Natasha Hatherall: Empowering women and redefining PR in the heart of Dubai

TishTash Communications, an award-winning specialist communications and public relation agency focusing on beauty, health, and wellness, is a well-established name and a prominent player in the field of public relations in Dubai. Founded in 2012 by Natasha Hatherall and Managing Director & Partner Polly Williams, the brand has gained recognition for its commitment to advocating for women in the workplace and supporting working mothers. TishTash stands out as a workplace that is exclusively tailored to meet the needs of women. The founders believe in showcasing the impact of addressing women's needs and emphasize that when women's requirements are fulfilled, they not only thrive but also stand on equal footing with their male counterparts.Natasha Hatherall, referring to herself as an 'accidental entrepreneur,' serves as the Founder and CEO of TishTash Communications. She sheds light on the brand's journey and its success as a leading independent PR and integrated marketing agency in the region. With a team of over 60 members and offices in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and the UK, TishTash has firmly established itself as a key player in the industry. Excerpts:Can you share your journey, starting as a PR professional, leading to your role as the Founder of TishTash Communications?Born and educated in the UK, I spent the first part of my career in academia, studying firstly for a degree in Psychology, followed by a Masters in Marketing, before combining my love of both into a PhD in Management with a focus on consumer behaviour. Whilst working as a graduate, teaching in the university and after a lot of soul searching, I decided I didn’t wish to pursue an academic career. I made my first turn into the marketing, media and PR world in the UK working at agencies including Havas and McCann Worldwide and client side for major global brands such as L’Oreal, and I never really looked back. The corporate world was definitely for me.I had always wanted to live and work abroad and this is what brought me to Dubai in 2010. I worked in a brilliant marketing and comms role at Abu Dhabi Media Group for 2 years, before leaving to freelance for a while with the aim of having more work/life balance, practicing yoga and seeing more of the world.Life had other plans though and TishTash Communications was born. 12 years on we are going very strong as one of the leading independent PR and integrated marketing agencies in the region with over 60 team members and offices in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and the UK. We’ve won lots of great awards, been recognized formally as a “Great Place to Work” this year and I’m proud of the brilliant work we produce for our clients every day.Not bad for the girl who planned to freelance and go to yoga!What motivated you to establish TishTash Communications? What is your vision for the organisation and where do you see it five years from now?I definitely consider myself an ‘accidental entrepreneur’ – someone who literally never intended to start a traditional business, and by traditional I mean with a group of employees, office space and differing streams of income. It’s very different to being a ‘solopreneur’ – which is really what I intended for myself when I left my last full time role.That said, I also believe that everything happens for a reason and clearly this is where I was meant to be and perhaps I am more of an entrepreneur and business leader than I ever gave myself credit for. My business is 12 years old now and it’s far bigger than anything I could have imagined or planned, but I very much feel like I’ve found my purpose and passion in life during this time.Going solo and working for myself, followed by the quick establishment of TishTash, always came from a desire to do quality good work, to provide the best of big brand and agency experience at more affordable rates to those who could not afford big agency prices and ultimately to raise the standards of communications that I saw at that time. That is something that very much remains at the heart of all we do today.Also very accidentally due to the nature of the work we do and the fact we ended up employing women only, myself and my MD and partner Polly Williams became advocates in this area and voices for women at work and working mothers. To support our workforce, we celebrated our differences and designed a workplace catered purely to women’s needs to demonstrate the power in doing this and how when women’s needs are met, that they flourish and stand very equally with their male counterparts.As for the future, I can’t say for sure, but we’re committed to leading the way for women in the workforce as well as for communications and we’re known for being agile, keeping it fresh and doing new and innovative things as an agency, so definitely expect more of that as there is lots I still want to do and achieve.We’re part of an industry that can’t sit still and we’ve had such monumental changes in the past 5 years, that I expect this development to continue in the years ahead, but I hope that we have truly consolidated our learnings and rapid recent expansion into continuing to offer a mature, fully integrated multimedia communications offering to our global clients.Could you provide insights into the brands that have collaborated with TishTash?We have the pleasure of working with some of the most