Nike welcomes Nicole Habbard as CMO

Nike has appointed Nicole Hubbard Graham as its new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), welcoming her back to the company where she previously served as vice president of global categories and consumer direct brand marketing. Graham will succeed Dirk-Jan van Hameren, who is retiring after more than 30 years with Nike.Graham will be reporting to Heidi O’Neill,Nike’s president of consumer, product, and brand. Graham started her career at Nike as the director of women's marketing for North America. In her prior role as vice president, she supervised global marketing teams and was responsible for Nike's global category brands, digital, retail, and editorial strategies. Her involvement extended to consumer-facing campaigns across various sports and categories such as basketball, football, running, women's, sportswear, training, skate, tennis, and kids.This leadership transition coincides with other changes at Nike, including the creation of a new role for chief innovation officer, filled by John Hoke, who is leaving the design team, with Martin Lotti taking his place. Additionally, Muge Erdirik Dogan, Amazon's chief technology officer, is set to join Nike.Nicole Hubbard Graham's appointment aligns with Nike's strategic shift away from promotions for the current fiscal year. Heidi O’Neill expressed confidence in the leadership changes, emphasizing the company's commitment to innovation, design, and storytelling as the driving forces behind Nike's success. O’Neill thanked Dirk-Jan van Hameren for his 31 years of dedication and leadership, noting his contributions to making Nike a global leader in the industry.

Growing momentum for TikTok boycott in Saudi Arabia

TikTok, the popular social media platform, has been under scrutiny for several years, and the call for a boycott has gained momentum in Saudi Arabia. The hashtag "Boycott TikTok" is trending as users in the country report account suspensions and the removal of pro-Saudi content. Allegations include the deletion of Saudi accounts and the removal of videos supporting Saudi causes, while allowing content that portrays the country negatively.Recent incidents, such as the removal of a Palestinian man's TikTok account for praising Saudi aid during the Hamas-Israel conflict, have fueled the boycott. This movement has led to a decline in the number of Saudi users and a drop in TikTok's rating from 4.4 to 4.3 on app stores. Renowned Emirati artist Ahlam and other celebrities have announced their boycott in solidarity with Saudi Arabia.In response to the growing boycott, TikTok's official Middle East account posted a statement on the platform. While the post is in Arabic, a translation emphasizes TikTok's pride in its Saudi community, rejecting the allegations as contradictory to their policies and values. The statement asserts TikTok's commitment to community guidelines governing content management.Despite this response, the boycott continues to gain strength in Saudi Arabia, with the "Boycott TikTok" movement showing no signs of waning.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club and Monoprix Qatar Forge Exclusive Loyalty Alliance

Qatar Airways Privilege Club enhances its members’ daily experience by partnering with renowned hypermarket brand, Monoprix Qatar. Through the loyalty programme’s Card-Linked Offers platform, members can now collect and spend their Avios on their purchases when shopping at any of the seven Monoprix and three Monop stores in Qatar, using the debit or credit card they have linked to their membership account.Through Card-Linked Offers, Privilege Club members can choose to spend their Avios on a wide variety of benefits which include award flights and upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, or while shopping and dining at over 600 locations participating in the Card-Linked Offers platform and at Qatar Duty Free.Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Thierry Antinori, said: “As Qatar Airways’ customer loyalty programme continues to evolve, we strive to find partners that align with Privilege Club’s commitment to providing members with lifestyle-enhancing experiences. Joining forces with a renowned brand such as Monoprix will bring valuable benefits to our members as they will now have more collecting and spending opportunities in their everyday shopping at one of the best-known hypermarkets in the country.”“Monoprix Qatar is excited to be the only hypermarket partner of the Qatar Airways Privilege Club. This new partnership between our two companies will benefit Privilege Club members by offering them more ways to earn and redeem rewards, more personalised experiences, and a wider range of products and services.”, added Sébastien Farhat, Chief Operating Officer, Ali Bin Ali Consumer & Hi-Tech Retail.About Qatar Airways Privilege ClubPrivilege Club is the loyalty programme by Qatar Airways and features four tiers of membership – Burgundy, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, giving members a range of exclusive privileges and benefits that have been designed and tailored to make travelling even more rewarding.Members can earn Avios when flying with Qatar Airways and with oneworld® airlines, and other airline partners, as well as with a number of financial and lifestyle partners. Avios can be spent on shopping and dining at Qatar Duty Free, packages with Qatar Airways Holidays, award flights, cabin upgrades and much more. Members can also collect and spend Avios on their purchases at a wide range of shopping, dining and entertainment outlets by linking their payment cards with their Privilege Club account.

ARTE fine art cakes and coffee shop opens second branch at Dubai mall

ARTE, a culinary destination dedicated to redefining the dessert experience, announces the opening of its second branch at the prestigious Dubai Mall. Nestled on the Lower Ground level, the new ARTE Dubai Mall is not just a coffee stop, it's an experience – a haven for dessert lovers and coffee connoisseurs alike.  Immerse yourself in the warm and cozy vibes of the newest venue, radiating minimalistic elegance and bathed in inviting light. Picture this: a dessert wonderland with a full display, plus a private room to customize your dream cake in a one-on-one session with Chef Kuzma. Yes, you can customize your cake.  Think coffee, hot and cold beverages, and a dessert collection that reads like poetry: Paris-Brest, Raspberry and Passion Fruit Tart, Choux, Éclair, and more. It's a rendezvous with decadence!  The design of ARTE Dubai Mall echoes the cool, contemporary charm of the flagship showroom at Dubai Production City – warm lighting, a minimalistic interior, and bright aesthetics, creating an inviting atmosphere for patrons to indulge in the artistry of ARTE's offerings.  “ARTE Fine Art Cakes and Coffee Shop is not just a brand; it's an experience. With a passion for crafting desserts and brewing coffee that's as much art as it is flavor, ARTE will be the go-to for those who crave something extraordinary. The opening of our second branch at Dubai Mall is a celebration of taste, artistry, and the joy of indulgence. Come, savor the moment with us,” said Chef Kuzma, the creative genius behind ARTE's culinary wonders.  During the opening, ARTE showcased a jaw-dropping 2-meter Burj Khalifa cake. This is not just cake; it's edible art. Additionally, the event marked the introduction of "Just Choux," a new addition to ARTE's portfolio – a Choux kiosk that redefines sweetness with an exquisite collection of choux pastries in six tantalizing flavors. From classic vanilla to decadent truffle, each pastry is meticulously crafted to perfection, presented in beautiful packaging to keep every bite as fresh as the first.  Aligning with ARTE's vision and mission, the opening of the second branch at Dubai Mall marks the beginning of an expansion plan, with two additional branches planned by the end of 2024. The expansion aims to bring the ARTE experience to a broader audience across Dubai.  And here's the scoop: be the first to taste "Just Choux" exclusively at the Dubai Mall branch before it hits Festival City and beyond.  Indulge, celebrate, and be part of the ARTE experience. ARTE Dubai Mall is open daily, from 10:00AM to 12:00AM. For enquiries, please call +971 52 575 2211. For the latest updates, follow

Idea Bakery selects Saudi Arabia as first base for International expansion

US-based brand strategy firm, Idea Bakery, has selected Saudi Arabia as its first overseas base as part of its international expansion. This was announced at the Athar Festival of Creativity, which took place from 14-15 November in Riyadh.This can be an interesting development for Idea Bakery as expanding internationally can open up new opportunities and markets for the brand strategy firm. Choosing Saudi Arabia as the first overseas base suggests a strategic move to tap into the growing market and creative landscape in the region.Moreover, the decision to make the announcement at the Athar Festival of Creativity is also noteworthy. It indicates a desire to align the expansion news with a platform that celebrates creativity, possibly aiming to establish a connection with the local creative community.As Idea Bakery positions itself as a "boutique yet global brand strategy company," it suggests that they aim to maintain a personalized and tailored approach to their services while still operating on a global scale. This could be appealing to clients who seek a more individualized and unique strategy for their brands. Its clients include Google Global, Bayer Global, Coty, Coca-Cola and Unilever.Idea Bakery has been active in Saudi Arabia for the past decade across the food & beverage, technology, tourism, banking, health and wellness, retail, mobility and entertainment sectors. It helps build and strengthen brand strategies, run agency pitches, develop creative briefs and bolster the capabilities of marketing teams at all levels.Idea Bakery will open and operate an office in Riyadh as its first international expansion.It will be interesting to see how Idea Bakery adapts its strategies to the cultural and business environment in Saudi Arabia, and how it navigates the challenges and opportunities that come with expanding into a new international market.

