Google Cloud and Haboob partner to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s cyber defense

Haboob, a leading cybersecurity service provider owned by the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones (SAFCSP), announces its partnership with Google Cloud to deliver Chronicle CyberShield to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This marks the first time Chronicle CyberShield will be offered in a managed services model in the Kingdom, aiming to bolster cybersecurity services for public sector organizations.Chronicle CyberShield is a comprehensive solution that provides technology, processes, capabilities, and resources to deliver situational awareness of the cyber threat landscape. It is uniquely designed for government entities to share threat information, help accelerate investigations and initiate a united response against persistent and ever-evolving threats proactively and rapidly. Haboob and Google Cloud are addressing the rising demand for cloud services in the Kingdom in alignment with the Saudi government’s Vision 2030 goals of digital transformation. With businesses and the government sector rapidly adopting a wide range of new technologies, the cyber threat landscape in Saudi Arabia has also undergone a rapid shift, and the nation’s cybersecurity preparedness continues to be a top priority.Running on Google Cloud’s infrastructure, Chronicle CyberShield is capable of ingesting large amounts of data and conducting analytics within seconds. This can be a crucial factor when protecting one of the top 20 global economies and dealing with diverse data sources across various organisations and industries.Haboob is spearheading the nationwide implementation of this solution, including the launch of a modernised Government Security Operations Centre in Saudi Arabia, with advanced threat intelligence capabilities, enabling proactive detection and response to threats and incidents.As part of the partnership, Haboob will also have access to a range of services from cybersecurity leader, Mandiant, part of Google Cloud. These services include incident response capabilities, compromise and cyber defence assessments, and red teaming, in order to help protect key customer assets.The CEO of Haboob, Eng. Saleh Alhaqbani, stated their keenness to provide their services to a wide range of clients in government and private sectors, which reflects great confidence in their ability to meet their needs in the cybersecurity sector, and stressed the importance of managed security monitoring services, which are growing significantly due to the legislation and security controls of the National Cybersecurity Authority as well as the great risks resulting from cyber threats and new and complex methods of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) to bypass and penetrate technical systems.The CEO also added that Haboob is delivering a managed security monitoring service in partnership with Google Cloud using Google Chronicle Cybershield, which is supported by artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that helps enable it to detect complex cyber threats, as Haboob seeks to contribute to creating a safe cyberspace and achieving its strategic goals that have been worked on to align them with Saudi Vision 2030’s strategic goals.Stuart McKenzie, Managing Director EMEA, Mandiant Consulting, part of Google Cloud said: "As Saudi Arabia progresses toward its Vision 2030 plan, the demand for cybersecurity solutions continues to rise. Haboob is uniquely positioned to meet this need and to bring Chronicle CyberShield to the Kingdom. Their strong reputation, combined with Google Cloud’s advanced technology, threat intelligence and Mandiant consulting capabilities, will form the basis of a long-term partnership to help protect the nation against advanced cyber threats."The news was revealed on stage at Black Hat MEA at the Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Center by Stuart McKenzie and Saleh Alhaqbani.

Aviation industry unites in Dubai to pay tribute to Captain Hamish Harding

Action Aviation paid tribute to its Founder and former Chairman, Captain Hamish Harding, at an Aviation Industry event to coincide with Dubai Airshow. Taking place at Atlantis The Royal in Dubai, the event brought together colleagues, partners, and friends to mark the extraordinary life of the UAE based businessman and explorer. The company, which Harding founded in Dubai in 2004, will remain dedicated to his vision, goals and aspirations under the leadership of new CEO, Mark Butler and Managing Director, Frederic Dubant. Butler worked alongside Harding for 16 years, helping to take Action Aviation from entrepreneurial start-up to globally recognised and respected aircraft dealership and Butler will ensure the company continues to thrive in Harding’s legacy. Butler has over 20-years’ experience in aircraft and helicopter sales and has held a private pilot license since 2001; Dubant has worked in aviation for more than two decades for Labinal, Airbus and Comlux where he was EVP of Commercial, Business Jets before joining Action Aviation in 2021. Mark Butler, CEO of Action Aviation, said: “Hamish was never afraid to try anything in aviation and he achieved so much in his life, both with his business and his explorations. It was only fitting that to coincide with Dubai Airshow we mark his incredible accomplishments and a life well lived in the country he loved and called home. Over the last 19 years, Action Aviation has become one of the world leaders in aircraft dealership, driven by Hamish’s commitment to building trust, operating with integrity, and respecting everyone we do business with. We will continue, in his legacy, to take the business forward with the same passion and ambition.”In addition to founding Action Aviation, Harding had a huge appetite for exploration, scientific discovery and conservation. His accomplishments include holding the record for the fastest flight in a light jet SJ30 from the US to Dubai, setting up two air ambulance operations in the Middle East, introducing the first regular business jet services to the Antarctic and accompanying astronaut Buzz Aldrin to the South Pole – making Buzz the oldest person to reach the southernmost point on earth age 86 along with Harding’s son Giles who became the youngest at age 12. In July 2019, 50 years after the first man walked on the moon, in his famed One More Orbit Mission, Harding broke the round-the-world record for any aircraft flying over the North and South poles in a Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER ultra long-range business jet. The attempt pushed the boundaries of human ingenuity - just like the Apollo 11 mission half a century ago.Harding became Chair for the Middle East Chapter of the Explorer’s Club and continued with his explorations, traversing the deepest depths of the ocean with Victor Vescovo at the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench breaking two more world records; flying to space as part of the suborbital Blue Origin NS-21 mission and supplying a customised Boeing 747-400 aircraft to transport eight wild cheetahs from Namibia to India to reintroduce the cheetah into India. Action Aviation is attending Dubai Airshow from 13th – 17th November, showcasing the company’s Boeing Business Jet.

Google pays Apple 36% of search ad revenue from Safari

Google pays Apple 36% of its search advertising revenue from Safari under their search default agreement. This was revealed in an open court in the US during the ongoing anti-trust case against Google filed by the US Department of Justice. The revelation, made by an Alphabet witness, Professor Kevin Murphy from the University of Chicago, was hitherto unknown to the world. And it is a testament to the financial gains for both companies, who have been reluctant to disclose such details due to potential anticompetitive concerns.The revelation was unexpected and came as part of Alphabet's defense against the Justice Department's claims of Google illegally maintaining dominance in search and advertising markets. According to a Bloomberg report, The Williams & Connolly antitrust partner, John Schmidtlein, reportedly reacted visibly when the figure was disclosed.The focal point of the proceedings revolves around the search default agreement, with Judge Amit Mehta characterizing the Apple-Google deal as the case's "core." Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi estimates that Apple stands to generate $19 billion in revenue in 2023 through the search engine default deal with Google.It was also revealed during the trial that Google has paid more than $26bn to companies like Samsung, Apple, Mozilla, etc. for making Google as the default search engine. While testifying, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai tried to defend such agreements, but competitors, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, have expressed criticism, viewing the arrangement as harmful to their businesses. According to Nadella, the ongoing discussions with Apple regarding a default search engine deal for Microsoft's Bing had not resulted in an agreement, even if it entailed short-term losses. He underscored that the notion of an "open web" is deceptive, contending that what truly exists is the "Google web."

YouTube unveils stricter rules for AI-generated content

YouTube will incorporate disclosure requirements and regulations for content generated using artificial intelligence (AI). These upcoming changes are part of the platform's initiative to integrate and adapt to generative AI, wrote Jennifer Flannery O’Connor and Emily Moxley, vice presidents of product management at YouTube, in a blog post. Expressing enthusiasm about the potential of this technology, O’Connor and Moxley emphasized the profound impact it will have on creative industries in the years to come. They stated: “We’re taking the time to balance these benefits with ensuring the continued safety of our community at this pivotal moment — and we’ll work hand-in-hand with creators, artists, and others across the creative industries to build a future that benefits us all.”The disclosure requirements and new content labels will be rolled out in the coming months, obliging creators to specify whether content has been manipulated or artificially generated, with or without the use of AI tools. According to the post, this new label will be added to the description panel or, for sensitive topics, displayed more prominently on the video player. Creators who fail to disclose such information could face penalties, including content removal. Additionally, YouTube plans to introduce a feature allowing individuals to request the removal of AI-generated or synthetically altered content mimicking the face, voice, or other identifiable characteristics of a person.Requests to remove material that is a parody or involves well-known individuals will be subject to a higher standard. Simultaneously, YouTube is actively enhancing the speed and accuracy of its content moderation systems, incorporating both human reviewers and machine learning technology.This announcement follows Meta's recent declaration about imposing new controls on AI-generated ads in anticipation of the 2024 presidential election.

Accenture Song unveils streamlined structure with four key practices

Accenture Song, a company dedicated to fostering growth through the synergy of industry expertise, analytical precision, and empathetic creativity, has undertaken a restructuring initiative by consolidating its eight global divisions into four primary practices.Previously, when Accenture Interactive transitioned to Accenture Song in 2022, it operated with four solutions: growth and product innovation, marketing, commerce, and sales and service. Additionally, it featured four specialized expertise groups, focusing on design, build, communications, and intelligence.The revamped structure introduces four new practices:• Marketing: This practice encompasses the elements of Song dedicated to building brands, primarily through advertising.• Design & Digital Products: This practice is responsible for creating products, services, and experiences.• Commerce: Focused on aiding businesses in scaling and optimizing their sales propositions.• Service: This practice collaborates with clients to enhance their relationships with customers.David Droga, Chief Executive of Accenture Song, expressed that this new structure positions the group, which achieved a 14% revenue growth in the last financial year, to operate with increased speed, confidence, and impact. Droga emphasized the shift from eight distinct practices to four, highlighting the simplification of the organizational structure.The primary objective of this restructuring is not personnel downsizing but rather the elimination of unnecessary complexity. The goal is to establish a streamlined and easily comprehensible organization where roles are clear, fostering more opportunities for collaboration. The emphasis is on avoiding the constant need to explain the company's structure and focus during meetings.

Mr Monopoly all set to monopolise Abu Dhabi with his moves

We all remember having fun while playing Monopoly as kids. The fun is back at Abu Dhabi, as Monopoly is launching an official Abu Dhabi edition of the game next month. The move was announced over the weekend with Mr. Monopoly visiting Louvre Abu Dhabi.Winning Moves, the company behind the official Abu Dhabi Monopoly board game under license from Hasbro, also shared that they are thrilled to bring the magic of MONOPOLY to Abu Dhabi. This edition will encapsulate the essence of the Emirate, ensuring a game that resonates with both locals and visitors for generations to come.Now the guessing game begins for what locations will make it onto the board.Given Mr. Monopoly started his tour of the city (you can find him around town by following the hashtag #MonopolyAbuDhabi on Instagram) at Louvre Abu Dhabi, we imagine the iconic dome will make the cut. In order to drive more social media traction, the Monopoly team asked residents and visitors to take pictures of the mascot when they spot him and post them with the hashtags on social media.It has also made a guessing game of which locations will appear on the board, as the mascot visits several destinations across the city, to choose the ones that will appear on the board. Players will get the chance to “Pass Go” when Mr. Monopoly launches and reveals the new Abu Dhabi Exclusive Edition board in December.

DP World Tour Championship Rolex Pro-Am kicks off electrifying week of action

Dubai, UAE – The DP World Tour Championship Rolex Pro-Am has concluded and some of golf’s biggest stars will now head into final preparations for what promises to be an electrifying ending to the DP World Tour Race to Dubai season.Playing alongside the professionals were some familiar names away from the world of golf, with Irish rugby legend and Grand Slam-winning captain Johnny Sexton, Leon "Locksmith" Rolle from multiple award-winning British drum and bass band Rudimental and Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton, testing their skills around the infamous Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.The three winners of this year’s DP World Tour Championship Luckiest Ball on Earth Grand Final – David Warham, Misun Kim and Hashem Shana’ah – also took part in the Pro-Am, playing alongside Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg.The morning shotgun was won by Team Hero featuring professional Daniel Hillier and amateurs Abhimanyu Munjal, Samvit Chopra and Kunal Seth, while the afternoon shotgun was won by Team DP World consisting of Tyrrell Hatton, Hardeep Singh, Waseem Trumboo and Sachin Mahajan.Sexton, who played alongside Rory McIlroy, Rashid Abdulla and Avinash Pangarkar as part of Team DP World, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be asked to participate today and I’m delighted to be here at this amazing golf course playing with some of the best in the world. I’m playing about 80 yards ahead of Rory and he’s still hitting it past me! I love watching him play so to be here up-close is even more special for me.”Rudimental’s Leon "Locksmith" Rolle, who played with Zander Lombard, Jason Atherton and Nasser Khafaji on Team DP World Tour, said: “Performing music in front of big crowds is second nature to me but playing in a Pro-Am golf tournament isn’t, so I’m definitely feeling the pressure! The professional players are on another level. Just being able to spend time with them is amazing and I feel like I am learning so much. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week and enjoying as much of the action as possible.”Atherton added: “Being here today playing in this tournament on such an amazing course is a dream for us amateur golfers and I’m absolutely loving it. I started playing golf when I lived in Dubai from 2000-2005 and really caught the bug, and I’ve been in love with it ever since. I’m really looking forward to what the rest of the week has in store.”This year’s milestone 15th edition of the DP World Tour Championship promises an unforgettable experience for golf fans and families alike, featuring the top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings in partnership with Rolex, at the fifth and final Rolex Series event of the DP World Tour season.A number of players from Europe’s victorious 2023 Ryder Cup team will compete, including Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Nicolai Højgaard, Viktor Hovland, Robert MacIntyre, McIlroy and Jon Rahm.The DP World Tour Championship offers a fantastic day out for all, combining world-class golf with an array of exciting activities and experiences including free golf lessons, kids areas, trick-shot shows and sports activations, as well as premium hospitality and food and beverage options. For more information on the DP World Tour Championship visit

IBM unveils watsonx.governance to help businesses & governments

United Arab Emirates: IBM today announced that watsonx.governance will be generally available in early December to help businesses shine a light on AI models and eliminate the mystery around the data going in, and the answers coming out.While generative AI, powered by Large Language Models (LLM) or Foundation Models, offers many use cases for businesses, it also poses new risks and complexities, including training data scraped from corners of the internet that cannot be validated as fair and accurate, all the way to a lack of explainable outputs. Watsonx.governance provides organizations with the toolkit they need to manage risk, embrace transparency, and anticipate compliance with future AI-focused regulation.As businesses today are looking to innovate with AI, deploying a mix of LLMs from tech providers and open sources communities, watsonx enables them to manage, monitor and govern models from wherever they choose.  “Company boards and CEOs are looking to reap the rewards from today’s more powerful AI models, but the risks due to a lack of transparency and inability to govern these models have been holding them back,” said Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Growth, IBM Software. “Watsonx.governance is a one-stop-shop for businesses that are struggling to deploy and manage both LLM and ML models, giving businesses the tools they need to automate AI governance processes, monitor their models, and take corrective action, all with increased visibility. Its ability to translate regulations into enforceable policies will only become more essential for enterprises as new AI regulation takes hold worldwide.”IBM Consulting has also expanded their strategic expertise to help clients scale responsible AI with both automated model governance and organizational governance encompassing people, process and technology from IBM and strategic partners. IBM consultants have deep skills in establishing AI ethics boards, organizational culture and accountability, training, regulatory and risk management, and mitigating cybersecurity threats, all using human-centric design.Watsonx.governance is one of three software products in the IBM watsonx AI and data platform, along with a set of AI assistants, designed to help enterprises scale and accelerate the impact of AI. The platform includes the next-generation enterprise studio for AI builders and the open, hybrid, and governed data store. The company also recently announced intellectual property protection for its for IBM-developed watsonx models.