renowned names in beauty, health and wellness from across the globe alongside inspirational homegrown brands and powerful founders and entrepreneurs. We currently work with over 100 companies and brands at TishTash, with some of our key agency clients including: LUSH, ASICS, The Body Shop, Victoria's Secret, Boots The Pharmacy, Eucerin, Kibsons and DrinkDry. Many more work with us on all facets of comms campaigning, from traditional PR through to event design and activation, influencer strategy, exhibitions and own brand events to social media content and execution via our own TishTash Studios. I’m especially proud of the long term relationships we form with clients and we still have clients we started out with 12 years ago and many more who have been with us 8 or 9 years.What are the five major trends you have observed in the PR industry?Digital-first - Over 80% at least of your earned media coverage will be online. It is no longer ‘secondary’ and basing all campaign planning around that is vital.Visual assets - No longer simply an image to accompany an article, a video in itself is a campaign - like digital first, think visual first, as a storytelling strategy and not just a pretty picture.Affiliates and e-commerce–These go hand in hand and many outlets only work with affiliates for product placement now and this will become even more common in the months and years ahead as our market plays catch up in this area.Own media outlets - As traditional ones dwindle, we will see more and more verticals from agencies and other businesses who choose to become their own distributors.Do you think the PR sector tends to attract more women, and if so, what might be the reasons behind this trend?There is a cliche in the old ‘PR Girl’ trope and certainly there are many women in our industry, but there are also a lot of men working in the industry too.PR is accepted as one of the most stressful industries to work in globally, so it certainly should never be seen as an ‘easy’ or glamorous option for anyone.In the Middle East, we certainly see many big agencies led and staffed by men, but equally, it does attract and retain many women at a junior and entry level.Longer working hours and unpredictable or seasonal workloads are not particularly friendly for those who have caring responsibilities, so we do absolutely see a drop off across the industry for women at different life stages and as such we’re lacking women in comms at a senior and board level, as are the majority of industries.Equality and diversification in skill set at leadership level certainly needs to see more women in major roles in the PR sector. Women do tend to hold a higher level of ‘soft skills’ quite naturally, and PR certainly demands a high level of emotional intelligence and social skills that women are naturally adept at.You have been a great supporter of female entrepreneurs. In what ways are you helping in female entrepreneurship in the Middle East? How do you view women's empowerment in the region?There is nowhere like the Middle East for women’s empowerment in my opinion. The federal and governmental support is brilliant, and there are learning, networking and support opportunities available daily. TishTash Communications is powered by women - our entire staff are female and we are now at over 60 employees.As a female entrepreneur myself, I understand intrinsically the opportunities and challenges of starting and running a business in the Middle East. Representation is important, and of course, visibility of others doing the same, especially those in the start up phase, and I will always do my utmost to support and promote them. I am vocal in my support via my own media work and social media, and many of our agency clients are female founders and their brands. This was most necessary for us during the months of the pandemic where businesses needed this support more than ever, and TishTash offered a number of formal initiatives to address their needs.Globally, women essentially receive less opportunities and funding than men, so we owe it to the greater good to help each other. Aside from the facets of business, I strongly believe that we have to address some fundamental basics in the workplace to allow women to fulfill their potential, and we can no longer ignore lifestyle constraints that influence our productivity and wellbeing.What advice would you offer to individuals, both men and women, aspiring to become leaders in the PR sector?Put people first: This works two ways - client services and employee wellbeing. Know them and understand their challenges and strengths as this leads to better engagement and retention all around - and better work.Stay agile: The market is changing almost daily at the moment, staying on top of it will help you navigate both the media and consumer landscape.Put collaboration over competition: Keep a clear vision and mission for your business and stay on that path. Every agency has their own USP’s and there are plenty of clients and specialisms to go ‘round. Keeping friendly and approachable to your peers means that you always have allies who will be keen to support you if you need it.Lead by example not by ego: Never expect anyone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself if the job needed doing.User-generated content: As ‘influencer fatigue’ sets in, genuine customer content is a vital preponement and endorsement for social media campaigns - consumers want and demand authenticity.

