offering a chance to compete for a prize pool of AED 6000/USD 1600! Visit the GameCentric website to sign up and track your favorite game. Aligned with the "Dubai Program for Gaming 2033," GameCentric aims to propel Dubai into a global gaming hub, contributing to the program's goal of a $1 billion incremental GDP impact.

Eaton becomes a Platinum sponsor of Gulf Data Centre Association

The Gulf Data Centre Association (GDCA), a trade organisation propelling the growth of the data centre industry across the GCC, today announced that Eaton, an intelligent power management company, has joined the association as a Platinum Sponsor. With Eaton’s commitment to sustainable power management innovations and the GDCA's mission to foster industry growth throughout the GCC, this partnership is a strategic collaboration that brings together two organisations committed to developing the region's digital infrastructure and championing sustainability in the data centre sector.“Eaton is proud to become a Platinum Sponsor of the Gulf Data Centre Association (GDCA), solidifying our dedication to advancing sustainable power management solutions in the GCC. This strategic partnership serves as a dynamic platform for us to not only contribute our expertise but also actively engage with industry leaders, learning and sharing best practices,” said Ammar Al Horani, Data Centre Practice Leader, Eaton Middle East. “As the region experiences exponential growth and an increasing demand for data centers, our collaboration with GDCA becomes instrumental in advancing technology, fostering innovation, and shaping the landscape of the data center industry in the GCC. We look forward to being an integral part of this journey, working together to meet the evolving needs of the digital era while championing sustainability and industry excellence.”"We are delighted to welcome Eaton as a Platinum Sponsor to the GDCA," said Henry Sutton, Founder of GDCA. "Eaton's prominent reputation and forward-thinking approach in sustainable power management systems aligns seamlessly with our vision for industry progress in the region. As the GCC sees a huge push towards sustainability, Eaton’s fresh approach and expert insights will be invaluable to our members." This announcement comes after Eaton was also a Gold Sponsor of the inaugural Touchdown Middle East 2023 on the 21st-22nd November in Bahrain, the first GCC region-wide data centres industry conference, created in partnership with the GDCA and Kickstart Europe. Ammar Al Horani delivered a keynote at the conference, highlighting how data centre owners and operators can maximise the use of their necessary assets, enable renewable energy, and generate additional revenue of their investment.

Union Coop appoints Mr. Mohamed Al Hashemi as CEO

Dubai, UAE: Union Coop, a leading cooperative in the retail sector of Dubai, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Mohamed Al Hashemi as its Chief Executive Officer. In this pivotal role, Mr. Al Hashemi will steer the cooperative's strategic vision, overseeing the expansion of its business scope and reinforcing its strategic presence within the local and national retail markets.Upon assuming his responsibilities, Mr. Al Hashemi prioritized communication with stakeholders, conducting remote meetings to reaffirm Union Coop's standing as a key player in the country's cooperative landscape. With a focus on development and growth, he is set to collaborate with various divisions, departments, and the experienced team to lead the cooperative into new avenues of success, marking a significant milestone in its business journey.During his inaugural address, Mr. Al Hashemi expressed his commitment to an open-door policy, welcoming feedback and suggestions to enhance retail operations and maintain Union Coop's position as a frontrunner among consumer cooperatives in the country. He outlined a comprehensive vision for the cooperative, emphasizing the implementation of initiatives and plans that involve continuous diversification, digital advancements, and alignment with local and global developments in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.Recognizing the importance of collaboration, Mr. Al Hashemi stressed the need for strengthened partnerships among entities and stakeholders associated with Union Coop. This collaborative approach aims to provide high-quality services to the cooperative's diverse consumer base, contributing to the overall satisfaction of stakeholders and consumers alike.In line with his strategic vision, Mr. Al Hashemi is keen on investing in the development of employee skills, fostering innovation, and embracing digital technologies. These initiatives are designed to give Union Coop a competitive advantage, attracting premier products and pioneering projects in the vibrant city of Dubai.With an impressive 19-year track record in the retail trade, Mr. Al Hashemi was recognized in 2021 for his outstanding achievements and role in the business sector, earning a coveted spot in the Young Global Leader Forum. His wealth of experience includes successful management of operational processes, contributing to an innovative work environment, and formulating development policies to enhance overall operations.Union Coop looks forward to a new era of growth under the leadership of Mr. Mohamed Al Hashemi, as it continues to uphold its commitment to delivering quality products and services to its valued consumers.

2024: AI's unstoppable surge, hyper-personalized advertising

Authored By Marc Baillavoine, CTO, Video Network, SynamediaIf 2023 was the year that ChatGPT took over the headlines, 2024 will be the year where technologists across all industries, including video streaming, will go beyond the soundbites and start using AI to transform the user experience and business operations.For example, by the 2027 Rugby World Cup (where, as a Frenchman I believe France will fare better…), ads will be less intrusive and super-targeted, benefiting from AI-based dynamic ad insertion. AI will analyse your viewing behaviour to understand your tastes, habits and preferences. It will then insert personalised ads directly into your programming. No longer will you see the French team wearing logos from brands you have no interest in.As a fan, this enhances my viewing experience. As a technologist, this is the tip of the iceberg because the possibilities AI brings can feel endless – a feeling that energizes us to constantly innovate.Energy-inefficiency will start to become extinctThe greening of streaming is a catchy phrase – and those who haven’t caught on will no doubt be left behind in 2024.In our daily lives, we shut off the lights when we leave the room because it saves energy. Why wouldn’t we do the same for video processing? It’s this exact question that led us to the development of Quortex Play just-in-time streaming. You use it when a viewer calls for content, and you turn it off when they do. The concept is simple, but the energy efficiency impact is massive.Across all other industries, energy efficiency is a top business concern. It’s no longer a choice to think about carbon emissions, it’s an absolute must. We’re already seeing more RFPs – especially from public companies and large corporations – that require the ability to demonstrate energy efficiency in their requests, which factors heavily in their rating and decision process. In 2024, we will see the launch of more energy-efficient solutions, while not impacting viewer experience.There was once a time when the “consumerisation of IT” was all the rage in the enterprise. In 2024, we will see “the YouTube-isation of television” dominate demand in a similar fashion. Per-user, hyper-customisation of content across platforms and devices will dominate demand User experience on YouTube and TikTok is all based on previous viewing. If you watch a cat video, your feed will no doubt be filled with cat videos from other sources. Most YouTube viewers don’t care who created and owns the content, as long as it is engaging.In 2024 this level of hyper-customisation will dominate across TV and streaming, beyond the likes of Netflix who are already personalising experiences. There are technologies available to make customisation dynamic. If we look at what “just in time” technologies like Quortex Play and advanced CDNs can do, there’s no doubt that the technology is there. It’s now a matter of getting businesses on board with finding new routes to monetisation that they may have previously disregarded out of fear of losing subscriber mind-share – for example by deeply personalising their ads, providing per-user targeted ads or even adapting the content in real time, based on the individual subscriber’s taste and likes.With streaming service churn rate holding steady at 47% globally according to Parks Associates, the argument for retention centers back on content availability and user experience. Viewers will come to a service if it has content they’re interested in and the experience is seamless. There’s no doubt that linear TV as we know it will slowly fade out and be replaced by Spotify-like TV experiences that cater to each subscriber’s own personal sequence of programmes and ads.Those players – service providers and content owners alike - who recognise this first and invest in user experience and a dynamic content library will be the ones to thrive.Technologies that enable adaptive advertising will be top sellersAds will become more subtle yet more engaging. We will see ads on the football field using technology overlays that are targeted to that exact user or household. You will see your favourite character munching on the latest flavour of your preferred snack while your neighbour will see theirs – all dynamically.Today, when an advertiser purchases an ad spot, they are for a certain time slots either pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll… But in 2024, we expect ad buys to be made based on time + placement on screen. This means there could be a lower ad rate when a snack is positioned on a counter at the back of the scene compared to when the main character is eating it.What’s more, brands will benefit financially from this new data-driven ad placement strategy. Performance marketing is a hot trend in CTV today – where brands pay based on the success of their ads. Insights about click-throughs and even purchases mean brands will pay the appropriate amount based on the exact reach of their advertising. In an upcoming Tour de France, expect to compare notes with your neighbour on what ads you see on the yellow jersey cyclist’s shorts.