Huawei Cloud unveils E³ Model at Global Media Congress 2023

Abu Dhabi, UAE: Huawei Cloud made a remarkable presence at the Global Media Congress 2023, a top media industry international gathering platform hosted in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre - ADNEC.With the media industry accelerated change, and the need of media to adapt into new approaches and business models, the Global Media Congress 2023 provides an ideal opportunity for media organizations and businesses to meet with thought leaders from around the globe to learn about the latest trends, share knowledge and experiences, and collaborate on news ideas related to the advanced technologies, solutions, products, services aimed at thriving the future of the media industry.As Cloud Sponsor of the Global Media Congress 2023, Huawei Cloud presence at the event provided a comprehensive view redefining the media and entertainment sector productivity with new experiences, capabilities and operational efficiencies to drive the evolution of the media industry. The company demonstrated its commitment to the "Everything as a Service" philosophy, and the exhibition area did not only highlight Huawei Cloud's achievements but also underscores its role in revolutionizing the media and entertainment industry, facilitating efficient content production, enabling ultra-low latency live streaming for OTT platforms, and empowering businesses with continuous innovation through the MetaStudio Digital Production Line.Moreover, the exhibition display area showcases Huawei Cloud's expertise in various horizontal solutions, including cloud-native technologies, database services, and AI-driven innovations. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore how Huawei Cloud's cutting-edge solutions are shaping the digital landscape and driving businesses towards a more connected and intelligent future.During the Huawei Cloud Media and Entertainment Forum, Huawei Cloud introduced its innovative E³ Model, which addresses the demands of the media and entertainment industry in three key areas: content production, content distribution, and business innovation.The E³ Model, which stands for "New Efficiency, New Experience, New Evolution", promises to usher in a new era of productivity enhancement, improved user experiences, and business growth for the media and entertainment industry.Unlock New Growth for Media & Entertainment IndustryRoy Luo, Vice President of Cloud Consulting Solution Sales at Huawei Cloud Middle East & Central Asia, delivered an opening speech. He highlighted, “Innovation has always been the core of Huawei Cloud, and we are committed to provide systematic innovation for your digital journey. Wherever your business goes, our cloud goes.”Roy also emphasized Huawei Cloud's key pillars for success: "Technical innovation", keeping solutions cutting-edge; "Industry leadership", setting standards and best practices, and "Market leadership", thriving in a dynamic cloud market. Huawei Cloud is dedicated to delivering value and transforming industries.?Roy Luo, Vice President of Cloud Consulting Solution Sales at Huawei Cloud Middle East & Central Asia?Inspire New Growth with Partners and CustomersLocal enterprise representatives also shared about their development and Huawei Cloud's cooperation prospects.Eva Wu, XRender Global Business Development Executive, unveiled the partnership's latest strides in enhancing 3D rendering capabilities on Huawei Cloud. She highlighted XRender's ongoing collaboration with Huawei, emphasizing the global reach of their cooperation. Eva also discussed the pain points faced by the traditional rendering industry, focusing on cost, operations, and management, and explained how the joint XRender-Huawei Cloud rendering solution significantly improves rendering efficiency while reducing costs. This presentation underscores the commitment to revolutionizing the 3D rendering industry, providing customers with cost-effective and efficient solutions.?Eva Wu, XRender Global Business Development Executive?Kevin Zhang, Solution Expert at Huawei Cloud Middle East & Central Asia, and Eyad Marei, Solution Expert at Huawei Cloud Middle East & Central Asia, has also spot light on Huawei platforms that accelerates content production efficiency, making virtual humans accessible for content creators, and presented new solutions for the OTT industry that ensures exceptional content quality and user experiences.Jerome Goubier, Head of Sales at Vianeos, shared invaluable insights into the world of OTT and monetization. During his presentation, Jerome shed light on the dynamic landscape of OTT and its potential for monetization. He introduced two remarkable solutions by Vianeos: OctoAds, Ads insertion solution for OTT, and OctoReco, cutting-edge recommendation engine. These tools were showcased as pivotal in delivering optimized content experiences to viewers.In collaboration with Huawei Cloud, Jerome outlined the vision for achieving data-driven personalized viewing experiences. This partnership empowers OTT providers to enhance viewer engagement and maximize revenues by harnessing the power of data analytics.?Jerome Goubier, Head of Sales at Vianeos?Huawei Cloud's prominent presence at the Global Media Congress 2023 in Abu Dhabi has marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of the media and entertainment industry. The introduction of the E³ Model, along with an array of cutting-edge solutions, highlights our unwavering commitment to redefining productivity and delivering premium user experiences.

New video news agency ‘Viory’ launches at Abu Dhabi Global Media Congress

Abu Dhabi: Viory, the video news agency of the Global South, today formally launches its operations, unveiling its first international hub in the vibrant city of Abu Dhabi, UAE. Selecting the Global Media Congress 2023 to unveil its offer, it today showcases the culmination of months of preparatory work undertaken by its team in developing a robust and industry-leading international footprint.From its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Viory will focus on empowering and amplifying perspectives from the geographical, geopolitical, and developmental heartland that is the Global South. It shall provide exclusive breaking news across politics, technology, sports, and entertainment. Sourcing footage from where stories break, Viory acquires and produces global and regional breaking news thanks to an expansive international team that ensures it brings unmissable content from and to the Global South. Viory serves everyone from international media conglomerates to regional news outlets and individual citizen journalists.Alex Kobia, Africa Distribution Lead, Viory, comments: “Viory represents a new era in news reporting, dedicated to empowering and amplifying perspectives from the Global South. Our mission is to provide a platform for stories that need to be heard. We’re incredibly excited to begin our operations here in Abu Dhabi, and the Global Media Congress is the perfect event to showcase Viory to the world."Viory launches with a pre-assembled team of over 150 full-time staff, and an established network of over 3000 video journalists across the world – ensuring they have people on the ground wherever news breaks. They continue to grow their team each day, and are actively pursuing a large-scale recruitment drive across the UAE and beyond.The team has forged a host of content exchanges with providers globally to offer an archive of over 150,000 video packages to clients, immediately. This is combined with active production which has been rolled-out pre-launch to ensure an average of 50 video packages are produced daily, alongside 300 hours of live content per month.Viory’s experienced team is comprised of professionals from across the news and agency landscape covering all aspects of technical and journalistic expertise with over 38 languages spoken, in-house. This diverse provides translations for simultaneous live feeds in 8 languages (Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, German and Turkish).Viory has taken a significant presence at this year’s Global Media Congress, seeing the team showcasing its offer on a large purpose-built stand, and engaging in a selection of mainstage, and side events throughout the three day conference.

GoDaddy unveils guide to captivate the digital consumer

Cairo – GoDaddy, Inc, the company that helps entrepreneurs thrive, encourages small business owners, as 2023 concludes, to reflect on the how their businesses have performed thus far. Recognizing the importance of quality products, efficient services, and customer satisfaction, businesses are urged to adapt and cater to the preferences of the digital consumer.The GoDaddy MENA Small Business Survey 2023 reveals optimistic trends among small businesses in Egypt, with 21% intending to strengthen online marketing, 19% committed to enhancing their online presence, and notable contributions from social media channels, particularly Facebook (91%) and WhatsApp (67%), which play a significant role in generating revenue for over 20% of small businesses.Selena Bieber, GoDaddy’s Vice President for International Markets, emphasizes the significance of adopting effective marketing strategies, establishing a strong digital identity, and enhancing online visibility: "Small businesses can thrive in the digital landscape by following the best practices outlined our tailored guide, designed to meet the evolving needs of digital consumers. GoDaddy remains committed to empowering entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge to succeed in the online marketplace."In response to these findings, GoDaddy shares expert tips for entrepreneurs aiming to navigate the digital landscape effectively:Create a digital identity: Having a business website that represents your business and your products or services, along with a domain name (the website address) that relates to your business, helps to raise your visibility on the internet where digital consumers are spending time. Short and clear domain names are ideal because they are easy for customers to remember. Today, there are a variety of domain name extensions to choose from that can fit your business such as: .store, .music, .photography, in addition to .com and At GoDaddy you can easily find the ideal domain name and create a website integrated together.Use social networks:The use of social networks and your business website are complementary and can help engage with new and current customers. You can begin by using the network you already have a presence on, however you will want to evaluate the social networks where your customers engage and can be related to your business. For consistency, it can be helpful to have the same name in your business social media profiles that you have chosen as the domain for your website. The GoDaddy YouTube Channel has a series of videos that teach ways of digital marketing, prepared by experts in the field.Sell with your own online store:Even if you sell your products and services through social networks or on online marketplaces, it is important to also consider having your own digital store. With your own online store, attached to your website, you can have control over the shopping experience, gain knowledge about your customers, use integrated digital marketing tools and engage with loyalty strategies for your customers. Creating your own online store may seem like a challenge, yet using an online store creator like the one from GoDaddy, helps to make it possible to build one without much technical expertise, and with the ability to advertise up to 5,000 products with up to 10 images per product, and securely accepting major credit cards, Apple Pay and Google.Produce impactful content:The Internet is visual, and those who communicate more quickly and objectively with professional and impactful images can have an advantage. Displaying quality photos of your products with precise descriptions in social network posts can help a business stand out from the competition. To help you create content as if it had been produced by professionals there are several applications available. One of them is GoDaddy Studio, an online tool that allows you to create and choose professional and beautiful images to help tell your business story. Accompanying the images, you can also include informative and relevant content such as blogs, videos, and specialized guides, that can help consumers make better buying decisions.Build Customer Loyalty:In today’s competitive marketplace, building customer loyalty for your business is important for return business. Entrepreneurs need to continually stay connected with digital customers and surprise them with enchanting ways to stay engaged with your business. These can be limitless based on your imagination and your business and could include such ideas as a small gift when making a purchase, a more personalized experience, a sample of a new product, a discount coupon for a future purchase or first chance to try your latest offering. Using information collected from customers already engaged with your business to create a more personalized shopping experience can help you build customer loyalty.Embracing a digital identity through a user-friendly website with a relevant domain name can significantly enhance online visibility and attract new audiences. Combining impactful images, strategies for creating a loyal customer base, and using social networks in conjunction with an online store can help engage customers and provide a seamless shopping experience. Incorporating integrated digital marketing tools can help you optimize an online presence, reach target audiences more effectively, and analyze customer behavior to make more informed decisions.

UAE consumers optimistic about future: Survey

United Arab Emirates: Optimistic Outlook in the UAEThe latest Toluna Global Consumer Barometer offers a comprehensive view of consumer behavior in the UAE, revealing that a noteworthy 64% of consumers are optimistic about the future, outpacing the global average of 43%. The study, which included 19 markets across the globe, provides valuable insights into the preferences behaviors of consumers in UAE compared to their global counterparts.Current Life Satisfaction and Financial ConcernsThe study showed that 58% of UAE residents reported higher satisfaction with their current life and greater optimism about their future, compared to the global average of 54%, however, one-fourth of the residents expressed concerns over personal financial security due to current global and economic circumstances.Proactive Financial Planning for Economic UncertaintiesWhen it comes to financial planning, UAE residents are proactively taking steps to navigate economic uncertainties. Specifically, 30% plan to cut back on spending on books and magazines, recognizing the abundance of online resources. Similarly, 30% intend to reduce expenses on luxury products or services, while 26% will trim their entertainment and subscription budgets. Additionally, 25% are opting to dine out less, 23% will be cutting back on leisure activities and hobbies, 19% plan to spend less on vacation holidays, and 21% will be reducing expenditures on beauty products.Guiding Grocery Shopping Behavior in the UAELooking ahead, the study also sheds light on expected grocery shopping behavior in the next three months. For UAE consumers, 'being healthy' emerges as a key choice driver, followed by price, brands, and quality. Additionally, 47% of UAE shoppers plan to reduce unnecessary purchases, 42% will compare prices online and offline, and 34% intend to switch to more affordable supermarkets. Other strategies include shopping more often to avoid waste and get the best deals (34%), visiting more stores in search of value (33%), shopping less often but in bulk (31%), switching to cheaper brands (31%), and changing the number of snacks purchased (28%).Impact of Energy Crisis and Inflation on Spending PlansMoreover, a significant 71% of UAE consumers stated that the energy crisis and inflation have impacted their current spending plans. Inflation emerged as a prominent concern among consumers. Worries regarding global market instability and housing/rental prices were also expressed, with 52% highlighting the rising cost of living, 51% concerned about the instability of global/financial markets, and 50% noting house prices/values as a significant factor. Additionally, 44% of consumers are focusing on saving more money due to economic uncertainty."Together, these findings reflect the current economic sentiment and consumer behavior in the UAE which we have been mapping out in successive waves of our Barometer." said Georges Akkaoui, Enterprise Account Director & Office Leader MEA at Toluna, “Amidst some positive signals, it's evident that consumers are seeking value and reliability with their choices. Brands that prioritize quality, affordability, and sustainability will resonate most with today's savvy shoppers, guiding them towards a future of satisfaction and trust; yet it's crucial to acknowledge the genuine concerns surrounding financial security and the impact of global economic factors on spending patterns."Anticipated Spending Behavior in the Next QuarterFurthermore, the study outlines anticipated spending behavior in this quarter. Notably, 34% plan to allocate slightly more towards groceries, 24% towards mobile phones, 31% towards vitamins and minerals, 17% towards food takeaway, 23% towards sports and fitness, 22% towards life insurance, private health insurance (24%), and gaming (16%).

