Hongqi announces exclusive partnership with Al Qurum Sports

Muscat: Hongqi Oman, the luxury automobile brand, and Al Qurum Sports, Oman, the hub for padel enthusiasts, are excited to announce an exclusive partnership aimed at elevating the sport of padel in Oman. The landmark agreement, signed at the Hongqi showroom by Mohsin Hani Al Bahrani, CEO of MHD ACERE, underscores both organizations’ commitment to excellence and community involvement."Sports have the power to bring communities together, and this partnership will provide a platform to engage the youth in meaningful experiences," said Mr. Mohsin Hani Al Bahrani, CEO of MHD ACERE. "At MHD ACERE, we are thrilled to join forces with Padel Addicts and Padel Avenues, Oman. It is an exciting opportunity for us to direct the spotlight towards our brand's identity and services. Together, we are excited to embark on a journey that fosters our vision of creating connections, strengthening our community, and engaging with our customers in a truly unique way.”This alliance holds a shared vision of supporting youth engagement and community involvement in Oman. By sponsoring tournaments at both Padel Addicts and Padel Avenues, Hongqi aims to contribute significantly to the growth and development of the padel community in Oman, offering exciting opportunities for both players and fans.

Nasmaakum sign language app honored as the "Best Innovative Product of the Year"

Bahrain: Nasmaakum, a pioneering Sign Language App dedicated to bridging communication gaps for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community, has proudly received the prestigious "Best Innovative Product of the Year" award at the renowned Asian Leadership Awards ceremony held at the Taj Dubai Hotel.The Asian Leadership Awards, recognized for their commitment to celebrating excellence and innovation across diverse industries in the Asian region, acknowledged Nasmaakum for its groundbreaking impact on accessibility, inclusivity, and communication.Mr. Rahul Bhalla, Nasmaakum, Founder said” This award is a recognition of tireless dedication of the Nasmaakum team and the positive change the app has been fostering in the lives of sign language users”“This accolade serves as a testament to Nasmaakum's commitment to fostering inclusivity and ensuring that sign language users have equal access to opportunities and services. Nasmaakum remains dedicated to pushing boundaries and innovating, with a mission to create a world where communication knows no barriers”The team at Nasmaakum extends heartfelt gratitude to all clients, partners, and supporters who have played a pivotal role in their journey. It is their collective belief in the vision that has driven the app to reach new heights and create a more inclusive world.

Nitesh Agarwal chronicles Urban Company's Middle East success story

In this exclusive interview with Adgully, Nitesh Agarwal, Regional Head of Urban Company in the Middle East, sheds light on the company's journey in the region. Since their entry into the Middle East market in 2018, Urban Company has prioritized delivering premium services. Starting in Dubai, they've expanded their offerings across the UAE and KSA, offering services in approximately 20 categories. With a partner network of 32,000 professionals, Urban Company is now Asia's largest tech-enabled home services marketplace. According to him, Urban Company's success in the UAE can be attributed to a multifaceted approach. They prioritize customer-centricity, utilize technology to enhance service quality and affordability, invest in training, and consistently innovate. Excerpts:Can you share with us the journey of Urban Company in the Middle East?Urban Company entered the Middle East market in the UAE in 2018. Over the past five years, our commitment to providing a premium service experience has been our guiding principle. We started with Dubai in the UAE because of the potential that we saw in this market. We started with launching part-time cleaners, one of the popular categories here, slowly expanding our services to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE and Riyadh and Jeddah in KSA. We now offer services in around 20 categories across UAE's home, beauty & wellness verticals.We are currently Asia’s largest and highest-rated tech-enabled home services marketplace with a partner network of 32,000 hand-picked service professionals.What, according to you, are the factors that have made Urban Company successful in the UAE?Urban Company's success in the UAE can be attributed to a multifaceted approach. Firstly, we prioritize customer-centricity above all. By harnessing the UAE's impressive 99% internet penetration rate, we've cultivated a deep understanding of the local consumer landscape, allowing us to fine-tune our services for maximum appeal.The UAE's service industry landscape, teeming with both organized and unorganized providers, presented a unique challenge. Traditional brick-and-mortar salons, technicians, and cleaning providers often offer services at competitive prices. However, the growth projection of the on-demand home services sector, anticipated to expand by 9.7% by 2026, indicates a promising trajectory, especially for digital platforms like ours.Our strategic utilization of technology has been a game-changer. It's allowed us to continually enhance our service quality while ensuring affordability—a key to customer retention in this market. Moreover, we place immense emphasis on training, considering the World Economic Forum suggests re-skilling half of the global workforce may be inevitable by 2025.Lastly, innovation has been a cornerstone of our strategy. Introducing tools like steam mops in our cleaning category, for instance, has empowered us to surpass customer expectations, solidifying our reputation as industry pioneers. In short, our success in the UAE stems from a blend of customer focus, affordability, rigorous training, and consistent innovation.What services do you offer, and which ones are the most popular?We offer a bouquet of high-quality services, such as salon, nails and spa at home, cleaning, plumbing, handymen, appliance repair etc., through our mobile app and websites.While cleaning was initially 85% of our offering, by 2023, services like beauty have grown in demand, with a significant portion of women preferring at-home beauty treatments, reflecting a shift from traditional salon visits.What is the procedure for joining Urban Company as a professional in any field?In the UAE, we focus on delivering hyper-localised services, and vendor onboarding is an ongoing process. Urban Company has a structured approach towards partner development and well-being centred around four key pillars: improved earnings, safety net, training and wealth creation.In the UAE, we work with vendors to improve the living standards of the workforce, upskilling, increase salaries and give incentives to them, as employee engagement is essential for great customer satisfaction.There is a thorough and objective selection process for every single service professional. Joining Urban Company involves a rigorous four-stage process. Candidates undergo screening, review of documentation such as Visa and licenses, detailed technical and soft-skill training given by on-payroll industry experts in real-life simulated set-ups, and final evaluation.This meticulous process ensures that all our professionals deliver services aligned with our high standards. We also incentivise service professionals on the basis of customers’ experiences.Urban Company believes in delivering a remarkable customer experience and we are constantly on the lookout for innovative measures to give the best to our customers. The global online on-demand home services market is estimated to reach $4.1 trillion by 2027, with more service providers and vendors introducing and enhancing sustainable, scalable and convenient services for modern customers.Are primarily women your clients for salon services, or do men also avail of your services?While women represent a major segment of our beauty services, the changing dynamics show that 30% of beauty services are consumed by men.What obstacles hindered your growth, and how did you overcome them?Our journey in the UAE, while rewarding, has not been without its set of challenges. When we entered the market, we faced a fragmented competitive environment, intensified by the presence of organized competitors, quite unlike the scenario in our home base, India. Many competitors lured customers with low prices, often compromising on quality. The pandemic further reshaped consumer behaviour, prioritizing health, hygiene, and high-quality services. Amidst this, consistently evolving consumer behaviour and rising expectations meant that we had to be agile and responsive.To navigate these obstacles, Urban Company took a multi-pronged approach:• Diversification and Quality: We expanded our service range to cater to the varied demands emerging from the pandemic, including increased demand for part-time cleaners, salon services, and wellness provisions.• Innovation and Technology: Introducing steam cleaners and scrubbing machines allowed us to redefine cleaning standards in the UAE. Furthermore, our tech-driven checks ensure our partners always utilize genuine products and adhere to our rigorous standard operating procedures. By investing in ongoing innovation, tools, and products, like our disruptive hourly cleaning service and signature pedicure, we've consistently raised the bar.• Training and Partnerships: Our emphasis on continual training ensures our partners are equipped to offer top-tier personalized services. Regular retraining, based on dynamic user feedback, keeps our services aligned with consumer expectations.• Digital Engagement: Recognizing that modern consumers are digital-driven, we've optimized our user interface, payment gateways, and overall digital experience to be hassle-free and intuitive. This has been pivotal, as even a single negative feedback in today's digital age can shift the trajectory of our business.In essence, while challenges like the pandemic, competition, and evolving consumer behaviour posed hurdles, our unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, and consumer-centricity has been the cornerstone of our resilience and growth in the UAE market.What is your vision for the company? Where do you see it in five years?Our vision is to establish ourselves as the largest on-demand home services marketplace by focusing on delivering an unparalleled experience to our users. With the UAE market projected to grow by 9.7% annually until 2026, we foresee a 10x growth in this region alone. Hence, with a focus on experience, we have invested heavily in the selection of service professionals with extensive training in real-life simulated set-ups and deep investments in bringing the most cutting-edge tools and products to our users.

Microsoft unveils an AI-powered future at GITEX Global 2023

Microsoft is offering a glimpse into the AI-powered future of cities and workplaces at GITEX Global 2023, which opened at the Dubai World Trade Centre today. Under the show's theme "The Year to Imagine AI in Everything," Microsoft's will demonstrate how AI will revolutionize the way we live and work.Participating alongside 32 of its partners, Microsoft is showcasing the latest AI solutions and services designed to transform the region’s key industries - from government services to healthcare, education and financial services- and provide them a state-of-the-art platform from which to develop their own innovative technologies that suit their individual needs. Microsoft speakers will also be participating in workshops and talks around the responsible use of the new technologies. Demonstrating what government services of the future could look like, Microsoft has partnered with Kagool on building the ‘Citizen Companion’ – an AI-powered interface that seamlessly communicates with visitors in their native language and provides assistance on various government services such as renewing their driving license, applying for a UAE Golden Visa, or paying a traffic fine. Personal services are unlocked through residents’ Emirates IDs and save users time and effort and increasing governmental efficiencies by taking over administrative tasks that would have previously involved multiple journey’s to government offices.Speaking at the event, Naim Yazbeck, General Manager, Microsoft UAE, said that GITEX Global serves as an indispensable venue for collaboration, enabling companies like Microsoft to not only demonstrate their commitment to driving technological advancement but to also help shape the future of industries, economies, and societies. “We are witnessing the new era of digital transformation. AI has gone from being an abstract concept to revolutionizing industries and societies while shaping the digital world of tomorrow. At Microsoft, we believe that by empowering organizations of all sizes and industries to harness the power of AI responsibly, we can transform cities, reimagine workplaces, and ultimately, improve lives. GITEX Global 2023 is our stage to showcase these incredible possibilities, and we are thrilled to pioneer the potential for this technology to create a better, more connected future for all."Highlighting the synergy between the event's theme and Microsoft's mission to empower organizations and people to achieve more, Yazbeck said that 'The Year to Imagine AI in Everything' aligns with the company's commitment to democratizing access to AI. "Our goal is to empower organizations across the public and private sectors with cutting-edge tools and resources. We want to equip them to not only harness the transformative capabilities of AI, but to also create their own innovative applications, catalysing a paradigm shift within their respective industries and economies."Microsoft’s stand in Hall 7 will feature a dedicated booth for Xbox, in addition to a Surface Zone, Tech Talk arena, F&B stand, entertainment stage, and meeting room. Visitors at the VIP Demo Area can also have their picture taken at the stand before having it drawn by the AI Robotic Sketch Bot, which creates art in seconds using advanced AI and machine learning technology.

Leading Abu Dhabi entities showcase fintech innovation at Sibos 2023

Abu Dhabi's leading entities, including The Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy (ADGMA), the knowledge arm of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Khalifa Fund, startAD, and Hub71, came together to present a unified vision at Sibos 2023. This collective effort symbolized Abu Dhabi's fintech and innovation ecosystem, partnering to showcase the Emirate as a global leader in financial technology. Together, they aimed to shed light on the opportunities that Abu Dhabi offered and exhibited its vibrant and collaborative investment environment to the global financial community.These entities engaged in insightful discussions about adapting investment strategies and nurturing innovation, demonstrating Abu Dhabi's commitment to pioneering the future of finance.Sibos, with its overarching theme for 2023, "Collaborative finance in a fragmented world," served as a beacon for decision-makers, experts, and stakeholders from the world of finance, technology, and beyond. Over the course of a week, approximately 10,000 professionals hailing from financial institutions, market infrastructures, multinational corporations, and technology firms spanning 160 countries convened to shape the future of payments, securities, cash management, and trade.It further offered a unique platform for these entities to engage with the global financial ecosystem. This event stood as a testament to their commitment to further position Abu Dhabi as a thriving International Financial Centre (IFC) and a leading hub for a knowledge-based economy and innovation.The Abu Dhabi Pavilion at Sibos was a testament to Abu Dhabi's commitment to fostering entrepreneurship, innovation, and collaboration within its vibrant financial ecosystem. It featured three innovative startups funded and sponsored by Abu Dhabi's leading incubators and accelerators, including Khalifa Fund, startAD, and Hub71. These startups exemplified the dynamism and forward-thinking spirit of Abu Dhabi's fintech landscape. They were featured with the support of the participating Abu Dhabi-based incubators and accelerators.ADGMA's participation at Sibos encompasses an initiative that revolves around the UAE Student Challenge, recently organised by ADGM Academy’s Research Centre in partnership with the Swift Institute and sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company. In this exceptional event, the UAE Student Challenge winning team graced the global stage at Sibos, where they presented their transformative ideas to the world, a testament to Abu Dhabi's flourishing young talent in the research and innovation arena with a focus on how the financial sector can play a pivotal role in supporting the transition to a net-zero future.Speaking about ADGMA's involvement at Sibos, Mansoor Jaffar, CEO ADGM Academy & Research Centre: "ADGMA Academy is playing a strategic role in educating the international financial market about the thriving knowledge-based economy within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in alignment with our national priorities for human capital development. We are delighted to present our young local talents, showcasing their research solutions on sustainability, and to lead the Abu Dhabi Pavilion exhibit, reaffirming Abu Dhabi as a centre of excellence in entrepreneurship."H.E. Alia Al Mazrouei, CEO of Khalifa Fund, stated: "We were truly honored to represent the Abu Dhabi Pavilion alongside our distinguished partners at SIBOS 2023. This esteemed global event provided a unique opportunity to engage with international stakeholders and gain invaluable insights into the evolving landscape of finance, the latest innovative technologies and solutions in the industry, and their impact on entrepreneurship. Through our representation, we were dedicated to showcasing Abu Dhabi as a vibrant entrepreneurial hub for SMEs from all sectors, including Fintech, where creativity, innovation, and sustainability converge to drive economic progress".startAD Managing Director Ramesh Jagannathan commented: “Abu Dhabi presents a strategic opportunity for cutting-edge global startups to scale with its strategic geo-connected location, ambitious innovation agenda, strong government commitment, and robust economic landscape. Positioning this opportunity at the Abu Dhabi Pavilion at Sibos, alongside our esteemed partners was an impactful experience, where we engaged with more than 15 leading financial institutions and banks and over 50 startups, promoting Abu Dhabi as the fintech capital of the world."Hashem Alkaabi, Head of Corporate Services, Hub71, commented: “It was inspiring to join organizations at the forefront of Abu Dhabi’s financial and technology industries at Sibos to showcase the potential for entrepreneurs and disruptive companies to thrive from the UAE capital. We take pride in supporting the development and expansion of advanced FinTech capabilities by inviting startups worldwide to grow and scale in Abu Dhabi. By collaborating closely with our esteemed partners, we are creating a favourable environment that is enabling founders to make a significant impact on the FinTech industry.”,