The world’s 1st Water Exchange, COP28 sees the Water Sustainability Coalition

COP28 today saw the launch of The International Water Sustainability Coalition, a joint initiative of AquaKraft Group Ventures ( Leo Burnett India ( & UAE-based Quazar Investments ( to address the burgeoning need of water sustainability & water security in the world. The International Water Sustainability Coalition aims to develop a coalition of Water Conscious enterprises, governments & enablers committed to water stewardship & sustainability. The coalition, the first of its kind in the region, will address the unique challenges and characteristics of water resources by getting countries to commit to international collaboration and cooperation to make equitable access and distribution of water for society a reality by 2050. The stakeholders joining the coalition will be incentivised for their sustainability by AquaKredits – Water Credits on AquaKraft’s AqVerium – World’s 1st Digital Water Bank and rated with a Water Sustainability Score (WSS) developed jointly by Leo Burnett India and AqVerium. The coalition will also drive green & sustainable solutions for managing the world’s precious resource, WATER. Speaking on the occasion Rajdeepak Das, Chairman Leo Burnett, South Asia and Chief Creative Officer Publicis Groupe, South Asia “At Burnett we believe that creativity’s true power is to impact a billion. The looming water crisis demands immediate attention by adopting the Water Sustainability Score – a first-of-its-kind report card on how a water-positive brand can bring transparency and accountability in the indiscriminate use of water. The water sustainability score will help corporates to be more responsible and will give the consumers to choose the right product. When initiatives like the Water Sustainability Score are embraced it’s a win-win for both People & Planet. When more corporations and countries engage in these discussions, the greater the impact becomes because sometimes a small act goes a long way.” “Leo Burnett operating in several other countries has joined the coalition with a commitment to influence and drive their customers to subscribe and practice water sustainability. Be Water+ve, a water sustainability influencer program of AquaKraft & IIFA, and Meraki Digital, a planet-positive communications agency dedicated to climate action have joined the coalition. The coalition will drive the “Blue Taxonomy” jointly being developed by AquaKraft and Frost & Sullivan, UK.” said Dr. Sami Souissi, Convenor – The International Water Sustainability Coalition.  Speaking on the occasion Waleed Khalid Al Ali, CEO – of Quazar Investment said “It is a very momentous occasion for UAE to host The International Water Sustainability Coalition and Quazar is very proud to be a part of it. We invite all the stakeholders across the world to join this coalition and aim to sign The International Water Treaty on UN World Water Day 2024 in Dubai. We are also very happy to announce our investment in the joint venture, AquaKraft BlueTech Solutions L.L.C, U.A.E., which will address the water & food security in UAE and the Middle East, and work with all stakeholders in achieving The UAE Water Security Strategy 2036. We are very impressed with Dr. Subramanya’s vision and together we will make the world water-positive.” AquaKraft BlueTech Solutions LLC., U.A.E., will leverage the collective philosophies & strengths of AquaKraft Group Ventures & Quazar Investment and is poised to redefine the “Circular Water Sustainability” with its latest innovation Sustainable AquAgro Circular Economy. “A lot has been spoken about climate action & resilience but Water which is core to sustainability has been clearly missing the narrative. It is a proud moment for us to launch The International Water Sustainability Coalition along with congruent-minded partners, Leo Burnett India and Quazar Investments. We are equally excited about our partnership with Quazar as both our philosophies are congruent towards sustainable impact. Together we will drive the water sustainability narrative across the Middle East which is by far the most water bereft region of the world. Our objective is to treat over 10 billion litres of water in the UAE and extrapolate this model across the Middle East capturing a significant share of USD 50 billion and growing water opportunities in the next 3 years.” Said Dr. Subramanya Kusnur, Founder Chairman & CEO, AquaKraft Group Ventures. AquaKraft BlueTech will implement AquaKraft’s AqVerium ( ) – the World’s 1st Digital Water Bank which will audit, verify & validate water use and efficiency data, incentivise water positivity with AquaKredits – Water Credits and provide and digital marketplace to offset water deficit by buying AquaKredits. It will also provide a platform to sell recycled sewage water for agriculture by water-conscious stakeholders. Sameer Salgar, CFO – Quazar Investments added “Quazar is incubating the joint venture and we are very bullish about the potential and growth of our investment. We are very impressed with the vision and legacy of AquaKraft as they address complex challenges in the highly unstructured water markets across the world. Their understanding of grassroots problems in every geography and curation of simple & customized solutions make them stand differently from all in the space. One of our major focus areas will be creating the world’s 1st WATER EXCHANGE which will revolutionise the global Water Market.”

Peet's Coffee Brews Up a Storm with its Newest Branch in City Walk, Dubai

Peet's Coffee, a renowned name in the world of craft coffee, is delighted to announce the opening of its fourth branch in the heart of Dubai, in City Walk 2. The store is located on the Ground Floor of City Walk 2, Al Wasl – Jumeirah. Peet's Coffee is rapidly expanding its footprint across the GCC region mainly in the UAE and KSA, with the City Walk store being the latest addition, marking a significant milestone in its journey. Since 1966, Peet's Coffee has been synonymous with bold rich flavors, and its commitment to quality and craftsmanship. Known as the original craft coffee brand, Peet's has carved its niche as the 'Defender of Coffee Craft.' What sets the new City Walk outlet apart is not only its vast warm interior but also the distinction of being Peet's first outdoor location in Dubai. This establishment, nestled in the vibrant City Walk district, promises a unique and community-centric ambiance. "Peet's Coffee has always been about more than just coffee – it's about delighting our customers, artisan roasting, and excellence. Our newest store in City Walk, Dubai, takes these values to the next level. The warm and inviting atmosphere, coupled with our commitment to craftsmanship, sets us apart. And, of course, being our first outdoor location in Dubai, it adds a fresh dimension to the Peet's experience," said Malek El Ghaziri, Director of Operations at Peet's Coffee. Peet’s Coffee has branches in Dubai Mall Fashion Avenue, Dubai Mall Star Atrium, and Duball Hills Mall. The City Walk store not only boasts a design that exudes warmth and community vibes but also offers a distinctive selection of single-source beans, ensuring a premium and flavorful coffee experience. From meticulously sourced world’s best beans to expertly crafted brewing methods, guests can indulge in a rich variety of coffee options that cater to discerning tastes. Peet’s Coffee has been a pioneer of craft coffee, boasting a legacy of using exclusively high-quality premium coffee beans, sustainably sourced and meticulously hand-roasted and blended at Peet's Master roastery, ensuring that each cup delivers an exceptional taste experience that reflects expertise and passion for coffee, all supported by the best customer service in the business. Complementing the exceptional coffee offerings, the menu showcases a diverse range of sandwiches crafted with the freshest ingredients, such as Grilled Chicken and Spicy Tuna Sandwiches, and irresistible desserts like Saffron Milk Cake, Coconut Carrot Cake, and Tiramisu. Peet's Coffee's City Walk store reflects the brand's dedication to providing premium coffee experiences in diverse settings and promises to be a go-to destination for coffee enthusiasts and those seeking a welcoming environment to unwind. As part of its commitment to social responsibility, Peet's Coffee actively engages in initiatives that contribute to the well-being of the planet and its people. From sourcing sustainable coffee beans to fostering community relationships, Peet's continues to make a positive impact. Join us as we celebrate the grand opening of Peet's Coffee at City Walk, Dubai, and experience the authentic blend of quality, craft, and community that defines Peet's Coffee legacy. For enquiries, please call +971 50 428 1788. Opening Hours: 8AM – 1AM Fridays & Saturdays                         8AM to 12AM – Sunday to Thursday

Sber's retail customer base grew by 10mln with its 2021-2023 strategy

As part of Investor Day, the Sber team reviewed the results of the company's 2021-2023 Strategy and talked about its new Development Strategy to 2026. As a result of the 2021-2023 strategy, Sber's retail customer base grew by 10 million to 108 million, while it picked up 500,000 new corporate clients to reach a total of 3.2 million. The team has provided resilience and innovative development by ensuring technological independence and achieving a breakthrough in AI transformation.The financial goals of Strategy 2026 are return on equity >22% in each year of the Strategy, total capital adequacy ratio ?20.0 >13.3%, and dividend disbursements of 50% of the Sber Group's net profit. Sber will spend the next 3 years preparing for the transition to a human-centric organization. This complex transformation will impact three key spheres technology with the focus on developing a new generation of AI, business model in all areas, and culture.In its new strategy cycle, Sber has a special focus on shaping its long-term vision. Technology, above all artificial intelligence (AI), is becoming the key factor defining today's world and the future. One of the key challenges is to place technology at the service of mankind. Sber's business model is centred around people, their interests and aspirations. AI is becoming mankind's personal assistant – expanding everyone's capabilities and helping people to tap their potential. This represents a step by Sber towards human-centricity.Taking part in the event were Herman Gref, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board, Kirill Tsarev, First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Alexander Vedyakhin, First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Andrey Belevtsev, Senior Vice President, ??? – Head of Technology Block, and Taras Skvortsov, Vice President, Head of Finance Block.Herman Gref, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, said, “The consumer model in which the customer is viewed exclusively as a source of income will become a thing of the past. The task of the new business is to help the customer be flexible and adaptive in an unstable world. We need to create tools that will meet and surpass the customers' expectations. We need to learn to treat each of our customers, every human being, as we would treat ourselves.”“We want to become one of the first human-centric companies, one that will help people to tap their potential and survive amidst today's overabundance of technology and information. Artificial intelligence can become a personal assistant to every human being – an assistant in analyzing and processing huge volumes of information, setting goals, and correctly prioritizing and organizing our lives, an assistant which will help to expand people's capabilities and free them from routine activities," Herman Gref added.Alongside its long-term priorities, Sber will devote particular attention to developing and creating best customer experience, improving performance, providing reliable and safe services, and accelerated deployment of AI in every area of the business.