Ras Al Khaimah shines at Global Media Congress: A beacon of innovation & culture

 Ras Al Khaimah welcomed visitors from around the world today to its immersive pavilion, which highlights the Emirate’s remarkable sustainable development journey, on the first day of the Global Media Congress (GMC) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court.  In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE’s northernmost Emirate showcased to national and international media stakeholders all the reasons why it is fast becoming the go-to destination in the region to live, work and explore.  Visitors to Ras Al Khaimah’s dynamic exhibition space, inspired by the colors of the natural world, were introduced to Ras Al Khaimah Government Media Office (RAKGMO) initiatives and strategic plans aimed at enhancing the Emirate’s presence on the global media scene, and to the Emirate’s sustainable development achievements, which have been put in place to ensure a bright future for current and future generations.Her Excellency Heba Fatani, Director General of RAKGMO, will participate in a keynote panel discussion tomorrow on ‘Nurturing Talent to Stimulate Creativity and Increased Opportunities in an Enhanced Media Ecosystem’ alongside other media leaders, which provides an opportunity to highlight Ras Al Khaimah’s growing contribution to the media landscape.  “Inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ras Al Khaimah is attracting international recognition as a prime destination for living, working and exploring, with its exceptional quality of life, enticing opportunities for business and tourism, and a captivating natural environment at the heart of the narrative,” Ms. Fatani said. “It is our foremost objective to share the Emirate's inspiring stories with the world.”“RAKGMO continues to embrace innovation, creativity and cultural exchange, while celebrating the transformative power of the media to connect and communicate with audiences from around the world,” she continued. “We invite all attendees to visit Ras Al Khaimah’s pavilion, experience the beauty of Ras Al Khaimah, engage with our media experts and discover the exciting opportunities for collaboration and growth that our Emirate offers.”  Ras Al Khaimah Radio Authority Director-General and journalist Mohammed Ghanem Mustafa, hosted ‘The Live Broadcast’ from the pavilion, featuring leading figures from the media sector. It is the first radio show in the UAE to broadcast live across all three days of Global Media Congress.  This year’s Congress focuses on the themes of Sustainability; Innovation and Latest Technologies in Media; Sports Media; Youth, Education and the Future of Media. It offers a prominent platform for media professionals, journalists and industry leaders to connect and collaborate, and serves as a hub for meaningful discussion and networking opportunities that will positively impact and shape the future of the global media landscape.

Global Media Congress Day-1: Sessions on environment, new tech, content creation

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, the first day of the Global Media Congress concluded at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) after a lively series of presentations, panel discussions and keynote speeches that brought together renowned figures from the world of media, communication, and technology.The day began with a keynote speech from H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Tolerance and Coexistence, who welcomed the Congress participants to the event and emphasized the media’s power to foster international cooperation, the sharing of essential values and interests, and an appreciation of human achievements across national boundaries.Adding his welcome to that of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan in a further keynote speech, Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of Emirates News Agency (WAM) and Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee for the Global Media Congress, observed that “our gathering today at this important global event gives us great scope to share ideas on contemporary challenges faced by the media sector along with investment opportunities that to help us advance best professional practices across multiple media sectors. We will also examine how we can build a future media industry that shares knowledge and information in ways that maximize the happiness of peoples and sustain the development of societies.”With the first day of the Congress taking in conjunction with COP28, there was a special focus on the role that the media can play in addressing environmental issues and climate change.Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “Today’s sessions affirmed the media’s potential to highlight key environmental and climate change issues and help drive real change to protect global ecosystems. The Global Media Congress is playing a decisive role as a forum for media leaders, creatives and activists to tackle one of the most critical issues faced by this generation and those to come. In keeping with the aspirations of our wise leadership, ADNEC Group remains dedicated to helping innovative ideas flourish and nurturing meaningful industry partnerships."This year’s Congress will also host 5 accompanying features – some being held for the first time – which include the innovation and startups platform with over 24 startups, the training and education feature with more than 30 workshops, the Future Media Labs with elite-level discussions in six closed sessions, the influencer innovation feature with dedicated dialogue sessions, and a new media sessions and round tables feature with experts, speakers, innovators and global media leaders.

Dubai to get AI-equipped autonomous vehicles

Autonomous vehicles equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) will soon grace Dubai's roads, conducting facial scans and scrutinizing vehicle license plates. These AI-enabled vehicles are designed to promptly notify authorities about individuals on the police watchlist and unregistered vehicles, contributing to heightened security.These vehicles are set to traverse community areas, employing advanced facial recognition and license plate scanning technologies linked to comprehensive systems. The primary objective is to identify and report wanted individuals, unregistered cars, and even address issues such as visa overstays and illegal residency within the country.Unveiled at the Dubai Police stand during the ongoing Dubai Airshow 2023 at the Dubai World Central, the autonomous vehicle, named MO2 and manufactured in collaboration with Micropolis Robotics, boasts features like facial and license plate recognition, a 360-degree camera view, and a motion detector. Operating for up to 16 hours, the AI-driven vehicle is a result of years of development, with a commitment to ensuring its optimal performance.While the official did not provide a specific timeline for the vehicle's deployment, it was emphasized that the rollout is imminent. The Dubai Police envisions strategic placements for these AI-equipped vehicles, heralding a transformative era in the patrolling system.

Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road appoints Mihir Patel as director of sales

 Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road is pleased to announce the appointment of Mihir Patel as the new Director of Sales. With over 22 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Mihir brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his newly appointed position.  In his most recent placement as Director of Sales at Dusit Thani Dubai, Mihir demonstrated exceptional leadership, driving significant revenue growth and achieving remarkable milestones. He successfully led the Sales and Revenue team, focusing on various market segments whilst generating significant achievements. His earlier roles at prominent hotel chains such as Marriott and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., showcased his ability to exceed sales goals, manage complex sales processes, and contribute significantly to revenue growth. His dedication to client relationships and proactive sales techniques have consistently yielded positive results.  "I am truly honored to join Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road as the Director of Sales," expressed Mihir Patel. "I am eager to leverage my years of experience in the hospitality industry to enhance the hotel's sales strategies and contribute to its ongoing success. Fairmont Dubai's reputation for excellence is unparalleled, and I am excited to be a part of this esteemed team, driving forward our commitment to exceptional guest experiences and sustainable revenue growth”.  Mihir Patel's appointment reflects Fairmont Dubai's commitment to maintaining its position as a leading luxury hotel in the region. His experience and industry knowledge will undoubtedly contribute to the hotel's continued success and growth. The property’s focus lies in creating unforgettable experiences for all guests, delivering what is called the 'New Fairmont Feeling'. Living by the ethos of the ‘Luxury of being yourself’ – a mindset shared by the guests and employees which creates a lifelong sense of belonging and emotional connections.

MENA shoppers enthusiastic about online shopping but want delivery flexibility

Dubai, UAE: DHL eCommerce has completed a new Online Shopper Survey for 2023 to analyze e-commerce purchasing patterns across the globe, including the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The Online Shopper Survey offers insights on where and why people shop cross-border, what they buy and spend on, their attitudes to delivery and returns, and why sustainability matters to online shoppers worldwide.The survey found that MENA shoppers were the most likely to buy cross-border (67%). But who delivers their goods matters – with customers expressing that they would abandon a purchase if not offered the delivery option they want. Furthermore, 69% said they wanted free, next-day delivery. They were also the most likely to demand free returns, with 1 in 3 still preferring to pay cash on delivery.Furthermore, a vast majority (81%) of MENA shoppers insist on knowing the delivery company before making a purchase. More than half (58%) of MENA shoppers only buy from sites offering free returns. Almost half (48%) cite better quality as the top reason to buy abroad. MENA shoppers were also among the least satisfied with local deliveries (85%).Yasmina Beloued, Regional Commercial Director Fashion & Luxury at DHL Global Forwarding, MEA, said: "This survey highlights how delivery providers play a crucial role in the online shopping journey and why delivery flexibility and transparency are crucial for customers. As the e-commerce market in the region is forecast to reach $57 billion in 2026 , it will be critical for online retailers to plug gaps in the consumer journey to ensure the best possible outcomes. Our report provides numerous and valuable insights into what Middle East retailers need to address to ensure customer happiness and successful customer journeys.”The survey highlighted a growing appetite for online shopping among UAE residents, as almost one fifth expressed shopping online at least once day. The survey identified swift delivery as a key priority for these consumers, with 45% saying that long delivery times frustrated them the most when shopping online. 54% of UAE customers also said free delivery would vastly improve their online shopping experience, and 96% said they would abandon their shopping basket if not offered their preferred delivery options.Customers expressed their displeasure at hidden costs when shopping online, with 42% of MENA shoppers only buying from sellers who rolled delivery charges into the cost of the goods. Sustainability was an important aspect for online shoppers too. The survey showed that customers in the MENA are willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to sustainable shopping, with 42% of UAE shoppers saying they would be willing to spend more for sustainable delivery.

Hailing a ride of success with Islam Abdul Karim of Yango

Yango, a tech platform, specializes in transformation of global technologies for local enrichment. By reshaping them into seamlessly integrated daily services, the brand connects world innovations with local communities to enhance daily experiences. Starting as a ride-hail service, the brand is growing at a tremendous pace, scaling and launching more services, and engaging with an increasingly larger number of audiences and markets.In an exclusive Interview with Adgully Middle East, Islam Abdul Karim, General Manager, Yango GCC, talks about Yango’s success as a ride-hail service, how the brand has grown tremendously in a year, and much more. Karim also shares Yango's partnership with Coca-Cola Arena, and its participation in the recent Gitex 2023.How has Yango adapted its ride-hailing service to meet the unique needs and preferences of customers in the UAE?To cater to the needs and preferences of UAE customers, Yango has tapped into the region's demographic shift, particularly with 60% of the population being under 25. Recognizing the appeal of ride-hailing services for younger audiences, Yango provides on-demand high-quality options at a good value for money that resonates with millennials and Gen Z, especially amidst changing petrol prices and a heightened focus on environmental concerns. Moreover, with services like the Kids class, Yango provides safe and specialized travel experiences for families, utilizing spacious cars available in Dubai such as the GMC, further attesting to our commitment to regional customization.Since transportation holds a substantial 24% share of global carbon emissions, Yango is also proactive in addressing sustainability goals, integrating EVs into their fleet in alignment with the UAE's vision for net-zero emissions by 2050. At the moment approximately 15% of our partners’ fleet is electric. This not only minimizes carbon emissions but also caters to the rising demand for eco-friendly transit solutions.Can you discuss any partnerships or collaborations Yango has entered into the region to enhance its service offerings?Yango is the official ride-hailing partner of Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena. We provide premium ride experiences for concert and event attendees. Yango app users receive a 20% discount on their first ride to or from the arena, ensuring a convenient and memorable experience.We also recently participated in GITEX 2023, where our primary focus was to highlight successful growth of ride-hailing service in the UAE and our further plans to expand within the country. Along with this we also announced the new global operations office in Dubai Internet City for the Yango company, including but not limited to Yango ride-hailing, Yango Delivery and Yango Tech services. It will open this year.What challenges has Yango faced in establishing its brand and operations in the UAE, and how have you overcome them?One challenge in the UAE has been the prevailing trend towards private car ownership. However, projections show a significant rise in ride-hailing users, expected to reach 3.25 million by 2027. With our unique features, we've been able to offer a more convenient, economical and sustainable solution.How does Yango ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers, especially in the context of this region?The UAE gives great importance to road safety, and Dubai’s Road & Transport Authority regularly updates traffic laws to be stricter. In line with the country’s vision for safe roads, we have various safety features in the app including reckless driving technology and Safety Center in the app where passengers can access the SOS button, share their route with friends and relatives, or contact the urgent team which is available 24/7. Additionally, we plan to introduce in Dubai new safety technologies like the speed monitoring and driving style monitoring system to enhance safety further. These advancements prioritize the safety, comfort, and overall experience of everyone who uses Yango.Are there any upcoming features or services that Yango plans to introduce specifically for the Middle East market, like the recent one as Kids Service Class?Yango, as a technology company, is continuously innovating and introducing new services and products tailored specifically for the region’s market. One of the most exciting is Yasmina, an advanced Arabic-speaking human-like AI smart assistant. This digital companion goes beyond basic functions to transform the user experience with tailored, intuitive support for the region. Yasmina's human-like conversational skills are powered by a proprietary language model fine-tuned with input from content professionals in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and more, ensuring various dialect recognition.Sustainability is another area we're passionate about, especially given the UAE's ambitious vision. We're actively investing in enhancing systems that leverage the power of data analytics, AI, and Machine Learning to ensure optimal routing and reduce carbon emissions. The demand for EVs in the UAE is also on the rise, anticipated to increase by a CAGR of 30% leading up to 2028. We're exploring opportunities to integrate more EVs into our partner’s fleet aligning with the UAE's target to cut 40% of carbon emissions by 2030.Our presence in the region is expanding, with a new dedicated office space in Dubai Internet City slated to open by the end of 2023. This is part of our larger growth strategy, which also includes expansions in the UAE and even beyond the region, like Ethiopia.How does Yango ride-hailing service differentiate itself from other platforms operating in the region?Yango is a tech company dedicated to adapting global innovations into everyday services that enrich local communities. Operational in more than 20 countries, we have vast experience in transformation of technologies into daily services around the world and have tailored our services to the UAE market.As for our ride-hailing service, Yango stands out from others in the region through a combination of innovations and targeted service offerings at a good value for money. Our features, such as user-friendly apps, safety technologies integrated within the service, and partnership with Coca-Cola Arena, specifically address the challenges of the UAE clientele. We understand that we are not just providing a ride, but a tailored experience. This ensures we always stay ahead in providing unparalleled service.Can you share some stats or success stories that highlight Yango's growth in the UAE?We celebrated the one-year-anniversary of our operations in Dubai this September. We continue to experience 20% week-to-week growth at high season there and will expand to other emirates within the upcoming months.What is Yango's long-term vision for its operations in the Middle East, and how do you plan to achieve it?Vision of Yango ride-hailing service is to be at the forefront of smart urban mobility in the market and support urban connectivity goals. Our strategies include integrating state-of-the-art technologies, ensuring the high standards of safety, and exploring opportunities like incorporating electric vehicles (EVs), for example.