Savvy Games Group appoints Majed Al-Muhanna as Chief Human Resources Officer

Savvy Games Group (“Savvy”), the games and esports company founded to drive the long-term growth and development of the games and esports industry worldwide, announced today the appointment of Majed Al-Muhanna as Chief Human Resources Officer.In his new role, Majed will lead the development and implementation of Savvy’s human resources strategy, including overseeing talent development and attraction of both local and international games specialists. As a member of Savvy’s leadership team, he will also drive progress towards Savvy’s strategic objectives, and contribute to Savvy’s work in support of Saudi Arabia’s National Gaming and Esports Strategy.Majed brings wide-ranging experience of human resources leadership roles at major financial and consumer-facing organisations across the investment banking, retail, and manufacturing sectors. He was previously Chief Human Capital Officer of SNB Capital, where he was a member of the organisation’s leadership team and drove its human capital strategy.In addition to his role at Savvy, Majed currently serves as Chair of the Human Resources Committee of the Capital Market Institutions Committee, which supports the development of the capital market sector in Saudi Arabia. He will report to Savvy’s CEO, Brian Ward.Commenting on the appointment, Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy, said, “We are excited to welcome Majed Al-Muhanna to Savvy’s executive leadership team as Chief Human Resources Officer. Majed’s expertise in nurturing talent pipelines and implementing wider organisational human resources strategies will enable Savvy’s continued growth and the success of our team. Majed joins Savvy at an exciting time for our business and the wider gaming and esports industry – we are delighted to have in on board.”

Mastercard partners with SiFi to empower businesses in Saudi Arabia

 Mastercard has signed an exclusive agreement with Alhulul Almobassatah Financial Company (SiFi) to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia with a range of innovative offerings.The agreement brings Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments sector together with SiFi, a Saudi-based fintech that simplifies how businesses manage spend — to provide greater access to novel financial solutions: offerings designed to overcome challenges in controlling spend, managing expense reports, and accessing analytics to save money.Utilizing Mastercard’s expertise, ecosystem, network, and resources, SiFi will have the ability to offer solutions with ease to SMEs and enterprises across the Kingdom, enabling them to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global economy.“Mastercard is a key partner for SiFi. As a reputable player in the payment technology field, Mastercard's expertise and flexibility helps us adapt to our evolving needs and improve our service to customers. With their support, we can better understand and address our customers' expectations,” said H.E. Ahmed Alhakbani, Founder and CEO of SiFi.“As Saudi Arabia’s SME space continues to grow, it is our responsibility to effect more positive change, serving as the partner of choice to fuel that growth. At Mastercard, we are committed to working closely with partners to co-create solutions and offer access to our technology and expertise. Our agreement with SiFi is fully geared towards achieving this goal,” said Adam Jones, Country General Manager, MENA Central, Mastercard.Mastercard’s agreement with SiFi marks the latest step taken by the technology company to empower the Kingdom’s burgeoning fintech community and transform Saudi entrepreneurship.Utilizing Mastercard’s expertise, ecosystem, network, and resources, SiFi will have the ability to issue corporate cards with ease — to SMEs and enterprises across the Kingdom, enabling them to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global economy.“With SMEs playing a greater role in powering the economy, we understand the importance of offering access to quality, responsive solutions that enable businesses and fintech’s to grow. Whether empowering entities to accept more payment cards and methods or simplifying controlling and tracking expenses, we equip SMEs with the tools to accomplish their business goals,” said Maria Medvedeva, Country Manager, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Mastercard.“We are in the business of empowering companies to take greater control of their expenses. By partnering with equally innovative entities, such as Mastercard, we aim to curate an advanced suite of offerings that resolve our customers' financial management challenges,” said Fahad Alfozan, Business Development Manager at SiFi.The partnership underlines Mastercard’s commitment to bringing one billion people, 50 million micro and small businesses, and 25 million women entrepreneurs into the digital economy by 2025. This is in keeping with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims of increasing the SME sector’s contribution to the Saudi economy to 35% by 2030 and raising SME lending to 20% of funding by the end of the decade.  The exclusive agreement will support more SMEs around the country, with SiFi issuing commercial cards to employees, providing real-time expense tracking capabilities, and automating accounting entries. By enabling more businesses to streamline operations, the partnership will help to save time and money, while improving compliance and visibility into spending.With the Fintech Saudi 21/22 Annual Report outlining that there are currently 147 active fintech’s in Saudi Arabia, Mastercard’s work with SiFi will contribute to the growth and development of the Kingdom’s SME and fintech sectors, providing more enterprises with the tools to scale and grow their businesses.

Bureau Beatrice launches its ‘Show Division’ and gears up for global expansion

 BUREAU BÉATRICE, the luxury creative technology company that is redefining the experiential landscape, is launching its Show Division. Founded by two creative mavericks Kevin Alderweireldt (CEO) and Jon S Maloy (Chief Creative Officer), BUREAU BÉATRICE is making waves in the industry with its extraordinary growth and ground-breaking innovations. BUREAU BÉATRICE’s growth is not just in numbers but also in its creative and technological capabilities. The expansion of its creative technology team has allowed the company to develop proprietary programs for live content generation, pushing the boundaries of experiential marketing. The new Show Division allows the business to take its offering for clients one step further, into physical events and shows. Under the guidance of CCO Jon S. Maloy the division strategically identifies and handpicks key moments and significant activities where the division's expertise can be deployed across the region and around the world, depending on requests from partners who are seeking creative prowess. The most recent example of its Show Division can be seen in the current Formula 1 racing championship; BUREAU BÉATRICE is currently traveling the world with its client Aramco executing a VIP mixed reality experience in each F1 host city.  What also sets BUREAU BÉATRICE apart is its global approach to talent acquisition. To support executing quality-focused campaigns, the company has strategically hired top-flight professionals to join its ‘Show Division’; it boasts a team with experience from iconic names such as Disney, Pixar, Ubisoft, and some of the world's leading video game studios. From its humble beginnings with just six team members in December 2022, the company has expanded exponentially, now boasting a diverse team of 32 creative and technological professionals, revolutionizing the creative landscape. In a short span, BUREAU BÉATRICE has executed campaigns in over 30 countries across the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, cementing its position as a global creative force. As part of its expansion strategy, the company has recently established a larger office in Dubai’s Design District, and opened a representation office in Paris, focusing on strengthening ties with luxury brands, their core clients. Building on recent successes and fuelled by unwavering passion, BUREAU BÉATRICE is poised to expand further into the Middle East and the Far East. The company’s upcoming plans include opening an office in Singapore and launching a state-of-the-art 3D VFX Studio in Asia.  Kevin Alderweireldt, Co-Founder and CEO of BUREAU BÉATRICE, commented on this remarkable journey, saying, "At BUREAU BÉATRICE, we are constantly inspired to push creative boundaries and surprise our clients with concepts that they may have never thought of. We believe that culture is the lifeblood of our organization, and that people excel when they're passionate about what they do. Our success in executing coveted campaigns and clients isn't solely attributed to my co-founder Jon and me; it's a testament to our esteemed team members who collaborate to turn dreams into reality. Our ability to be innovative is stronger than before, and our dedication to producing high-quality work remains steadfast. We ensure our clients receive nothing less than a masterpiece of luxury. "With the launch of our new Show Division, we ensure the concept is executed with our team overseeing every inch and detail, from beginning to end. This allows us to maintain control of the quality and the narrative of the content we create. Whether it's a bespoke event for a luxury fashion brand, an immersive experience for a watch brand, or an unforgettable showcase for a global event, we have unlocked the true potential of immersive experiences. We have successfully blended creativity and technology, with a primary emphasis on prioritizing creativity, while utilizing technology as a means to harness the innate creative brilliance within us as humans," he added. BUREAU BÉATRICE has consistently demonstrated its prowess in delivering impactful and innovative campaigns across a range of industries. One of the company's standout achievements includes a whimsical Ramadan campaign with CHAUMET, featuring 82 screens in Riyadh Boulevard Park in Saudi Arabia, witnessed by 100,000 spectators. BUREAU BÉATRICE also played a pivotal role in the launch of Palm Jebel Ali, a landmark project by Nakheel Properties, which included a magnificent show for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Their work on the ‘Tiffany & Co. - Follow the Bird’ campaign, (a world first for the brand) showcased their ability to create immersive and visually captivating experiences for luxury brands, effectively drawing customers into the world of Tiffany. Similarly, their ‘Richard Mille Art in the Gulf’ project demonstrated their expertise in blending art and luxury, offering a unique perspective on Richard Mille's products.  BUREAU BÉATRICE’s growth and dedication to creativity and innovation have solidified its position as a global leader in the creative technology industry. With a team of trailblazers, they continue to craft exceptional experiences that resonate with audiences worldwide. With a belief that creativity comes first and technology second, BUREAU BÉATRICE is committed to discovering novel, innovative, and creative approaches that redefine experiential moments that enhance the interaction between brands and their audience - all while looking through the lens of luxury. For the Co-Founders of BUREAU BÉATRICE, luxury is not just a fleeting concept, but a living, breathing culture that surrounds us. It's a culture that is in a constant state of evolution, adapting to the changing world, that will be seen in the history books for the years to come.

TikTok, The Walt Disney launch ‘Disney 100 Hub’

TikTok and The Walt Disney Company are all set to launch a first of its kind content hub, the Disney 100 hub, that promises to celebrate a century of Disney’s magic.Commencing on October 16, this partnership commemorates The Walt Disney Company’s remarkable 100th anniversary, and it is poised to leave Disney fans around the world spellbound. The Disney100 activation on TikTok will offer Disney enthusiasts an unprecedented interactive experience. They can immerse themselves in a world of stories, magic, and memories.This hub will include content from Disney, Disney Parks, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and ESPN. Moreover, to help brands stay on the pulse of impactful moments on the platform, Disney will also become a TikTok Pulse Premiere publisher partner, allowing marketers to run ads in brand-safe slots alongside entertainment and sports content from Disney. TikTok announced: “Beginning on October 16th, in honor of The Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary, we’re giving the passionate community of Disney enthusiasts on our platform a first-of-its-kind destination within TikTok that invites Disney fans to a unique interactive experience where stories, magic, and memories come together.”Nicole Lacopetti, Global Head of content at TikTok, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with Disney to celebrate the company’s undeniable impact on entertainment and on families around the world, starting by giving TikTok’s passionate community of Disney fans unique access to content and experiences they can’t find anywhere else.”Asad Ayaz, Chief Brand Officer, The Walt Disney Company, said: “With over 240 billion views across Disney’s portfolio of brands and experiences, TikTok has become a go-to destination for Disney fans to create, engage and connect around their favorite Disney films, shows, characters and experiences, so we’re thrilled to partner with them as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the company.”