BMW teams up with Legends League football event in Dubai as official VIP player

DUBAI, UAE: – BMW and AGMC, the official BMW Group importer for Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, proudly announces its partnership with the Legends Football League as the exclusive VIP Player Transport Partner.Playing a pivotal role in the event, AGMC will be supplying an all-electric fleet of 10 BMW iX cars, in keeping with the event's commitment to sustainability. This further cements the brand’s role as a leader in e-mobility, having delivered a total of over 1.5 million electrified vehicles to customers to date.Incorporating several sustainability practices in its production cycle, the BMW iX reduces CO2 emissions in its supply chain by 17%, by relying on renewable green power to produce the vehicle’s battery cells, which already use up to 50% recycled nickel.The Legends League for football will be opening with a spectacular ceremony on Saturday, November 18 at Al Maktoum Stadium, the home ground of Al Nasr Club, bringing together football royalty from around the world. It promises an unforgettable display as football legends, including several World Cup and Ballon d'Or winners gather for a historic game.In line with BMW Group’s ambitious sustainability strategy, the BMW iX reduces CO2 emissions in its supply chain by 17%, relying on renewable green power to produce the vehicle’s battery cells, which already use up to 50% recycled nickel.Ayhan Olcer, CEO of AGMC, said, “We are thrilled to contribute to the vision of a sustainable and landmark football event. Supplying sustainably powered vehicles, in line with the event’s ambitions to reduce its environmental impact, we'll be shuttling the players in the BMW iX. Our partnership with the Legends League showcases our commitment to sustainability and our dedication to providing luxury transport solutions that don’t compromise on performance or the environment.”BMW is committed to establishing electromobility as one of the main pillars of sustainable individual mobility. By combining high-performance electric vehicles and world-class sporting events, the premium brand continues to lead the way in demonstrating that sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand and deliver a memorable football experience.

Single’s Day shopping frenzy: MENA customers made 63% more orders than usual

While online retailers are still offering the latest specials for 11.11 or Single's Day - brands are already taking stock of one of the biggest sales of the year. This year's Singles Day sale went extremely well - both Asian stores and local marketplaces and brands recorded all-time high records in sales. Admitad partner network estimates that online sales in MENA jumped by 63% during the sale week. Consumers favoured electronics, clothing and home and garden products. Originating in China, the 11.11 sale has long been very popular in other countries - although it still has room to grow in MENA. This is evidenced by the explosive growth in sales - Admitad calculates that MENA customers have placed 63% more orders and spent 35% more on them compared to “normal period”. The company's experts estimate that worldwide, sales have grown by more than 10% and the amount spent on them by 15%. This is confirmed by the first positive reports from the progenitors of the sale - Chinese giants like Alibaba,, TMall and others. In a barometer of consumer sentiment this year, China's State Post Bureau said that between Nov. 1 to Nov. 11, parcel volume swelled to 5.26 billion packages, 23.22% higher than a year earlier.Brands are currently actively evaluating trends from this sale to make the most of the upcoming White Friday and Christmas sales. Admitad researched more than 80 million orders it generated for more than 2,000 brands worldwide during Single’s Day week to understand which products were being snapped up by MENA clients and which customer sources brought businesses the most orders this year.Shift in leading categoriesOnce again, marketplaces played a central role in the sale - it was from them that more than 70% of online orders were made during the sale days. Their influence in 11.11 increased by several percent since last year.The top categories whose products were most actively purchased by MENA shoppers were very similar to the results of 2022, but some of them changed positions. For instance, Fashion sales dominated the sale this year:Fashion - 15%Home & Garden - 12,9%Consumer Electronics - 10,8%Phones & Telecommunications - 9,2%Automobiles, Parts & Accessories - 7%Toys & Hobbies - 6,4%Beauty & Health - 6%Sports & Entertainment - 5%Tools - 4,8%Lights & Lighting - 4,6%Computer & Office - 3,7%Home Improvement - 3,6%Others - 11% The sale also saw enormous spikes in sales in certain categories of goods compared to “normal period”. Among Admitad's record-breaking MENA industries in terms of sales growth were: Tools +120%Toys & Hobbies +118%Phones & Telecommunications +117%Consumer Electronics +108%Home & Garden +92%Reading and saving: where the customers came fromUsers made over 25% of orders after reading about the product on the pages of affiliate stores that aggregate the most interesting offers and create feeds with goods on high demand. 22% and 16% of purchases in MENA were made by users of content platforms and social media. Another 9,5% and 8% of sales were attracted by cashback and coupon services respectively. Partner marketing gave a significant boost to online sales during the Single’s Day this year.  Number of MENA publishers and partners attracting customers for a reward from brands during the sale days grew by 13%. Admitad estimates that their profits jumped by 75% during this period. Number of brands that are using partner marketing model to attract customers grew by 20% before the sale.The mobile shopping trend has shown itself in all its glory. The share of orders from smartphones has grown from 39% to 45% during the sale.

Publicis Groupe makes key appointments and shifts in hierarchy

Publicis Groupe has announced significant changes in its leadership, including key appointments and shifts in hierarchy. Loris Nold, previously the EMEA Chief Executive, has been promoted to the position of Global Chief Financial Officer (CFO), succeeding Michel-Alain Proch.Demet Ikiler, formerly the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of EMEA, will assume the role of CEO of EMEA, filling the vacancy left by Loris Nold's promotion. Meanwhile, Michel-Alain Proch, the outgoing CFO, will be departing Publicis Groupe for a new role after three years in the position.Effective February 2024, the UK, which previously reported financial numbers to Nold during his EMEA tenure, will now report directly to Arthur Sadoun, the Global Chief Executive. This change aligns with the existing reporting structure for the US and will extend to France as well.Notably, under Proch's leadership over the past three years, Publicis Groupe has been the top performer among the big six global agency groups in terms of organic growth and profit margin, particularly in France and the UK. Proch, with no prior advertising industry experience before joining Publicis in November 2020, will be succeeded by Nold, who boasts over two decades of experience within the company, including roles in APAC and the US, along with a background in investment banking.The appointment of Nold as Global CFO is viewed as a strategic decision to enhance the financial function of the group, leveraging his comprehensive expertise in finance, operations, and understanding client needs. Simultaneously, as the new CEO of EMEA, Ikiler will focus on capabilities, fostering connectivity within the group, and building strong client relationships.These leadership changes represent a strategic realignment within Publicis Groupe, positioning key executives to drive the company's continued growth and excellence across different regions.

WAM signs MoC with Fujairah Government Media Office

The Emirates News Agency (WAM) and the Fujairah Government Media Office signed a media Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to coordinate and prepare for the Fujairah Media Forum, which will be held in February 2024 under the title “Parallel Media”.The agreement, which was signed on the sidelines of the second edition of the Global Media Congress, aims to enhance media cooperation between WAM and the Fujairah Government Media Office to achieve the media objectives declared therein, serving as the foundation for future cooperation related to various media affairs.Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency, affirmed the agency's keenness to cooperate with all national media talents and support them in their future projects, noting that Fujairah has made great strides in presenting remarkable media proposals in recent years, pointing out that the upcoming Fujairah Media Forum will be a point of attraction for decision-makers and heads of international media companies.For his part, Jamal Adam, Director of the Fujairah Government Media Office, said that the partnership with the WAM will support the upcoming Fujairah Media Forum, where the agency's expertise will be utilised through providing logistical support for the forum to be a major media partner, as well as its experience in launching the Global Media Congress.The agreement stipulates that the Emirates News Agency will provide the necessary media support for the events of the Media Forum that will be held in Fujairah in February 2024, by publishing and broadcasting the media materials of the forum through its website and social media accounts, in addition to allocating a team of editors and photographers to cover the events of the forum.Based on the terms of the agreement, the Fujairah Government Media Office will avail WAM's services as a main media partner.

RAW Coffee Company empowers Palestinian artisans in the UAE with compassion

At the forefront of UAE's entrepreneurial landscape, RAW Coffee Company takes immense pride in its ongoing initiatives aimed at empowering Palestinian artisans and business owners. This dedication is spearheaded by the company's visionary leader, Kim Thompson, who is not only the Owner and Managing Director of RAW Coffee Company but also the co-Founder behind the establishment of Artisans of Palestine.At the core of RAW’s operations lies a deep-seated commitment to ethical business practices and the cultivation of strong, meaningful relationships with suppliers. This ethos is seamlessly extended to their support initiatives for Palestinian artists and entrepreneurs. Kim Thompson reflects on her pivotal 2019 journey to Palestine, stating, “That trip marked a significant chapter in my personal and professional life. The resilience of the Palestinian people, their rich history, and the daily challenges they face under occupation deeply touched me. The ancient olive groves and the vibrant cultural fabric of the land resonated with me, inspiring my commitment to actively support Palestinian artisans.”In 2021, RAW began hosting pop-up events to support Palestinian enterprises, starting with a successful event in June that brought together Palestinian artists, poets, and musicians. Continuing this tradition, a similar event was held in 2022, underlining RAW's commitment to promoting Palestinian culture and talent. These efforts are further amplified by more structured pop-up events involving guests like Mishkah, Fyrouzi, Rula fashion, Reham (artist), Heba’s Closet, and showcasing Artisan's of Palestine goods made in Palestine. These events, including comedy and music nights, have not only raised awareness about the occupation but have also been crucial in supporting the Palestinian artisans economically.Kim Thompson, alongside Lisa Dale, established Artisans of Palestine with the goal of bridging the gap between Palestinian artisans and the global market, including the UAE. This initiative is instrumental in showcasing products created in Palestine, promoting cultural exchange and economic growth.Together with Artisans of Palestine, RAW has organized numerous events at their spacious venue, providing a platform for Palestinian artists and entrepreneurs to showcase their products and engage in meaningful dialogues.Lisa Dale, also the author of the bestselling novel “People Like Us” is the founder of The Palestine Hub. Based in Beit Sahour, this organization focuses on business networking and support, aiding Palestinian businesses to connect with partners in the UAE and beyond. The Hub's work spans various industry sectors, facilitating growth and success for Palestinian-owned businesses.Looking ahead, RAW Coffee Company is excited to announce upcoming events, including a fundraiser for Palestine in collaboration with NASAB – LOWE on November 19th and a pop-up event on December 2nd and 3rd featuring numerous Palestinian businesses and Artisans of Palestine.RAW Coffee Company remains committed to its role as a responsible and compassionate business leader in the UAE, continually striving to make a difference in the lives of Palestinian artisans and entrepreneurs.