Celebrate the festive season the Sheraton way!

Make memories this festive season with Dubai’s elegant 5-star destination hotel, Sheraton Mall of the Emirates. Experience a magical Christmas tree lighting ceremony, turkey to go, Christmas brunch & dinner, New year dinner, a retro New Year party, and much more. Explore a festive season unlike any other with Sheraton’s joyful offerings. Christmas Tree Lighting

Celebrating excellence Winners of the Retail Congress MENA Awards 2023 by MECS+R

The Retail Congress MENA Awards 2023, a pivotal component of the Retail Congress, illuminated the zenith of accomplishments in the shopping mall and retail industry. Hosted at the opulent Ritz Carlton Hotel in DIFC, Dubai, the gala not only acknowledged outstanding feats in marketing, retail, and design within the MENA region but also set the stage for an evening of unparalleled grandeur.David Macadam, CEO of MECS+R, remarked, "The Retail Congress MENA Awards 2023 stands as a beacon within the conference, a moment eagerly anticipated. It has consistently played a pivotal role in spotlighting the triumphs of shopping malls and retailers in the region."The grandeur of the evening was matched only by the caliber of the winners who took home the esteemed trophies. The event, which took place in the resplendent Ballroom of the Ritz Carlton – DIFC, transformed the space into a glittering showcase of excellence.The grandeur of the awards ceremony and dinner reached its zenith on the concluding night of the 2-day conference, delivering a truly fitting crescendo to the entire event. Each winner, meticulously chosen by a panel of distinguished industry experts, epitomized the pinnacle of excellence in their respective domains, playing a pivotal role in advancing the growth and development of the retail sector in the MENA region.Mr. Bhupinder Singh, General Manager & CFO - Dalma Mall said, "This is indeed a remarkable feat and a genuine testament to the unwavering commitment, expertise, and exceptional teamwork displayed by every individual of the Team. These 9 Prestigious Awards speak volumes of our dedication to excellence, and we are excited to receive them at Retail Congress MENA 2023, hosted by MECS+R, the largest association in the retail industry. Our journey is not only about accolades but also about the shared experiences, the laughter, and the cherished memories we create for our community. It is this spirit that continues to drive us forward. Our commitment to excellence and contributing to the community will remain at the forefront of all we do."Hani Al Hussein, Head of Marketing, Al Hokair Group said, "We are honored to be rewarded Eight Trophies at the prestigious event “Retail Congress Mena 2023 Ceremony Awards. Our sincere appreciation to the Jury Members and the Middle East Council of Shopping Centers & Retailers for this recognition."Wajeb Al Khoury, Director of Line Investments and Property LLC said, "We are deeply privileged to receive recognition in the significant categories at the 'Retail Congress Mena 2023 Ceremony Awards. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the esteemed Jury Members and the Middle East Council of Shopping Centers & Retailers for bestowing this honor upon us at the prestigious event. This achievement stands as a remarkable accomplishment, highlighting the steadfast dedication, expertise, and exceptional collaboration exhibited by every member of our team. Our unwavering commitment to excellence and our continued dedication to serving the community will always be at the core of our endeavors."The Retail Congress MENA Awards 2023 by MECS+R was an evening of opulence, celebration, and inspiration—a splendid showcase of the remarkable talent and unwavering dedication exhibited by individuals and organizations at the forefront of driving innovation and setting the standards for excellence in the retail industry.

Unwrap festive moments with Habtoor grand resort, autograph collection

Step into a World of Holiday Magic at Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, the iconic beachfront haven. This picturesque beachside retreat, gracing the shores of the Arabian Gulf, invites you to elevate your festive season with unparalleled style and luxury. With an abundance of enchanting experiences, it’s the perfect destination to savor quality moments with your loved ones and indulge in a symphony of culinary delights.  Ginger Bread House Decorating

SALT expands delivery reach across Dubai through Deliveroo Editions

The widely-loved homegrown burger concept, SALT, has extended its partnership with Deliveroo to expand its delivery radius through Editions delivery-only kitchens. Through this partnership between Deliveroo and SALT, the brand is now accessible to more customers across Dubai in areas such as Arabian Ranches, Studio City, Motor City, Sports City, JVC, Meadows, Al Quoz, The Palm, Knowledge Village, Media City, Dubai Marina, JBR, JLT, Jumeirah Islands, Springs, Emirates Hills, The Lakes, Al Sufouh, Barsha, Umm Suqeim, Umm Al Sheif, Discovery Gardens, Damac Hills, Jumeirah Golf Estates, and Dubai Town Square to name a few. Established in 2014, SALT began its operations from an airstream trailer at Dubai’s Kite Beach, quickly turning into one of the city’s most loved burger destinations. SALT has become more accessible to additional fans of the concept across Dubai. Customers can now order from the expansive range of burgers and sliders alongside sides like the renowned chicken popcorn, chicken strips, and the brand’s signature fries. Lovers of the brand can also opt for curated SALT boxes available in options for 1 or 3 people. Ziad Zein, Commercial and Growth Director at Deliveroo, said, “We are excited to expand our partnership with SALT and welcome them into Editions. Through this partnership, we are able to give more of our customers access to this locally grown and loved brand. This is a true example of how Editions allows us to support our partners in expanding their reach into new regions and customers with best-in-class service.” The concept of Editions is a delivery-focused model designed to support restaurants expanding into new zones without the need for a brick-and-mortar location. With Deliveroo’s kitchen infrastructure and rider network, F&B concepts can extend their reach, delivering high-quality dishes crafted by their expert chefs to more customers in new areas.

BeIN Sports further demonstrates commitment to women’s football

beIN SPORTS is bringing some of the world’s best female footballers to MENA screens this month as the region’s leading sports broadcaster once again demonstrates its commitment to women’s sports by broadcasting the group stages of Europe’s UEFA Women’s Champions League (UEFA WCL) and Africa’s CAF Women’s Champions League (CAF WCL).The UEFA WCL returns today (14 November), with 16 teams battling it out to be crowned Europe’s best. Replicating the format of the men’s tournament, the women’s showpiece is set to culminate on 26 May 2024 in Bilbao. Barcelona, the reigning champions and home to last week’s Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmati, get their quest for a third title underway at home to Benfica on Wednesday at 23:00 MECCA, while eight-time champions Lyon simultaneously travel to Slavia Praha. beIN will broadcast every match live with Arabic commentary on beIN SPORTS 1 and beIN SPORTS 2, and with English commentary on beIN SPORTS 1 ENGLISH and beIN SPORTS 2 ENGLISH.Other exciting ties from the first round of Europe’s premier women’s tournament include Bayern Munich hosting Roma on Wednesday night, as well as – 24 hours later – Paris travelling to Ajax and Real Madrid welcoming Chelsea. All matches will be broadcast live and exclusive on beIN. Further evidence of the broadcaster’s dedication to elevating the profile of women’s sports globally through its beINSPIRED initiative, the network is airing every match of the ongoing CAF WCL in Arabic on its free-to-air beIN SPORTS channel and beIN SPORTS 6, as well as select matches with English commentary on beIN SPORTS 2 ENGLISH. The African tournament kicked off on 5 November and features eight teams, including last year’s champions ASFAR Club of Morocco and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, winners of the inaugural tournament in 2021.Organised as a two-week standalone event in Cote d’Ivoire, the first round of matches saw Ampem Darkoa of Ghana – making their tournament debut – deliver a huge shock by defeating ASFAR 2-1. With ASFAR home to as many as seven of the Morocco national team squad that shone so brightly on beIN at the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, the 10-time domestic champions have since got their quest for historic consecutive titles back on track with defeats of Huracanes of Equatorial Guinea and AS Mande of Mali.With ASFAR’s place in Wednesday’s semi-final now secure, the Moroccans can prepare for what promises to be a must-watch match-up with South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, while the other semi-final pits Ampem Darkoa against Sporting Casablanca to determine who will contest the final on 18 November at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium. Don’t miss out on any of the action by subscribing to beIN here:

Operators Facing $3 Billion Revenue Loss to OTT Messaging Channels

 A new study from Juniper Research, the foremost experts in telecommunications markets, found OTT business messaging traffic will reach 375 billion messages in 2028; rising from 100 billion messages in 2023.It predicts that diminishing quality of SMS networks will drive enterprises using mobile business messaging to explore alternative channels, including OTT messaging apps. As a result, operators are expected to lose over $3 billion SMS business messaging revenue globally to OTT channels over the next five years.Pricing Key to OTT Business Messaging GrowthReduced SMS network quality is being driven by the rising prevalence of fraud, whilst operators’ SMS prices continue to grow to maintain revenue amidst slowing demand for business messaging traffic. To capitalise on this plateauing SMS market, the report urges OTT app vendors to deploy pricing strategies that attract high-spending enterprises away from established SMS channels. These strategies must separate traffic by uses; charging a premium to enterprises for mission-critical traffic, such as MFA (Multi-factor Authentication).Retail to Experience Substantial OTT Messaging GrowthThe report forecasts a large increase in OTT business messaging spend for retail; from $790 million globally in 2023 to over $2.6 billion by 2028. It urges OTT messaging vendors to integrate data from other retail channels into OTT business messaging activities. In doing so, these vendors can position their apps as a key channel for retailers’ eCommerce strategies. To maximise the potential in this space, it is imperative that OTT messaging vendors integrate payment capabilities directly into apps to maximise the channel’s value proposition.

Abu Dhabi T10 2023 will take place from November 28th to December 9th

The much awaited seventh edition of Abu Dhabi T10 is just around the corner and cricket frenzy fans in the region will be delighted to know that the tickets for cricket's fastest format are now available for sale for just AED 10. Tickets can be purchased online via: Dhabi T10 is partnering with Q-Tickets as their exclusive ticketing partner for the upcoming edition. Q-Tickets will also be running co-promotions with 360 Play in various malls across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Fujairah to sell tickets and other bundled offers.  In Abu Dhabi, the tickets will be sold at the Jumpo Trampo in Yas Mall, and at the Beanstalk at the Marina Mall. In Dubai, the tickets will be available to purchase at the 360 Play Jumpo Trampo at the Spring Souk Mall, Adventure Land at the Al Ghuriar Mall, and at the Trampoline at the Century Mall. Tickets for Abu Dhabi T10 Season 7 will also be sold at the Spider Tower in the Century Mall in Fujairah.Abu Dhabi T10 2023 will take place between November 28th and December 9th with 32 matches set to be played between eight well-rounded teams namely Deccan Gladiators, New York Strikers, Northern Warriors, Morrisville Samp Army, Delhi Bulls, Bangla Tigers, Team Abu Dhabi, and Chennai Braves.