UAE witnesses unprecedented ransomware resilience: Acronis report

 As the global cybersecurity landscape faces increasing turmoil, the latest report from global cyber protection leader, Acronis, reveals a remarkable story of resilience in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the broader GCC region. The report showcases Acronis' Insights into the UAE and GCC cybersecurity landscape, painting a compelling picture of how these regions have stood strong against the tide of ransomware attacks, with threats showing signs of flatlining.Driven by a steadfast dedication to fortify the digital realm in the region, the all-encompassing Acronis Cyberthreat Report 2023 forecasts a distinct levelling off in monthly ransomware detections throughout Q4 of 2023, down from a ??6% jump reported in Q1 2023 over Q4 2022. Unmasking the Ransomware Landscape in the UAE and GCCIn a landscape fraught with uncertainty, the UAE and GCC region emerge as beacons of cybersecurity strength, according to the insightful Acronis Cyberthreat Report 2023. Here are key highlights:Rising cyberattack costs in the Middle East: The Cyberthreat Report reveals that various forms of cyberattacks are increasing in the Middle East, leading to significant financial losses for organizations. These cyberattacks encompass a wide range of threats, including hacking, malware, and data breaches. Notably, data from IBM also indicates that the average cost of a cyberattack on an organization in Saudi Arabia and the UAE was US$6.53 million, which is 69% more than the global average.Ransomware Resilience: Despite the rising costs associated with these broader cyberattacks, the UAE and GCC region has shown strong resilience against ransomware attacks, which encrypt a victim's files and demand a ransom payment. The report suggests that the number of monthly ransomware detections is expected to remain steady until the close of 2023. This underlines the region's robust cybersecurity measures in dealing specifically with ransomware, emphasizing their remarkable effectiveness in this area.Phishing's Persistent Challenge: While ransomware may be on the wane, phishing remains a persistent challenge. Cybercriminals continue to rely on this tactic to target login credentials, demanding ongoing vigilance from organizations across the region.Malware Management: Within the region, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have reported an 11% infection rate by May 2023, ranking 25th and 27th globally. The UAE maintains its resilience with a 10% infection rate, securing the 31st global position.AI as the Game-Changer: AI has emerged as the ultimate game-changer in the fight against cybercriminals. Over 70% of UAE businesses have adopted AI in their decision-making processes, underscoring its efficacy in countering advanced cyber threats. This commitment to AI technologies highlights the region's dedication to cybersecurity excellence.“The Middle East and largely the UAE region, due to its position as the go-to economic hub, both the public and private sector have been key targets for cyber-attacks. Over the last few years, ransomware has remained the leading threat but due to serious and cost-effective interventions in terms of preparedness and solutions by the key stakeholders, the region is steadily succeeding in mitigating the attacks. Sustained education, upskilling and investment in cyber protection by enterprises across all sectors continues to play a pivotal role in making the region cyber fit,” said Ziad Nasr, general manager, Acronis Middle East.As the UAE and GCC region continue to demonstrate their prowess on the global cybersecurity stage, Acronis stands firmly at the forefront, equipping them with cutting-edge cyber protection tools and strategies to navigate the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape.Manchester City Legend at GITEX Cybersecurity ExtravaganzaIn a remarkable demonstration of the surging importance of cyber protection, the Acronis team welcomed Paul Dickov, the celebrated Manchester City legend, to their ranks. Together, they showcased that cybersecurity is not just a tech challenge but a collective endeavor. The event featured captivating live demonstrations, exhilarating gamification activities, and exclusive insights into the latest cybersecurity trends and innovations.James Slaby, Director of Cyber Protection, will captivating audiences with daily thought leadership presentations. Unveiling the strategies to combat AI-driven cybersecurity threats, building unwavering cyber resilience, navigating the intricate realm of cyber insurance, crafting an incident response plan for unbeatable resilience, and safeguarding the invaluable data of Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.While global threats escalate, the UAE and GCC remain steadfast, with ransomware threats expected to flatline in Q4. As the digital battleground evolves, the UAE and GCC are well-equipped to navigate the ever-changing landscape, ensuring the safety of their digital ecosystems with the likes of Acronis continuing to play a pivotal role in bolstering the region's cybersecurity posture.

FP7McCann appoints Tarek Ali Ahmad as Managing Director

FP7McCann is pleased to announce the appointment of Tarek Ali Ahmad as the Managing Director for its Dubai branch, effective immediately. Tarek will succeed Jon Marchant, who will leave the agency on November 30th after an impressive 15 years with McCann, six of which he served with FP7McCann in Dubai, to pursue a new role at Memac Ogilvy.  Tarek Ali Ahmad's remarkable journey in the advertising industry began as a rising star at J. Walter Thompson in 2000. His professional journey led him to FP7McCann Dubai in 2006, where he was enlisted to spearhead the Coca-Cola account, overseeing multiple brands across the Middle East and North Africa. During his 14-year tenure at FP7McCann, Tarek has remained focused on setting new industry standards in the creative world and leading a team of innovative thinkers who have won impressive accounts, awards, and recognition for the agency in Dubai and beyond.  Tarek Miknas, CEO of FP7McCann MENAT, said, "Tarek Ali Ahmad has been marked for this role over three years ago when he was promoted to General Manager and Head of Business Leadership. In the three years, he has been actively and intimately involved in the operation on all levels, allowing for a smooth and natural transition and evolution. He is no stranger to the industry, and he is no stranger to our talent, clients and partners. I have the utmost faith in Tarek's ability to take the agency to unprecedented heights."  Tarek Ali Ahmad commented, "It's a great honor to step into the role of Managing Director at FP7/McCann Dubai. Having spent over a decade with the agency, this reflects my deep respect and loyalty to our talented team and valued partners. I'm immensely grateful for Tarek Miknas' trust in my abilities, and I'm excited to continue the journey of success at FP7/McCann Dubai. I look forward to building on our legacy of creativity and innovation and further strengthening our relationships with our partners as we embark on this new chapter together".

Yazle Announces Strategic Programmatic DooH Partnership with Invenda

Yazle, a global digital media company specializing in innovative and creative digital advertising, announced a strategic partnership with Invenda, a prominent player in the automated retail and programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH) sector. This collaboration marks a significant milestone for Yazle, as it opens doors to programmatic DOOH screens across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).Commenting on the partnership, Jamie Atherton, Managing Director at Yazle, said, "We are thrilled to partner with Invenda, a leader in the programmatic DOOH space. This collaboration aligns perfectly with our mission to empower advertisers with cutting-edge tools and access to prime advertising landscape. Together with Invenda, we are poised to deliver outstanding results for our clients and elevate the DOOH advertising space in the region."<img src='\3db62b13b562e0a676c68f926180bc4b.png' class='content_image'>Yazle has established itself as a pioneer in the dynamic DOOH advertising landscape, consistently delivering innovative solutions that engage audiences and drive results for brands. The partnership with Invenda represents a key step in furthering Yazle's commitment to providing advertisers with unprecedented reach and targeting capabilities. Francesca Meloni, DOOH advertising director at Invenda said, "Invenda is excited to embark on this partnership with Yazle. By combining our programmatic technology expertise with Yazle's creative prowess, we are confident in our ability to revolutionize the DOOH advertising experience for brands operating in the UAE and KSA. <img src='\6ff8a7166a573283bde68fa255b7c67c.png' class='content_image'>Invenda is recognized for its expertise in programmatic DOOH, offering a sophisticated platform that enables advertisers to connect with their desired audiences through data-driven campaigns. By joining forces with Invenda, Yazle gains access to an extensive network of premium programmatic DOOH screens strategically located in high-traffic areas across the UAE and KSA.The Yazle-Invenda partnership represents a game-changing development in the DOOH advertising sector, offering advertisers expanded reach, enhanced targeting capabilities, real-time insights with high-fidelity audience impressions, and creative excellence. It is set to redefine how brands connect with their audiences in the dynamic markets of the UAE and KSA.

Schneider Electric drives regional efforts toward data center sustainability

Dubai: Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, is unveiling energy-efficient solutions to tackle data center challenges for artificial intelligence workloads in addition to a host of energy-efficient technologies at GITEX Global to be held from October 16 to 20 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The company will showcase solutions aligned with its three-step approach: 'Strategize, Digitize, and Decarbonize,' emphasizing a comprehensive path to decarbonization."Combining digital transformation, energy efficiency, and AI integration is our strategy for a sustainable future in the region. GITEX Global serves as an enabler to demonstrate these solutions to industry leaders and customers. This year, we are excited to shine a spotlight on Schneider Electric’s continuous efforts and initiatives in the region to advance innovation, digitalization, operational efficiency, and harness the potential of AI like never before,” said Mouna Essa-Egh, MEA Vice President for Secure Power, Schneider Electric.Over the five-day tech conference, a host of Schneider Electric industry and tech experts will be available to guide customers and visitors on tailored-made and sustainable solutions to create a solid foundation for Datacenters, Buildings and Industries of the Future.GITEX Global visitors can also stop by the dedicated ‘Partner Experience Zone’ at Schneider Electric’s stand in Hall 5, booth 40, where AVEVA, Stratus, SEMEA, Cisco and Dell will be featured along with their integrated solutions. At GITEX Global, Schneider Electric’s global and regional leadership will convene for an exclusive media roundtable discussion on October 18 to highlight the impact of digital transformation on data centers in the Middle East and Africa; the role of Electricity 4.0 and how it is forging a path for sustainable data centers.According to the International Energy Agency, data centers and data transmission networks account for nearly 1% of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which contribute to rising global temperatures and climate change. To reach net zero by 2050, emissions must be cut in half by 2030.The roundtable will also host the official Middle East launch of Schneider Electric’s latest SmartUPS Ultra, designed to drive more power, more space and more equipment at the edge. Schneider Electric’s regional leadership will also participate in panel discussions to zoom in on the evolution of AI in the region and its impact on data centers in the telecom sector.

OKX Global's Lennix Lai to speak at on Web3 SuperBridge Summit in Dubai

OKX, a leading global Web3 technology company and crypto exchange, today announced that its Global Chief Commercial Officer, Lennix Lai, will participate in an executive panel discussion on the topic of 'What Web3.0 can offer to financial services' at the SuperBridge Summit, a conference connecting business leaders to explore new markets, partnerships and global opportunities. The event will be held on 16-17 October at the Museum of the Future in Dubai. The executive panel discussion featuring Lennix and moderated by FT Chinese Editor in Chief Wang Feng will take place on October 17, from 12:10pm to 12:50pm (UTC+4). Other panelists include DIFC Innovation Hub Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Alblooshi and Cocafe Founder & CEO Shi Lan. The panel will focus on the benefits and opportunities that Web3 technology can offer the financial services industry, with a specific focus on financial inclusion, cross-border payments and product innovation.OKX Global Chief Commercial Officer Lennix Lai said: "The SuperBridge Summit provides a valuable platform for business leaders to explore the potential of emerging technologies like Web3 to revolutionize business processes, products and user experience across various industries. In joining the SuperBridge Summit, we aim to tap into the collective wisdom of industry leaders and explore the transformative potential of Web3 across different sectors, including financial services." OKX also recently served as the Title Sponsor and Premium Partner of Blockchain Economy Dubai Summit, which took place on October 4-5 at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Center. On the first day of the conference, Lennix presented a keynote on 'Navigating the Bear Market.' He also joined a panel discussion on 'Web3 and the Metaverse - Building Decentralized Digital Realities' on October 5, alongside Accenture Web3 Lead Brett Hornung and Areon Network Chief Marketing Officer Deniz Perçin.The SuperBridge Summit, organized by SuperBridge Council in partnership with Kaoun International (a subsidiary of Dubai World Trade Centre), is expected to bring together over 500 business, policy and cultural leaders from over 20 countries to discuss common challenges, explore opportunities for collaboration and discover investment prospects across a wide range of sectors. SuperBridge Council is a global organization consisting of a group of renowned business entrepreneurs, social and cultural leaders from around the world.

MENA Fintech Association establishes Digital Assets Working Group

 The MENA Fintech Association, the premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving fintech startups and established players across the Middle East and Africa, is excited to announce the establishment of its Digital Assets Working Group, Miriam Kiwan, and Mo Ali Yusuf (mentioned in above picture)have been appointed as the Co-Chairs of said working group, which aims to champion for a transparent regulatory framework while also propelling the adoption and extensive use of digital assets across MENA.Founded in 2018, the MENA Fintech Association has earned recognition as one of the top 4 fintech bodies globally. With a strong presence in the Middle East and Africa, the association has been at the forefront of driving innovation and fostering collaboration in the fintech industry.The newly established Digital Assets Working Group takes on a pivotal role as the leading advocate and catalyst for the advancement of clear, progressive, and sustainable regulations governing digital assets across the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. This dynamic group will spearhead endeavors aimed at shaping and enhancing a comprehensive regulatory framework, cultivating an ecosystem conducive to digital asset innovation, all while upholding stability and security as paramount priorities. This dynamic working group aims to:Propel the adoption and extensive use of digital assets across MENA.Champion for a transparent regulatory framework.Enhance collaboration and knowledge sharing among top-tier industry participants.Set forth the gold standards to safeguard the security and integrity of digital assets.Illuminate and educate stakeholders about the multifaceted nature of digital assets.Accelerate tech talent evolution and knowledge dissemination, fortifying the broader ecosystem.Nameer Khan, Chairman – MENA Fintech Association, expressed his enthusiastic support for the establishment of the Digital Assets Working Group, stating, “In our journey toward shaping the future of finance, we believe that clear and innovative digital asset regulation is the cornerstone. This group will be instrumental in fostering a dynamic and secure digital asset ecosystem across MENA. We are committed to embracing technological advancements while safeguarding the integrity of our financial landscape, and the Digital Assets Working Group is a vital step in that direction.”Miriam Kiwan, Vice President of Middle East and Africa at Circle and Co-Chair of the Digital Assets Working Group, emphasized the group's mission by stating, 'Our vision is to drive innovation with responsibility, and our commitment to building a regulatory framework that supports the dynamic digital asset landscape is unwavering. As we take the lead in shaping the future of digital assets across MENA, we aim to create an environment that encourages innovation, ensures compliance, and promotes trust within this transformative ecosystem.'Miriam stands as a visionary executive boasting an extensive career spanning more than two decades, with a remarkable footprint in Europe and the Middle East. Her profound expertise encompasses the realms of Web 3 and the nurturing of tech entrepreneurship ecosystems, strategic partnership cultivation, strategic marketing endeavors, and the art of fostering business development opportunities. Miriam's professional journey has seen her excel across diverse sectors, ranging from financial services and Web 3 / digital assets to technology, higher education, and entrepreneurship. Her forward-thinking approach and multifaceted skill set have consistently driven innovation and growth, making her a prominent figure in these dynamic industries with a global impact.Mo Ali Yusuf, CEO of Fuze and Co-Chair of the Digital Assets Working Group, underscored the group's mission, stating, “We believe that digital assets represent the future of finance, and our goal is to facilitate their responsible growth and adoption. The Digital Assets Working Group is dedicated to developing robust regulations that foster innovation, security, and transparency. Together, we aim to shape MENA's digital asset landscape into a trusted and flourishing ecosystem, benefiting both businesses and consumers alike.”Mo is a globally recognized business leader with a strong commitment to fueling the growth of fintech, eCommerce, and cryptocurrency. His expertise lies in navigating complex regulatory frameworks, forming strategic partnerships, and maintaining operational excellence. Mo's career is marked by a track record of securing licenses, fostering key collaborations, and ensuring top-tier operational efficiency. He stands as a visionary at the forefront of innovation in these dynamic industries, shaping their future on a global scale.Ronit Ghose is a distinguished figure in the tech and venture capital landscape, serving as an Advisory Board member for various prominent firms and a leading university in diverse global hubs such as Dubai, London, and Cape Town. His illustrious career includes a background in policy work, even having served as a bag carrier for a former UK Prime Minister, reflecting his deep involvement in the political sphere. Ronit's expertise and influence extend into the realm of fintech, where he will play an integral role as a member of the MENA Fintech Association Digital Assets Working Group, further contributing to the evolution of this dynamic sector.The MENA Fintech Association has partnered up with various companies such as Fuze, Circle, Binance, Meta, Circle, ADGM, DIFC, and other trailblazers across the spectrum of regulators, innovators, academia, legal firms, and venture capitalists.