Danube and SkyBlue Media's Reflective Bus Ads Light Up Dubai's Streets

SkyBlue Media, the award-winning strategic media agency and a leading out-of-home (OOH) marketing entity announces its strategic collaboration with Danube, one of the largest and most reputable property developers in the UAE. This partnership marks a significant milestone for SkyBlue as it takes on the innovative venture of branding Danube Properties through an unparalleled Reflective Sticker Bus Advertising Campaign.SkyBlue Media joins Danube Properties, the property development arm of Danube Group stands as one of the top 5 developers in the UAE, celebrated for its timely delivery of high-quality assets and remarkable sales success.This innovation is designed to address the need for high visibility of bus advertising during the evening and night hours. The focus of this collaboration lies in the groundbreaking Reflective Sticker Bus Advertising Campaign designed by SkyBlue Media for Danube’s Properties which has transformed the landscape of bus advertising in Dubai by introducing a new dimension to OOH advertising. SkyBlue media has created Bus Advertising campaigns to promote Danube’s ongoing projects- Sportz by Danube and Eleganz by Danube on a total of 36 buses, of which 18 buses have reflective stickers to promote Eleganz Danube. Besides this campaign, SkyBlue Media has executed other campaigns for Danube, which involve creative ad campaigns on 400 bus shelters to promote their ongoing real estate projects.Speaking about this exciting venture, Dato Manikandamurthy Velayoudam, Managing Director of SkyBlue Media said, "We are thrilled to embark on this strategic collaboration with Danube, a stalwart in the UAE's real estate landscape. Our Reflective Sticker Bus Advertising Campaign not only showcases the brilliance of Danube's real estate ventures but also places a strong emphasis on enhancing visibility in low-light conditions during evening and night hours. This innovative venture represents a fusion of creativity and functionality, setting a new benchmark in OOH advertising. We look forward to elevating Danube's brand presence and making a lasting impact in the realm of OOH marketing."The reflective ad campaign for buses traveling through the city exemplifies the future of bus advertising, setting a new standard for dynamic and environmentally conscious campaigns. For SkyBlue Media, this execution represents a strategic move to redefine outdoor advertising by offering unique opportunities for advertisers to differentiate themselves, achieve enhanced visibility, and create interactive advertising. SkyBlue Media holds the distinction of having a lineup of more innovative offerings for the region in bus media, positioning it as a frontrunner in advancing OOH advertising in the UAE.Commenting on its brand new partnership with SkyBlue, Madhusudan Rao, CEO, Danube Group said, “The Reflective Sticker Bus Advertising Campaign, a brainchild of SkyBlue, not only redefines bus advertising in Dubai but also amplifies our brand presence with a creative and safety-conscious approach. We look forward to the continued success of this collaboration, showcasing Danube's ongoing projects such as Sportz by Danube and Eleganz by Danube to a wider audience through this unique and visually striking campaign."In line with Danube's commitment to sustainable practices, the reflective stickers used in this campaign are designed to be durable, weather-resistant, and eco-friendly. This aligns seamlessly with SkyBlue's vision of providing sustainable advertising solutions that set a new standard for dynamic and environmentally conscious campaigns.