Latifa bint Mohammed inaugurates 6th edition of Dubai Watch Week

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Member of the Dubai Council, Dubai Watch Week today commenced its sixth edition. The biennial event, which serves as the premier gathering for congruent industries such as horology, design, fashion and art will also enhance the appeal of horology to new audiences through a fascinating yet educative showcase. It also stands out in the Dubai Calendar as the leading non-commercial event in the horology industry.Held in partnership with Dubai Culture and the Department of Economy and Tourism besides Christie’s, World of Dreams, Du, Aston Martin, and Masafi, Dubai Watch Week 2023 continues until 20 November. The event will feature over 60 leading watch brands, the highest participation to date, showcasing the latest timepieces and a programme that appeals to watch enthusiasts and novices alike. Founded in 2015 by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the global event, which is open to the public and free to attend, celebrates the creative confluence of the luxury watch industry. This edition of the event is anticipated to witness 20 launches from international brands as well as UAE limited editions.Commenting on the event, Her Highness Sheikha Latifa said: “Dubai Watch Week is not just a showcase of fine timepieces but a celebration of creativity, craftsmanship, and cultural convergence.This partnership underlines Dubai’s commitment to fostering cross-cultural collaborations and providing a platform for creative exchange that extends beyond borders blending horology, design, fashion, and art.” She emphasised the importance of partnerships that bring together the public and private sectors, which are key to success and sustainable development, and was one of the pillars that contributed to creating Dubai’s economic success story. She added: “Dubai Culture’s partnership with Dubai Watch Week underscores our dedication to promoting and preserving horology’s intricate art and cultural impressions for present and future generations towards consolidating Dubai’s global standing as a cultural and artistic hub where diverse talents converge to create and innovate.”Hind Seddiqi, Director General of Dubai Watch Week, said: “We are grateful to Her Highness and Dubai Culture for their ongoing patronage and support as we work towards building one of the leading luxury and cultural events in the UAE. Our mission to create a platform that fosters conversations, learning and innovation across the luxury and horology industry, while appealing to a wider audience and expanding their knowledge and experiences. We are committed to our partnership and look forward to jointly ensuring that Dubai and the UAE remain influential on the international scene.” Having attracted over 16,000 guests in 2021 and an international showcasing of the Horology Forum programme in New York in 2022, Dubai Watch Week 2023 will highlight craftsmanship and celebrate innovation via a compelling and versatile programme. This includes Horology Forum panel discussions and the first ever Arabic panel as part of the Horology Forum, featuring Osama Ibrahim Seddiqi, Sheikha Al Nowais and Dr. Habib Al Mulla. Dubai Watch Week will also host renowned brands, thought leaders, and moderators, including François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet; Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi, Chief Commercial Officer of Seddiqi Holding; Daniela Dufour, Watchmaker; Jean Arnault, Watch Director at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton; and Jean-Claude Biver, among many others.A set of Masterclass sessions will also welcome Nour Al Hassan, creator of Kintsugi art workshops. Other highlights include a unique Emirati Safeefah leather-bracelet-making workshop held by Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, besides masterclasses by Bovet and other leading brands. More details about the event can be accessed on

Dubai Parks & Resorts, Real Madrid C.F. announce first ever football park

Dubai Parks™ and Resorts and Real Madrid C.F. have revealed the name of the first ever Real Madrid-theme park: Real Madrid World.Set to open at the Middle East's largest theme park destination, Real Madrid World will welcome sports fans, families and friends who can look forward to adrenaline-pumping themed attractions, immersive experiences and fan engagement opportunities, celebrating football and basketball the Real Madrid way.Dubai Parks™ and Resorts and Real Madrid C.F. announce Real Madrid World as the first ever football theme parkInspired by the skills, winning spirit and values of the club, guests of all ages will be taken on a timeless journey to experience the past, present and future of the club. Here, guests will come face to face with icons from across different eras and share the passion of some of the heroic comebacks and greatest achievements that have created the legend of Real Madrid, both on and off the pitch.Real Madrid World promises to host new and exciting experiences for guests of all ages, including adrenaline-pumping rides, family-friendly attractions, themed food and dining, as well as unique retail stores featuring a collection of official Real Madrid merchandise, celebrating the club's history. Real Madrid World will be home to exciting experiences tailored for every thrill-seeker and fan.A 'world-first' addition to Dubai Parks™ and Resorts, the theme park will engage sports fans, families, and children, contributing to Dubai's status as a leading tourism destination.Dubai Parks™ and Resorts is the first theme park destination in the world to announce a major partnership with Real Madrid C.F. Details will be announced soon, including more information on the signature rollercoasters, food and restaurants, official retail stores, and the interactive and virtual skill games that will become part of the new theme park destination.

Elite runners confirmed for fifth ADNOC Abu Dhabi marathon on December 16

Abu Dhabi Sports Council and ADNOC have announced the star-studded lineup of international runners for the highly anticipated fifth ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon 2023. The event is scheduled for December 16, with an estimated 23,000 runners expected to take part in various distances, including the marathon (42.195 km), marathon relay, 10 km, 5 km, and 2.5 km races. All races will commence at different locations near the ADNOC headquarters on Corniche Road and finish at the ADNOC Campus, near Bainuna Public Park. Uganda’s Andrew Kwemoi, winner of the 2023 Milano Marathon - where he hit a personal best of 2:07:14 - will be joined by Kenya’s Kiptum Barnabas, who finished 1st in both the 2019 Hong Kong Marathon and the Buenos Aires Marathon in 2017. Barnabas’ compatriot, Leonard Barsoton, will also be competing in this year’s race, having set his own personal best of 2:09:06 in 2023. The women’s race will feature Ethopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, the 10km Olympic Champion 2017 Chicago Marathon winner. Joining her in this strong elite female line-up, also from Ethiopia, is Hawi Feysa (2:23:38), and Maurine Chepkemoi from Kenya, the 2022 Enschede Marathon winner. Registration is free for People of Determination and Paralympics participants, underlining the organizers' continued commitment to inclusivity within the UAE. This event is open to the entire community, including families and children, with applicants able to register for the following distances: marathon, marathon relay (teams of 2), 10km, 5km and 2.5km. Suhail Al Arifi, Executive Director of the Events Sector at Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We are thrilled to welcome a group of top international runners for the upcoming fifth edition of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon next month. Their participation highlights the event's significance locally and globally. The presence of well-known runners in this year’s line-up reaffirms Abu Dhabi's and the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon's success in gaining international recognition in long-distance running. Al-Arifi added, “We're delighted to invite people from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds to join us in celebrating physical fitness. Regardless of your fitness level, there's a distance tailored just for you. We encourage everyone to be part of this enriching sports day on the streets of Abu Dhabi, the global capital of sports.” This year’s Marathon Village will again be located at ADNOC headquarters and it will be accessible from December 12th up until race day on December 16th, from 3pm to 10pm. The village will provide an immersive experience for visitors, with entertainment and serving e - a wide array of dining options. The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon race village is free to enter and open to all.  All runners will receive an exclusive Nike technical race T Shirt, made from sustainable materials. Participants can also customise their shirts by adding their respective names online or during the village operating hours. Participants who register for the race after November 30th can collect their race packs from the Marathon Village between the 12th and 15th December. The race pack will not be available for collection after this period. Running teams will also have a designated area in Bianuna Park, where they can warm up, set up a teaLP tent, enjoy refreshments, and take advantage of promotions from partners and sponsors.