DBWC report emphasizes influencers' role in Dubai's marketing landscape

Dubai: Despite concerns about the credibility of certain social media influencers, a report by the Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) underscores their vital role in Dubai's expansive marketing and media landscape. Discussions emphasized the transformative role of influencers, emphasizing the critical need for alignment with a company's brand and values.The report was released following its inaugural industry-specific roundtable meeting, an innovative initiative on pivotal economic sectors.The report dissects opportunities, hurdles, and growth trajectories within the dynamic realms of media and marketing. It provides strategic insights into leveraging cutting-edge media and marketing tools to propel unprecedented development in these crucial sectors.Council members, representing the media and marketing sector, engaged in robust discussions, dissecting the reality, prospects, and challenges gripping the industry. The outcome? Various innovative solutions and recommendations engineered to catapult the sector's competitiveness to unparalleled heights.Participants identified and grappled with increased competition, dynamic shifts in consumer behaviors, budget constraints, and the looming influence of artificial intelligence shaping the future of communication. The report doesn't shy away from addressing the talent acquisition and retention hurdles that the industry confronts head-on.Looking ahead, the Dubai Business Women Council remains committed to its series of dynamic roundtable discussions. The upcoming session, which will be held in November, will turn the spotlight on the financial services sector, followed by another session about the technology sector to be held next January.These roundtable discussions are emblematic of DBWC's broader initiatives to educate, inform, and empower businesswomen, entrepreneurs, and professionals in the business community, elevating awareness on topics designed to foster business development and market analysis skills.

Incubeta promotes Katerina Bazalova to VP of Creative EMEA & APAC

Dubai: Incubeta MENA, one of the region's most prominent Digital agencies, today announced a new regional structure and strategic changes within its senior management team, further strengthening its position as a leading digital agency in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.Katerina Bazalova, has been promoted to Vice President of Creative EMEA & APAC. As a part of her new role, Katerina will maximise growth for Incubeta by building Global, world-class, client centric creative solutions, continuing their legacy as an expert client partner who becomes an extension of the internal team. Bazlova has built a team of incredible talent, who share Incubeta’s passion for creating bold, impactful, meaningful, and memorable work. Bazalova previously held the Regional Director of Business Operations position, where she oversaw the regional SEO, Social Media and Creative operations. “A challenging, yet incredibly inspiring and invigorating industry to be part of. I am honoured to be able to drive product & an industry-culture change alongside the best of the best '' comments Bazalova. Prior to joining Incubeta, she held senior positions at Geometry MENA and Cheil Worldwide (London, UK), and will continue to propel Incubeta’s Global and Regional creative solutions.Incubeta also announced the appointment of Dominic Honess as the Regional Business Director. Honess will oversee the company’s client portfolio, with a focus on elevating the offering across Incubeta’s Media, SEO and Social pillars. Over his 14 years experience in the digital industry, Honess brings extensive global experience having held prominent positions at multiple markets at UM and Mindshare UK. “I’m excited to be a part of a fast growing business that really focuses on delivering the best quality work for our clients” comments Honess.These changes align with the regional business strategy to continue to drive Incubeta MENA’s long-term growth within the region by developing a diverse leadership team who are deeply experienced and energised to drive the company’s growth.

MENA venture funding in Q3 is up by 32% compared to Q2

Dubai: MAGNiTT, the leading venture capital data platform for emerging markets, releases its Q3 2023 MENA Venture Investment Summary. This report provides an update on how the latest investment trends have evolved across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the first 9 months of 2023.According to the latest release, MENA venture funding in Q3 saw $250M raised across 78 deals. The funding levels have seen an uptick of 32% when compared to Q2’23, while the number of deals has largely remained flat.This contributed on aggregate to the first nine months of 2023 reaching $1.4BN, down by 44% from the first nine months of 2022. The $1.4BN was raised through 286 transactions, which was represented by a 46% decline from last year. These numbers are in line with the global figures, as global venture funding witnessed a 42% YoY decline*.A trend highlighted in this report is after years of consistent declines, Early-Stage investments of less than $1M saw an increased appetite from investors. In 2023, 44% of all deals were attributed to investments between $0K-$1M round size bracket. To put this into perspective, in 2019, around 80% of all investments fell into this bracket, and this number shrunk to 36% in 2022. The 44% figure in 2023 has been driven by the cautious investor sentiment favoring a shift to smaller-sized deals in the first three quarters of this year.This has also been reflected in valuation trends for the region. Early-stage SEED rounds in the MENA region have seen a 28% rise in average valuations in 2023YTD – the only stage to see growth in their mean and median valuations where activity has remained stable. This too is also in line with global trends where investors see a lower risk in early-stage investments versus late-stage counterparts.Philip Bahoshy, CEO at MAGNiTT, comments: “While we saw a 32% QoQ incline in funding levels, this was against the backdrop of a record low figure in Q2 dating back to 2019. Investment activity has remained flat with investors focusing on early-stage bets. On the positive side, we have seen multiple fund announcements. In MENA, UAE’s Chimera Capital and Aliph Capital have launched new funds, and in KSA IMPACT46 and KAUST have raised funds to deploy in local startups. What we’ll be keenly tracking is the pace at which this dry powder translates into investments. In fact, investment activity in Q4’23 will be a good indicator of the strength of 2024's VC landscape.”When comparing the funding activities across the countries in the region, Saudi Arabia has seen the most deployed capital, reporting a 172% QoQ incline, and UAE ranks second showcasing a 55% incline. By the number of transactions, UAE has seen the most activity capturing a third of all deals closed in MENA for the first nine months of 2023, despite a 30% YoY drop. Only Morocco, in the top 5 countries by transactions, could boast a YoY incline of 27% in the number of transactions closed. And the sharpest decline was observed in Egypt, which saw a 70% retreat in the number of transactions compared to last year.While the report indicates a more positive shift in invested capital Bahoshy highlights that it is still early to predict when a recovery will take place. "Historically the summer has always been a slower-paced investment cycle in MENA. Q3 is the second quarter where no mega deal investments have taken place, which is a key indicator of late-stage activity and funding growth. Meanwhile, MAGNiTT continues to monitor investment activity and provides insights and predictions against the backdrop of global macroeconomic and regional market volatility."MAGNiTT’s ‘Q3 2023 MENA Venture Investment Summary’ highlights many such figures and leading players from the Middle East and North Africa. The report is now available to download for free here.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy launches ‘App Olympics’

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy launches ‘App Olympics’ to inspire innovative ideas and advance the emirate's digital ecosystemSaeed Al Gergawi: “By inspiring tomorrow’s digital talent, this competition will play a key role in bringing the wise leadership’s vision for the digital economy to life and contribute to the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33).”• Launched as part of the ‘Create Apps in Dubai’ initiative, the contest is open to UAE nationals and residents of all ages from any emirate, as well as global tech startups interested in establishing a presence in Dubai.• Participants will benefit from expert support and a structured learning journey in the world of app development, which culminates with an exciting award ceremony during Dubai Innovation Month in February 2024.Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has launched the App Olympics, a new competition designed to accelerate Dubai’s journey to become the mobile app development capital of the world. The initiative was announced during the opening day of Expand North Star, the world's largest gathering of startups and investors, which is taking place at Dubai Harbour from 15 - 18 October 2023.The App Olympics competition has been launched as part of the ‘Create Apps in Dubai’ initiative announced by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, in March. Overseen by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy and supported by government entities and leading technology companies, ‘Create Apps in Dubai’ has developed a series of initiatives aimed at further strengthening the emirate’s position as a global leader in the digital domain.Commenting on the launch, Saeed Al Gergawi, Vice President of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, said: “The App Olympics represents another important step in developing the capabilities of the talented app developers who will help shape Dubai's ambitious future. By inspiring tomorrow’s digital talent, this competition will play a key role in bringing the wise leadership’s vision for the digital economy to life and contribute to the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33).”Open to UAE nationals and residents of all ages from any emirate, as well as global tech startups interested in establishing a presence in Dubai, the competition enables participants to learn about app development, build mobile applications, and compete for major prizes and awards that accelerate business growth.The multi-phase challenge encourages aspiring digital entrepreneurs to submit their mobile app development ideas and benefit from expert support during their structured learning journey in the world of app development, which culminates with an exciting award ceremony that will be held during Dubai Innovation Month in February 2024.Each finalist will have the opportunity to showcase their application through a one-minute promotional video, followed by a four-minute pitch presentation. The judging panel will feature leading experts from sectors including banking, venture capital, government entities, and the private sector. Each project submitted will be evaluated, with the top performers selected to compete in the January qualifiers.The competition enables participants to benefit from complimentary access to a tailored package of mobile app development training modules and compete for a chance to build a fully funded application. Contestants will also receive mentorship from industry experts and have access to prototyping tools to facilitate the creation of their product. In addition, the competition provides opportunities to attend exclusive events and connect with potential investors.Led by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, ‘Create Apps in Dubai’ seeks to train over 1,000 Emiratis on the fundamentals of coding, building mobile applications, and business creation models through its ‘Emirati Training Academy.’ The initiative also aims to triple the number of app developers in Dubai by 2025 and will support 100 new national projects for the development of cutting-edge applications, which will be made available in digital app stores over the coming two years.Organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) as part of GITEX Global and hosted by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, Expand North Star takes place at Dubai Harbour from 15-18 October. The event is set to attract over 1,800 startup exhibitors from more than 100 countries, together with around 1,000 investors with a combined total of over US$ 1 trillion under management. This year's showcase will be spread across nine exhibition halls at the waterfront venue and offers opportunities to hear from guest speakers from award-winning startups.To participate in the App Olympics, please

Netflix to launch physical retail stores in 2025

Netflix has announced its strategic move to venture into the world of brick-and-mortar retail with the launch of a series of physical stores under the banner "Netflix House." This retail venture will not only provide fans with an opportunity to acquire merchandise inspired by popular Netflix shows but also indulge in dining experiences and meticulously curated live events.Netflix's foray into the brick-and-mortar realm will kick off with the opening of the first two locations in the US in 2025, with specific details about their locations yet to be disclosed. For the entertainment buff wanting to bring a piece of their beloved Netflix series into their daily lives, Netflix House will offer a variety of show-themed merchandise, including coveted items like the Lincoln Lawyer coffee mug. Going beyond the conventional retail concept, these Netflix House establishments will offer immersive experiences, starting with an obstacle course inspired by "Squid Game." This intriguing choice, while seemingly at odds with the show's critique of modern capitalism, aligns with Netflix's commitment to engaging and entertaining its global audience.Netflix House promises even more excitement through rotating art installations that pay homage to their hit shows and live performances designed to captivate fans. Additionally, the in-house restaurant will feature a diverse menu, incorporating delectable dishes and beverages spotlighted in the streaming giant's popular unscripted food-based reality shows, ranging from fast casual options to high-end dining experiences.Netflix's Vice President of Consumer Products, Josh Simon, explained the rationale behind this global push, citing their customers' strong desire to immerse themselves in the world of Netflix's content.While Netflix House represents a bold new chapter for the streaming giant, it's not their first venture into physical experiences. In the past, Netflix has organised a series of pop-up events worldwide to celebrate specific shows such as "Stranger Things" and its assortment of culinary reality programmes. However, Netflix House marks a significant shift, as it will encompass the full spectrum of Netflix's content offerings, making it a prime destination for fans. Although it's unlikely to feature live experiences centered around lesser-known series like "Real Rob," "Flaked," or "The Ranch," Netflix House promises to be a treasure trove for fans, with the potential to uncover unique merchandise from fan-favorite shows like "BoJack Horseman."As Netflix continues to refine the finer details regarding menus, locations, and other aspects of the Netflix House concept, eager fans have more than a year to anticipate the immersive retail experience.  Comcast unveils next-gen Internet powered by DOCSIS 4.0

Abu Dhabi to host Remarkable Emirati Women summit

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood (SCMC), and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), the Mother of the Nation, the Remarkable Emirati Women summit will take place on 18 October 2023 at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi to showcase the exceptional achievements and capabilities of Emirati women.The event will be organised by PureHealth in collaboration with the General Women’s Union and the Supreme Council for Motherhood & Childhood, with the participation of women leaders including senior government officials.The summit will welcome more than 500 attendees and aims to inspire and empower the next generation of Emirati women by showcasing success stories from a group of female pioneers working in various sectors. The event will also feature engaging discussions and activities designed to encourage attendees to discover their full potential. The summit represents PureHealth’s latest initiative supporting the empowerment of Emirati women, aligning with the group’s strategic commitment to developing national talent.Shaista Asif, Co-Founder and Group Chief Operating Officer of PureHealth, said: "As we unite under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, the Mother of the Nation, PureHealth is truly honoured to host the inaugural edition of the Remarkable Emirati Women summit. This platform embodies our unwavering commitment to recognising the remarkable potential and capabilities of Emirati women and fuelling the aspirations of the next generation.“The summit is more than an event; it is a call to unlock the boundless potential within Emirati women. We are looking forward to gathering with leading visionaries to sculpt a future where aspirations know no limits. Guided by Her Highness's inspiring leadership, we are committed to fostering an environment where the remarkable contributions of Emirati women continue to illuminate our nation's path.” The summit will feature a programme filled with dialogue sessions, discussions, and keynote speeches. There will also be various interactive activities including a pledge wall, an awareness corner, an exhibition showcasing Emirati women entrepreneurs, a registration office for training, a tribute exhibition and a house of mirrors.Emirati women are critical to the UAE’s success across fields including sustainability, technology, healthcare, and education, among others. Data shows that 25,000 Emirati businesswomen run projects worth more than AED 60 billion and occupy 15% of the positions on the boards of chambers of commerce and industry nationwide. In Abu Dhabi alone, Emirati women represent more than 69% of the total Emiratis working in the healthcare sector.PureHealth has achieved significant milestones in supporting the national agenda by enhancing the role of Emirati women. The group comprises more than 3,675 Emirati women in various specialties. PureHealth operates the Emirati Development Centre overseeing its ambitious vision of preparing 1,000 future Emirati leaders in the coming years.The Emirati Development Centre is a vital initiative aiming to develop and nurture Emirati talent within the group. The centre focuses on enhancing the leadership skills and capabilities of Emirati employees, aligning with PureHealth’s ongoing commitment to supporting national goals and the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. The centre also provides tailored educational and developmental opportunities to empower Emirati professionals, preparing them to assume pivotal roles in the healthcare sector.