Etihad and Maldivian announce exciting interline partnership

 Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, and Maldivian have unwrapped an early Christmas present for customers by announcing a strategic bilateral interline partnership, unlocking access to 16 dream holiday destinations in the Maldives beyond the main island of Malé.The agreement between Etihad and Maldivian, the national airline of the Maldives, means guests can now seamlessly navigate across the Indian Ocean archipelago, enjoying the combined services and networks of both carriers on a single ticket. Etihad's Chief Revenue Officer, Arik De said: "This interline will elevate the overall customer experience across the entire journey. Guests bound for the Maldives will enjoy the privilege of arriving at their popular holiday destinations with greater ease. Facilitated by smooth connections from Malé, Etihad customers can easily transition to Maldivian’s services, reaching a wide range of domestic destinations to begin their idyllic island retreat."Maldivian’s General Manager Commercial, Ibrahim Hamdhan Mohamed said: “In an effort to expand Maldivian’s reach globally, this interline partnership with Etihad Airways will open exciting opportunities for our valued customers to connect and travel seamlessly within our strong and growing route network of destinations across the Maldives.”Etihad customers can access destinations on Maldivian’s network, which serves many popular islands, via Velana International Airport, Malé, including: Dharavandhoo Island (DRV), Faresmathoda Airport (FMT), Funadhoo Airport (FND), Fuvahmulak Island Airport (FVM), Gan Island Airport (GAN), Kooddoo Island (GKK), Hanimaadhoo Island Airport (HAQ), Kulhudhuffushi Airport (HDK), Hoarafushi Airport (HRF), Kaadedhdhoo Island Airport (KDM), Kadhdhoo Island (KDO), Madivaru Airport (LMV), Maafaru International Airport (NMF), Maavarulu Airport (RUL), Thimarafushi Airport (TMF), and Ifuru (IFU).Etihad is set to increase the frequency of its flights to Malé to connect with the Maldivian network from 10 to 14 a week starting on 1 January, 2024.The agreement also makes it even easier for customers to combine their dream break in the Maldives with an exciting stopover in Abu Dhabi, savouring the legendary hospitality and remarkable attractions of the UAE’s capital.The interline agreement with Maldivian is just the latest in Etihad’s expanding network of partnerships with airlines worldwide, delivering enhanced connectivity and convenience for its guests.

Jaggaer appoints Troy S. Meyers as Chief Customer Officer

JAGGAER, the global leader in Autonomous Commerce, has appointed Troy S. Meyers as its new Chief Customer Officer. For the past seven years, Meyers, a senior executive with experience in global SaaS and Fortune 500 organisations, has managed customer success with B2B IT SaaS companies, most notably Azalea Health in Atlanta, Georgia.“Troy is a visionary leader adept at defining and executing strategies to transform and scale customer success ecosystems, drive growth and improve client engagement, adoption, loyalty and value. As such, he is a valuable addition to our leadership team, but more importantly, to the broader JAGGAER customer and partner community,” said Andy Hovancik, CEO, JAGGAER.Meyers is a Certified Customer Success Manager and Certified Customer Experience Professional. He also holds professional qualifications in Program and Portfolio Management, Six Sigma and Net Promoter Score, among others. He is a popular speaker at executive conferences on various topics, including client and employee success. Meyers gained an MBA in MIS and eCommerce from Georgia State University and a BSc in Computer Engineering from the University of Louisville.“JAGGAER is a fantastic company in a sector whose importance has grown enormously in recent years as companies have struggled to stay on top of supply chain disruptions, inflation and a fast-changing regulatory environment, among other challenges. I’m looking forward to engaging with the JAGGAER community, better understanding their pain points, and helping them along their journey,” Meyers said.

Emirates NBD announces partnership with Hub71 to accelerate FinTech innovation

 Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Türkiye) region, has announced a partnership with Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, Hub71, to empower customers with cutting-edge FinTech solutions and drive a new era of advanced banking services.As a leading local bank with regional and international operations, Emirates NBD's alliance with Hub71 opens doors to an array of possibilities that include expanding market reach to Abu Dhabi and introducing innovative financial solutions that cater to evolving customer needs, strengthening the bank's commitment to driving industry-wide advancements.Abdulla Qassem, Group Chief Operating Officer at Emirates NBD, said: “As a leading local bank that has always been committed to driving innovation in the region, Emirates NBD leads the future of banking to enhance financial prosperity for its customers, people and communities. This collaboration marks a significant step towards elevating customer experiences as Emirates NBD Bank harnesses the entrepreneurial spirit of Hub71 to offer tailored solutions and streamlined services for our valued customers.”Hub71 has onboarded more than 260 startups, which have collectively raised nearly AED 5 billion since its inception in 2019.[1] The global tech ecosystem provides the world’s most promising startups with incentives, programs and access to a vibrant community with a network of more than 140 local and regional corporate, government and investment partners to support their development and growth from Abu Dhabi to international markets. The UAE leads the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) FinTech market, reaching a record-high investment of USD 2.5 billion in 2022.[2]Ahmad Ali Alwan, Deputy CEO of Hub71, commented: “At Hub71, we champion the growth of innovative startups scaling technology applications that can transform the future of finance and other sectors. Our partnership with Emirates NBD will pave the way for startups to validate products, secure commercial deals, and receive expert mentorship. By partnering with one of the UAE’s most progressive banks, we are creating a powerful combination for FinTech startups pursuing growth.” The UAE is a frontrunner in the global FinTech landscape, exhibiting remarkable growth potential, following significant innovation in digital banking, wealth management, remittances and payments.