MENA Fintech Association launches their new Sustainable Fintech Report 2023

The MENA Fintech Association, the premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving fintech startups and established players across the Middle East and Africa, is excited to announce launch of their new Sustainable Fintech Report 2023The MENA Fintech Association, founded in 2018, known for its global recognition as one of the top 4 fintech groups, unveils its groundbreaking Sustainable Fintech Report 2023. This report features insights from leading companies at the forefront of innovation, including Paymentology, Paymob, Mastercard, META, Heriot Watt University, The Entertainer, KARM Legal, M2P Fintech, BPC Fintech, Klarna, Mamo, Rival, Codebase Technologies, Communique, Marshal Fintech Partners, Themis, and Green Digital Finance Alliance.Key Highlights:Innovative Approaches: Explore how leading fintech companies are adopting innovative approaches to drive positive change within the financial industry, blending technology with sustainable practices.Collaborative Initiatives: Learn about collaborative initiatives between industry leaders, institutions, and supporting companies, including DIFC, Central Bank of Egypt and ADGM, in promoting responsible innovation and fostering a resilient and environmentally conscious future.Industry Insights: Gain valuable insights into the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in sustainable fintech, shaping the discourse around responsible financial practices.Academic Contribution: Heriot Watt University's academic contributions enrich the report, offering a well-rounded perspective on sustainable fintech practices.Nameer Khan, Chairman MENA Fintech Association stated the following, "For the MENA Fintech Association, sustainability is not just a concept; it's a commitment to shaping the future of finance responsibly. The Sustainable Fintech Report 2023 reflects our dedication to fostering innovation and collaboration. As we navigate the intersection of finance and technology, we believe that a sustainable future is not just desirable – it's essential. Through this report, we invite industry stakeholders to join us on this transformative journey towards a resilient and environmentally conscious financial landscape."Read the Report:

Google releases the top trending searches of the year in MENA

Google released today the top trending searches of 2023 for the Middle East and North Africa. The annual lists reveal the most trending search queries which experienced a higher volume of search over a sustained period in 2023 compared to 2022. The lists included the top searched news, platforms, events, movies, TV series, tournaments and personalities. Egypt: In the news list, the war in Palestine ranked first, followed by the devaluation of the Egyptian Pound and the earthquake that happened in the country earlier this year. As for the Personalities list, the Egyptian footballer Emam Ashour was ranked first, followed by Jory Bakr and Bassem Youssef following his interview with Piers Morgan. Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom has been searching for football throughout the year, with many events and tournaments happening on-ground. The match between AlHilal SFC and Real Madrid CF was ranked top in the football tournaments list. As for the personalities list, footballers remain at the top list with Aleksandar Mitrovi? and Karim Benzema amongst others. The war in Palestine was the top searched topic in the news list, which also included the devaluation of the Pakistani Rupee, and Buerger's disease. There has also been interest in local platforms such asd, Absher, Jadarat, Etima amongst others.UAE: In the UAE, there was huge interest in cricket matches. The Cricket World Cup match between India and Sri Lanka was the top searched tournament. Local and regional events made it to the list this year including Gitex 2023, COP28 and UFC 294. People in the UAE also used Google Search to follow the news in Palestine, as well as the devastating events that happened earlier this year including the Earthquake in Turkey, Syria, and Morocco.The full lists of top 2023 trending queries can be found on Google Google Trends website.Egypt: Arabia: Lists in MENAUAESaudi

2023 MEPRA Awards honours Outstanding Achievements in Middle East PR Industry

The 15 th edition of the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Awards took centre stage on November 23 rd at the Atlantis, The Palm, marking a historic moment with the largest ever judging panel. The event, attended by over 500 guests and 87 organisations, transformed into a red-carpet spectacle for Middle East-based agencies and professionals across 47 award categories.In celebration of the best public relations strategies and campaigns, the awards ceremony spotlighted outstanding performance in the industry throughout 2023. From impactful communication campaigns to outstanding organisational excellence, finalists demonstrated brilliance in concept, execution and brand building. The MEPRA Awards, now considered the benchmark of high performance in the Middle East public relations industry, has organically grown in popularity since its inception in 2008..The 2023 MEPRA Awards drew 750 entries across diverse categories, recognising the best agencies, individuals, teams, campaigns, techniques, and innovative solutions meeting evolving industry demands. PR professionals seized the opportunity to showcase creativity, receiving accolades for strategies, leadership, and impact. The event featured a special address by Mr Sunil John, President of BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), highlighting the positive impact that communicatorshave on industries.Among the notable wins, Gambit Communications claimed Medium Agency of the Year, while Memac Ogilvy set an industry precedent for the Best Campaign Demonstrating DE&I Initiatives. Current Global, FP7 and Heinz celebrated team spirit with the Best Collaborative Campaign, and Sticky Ginger secured the Best Food and Beverages Campaign. New categories brought fierce competition, with Hill & Knowlton Strategies named Large Agency of the Year, Current Global MENAT as Small Agency of the Year and BrazenMENA awarded Best Homegrown Agency.In Sector and Services, Hill & Knowlton, TECOM Group and Emirates Red Crescent secured Best Business to Business, while Weber Shandwick MENAT and OnStar by General Motors together won Best Consumer Services Campaign. In Techniques and Services, Dubai Holding earned Best Sustainability StakeholderEngagement campaign and Action Global Communications claimed Best Campaign Demonstrating Environmental Initiatives. The Best in Market category witnessed Memac Ogilvy triumph Best Campaign in the UAE while Havas Red Middle East excelled in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, winning Gold in both.The Chairman’s Award honoured MEPRA Executive Board Member and Communications Consultant, Monther Tayeb and the Young Communicator of the Year Award celebrated industry newcomer Khyati Megchiani of Brazen MENA.Memac Ogilvy took home an impressive total of 20 awards, securing the highest number of titles, closely trailed by Weber Shandwick MENAT with 19 accolades, and Hill & Knowlton in close pursuit with 17 awards.“This year’s awards ceremony was special for more reasons than one. With four new categories and the largest-ever judging panel, it demonstrated stringent processes to select nothing but the best. We are delighted to celebrate the winners as these communication experts are driving the industry forward with innovation and passion. The PR campaigns recognized today are beyond boardroom strategies and the collaborative approach feted speaks volumes of the region’s willingness to explore newer avenues within the industry. MEPRA will continue encouraging growth in industry standards, skills, and creativity and is immensely proud to establish a platform where PR practitioners are recognised for their worthy contributions. I take this opportunity to congratulate all the finalists and winners,” said Kate Midttun, Chairperson of MEPRA.Nominees were evaluated by an expert panel of over 112 regional and international industry experts to select the 2023 finalists and winners. The 2023 MEPRA Awards received support from partners including Weber Shandwick as Diamond sponsor along with Carma, Edelman, Four Agency Worldwide, TrailRunner International, Place Communications, Hill & Knowlton, First and Ten Productions, Matrix Public Relations, and AMEC Measurement and Evaluation.

QNET launches new line of sustainable Swiss watches under Bernhard H. Mayer

Global wellness and lifestyle company QNET just launched its latest innovation in luxury watches under its Swiss brand Bernhard H. Mayer, a name synonymous with precision craftsmanship in the world of timekeeping. The OMNI Collection offers a new line of Swiss watches making a bold statement in the industry, proving that high fashion and luxury can embrace sustainability without compromise.The OMNI Collection is a ground-breaking step forward, embodying the brand's commitment to a greener future while maintaining the elegance and prestige that Bernhard H. Mayer is known for. These timepieces are designed for the discerning individual who believes that true luxury comes with responsibility to our planet.Sustainable Sophistication in Every DetailCrafted with an industry leading a minimum of 85% recycled stainless steel, the OMNI watch is a marvel of eco-friendly engineering. Certified by LEED, the world-renowned symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership, the collection sets a new standard for environmentally conscious luxury products. From the case and dial to the buckles and metal bracelets, every component is selected with the utmost attention to its environmental footprint.The OMNI Collection also introduces straps made from recycled Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), certified by the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS). This material is celebrated for its durability and non-toxic properties, offering a sustainable option that does not sacrifice quality or style.A Timeless Design for the Modern WorldEach piece features a harmonious blend of classic and modern aesthetics, with geometric shapes and a mix of Arabic numbers and Roman numerals that exude a timeless charm. The OMNI watch is versatile enough for both formal events and casual outings, ensuring that eco-conscious fashionistas have a go-to accessory for any occasion.A Commitment to a Better TomorrowThe OMNI Collection is more than just a line of watches; it is a movement towards a more responsible mode of consumption. Bernhard H. Mayer urges us to consider the legacy we leave behind, championing choices that support the well-being of our environment."We believe that luxury should not come at the earth's expense," said Paul McHenry, the Chief Marketing Officer at QNET. "With the OMNI Collection, we are setting a new paradigm, showing that it is possible to wear a piece of art that stands for something greater. This is our pledge to the planet and to the future generations that will inherit it."QNET has committed to planting a tree for every watch sold in the OMNI Collection in line with its commitment to sustainability. For more information about the OMNI Collection by Bernhard H. Mayer, please visit