The world's largest startup showcase kicks off in Dubai

Expand North Star, the world's largest startup showcase, kicked off yesterday at the new Dubai Harbour venue, featuring the latest innovations in robotics, AI, and entrepreneurship. The four-day event brings together 1800 startups from 100 countries and over 1,000 investors with over $1 trillion under management.Meet ARTEMIS, the World's Fastest-Walking Humanoid RobotOne of the event's highlights was the first live stage demonstration of ARTEMIS, the world's fastest-walking humanoid robot, developed by UCLA researchers. This versatile robot can walk on any terrain using custom-designed actuators that mimic biological muscles, unlike most robots with rigid, position-controlled actuators.ARTEMIS stands at 4 feet, 8 inches and weighs 85 pounds. It can run and jump on rough, unstable surfaces with a speed of 2.1 m/s. The developers' goal is for the autonomous soccer playing robot team to defeat a human world championship team by 2050.Dr Dennis Hong, the visionary behind this groundbreaking innovation, explained that the key behind ARTEMIS' excellent balance while walking on uneven terrain and its ability to run was the ability to get both feet off the ground while in motion, a revolutionary feat for robots.Empowering Youth Entrepreneurs to Shape the FutureExpand North Star also hosted YouthX Unipreneur, the biggest youth entrepreneurship programme in the region, inspiring students to become the chief architects of the future. The programme attracted more than 1,500 students from over 40 schools and universities, who pitched their innovative ideas to a panel of experts. More than 600 youth ambassadors and 50 on-stage and off-stage engagements were also part of the programme.Hassan Sabt, President of Dubai Youth Council, highlighted Expand North Star's significance as a platform for young investors and startups to learn from global industry leaders, compete in live events, share ideas and develop leadership skills."The Dubai Youth Council was founded under the direction of our leadership to empower Emirati youth to take an active role and lead strategic industries. The platform also fosters connections while maximizing efforts towards achieving national and global goals. There is no better investment in a country than investing in youth.” he said."Our partnership with GITEX YouthX at Expand North Star is just the beginning of much bigger plans to assume more impactful measures on behalf of Emirati youth," added Sabt.Leveraging AI/ML to Create Products that Make an ImpactAnother key session at Expand North Star was a panel discussion on using artificial intelligence and machine learning to create products that dent the universe. The panel featured product managers from global unicorns such as Bolt, Reddit, and, who shared their best practices and tips for founders, including Ali Rana, VP of Product at Bolt, Mayank Yadav, Director of Product at Reddit, and Sanchit Juneja, Director of Big Data and ML at panellists cautioned against falling for the AI hype. Adopting technology for its own sake with no added value is a sure way to fail as an entrepreneur. Technology, the audience heard, must solve an existing problem. That said, the speakers warned, business owners must keep abreast of technological evolution as many paradigms have changed, affecting careers people thought were indestructible.Demystifying the Entrepreneur JourneyGary Blowers, CEO of UAE-based LVL Well-being, shared his experience raising funds for his startup on the Spotlight Stage. The company joined an accelerator program in July 2021, hoping to raise capital in six months. Pitches to hundreds of investors yielded nothing. "Raising capital is a marathon, not a sprint. It's also essential to understand that everyone's journey in raising capital is different, and it takes time in this challenging market. But don't get too caught up with raising capital that you forget to grow the business; keep one eye on the commercials," he urged. "I've learned some valuable lessons during this process," he continued. "First, your data room is crucial to your success. Keep it updated to reflect your evolving business. Second, be brutally honest with yourself and your team. Communicate candidly, even when things don't go as planned."Blowers highlighted the importance of the founder and team's well-being. "The entrepreneurial journey can negatively impact mental health, leading to burnout and depression. Prioritize your well-being and create a healthy work culture. Taking care of yourself and your team is key to completing the fundraising marathon and being ready to win at the end."Expand North Star is the ultimate global destination for startup innovation and inspiration. The event will run until 18 October 2023 at the Dubai Harbour, the Middle East's biggest iconic superyacht hub.

Zain KSA and Huawei sign MoU to promote green technology

Zain KSA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Huawei. Marking a significant milestone in the field of green technology collaboration, this agreement took place during Zain KSA's participation in the Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBB Forum 2023). The forum was hosted by Huawei in cooperation with GSMA, GTI, and the SAMENA Telecommunications Council, in Dubai on October 10-11, 2023. Under this agreement, the two companies will collaborate to drive the adoption of green technology across networks and operations.This collaboration supports Zain KSA's corporate sustainability strategy, demonstrating the company's dedication to combating climate change and embracing cutting-edge clean energy solutions. Underscoring Zain KSA's commitment and integration to robust Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this strategic alliance will accelerate Zain KSA's sustainability initiatives and environmental goals, promoting the adoption of green technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Marking a revolutionary initiative, Zain KSA has recently launched the world's first zero-emission 5G network at the Six Senses Desert Dunes resort in the Red Sea, in collaboration with Red Sea Global (RSG). This groundbreaking solar-powered network utilizes 100% renewable energy from over 760,000 solar panels with purpose-designed towers and state-of-the-art 3D printing technology. These advancements align with three key objectives: environmental conservation, reduction of emissions through the utilization of clean energy, and minimizing visual distortion.Commenting on this milestone, Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Mufadda, Chief Technology Officer of Zain KSA, stated: "Our commitment to integrating technology with sustainability is driven by innovation and the development of modern digital infrastructure. Our ultimate goal is to preserve the environment and ensure its sustainability for future generations. At every level of our company, we are actively promoting sustainability, aiming to be pioneers in technical sustainability. Our efforts have turned us into a leading telecommunications and digital services provider. This partnership with global giant Huawei is a natural extension of our strategic alliances and our corporate sustainability strategy, which serves Saudi Vision 2030 by enhancing the quality of life and human well-being by reducing carbon emissions by more than 278 million tons annually by 2030 and ultimately achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. In fact, Zain KSA and Huawei share a unified vision to build a smarter and more environmentally friendly world. Together, we will take steps to reduce the negative impact on planet Earth, both globally and specifically within the Kingdom, aiming to empower humanity to achieve its aspirations by harnessing the power of technology to preserve the sustainability of our planet for future generations."Zain KSA has achieved a significant milestone by attaining an "A" rating on the MSCI ESG Index. This upgrade, from a previous BBB rating, underscores the importance of the company’s initiatives in environmental conservation, social responsibility, and efficient governance of its operational, financial, and administrative processes.

Thank You For Coming: A Movie Best Left Unseen

She's been looking for a frog to turn in to prince charming since her teens. At thirty plus of age, she's still not earned her orgasm. And that is after dating and mating with atleast half a dozen males, one of which is apna Anil Kapoor as a romantic shaayar twice her age. Meet Kanika Kapoor (Bhumi Pednekar), whose life apparently revolves around satisfying her Gspot. Frustrated and unsuccessful at it, she finally agrees to settle with a richie rich goodie good dude (Pradhuman Singh), who is as straight as Bharat Bhushan of yore. Oh Bore!! Finally, our Kanika aka Kannu experiences her first orgasm after a deep drunken party but unfortunately, doesn't remember whom she slept with. Was it her fiancé or the elderly shaayar or her bestie's curly burly hubby or someone else? Who gave her the satisfaction of a lifetime??!!! The film's second half is dedicated to finding who the gentleman was... as Kannu goes about questioning her suspects, "Kya tumne?". It actually reminded me of Akshay Kumar asking similar thing to a dozen girls in Heyy Babyy (2007). But guys, that was a Sajid Khan trash and hence, utterly excusable!! Here, the proceedings get thoroughly monotonous and boring after the interval... Bhumi Pednekar is an efficient actor and can rise above the script, given a good hand (pun unintended). But darlings, expecting her to shoulder an entire movie on her own, especially this one based on such a flimsy premise is taking things too far. About the rest of the cast, the less said the better. Thank You For Coming tries to drive a point that seventy percent women in this world don't experience orgasm in their entire lives. Dunno how true or false it is!! If it is indeed true, the movie treats it so frivolously that it fails to register in any manner. The climax offers a solution of "self help" as means to attain the ultimate sexual pleasure. "Aapla Haath Jagannath", it preaches unabashedly. But wasn't that the name of a blockbuster Dada Kondke movie of the '70s. Hmm, no further comment!!! Ratings on some key aspects* : 1. Acting : 4/5 (Bhumi Pednekar)2. Direction : 1.5/53. Music : 1.5/5 4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 2/55. Cinematography : 3/56. Editing : 3/5 7. Costume Design : 3/58. Special Effects and VFX : NA9. Action : NA10. Production Quality : 2.5/5 #SNRating for #ThankYouForComing : 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. #ThankYouForComing #SexComedy #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #BhumiPednekar #AnilKapoor #BollywoodReview #Filmreview #TheatricalRelease #OTTRelease #Netflix #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.

UAE calls for global consensus on AI governance

Dubai: The UAE’s AI minister on Wednesday urged countries to come to a consensus on AI governance sooner than it came to the Paris Agreement, which took years to take shape and come into force.His Excellency Omar Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy & Remote Work Applications, said at the Dubai Assembly for Generative AI that countries need a fresh approach to governing AI.“I think the current global discussion on AI governance is a non-starter. Instead of attempting to govern the technology, we can govern the use cases,” he said.During the assembly – which witnessed over 2000 attendees coming big tech companies and consultancies such as Microsoft, Deloitte, PwC, IBM – Dubai Future Foundation launched the Dubai Generative AI Alliance, a new alliance of tech companies to help Dubai accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies and build one of the world’s most advanced and effective tech-enabled governments.Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of DFF, called on companies and innovators to join the alliance, which will focus on developing innovative technology pilots by leveraging AI, the metaverse and Web3. The Dubai government also launched ‘Dubai AI’, a generative AI-powered digital city concierge. The city-wide digital platform will offer comprehensive information and services, covering health, business, and education, to residents and visitors. It will transform government services, the assembly heard.The assembly also heard how the global banking sector could benefit by as much as USD 400 billion from the boom in generative AI.The global platform heard from experts from international tech corporations and consultancies. PwC said automation in the workplace is imminent, with generative AI likely to be able to execute everyday tasks, such as booking flights and generating reports autonomously, on a large scale within the next 18-20 months.Deloitte's leading digital expert said nuclear fusion, climate action and drug discovery will be some of the main beneficiaries of generative AI, while the industrial and pharmaceutical sectors are among those quickest to adapt to the emerging technology.Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, said by November, the airline will “empower cabin crew to leverage [generative AI] through delivering training on complex models”.

Qatar Museums appoints Kirstin Mearns as new CEO of its commercial arm, IN-Q

Qatar Museums today announced the appointment of Kirstin Mearns to serve as Chief Executive Officer of IN-Q Enterprises WLL (IN-Q), the commercial arm and wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Museums within the retail, food and beverage, and hospitality sectors. IN-Q creates commercial opportunities for artists, designers, and entrepreneurs while also presenting curated experiences that demonstrate the hospitality for which Qatar is well known.Ali Bouzarif, Vice Chairman of IN-Q, said, “Kirstin Mearns is a champion of artists with a keen mind for enterprise. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience from both the non-profit and business sectors, making her the ideal leader to create entrepreneurial opportunities for Qatar’s emerging creatives both on site and through digital engagement.”Mearns will oversee IN-Q’s expanding portfolio of restaurants, stores, retail and dining experiences, and online platforms, which include IDAM by Alain Ducasse at the Museum of Islamic Art, Jiwan Restaurant and Café 875 at the National Museum of Qatar, Café #999 at the Fire Station, Naua at 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, Profiles Café at M7, Ralph’s Coffee at Place Vendome, IN-Q Online, QM museum gift shops, Cass Art Qatar Shop, exhibition pop-ups at M7, QM Galleries, and the Fire Station, and more.Kirstin Mearns said, “‘It is with great pride in what M+ is, and what I know it will become, that I now embrace my new position of CEO of IN-Q enterprises. The Qatar Cultural Vision for 2030 is one built on Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s foresight and fortitude, and it is an honour to be part of that vision leading the IN-Q team. Cultural commerce has the potential to bridge the gap as a familiar context in a new and evolving Qatari cultural experience. I look forward to working with the Qatar Museums and IN-Q teams to become a global leader in cultural commerce.”Mearns most recently served as Head of Commerce and Visitor Services at M+ in Hong Kong where she oversaw a large department that was responsible for visitor service, trademark and licensing, merchandising, membership and sponsorship strategies, placemaking, retail and commercial development, and generating new revenue streams.