Anthology hosts EdTech conference in Riyadh

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:– Anthology, a leading provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, is hosting their annual conference for clients in the Middle East for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.More than 150 instiutional leaders, industy experts and instructors from 56 institutions across the Middle East are expected to attend the the two day conference on 13 – 14 November. The event is hosted by senior executives of Anthology, including Chief Executive Officer Bruce Dahlgren; President of Global Markets Joe Belanardo; and Senior Vice President of EMEA, Oleg Figlin.Anthology Together Middle East will feature keynotes by Anthology leaders and panel discussions on the most important issues facing higher education today, including the ethical and responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI).Executives from Anthology will be joined on stage by leaders in their fields from universities across the Middle East.“Saudi Arabia is home to some of the world's leading higher education institutions,” said Anthology Chief Executive Officer Bruce Dahlgren. "We believe that these institutions, with their commitment to academic excellence, are at the forefront of shaping the future. Our choice to host this conference in Riyadh reflects our commitment to our clients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East, and our dedication to building solutions in direct partnership with our clients and the learners they serve.”Product and Report Launches at EventAnthology will launch their latest AI-facilitated feature, Authentic Assessments, at the event. Set for release in December, the feature in Blackboard Learn Ultra utilizes learning objectives and course material to develop prompts aligned to Bloom’s Taxonomy that promote critical thinking like analysing, creating, and evaluating. The feature addresses the evolving challenges of academic integrity in the era of artificial intelligence.News at the event also includes the results of a global survey conducted by Anthology on the use and perceptions of AI in higher education. More than 5,000 higher education leaders and current students from countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States, Brazil, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, participated in the survey.Key findings of the report highlight the positive approval of AI in Saudi Universities:49% of students in Saudi Arabia feel that artificial intelligence (AI) will revolutionise education.Students in Saudi Arabia are among the most frequent users of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, with 32% saying they use the tools weekly. Students in Saudi Arabia reported the highest likelihood that their use of generative AI tools will increase significantly in the next six months.  Download report: AI in Higher Ed: Hype, Harm, or Help, Spotlight on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  Anthology Together will conclude with an awards ceremony, recognizing excellence in education. The following institutions will be honoured on Tuesday, 14 November:Saudi Electronic University: Excellence in Inclusion and DiversityKing Faisal University: Excellence in InnovationAl-Qassim University: Excellence in InnovationKing Khalid University: Excellence in Community EngagementAl-Baha University: Excellence in Community Engagement "Rafed"Tabuk University: Excellence in Training and DevelopmentNajran University: Excellence in Training and DevelopmentHa'il University: Excellence in Advancement and TransitionShaqra University: Excellence in Advancement and TransitionBoard Middle East: 2023 Strategic Channel Partner

Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island resort appoints two new marketing and sales experts

United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi: Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts’ eco-conscious beachfront resort in Abu Dhabi, today announced the appointment of two new sales and marketing experts. The appointments follow a period of ongoing enhancements for the resorts’ hospitality offering to drive continued growth for the resort on an international, regional and local level.Vivian Trida takes the lead on the role of Director of Sales & Marketing at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. With over 15 years of experience, insight and knowledge working with luxury hospitality brands in the region, Vivian has previously managed the sales front for high profile luxury resorts across the UAE including the rebranding of Emirates Palace as a Mandarin Oriental and Grand Hyatt Dubai on the early years of her career. In her new role, Vivian will be leading the charge in devising and implementing the commercial strategy across local and international markets with the vision to continue working with destination stakeholders in positioning Abu Dhabi and Saadiyat Island as a luxury destination. This new appointment marks a return to Jumeirah Group for Vivian, who spent three years as Director of Sales Groups - Commercial Cluster from 2018-2021.Also joining the team in Dubai is Khrystyna Masych, who is appointed as Assistant Digital Marketing Manager. With five years’ global experience creating successful media campaigns for brands across North America, Asia and Europe, Khrystyna will manage the property’s online paid advertising campaigns, including the strategy, design and implementation, and search engine optimizationCommenting on the appointments, Savino Leone, General Manager at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort said: “We have had a very successful year in 2023 to date and are targeting further growth next year, with an evolved offering to welcome even more visitors to our exceptional resort. Central to this is our commitment to investing in the best talent to further differentiate our brand experience and meet the ever-evolving needs of our guests. Both Vivian and Khystyna bring a breadth of knowledge and expertise and will be strong assets for Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort as we target continued growth.”

Crypto Fight Night set to host electrifying boxing showdown in Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Crypto Fight Night (CFN) returns with a bang, promising an even grander, more daring, and heart-pounding experience than before!On November 24, the Yume Theatre at Ramee Dream Hotel in Downtown Dubai will transform into the ultimate battleground for an electrifying fusion of cryptocurrency and boxing, all under the bright lights of the exclusive WBC Crypto World Championship.In a thrilling matchup, the reigning 2022 WBC Crypto World Champion, Trading Lord, will put his title on the line against the dynamic newcomer, Krown. This battle symbolizes the unique fusion of financial technology and pugilism, characteristic of influencer boxing.To further ignite the flames of competition, Khalid Nasir will enter the ring to compete for the WBC Middle East title against the formidable Ernest Kapinga. This matchup is one of the marquee events, exemplifying the essence of professional boxing and the regional rivalry that adds fervor to the CFN narrative.The night will feature a packed schedule with over 13 professional and exhibition bouts, showcasing a diverse array of talented boxers who also happen to be crypto enthusiasts. Each fight guarantees to deliver a captivating blend of skill, tenacity, and the indomitable spirit that characterizes the sport of boxing.Adding a touch of celebrity allure to the event, the fiercely contested Crypto Fight Night TV Title will feature Aaron Chalmers, renowned for his MTV fame and an extensive social media following of over 5 million, going head-to-head with Warren Spencer. Under the guidance of Andrew Tate, Spencer has vigorously prepared for this bout, promising a war from the very first bell.Crypto Fight Night is not just a boxing event; it's a celebration of the convergence of traditional sports and modern-day financial technology, a unique combination of combat sports and cryptocurrency expertise that promises to bring a thrilling blend of physical prowess and digital innovation to the forefront. In fact, the upcoming boxing matches are set to feature contestants who are not only skilled pugilists but also fervent crypto enthusiasts.What makes this event truly captivating is the fact that these fighters have been deeply involved in the world of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and decentralized finance, and would openly share their experience and knowledge with the rest of the community.Nevertheless, this remarkable event has garnered substantial acclaim, thanks to our esteemed sponsors who play a pivotal role in its success. A special acknowledgment goes to Bybit, a sponsor that holds paramount importance in our endeavors.As a leading cryptocurrency exchange, Bybit has been a steadfast supporter since day 1 and is now embarking on its third year of collaboration with CFN, underscoring their unwavering commitment to our shared vision.Equally noteworthy is Ghaf Capital, a rapidly growing and trailblazing blockchain venture capital fund based in Dubai. Their support adds a distinctive touch to our event, showcasing the dynamism of the blockchain industry in the region.Moreover, the support from Phemex, a distinguished cryptocurrency exchange specializing in both spot and derivatives trading, alongside contributions from various other noteworthy sponsors, plays a crucial role in enhancing the vibrancy and ensuring the success of our event.Crypto Fight Night is also proudly presented by Savy Promotions and endorsed by Mauricio Sulaiman, the President of the World Boxing Council.The co-founders, including Rookie XBT, Jai Vora, Raghav 'Reggie' Jerath, Mohd Abu Salah, and Rahul Suri, who is both the co-founder of CFN and the founder of Savy Promotions, share a common belief in the event's core philosophy.Rahul commented, "The ethos of Crypto Fight Night is centered on the concept of being created and operated by the community, for the community. As founders, we have constructed a platform to elevate competition to its pinnacle and unite fans under a singular belief: everything is possible!"Tickets are now available for purchase, offering boxing enthusiasts and crypto aficionados a chance to witness history in the making. Get ready for an evening filled with relentless action, gripping drama, and a display of the unyielding spirit of competition.This is not your average boxing event; it's a high-octane, pulse-pounding spectacle that you won't want to miss!

Oman Government incorporates Yepic’s Generative AI to relay real-time election

In a world-first end-to-end online election, the Oman government revealed its Shura election results to citizens in real-time using generative artificial intelligence (AI). The Ministry of Interior partnered with London-based generative AI startup Yepic AI to bring the election results to citizens in a more visual and engaging way. Yepic’s API enables the creation of high-quality videos at scale within minutes and in multiple languages, all made from a single photo. Its technology was used to create custom avatars reflective of the Omani community, who then delivered the election results in real-time to citizens over the course of the day.The elections reporting process is an AI-driven workflow that starts with online voting verified by AI-powered facial recognition technology. The results were then compiled and announced via scripts created by a large language model (LLM) specifically developed for the elections by AiCubes and then read out by Yepic’s AI presenters. The hope is that by serving information to citizens in a more visual, personalised and engaging way, civic participation in the election process will increase.On an hourly basis, 400 unique videos were generated, accessible via an app, and disseminated to each province. In total, Yepic AI produced over 10,000 state-of-the-art videos over the course of the day in six languages, including Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Russian.Aaron Jones, Co-founder and CEO of Yepic AI, said: “Harnessing the power of generative AI to revolutionise the way election results are communicated is a momentous stride for Yepic AI and for Oman as a nation. We're deeply honored to collaborate with the Oman government on this pioneering venture. Our mission at Yepic AI is to transform the way we communicate through video. To see our technology being harnessed in this way is a testament to the fact we’re realising it. We're thrilled to be a part of this historical moment and look forward to continued collaboration with Oman as it looks to integrate AI into public services to enhance citizens' lives.”Ioannis Kazantzidis, Co-founder and CTO of Yepic AI said: "Our collaboration with the Oman government highlights the ocean of opportunities for real-time, personalised video content creation, ushering in a new era of innovation and engagement in the digital landscape. Real-time video generation integrated into workflows and at scale is the future of how we will interact with AI, and receive and deliver information. It has been great to work with Oman to be at the forefront of this work."Following the Oman government's Vision 2040, a strategy that prioritizes a diversified, dynamic and globalized economy, Yepic will continue to collaborate with Oman to enhance AI-driven digital experiences for its citizens.

Al-Futtaim IKEA embraces circular sustainability

United Arab Emirates, Dubai: Al-Futtaim IKEA, the region’s leading Swedish home furnishing retailer, today unveiled a 30-meter-long community table to celebrate Dubai Design Week. Made out of used furniture that would otherwise go to the landfill, the table will be open for public use from November 7th to the 12th in Dubai Design District. Not only is the community table a bold piece of art, but it is also functional, well-designed and signifies Al-Futtaim IKEA’s unwavering dedication to the Year of Sustainability, Innovation and the path leading to COP28.Thoughtfully designed and curated by IKEA designers and co-created with Adimas Bayu, an illustrator and upcoming doodle artist, along with Grade 5 and Grade 6 students of the Universal American School, this initiative is a testament to the Swedish retailer’s vision of using only renewable or recycled materials to offer fresh solutions to customers, extending the lifespan of products and materials. The table has a story to tell. It aligns with the core themes of conserving energy, preserving water, reducing food waste, and safeguarding biodiversity.Al-Futtaim IKEA has a vision and ambition in the markets it operates in - the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman; to inspire and enable more than 70 million people to live a better everyday life within the boundaries of the planet by 2025. It also aims to become a circular climate positive business by reducing more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than the IKEA value chain emits by 2030. Dubai Design Week served as an ideal platform to showcase the retailors vision. Aligning with the UAE’s sustainability vision, it seeks to educate and encourage people to make choices that lead to a better everyday life.Vinod Jayan, Managing Director of Al-Futtaim IKEA in UAE, Qatar, Oman and Egypt said, ‘At Al-Futtaim IKEA, sustainability is one of the most important pillars that sets the foundation for what we do. We’re on a mission to make sustainability accessible to all, ensuring that sustainable living is not a luxury but a choice everyone can afford. For example, by changing to IKEA LED bulbs, we save 80% energy as compared to conventional bulbs. By using IKEA showers and taps, we can save up to 40% water with the special inbuilt aerator.’The community table is a great example of raising awareness among consumers on the importance of sustainability and the role they can play in contributing towards a circular economy. It encourages consumers to think about the life cycle of products and the value of reusing and recycling materials.‘As we craft this community table, IKEA's mission is crystal clear: we're championing Circularity. Our approach for designing and developing IKEA home furnishing products is to ensure that they integrate good function, beautiful form of long-lasting quality, while also securing sustainability and low price. We want to not only encourage people to protect the planet but also fosters a sense of community amongst artists. Together, we worked to inspire others to craft affordable, creative pieces off used and unwanted furniture’, he continued.In addition, Al-Futtaim IKEA has taken a step further by launching a Maker Space at Dubai Design District. This dynamic environment will showcase IKEA's sustainable furniture range, providing consumers with hands-on education on the functionality of these eco-conscious products. The space will allow customers with opportunity to gain valuable insights into energy conservation, water preservation, and food waste reduction, contributing to the crucial goal of protecting biodiversity.The Maker Space will also include workshops that will take visitors into the world of creativity. From transforming cushions to crafting collages from old catalogues, there's something for everyone. Come visit the Maker Space at building number 8 daily until November 12th, and experience these workshops for free. Don't miss this opportunity to unleash your artistic potential.

Kaspersky to showcase its new technology at Black Hat MEA 2023

Riyadh: Kaspersky, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, has announced its participation in the highly anticipated Black Hat 2023 conference. Black Hat has long been a platform where industry pioneers come together to discuss the latest developments in cybersecurity.Kaspersky will take center stage to showcase its newly launched Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solution, which allows organizations in the Kingdom to leverage Kaspersky's experts while saving IT security teams’ resources for threat analysis, investigation, and response. The service was made possible through the public cloud service provided by Saudi Cloud Computing Company (SCCC Alibaba Cloud) which allows Kaspersky’s customers to comply with data sovereignty and privacy guidelines.Kaspersky will also showcase its Threat Intelligence service which has become an essential tool for organizations to safeguard their assets comprehensively. Kaspersky researchers actively engage in monitoring and tracking 16 Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the surrounding region. These APT groups strategically select their primary victims, focusing on various sectors such as government entities, financial institutions, and manufacturing companies. This service enables organizations access to evidence-based knowledge, context, and actionable recommendations regarding cyber threats targeting their organization.Mohamad Hashem, General Manager of Kaspersky in KSA & Bahrain, expressed his excitement about the company's participation in Black Hat 2023: " Black Hat provides us with the perfect platform to discuss the vital cybersecurity issues and showcase our advanced cybersecurity solutions. With 16 years of experience in KSA, Kaspersky has consistently grown its business, achieving over 30% growth in the first three quarters of this year. We will continue working closely with governments and organizations to ensure they are protected throughout their digital transformation journey."Black Hat 2023 is set to be an exceptional event, with Kaspersky at the forefront of the cybersecurity conversation. We invite attendees to visit our booth to learn more about our MDR solution and discover how Kaspersky is dedicated to keeping organizations safe in an ever-evolving threat landscape.