P2E, charity scams and voice deepfakes: what 2024 holds for consumers

As Kaspersky continues to reveal insights from the Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB), company’s team of cybersecurity experts presents a detailed forecast for the year 2024. Building on ongoing analysis of the cybersecurity landscape, this segment of the KSB provides an in-depth look at the threats consumers may face in the coming year. Kaspersky’s predictions point to a diverse array of challenges, where cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging both trending topics and advanced technologies.Increased charity scamsAccording to the UN, 2023 experienced the highest level of global violent conflicts since World War II. This elevated state of conflict, combined with the lasting consequences of the pandemic and ongoing climate disasters, has created a prime environment for charity scams. Looking ahead to 2024, we expect a notable increase in such scams, exploiting the extended impact of these global crises.P2E under the cybercriminal spotlights With substantial financial investments and the appeal of earnings in P2E gaming, cybercriminals are poised to escalate their focus on exploiting this sector. The recent surge in Bitcoin's value and the promise of easy money in gaming make it an attractive target.Voice deepfakes on the rise As image deepfakes become more common, the progression towards voice deepfakes is accelerating. The recent launch of OpenAI's Text-to-Speech (TTS) API, with its advanced capabilities to generate human-like speech, highlights significant progress in artificial voice technology. While these innovations mark a leap forward, they also present opportunities for misuse. Fraudsters could potentially exploit these technologies to create more convincing and accessible deceptive content, escalating the risks associated with deepfake technology.Internet segmentation and the rise of VPN servicesIn addition to bolstering user privacy, VPNs play a crucial role in countering challenges like internet segmentation and website geofencing, which are frequently the byproducts of geopolitical shifts. These practices impose location-based restrictions on information access, but by using certain VPN clients, users can bypass these barriers, thereby enabling access to a broader spectrum of information. Given these capabilities, coupled with increasing concerns over privacy and information accessibility, the global demand for VPN solutions is projected to surge significantly in the upcoming year.Scammers go after premieres As blockbuster movies like Dune: Part 2, Deadpool 3, Joker 2, Gladiator 2, and Avatar 3 approach release, scams are set to surge. The actors' strike may lead to unauthorized transfers of new films, creating an ideal environment for phishing sites offering exclusive access.Not only limited to cinema premiers, should GTA VI make its debut in 2024, it is poised to be the gaming highlight of the year. The online nature of the game introduces in-game currency, attracting scams. Classic schemes involving pre-order keys and enticing prices are expected to resurface as the gaming community eagerly embraces this release.“In our 2024 consumer threat predictions, we provide insights into potential cyber risks. The world of scams is dynamic, with fraudsters continually devising new schemes. Stay vigilant, as new tactics may emerge, and maintaining a proactive stance remains your strongest defense against these evolving threats," comments Anna Larkina, security and privacy expert at Kaspersky.To learn more about consumer threats in 2024, visit stay safe, Kaspersky experts also recommend:Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest online threats and scams. Knowledge is a powerful defense against falling victim to cyberattacks.Be wary of phishing scams: Beware of suspicious emails, messages, or websites offering exclusive deals or freebies. Double-check the authenticity of the source before sharing any personal information or making online transactions.Use security solutions: Use a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Premium, that identifies malicious attachments and blocks phishing sites.Be mindful of sharing personal information: Be cautious when providing personal information online, especially sensitive details like your address, phone number, or financial information. Only share this information on trusted and secure platforms.Trust reliable sources: Rely on official websites, authorized retailers, and reputable sources for purchasing merchandise, accessing movie content, or obtaining information related to the premiere. Avoid unofficial or suspicious sources that may try to exploit your enthusiasm.

Syrve MENA reports: Over 60% of its Middle East restaurants leverage AI for sale

Syrve MENA, a leading provider of all-in-one POS solutions in the Middle East, today announced that over 60% of its food & beverage industry customers are now using AI for sales forecasting. This cutting-edge technology provides daily insights into the number of orders and the average order amount, with the flexibility to adjust these parameters by hours and order type.Syrve MENA's AI system generates forecasts three weeks in advance, updating them at the beginning of each week. The forecasts can be tailored according to each client's preferences, proving invaluable for calculating quantities needed for meal preparations and distributor orders. Furthermore, Syrve's AI system seamlessly integrates weather forecasts into revenue planning. By simply inputting the restaurant's address, users can access weather forecasts and adjust their sales forecasts accordingly, ensuring preparedness for varying weather conditions.AI offers superior accuracy compared to traditional manual methods, enabling businesses to forecast sales revenue more precisely. Additionally, AI empowers enterprises to develop enhanced product and service offerings by leveraging predictive analytics to identify future customer needs and trends. By adopting an AI-driven sales forecasting system, businesses can achieve many benefits, including improved profit margins, enhanced forecast accuracy, elevated customer satisfaction, and sustainable practices."Our customers are seeing real benefits from using AI for sales forecasting," said Alexander Ponomarev, CEO of Syrve MENA. "One of our clients, a popular fast-food chain, reduced its food waste by 10% and improved its inventory management by 15% after implementing our AI solution."As Syrve MENA continues transforming the Middle East region's restaurant and retail landscape through its innovative AI-powered solutions, the company also reaffirms its commitment to sustainability at the COP28 climate summit. The company is committed to reducing its environmental impact and promoting sustainable practices.

Chestertons MENA appoints Ramsha Hamdoon as Head of Marketing

Leading real estate advisory Chestertons MENA has appointed Ramsha Hamdoon as Head of Marketing and Brand Communications. The appointment comes as the company embarks on another key phase in its growth strategy, which includes an expanding regional presence, an aggressive recruitment drive and an intensive brand-building programme in the UAE and wider Middle East. Born in the UAE and educated in the UK, Ramsha brings five years’ of Middle East real estate, retail and hospitality marketing experience to Chestertons. Nick Witty, Chief Executive Officer, Chestertons MENA, said: “Ramsha joins us at a crucial time, when we are building our business and brand through new partnerships, initiatives and content. With extensive experience in the region and in our business sector, she is a wonderful addition to our highly talented team. We are delighted to welcome her to the Chestertons MENA family.”Ramsha Hamdoon added: “I am proud to join Chestertons at such an exciting phase in its expansion. Our brand-building strategy will blend our rich history with our successes in today’s modern world. As one of the oldest, most trusted names in real estate, Chestertons is steeped in tradition, with a great story to tell. We will boost brand awareness by celebrating the old and the new through a personal, interactive approach with content that educates, engages and inspires our customers, partners and the future talent that will join us as we expand our business. “Chestertons MENA, which celebrates 15 years of Middle East success this year, recently doubled its Dubai footprint with the opening of new offices in the city, and is expanding its operations in KSA with new premises, open in January 2024, in Riyadh. The company also recently secured a new partnership with UAE property management software developer GoYzer to enhance customer relationships, service and operations.Chestertons MENA offers the full range of real estate advisory services, including commercial and residential sales and leasing; building consultancy and project management; property management; short term leasing/holiday homes consulting and research and valuation services, with a dedicated, expert team for each function.

Qatar Airways launches flight to NEOM, its ninth gateway in Saudi Arabia

Qatar Airways, the multiple award-winning airline, is pleased to announce the expansion of its operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the launch of its ninth gateway, NEOM. The inaugural flight touched down for the first time at NEOM Bay Airport on Saturday, December 9, 2023.In addition to the recent announcement of the airline’s operations to Tabuk, and the resumption of the Yanbu route, Qatar Airways is advancing its foothold in the Saudi market by enhancing NEOM’s connectivity to the world.With the launch of this new dynamic connection, Qatar Airways brings the total number of destinations it serves within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to nine, operating 125 weekly flights. These cities include AlUla, Dammam, Gassim, Jeddah, Medina, NEOM, Riyadh, Taif, and Yanbu, providing travellers with a comprehensive network to explore the diverse landscapes and cultures of this thriving country.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, said: “We are excited to introduce NEOM as our ninth gateway in Saudi Arabia. We believe that the launch of this flight underlines our commitment to providing a seamless travel experience for our passengers in the Saudi market. NEOM is the land of the future, where technology, sustainability, and innovation converge to create a unique and dynamic region. We are delighted to connect travellers from all over the world to this visionary region.”NEOM Airports Chief Executive Officer, Justin Erbacci, said:"We are delighted to welcome Qatar Airways to NEOM Bay Airport. Twice weekly flights to Hamad International Airport, which is one of the most significant air hubs in the wider region, offer people and businesses exciting access to an extensive onward global network. NEOM Bay’s addition of a fourth airline operator, and third international destination, is a milestone moment in the early phases of our strategic expansion of NEOM’s connectivity, which is so vital to support our ongoing development.”Offering two weekly flights to NEOM, Qatar Airways is extending its wings further in order to create a vital pathway for the city’s workforce to maintain connections with families back home. Similarly, the new operations in NEOM will facilitate business travel, further fostering enriched economic and cultural ties between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.NEOM, often referred to as the land of dreams, is set to revolutionise the way we live and work in harmony with nature. This region embodies visionary development and represents a commitment to a sustainable future.Passengers in Saudi Arabia traveling from NEOM will enjoy seamless connectivity to over 170 destinations worldwide, including destinations in China, Europe, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and the United States. Qatar Airways continues to lead the way in connecting travellers to some of the most sought-after destinations across the globe.Tickets for flights to NEOM are now available for booking through the Qatar Airways website, mobile app, and travel agencies.For more information about Qatar Airways and its new route to NEOM, please visit Schedule to NEOM:ThursdayDoha (DOH) to NEOM (NUM) - Flight No. QR1204: Departure 06:35; Arrival 09:50NEOM (NUM) to Doha (DOH) - Flight No. QR1205: Departure 11:05; Arrival 13:40SaturdayDoha (DOH) to NEOM (NUM) - Flight No. QR1204: Departure 06:55; Arrival 10:10NEOM (NUM) to Doha (DOH) - Flight No. QR1205: Departure 11:25; Arrival 14:00