The Sandbox expands to Saudi Arabia through a partnership with Sandsoft

The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming virtual world and subsidiary of Animoca Brands, today announced a collaboration with Sandsoft, the mobile-first Riyadh-headquartered game developer, publisher and investor powered by AAA talent. Sandsoft will be a key partner in The Sandbox’s expansion into Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and will also be a driver in attracting local talent in the video game sector and growing education and job opportunities within the region.The collaboration aims at building a team of Web3 gaming experts to create partnerships with local public and private industry actors, entertainment, IPs & Brands and celebrities to explore opportunities in gamified social experiences in The Sandbox, and to empower local creative talent by educating and onboarding developers and artists into its ecosystem.“We’re excited to collaborate with Sandsoft in bringing new creators to contribute towards the open Metaverse and develop together a virtual neighborhood on our map. This partnership will allow brands and creators across Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to discover the creative opportunities The Sandbox provides,” said Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox. “It will also enrich The Sandbox’s global ecosystem with Saudi Arabia’s rich culture and history.” “The Sandbox has great potential for game developers, creatives, brands and consumers from the Middle East and North Africa,” said David Fernandez, CEO of Sandsoft. “We’re pleased to announce this collaboration, which will drive opportunities for vibrant and diverse communities in Saudi Arabia and beyond, expanding on Sandsoft’s existing initiatives to nurture talent in the local gaming ecosystem.”With a diverse global team of more than 60 people, Sandsoft is on a trajectory to become a leading mobile-first gaming powerhouse. Sandsoft’s ‘Press Start’ internship program aims to provide opportunities for talented young people in Saudi Arabia to enhance their game development skills under the supervision of leading games industry figures including VP Studio Yahsir Qureshi (formerly of EA, Zynga) and CTO Ahmed Sharif (previously at Meta, Sony, EA). Part virtual real estate, part amusement park, The Sandbox fully embraces the idea of the metaverse as a continuous shared digital space where worlds and heroes collide to make magic. Over 400 partners have joined The Sandbox, including Warner Music Group, Ubisoft’s Rabbids, Cut The Rope, Gucci Vault, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Snoop Dogg, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, SM Entertainment, The Smurfs, Care Bears, and Atari, all following The Sandbox team’s vision of empowering players to create their own experiences using both original and well-known characters and worlds.

Demand increases for project professionals with AI skills

Dubai:  Project Management Institute (PMI), the world's leading organization for the project management profession, is empowering millions of global project professionals worldwide to adopt, embrace, and leverage artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and generative AI (GenAI). PMI is developing the tools, resources, and learning opportunities – including a free, introductory online course entitled “Generative AI Overview for Project Managers” – project professionals need to leverage AI powered technology while preserving the human touch in project management. According to McKinsey, GenAI and other technologies have the potential to automate work activities that absorb 60 to 70 percent of employees’ time today. But tools cannot automate interpersonal skills, the invaluable and very necessary skills project managers bring to projects. Communication, problem-solving, collaborative leadership, and strategic thinking – skills PMI calls “power skills” – will continue to be crucial to project success. In fact, PMI research finds that organizations that place a high priority on power skills are significantly better at completing projects that meet business goals. Additionally, they waste less investment due to poor project performance compared to the global average (4.8 percent vs. 5.2 percent), and far less than organizations that put a low priority on power skills (8.8 percent). “I see an incredible opportunity to elevate the leadership role of project professionals in their organization, thanks to the AI-driven disruption,” said Pierre Le Manh, President & Chief Executive Officer of PMI. “Project professionals are natural learners, problem solvers, innovators and they get things done. Now is the time for us to lead the AI transformation of organizations.” STAY CURRENT AND SHARPEN SKILLS AT THE AI IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT PAGE ON PMI.ORG To keep up with the latest developments in AI technology, project professionals must prioritize continuous learning. The Artificial Intelligence in Project Management Resource Center on is the destination for learning to navigate a new era of efficiency, insight, and growth. The page, complete with AI insights and learning opportunities, will be updated consistently with new, thought-provoking survey findings, thought leadership, industry analysis, academic research, and community-contributed content and publications. The varied data sources – inclusive of PMI's vast community of academic partners, enterprise partners, and millions of project professionals, combined with proprietary research – will set this content apart and make it the go-to resource for project professionals and organizations striving to leverage these tools to improve project success. PMI will post two new articles in October 2023. Key insights from these articles include: Project managers can leverage AI for project productivity and enhance power skillsAccording to the 2023 PMI Annual Global Survey on Project Management, the top three ways project managers use AI are reporting (34%), decision support (33%), and communication (26%). While AI can take on productivity tasks like planning and budgeting, project managers are also using AI as a tool to sharpen specific power skills, so their human interactions and strategic decisions are stronger. AI Adoption will only increase, so project managers need to upskill quickly to take advantage of this enormous career opportunity?The 2023 PMI Annual Global Survey on Project Management found that 82% of senior leaders said AI will have at least some impact on how projects are run at their organization over the next five years. However, unpublished PMI Customer Experience (CX) research found that only 18% of project managers report having extensive or good practical experience with AI tools and technologies, and 49% have little to no experience with or understanding of AI in the context of project management.  Building organizational resilience, leveraging technical skills, and upskilling teams will help organizations remain competitive. AI is a major disruption that requires businesses to transform. While technical skills are an important part of widespread AI adoption, it is just one piece of the puzzle. For AI to work, organizations need resilience. The BRIGHTLINE Initiative and Thinkers50 book Building Resilient Organizations, states that organizations must have a clear vision, a flexible mindset, and empowered teams to foster widespread collaboration.  BUILD FOUNDATIONAL KNOWLEDGE WITH A NEW FREE, INTRODUCTORY COURSE – “GENERATIVE AI OVERVIEW FOR PROJECT MANAGERS” To help project professionals gain the foundational knowledge they need to master AI in project management, PMI launched a free course to serve as a gateway to learning titled “Generative AI Overview for Project Managers.” It provides learners with practical knowledge for using AI that they can apply to their projects immediately. After completing the course, professionals will earn 5 PDUs and a digital badge issued via Credly. This course is just the beginning. PMI will continue to release learning content focused on AI in project management, all created for project professionals by project professionals. The PMI community will test the learning content, ensuring it reflects the experience of project professionals who have relevant experience using AI in project management. EXPERIENCE AI IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT FIRST-HAND AT PMI GLOBAL SUMMIT 2023 As AI takes a foothold on the project management profession, project professionals will need to embrace experimenting with these new tools and connecting with peers for lessons learned. To pave the way for professionals to do this, PMI is reimagining how project professionals can balance AI with human ingenuity at its annual event, PMI Global Summit, 25-28 October in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The event’s program features AI-focused sessions, exclusive learning opportunities, and immersive activities. Attendees will learn from AI experts and thought leaders unpacking the power of using AI and be challenged to broaden their perspectives on the use of AI. Register for the event today here. “AI is on the rise, with Goldman Sachs reporting AI investment could be near $200 billion globally by 2025, making it clear that project managers need to embrace and lead this change,” said Sam Sibley, Global Head, Emerging Products & Innovation for PMI. “With the right combination of how to best use AI on projects and the project manager’s human touch, you can do more than ever to meet every challenge that comes your way. PMI’s commitment is to support and guide project professionals at every career stage to be at the forefront of this new AI-enabled world of work.” AI brings the potential to unlock a better future with endless opportunities to improve project success rate, benefits realization, and the societal impact of projects. For project professionals who fully embrace AI and enhance their work with its capabilities, they will see career advancement opportunities. To unleash the impact of AI on the future of project management, visit the Artificial Intelligence in Project Management Resource Center.

Dubai CommerCity to participate in Expand North Star 2023

Dubai: Dubai CommerCity, the first and leading free zone dedicated exclusively to e-commerce in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and a joint venture between the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) and Wasl Properties, has announced its participation in this year’s Expand North Star, the world’s largest event for startups and investors, taking place between 15-18 October 2023 at Dubai Harbour.Dubai CommerCity’s participation at this event, which is set to host startups from over 100 countries and more than 1,000 investors with a combined total of over US$1 trillion under management to Dubai, which is rapidly emerging as the heart of the world's digital economy, comes as part of its ambition to connect with some of the world’s most innovative start-ups and showcase its cutting-edge infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, each tailored to meet the requirements of digital commerce businesses. These comprehensive offerings include full business set-up, comprehensive business support, customs consultations, end-to-end logistics solutions, as well as block chain solutions and technology, all while offering a conducive working environment and access to an expansive network of like-minded individuals.Furthermore, the free zone’s participation aligns with its ongoing efforts to advance digital commerce in the region and its commitment to achieving the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), which aims to drive the growth of Dubai’s digital economy over the next ten years.Mitch Bittermann, Senior Vice President of Commercials at Dubai CommerCity, said: “Our participation in this year’s Expand North Star, reflects our commitment to connecting with and supporting the world's most innovative start-ups. Dubai CommerCity stands as a symbol of progress and innovation in the digital commerce sector, and we look forward to showcasing our advanced infrastructure to up-and-coming businesses looking to grow and succeed in the region and beyond."He added: “We look forward to connecting with the event participants, where we will showcase the opportunities that DCC brings to investors and entrepreneurs, enabling them to gain a competitive edge in the dynamic digital commerce landscape. We are confident in the immense value of this event that promises to be a catalyst for innovative thinking, international collaboration, and shaping the future of digital commerce.Dubai CommerCity operates under the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority, established in 2021 to provide support and enable operations in various free zones, including the Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and Dubai CommerCity. Its primary goal is to achieve integration among all economic zones and bolster their roles in supporting the economy. The ultimate objective is to establish an economic system that caters to all strategic sectors and enhances competitive capabilities within the Emirate of Dubai.

UK's CMA approves Microsoft's acquisition of Activision

UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved the Microsoft deal to buy Activision without cloud gaming rights. In August this year Microsoft made a concession that would see Ubisoft, instead of Microsoft, buy Activision’s cloud gaming rights. This new deal will put the cloud streaming rights (outside the EEA) for all of Activision’s PC and console content produced over the next 15 years in the hands of a strong and independent competitor with ambitious plans to offer new ways of accessing that content.As a result of this concession, the CMA agreed to look afresh at the deal and launched a new investigation in August. That investigation has completed today with the CMA clearing this narrower transaction.The new deal will stop Microsoft from locking up competition in cloud gaming as this market takes off, preserving competitive prices and services for UK cloud gaming customers. It will allow Ubisoft to offer Activision’s content under any business model, including through multigame subscription services. It will also help to ensure that cloud gaming providers will be able to use non-Windows operating systems for Activision content, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the CMA said:  The CMA is resolute in its determination to prevent mergers that harm competition and deliver bad outcomes for consumers and businesses.?We take our decisions free from political influence and we won’t be swayed by corporate lobbying.  We delivered a clear message to Microsoft that the deal would be blocked unless they comprehensively addressed our concerns and stuck to our guns on that.  With the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft, we’ve made sure Microsoft can’t have a stranglehold over this important and rapidly developing market. As cloud gaming grows, this intervention will ensure people get more competitive prices, better services and more choice. We are the only competition agency globally to have delivered this outcome.  But businesses and their advisors should be in no doubt that the tactics employed by Microsoft are no way to engage with the CMA.?Microsoft had the chance to restructure during our initial investigation but instead continued to insist on a package of measures that we told them simply wouldn’t work. Dragging out proceedings in this way only wastes time and money.Martin Coleman, Chair of the Independent Panel who reviewed the original Microsoft deal, said:  Cloud gaming is an important new way for gamers to access games and this deal could have seriously undermined its potential development. On that we, the European Commission and the US Federal Trade Commission are in full agreement. Where we differ is on how we solve that problem. We rejected a solution put to us by the parties which would have left Microsoft with too much control.  We now have a new transaction in which the cloud distribution of Activision games, old and new, is taken away from Microsoft and put into the hands of Ubisoft, an independent party who is committed to widening access to the games.?That’s better for competition, better for consumers and better for economic growth.The decision In its original investigation, the CMA found Microsoft already held a strong position in relation to cloud gaming and blocked the deal. The sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft will prevent the distribution of important, popular content – including games such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft – from coming under the control of Microsoft in relation to cloud gaming. The restructured deal substantially addressed the concerns that the CMA had following its original investigation, which concluded earlier this year.  The CMA did identify limited residual concerns with the new deal, but Microsoft gave undertakings that will ensure that the terms of the sale of Activision’s rights to Ubisoft are enforceable by the CMA. The CMA consulted on these undertakings and is satisfied that this will provide the safety net needed to make sure this deal is properly implemented.