Zendy launches ZAIA, a domain-specific AI assistant

 AI-powered research library, Zendy, announced the launch of its AI Assistant, ZAIA, a domain-specific Large Language Model (LMM) developed by Zendy’s data science team.ZAIA (short for Zendy AI Assistant) exists to help researchers quickly understand key research concepts and discover research papers that specifically link to inputs. These two functions enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the literature review process.You can ask any research-related question, and ZAIA will analyse millions of academic research papers to give you credible answers backed by references.Unlike general-purpose language models, ZAIA is trained with Zendy’s own data. In the future, it can also query, in real-time, additional sources from publisher data that are not available on the public domain.There is growing recognition of the necessity for domain-specific solutions to strengthen the credibility of data. Fine tuning models on domain-specific data narrows down the LLM’s focus to improve performance in a defined context, thus reducing the likelihood of hallucinations.“We developed ZAIA to advance the usage of AI on research platforms and improve the research discovery process for researchers. ZAIA aims to assist readers on Zendy by quickly solving research-related questions. ZAIA stands out from other AI products as it is fed real-time data and information available on Zendy, which is then fine-tuned to efficiently cater to our users,” said Zendy’s Head of Technology, Rodrigo Pinto.“The first iteration of our LLM, ZAIA, is our unique AI offering for Zendy users who can now leverage the best of AI to improve their research discovery process. This is a very exciting milestone for Zendy and we look forward to the feedback from our valued users,” said Zendy Co-founder Kamran Kardan.Committed to helping foster an ecosystem of collaborative partnerships rooted in responsible AI practices, Zendy’s Large Language Model is built to be entirely customisable. It has the capacity to learn from diverse datasets with integration made simple through Restful API’s or Websocket APIs.“Bigger picture, our technology presents limitless potential for organisations and institutions yet to integrate the power of LLMs into their workflows. The potential is immeasurable, with use cases including on-demand tutoring, psychology support services, employee onboarding, the list goes on,” continued Kamran Kardan.