Gulf Capital’s ART Fertility Clinics appoints David Jimenes to Board of Director

ART Fertility Clinics, the leading provider of Fertility Services in the Middle East and India, announces the strategic appointment of David Jimenez to its Board of Directors. A portfolio company of Gulf Capital, ART Fertility Clinics is renowned for its high success rates, proprietary research and innovations, and a commitment to providing the highest quality of care.Since its inception, ART Fertility Clinics has been at the forefront of Fertility and Reproductive Health, offering advanced treatments and personalised care under the leadership of CEO Mr. Suresh Soni and Group Medical Director Professor Dr Human Fatemi. The clinics have seen a swift expansion from their GCC roots into the Indian subcontinent, with plans to extend services further around the globe. With a team of highly skilled physicians utilising state-of-the-art technology, ART Fertility Clinics is dedicated to providing the highest level of compassionate and individualised care.David Jimenez is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in the healthcare industry, including a decade-long tenure as CEO of Igenomix, a global leader in Advanced Molecular Diagnostics in the field of Reproductive Medicine. With his strategic acumen, deep industry expertise and vast international experience, David’s presence in the Board will be invaluable in ART Fertility Clinics' ambitious expansion across multiple geographies and new services.As the former CEO of Igenomix, David oversaw the company’s meteoric rise from a single lab in Spain to a global entity with 26 laboratories worldwide. Under his guidance, Igenomix, which originated as a spin-off from IVI, flourished to become a leading provider of genetic testing services in Reproductive Medicine. Starting from the spin-off from IVI in 2011, David steered the company through three significant transactions including its acquisition by Charme Capital partners in 2016, a subsequent sale of a majority stake to EQT, the global private equity investor, and finally culminating in its sale to Vitrolife in 2021 for US$1.5 billion.Having earned a degree in Business Science and an MBA from ESADE Business School, David has over 30 years of extensive international experience in both consumer goods and healthcare industries and has demonstrated his leadership abilities across Europe and the Americas, including the Middle East, Switzerland, USA, Mexico, and Spain. Prior to his time at Igenomix, David served as Managing Director of Corporacion Dermoestética, a leading provider of Cosmetic Surgery and other medical treatments in Spain and Portugal from 2008 to 2011. He also held a series of senior positions at Philip Morris International, including Marlboro Brand Manager for Spain and Mexico and Business Development and Planning Manager for the Latin America Region.David Jiminez said: “Joining the ART Fertility Clinics' Board of Directors is a privilege and an opportunity to contribute to a field that has a profound impact on people's lives. The clinic's dedication to excellence and its patient-first approach resonates deeply with my professional philosophy. I am eager to help ART continue its journey as a global leader in fertility care.”Dr Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital and Chairman of Art Fertility, added: "David Jimenez's vision and leadership have been transformational in the healthcare sector. His experience in building Igenomix into a world leader in its field is invaluable. We look forward to welcoming him to the Art Fertility Board where he can bring a wealth of experience and help us accelerate the growth of our platform.” "We value Mr Jimenez’s leadership and international perspective. His deep understanding of the healthcare landscape will be a significant asset as ART Fertility Clinics continues to expand globally," said Suresh Soni, the Global Chief Executive Officer, ART Fertility Clinics. "We are thrilled to have such a visionary joining our ranks."Professor Dr Human Fatemi, Group Medical Director, also said: "David Jimenez joining our board is a testament to ART Fertility Clinics' commitment to excellence. His profound insights into healthcare advancements will undoubtedly enrich our clinics' capabilities and help us set new benchmarks in fertility care."Hazem Abu Khalaf, Managing Director at Gulf Capital, added, "We are delighted to have David join us on the board of ART Fertility. His addition underlines ART’s commitment to building a best-in-class organisation. Both Gulf Capital and ART’s management will benefit from his insights and his extensive international experience to accelerate ART Fertiltiy’s growth trajectory and further cement its position as the leading fertility treatment provider in the region."

Union Coop caters 30mln tons of fresh produce in 2023

 In a testament to its commitment to providing high-quality and competitively priced fresh food, Union Coop has announced the supply of 30 million tons of local and imported vegetables and fruits since the start of 2023. The cooperative, with its established and approved terms and procedures, continues to uphold its mission of meeting the diverse needs of consumers.Engaging with 35 companies and 45 farms for the supply of vegetables and fruits, Union Coop underscores its dedication to sustainable practices. Notably, the cooperative emphasizes the multifaceted role of its organic farms, transcending commercial interests to serve as educational hubs. These farms, focal points for various segments of society, particularly school students, advocate for modern and healthy farming methods, as well as water conservation. Producing 18 to 20 varieties of leafy vegetables, they contribute to covering 30% of the cooperative's branch consumption.Union Coop places a premium on the authenticity and quality of its products. Fifty varieties of organic vegetables, sourced locally and internationally, hold official certification from the Standards and Specifications Authority. This unwavering commitment spans decades, with continuous support for Emirati farmers, facilitated by substantial incentives to promote sustainable agriculture and bolster the nation's food security.Ensuring a delightful shopping experience for consumers remains a top priority for Union Coop. Recent initiatives include the strategic rearrangement of vegetable and fruit sections in key branches, including Jumeirah, Al Twar, and Al Rashidiya. This restructuring aligns with sales volume and demand, optimizing available spaces in each branch.Union Coop's collaboration extends beyond suppliers to encompass local companies and specialized exhibitions. This proactive approach seeks new sources for global products, fostering diversification. The cooperative's ongoing partnership with Emirati farmers, engaged in longer production periods throughout the year, demonstrates a commitment to sustainable agriculture.Compliance with health standards and food regulations is non-negotiable for Union Coop. Regular visits to supplier companies and local farms, totaling 35 official visits this year, underscore the cooperative's diligence. These inspections ensure adherence to legislative and regulatory requirements in storage, packaging, and transportation, reinforcing Union Coop's dedication to quality assurance.

Dubai International Chamber further enhances its presence in Asia

Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, has enhanced its growing presence in Asia with the official launch of a new international representative office in Japan. Located in Tokyo, the office further strengthens the emirate’s robust economic relationship with Japan and will facilitate the growth of business, trade, and investments between the two markets.The office was officially inaugurated yesterday evening during a special ceremony in Tokyo with the participation of Mr. Ishii Taku, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry; H.E. Shihab Al Faheem, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Japan; and Salem Al Shamsi, Vice President of Global Markets at Dubai Chambers, together with distinguished representatives of the Japanese business community.The Tokyo office is the Chamber’s 27th representative office globally and was launched as part of the ‘Dubai Global’ initiative, which seeks to attract new business, investment, and talent to the emirate while enabling Dubai-based companies to expand into priority international markets. Launched by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, Dubai Global aims to establish a powerful network of 50 representative offices around the world by 2030.Commenting on the significance of the launch, H.E. Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “Establishing a presence in Japan represents a significant step in our global expansion strategy and will further strengthen our shared economic ties. This move not only builds on the progress we have achieved through our international representative offices across the five continents, but it also creates an essential platform to build cross-border partnerships with one of the world’s most sophisticated economies.”The Tokyo office will serve to enhance and diversify the economic relationship between Dubai and Japan, exploring exciting opportunities in various priority sectors. The Dubai International Chamber team will provide on-ground support to members of the Japanese business community interested in doing business in Dubai, as well as build strong relationships with key public and private sector stakeholders.The new office will showcase Dubai’s competitive advantages and share investment intelligence to support Japanese companies seeking to enter Dubai and expand internationally through the emirate, connecting businesses in both markets with trusted stakeholders and potential partners.Japan was ranked as Dubai’s seventh-largest trading partner globally last year, with the value of bilateral non-oil trade between the two markets reaching a total of AED 38.8 billion (US$ 10.5 billion) in 2022. A total of 74 new Japanese companies registered as members of Dubai Chamber of Commerce during the first eight months of 2023. This represents an impressive YoY growth of 222% compared to the same period in 2022, underlining Dubai’s growing connections with the business community in Japan.Dubai’s strategic location and world-class logistics facilities have established the emirate as a preferred trade hub for Japanese companies with global ambitions. Offering easy access to over 2.2 billion consumers, the emirate serves as a gateway for businesses in Japan and the wider East Asian region looking to expand their international footprints.

EVOPS Marketing attracts strong student interest at Career Expo

EVOPS Marketing & PR, a trusted provider of marketing and PR services in the Middle East and Central Asia, participated in the Career Expo organised by the University of Birmingham Dubai yesterday. The event drew over 300 students seeking internship and work placement opportunities. The successful engagement of EVOPS Marketing in the Career Expo underscores the agency’s commitment to fostering new talent and staying at the forefront of the rapidly evolving marketing industry.EVOPS’ station was a hive of activity as students inquired about the internship and training opportunities available at the company’s various AI-enabled marketing services ranging from e-commerce, website and app development solutions to events management, branding, market research, PR and social media.“We were glad to see such a strong interest in our internship and training programs, and grateful to the University of Birmingham Dubai for giving us the chance to participate in such a pivotal event,” said Hina Bakht, Managing Director of EVOPS Marketing & PR.She added, “At EVOPS, we believe in the transformative power of training and internships. They are not just about acquiring skills; they are about shaping futures, igniting passions, and building the leaders of tomorrow. In today's dynamic and fast-paced business environment, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer, revolutionizing various industries including marketing. We were very impressed by the quality of the students we met and are confident that they have the potential to make significant contributions to our company and the industry.”As a reputed service provider in multiple sectors including FinTech, Finance, Technology, Travel & Tourism, Hospitality, Healthcare, Retail, Beauty & Fashion, EVOPS Marketing & PR is committed to nurturing the next generation of marketing and PR professionals.Hina believes with AI enabled marketing tools, businesses and professionals can achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency and effectiveness. “The impact of AI, with its ability to drive efficiency, personalization, and ultimately, business growth is being widely recognized. Its ability to analyze vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and generate actionable insights empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions and drive impactful marketing strategies.”