Timothy M. Kelly is appointed president of Atlantis

Atlantis Dubai proudly announces the appointment of Timothy M. Kelly as the President of Atlantis, Kerzner International. This is a testament to Timothy’s outstanding contributions and achievements during his six-year tenure at Atlantis Dubai. In this brand-new role, Timothy will be responsible for leading and representing the entire Atlantis brand globally. He will continue his responsibilities overseeing the teams in Atlantis, The Palm and Atlantis The Royal in Dubai, and will begin overseeing the team in Atlantis Sanya in China. Timothy will also officially join Kerzner International's esteemed Executive Team, ensuring the delivery of the entire organisation's strategy across its multi-award-winning portfolio. Timothy’s innate ability to lead and inspire his team has ensured that Atlantis, The Palm outperforms year on year. The illustrious Grand Reveal of Atlantis The Royal in January this year set the pace for a stream of awards, including the recent announcement that the newly opened property had been ranked in The World’s 50 Best Hotels list – the only hotel in the Middle East to be featured. From the record-breaking expansion of Atlantis Aquaventure, to the star-studded food and beverage offerings across both properties as well as the roll-out of multiple award-winning sustainability projects including the Atlantis Atlas Project, the achievements under Timothy’s leadership continue to propel the brand forward as a destination that reveals a new and extraordinary experience at every turn. In his new role, Timothy will also ensure resort operations, design planning, brand alignment, sales and marketing, and people initiatives at all Atlantis properties are carried out to the highest level. Additionally, he will be responsible for representing Kerzner International, while providing mentorship to all General Managers and Executive Leaders under the Atlantis brand. "Timothy’s appointment acknowledges his inspiring and dedicated leadership, and the incredible successes he has overseen at Atlantis, The Palm, which continues to achieve record growth, and Atlantis, The Royal, which opened to worldwide acclaim and excitement earlier this year, and is already collecting global awards and recognition," said Philippe Zuber, CEO of Kerzner International. "I am delighted to welcome him to the Executive Team, and confident that under his stewardship, Atlantis will continue to innovate and excite, boldly redefining the luxury resort and entertainment experience for guests around the world." Commenting on his appointment, Timothy Kelly, President of Atlantis, said, "I am truly honoured that Kerzner International has placed their trust in me to embark on this exciting chapter ahead. The past six years have been incredible, and there's been nothing more rewarding than witnessing our brand's successful growth trajectory. I look forward to an exciting future filled with endless possibilities and continuing to work with our amazing colleagues throughout Kerzner International.” Before joining Atlantis Dubai, Timothy served in a variety of senior leadership positions, most recently as Senior Vice President of Resort Operations at Wynn Palace, Cotai and Wynn, Macau (SAR). Prior to this, Timothy held the prestigious role of Vice President of Hotel Operations at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was here that Timothy’s emphasis on guest experience, through the implementation of personalised service strategies, and the introduction of a new brand concept “Skylofts at MGM Grand”, led to MGM Resorts International achieving their first “Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award” in the history of the company. Timothy's leadership excellence afforded him to be the first representative of Forbes Travel Guide Service Advisory Committee, representing the Asia-Pacific Region, on Five-Star luxury service and maintenance standards. He was also appointed to the Nevada Hotel Lodging Association Board of Directors for six years, lobbying the state legislature supporting the integrated resort industry.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy unveils new startup showcases

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers under Dubai Chambers, has revealed details of the exciting new showcases making their debut at Expand North Star 2023. India Central, Asia Fast 100, and Africa Fast 100 position the world's biggest gathering of startups and investors as an unmissable event for the global business community.Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy’s flagship event will take place at Dubai Harbour from 15 to 18 October 2023 and is set to connect the world's most sought-after startups with innovators, investors, entrepreneurs, and the founders of global success stories.India Central is the largest showcase of Indian startups outside India, which is home to over 90,000 startups and more than 100 unicorn companies. Around 300 Indian startups are expected to participate in the India Central showcase, together with state ministers, unicorn founders, and leading venture capitalists. The platform features a dedicated conference that will shed light on the Indian tech ecosystem, its regulatory environment, and emerging investment opportunities.Asia Fast 100 and Africa Fast 100 will bring together 100 of the most promising startups from each continent. Southeast Asia’s tech startups are forecast to reach a combined value of US$ 1 trillion by 2025, up from just US$ 340 billion in 2020. Meanwhile, 633 African startups raised a combined US$ 3.3 billion in 2022, representing a total annual funding level increase of more than 1,000% since 2015.The Asia Fast 100 and Africa Fast 100 showcases follow extensive four-month promotional campaigns and a series of networking events that connected ten of the biggest hubs on both continents. The programmes are the largest showcases for the Asian and African startup communities outside their home regions, and both will feature a packed schedule of conferences, networking opportunities, and dedicated pitch competitions.Other notable new initiatives include AI Monday, a showcase of over 250 fast-scaling AI startups; the CTO World Congress, a forum offering profound insights into the minds of the world’s leading tech architects and data scientists; and Angel Sunday, a series of unique workshops that includes a guided tour aimed at connecting startups with angel investors.The exciting new initiatives reflect Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy's commitment to strengthening economic relationships with the Asian and African markets, particularly in the technology and digital transformation spaces. The chamber aims to introduce entrepreneurs and ambitious startups to Dubai's digital ecosystem, facilitate their expansion into the emirate and provide access to the tools they need to thrive in the emirate. Expand North Star is set to support Dubai's transformation into one of the world's leading digital economies, in line with the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33).The digital economy has been established as a key pillar of the D33 agenda, which seeks to generate an annual economic contribution of AED 100 billion from digital transformation projects. Expand North Star aims to support this goal by transforming 30 startups into unicorns – privately held startups with a valuation of US$ 1 billion or more – by 2033.The event is set to host more than 1,800 startup exhibitors from over 100 countries. More than 1,000 investors with a combined total of over US$ 1 trillion under management are also heading to Dubai, which is rapidly emerging as a leading capital of the global digital economy.Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy is targeting the attraction of 300 digital startups to Dubai by 2024 as part of its commitment to advancing the emirate’s digital economy and bringing the ambitions of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) to life.Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, aims to strengthen Dubai’s position as a global leader in the digital economy, attract specialised talent, leading companies and new investments and create a stimulating environment that supports the growth of digital companies. The Chamber was established by a decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

42 Abu Dhabi to showcase its students’ AI-powered projects at GITEX 2023

42 Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital’s innovative and disruptive coding school that provides a unique peer-to-peer, gamified learning methodology, is set to showcase its students’ AI-powered projects at GITEX 2023, a leading event specializing in technology in the region. GITEX will be held from 16-20 October 2023 at Dubai World Trade Centre.In line with the theme of GITEX 2023, “The Year to Imagine AI in Everything”, 42 Abu Dhabi will showcase a range of new projects which were developed by its students using AI technologies. These include “Talent Hub”, a platform designed to streamline recruitment processes for enhanced efficiency and “Synaera”, an app that bridges communication gaps for sign language users by converting sign language into text and speech.As a step towards a sustainable future, the school will also showcase an eco-friendly robotic tour guide which the students designed from recycled plastics and biodegradable components. Additionally, 42 Abu Dhabi will unveil “Tahlili”, an app which utilizes cutting-edge Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Computer Vision (CV) technologies to decipher complex medical terminology, providing clear and understandable medical insights.Marcos Muller Habig, Acting CEO of 42 Abu Dhabi said: "Our participation in GITEX comes in line with our efforts to highlight the achievements and innovative projects that our students have developed to make an impact on their community. GITEX will serve as an opportunity to shed light on 42 Abu Dhabi’s key role in fostering a new generation of digital leaders who are at the forefront of building the digital future of vital sectors through their coding skills. We look forward to connecting with tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and innovators from across the globe at this large-scale event.""42 Abu Dhabi’s participation under the umbrella of the Abu Dhabi government’s pavilion cements its role as a talent incubator that is driving the Emirate’s tech-enabled future and upskilling coders to empower them to develop advanced technologies that will accelerate the Emirate’s digital transformation," he added.Since its launch, 42 Abu Dhabi has enrolled 584 students, including 152 UAE national students, to further support Abu Dhabi’s efforts to create a diverse and inclusive education infrastructure that enables a future-ready workforce.42 Abu Dhabi is an innovative and disruptive coding school, launched in 2020 as an initiative of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), to drive Abu Dhabi’s ongoing development through multi-faceted investments in business, innovation, and people.

Dubai Duty Free wins two at The Trazees Awards

Dubai Duty Free was presented with two awards in its Head Office yesterday, 10th October, that were won earlier at the 9th annual ceremony for the Trazees Awards held in Texas, USA. The awards included “Favorite Duty-Free Shopping” and “Favorite Duty-Free Shopping in the Middle East”.Voted by the online readers of Trazees Travel, Global Traveler’s sister online publication, which is the must-visit online resource for travelers aged 25–40 offering travel tips, reviews and the latest travel trends. Dubai Duty Free came out top in the online readers survey conducted between December 2022 to May 2023.Haley Fogarty, Advertising Manager for Global Traveller and Trazees Travel traveled to Dubai to personally hand over the trophies to Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Colm McLoughlin, and Ramesh Cidambi, COO.Commenting on the two awards, Colm McLoughlin said, “We are delighted to be named "Favorite Duty-Free Shopping in the Middle East" for the third time and "Favorite Duty-Free Shopping" for the second time. We are thrilled that we are appealing to the millennial traveler, the most sought-after travel demographic. My thanks to the online readers of Trazees Travel magazine and to the organisers.” conducted a survey of its readers for the best in many categories important to the millennial travel market (under 40 years of age). The survey was conducted online at and email, with only those questionnaires with more than 50 percent of the questions completed were counted. Those with less than 50 percent answered were discarded.

Governments must focus to ensuring compliance: says AI expert

Dubai: Governments must shift their focus from developing ethical AI regulations to ensuring compliance given the rapid pace at which generative AI is being developed and adopted. That is according to regulatory experts speaking today at the Dubai Assembly for Generative AI.“We are not regulating AI itself more than we are regulating traditional computers; we are regulating the use of AI and its application in different areas to ensure positive outcomes,” said Stephen Almond, Executive Director, Regulatory Risk, Information Commissioner’s Office, UK Government.“Regulations in this space are not new. AI has been around for a long time, and the principles for regulating it in terms of fairness, bias, transparency, accountability, safety and security already exist in law. The core focus is ensuring that organizations using the data comply with these laws,” he said during a panel titled ‘Can Regulators Maneuver the GenAI Challenge?’.The panel also featured John Marshall, Executive Director, World Ethical Data Foundation, and Dr. Akram Awad, Partner, Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Dr. Awad said: “It’s almost impossible to separate the application of responsible and ethical AI from the cultural, social and economic context.”Discussing the diverse dimensions and layers of regulations causing ambiguity and uncertainty across various sectors, Marshall noted: “Acknowledging these tensions sends a message to some that regulation is intended to restrict and constrain powerful tech companies."However, he clarified that even smaller tech firms are grappling with ambiguity and pausing their innovations. In fact, they are advocating for regulations, but with a cautious approach.Marshall further stated: "We have many different dimensions at many different layers, and there is a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty."Addressing these concerns, in a keynote speech titled 'Google: Rising to the GenAI Challenge,' Alessio Bagnaresi, Director of AI and Advanced Analytics at Google Cloud, said: “A platform-based approach allows you to provide governance for individual use cases. Each AI use case is different, with its own training sets and challenges. The platform approach allows us to apply the right governance to every use case.” The Dubai Assembly for Generative AI takes place from 11-12 October at the Museum of the Future and AREA 2071 in Emirates Towers. The assembly is organized by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) in line with Dubai’s efforts to become a global hub for emerging technologies.

Careem harnesses Generative AI to revolutionize service and insights

Careem, the super app in Dubai, has harnessed generative AI to enhance its pricing, routing, ETA predictions, and developer efficiency. This revelation was made by Wael Salloum, Vice President of Data and AI at Careem, during his participation in the Dubai Assembly for Generative AI.In a panel discussion titled "More Breakthrough Moments: How Agile Companies are Utilizing GenAI," Salloum commended the potential of generative AI, emphasizing how it has transformed the app's interaction with users, allowing a wider audience to access its services. Salloum also pointed out that Careem has initiated several AI-driven projects.Muhammed Atef Hassouna, Senior Director of Machine Learning, Algorithms, and AI at Talabat, elaborated on how their app is capitalizing on emerging technologies, underlining the significance of nurturing local talent in the region.Hassouna remarked, "We believe in cultivating our existing talent. Novel disruptive technologies necessitate fresh perspectives, most of which are likely to originate from the younger generation."Hrish Lotlikar, Co-Founder and CEO of SuperWorld, was also part of the panel, where he discussed the potential of generative AI in enhancing personalization, particularly in the context of search functionality.Lotlikar stated, "We have a strong interest in content creation, especially in the development of diverse content types, personalized avatars, and advanced visual representation for users.""When it comes to virtual real estate," he continued, "we aspire to provide analytics that enable buyers and sellers within SuperWorld to formulate strategies for obtaining locations. This approach assists them in assessing the long-term performance of these places and identifying optimal methods for monetizing them."Regarding the ethical and responsible use of generative AI, Lotlikar emphasized, "As society evolves alongside AI, we must establish robust procedures to safeguard data privacy, user rights, and content integrity."The Dubai Assembly for Generative AI attracted 2,200 participants, including major global technology companies and consulting firms such as Microsoft, Meta, IBM, PwC, Deloitte, SAP, Nokia, McKinsey, and others.