AlUla hosts first-ever regional E-Sport Drone Champions league super final

The Royal Commission for AlUla, in collaboration with strategic partners Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones and the Saudi E-Sports Federation, announced today the hosting of the Drone Champions League Super Final 2023, the first event of its kind to be hosted in the ancient city of AlUla. The event represents a milestone in AlUla’s ambition to becoming a global destination for E-Sports and Drone Gaming industry, infusing the heart of the modern drone racing world with an essence of ancient charm.The event is organised by DCL Drone Champions League, the technical organiser of the event, and is set to take place on the 20th of December 2023. The Super Final flagship event of DCL promises to reveal the most extraordinary display of skill, innovation, and technology in a stunning setting of AlUla's Old Town, which has been recognised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) as one of the world’s Best Tourism Villages in 2022.Rami AlMoallim, Vice President of Destination Management and Marketing at the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), expressed his excitement, stating, "We are thrilled to welcome the DCL Drone Champions League Super Final 2023 to AlUla, along with our strategic partners at the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones and the Saudi E-Sports Federation. AlUla has always been a place for gathering on the old Incense Trading Route, with 7000 years of continuous human civilisations, and we are committed to showcasing the beauty of AlUla to the world once again with various innovative activities and hosting unforgettable events.”Yaser Alosaimi, Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones spokesperson said, “With this collaboration to host the DCL Super Final in AlUla, one of the most prominent destinations in the region, we are advancing Saudi Arabia's ambitions to be one of the leading nations in drone racing sport and in technical fields and aligning with global standards. By enhancing our national capabilities, we are actively progressing towards a more advanced future for all.”Faisal Bin Homran, Chief Esports officer at Saudi Esports Federation said, “Hosting DCL Super Final in AlUla is an extension to our deep commitment towards making the kingdom a global hub for gaming and esports industry, and this innovative event is an important milestone that will reshape the future of Esports In the kingdom and fostering a new era of excellence within the field.”Markus Stampfer, Chairman of the Board of DCL Drone Champions League, added, "The Super Final 2023 in AlUla will not only showcase the incredible skill and innovation of our competing teams but also highlight the beauty and cultural significance of this extraordinary location. We are committed to working closely with local authorities and stakeholders to ensure that this event benefits the AlUla community and promotes sustainable tourism in the region."The event marks the first Super Final ever held in a GCC country, which will not only showcase the historical significance of AlUla, the ancient city that is home to Hegra, the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Saudi Arabia, but will also add to its thrilling roster of annual sports events.Furthermore, it signifies unprecedented growth and unveils a wealth of opportunities within the E-Sports sector in AlUla and Saudi Arabia at large. The event is set to raise interest from the local population, setting the stage for enduring collaborations that are poised to reshape the landscape of E-Sports in the region for years to come.DCL Super Final 2023 is set to captivate audiences in AlUla at the Old Town Amphitheatre. This unique event blends physical and virtual elements, with pilots stationed in AlUla but maneuvering their drones virtually within the amphitheater. The colossal screen at the venue promises a real-time spectacle for onlookers. The event will spotlight AlUla, enticing both local communities and drone/e-game enthusiasts nationwide and across the GCC to partake in this thrilling convergence of technology and sport.While no physical drones will be flying in AlUla, it will be a chance for drone sports enthusiasts to enjoy the stunning and diverse landscapes of AlUla, varying between golden canyons, lush green oases or spectacular geological marvels. It's an event that will not only showcase the scenic natural beauty of AlUla but also decide the World Champion of Drone Racing. The convergence of technology, athleticism, and AlUla’s vision for sports and adventure will make this Super Final a truly exceptional and unforgettable experience.The Drone Champions League Super Final 2023 marks the inaugural event from the world of E-Sports and drone racing sports to be introduced into the AlUla Moments Calendar of events and festivals. The event promises both visitors and E-Sports enthusiasts to immerse themselves in a fresh and exciting experience amidst the vibrant cultural tapestry of AlUla.éant-launches-its-first-hypermarket-in-sharjah-at-sahara-centre

Géant launches its first hypermarket in Sharjah at Sahara Centre

 Géant, part of GMG, a retail giant known for its commitment to excellence and ease, is all set for its debut in Sharjah with the grand opening of its hypermarket at Sahara Centre on 15 December 2023. The 53rd store of GMG’s Everyday Goods – Retail division marks a significant step for the brand, bringing seamless shopping experiences that combine quality, affordability, and convenience.As the first Géant hypermarket in Sharjah, the store strategically positions itself to cater to the diverse needs of families and residents in the surrounding neighbourhoods.The grand opening is poised to be one mad celebration across 30 days, featuring unbeatable offers, starting from a flat 75% discount on a wide selection of items, engaging activities, providing shoppers with exciting experiences, and fun prizes, ensuring unforgettable moments.With a commitment to delivering unbeatable value, Géant promises the best prices, making it a preferred destination for the weekly shopping needs of all neighbourhood communities and visitors. The hypermarket offers a comprehensive shopping experience with all essentials available under one roof, from food to non-food items. Unique concepts, such as ready meals, a dining area offering cuisines from around the world and a coffee shop, add to the convenience and diversity of the shopping experience.Freshness takes centre stage at the new hypermarket, with complete serve-over stations delivering variety in fresh and affordable food options. Innovative in-store concepts include "La Cantine" for hot and cold meals from across the globe and "Le Café by Géant," opening early 2024, the first-ever coffee shop with a signature Géant experience.Conveniently located in the basement of Sahara Centre, Géant hypermarket provides direct access to dedicated parking, ensuring accessibility and ease for shoppers.Marc Laurent, President Retail - Everyday Goods at GMG, expressed the significance of Géant’s community-centric approach, stating, "Bustling residential areas like Al Nahda, Al Qusais and Mamzar deserve a neighbourhood hypermarket that ticks all the boxes. From our commitment to affordability and value, focus on fresh and sustainable produce, abundance of choice and quality, our new hypermarket will be an integral part of the busy and active lifestyle of families and individuals in the vicinity. This new store aligns seamlessly with our promise: Everyday serving lives with good food that is encapsulated in our tagline "Just for you."Collaborating with renowned partners, Géant brings a diverse product range to its latest hypermarket, including Supercare pharmacy, Tornado electronics, and a Red Tag clothing store as shop-in-shop concepts.Géant is ready to offer a world of quality, affordability, and convenience, making it a key player in Sharjah's retail landscape.