Satish Rajan appointed Group CMO by buzzworks & Innovation Group, UAE

buzzworks, India and Innovation Group, UAE, a recognized name in the staffing and recruitment industry, have announced the appointment of Satish Rajan as Chief Marketing Officer. This strategic leadership addition is poised to catalyze the company's continued growth and expand its influence within India's dynamic human resources sector and expand its global footprint.With a distinguished career spanning over two decades, Satish Rajan brings a wealth of experience to his role, acquired through his tenure in esteemed organizations prior to joining Buzzworks. He has served as the Vice President of Marketing at Teamlease and held significant positions in companies such as Aryaka Networks, Columbus A/S, Kronos, SAP, and Magnasoft. Satish's diverse background and deep industry knowledge position him as a strategic asset for driving growth and success in his new role. In his current capacity as Group Chief Marketing Officer, Satish will spearhead national and global marketing strategies, injecting fresh potential and innovation into the brand's endeavours. He will own the business impact of marketing by strengthening the B2B (business), B2C (customers), and B2E (employees) brand image. He will also direct buzzworks towards the broader amplification and demand generation effort by harnessing the ideal mix of online and offline levers. Additionally, Satish aims to set up the optimal marketing engine with the right-fit people, processes, and tools for strategic depth, operational efficiency, and speed of execution. Commenting on this significant appointment, V C Karthic, Founder, buzzworks India stated, "Celebrating growth and innovation has always been at the heart of buzzworks. With the addition of Satish Rajan to our team, we are taking another momentous stride towards advancing human capital. Satish's extensive experience and strategic vision align seamlessly with our mission to redefine excellence in HR services. We're thrilled to welcome him aboard and eagerly anticipate achieving new heights together." Satish Rajan holds a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) and an MBA degree from Symbiosis Institute of International Business. On his appointment, Satish Rajan, Group Chief Marketing Officer expressed his enthusiasm, saying, "I am excited to be part of this journey and look forward to showcasing how we have been adding value to our customers, associates and employees for the past 2 decades. Entering a company that boasts a 23-year legacy in this industry offers a tremendous opportunity. I am thrilled to embark on this new chapter at buzzworks with great enthusiasm. Together, we can redefine excellence and build a brighter future for our clients and partners, elevating our presence on a global scale." This appointment signifies a pivotal step forward for buzzworks and Innovations Group as it strives to achieve its highest aspirations in the years ahead. The leadership team at buzzworks and Innovation Group believes that Satish’s presence will not only elevate the brand's presence but also enhance its commitment to delivering exceptional HR solutions to clients and partners.

Ajman Bank Appoints Mamoun Alhomssey as the new Chief Technology Officer

Ajman Bank has announced the appointment of Mamoun Alhomssey as the new Chief Technology Officer. With a distinguished career spanning over 25 years in technology leadership roles at leading financial institutions, Mr. Alhomssey brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Ajman Bank. Prior to joining Ajman Bank, Mr. Mamoun Alhomssey, served as the Executive Vice President – Group CIO and Technology Advisor at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. During his 17 years tenure there, he led a strong team of technology experts and managed large technology budgets across various business units.Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Mustafa Mohammed Saeed Al Khalfawi, the CEO of the bank, stated, “We are thrilled to welcome Mamoun Alhomssey to our team. His remarkable track record in leading digital transformations and implementing cutting-edge technology solutions in the banking sector aligns perfectly with our vision at Ajman Bank. Mr. Alhomssey has been responsible for various technology modernization and innovation programs that have significantly contributed to the growth of the organisations he worked with. We, are confident that under his leadership, Ajman Bank will continue to innovate and provide exceptional service to our customers.”Mr. Salem Al Shamsi, Chief Operating Officer, Ajman Bank, said, “The appointment of Mr. Mamoun Alhomssey fits appropriately into our digital transformation strategy and aligns perfectly with our vision of ‘Digitalization’, and will strengthen our bank operations. Ajman Bank has been actively driving digital transformation and investing in state-of-the-art technology to provide customers with the best banking experience. We believe he will bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table and help our organization to adopt more advanced technologies while ensuring those solutions are reliable and scalable."Mr. Alhomssey's work not only advanced the technological capabilities of the organizations he has served but also ensured alignment with business objectives and regulatory compliance. His role at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was pivotal in digital transformations, managing IT strategies, cybersecurity strategy development, and deployment of AI and data analytics to create new revenue streams and enhance customer experience across the bank’s extensive customer base.Holding a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Jordan, Mr. Alhomssey combines his extensive academic background with a practical, results-driven approach to technology leadership.Mr. Alhomssey's professional journey is marked by notable achievements in the technology sector, particularly in banking, have been recognized by various prestigious awards. These accolades include Strategic CIO Award of the Year at the Middle East Banking AI & Analytics Summit 2023, and being featured in the top twenty CIOs at the IDC CIO Summit 2023, among others.

Next Broadcast Media opens access to podcast ad manager for all businesses

Next Broadcast Media opens access to its AI-powered ad manager, allowing any business to create and broadcast podcast and audio ads at a low cost and within minutes. Today, Next Broadcast Media (NBM) has made its self-serve advertising platform publicly available to all advertisers, including those running campaigns as low as $250, and in more than 50 global markets. The ad manager tool provides advertising capabilities for the podcast, digital audio, and web radio environment. It has been live for several months to select NBM customers, and is already showing early signs of success.NBM's Co-Founder Adel Saadi says: "AdManager.FM allows businesses that are curious about podcast and audio advertising, to get a taste at a scale that works for their needs and budgets. We see this solution being especially significant for SMEs that thrive on low cost - high return tactics, and want to do things fast. An Ad Manager campaign can be live in just 4 minutes and $250."Accessed at, the self-serve tool lets advertisers set up targeted podcast, web radio and digital audio campaigns at their own budget and pace. The added AI integration provides instant (and free) script writing services, plus an option for professional recording.Adel adds: "The user interface is designed to be clean and simple, so anyone can set up and run campaigns . It's just a matter of inputting a budget, date range, and targeting, then moving onto the creative - which is all automated too using AI. That’s it, you're ready to go live!"  Next Broadcast Media, the developer of the tool, is a UAE-founded business that has grown to become one of the largest global podcast and digital audio advertising networks, and operates globally.“We’ve been working in the digital audio space for five years, and in that time we’ve seen an explosion in listener numbers, podcast creators, and brands seeking advertising. We have also seen that there’s barriers to access, especially for small businesses. Resources and minimum media spend being a common problem. was developed as part of our commitment to making audio advertising affordable, accessible, and effective - for every business. It’s one platform where our customers can access inventory for all the leading music, podcast, web radio and gaming platforms - and have full control over it too.With low investment all businesses can now see first-hand the impact that's possible." says Adel.“We are not stopping here, our audio network is constantly growing, and this tool will develop and evolve too. We have many exciting additions coming soon.”

Experience innovation company, Valtech, announces new brand positioning

Valtech, the experience innovation company, has entered a new era as it repositions its brand to reflect its ambition, growth, and evolution in today’s experience-driven world. This comes as the agency doubled its revenue and headcount over the last five years, helping leading brands like Dolby, P&G, L’Oreal, Mars, Audi, and Volkswagen transform as digital enterprises. Valtech’s new brand positioning is driven by the growing business and consumer need for experience innovation — the only way for brands to leap ahead of their competition and maintain market leadership. From its business transformation work with global brands over the last decade, it has seen experience innovation overtake digital transformation as the solution to accelerate its clients ahead and overcome parity — and as the catalyst behind its own growth.“Digital acceleration and increased digital maturity are changing the reality for brands across all industries. Now many leading enterprises are well underway with their digitalisation, the ability to leap ahead isn’t easy,” said Olivier Padiou, CEO at Valtech. “With greater access to advanced cloud-based technology and global talent, digital transformation is now available to everyone. This has levelled the playing field, turning what was once ‘the best’ into ‘best practices.” “Experience innovation is about going beyond today’s definition of ‘the best’ to aim for future-back category leadership. It’s about outsmarting the competition, setting new standards, and unlocking value in a rapidly changing and connected world. This is where we’re primed to deliver.”According to Salesforce, 88% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. Valtech is well-positioned to help brands go beyond the best when delivering experiences to not only keep pace with shifts in customer expectations, but to also ensure profitability under current market conditions. Olivier added, “Our unique approach to experience innovation allows brands to better respond to shifts in business, industry, geopolitics, culture, and technology. We’ve seen the value it brings when driving demand and delight for customers and in turn, how it converts to business performance and revenue.”Valtech’s unique, collaborative culture is at the core of its new brand positioning. It’s because of this that it can combine different disciplines, cultures, industries, and perspectives to create surprising breakthroughs for clients. By daring to blend creativity with commerce, wellness with mobility, retail with b2b, and many more uncommon combinations, it creates solutions that achieve the exceptional. This proven pathway to experience innovation — made possible by its ability to adjust its client engagement model to the client’s specific needs — has allowed major brands in Valtech’s roster, including L’Oreal, Mars, and Audi, to break through silos, exceed expectations, disrupt categories, redefine success, and deliver exponential value. “We’re a borderless company that’s locally responsive and globally diverse,” said Suzanne Schroder, chief collaboration officer at Valtech. “This rich culture enables us to combine uncommon combinations of expertise and disciplines in ways other organisations can’t, due to siloes and competing cultures. As these combinations cross over, they spark ideas and breakthroughs that drive huge value for our growth, and our clients’ growth. Our ways of working, acquisition strategy, partnerships, and client servicing model empower and protect that.”"Our experience innovation strategy is the driving force behind our commitment in supporting the ambitious regional transformational agendas of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the neighbouring GCC countries. In a region where disruption and transformational leaps are the norm, we understand that in today's experience-driven economy, brands must go beyond conventional boundaries to excel. We are here to empower them to outperform, redefine standards, and thrive in a dynamically changing and interconnected landscape. It is an exciting journey where we lead the charge in experience innovation and set the bar for customer experiences that ultimately drive measurable business results," said Adam Cukrowski, Regional Managing Director at Valtech MENA.As part of its new brand positioning, Valtech has not only got a new visual identity to match, but has also identified core offerings that unlock the value of experience innovation — spanning commerce acceleration, data evolution, enterprise transformation, experience elevation, and marketing creativity and performance.