SIG all set to launch ‘DomeMini’ at Gulfood Manufacturing

SIG, a Swiss packaging company, will be launching SIG DomeMini, its uniquely different on-the-go carton bottle, at the upcoming Gulfood Manufacturing in Dubai at Dubai World Trade Centre from 7-9 November, 2023.The mini-size carton pack, offering the convenience of a plastic bottle and the sustainability benefits of a carton pack, will be showcased in the Middle East and Africa region, for the first time. Unveiling its carton bottle, SIG aims to prove that beverage manufacturers also have the opportunity to choose a solution that puts significantly less plastic on the market, thereby, supporting the growing ‘paperization’ trend.With this launch, SIG is all set to participate in COP28 to further demonstrate the environmental benefits of its products, contributing to the reduction of plastic waste and aligning with the rising consumer interest in eco-friendly and sustainable packaging solutions.The SIG DomeMini offers numerous advantages for consumers, particularly for travelers. Its user-friendly design allows for convenient carrying and effortless consumption. Its easy-to-open and resealable feature ensures secure storage in bags, making it readily accessible for on-the-go refreshment whenever required. The launch of the small-format SIG DomeMini carton bottle is part of SIG’s journey to create packaging for better.SIG DomeMini is made from FSC-certified paperboard, designed for recycling, and produced using 100% renewable electricity. At Gulfood Manufacturing, SIG will also present the SIG DomeMini 12 Aseptic filling machine, capable of aseptically filling 12,000 packages per hour, in seven volume sizes ranging from 180 to 350 ml, all within a rapid 15-minute volume change. This not only maximizes efficiency and flexibility, but also provides an excellent return on investment for beverage manufacturers.Abdelghany Eladib, President & General Manager – MEA at SIG, said: “We are thrilled to be part of Gulfood Manufacturing this year, where we will unveil the new SIG DomeMini. Our presence at the ‘Smarter Future’ gathering reflects our commitment to packaging solutions that prioritise sustainability. This innovative product is an exciting step forward – particularly amidst the urgent global challenges posed by pressing environmental issues – providing consumers and beverage manufacturers an opportunity to embrace sustainable packaging alternatives.”Christoph Wegener, Chief Markets Officer at SIG Group, says: “The market for on-the-go beverages continues to grow and offers immense potential. By combining convenience with sustainability, SIG DomeMini sets the stage and offers a new drinking experience for consumers, who can now enjoy their favourite drink on the move while helping to reduce plastic waste.”

Zain KSA official telecommunication partner for LIV Golf Jeddah tournament

Zain KSA, the leading telecommunications and digital services provider in Saudi Arabia, has signed a partnership agreement with LIV Golf to become the official telecommunication partner for the highly anticipated LIV Golf Jeddah tournament. Scheduled to take place October 13-15 at King Abdullah Economic City, the groundbreaking tournament will feature 12 teams comprising 48 elite golfers from all over the world. The event promises to revolutionize the global landscape of the sport with a new format and a staggering prize pool of up to $25 million.Commenting on Zain KSA's sponsorship of LIV Golf Jeddah, Zain KSA's Corporate Communication Officer, Rayan bin Abdullah Al-Turki, stated: “Zain KSA is delighted to be the Official Telecommunication Partner of LIV Golf Jeddah presented by ROSHN. Through this partnership, we are proud to provide advanced digital infrastructure and services for this premier sporting event featuring many of golf’s biggest stars. This is a championship tournament and Zain KSA will deliver championship-caliber technology to connect with LIV Golf’s global audience.”The collaboration with the global LIV Golf series, launched with the support of the Public Investment Fund, aligns seamlessly with Zain KSA's strategic vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global sports hub. This aligns with Saudi Vision 2030's objectives of empowering a vibrant society by fostering healthy and fulfilling lives and enhancing the overall quality of life. The partnership marks a significant milestone, in light of the rising popularity of golf in the Kingdom. In 2022, 50,000 new enthusiasts embraced the sport, in line with the Kingdom’s plans to construct 17 new golf courses and invest approximately $3 billion in the local golfing infrastructure.

FP7McCann wins big at the Loeries Festival

FP7McCann has announced its remarkable success at the 45th annual Loeries Advertising Awards, held in Cape Town last week. This momentous occasion not only marks the 45th anniversary of the esteemed event but also underscores a triumphant year for FP7McCann, solidifying its position as a global creative leader.In a display of creative excellence, FP7McCann secured an impressive array of accolades, including 2 Gold Awards, 2 Silver Awards, 3 Bronze Awards, and the prestigious Grand Prix. These accolades were spread across diverse brands and categories, further reinforcing the agency's reputation as an industry powerhouse, both regionally and on the international stage.As the premier award in Africa and the Middle East recognizing and celebrating outstanding achievements in the advertising and brand communication industry, a Loerie award stands as the highest honor for innovation and creativity in our region.Tarek Miknas, CEO of FP7McCann MENAT, commented, “Being rewarded and recognized for creativity at the Loeries is the result of strong and quality relationships nurtured by both agency and client. It gives me great pleasure to see ideas that have produced significant results be equally valued for their originality and creativity.”Federico Fanti, Chief Creative Officer of FP7McCann, said "This victory is a validation of the outstanding creativity of our agency and of our region. We are extremely grateful to Babyshop, Heinz, The Clooney Foundation for Justice and The Testicular Cancer Society for their bravery and their trust in our creative acumen."FP7McCann's triumphant performance at the 45th Loeries Festival underscores its unwavering commitment to pushing creative boundaries and delivering excellence to clients, setting the stage for a promising future of innovative endeavours and continued success.

Dubai government departments adopting AI to provide POD-friendly services

Public facilities and government departments are fast adopting Artificial Intelligence to provide better services for People of Determination.Experts from various government and private entities participated in a Majlis hosted by the Dubai Youth Council as part of the Knowledge Hub during the recently concluded AccessAbilities Expo said, AI is playing a major role in enhancing the quality of life of POD and the UAE government is taking a lead in adapting the technology.Artificial Intelligence and machine learning technology is fast transforming the scope of assistive technology and is bound to change how governments and organisations develop services and applications for people with disabilities, experts said.Ahmad al Aktari from the Community Development Authority said AI experts have been helping various departments and organisations to develop services and solutions to people with determination.A representative from Dubai Municipality said they, in association with CDA, are working with all government departments to enable smart building features to assist PODs."Be it government facilities, shopping centres, airports, police stations and all facilities accessible to the general public, we have made sure that the buildings follow the best practices and guidelines," he said.“AccessAbilities Expo, organised by Nadd Al Shiba PR & Event Management, has emerged as one of the biggest such events in the MENA region, bringing together various technology and solution providers under one roof. "It has created a platform for interaction especially among the decision makers and youth from both the private and public sector, thereby contributing to policy related discussions and enhancement of the overall life of people with disabilities," said Salem Saqur Al Marri, Member, Dubai Youth Council.The discussions also centered around the role in AI in visual communication and sign language, advancements in Natural Language Processing, voice recognition, voice to braille conversion, applications and services developed using artificial intelligence and how they are impacting assistive technology. Discussions were also held on how technologies such as machine learning are able to change the way solutions can be delivered to people with disabilities with little human intervention.Representatives from major government departments explained the ongoing works within their departments and explored how AI could further help improvise the solutions they offer."Technology has had a defining impact on policing and law enforcement. It has also helped us advance the services that we offer to the residents, especially to those who need our special attention," said Abdulla Al Shamsi from Dubai Police.The barrier of communication has been broken using technology. Traditional services like where PODs press a button to activate an alarm are giving way to sensor technology leading to smart track, smart readers and even smart police stations. "Today PODs can do a video conference with a police officer. To help people with speech and hearing impairment, we use sign language and camera and AI to interpret the sign language and face recognition and produce a transcript on the screen," he said adding that smart police stations can offer 24/7 services with little human intervention."AI technology is nascent but emerging fast. There are advancements in the development of artificial limbs. NLP has gained newer capability where they are able to more precisely decipher an image," said Al Marri. Explaining the potential of tourists with determination, a representative of Dubai Airports said the emirate is being positioned as a hub for tourists with disabilities."We are leveraging the power of AI to advance many of the services and facilities. We are developing software and applications that can identify POD right when they are disembarking from the aircraft and entering the facility and direct them to all available services," he said.Rafik Gerges, Data Security Officer with Microsoft, said the company is involved in teaching coding and programing to people with hearing disabilities and people with dyslexia. "We are teaching them how to build computer games and share with friends. We are also teaching them programing skills and problem-solving skills, thereby raising their confidence level. We are getting feedback from many of the students who want to be engineers or game developers,” he said.Microsoft has also been enabling various service providers across the globe to integrate AI in providing better services to PODs."We are collaborating with Moovit, a mobility as a service provider to integrate AI to build maps customised for wheelchair users. There are about 350,000 users in the region who will be able to use this service," he said.In another example he said Vimbi, a technology firm in India with the help of Microsoft AI has developed a software that can read any printed book and convert it into braille. This has directly benefitted more than 100,000 students.Microsoft is also working with another tech firm in Illinois in the United States which is using AI models and training them to understand the way people with Down syndrome speak and translate into text. "This becomes helpful when they talk on zoom or other special applications," he said.The event also explored developments of robots that can cater to the needs of individuals with customised solutions and their ability to perform routine tasks. "We already have robots that can be used as personal assistants to people with disabilities. However, within the next two years, we will be able to introduce advanced features which will enable the machines capable enough to auto learn from its interaction with PODs and acquire advanced knowledge, said Ali Riza Abdul Gafoor, Chairman and CEO, Aliriza Group, UAE.

Second edition of META film fest unveils impressive line-up

META Film Fest, the four-day international motion picture gala, is back for its eagerly awaited second edition, set to take place at VOX Cinemas, Wafi City, from November 9-12. The festival promises to be a celebration of world cinema with an impressive lineup of films, an esteemed international jury, and a host of special events tailored for film enthusiasts.The festival will showcase 95 films from 32 countries, with 29 films as special festival premieres, while the remaining 66 films will compete for various prizes in categories of Feature, Short, Documentary and Student films. What is noteworthy is the increase of Arabic titles in the festival this year, with 30 Arabic films included within the festival lineup.Notable full Feature Films entries include the Turkish film Black Night, directed by Özcan Alper, Bodyguard from Kazakhstan and directed by Akan Satayev, and the French film Our Ties, directed by Roschdy Zem. Snow and the Bear, the Turkish film whose lead Merve Dizdar who won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, is another stand-out. A variety of these films will be having their official world premiere at the META Film Fest. Two Arabic titles from Kuwait, Akh with its world premiere and How I Got There with its UAE premiere, are among the surprise masterpieces in the Feature film competition category. Additionally, the full Feature Film category also includes films such as Sons of Ramses, a French film directed by Clement Cogitore, NO END, a Persian film directed by Nader Saeivar, JANANAM 1947 PRANAYAM THUDARUNNU, a Malayalam film directed by Abijith Asokan will also be having their world premiere at META Film Fest.The Persian feature film Endless Borders, directed by Abbas Amini and notably won awards such as International Film Festival Rotterdam and Hamburg International Film Festival amongst others will be the opening film this year. While the Spanish feature film Virginal Pink, directed by Dennis Smith, and starring the Argentinian superstar Juana Viale who will be visiting Dubai for the first time along with her cast and crew, will have its World Premiere at the festival, and will be the closing film at the META Film Fest.Additionally, Winners, the UK’s official entry to the Oscars in 2023 will also participate in the competition. Director Hassan Nazer and actor Reza Naji will both attend the screening.META Film Fest will also see over 25 Short Films, with entries such as Fatih the Conqueror, the Turkish film directed by Onur Yagiz, Beneath a Mother’s Feet, a Arabic film directed by Hassan Saeed, And Me, I’m Dancing Too, a Persian film directed by Mohammad Valizadegan and Palestine 87 competing for tangible recognition.In a diverse arrange of films screened, approximately 15 Documentary Films will be in competition including: Dear Memories, a German film directed by Nahuel Lopez, Earthbound: Nzambi Matee, a Japanese film directed by Farhoud Meybodi which will be screened in English and Swahili,META Film Fest will also include a Student category for passionate young tale to showcase their skills. The festival’s Student Projects category will see six compelling films competing for an award, with Alaikal, a Malayalam short produced by Dream6 and exploring themes of nostalgia, friendship, love, and companionship, one of the hot favourites, alongside titles such as as Desert Slam directed by Joshua Canlas Ponseca, The Son of a Lost Father directed by Sadeq Al, So Cool and more.In addition to the competition screenings, META Film Fest will host special premieres of notable films, including May December and Seven Winters in Tehran, the former of which is directed by Todd Haynes, written by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik, and tells the story of a married couple grappling with the arrival of an actress researching their past tabloid romance and stars Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Charles Melton. The film was nominated for the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.Another highlight of the event is the Indian Film Festival, which will see the likes of Holy Conspiracy, a Bengali film that adapts the American play Inherit the Wind, among the nominated films. Featuring Indian celebrity couple Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah, both are set to attend a screening of the film during the festival. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, a 2000 Indian English-Hindi bilingual feature film directed by Jabbar Patel, will also be screened. The movie, starring South Indian actor Mammootty, saw him win a National Film Award in India for Best Actor.Another film set to premiere during the festival is Syndrome, directed by Anton Bormatov and exploring the unsettling consequences of a car accident. It stars Oksana Akinshina and Kirill Käro.META Film Fest is bringing a total of 14 world premieres, offering audiences exclusive first views of cutting-edge global cinema. Additionally, the festival features 28 regional premieres, introducing captivating films previously unseen in the Middle East. Emphasizing local talent, there are 38 UAE premieres, and a spotlight on regional stories with 30 Arabic films. This diverse selection ensures a rich cinematic experience, making META Film Fest a vibrant hub for film enthusiasts.META Film Fest is not just about films; it also offers an array of engaging panels, workshops, and masterclasses. Attendees can look forward to a ‘Women in Cinema’ panel discussion featuring prominent industry figures, ‘Expat Connections: Exploring Cultural Intersection in UAE Cinema’, and a one-on-one interview with renowned Pakistani actress Sajal Aly.For those interested in the technical side of the industry, the festival is offering a masterclass on ‘AI in the Film Industry’ led by Pooyan Sedghi. Nancy Paton, Desert Rose Films and President of WIFTGCC will lead a masterclass on the business and the legal side of movie production. Meanwhile, a masterclass to introduce cinema to children and youths led by Fateme Fereydoun, an acting masterclass by Valeria Tsvietok, and a director’s masterclass by Indian luminary Adoor Gopalakrishnan will also be held.