Tiger 3' Story Falls Flat, Better to Avoid

Ever heard of a RAW agent saving the Prime Minister (PM) of NOT India but our neighbour Pakistan. That too after almost gunning down the entire Pak army?!! Well, if you think that's unimaginable, please walk in to your nearest theatre screening Tiger 3. Brace yourself as you will get to see apna Tiger bhai saving the lady padosi PM (Simran Bagga) and moreover, witness the 'pyaare nanhe munhe' Paki kiddos singing our Indian National Anthem as a return gift to him. Wow o wow, really now that's Bollywood's new found creativity for you!! In fact, writer- producer Aditya Chopra seems to have this kinky fantasy of showing a male RAW agent falling for his female ISI counterpart and then both fighting together for a common cause which invariably brings India and Pakistan on the same level!! Ek Tha Tiger (2012) started it all, Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) took it ahead and then Pathaan released early this year, replicated the same RAW- ISI romance wala formula. So far, this YRF Spy Universe as they call it, has incorrectly shown both India and Pakistan as geo-politically equal with their 'Pakistan prem' rising alarmingly with every instalment. I won't be surprised if Tiger or Pathaan jive to a remixed version of 'Dil Dil Pakistan' in their next outing!!! Anyway, Tiger 3 is the weakest movie of this (so called) franchise till now, which even a Salman Khan can't rescue!! Ain't his fault; he has practically nothing to do here except go through the rut of those unrealistic action scenes, which our dear old Mithun Chakraborty mastered in his prime. Remember how those ten thousand bullets would just fly past him graciously while he would bump off two or three bozos with one pellet gun!! Well, Salman Bhai does exactly the same here... Obviously, the VFX and technical aspects are incredibly better than the regular Bollywood fare but still, Tiger 3 as an end product resembles a B grade Hollywood actioner. Basically a desi mission impossible with no mission in it!! As for the much touted Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) cameo, his entry is appropriately timed but the action is so unconvincingly overdone that the entire scene is reduced to a humbug. The climax, supposedly set in Pakistani PM office, is also overstretched to such an extent that you lose your patience. And pray, why is that building in Islamabad designed like the US White House. Eeps!! Of the cast, the gorgeous Katrina Kaif gets a fair share of glamour plus action and actually, pitches in an assured act. Her towel fight scene got the maximum 'ceetis' in the South Mumbai single screen, where I saw the film. Hmm!! Surprisingly, Emraan Hashmi is ineffective as the main villain and his role appears to be chopped off at the editing table. Revathi is the replacement for RAW Chief Girish Karnad in the first two parts and her interaction with Salman brings back the nostalgia of their yesteryear film together- Love (1991). The rest of supporting cast is strictly okey dokey. Finally, it is superstar Salman Khan whose undiminishing charisma and swagger will certainly pull in the crowd to watch Tiger 3 in this extended Diwali weekend. The survival after that, will become mission impossible for this movie though!! Ratings on some key aspects* : 1. Acting : 2/5 2. Direction : 1.5/53. Music : 2/5 4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 1/55. Cinematography : 3.5/56. Editing : 2.5/5 7. Costume Design : 3.5/58. Special Effects and VFX : 3.5/59. Action : 2/510. Production Quality : 3.5/5 #SNRating for #Tiger3 : 2 stars out of 5. - Sumeet Nadkarni Liked the review? Click on the link below and like the #SNRatings page to subscribe to honest and unbiased reviews of all latest movies : You can also follow us on Twitter handle : @sumu76in * - The overall film rating is not a simple average of all ratings on key aspects but a weighted average of the ratings where some crucial aspects (like direction, acting, story and screenplay etc) are assigned more weightage than others. #Tiger3 #SpyThriller #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #SalmanKhan #KatrinaKaif #AdityaChopra #YRFSpyUniverse #EmraanHashmi #Simran #Revathi #SRK #Pathaan #BollywoodReview #Filmreview #TheatricalRelease #OTTRelease #Zee5 #SNRatings #SNRatings barometer:1 star = Poor1 & 1/2 star = Below average/ Avoidable2 stars = Average2 & 1/2 stars = Above average/ Risk it3 stars = Good enough/ Endurable3 & 1/2 stars = Definitely worth a watch4 stars = Very good5 stars = Masterpiece/ Outstanding. 2023 SNRatings.

How TCL is revolutionizing home entertainment: An interview with Sunny Yang

In the rapidly evolving landscape of consumer electronics and home appliances, TCL has consistently stood at the forefront of innovation. In this interview with Adgully Middle East Sunny Yang, the General Manager of TCL MEA, sheds light on the latest groundbreaking products and strategies that propel TCL as a global leader. From cutting-edge TVs redefining home entertainment to a steadfast commitment to sustainability, TCL continues to shape the future of technology. Yang delves into the company's unique initiatives, partnerships, and customer-centric approach, offering insights into TCL's vision for growth, innovation, and market expansion in the Middle East and beyond. Excerpts:Can you share with us the latest innovations and product developments that TCL is currently working on in the consumer electronics and home appliances sectors? TCL continually strives to push the boundaries of innovation within the consumer electronics and home appliances sectors. Our most recent endeavour, the TCL C755 QD-Mini LED 4K TV, is a testament to our commitment to excellence. This cutting-edge product redefines picture quality with its incorporation of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technologies, coupled with an impressive 144Hz refresh rate. The result is an immersive IMAX-enhanced viewing experience that sets a new standard for home entertainment.In addition to the existing model's available sizes of 50, 55, 65, 75, and 85 inches, we are excited to introduce the grand 98-inch variant, expanding our range and offering our customers a wider array of options to choose from. At TCL, we take pride in our pursuit of innovation and are dedicated to enhancing the consumer electronics and home appliances landscape with the latest advancements in technology.TCL has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability. How is the company incorporating eco-friendly practices and technologies into its products and operations? TCL takes great pride in its commitment to sustainability and is dedicated to integrating eco-friendly practices and technologies into both its products and operations. Under the global banner of the #TCLGreen campaign, we are spearheading a transformative initiative to inspire greatness and foster a more environmentally conscious planet for all.The #TCLGreen initiative has received worldwide recognition, serving as a symbol of our steadfast dedication to sustainability within local and global communities. In pursuit of these sustainability goals, we offer a range of environmentally responsible products that include the TCL Mini LED C845, the TCL FreshIN Air Conditioner, the TCL Eco Fresh Refrigerator, and our TCL Front Load Washer, which excels in providing advanced hygiene care.At TCL, we are committed to making eco-conscious choices accessible to our customers and are continuously innovating to minimize our environmental footprint across all facets of our business operations.In a highly competitive market, what strategies does TCL employ to maintain its position as a global leader in consumer electronics and home appliances?In a fiercely competitive market, TCL employs a strategic approach that has positioned us as a global leader in consumer electronics and home appliances. One of our key distinctions is our unrivaled expertise in the realm of large-format displays, with TCL holding a prestigious position as the global leader in 98-inch TVs. This attests to our dominant presence in the realm of XL-sized displays, a testament to the quality and innovation synonymous with our brand.Furthermore, we are proud to hold the second-place position as a global TV brand, and our aspirations are set even higher; we are on a mission to swiftly ascend to the coveted No.1 spot. This ambition aligns with our unwavering commitment to delivering products that redefine quality and innovation, further solidifying our prominent status in the market.In the domain of home appliances, we offer a range of cutting-edge technologies that empower consumers to lead smarter and more eco-conscious lifestyles. Our product portfolio spans from refrigerators to air conditioners and washers, all designed with a focus on environmental sustainability and technological advancement. We are confident that as we effectively communicate our unique value propositions to consumers, they will increasingly recognize TCL as the most sought-after brand in the realm of consumer electronics, and this will serve to bolster our pursuit of the No.1 position.Ultimately, our goal is to kindle a sense of excellence in the everyday lives of our consumers through our exceptional products, cementing our position as a global leader in the consumer electronics and home appliances sectors.With the growth of smart home technology, how is TCL adapting to meet the evolving needs and preferences of consumers in this space?Amidst the burgeoning smart home technology landscape, TCL is strategically adapting to align with the ever-evolving needs and preferences of our consumers. Our approach is centered on the integration of WiFi-enabled functionality in our home comfort appliances, thereby ushering in a new realm of possibilities for enhancing the convenience and control of these devices.By harnessing the power of your smartphone, TCL's WiFi-enabled appliances grant you immediate access to advanced controls that are seamlessly at your fingertips. A simple download and connection of your device open the door to a transformative experience where TCL simplifies and enhances your home comfort in an effortless and convenient manner.Through this innovative adaptation, we are committed to delivering the utmost in smart home technology, empowering consumers to take control of their comfort and convenience with the ease of their smartphones.Could you elaborate on any recent partnerships or collaborations that TCL has embarked on to enhance its product offerings or expand its market reach?TCL has been actively pursuing partnerships and collaborations to bolster our product offerings and broaden our market reach. Notably, as a brand that is on a mission to inspire greatness, we have recognized the immense global appeal of sports as a platform for engagement and have made strategic investments in sponsorships to significantly augment our following.Leveraging our reputation for innovative product solutions, TCL presents an unparalleled proposition for sports enthusiasts. Our commitment to providing TVs with exceptional specifications ensures that consumers can enjoy an unbeatable sports viewing experience. These partnerships not only enrich our product ecosystem but also reinforce our presence in the market, catering to the diverse interests of our audience.Customer service and support are crucial in the consumer electronics industry. How does TCL ensure a positive customer experience, from product purchase to post-purchase service? We place paramount importance on delivering a positive customer experience, extending from the initial product purchase to post-purchase service. To achieve this, we have established a dedicated team of customer-facing professionals who undergo continuous training to remain well-informed and proficient in serving our digitally savvy consumers.Our service centres are staffed with highly experienced customer service and technical support experts who excel at simplifying intricate issues, ensuring that customers enjoy seamless and hassle-free experiences. We have created a multifaceted support network that includes various channels for communication, both online and offline, such as email correspondence. Additionally, our channel partners are instrumental in providing extensive support, further enhancing the overall customer service landscape. Our commitment is to ensure that each customer interaction is a testament to TCL's dedication to excellence in the realm of consumer electronics.The global supply chain landscape has faced challenges recently. How has TCL navigated these challenges and ensured a steady supply of its products to customers?TCL has been able to adeptly steer through the recent challenges in the global supply chain landscape, prioritizing the uninterrupted availability of our products to our valued customers. Our strong presence in the market has been instrumental in this regard.Even when faced with formidable hurdles, we remain resolute in our commitment to offering consumers top-of-the-line technology products, underpinned by our relentless pursuit of cutting-edge innovations. Our vision is to establish ourselves as the quintessential brand for premium quality in the industry and to showcase our high-end models, which we anticipate will garner substantial market penetration over time. Our dedication to ensuring a steady supply of our products reflects our deep-seated commitment to meeting the needs of our customers.Looking ahead, what are the key goals and initiatives that TCL has in store for the coming years in terms of growth, innovation, and market expansion?TCL has set forth a clear roadmap, encompassing pivotal goals and initiatives aimed at fostering growth, driving innovation, and expanding our market presence. Our pronounced focus centres on the dynamic Middle East region, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia serving as the flagship territories.One of our key initiatives involves the expansion of our retail network throughout the Middle East. We are making substantial investments in this expansion, underscoring our unwavering commitment to growing our footprint in this promising market. We hold great confidence that the year 2023 will mark the commencement of this transformative journey, propelling TCL towards new horizons of growth, innovation, and market expansion in the Middle East and beyond.How does TCL adapt its product offerings and marketing strategies to cater to the specific preferences and demands of consumers in the Middle East market?We tailor our product offerings and marketing strategies to align with the distinctive preferences and demands of consumers in the Middle East market. One of our strategic approaches involves the incorporation of sports marketing to bolster our global visibility, enhance recognition of our top-tier products, and stimulate sales.Through the astute utilization of sports marketing and the continuous enhancement of our integrated global marketing capabilities, we are solidifying our worldwide presence and reinforcing our brand recognition. This approach allows us to effectively resonate with the specific tastes and requirements of consumers in the Middle East, contributing to a more tailored and compelling consumer experience.

Du partners with Hayat Communications to deliver managed services across UAE

Dubai, UAE – du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), today announced a strategic partnership with Hayat Communications, a publicly listed organization in the Kuwait Stock Exchange. This partnership marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of delivering cutting-edge telecom services and expanding network capabilities.The collaboration between du and Hayat Communications brings together the expertise, resources, and experience of both organizations to provide innovative solutions and address the growing demands of customers across the UAE. With the telecommunications landscape evolving at a rapid pace, staying at the forefront of technological advancements is crucial, and this partnership ensures that both organizations can deliver on that promise.Fahad Al Hassawi, Chief Executive Officer at du said: "Our collaboration with Hayat Communication will enable us to enhance our network capabilities, provide innovative telecom solutions, and effectively meet the demands of our customers. We look forward to jointly shaping the future of telecommunications in the country and delivering exceptional services to our clients."The partnership will cover the entire du infrastructure, including mobile, fixed, fiber, and data center assets. With Hayat Communications' comprehensive market-leading delivery and managed services capabilities, du will be able to maximize return on investments for its clients and further expand its digital services offerings.Abdulraouf Alwazzan, Chief Executive Officer at Hayat Communications said: "We are thrilled to embark on this three-year partnership with du to deliver innovative solutions and leveraging our strong partnership to further extend du's digital footprint across the country. This collaboration will enable us to contribute to the digital transformation journey of du and provide comprehensive market-leading delivery and managed services capabilities to its clients.”Hayat Communications, established in 1997 in the UAE, has been a trusted partner of du since 2006, delivering numerous strategic infrastructure projects. The collaboration is in line with du's strategic aim to further expand its digital services and maximize return on investments for its clients, underscoring the company's commitment to innovation and excellence. Both organizations are excited about the opportunities ahead and look forward to jointly shaping the future of telecommunications in the country.