Viory secures multiple new deals at Global Media Congress

Viory, the video news agency of the Global South, today formally signed a raft of new agreements during a VIP Launch Summit hosted by the brand on the opening day of the Global Media Congress in Abu Dhabi, UAE.During the ceremony attended by the Viory team, and an array of distinguished guests, partners and senior delegates from the Global Media Congress, the news agency signed agreements including:A memorandum of cooperation with UNA (Union of OIC News Agencies) focussing on the parties’ cooperation in the field of international news coverage, as well as the coverage of important events concerning the relations between the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the BRICS countries. This will include the provision of joint projects and knowledge sharing across both parties.A content licensing partnership with CCTV+ (CCTV News Content Co.) that will see content from CCTV+ being made available to Viory clients.Membership of the AUB (African Union of Broadcasting), under which Viory has committed to the training of media professionals in all fields of broadcasting, as well as content, to the AUBvision platformCommenting on the agreement between Viory and UNA, Mohammed bin Abd Rabbo Al Yami, Acting Director General of UNA, said: “Our union, which includes 57 member states, exists to enhance tolerance and coexistence. No doubt this Memorandum of Understanding, signed today between Viory and UNA, will result in more joint media activities between our Islamic countries and the world. My thanks to Viory for enhancing relationships with the Islamic world. Good luck Viory!”Gregoire Ndjaka, Chief Executive Officer of AUB, added: “We are proud to welcome Viory as a new member of the African Union of Broadcasting. It is very important and timely to welcome Viory, we need balanced information in Africa and we can see Viory as supporting the development of this. On behalf of all the members of the AUB, we wish Viory welcome. Viory: you are at home in Africa”Alongside its commitment to these agreements, Viory also hosted esteemed guests including; Mohammed bin Abd Rabbo Al Yami (Acting Director General of the Union of News Agencies of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (UNA)); Allamyrat Archayev (Head of Department of State Committee for Television, Radio Broadcasting and Cinematography of Turkmenistan); Li Xiaodong (Counsellor of the Chinese embassy to the UAE); Grégoire Ndjaka (Chief Executive Officer of the African Union of Broadcasting); Ahmed Nadeem (Secretary-General Chief Executive of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union); H.E. Ambassador Lovemore Mazemo (Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the UAE.); H.E. Timur Zabirov (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Embassy to the United Arab Emirates); and Shadrack Ayanda Hollow (Chief Executive Officer of BRICS TV); each delivering their views on the news industry of today and welcoming Viory.Discussions at the event considered the rapid pace of technological advancements that are breaking down barriers once thought insurmountable, as well as emerging economic and intellectual hubs that are reshaping the global landscape. Importantly, conversation also touched on the weighty responsibility to capture these transformative changes comprehensively, ensuring that the global news picture is as objective and complete as possible. They also discussed the need for the industry, in particular agencies like Viory, to authentically empower and inform perspectives across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the CIS, and Latin America.Speakers were also joined by a selection of distinguished guests including H.E. Mr Reza Ameri (Ambassador of I.R of Iran to the United Arab Emirates); Ibrahim Khadim (Director of Licensing and Media Content Department, Ministry of Culture and Youth – UAE); Dr. Samir Al Attrach (Head of the Venezuelan Diplomatic Mission to UAE); H.E. Abdulaziz Akkulov (Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to UAE); Franzisco Kaluvi (Counsellor and Deputy Head of Embassy of Angola to UAE); Almazbek Esenaliev (Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Arab Emirates); and a host over other industry and public figures.The VIP summit today is one of a variety of activities Viory is undertaking surrounding The Global Media Congress as it unveils its first international hub in the vibrant city of Abu Dhabi, UAE and formally launches its global operations this week. These activities include a significant presence at the Congress itself with a large purpose-built stand, engagement in a selection of main-stage speaking engagements, and a variety of side events culminating in a gala launch celebration taking place on the evening of November 16th.From its new headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Viory will focus on empowering and amplifying perspectives from the geographical, geopolitical, and developmental heartland that is the Global South. It shall provide exclusive breaking news across politics, technology, sports, and entertainment. The brand launched with a pre-assembled and growing team of over 150 full-time staff, and an established network of over 3000 video journalists across the world – ensuring presence on the ground wherever news breaks.Sourcing footage from where stories break, it acquires and produces global and regional breaking news thanks to an expansive international team that brings unmissable content from and to the Global South. Viory serves everyone from international media conglomerates to regional news outlets and individual citizen journalists.

META Cinema Forum enchants cinephiles

Dubai: Following the success of the 6th Edition of META Cinema Forum, a cinematic extravaganza that unfolded from 7th to 8th November, the celebration continued with exclusive film screenings at City Centre Deira from 9th to 12th November and a special tour of the Soundstage at Dubai Studio City.City Centre Deira, a key sponsor, transformed into a cinematic haven above Food Central. Attendees reveled in the comfort of bean bags while enjoying a curated selection of films not yet available to the general public. From the animated adventure "3 Little Kungpoo Goats" to the intense forest drama "Territory," the screenings catered to diverse tastes.Celebrating the Diwali weekend, the lineup included the courtroom thriller "A Holy Conspiracy," the Kannada drama "Koli Esru," and the gripping Malayalam film "Nishiddho," offering attendees a unique blend of entertainment and celebration, along with Q&A sessions with cast and crew.On Friday 10th November Dubai Studio City offered an exclusive "Tour of Soundstage" experience. Over 50 filmmakers and enthusiasts explored the state-of-the-art facilities at Soundstage, Dubai Studio City. The tour unveiled details of the facilities, benefits, and rebates available for filmmakers, solidifying Dubai Studio City's commitment to fostering creativity and innovation in the film industry.Leila Masinaei, META Cinema Forum Director and Managing Partner of Great Minds Group, expressed gratitude to the sponsors for their invaluable support in creating a memorable cinematic experience.The META Cinema Forum, known for its dedication to emerging markets, successfully blended conferences, exclusive screenings, and sponsor activations, making it a must-attend event for cinema enthusiasts and industry professionals alike.

Mukta A2 cinemas signs deal to launch theaters in Saudi Arabia

After expanding its businesses in India and internationally, Mukta Arts Ltd. through its Bahrain subsidiary, Mukta A2 Multiplex W.L.L. has entered into an agreement with Al-Othaim Investment Company to establish and operate cinemas across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The partnership highlights the synergies between the real estate footprint of the Al-Othaim group and the experience of Mukta A2 Cinemas across the value chain in the movie exhibition business.  Mr. Rahul Puri, Managing Director – Mukta Arts Ltd., Commented, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Al-Othaim group to help build out the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s fledgling exhibition market. We are excited to add our experience and ethos in providing world-class entertainment to the region to follow up the stellar success we have found in Bahrain with the properties we manage there. We are deeply committed to this project and are humbled by the faith shown in us. We look forward to the partnership and the value it brings.” “Strategically positioned within Saudi Arabia, the key focal points for expansion lie in the burgeoning Tier 2 and 3 cities, which are experiencing dynamic growth as part of the Vision 2030 initiative. Mukta, while not currently engaged in direct investment, has strategically positioned itself through contractual agreements solely focused on providing Management and Operations services, aligning seamlessly with the evolving landscape of these emerging markets,” he further added.  Mr. Akshay Bajaj, COO – ME – Mukta A2 Cinemas, commented, “We look forward to the synergies of our partnership with the Al-Othaim group and to provide movie-goers with unrivalled experiences as Saudi Arabia increases its ever-growing cultural and entertainment offerings.” This further boosts the expansion plans for the cinema exhibition business of Mukta Arts Limited, which already has in its control over 100 screens, i.e. through Mukta A2 Cinemas Limited, subsidiary company, Mukta A2 Multiplex WLL, subsidiary at Bahrain and through its Joint Ventures.