SupperClub expands premium membership platform across the GCC

 The Dubai-born premium membership platform, SupperClub, is expanding its operations across the GCC, to deliver discounted luxury experiences to clientele in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The new territories will operate on the same model as the UAE platform, which allows members to make limitless reservations and use unlimited offers at five star dining and leisure venues for a single subscription fee.Launched in November 2020 by Mehreen Omar and Muna Mustafa, SupperClub set out to fill a gap in the market for luxury experiences delivered with effortless elegance, at a lower than usual price. As former head of sales for a renowned experience-based online marketplace, Omar saw a demand for the five-star lifestyle and set out to build a platform that would make it more accessible. A self-funded venture by the pair of female entrepreneurs, SupperClub unites two renowned hallmarks of Dubai life – indulging in luxury experiences and receiving exceptional value for money.Explaining the inspiration and concept of the business, Omar said, “We wanted to bring a new dimension to the market and create a solution that could provide members with unlimited access to high-end venues at a reasonable cost and in a seamless way. The platform is unique in that reservations are made through the SupperClub website and members can take as many guests as they like to their chosen venues as often as they wish. With no vouchers or codes, members can settle the bill discreetly while still benefiting from discounts of up to 60%.”Since establishing in 2020, SupperClub has carefully curated an extensive portfolio of affiliations with luxurious eateries, hotels and resorts, spas, beach clubs and more, across Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In 2022 the enterprise secured a partnership with Mastercard to serve its Mastercard World Elite clients. The platform offers three tiers of membership: Gold, Diamond, and Platinum, and provides access to more than 300 offers from over 50 five-star hotels in the UAE. Starting out with 1,000 members, SupperClub has experienced fast exponential growth, with 16,000 members signed up and over 40,000 bookings made. Building on its stature in the UAE, SupperClub is entering its fourth year with a move into new markets around the region. Explaining the move, Mustafa said, “We recognize that with the rising cost of living, people are searching for ways they can still enjoy the good life without feeling a heavy financial burden. The flexibility that the SupperClub membership brings provides a solution to this demand and we are excited to extend the model across the region, marking the next chapter in our growth.”

ROSHN partners with Jeddah International Book Fair as community sponsor

 ROSHN, the leading national real estate developer in Saudi Arabia and a giga-project owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has revealed its sponsorship of the 2023 edition of the Jeddah International Book Fair. Taking place from the 7th to the 16th of December, this annual literary event serves as a cultural hub, uniting professionals in literature, publishing, and translation with avid readers and enthusiasts. Established as part of ROSHN's YUHYEEK Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, this collaboration underscores ROSHN’s steadfast dedication to fostering positive impact within the Kingdom by advancing knowledge, culture, and community involvement.The Jeddah International Book Fair's 5th edition will host 600,000 attendees from 27 countries over 10 days. There will be over 1,000 Saudi, regional, and international publishing houses across 400 pavilions. ROSHN will introduce an indoor activation space featuring workshops on traditional Al Sadu weaving and leather craftsmanship, storytelling sessions, and a performing arts showcase. The aim is to celebrate Jeddah and Saudi Arabia's cultural heritage."With our commitment to nurturing talent, ROSHN takes immense pride in celebrating excellence in the realm of publishing. Our sponsorship of the Jeddah International Book Fair supports, empowers, and elevates the transformative power of education, the arts, and public engagement to cultivate inter-connected ecosystems of knowledge, culture, and creativity within the vibrant tapestry of Saudi Arabia. At ROSHN, we are absolutely dedicated to fostering a rich national cultural dialogue and honouring the many literary traditions that enrich our society. This dedication is deeply rooted in our values of community and social development as we look to celebrate not just literature but also spread knowledge and enlightenment across the Kingdom,” said Ghada AlRumayan, ROSHN's Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.At the ROSHN booth, event attendees can immerse themselves in ROSHN’s new way of living and traditional hospitality, alongside exciting prize opportunities and an opportunity to capture lasting memories at the photo booth. Located near the event’s main stage, the ROSHN Cultural Stage, the booth will bring families together in a community-oriented space with activities for all ages. In the children's corner, cutting--edge technology will transform young attendees’ hand-drawn homes into 3D digital models while the reading area will allow families to explore both traditional books and audiobooks from the ROSHN library. The booth will also offer visitors a glimpse into ROSHN’s new way of living with immersive information on its ALAROUS and MARAFY communities.ROSHN's participation in the Jeddah International Book Fair is part of its ongoing CSR efforts to partner with and support key events, initiatives, and programs that enhance the quality of life across the Kingdom. These include the vital sectors of community development, arts and culture, environment and sustainability, health and welfare, education and innovation. ROSHN’s partnership of the Jeddah International Book Fair is a part of ROSHN’s year-long community engagement programme which includes sponsorships of the ROSHN Saudi League (RSL), Riyadh Season, Riyadh Book Fair, Diriyah Biennale Foundation, Sports For All, LIV Golf, F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, ROSHN Waterfront (RWF), and more.

Al Khoory Automobiles delivers Yutong E-buses

Abu Dhabi: Al Khoory Automobiles, a leading UAE-based distributor of Subaru, Yutong and King Long vehicles, announces its strong commitment and support to the UAE Government’s Green Energy Vision and its strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Integrated Transport Centre.As part of the partnership, Al Khoory Automobiles is delivering Yutong green buses to the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) that aims to deploy the new energy vehicles under its Green Bus Assessment (GBA) programme launched earlier this year. This is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reduce carbon emission and help the UAE achieve its Net Zero target by 2050.According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), nearly 66,000 electric buses and 60,000 medium- and heavy-duty trucks were sold worldwide in 2022, representing about 4.5 percent of all bus sales and 1.2 percent of truck sales worldwide. China continues to dominate production and sales of electric (and fuel cell) trucks and buses. In 2022, more than 54,000 electric buses and 52,000 electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks were sold in China, representing 18 percent and 4 percent of total sales in China and about 80 percent and 85 percent of global sales, respectively. Yutong, a major supplier of buses and coaches that specialises in electric and hydrogen-fueled buses, sold 30,198 coaches in 2022, including 12,414 green energy buses. It has so far sold 170,000 new energy buses and has become one of the largest global suppliers of electric buses. Established in China in 1993, Yutong Bus Co. is a pioneer in green buses and currently has 15 percent of the global and 28 percent of the Chinese market share. It is the largest bus manufacturer in China.Al Khoory Automobiles, a member of the Al Khoory Group of Companies has been the exclusive distributors of Yutong buses in the UAE for the last 20 years and had earlier received an Outstanding Performance Award from Yutong for 2022.Al Khoory Automobiles has five decades of vast experience in the automotive industry and are committed to provide impeccable after-sales service to all their customers. Offering customised transportation options, Al Khoory Automobiles aims to position itself as an ideal mobility solution provider in the UAE.Mr. Hamed MT Khoory, Director of Al Khoory Group, says, “Our partnership with Abu Dhabi ITC reflects our strong commitment to the UAE’s Green Energy Vision and Sustainability and we are extremely happy to be part of the ITC’s Green Bus Assessment (GBA) programme in this Year of Sustainability.“This partnership and the delivery of the electric buses takes place at a time when the UAE hosts more than 150 countries at the COP28 Summit. Our partnership with ITC and other government and private entities is aimed at reducing carbon emission and help the UAE to achieve its Net Zero target ahead of 2050 – before many other countries – thanks to the pro-active measures undertaken by the authorities.”“Yutong is an ideal choice for this partnership and we are happy to be able to support this vision.”Mr. Tharun Divakaran, Senior Manager- Public Transport Sector, Yutong Middle East stated, “Yutong is proud to launch their electric buses in the UAE, in line with the country’s zero-emission plan and long-term vision. The new Yutong electric buses have several cutting-edge technologies for the improvement of local environment and air quality. They are also equipped with an impressive drive system and the most advanced safety and noise reduction technology that will bring a more comfortable and greener travel experience in the UAE.”The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) in Abu Dhabi had earlier unveiled its Green Buses Capacity Building Programme that were carried out in partnership with leading hydrogen-fueled and electric bus experts from South Korea and China.The programme also provides the opportunity to exchange knowledge with international technical experts. It will qualify UAE employees to lead the planning and operations procedures of hydrogen-fueled and electric buses and their infrastructure. It intends to advance the development and localization of innovative solutions dedicated to enhancing the public transport system in Abu Dhabi.