64% of organizations across the Middle East are implementing ESG in 2023

Dubai, UAE: Green Future Project (GFP), a B-Corp providing end-to-end solutions for organizations to develop and implement a corporate sustainability strategy, has observed an increase in the number of UAE-based companies looking to implement an ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) policy. Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer at GFP, Zain Tarawneh, explains the factors that are contributing to this environmental reformation.According to a recent survey, 64% of organizations across the Middle East have adopted a formal ESG strategy; this reflects a significant increase from the previously reported 18% in 2022. Moreover, 73% of companies have made a carbon-neutral commitment or are working towards one while 40% are hopeful that Conference of the Parties 28 (COP28) will lead to governments improving ESG infrastructure and providing incentives for green growth.Zain commented: “There’s both a bottom-up and top-down movement happening, the former being pushed by mindful changes in consumer behaviour, and the latter by companies implementing reformative frameworks such as ESG and environmental policy. As a result, businesses are demonstrating an increased sense of responsibility as they strive to make a meaningful impact while remaining both profitable and competitive. ”As COP28 is set to kick off in the UAE at the end of this month, the country will not only play a key role in furthering its green agenda but also spark meaningful dialogue among key industry stakeholders and government entities to accelerate regional and global progress. With only 13% of businesses accessing sustainable finance, challenges remain with an ongoing green skills gap.“Nearly half of the organisations across the Middle East, 46% to be exact, are self-funding their ESG activities. While this is a welcome sign to usher in a greener future, more innovative green financing opportunities do exist and should be sought out to unlock the region’s full potential and enable the realization of its climate ambitions. COP28 will be an ideal platform for discussing such topics and ultimately provide benefits on a global scale,” added Zain.GFP is helping advance the UAE’s green objectives while contributing to key governmental mandates such as UAE Net Zero 2050. The company is working with UAE-based organizations in sectors including digital banking, hospitality, real estate, and finance to help them pioneer sustainable action across the region. Some notable live projects and partnerships include collaborations with companies such as Lune, Atteline, Gulf Capital, Silkhaus, and Sharjah Sustainable City[2]. To date, GFP has helped over 100 businesses globally in its decarbonization journeys while also planting 427,152 trees, protecting 85.48 hectares of rainforest, planting 229 corals for reef restoration, offsetting more than 26,905.62 tonnes of CO2, and producing over 14,675,674 kW of renewable energy

KSA consumers open to robotics in restaurants: Deliverect study

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Deliverect, a global scale-up that integrates and accelerates online orders for restaurants and food businesses, today announced new consumer research that examines ‘The Four Ds of Digital Success’ - Discover, Deliver, Delight and Drive. The research revealed that people are relying on digital platforms more than ever to discover new restaurants, conduct research on what they offer and build a lasting relationship with the brand itself.The results show that KSA consumers are open to the role that robotics will play in restaurants compared to the US and UK, with 66% comfortable with drones and robots carrying out food preparation (63%) or service (72%). In fact, when consumers in Saudi Arabia were asked about the technologies that help create a positive experience at a restaurant, more that 50% prioritized QR codes and contactless payments.The survey of 5,000 people, including 1,000 in KSA, which was commissioned by Deliverect and conducted by Censuswide, revealed the important role that technology plays in each stage of the consumer journey, from how they first discover restaurants to what ultimately drives customer loyalty and repeat orders.The Discovery PhaseThe results showed that 34% of KSA consumers are using Google Search, 56% are using food delivery apps and 29% are using social media platforms to find new restaurants. When it comes to researching these newly discovered restaurants, 86% of consumers would go directly to a brand’s website or food delivery apps.The research also delved into what KSA consumers are looking for as part of this research and what leads to them ordering from a particular establishment, with a variety of menu options (94%), affordability (95%) and high standard of health and safety (93%) all scoring highly.Naji Haddad, MENA General Manager at Deliverect, said: “With Saudi Arabia’s Food and Beverage sector being the largest in the MENA region, people’s views are crucial to understand their preferences, especially at a time when the sector is growing rapidly. The survey results show that delivery apps and websites are still the most popular method when it comes to identifying new outlets which is no surprise considering that technology is at our fingertips through the use of mobile phones and tablets.”“As the Kingdom continues to develop and transform itself into a leading global destination for trade, business and tourism, there is no doubt that the F&B sector will go from strength to strength and outlets must begin to embrace changes in their day-to-day operations to better serve their customers – both in the short and long-term.”Delivering at Every TouchpointThe research reveals that once a decision is made on where they would like to order from, 38% of the customers in Saudi Arabia choose to do so from delivery apps. 64% said that it is easier to use than other mediums, while 52% like that they have access to reviews and ratings and 35% enjoy the premium features. Analysing the data, it’s clear that a cohesive and intuitive digital experience is essential when it comes to building brand loyalty and delivering your brand everywhere and at every touchpoint.Surprise and DelightThe element of ‘human touch’ can also help drive personalization, make customers feel valued and complement your digital brand. When asked what makes people in KSA feel loyal to a restaurant, friendly and attentive staff (24%), fast delivery (40%) and reliable and accurate service (21%) and special offers (30%) all appeared as key elements in delighting customers when engaging with a restaurant, all of which can be driven by a blend of digital experiences and human interaction.Drive Loyalty and Customer SatisfactionDigitization is clearly imperative in driving consumer loyalty in the Kingdom. When asked about the features they value the most when ordering from a restaurant’s website or app, 35% prioritized the menu details, and 43% chose the easy-to-use navigation, further proving just how valuable digital elements are from initial discovery to repeat purchases.Zhong Xu, CEO and Co-Founder of Deliverect, commented: “It’s not surprising that consumers are increasingly relying on digital platforms to enhance their restaurant interactions and engagement, especially following the pandemic where a lot of new technology became commonplace in our everyday lives,” said“The findings outline the importance of restaurant brands creating a strong digital presence, maintaining consistency, and offering compelling experiences to stand out in a competitive market, all of which cannot be underestimated when it comes to sustaining growth and increasing customer retention. Integrating a perfect blend of technology, human interaction and personalization is a must for all restaurants looking to make a lasting impact.”

Yspot champions youth empowerment in strategic partnership with Virtuzone

Yspot, the unique and forward-thinking platform designed to revolutionize connectivity between youth and organisations, has forged an official partnership with Virtuzone, the UAE’s number one company formation specialists, to champion its youth skills throughout Virtuzone's expansive ecosystem of registered companies.Yspot is dedicated to empowering and inspiring today's youth, nurturing innovative minds, and fostering internship opportunities between young individuals and organizations. The recently updated Yspot platform serves as a gateway, providing the youth with access to a multitude of AI driven tools and services, showcasing a deep commitment to development of skills. By creating opportunities, Yspot actively encourages professional growth through collaborative partnerships with organizations, aiming to bridge the gap between young talents and their aspirations.In a strategic move to amplify awareness of Yspots' offerings, the company has forged a dynamic partnership with Virtuzone. The collaboration is geared towards spotlighting the advantages of hiring interns, underscoring the notion that interns represent a valuable and skilled resource for organizations. Leveraging Virtuzone's extensive ecosystem of startups and SMEs, the partnership is designed to bolster youth employment in the region by offering an affordable solution and providing essential intern support. The symbiotic relationship not only benefits the youth, empowering them as drivers of innovation, creativity, and a proactive learning mindset but also enriches organizations by infusing fresh perspectives and dynamic energy into its workforce.The partnership is an enduring link paving the way for impactful internships and future employment opportunities. Gaining entry to Yspot’s comprehensive database of skilled interns, Virutzone and its ecosystem of clients stands to acquire benefits, such as the accessibility to source specific skill assessments for Yspot applicants. As a testament to its commitment, Yspot extends its support to Virtuzone by providing free workshops on the hiring process for interns, offering guidance on salaries, structuring internship programs and also provides complimentary recruitment support to Virtuzone.Positioned as the foremost experts in company setup and corporate services, Virtuzone’s expertise includes the entire company formation process, including trade licensing, visa applications, accounting, tax consultancy, legal services, golden visa applications and more.With solid trust in Yspot's work and mission, Virtuzone has hired its first intern under the guidance of Yspot.

Jahez introduces unlimited free deliveries with “Jahez Prime” subscription

Jahez International Company (“Jahez-Kuwait”), a pioneering platform that connects customers with their favorite restaurants through online orders, announced the launch of “Jahez Prime”, a monthly subscription service offering free unlimited deliveries from select restaurants for just KD1. The integration of Jahez Prime into the Jahez-Kuwait App strategically aligns with the Company’s commitment to prioritizing customer needs. This initiative demonstrates Jahez-Kuwait’s customer-centric approach and dedication to improving the user experience while providing exceptional value to its extensive customer base.Jahez Prime aims to provide customers with a unique and innovative service that combines convenience with affordability. With a monthly subscription fee of only KD1, subscribers gain access to a list of Prime restaurants that offer free delivery for 30 days. Customers that do not subscribe to the service will be able to order from Prime restaurants for a fee of 500 fils per order. Restaurants enrolled in the service will be indicated by an orange symbol on the Jahez-Kuwait App. Currently the App offers a selection of cuisines with plans to expand and include a larger variety of exceptional restaurants in the near future. With this innovative service, Jahez-Kuwait aims to foster stronger connections between customers and their beloved eateries, making it easier and more affordable to enjoy delicious meals from the comfort of home.In a statement, Jahez-Kuwait indicated that the launch of Jahez Prime serves as a strategic move to solidify the Company's position as a market leader in the food delivery service industry, as it continues to invest in services that add value for both customers and restaurant partners alike. The monthly subscription of KD1 is competitively priced, ensuring that Jahez Prime is accessible to a wide audience, and represents the Company’s ongoing dedication to offering cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality or service. As Jahez-Kuwait continues to innovate and evolve, Jahez Prime stands as a clear indication of its unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction and its forward-thinking approach to the rapidly changing landscape of online food delivery.“We are proud to launch Jahez Prime for our valued customers, further building on our commitment to offer innovative services at competitive prices in the local market,” said Faisal Alsaei, Marketing Manager at Jahez-Kuwait. “At Jahez-Kuwait, we are driven by a passion for excellence and a relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction. The launch of Jahez Prime is a critical milestone in our journey, showcasing our dedication to providing value-driven services that serve our diverse customer base. Customers wanting to subscribe to the service can do so simply through the Jahez-Kuwait App and enjoy unlimited free deliveries from Prime restaurants.”Alsaei added, “As we continue to grow, we remain dedicated to expanding our offerings and strengthening our position as a pioneer in the local and regional food delivery services industry. This is just one of the many ways that we aim to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations, ensuring they have access to their favorite restaurants with a click of a button.”It is worth mentioning that Jahez-Kuwait entered the competitive food delivery industry with an innovative customer centric approach. By allowing customers to simply drop a pin for delivery without needing to enter an address, Jahez-Kuwait provides a seamless and intuitive experience that takes convenience to a new level. The platform further empowers its users with flexible payment options, offering the freedom to pay anytime, whether before or after delivery, putting the control squarely in customers' hands. Additionally, in collaboration with select partners, Jahez offers up to 50% off at some restaurants, providing unmatched value and making it a truly compelling choice for food delivery in Kuwait.

Mastercard Collaborates With Dubai Islamic Bank for Cross-Border Payment Service

Mastercard has initiated a strategic partnership with Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) to launch cross-border payment services for peer-to-peer (P2P) and business-to-business (B2B) fund transfers. The collaboration leverages Mastercard Cross-Border Services to enable the bank to provide real-time remittances through its digital channels across more than 40 countries worldwide. The Mastercard-powered remittance solution allows people and organizations to send and receive money around the world almost instantly.Mastercard Cross-Border Services facilitate the movement of funds to any end point across over 140 countries through one secure connection and through rich features such as guaranteed exchange rates, full value transfers without deductions and transaction status tracking, reaching 95% of bank accounts worldwide. The highly localized solution offers multiple payout options, including bank account, mobile wallet and card. To address the needs of the unbanked and underbanked, cash payout is also an option through a continuously expanding global network of cash pickup locations, whose number currently stands at approximately 350,000.“At DIB, we are committed to making an active contribution to building a seamless payment infrastructure through bringing unique, state-of-art solutions to the market in line with the highest international standards. This partnership further enriches DIB cross-border payment services through an integration between customer facing mobile apps and online platforms with Mastercard, ensuring secure and efficient transfers to a vast network of geographies that the latter operates in. With its advanced technology, global expertise and ever-growing remittance footprint, Mastercard will significantly enhance our customer offering and allow us to achieve further global reach,” said Dr. Adnan Chilwan, Group CEO of DIB.“For many people, remittances are a way to stay connected to their communities. At Mastercard, we are dedicated to providing them with fast, convenient, secure and affordable ways to transfer funds internationally. We are delighted to launch our first innovation-driven business venture with DIB, and hope this will be the start of a long and productive partnership,” said Dimitrios Dosis, President, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.Recognizing the need for speed in today's fast-paced world, Mastercard Cross-Border Services have been optimized for quick and efficient fund transfers. This ensures that customers can complete their desired transactions promptly, which is particularly advantageous for urgent financial needs. To promote transparency, the solution is equipped with a real-time tracking feature, so users can stay informed about the progress of their transactions.