Group M agencies to centralize budgets starting 2024

Group M, a member of the WPP conglomerate, has revealed that starting in 2024, its agencies EssenceMediacom, Wavemaker, MSix & Partners, and Mindshare will no longer manage their individual budgets.From the outset, Group M has consistently operated under a country-level profit and loss model. However, a significant change is underway, marking the first instance where budgets and resources will be assigned on a country-by-country basis. Christian Juhl, the Global Chief Executive, recently announced this transformation within Group M. Under the new structure, agency heads will maintain their responsibility for client growth and profitability, but they will now have additional time to concentrate on strategic initiatives and the creation of efficiencies across the entire group.Since assuming the role of CEO in October 2019, Juhl has been dedicated to streamlining Group M's operations, aiming to transform the group into something resembling a software company. In this envisioned structure, technology is centralized to provide individual agencies with improved access.As part of the restructure, EssenceMediacom (including EssenceMediacom X in the UK) will be established, and Group M's global performance marketing division, Nexus, will undergo reorganization into two distinct groups: expert practices and media solutions. These changes are intended to provide support to the client-facing agencies.It's noteworthy that Group M's restructure aligns with a similar process undertaken by rival agency Publicis Groupe, which has also transitioned to a model where the UK serves as a platform for divisions across Europe.

Emirates signs agreements with Safran worth US$1.2 billion combined

Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, has announced a series of contracts awarded to Safran, worth over US$1.2 billion combined. This includes a US $1 billion deal* for the latest generation Safran Seats for Emirates’ new fleet of Airbus A350, Boeing 777X-9 and existing Boeing 777-300 aircraft.The agreement includes Business, Premium Economy and Economy class seats for the Emirates Airbus A350, and Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class seats for the Boeing 777X-9. The new seats will offer a host of enhancements that set a new standard for comfort, privacy and convenience, including generous space and a bolder roster of luxurious features, stylish interior finishes and next level-technology in every cabin class.The deal also represents a significant export order for a French company, and is part of Emirates’ ongoing investment into France and Europe.Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “Safran is a key partner for Emirates and we’re working closely to reimagine and elevate our future cabins with smart design and the latest technologies. These have been decisive factors in our selection of seat types which will be customized for Emirates. Today’s announcement is significant not only because it cements the partnership between Emirates and Safran, but also because it supports aviation manufacturing and the wider value chain in France and across Europe.”“Safran is very proud of our longstanding strategic alliance with Emirates,” said Safran CEO Olivier Andriès. “The continuation of our 30-year partnership underscores Safran’s commitment to innovative solutions for aircraft interiors, critical aircraft equipment and services to ensure the best possible passenger experience. Today’s agreements set the stage for Safran’s continued growth along with our customer, a leader in the global market. More than ever, we are looking ahead to the future.”In addition to seats, Safran Cabin will be providing Emirates’ A350 fleet with Galley shipsets in line with the airline’s high standards when it comes to quality and design. The Galleys, both for Emirates’ A350 and B777-9 fleet will be equipped with GEMini and the new high-end type NUVO galley inserts with advanced features, efficiency, and technology.Safran Landing Systems will be supplying high performance wheels and carbon brakes for the Emirates A350 fleet. These brakes offer significant weight savings and feature a unique design that provides better cooling for shorter turnaround times (TAT) and increased fleet availability.Safran Passenger Innovations will be providing its RAVE AeroConnect Ka solution to Emirates, allowing connectivity across multiple providers and frequencies. This end-to-end solution will disrupt the inflight connectivity status quo by offering Emirates unrivaled flexibility in entertainment and provider choice. 50 Airbus A350, 60 Airbus A380 and 50 Boeing 777X-9 will be equipped with Safran’s agnostic satcom connectivity solution.Retrofit supportIn addition to providing equipment for Emirates’ new fleet, Safran is also working closely with the airline on its current retrofit programme, which includes providing new seats for the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380.Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul agreementsSafran Landing Systems will perform exclusive services to Emirates for Nose Landing Gear overhaul for the A380 fleet. Safran Landing Systems’ broad network, which includes facilities in Singapore and France, will provide Emirates with the expertise, capabilities and tailored support services covering the A380’s landing systems lifecycle.Furthermore, Emirates has signed a 10-year service agreement with Safran Aerosystems covering repair and maintenance for Boeing 777 safety and cabin systems components. Safran Aerosystems’ Middle East facility is located near Al-Maktoum Airport in Dubai, and will deliver maintenance services that will further enhance Emirates' operational efficiency.

Dubai Airports’ 2023 forecast sees DXB soar beyond 2019 traffic to reach 86.8m

Propelled by strong growth throughout the first three quarters of the year and anticipation of an exceptional surge in guest numbers in the final quarter, Dubai Airports is forecasting annual passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) to reach 86.8 million – surpassing 2019 traffic.DXB commenced the second half of 2023 with its growth story continuing unabated, with average monthly traffic reaching 7.6 million, tracking pre-pandemic levels throughout the third quarter. The world’s largest hub recorded 22.9 million passengers in Q3 – the highest quarterly traffic since 2019, taking the total year-to-date traffic for the first nine months of the year to 64.5 million passengers, up 39.3% compared to the same period in 2022 and 1% above 2019.“We’re thrilled but not entirely surprised that DXB is all set to surpass the pre-pandemic milestone well ahead of our initial projections by almost a year. Our outlook for the remainder of this year and the next remains optimistic. Teaming up with our strategic partners, we’re ready for the challenge to continue to exceed guest satisfaction amidst the continuous surge in traffic,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.He added: “Our team embarked on a remarkable journey, navigating fresh challenges during the recovery period and swiftly revitalising the business. Instead of settling, we’re dedicated to exploring inventive solutions, reimagining traditional concepts, integrating state of the art technology, and addressing the mammoth challenge of sustainability. Events like the Dubai Airshow present the ideal platform to recognise accomplishments and foster future growth. This edition is clearly playing a critical role in forging the path for the industry’s future.”Future OutlookDubai Airports is expecting record-breaking numbers to continue in Q4 and 2024. To accommodate growth and to achieve the company’s ambition of revolutionising the guest journey at DXB, Dubai Airports is undertaking a strategic project to expand infrastructure capacity while enhancing operational efficiency. With a current capacity of 100 million passengers annually at DXB, the deployment of innovative technology, expansion and refurbishment of existing infrastructures and more efficient use of its space and resources is expected to propel the airport’s capacity to 120 million.As Dubai tops the list of cities with the highest spending by international visitors with a total earning of $29.4bn , and the Emirate at the forefront of deploying the latest technologies, Dubai Airports has continued to work closely with its stakeholders to provide guests the experience they expect from Dubai.Top destinationsWith 8.9 million passengers in the first nine months of the year, India was DXB’s top country destination in terms of traffic volume, followed by Saudi Arabia with 4.8 million passengers, and the UK (4.4 million passengers). Other country destinations of note include Pakistan with 3.1 million passengers, the US (2.7 million) and Russia (1.8 million). The top cities by traffic were London (2.7 million passengers) and Riyadh (1.9 million), closely followed by Mumbai (1.8 million) and Jeddah (1.7 million passengers).PerformanceDXB's baggage handling system processed a total of 57.5 million bags in 2023 with a success rate of 99.8% - a rate of 2.5 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers - no mean feat for the world's biggest hub for international traffic. In terms of baggage delivery on arrival, 91% of all baggage was delivered within 45 minutes to the guests. The baggage volume in 2023 represents 106.07% of the 2019 baggage volume at DXB.The average waiting time at passport control queues was less than 11 minutes for 96.4% of the arriving passengers and 95.1% of passengers queued for less than six minutes at departure passport control. The average queue times at security-check on departures was less than four minutes for 98.4% of total passengers.CargoCargo continued to gain momentum in the third quarter registering a surge of 12.3% year on year, to reach 446,400 tonnes. The strong performance this year has helped level out a double-digit contraction in cargo recorded at the end of last year. The hub recorded 1.3 million tonnes of cargo in the first nine months of the year, registering a minor decline of under 1%.FlightsFlight movements in Q3 surged by 5.1% in the third quarter to reach 106,000. DXB handled 308,000 in total flight movements between January and September, up 25.2% year-on year.SHA

Millennium Hotels and Resorts appoints William Harley Fleming as Sr VP Operation

Millennium Hotels and Resorts has welcomed William Harley-Fleming as the newly appointed Senior Vice President Operations, bringing a wealth of international experience to steer operational excellence in the Middle East and Africa Region.A dynamic and results-oriented hospitality professional, William has dedicated over twenty-seven years to the industry, showcasing his expertise across the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. His most recent journey to the region began with JA Resorts & Hotels in 2007 as the Corporate Food and Beverage Concept Director, and through his unwavering passion and determination, he ascended the ranks, achieving his first General Manager's role in 2009, and later becoming Vice President of Operations for the group.William's career trajectory includes holding various senior management roles with Starwood, Rezidor, and more recently with JA Resorts & Hotels, overseeing key properties such as the luxury JA Manafaru in the Maldives, the JA cluster of properties in Dubai Marina, and JA The Resort, where he played a pivotal role in managing the entire operation of the expansive resort, earning accolades for sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. In his last role with JA Resorts & Hotels he was overseeing a diverse range of operations from hotels & resorts, food & beverage venues, and leisure & entertainment facilities, as Corporate Vice President of Operations.In addition to his impressive career achievements, William holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management from Manchester Metropolitan University, and a Diploma in Food Hygiene and Safety from The Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene UK.William said: "Assuming the position of Senior Vice President of Operations at Millennium Hotels and Resorts is an honor. The brand's commitment to driving excellence aligns with my own values, and I look forward to contributing to the continued success and growth of the organization."Fahad Kazim, CEO of Millennium Hotels & Resorts said: "We are delighted to welcome William Harley-Fleming to our leadership team as the Senior Vice President of Operations. His extensive experience and dedication to excellence align perfectly with our vision for operational success. We are confident that his strategic insights will contribute significantly to our continued growth and commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences."William Harley-Fleming's insightful leadership and wealth of experience will undoubtedly contribute to Millennium Hotels and Resorts' ongoing commitment to operational excellence.