Global Cohort of 110 Journalists Unite for CNN Academy's Climate Storytelling

Convening at CNN’s state-of-the-art hub in Abu Dhabi last week, 110 aspiring and emerging journalists from around the world engaged in a dynamic and immersive journalism simulation focused on climate reporting.This unique event is part of CNN Academy, a special initiative designed to empower and upskill the next generation of journalists.This second edition of the CNN Academy simulation aimed to test and refine the skills of the participants by replicating a climate disaster scenario. Set in a fictional country, this multi-faceted exercise engaged trainees in a realistic news environment with the story unfolding in real time over a week.Becky Anderson, Anchor & Managing Editor, CNN Abu Dhabi, said: “At the end of what will be the hottest year ever recorded, and with COP28 taking place in Dubai, we wanted to focus this latest group of CNN academicians on what is without doubt the most important story of this generation. Reporting on the climate crisis is vitally important, but far from easy. We were able to immerse this group deep into all its complexity during this exercise. To see these young journalists, from all corners of the globe, working hard to tell this story with truth, accuracy, clarity and context has been truly inspiring.”Fourteen participants marked the inaugural cohort of the new CNN Academy Global South Climate Storytelling program, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation. They were specifically chosen to take part from the region most impacted by climate change and attended from countries including Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya and Vietnam. The program aims to increase awareness and address the impact of climate change in the most vulnerable communities in the Global South. The cohort joined participants from CNN Academy initiatives worldwide, including Hong Kong Chui Hai College, University College Dublin, Universidad Loyola Sevilla, University of Nottingham Malaysia, and CNN Academy Abu Dhabi, creating an international group representing 30 different nationalities, including 16 Emiratis.Eileen O’Connor, the Senior Vice President for Strategic Communications and Policy at The Rockefeller Foundation said: “Empowering storytellers from the Global South with climate reporting skills is paramount because developing countries are already suffering from climate change, despite bearing minimal responsibility for it. It’s not just about sharing stories; it's about giving voice to the most affected communities and amplifying urgent calls for climate action.”The simulation was designed and planned by CNN, in collaboration with Prof. Rex Brynen of McGillUniversity, a leader in serious gaming and Jim Wallman of Stone Paper Scissors. Building on the success of CNN Academy’s first newsroom simulation which launched last year, this year’s iteration saw participants newsgathering in the field, using a custom-built social media tool and attending mock press conferences and interviews. Each team was tasked with writing, producing, reporting, filming andediting a news package by the end of the week, leveraging the extensive media technology facilities of the creative lab, hosted at twofour54’s Yas Creative Hub in Abu Dhabi.Reem Al Mansouri from CNN Academy Abu Dhabi commented on the simulation: “The experience was extraordinary and immersive because the simulation week not only pushed me beyond my usual circle but also led me to see the world through the eyes of a real journalist.”Alongside the newsroom simulation, participants also received masterclasses from CNN experts on the power of pictures and storytelling during times of conflict, along with workshops on the importance of data management and archiving, and the complexity of gender reporting.Phil Nelson, EVP, CNN International Commercial said: “CNN Academy builds on a long tradition established by our founder, Ted Turner, to train and nurture the next generation of journalists,developing skills, forging links and opening doors. The CNN Academy simulation expands on this by presenting the participants with challenges modern journalists encounter, in an environment wherethey are safe to fail, and encouraged to consider every element they might face working on a story. This exceptional training is unmatched in the industry.”A visit to COP28 in Dubai allowed the academicians to explore pavilions and attend talks at the UN Climate Change Conference. In recognition of supporting the local ecology and climate, a tree wasplanted on behalf of each participant at the Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi, which preserves the UAE’s mangrove habitats while also raising awareness of their importance to the environment.