The role of AI in transforming experiential retail

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become so seamlessly integrated into our day to day lives, you may not even notice when you’re using it. From asking Siri for a song to following Waze on your way to work, AI is redefining the way we communicate, work and play. The retail sector is one industry that has been transformed by the rise in AI technology. The e-commerce industry achieved a record USD 5.7 trillion in sales in 2022, accounting for 20 per cent of all retail sales around the world.And while some of the AI functionality has become ingrained in the way we shop, such as online chatbots offering purchasing support, or the behind-the-scenes roles of inventory management and supply chain networks, the really thrilling transformations are taking place in the form of experiential retail. Here are some of the key ways AI is transforming the way we shop.Personalising the processLeading the AI charge are major online marketplaces Amazon and Alibaba, whose use of AI has contributed to a massive market share – Amazon clocked up 5.9 billion direct visits in April 2023 alone. Both retailers use predictive analytics to help personalise the customer experience, analysing previous purchases, popularity and user search patterns to sift through the millions of products available on their marketplaces. Amazon draws on usage pattern analysis to accurately predict when a regular shopper will need to restock on household necessities, such as diapers, laundry detergent or their morning coffee, giving the user a nudge when it’s time to stock up. The Sephora app personalises the experience by customising suggested products within the shopper’s expected budget, delivering a better overall user experience and a higher conversion rate.Virtual reality fitting roomsOne of the exciting transformations we’re seeing is the creation of virtual reality fitting rooms. This form of blended reality allows shoppers to ‘try on’ clothing, shoes and cosmetics from the comfort of their living rooms using AI and augmented reality (AR) – think Adidas sneakers, ASOS clothing, and Charlotte Tilbury lipstick. Early adopters Walmart and Macy’s have been more recently joined by luxury brands such as Gucci and Hugo Boss, with the global virtual fitting room market now predicted to grow from USD 4.03 billion in 2022 to USD 14.87 billion by 2029.   Visual search technologySee something you like, but aren’t sure of the brand? Visual search technology such as ASOS’s Style Match feature allows users to upload an image of a style they’re looking for, and then offer personalised recommendations of similar items to buy. The tool uses machine learning and AI computer vision technology to analyse the image and then share suggestions based on colours, shapes, and patterns.Gamification of shoppingYou may not have realised at the time, but eBay was one of the first retailers to ‘gamify’ retail, with its virtual bidding system adding a new level of thrill to the shopping experience. From that initial dopamine rush, the gamification of shopping has evolved into the interactive experiences and experiential retail we have today – from Pepsi’s QR codes featuring AR football stars to digital avatars from the likes of Roblox, Prada, and Balenciaga – all designed to keep users on retail sites for longer, building brand loyalty and conversions. According to Boston Retail Partners, 87 per cent of retailers plan to implement gamification within the next five years, making it a key area of development for experiential retail. Behind the scenesSome of AI’s other roles in experiential retail are less obvious but no less impactful. From the chatbot that helps you locate your missing order, to the prompt telling you when stock is running low on that pair of sneakers in your wish list, AI technology streamlines the online shopping process from the moment you start browsing until the time it lands in your hands.AI can even make the retail experience more sustainable. Personalisation and virtual try-ons have been shown to reduce the number of returns a shopper makes, cutting back on transport and packaging – a win for shoppers, retailers and the environment.

Pyxis Events LLC revolutionizes branding and advertising on Abu Dhabi taxis

 PYXIS EVENTS LLC, a dynamic 360-degree events and brand management company headquartered in Abu Dhabi and a subsidiary of Palms Sports PJSC, has joined forces with TAWASUL TRANSPORT, a National Taxi Company operating in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain under Integrated Transport Center, to pioneer a transformation in branding and advertising on 1,100 taxis in the Emirate.This strategic collaboration represents a significant industry milestone, with PYXIS taking the helm in providing comprehensive branding and digital solutions for the entire fleet of 1,100 taxis. The services include full wrapping with Side Doors branding, Rear Bumper, and Rear Glass branding. Additionally, each of the 1,100 taxis will be equipped with in-vehicle LED screens, featuring two screens integrated into the headrests of each vehicle.The digital advertising screens within the taxis will deliver a wide array of engaging content to passengers, elevating awareness and strengthening marketing communications within the city. It is expected to enhance the overall passenger experience in Abu Dhabi by delivering exceptional advertising content, improving the city's marketing communications, and raising awareness of various services, events, and activities.Mukhles Odeh, General Manager of PYXIS EVENTS LLC reaffirmed the company's dedication to crafting bespoke solutions: "For us, branding and digital signage are not 'one size fits all.' We are passionate about crafting solutions that meet our customers' specific needs and challenges. This partnership is a prime example of our ability to develop fully customized solutions. We believe this strategic collaboration with TAWASUL will not only expand PYXIS' product portfolio but also empower us to provide comprehensive solutions to our clients, invigorating their brands and amplifying their strengths."Renowned for its creativity in designing and executing innovative events across various sectors, PYXIS is expanding its digital branding capabilities within its portfolio. They are catering to diverse marketing needs through customized digital solutions, spanning government, education, medical, retail, and hospitality sectors.This partnership signifies a significant leap forward in reshaping the advertising landscape and enhancing the passenger experience in Abu Dhabi.

Unilever and TikTok elevate #CleanTok collaboration with awards, branded content

Unilever and TikTok are extending their #CleanTok collaboration, with Unilever's Cleanipedia serving as the exclusive sponsor of the popular hashtag on TikTok. The collaboration, which began in June, has seen #CleanTok videos amass an impressive 98.5 billion lifetime views, showcasing increased engagement. Moreover, Unilever's Cleanipedia online portal, providing cleaning tips, has garnered 2.8 billion impressions and witnessed a 30% rise in web traffic.Building on this success, Unilever has unveiled the next phase of its global #CleanTok partnership with TikTok. This includes the introduction of a creator awards initiative and a new branded content campaign. The content campaign, titled "Dirty Deeds: A Kitchen Crime," comprises five short episodes and a teaser video. Developed in collaboration with creator Sam Cotton, the series will be featured on TikTok's dedicated #CleanTok hub and Unilever's Cleanipedia website.Additionally, the #CleanTok Awards will be launched by both companies to recognize innovative influencers, or "cleanfluencers," on TikTok. Unilever aims to sustain the positive impact of its partnership, resulting in increased web traffic and enhanced favorability for brands like Cif Cream Cleaner in the U.K.Interest in #CleanTok peaked during the pandemic, driven by Gen Z on TikTok, their preferred social media platform. Surveys indicate that 56% of TikTok users also seek comedy sketches on the platform. Leveraging this insight, "Dirty Deeds: A Kitchen Crime" was created, a soap opera-style series featuring animated versions of Unilever brands. This series is part of Unilever's Dirt is Good project, tailored for different markets. The storyline, revolving around a humorous love rivalry, was developed with influencer Sam Cotton and promoted by agency Gravity Road.The #CleanTok Awards will acknowledge excellence in categories like "Most Helpful Hack," "Most Motivational Sunday Reset," "Most OMG Extreme Clean," and "Most Satisfying ASMR." Winners receive complimentary Unilever Home Care products. A separate Spotless Creator competition offers a €4,000 cash prize for the most impressive cleaning transformations.Unilever's focus on #CleanTok aims to connect with new audiences, particularly Generation Z, and tap into purchasing behaviors influenced by TikTok's creator community. The trend of influencers using Cif Cream Cleaner for cleaning white sneakers led to a 38% increase in UK adults under 28 purchasing the brand, according to Kantar Worldpanel data cited by Unilever.

Jose Manuel Aisa Mancho joins VFS Global as CFO and member of the Executive Boar

 VFS Global, the world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions appointed Jose Manuel Aisa Mancho as its Chief Financial Officer effective 1 November 2023. He reports to Zubin Karkaria, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and is based in Dubai, UAE, the organisation’s global headquarters.Jose joins VFS Global from Cellnex Telecom. He has over two decades of experience across the suite of finance sub-functions, including mergers & acquisitions, financial planning, investor relations, management control, treasury, and tax. He has previously worked in organisations that include Abertis Infrastructures, CriteriaCaixa and Cellnex. He was also a Non-Executive Officer in infrastructure companies such as Hispasat, Sanef or TBI Limited.Jose will be responsible for the overall Finance function at VFS Global, and will also be responsible for Legal, Data Privacy and Corporate Risk functions. Jose will leverage his rich experience in strengthening VFS Global’s finance function and developing strategies to support further growth and development of the company. As a member of the company’s Executive Board, he will also play a pivotal role in the overall strategic decision-making at VFS Global.Jose holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Esade (Barcelona, Spain), a CEMS Masters in International Management from the London School of Economics (London, UK) and has completed Stanford’s Executive Programme (Palo Alto, California).

RT Arabic launches MENA-wide ad campaign

 RT Arabic has launched a major new advertising campaign throughout the Middle East and North Africa regions across digital, radio and out-of-home platforms targeting audiences across the region.With activations across the UAE, KSA, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Libya the campaign boldly states: ‘THEY try to silence our voice. YOU seek out the truth. WE meet at RT ARABIC’. It aims to re-energize the conversation around RT’s core editorial principle “Question More” and amplify the importance of having access to news as the right of all.“Access to news is the right of all. RT’s editorial line is embodied by its motto, Question More. We don’t dictate to our audience whom to believe. We give you the facts — you make the choice. This principle is what lies at the heart of the RT Arabic 2023 campaign. We want our audience to know that no matter what, RT Arabic will keep working for you,” commented RT Arabic Editor-in-Chief, Maya Manna.“Over the years mainstream western voices sought to shut-down RT’s access to platforms, and shut us out of conversations, including on social media and TV broadcasting platforms in Arabic. In doing so, they are not just trying to silence us, they are infringing upon our viewers’ and readers’ right of access to information,” she continued.RT journalists work tirelessly to bring audiences breaking news, vital stories and local and global voices alike, 24 hours a day. RT Arabic covers pressing regional and world events from an alternative point of view and through this new campaign it hopes that audiences will feel inspired to join the conversation, seek out the truth, and continue to question more.Since its launch in 2007, RT Arabic channel has become a trusted news source for millions of people throughout the Arabic-speaking world, covering stories often overlooked by the mainstream Western media and providing diverse perspectives on current affairs. It also acquaints international audiences with a Russian viewpoint on major global events.To make its reporting, programming and commentary even more current and relevant, RT Arabic has also launched two new programs, Studio Cairo and Studio Beirut. From these locations, hosts Mona Salman and Omar Solh keep their fingers on the pulse of everything that matters in the region.

OSN+ and Google Cloud collaborate on integration of new GenAI solution

 OSN+, the ultimate destination for premium entertainment, announced the integration of Google Cloud's Vertex AI Search for Media Recommendations, a next generation large language model that builds on Google’s research in machine learning and AI. The announcement which took place during the annual Google Media Summit last week marks the first time in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where Google Cloud's Vertex AI Search for Media Recommendations is provided to an entertainment streaming platform.Joe Kawkabani, CEO of OSN Group, commented: "In an ever-evolving entertainment landscape, OSN+ is dedicated to providing our viewers with cutting-edge experiences. Our collaboration with Google Cloud’s Vertex AI is a significant step forward in this direction. By integrating this GenAI solution, we aim to redefine the way users interact with our platform, making it more engaging and dynamic."Tarek Khalil, Director, Middle East and North Africa, Google Cloud said: "We are pleased to continue our partnership with OSN+ to bring the latest GenAI solution to the streaming platform. Vertex AI Search for Media Recommendations will solve for the constraints of consumers who want assistance in discovering relevant content in a highly personalized and conversational way. AI is a powerful enabler and can be a major platform shift. That’s why we’re focused on making it easy and scalable for organizations to innovate with AI and that means expanding access to Google’s latest foundation models that have been rigorously tested in our own products."The vision of our collaboration and with the integration of Google Cloud's Vertex AI Search for Media Recommendations will enable OSN+ subscribers to interact with their own virtual assistant that will provide more accurate and personalized recommendations.

EAD and du unveil Naha: A groundbreaking environmental engagement e-platform

Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and du, part of the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), have launched the Naha environmental engagement platform as part of their ongoing public-private collaboration to enhance sustainability initiatives.The platform is designed to utilise personalised digital platforms to promote sustainability, elevate environmental awareness and encourage green practices across Abu Dhabi and beyond.The Naha platform (taken from the words natural habitat) will centralise EAD's key outreach initiatives, which are based on scientific information and knowledge, aiming to turn climate intentions into meaningful action in the UAE through participation and engagement with the various programmes that are part of the platform.Naha offers a range of tools and resources, including a personalised My Naha newsfeed and calendar to empower individuals to adopt environmental lifestyle changes through increased awareness, event participation and community engagement.The platform includes more than eight environmental programmes and initiatives such as the Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI), Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI) and Sahim Citizen Science Programme, and other initiatives targeting youth, school students and the community.This digital ecosystem will establish a coordinated effort among stakeholders to address pressing environmental issues, especially climate change, which is particularly relevant as the UAE gears up to host COP28 this year.Her Excellency Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of EAD, said: “The launch of the Naha platform is an evolutionary step in our partnership with du. It is a culmination of our educational awareness initiatives manifested in a unified digital platform. As 2023 has been declared the Year of Sustainability by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and with the UAE hosting COP28, this platform exemplifies our unwavering commitment to environmental responsibility and our continuous efforts towards creating awareness among the community about the importance of sustainability and breaking it down into tangible actions which can be performed on a daily basis.“Naha serves as an essential tool for expanding community participation and environmental awareness, leading us towards a sustainable future that balances economic growth, technological innovation and environmental conservation."EAD remains steadfast in safeguarding Abu Dhabi's environment. Our alliance with du, magnifies our collective capabilities to leverage digital technologies for heightened environmental awareness, lifestyle changes and action."Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO of du, said: “Our involvement in Naha signifies a natural progression of our strategic partnership with EAD. By leveraging our advanced technological capabilities and expertise in data management, we are bolstering Naha platform's mission to convert climate intentions into actionable measures. In addition to our impactful technological contributions, du is committed to proactively engaging with key audiences, amplifying the platform's influence and reach."The collaborative launch of Naha by EAD and du is part of Abu Dhabi's sustainability drive, leveraging technology as a powerful tool in confronting environmental challenges and fostering a sustainable future by engaging all sectors of the community.