Omantel Group reports 28.7% rise in Q3 net profit

Oman Telecommunications Company Group (MSX: OTEL) reported significant growth for the nine months ended September 2023, net profit increasing 28.7% from RO 195 Mn to RO 251 Mn at the end of September 2023. Group revenue grew 10.6% from RO 1981.5 Mn to RO 2192.5 Mn at the end of September 2023.Omantel's domestic operations performanceAt the level of domestic operations, Omantel's revenues grew by 8.2% to reach R.O 458.1 million, compared to the corresponding period. Revenue growth is mainly coming from wholesale transit voice revenue which increased by RO 17 Mn and device revenue which increased by RO 10.9 Mn. Growth in retail revenue is contributed by Mobile Postpaid revenue which increased by 11.4% and Fixed Broadband revenues which increased by 4.4%.Net Profit for the nine months ended September 2023 stands at RO 54.7 Mn compared to RO 54.9 Mn in the previous period. Inspite of the aggressive competition in both Mobile and Fixed segments net profit is maintained at similar levels compared to last year on account of sustainable revenue growth in Postpaid Mobile revenue, fixed broadband revenue and reduction in finance cost and Tax expense.   Zain Group Performance:Zain Group, a subsidiary of Omantel Group, announced its financial results yesterday, reporting a growth of 11% in its revenues, to reach US$ 4.6 billion, while net profit rose by 13% to reach US$ 561 million, compared to the corresponding period in 2022.

The Netflix Cup Crowns Its Winners

After a hard fought battle, Carlos Sainz & Justin Thomas swung to victory winning the inaugural Netflix Cup title! The Netflix Cup, Netflix's first-ever live sports event, took place at Wynn Golf Club at Wynn Las Vegas earlier today, hosted by comedian, Bert Kreischer, PGA TOUR player Joel Dahmen, sports host Kay Adams, and NFL legendary running back Marshawn Lynch.In a clash of wheels and irons, four pairs consisting of one Formula 1 driver and one PGA TOUR professional played eight holes of match play, swinging through some surprise challenges. The match-ups included Lando Norris & Rickie Fowler VS Carlos Sainz & Justin Thomas and Alex Albon & Max Homa VS Pierre Gasly & Tony Finau.Additional highlights included surprise appearances from Mark Wahlberg, Blake Griffin, Steve Aoki, Collin Morikawa, and a Zoom appearance with Patrick Mahomes.

ADGM Office of Data Protection publishes Addendum to EU SCC

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has issued and adopted an Addendum (ADGM Addendum) to the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses (EU SCCs) for personal data transfers.In a pioneering move, ADGM has become the first in the region to issue this Addendum to the EU clauses. The primary objective of the Addendum is to offer vital support to ADGM businesses that operate within ADGM and have data transfers involving individuals’ information. This is particularly important due to global data protection and privacy laws, including the ADGM Data Protection Regulations, impose restrictions on cross-border transfers without an appropriate safeguard.Following this initiative, organisations will be able to use the ADGM Addendum as a transfer mechanism to comply with the ADGM Data Protection Regulations where the organisation has already implemented the EU SCCs. With this initiative, businesses can minimise duplication and remove additional compliance obligations, benefitting both SMEs as well as large ADGM entities that rely on existing safeguards provided by the EU SCCs.Over the past few decades, the global digital economy has witnessed significant growth, with data and digital trade now representing nearly 16% of the global GDP, approximately equivalent to USD 11 trillion. As technologies like AI, machine learning, and cloud computing, continue to advance, digital trade is likely to grow exponentially over the next 5-10 years. ADGM remains committed to establishing itself as a destination of choice for regional and international businesses across many sectors including finance, technology, and the professional industry.Commenting on the decision, Mr. Sami Mohammed, ADGM’s Commissioner of Data Protection, said, “Data transfers underpin today’s globalised and interconnected societies. International data flows are crucial for many businesses in ADGM, as an international financial centre. The Office of Data Protection is always looking for opportunities to support businesses whilst upholding individual rights. ADGM entities applying the EU standard clauses can now utilise the ADGM Addendum as an appropriate safeguard under our Data Protection Regulations 2021. This Addendum not only facilitates cross-border transfers but also reduces costs, duplication, and effort by ADGM entities.”In addition, the Office of Data Protection has issued supplementary guidelines to support businesses in implementing the Addendum to their existing EU SCCs.

Businesses lost 9% of revenue from cyber attacks in 2022

Fastly, a leader in global edge cloud platforms, has today launched its new annual global cybersecurity report, uncovering the staggering impacts of cyber attacks on leading businesses across the globe, with each of these suffering an average of 46 known cyber attacks this year. This survey also reveals the hugely damaging financial effects of security breaches, with businesses losing 9% of their revenue over the last 12 months as a direct result of the cyber attacks they have suffered. But financial damage is not the only result of cyber attacks. Businesses also highlighted network outages (34%), data loss (29%), web applications being taken offline (24%) and customer account compromises (22%) as the most common damages caused by security breaches.Sean Leach, VP Technology at Fastly, explained why these cyber attacks are so damaging: “While the immediate results of a cyber attack can be extremely damaging, what really hits businesses hard is the time it takes them to recover from these. On average, it will take businesses 7.5 months to recover from the loss of client trust as a result of a cyber attack. That is highly sobering for organizations which cannot afford to lose business in today’s economic climate. Once trust is broken, it’s very difficult to recover. This means a single cyber attack - particularly one resulting in a customer data breach - will have long-term impacts on the business that suffers it. During an uncertain economy, the long-term financial consequences of suffering a security breach cannot be ignored.”In recognition of the financial implications of not having the correct security infrastructure in place, businesses are reevaluating their investments, with 76% planning to increase their cybersecurity budgets in the next year. Despite this increase, uncertainty continues to reign in security teams, with 35% of security professionals feeling they spent too much on cybersecurity tools in the last 12 months, compared to 18% who feel they did not spend enough. Representative of this conflicted spending strategy is the fact that only 55% of security tools are being fully deployed, representing significant money left on the table in the fight against cyber criminals.The diminishing talent pool in security is also causing issues. In fact 30% of cybersecurity professionals estimate that security issues in the last 12 months were caused by the talent shortage, with 33% predicting this will continue in the next 12 months. Accordingly, over the past year 47% of businesses have increased their talent-specific budgets to solve the problems presented by the existing talent pool. A lack of experience dealing with new threats (46%), a lack of necessary skills (36%), and an inability to work at scale (36%) are seen by security professionals to be the core challenges facing the talent pool, which have significantly complicated the hiring process.One potential solution to these challenges is Generative AI, which 51% of security professionals are expected to invest in over the next two years. This is also the top security priority for businesses over the next 12 months, with 37% focussing on AI security. This increased prioritization comes as a result of the double-edged sword Generative AI presents. On one hand, it is predicted to be the 2nd most prevalent threat driver in the next year, but on the other, in the same time period 75% of cybersecurity professionals estimate Generative AI’s impact will be positive.Leach added: “Despite now prioritizing the resolution of challenges related to the talent pool for the last two years, many businesses continue to try to address these by simply spending more. While this strategy can help businesses to secure the top talent, it ignores the technological developments - and alternative solutions - that can help security teams overcome their personnel challenges. Among these, we’ve seen that Managed Security Services (MSS) and Generative AI have been particular focus areas as businesses look to reduce the toil for their in-house security teams by taking time-consuming work off their hands to increase productivity, unlock new opportunities for innovation and ensure businesses are better protected across their attack surface.”

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

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

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

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

Google pays Apple 36% of search ad revenue from Safari

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

YouTube unveils stricter rules for AI-generated content

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

Accenture Song unveils streamlined structure with four key practices

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

Mr Monopoly all set to monopolise Abu Dhabi with his moves

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

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

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

IBM unveils watsonx.governance to help businesses & governments

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

Huawei Cloud unveils E³ Model at Global Media Congress 2023

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

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

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

GoDaddy unveils guide to captivate the digital consumer

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

UAE consumers optimistic about future: Survey

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

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

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

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

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

Dubai to get AI-equipped autonomous vehicles

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

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

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