With AED6000 prize pool, Homegrown Gaming Platform is hosting many tournaments

GameCentric, a premier homegrown gaming platform, hosts an exciting tournament series from December 3rd to December 23rd. Gamers of all levels can join the ultimate face-off across popular titles like DOTA2, Fortnite, Valorant, COD Mobile, League Of Legends, and more. With over 50 game titles, GameCentric caters to a broad audience, and additional tournaments will be added in the coming months. Entry is free for participants aged 13 and above, offering a chance to compete for a prize pool of AED 6000/USD 1600! Visit the GameCentric website to sign up and track your favorite game. Aligned with the "Dubai Program for Gaming 2033," GameCentric aims to propel Dubai into a global gaming hub, contributing to the program's goal of a $1 billion incremental GDP impact.

Brewing brilliance: Ali Al Ebrahim spills the beans on COFE Cloud's impact

In an era where technology intertwines seamlessly with our daily lives, the intersection of innovation and tradition has never been more pronounced than in the world of food and beverage. Adgully Middle East chatted with Ali Al Ebrahim, the Founder & CEO of COFE, to delve into the transformative capabilities of COFE Cloud and its impact on businesses like Barn's. With its unique features and strategic collaborations, COFE Cloud is not just a tool; it's a catalyst for revolutionizing operational efficiency, enhancing customer experiences, and reshaping the landscape of F&B operations. Let us explore the journey of COFE Cloud and Barn's as they navigate the realms of technology, customer satisfaction, and global expansion. Excerpts:Can you elaborate on the key features and capabilities of COFE Cloud and how it specifically enhances the operational efficiency of F&B businesses like Barn’s?COFE Cloud offers a state-of-the-art digital drive-through interface and a completely integrated consumer wallet, revolutionizing the way businesses like Barn's interact with their customers. Its unique multi-tier rewards programme, designed to optimize advantages for the company and its clients, is what makes it stand out. In addition to encouraging recurring business, this approach strengthens the bond between the company and its customers.Additionally, a seamless and effective operation is ensured by the interface with point-of-sale (POS) systems, which streamline transactions and reduce delays. The conventional coffee shop paradigm is altered by the combination of a smart rewards programme, computerized drive-through, and client wallets. In the competitive coffee sector, it not only satisfies contemporary consumer demands but also establishes COFE Cloud as a game-changer in improving operational efficiency and fostering customer loyalty.How does COFE Cloud contribute to redefining the landscape of F&B operations and customer experiences, especially in the coffee ecosystem?By fusing back-end efficiency with creative consumer interfaces, COFE Cloud creates a new standard for F&B operations especially coffee houses and represents a significant paradigm change. The platform transforms every step of the customer journey, from order placing to delivery, by orchestrating a better and more friction-less transaction experience. This transformational effect is especially important in high-volume environments where productivity is critical, like busy coffee shops.The consumer interfaces are very intuitive and redefine ease by offering an easy-to-use digital platform for order placement and personalization. Concurrently, the backend efficiencies streamline all operational aspects, including order fulfillment, inventory control, and culinary procedures. Coffee shops operate in a fast-paced atmosphere where customers value time, and COFE Cloud helps to increase both productivity and customer happiness. Through the integration of advanced technology and the distinct requirements of the food and beverage sector, COFE Cloud proves to be a revolutionary solution that enhances customer satisfaction and redefines efficiency standards in high-volume environments.Could you share insights into the collaborative process between COFE Cloud and Barn's, and how this partnership is set to impact Barn’s growth, customer experience, and overall business strategy?Our partnership with Barn's is evidence of how well technology and strategic vision can work together. It involves more than just taking a one-size-fits-all strategy; rather, COFE Cloud must be carefully matched with the unique brand components that make Barn who it is. Through our collaborative relationship, we have gained extensive insight into Barn's principles, beliefs, and clientele.In order to guarantee that every digital touchpoint embodies Barn's, the integration process entails a perfect marriage of the COFE Cloud system with the distinctive brand features of Barn. This captures the essence of the brand's personality, narrative, and total consumer experience, going beyond looks. The end product is a customized digital environment that helps Barn's operational operations run more smoothly while also reflecting the company's personality.By collaborating meticulously, we have developed a strategy plan to improve Barn's market presence in addition to implementing technology solutions. Beyond only software integration, the partnership offers a unified approach that uses technology to accentuate and reaffirm the key principles that set Barn's apart as a unique and cherished brand.In what ways does COFE Cloud empower Barn’s to navigate the challenges of varied markets and support its ambitious international expansion plan?In Barn's ambitious international growth path, COFE Cloud emerges as a crucial facilitator, serving as a dynamic ally in managing the complexities of numerous markets. Because the COFE Cloud platform can easily handle a wide range of regional preferences and strict legal regimes; its inherent adaptability becomes a key to success. This flexibility is a strategic advantage that allows Barn's to confidently enter new markets. It is more than just a feature.COFE Cloud is an asset when expanding internationally, as cultural quirks and legal environments might differ greatly. It makes it possible to tailor the client experience to each market's own preferences and requirements. In addition, the platform's capacity to comply with and connect with different regulatory standards guarantees compliance and seamless operations in a variety of international contexts.The adaptability of COFE Cloud is essential to Barn's ability to develop relationships with local consumers while upholding operational consistency as the company expands into new areas. COFE Cloud crystallizes the connection between technology and international strategy, establishing it as a vital tool for businesses seeking to expand internationally.How do you see COFE Cloud's innovative features, such as loyalty programmes and subscription management, contributing to the evolution of the coffee industry's technological landscape?Beyond the norm, COFE Cloud's cutting-edge approach to customer interaction in the coffee sector introduces revolutionary features like customized reward programmes and sophisticated subscription management. These elements completely change the scene by encouraging both long-lasting and deep connections with customers in addition to providing incentives for return visits.Unlike generic alternatives, the customized loyalty programmes let coffee shops like Barn's design unique rewards that appeal to their particular clientele. This degree of personalization not only makes loyalty programmes more successful, but it also gives them a sense of exclusivity that makes clients feel like real valued individuals. As a result, the programmes evolve from being only a system of rewards to becoming an active instrument for building brand affinity.Furthermore, a paradigm change in consumer ease is represented by the comprehensive subscription management tool. Coffee shops may now provide customized and adaptable subscription programmes to their customers, meeting their wide range of tastes, thanks to COFE Cloud. This guarantees a consistent and predictable revenue stream for businesses in addition to streamlining the ordering procedure.The introduction of these innovative features by COFE Cloud is, in essence, changing the dynamics of consumer involvement in the coffee business, rather than merely creating trends. It's not only about making sales; it's about creating long-lasting relationships where every coffee cup contributes to a greater story of convenience and customized loyalty, creating a community of devoted customers for companies like Barn's.How does COFE Technology enable brands, like Barn's, to transcend traditional boundaries and revolutionize their business models?COFE Cloud is the spark plug that ignites a revolutionary union of contemporary ease and traditional tranquility, enabling companies such as Barn's to craft distinctive and remarkable consumer encounters. Through the seamless integration of technology into the very fabric of coffee culture, COFE Cloud improves the overall consumer experience, broadening the brand's appeal and fostering stronger relationships.Personalized suggestions, simplified order procedures, and digital connections that go beyond physical bounds are examples of how convenient technology can be. Consumers can benefit from the speedy transaction flow, individualized preferences kept in a digital wallet, and the efficiency of mobile ordering. The capacity of COFE Cloud to maintain the spirit of conventional coffee culture inside this digital framework, however, is what makes it unique.For Barn, the platform becomes more than just a means of transaction administration; it becomes a digital continuation of the welcoming atmosphere of the coffee shop. Features like customized welcomes, digital loyalty stamps that resemble paper cards, and a digital setting that mimics the cozy familiarity of a neighborhood coffee shop capture the coziness of conventional coffee culture. As a result, COFE Cloud serves as a link between the ease of contemporary technology and the cozy, nostalgic allure of customary coffee experiences.In what ways does COFE Cloud contribute to understanding and enhancing every touchpoint in the customer journey for brands like Barn's?Beyond only making transactions easier, COFE Cloud is an effective tool for businesses like Barn's that can explore the nuances of consumer preferences by utilizing its advanced data analytics capabilities. The refinement of the whole customer journey is based on this deep information, which influences everything from targeted messages to product offerings. Barn's obtains insights into the unique habits, preferences, and purchase patterns of each consumer through the data analytics on the platform. This fine-grained comprehension enables the company to craft a customized experience for every customer. Every consumer touchpoint offers a chance for customized interaction, from proposing promotions catered to individual interests to recommending favorite coffee blends and pastry combinations.Furthermore, COFE Cloud converts data into useful insight that helps Barn's make strategic decisions. Whether it's introducing new products in line with trending tastes, conducting targeted marketing campaigns, or optimizing inventory based on popular choices, the platform becomes a dynamic tool for keeping ahead in the market.This data-driven strategy strengthens brand loyalty while also improving client satisfaction. When a business acknowledges and incorporates their preferences into its services and messages, customers feel appreciated and noticed. By creating a customized and attentive experience for every consumer, COFE Cloud goes beyond simple transaction processing and strengthens Barn's reputation as a company that knows and respects its customers' individual tastes in addition to providing excellent coffee.Given Barn's aggressive international expansion plan, how does COFE Cloud support the brand's goal of reaching 1,000 stores worldwide by 2030?/COFE Cloud establishes itself as a valuable affiliate in Barn's ambitious international growth route, adapting proactively to the complexities of diverse markets. As the COFE Cloud is able to meet a variety of regional preferences and operate around stringent legislative restrictions, it becomes a crucial component in promoting performance. Because of its strategic adaptability, COFE Cloud is positioned by Barn's as more than simply a feature but as an essential growth catalyst, enabling them to safely enter new markets.Furthermore, it is critical that the platform interfaces with various Point of Sale (POS) systems around the globe. Every area has a different point of sale system and has different restrictions in the complex web of international marketplaces. The capacity of COFE Cloud to adjust to this variability guarantees a uniform and consistent brand experience everywhere. Thanks to COFE Cloud's integration capabilities, Barn's can continue to uphold its dedication to providing exceptional customer service and operational efficiency, regardless of the size of the market.The interplay between worldwide integration and scalability highlights COFE Cloud's strategic enablement of Barn's global development. It's more than just a technological solution; Barn is a dynamic partner in making sure that the core of its brand, the caliber of its offerings, and the smoothness of its operations stay constant and unwavering as Barn expands its global footprint, providing customers with an amazing and cohesive experience.How does COFE Cloud facilitate adaptability to evolving customer preferences and urban surroundings, especially in the context of drive-thru restaurants and compact, adaptable locations? The conceptual design of COFE Cloud symbolizes adaptability, providing a dynamic solution that adapts effortlessly to the various urban settings and the constantly changing lives of its users. This flexibility is a major advantage for Barn's as it moves between various shop layouts, such as the quick efficiency of drive-thrus and the comfortable atmosphere of cafes.By adding a digital layer of convenience, COFE Cloud improves the classic coffee shop experience in the case of private cafés. Through an easy-to-use interface, patrons can make orders, personalize beverages, and interact with loyalty programs while enjoying the cozy ambiance of a Barn's café. The platform makes sure that technology adds to, not takes away from, the cozy atmosphere of the café by enhancing it rather than overshadowing it.Conversely, COFE Cloud becomes the efficiency engine in drive-thru environments. The technology effortlessly interacts with the drive-thru infrastructure, expedites transactions, and simplifies the ordering process. This flexibility guarantees that Barn's can accommodate consumers' busy lifestyles without sacrificing the high standards of quality and customization that are key to the company's identity.The flexibility of COFE Cloud goes beyond simply supporting various shop layouts; it's a tactical instrument that lets Barn's engage consumers wherever they are, whether it's in the fast-paced drive-thru or the relaxed atmosphere of a café. By enabling Barn's adaptation in this way, COFE Cloud guarantees that the brand stays current and resonates in the various metropolitan contexts.

Top 10 family-friendly activities to do in the UAE with the ENTERTAINER

The ENTERTAINER, a popular lifestyle and savings app founded in Dubai, has made a comeback with its new and improved product, ENTERTAINER 2024. The ENTERTAINER 2024 now offers a bigger and better selection of Buy One Get One Free offers across various categories. So now there’s really something for everyone.  Enjoy, save, love and repeat with your family at these top 10 spots in the UAE:  A brunch to remember From a double chocolate fountain to live cooking stations, Crescendo has it all for families looking to go out for a fun-tastic brunch.  Where: Crescendo at Anantara The Palm Dubai ResortOffer: Buy One Get One Free on Saturday Fork & Cork BrunchEstimated savings: AED 635  Soak up the sun and fun at SuqSituated beside a serene beach, Suq Restaurant offers a tranquil outdoor terrace and picturesque pool garden view. With a kids play area, ice cream station and chocolate fountain there’s lots to keep the little ones entertained while parents indulge in delicious dim sums, British roasts and much more.  Where: Suq Restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Dubai, Jumeirah BeachOffer: Buy One Get One Free on Saturday brunchEstimated savings: AED 420 Family thrills at Motiongate Enjoy jaw-dropping shows, adrenaline-pumping rides and endless movie themed fun. Motiongate is a must visit attraction for both children and adults. Where: Motiongate at Dubai Parks and ResortsOffer: Buy One Get One Free on 1-Day General AdmissionEstimated savings: AED 330 Say hello to everyone’s favourite cartoon characters & heroesKids get to meet and greet their all-time faves - from the Powerpuff Girls and his crew to Spider-Man, Thor and even the Powerpuff Girls at IMG Worlds of Adventure. Thrill seeking families can look forward to enjoying heart-racing rides based on popular cartoon network characters, iconic Marvel superheroes and colossal dinosaurs.  Where: IMG Worlds of AdventureOffer: Buy One Get One Free on General AdmissionEstimated savings: AED 345 The formula for funPlan the ultimate day of family fun at Wild Wadi. The lazy river practically beckons you with the promise of a chill and relaxing time while the thrill-seekers have a go in the wave pool. The list of exciting rides goes on… from Tantrum Ally to Master Blaster and many more. Visit now and let the good times roll. Where: Wild Wadi, JumeirahOffer: Buy One Get One Free on All-Day General AdmissionEstimated savings: AED 275 for kids 1.1m & below World’s largest water parkTime to pull out all the stops and visit the world’s largest water park that has over 105 slides, attractions and experiences. If family centric is what you were looking for then this is the perfect option.Where: Atlantis Aquaventure at Atlantis The PalmOffer: Buy One Get One Free on Dolphin Meet & Greet + Waterpark Admission TicketEstimated savings: AED 763 So. Crazy. GoodNo matter which burger you’re craving, Black Tap serves brilliant bites paired with the best and most innovative shakes that are practically edible art. It’s not just food, it’s a nostalgia-packed, Insta-ready experience. Where: Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes at Multiple Locations Offer: Buy One Get One Free on Main Courses Estimated savings: AED 75 Take a breakIf you’re looking for the definition of heavenly then Café Bateel is the place to be. Where: Cafe Bateel at Multiple LocationsOffer: Buy One Get One Free on Main CoursesEstimated savings: AED 60 Italian is the way to goCraving an authentic Italian meal? Pop by Carluccio’s and enjoy Piedmont-style cuisine and fantastic views. The cozy booths present comfortable options for families and large groups. Where: Carluccio's at Multiple LocationsOffer: Buy One Get One Free on Main Menu ItemsEstimated savings: AED 50 Talk about Cloud 9Discover the perfect staycation amid the distinctive Arabian landscapes of deserts, beaches and mountains at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort. Enjoy a memorable stay where 1.5 kilometers of exclusive beachfront offers a vibrant atmosphere filled with excitement and family-friendly activities. Where: Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort at Ras Al KhaimahOffer: Buy One Get One Free on 1 night: AED 1,200 + junior suite beach access villa + breakfastEstimated savings: AED 1,200 Do more of what you love for less with the ENTERTAINER 2024For a limited time, customers purchasing the new ENTERTAINER 2024 product will gain instant access to the 2023 offers. This means a 13-month subscription for the price of 12, with December 2023 included for free. Don’t miss this special offer. Enjoy, save, love and repeat with ENTERTAINER 2024.

AI To Limit Operator Revenue Leakage From 5G Roaming Connections To $11m

Basingstoke, UK – 11th December 2023: A new study from Juniper Research, the foremost experts in telecommunications markets, found the average revenue leakage per 5G roaming connection will decrease from $1.72 to $1.20, as operators leverage AI-based segmentation. Revenue leakage refers to the value of services provided but not monetised.This reduction in revenue leakage will be driven by the implementation of AI-based segmentation solutions to monetise data-centric users. Specifically, this approach allows operators to reduce 5G standalone revenue leakage through the improved allocation of resources and new pricing; reflecting its higher QoS (Quality of Service). The difference is that 5G standalone networks leverage the 5G core, whilst 5G non-standalone relies on 4G infrastructure.Find out more about the new report, Global Roaming Clearing Market: 2023-2028, or download a free sample.AI Crucial to Developing Advanced Segmentation SolutionsAI-based segmentation will enable operators to better monetise emerging roaming services; using machine-learning models to detect and differentiate traffic types and segments in real-time.Research author Alex Webb remarked: “AI-based segmentation will differentiate enterprise traffic by use case; enabling premium billing of mission-critical 5G standalone connections, thus reducing revenue leakage.”Non-standalone and Standalone Networks Must Be Monetised DifferentlyThe report recommends operators implement AI segmentation tools to help reduce revenue leakage from 5G roaming on standalone networks. The higher throughput and lower latency offered by these networks needs to be reflected in operators’ pricing.By separating standalone from non-standalone roaming traffic, operators will be able to apply individual pricing strategies for each of these networks; ensuring pricing reflects QoS. Operators must utilise these tools to identify enterprise traffic suitable for use case-dedicated network slices, as this reduces revenue leakage, by optimising network resource distribution.

Four entrepreneurs win Crescent Enterprises Climate Innovation Prize

UAE – Crescent Enterprises, a leading multinational company with diversified global businesses, announced the winners of its ‘Crescent Enterprises Climate Innovation Prize’ in partnership with MIT Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a mission to drive innovation to solve world challenges. The winners were announced at COP28 Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum, where the entrepreneurs showcased their solutions and received AED 735,000 of non-dilutive funding from Crescent Enterprises.Over 45 startups from within MIT Solve’s climate portfolio applied to Crescent Enterprises Climate Innovation Prize, and following a collaborative review and qualification process, 4 global entrepreneurs were selected as winners of the ‘Crescent Enterprises Climate Innovation Prize’ for their innovative solutions, with 50% of the winners being women.Commenting on the prize, Tushar Singhvi, Deputy CEO and Head of Investments, Crescent Enterprises said: "We are proud to partner with MIT Solve on the Crescent Enterprises Climate Innovation Prize, which recognizes the impactful solutions developed by inspiring entrepreneurs from around the world. As an organization, we have long been committed to sustainable development, women empowerment, and supporting global technological innovation – Crescent Enterprises Climate Innovation Prize is an embodiment of these principles.”Hala Hanna, Executive Director, MIT Solve added: "We are thrilled to be working with Crescent Enterprises for the prestigious Crescent Enterprises Climate Innovation Prize. This collaboration underscores both of our shared commitment to fostering global entrepreneurship and driving impactful solutions towards a sustainable future. By honouring visionary entrepreneurs from the USA, Nepal, Nigeria, and Thailand, the Prize amplifies their innovative contributions in tackling climate challenges, inspiring change, and paving the way for a more resilient, equitable and sustainable world".The 4 recipients of the ‘Crescent Enterprises Climate Innovation Prize’ were:Rumee Singh, Co-Founder of Rumsan: Based in Nepal, Rumsan has developed ‘Rahat’, a blockchain-powered financial access platform for the un- and under-banked to build resilience against the impact of climate shocks.Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, Founder & CEO of ColdHubs, Based in Nigeria, ColdHubs addresses the problem of food spoilage due to lack of cold storage by designing, installing, and operating 100% solar-powered walk-in cold rooms, branded as ‘ColdHubs’, in outdoor food markets, horticultural produce collection centres and farm clusters that extend shelf life of perishable items.Patipat Susumpao, Managing Director, OpenDream: Based in Thailand, OpenDream has a solution named One Health Toolkit (OHTK), which is a software and eLearning series that trains farmers in identifying diseases sooner and allows for a faster response to early outbreaks in backyard farming.Alexia Akbay, CEO & Founder, Symbrosia: Based in USA, Symbrosia has a product named SeaGraze™ which reduces the carbon footprint by reducing methane output by ~85% and improves the productivity of ruminant livestock agriculture.Rumee Singh, Co-founder of Rumsan, shared “We are deeply honoured to receive the Climate Innovation Prize for the work we are driving with Rahat. This recognition not only fuels our commitment to creating impactful change but also highlights the promising impact of blockchain technology on climate-focused interventions. We are grateful to Crescent Enterprises for this acknowledgment, and we remain committed to advancing sustainable and innovative solutions in Nepal and beyond”.Alexia Akbay, CEO & Founder, Symbrosia, commented “This prize is a game changer for climate startups — the combination of catalytic non-dilutive capital and a platform at COP to engage with stakeholders has met us precisely where we need resources the most. Our team is grateful for the opportunities that have already emerged as part of this prize.”COP28 Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum, in collaboration with global partners, including strategic partners, Crescent Enterprises and the Sustainable Markets Initiative, and delivery partners, Africa Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank, BEEAH Group, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IDB Invest, International Finance Corporation, the Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development, World Economic Forum, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and XPRIZE, convened over 1,300 business and philanthropy leaders, alongside policymakers, to foster co-creation and collaboration and accelerate cross-sectoral progress around net zero and nature positive goals. Underpinned by the COP28 Action Agenda, the Forum addressed key climate priorities which, include fast-tracking a just and orderly energy transition; fixing climate finance; putting nature, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action; and underpinning everything with inclusivity.

Mindware strengthens distribution network in the Middle East and Africa

Mindware, a leading value-added distributor (VAD) in the Middle East and Africa, has recently announced the signing of a strategic distribution partnership agreement with GitLab. As an authorized distributor for the Middle East and Africa market, Mindware will facilitate the seamless integration of DevSecOps practices for businesses in the region using the GitLab AI-powered DevSecOps platform.Elaborating on the partnership, Mostafa Kabel, Solutions Director, Mindware Group comments: “Better, faster, and more collaborative software development and application delivery accelerates digital transformation. GitLab offers the most comprehensive AI-powered DevSecOps platform that simplifies the software delivery toolchain. Mindware’s strong presence across the MEA market as a leader in establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with vendors and channel organizations aims to enhance customer experience and value from the adoption of GitLab’s innovative DevSecOps platform.”GitLab is the most comprehensive AI-powered DevSecOps platform in the market. From idea to value, GitLab enables teams to collaborate in a single application to shorten cycle times, reduce development costs, and increase developer productivity. This enables organizations to allocate more time and resources toward differentiating features that set their businesses apart.Mindware's channel partners aiming to expand their market leadership in application modernization can now access and join GitLab's partner program. This collaboration helps enable channel partners to leverage the combined expertise and resources of Mindware and GitLab.

Celebrate new year’s eve on Hudayriyat Island with dazzling fireworks

Start 2024 with a bang under a burst of dazzling colors at Marsana on Hudayriyat Island, Abu Dhabi’s premier leisure and entertainment hub developed by Modon Properties. Bring your loved ones to celebrate New Year’s Eve with delicious food and a wide selection of fun activities, and watch a spectacular fireworks display illuminate the breathtaking waterfront view to ring in the new year. Location:    Marsana, Hudayriyat IslandDate:           Sunday, December 31, 2023 – Monday, January 1, 2024Time:           Midnight – 00:05              Entrance:    Free of charge

Chupa Chups & AI: Wavemaker MENA and Perfetti Van Melle MEAP's collaboration

Wavemaker MENA, part of GroupM, and Perfetti Van Melle MEAP, proudly announce a groundbreaking achievement with their latest campaign for the iconic lollipop brand, Chupa Chups. By seamlessly integrating creativity with AI technology, Chupa Chups has become the pioneer brand in transforming children’s imaginative ideas into vibrant personalized ‘lollipop worlds’. The "AI World of Lollipops" campaign creates a captivating digital playground where children can freely express their creativity through text prompts, unleashing a world of enchantment with the swift touch of AI magic. The response has been nothing short of extraordinary –from both children and parents alike.  This success story not only marks the initial phase of an exciting campaign journey but also serves as an inspiration, sparking novel methods to forge meaningful connections between brands and consumers through AI.  The accompanying photo showcases the unique 'AI World of Lollipops' crafted by Wavemaker MENA's Managing Director, Marc Ghosn, and Perfetti Van Melle MEAP's Managing Director, Milad Rouhana. Give it a go and create your own Lollipop world here. ( Creativity Through AI: A Journey of InnovationPerfetti embarked on a roadmap towards transformation under the leadership of Milad Rouhana, as Managing Director of MEAP in 2022. Since then, this key theme has resonated from brand to agency with the need and desire to be open to new opportunities and exciting ways of approaching media. Milad, together with Wavemaker MENA's Managing Director, Marc Ghosn and their respective teams, positively provoke and challenge one another to reach new heights. This attitude runs between partners and was crucial for realizing the 'AI World of Lollipop's campaign.'The creative process behind "AI World of Lollipops" began with a strategic exploration of emerging market trends, highlighting the potential of AI in brand engagement. This was followed by brainstorming sessions between the media agency and Perfetti, with the objective of bringing joy to children through inspiring them to unleash their limitless imaginations. The result: a conceptualized AI platform where children could express themselves and bring their wildest dreams to life.The Wavemaker MENA team experimented with various AI models before selecting Stable Diffusion as their partner due to its impressive output quality and efficiency. The seamless integration of Stable Diffusion into the bespoke Chupa Chups website enabled users to type their imaginative ideas and the AI engine would translate them into a visual reality. Metrics of Success: Beyond ExpectationsThe success metrics of the campaign surpassed initial expectations, with 265,000 visits to the AI platform and 86,000 personalized AI images generated in a month. In addition, through the live dashboard tracking system built by Wavemaker and Perfetti, an overwhelmingly 99% positive sentiment was achieved across social media.One of the campaign's standout features is its personalized touch. This level of personalization not only resonates deeply with users but has also made the images exceptionally shareable. Users have expressed great excitement in sharing their personalized creations across social media, fostering a sense of community around the campaign.Milad Rouhana, Managing Director of Perfetti Van Melle MEAP, commented, "Together with Wavemaker MENA, we have demonstrated how tech and creativity can collaborate seamlessly to surprise and delight consumers. The success of 'AI World of Lollipops' has left us eager to expand this innovative campaign across other international markets, and to see where the continued excitement around it can take us.”Marc Ghosn, Managing Director of Wavemaker MENA, added, "We take immense pride in our team's accomplishments for "Al World of Lollipops." The results are a true testament to the creativity and ‘next era’ thinking injected into the campaign from start to finish. Our teams lead with 'positive provocation', and this approach has brought true business meaning to this campaign. To make the impossible possible, you need partners ready to take the leap of faith and trial new tech and tools. We thank Perfetti for achieving greatness and look forward to reaching new milestones in our next phase of the Chupa Chups, 'AI World of Lollipops' journey."