Urban Company announces end-of-year sale across Dubai, Abu Dhabi

Urban Company, Asia’s largest and highest-rated tech-enabled home services marketplace, has announced its exclusive end-of-year sale. Running from 23rd December to 31st December, this sale offers a fantastic array of discounts on a range of services, ensuring customers of the leading platform for home and beauty services in Dubai and Abu Dhabi can step into the new year with style and savings.Sale Highlights:24 for 24 Offer: To welcome new users, Urban Company is offering a flat 24% discount on all services. It's a celebration of the upcoming year and a perfect chance for new customers to experience the exceptional quality and convenience of Urban Company.Countdown to NYE: Experience the thrill with Urban Company’s exclusive NYE Countdown! Beginning on the 23rd, the sale kicks off with an incredible 50% off, with discounts gradually transitioning each day. It’s an invitation to seize the moment – the earlier you indulge in their services, the bigger the reward. Dive into the festivities with the best deals right at the start – it's their way of saying, the early bird catches the most exciting offers!Surprise Mega Deal: Throughout the sale, Urban Company has a special surprise in store for their customers – an incredible offer on their Cleaning Subscription service from 23rd to 31st December 2023. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to keep your home pristine.Urban Company is committed to delivering top-notch services at the most affordable prices. Book your service with Urban Company today and make the most of these incredible deals.

ThePubverse joins forces with Nativo, transforming advertising in the MENA

ThePubverse, a leading publisher monetization platform by ArabyAds, announces its strategic partnership with Nativo, where brands unlock the power of content to engage and influence their audiences, to introduce ground-breaking advertising solutions in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. This collaboration aims to transform the landscape of digital advertising by enhancing targeting, attribution, and monetization capabilities. Imad Sarrouf, CEO of ThePubverse, expressed his excitement about the partnership, stating, “The integration with Nativo marks a significant milestone for digital advertising in the MENA region. By merging Nativo’s advanced branded content platform with ThePubverse’s robust publisher monetization technology, we aim to provide advertisers and publishers with unparalleled tools for creating engaging native ads that seamlessly blend into the user experience.” Nativo’s platform empowers publishers to develop and distribute high-quality native advertising that seamlessly integrates into their websites. This allows ad operations teams to deliver native branded content in various formats, including video, images, and text, ensuring a non-disruptive and engaging user experience. This collaboration between ThePubverse and Nativo is poised to revolutionize advertising strategies in the MENA region. By leveraging Nativo’s capabilities, ThePubverse will enable advertisers to create compelling native ads that resonate with target audiences, fostering enhanced engagement and interaction. ThePubverse’s integration with Nativo introduces a new era of addressability across the MENA digital advertising landscape. Through this partnership, advertisers and publishers gain access to advanced tools for precise audience targeting, accurate attribution, and efficient monetization strategies. This partnership signifies a commitment to elevate digital advertising experiences in the MENA region, providing innovative solutions that benefit advertisers, publishers, and consumers alike.

Wego reveals key trends evident in MENA winter travel for 2023

Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in MENA (Middle East and North Africa), Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), revealed the top booking trends for Winter 2023.This season witnesses families and travellers gearing up for winter trips, either for leisurely vacations or for expat residents to return home. In time for the holiday, Wego has identified several winter travel trends among MENA travellers.Surge in flight bookingsMore MENA travellers are flying this winter compared to last year. This year, Wego found that there’s a 11.37% YoY increase in international flight bookings for the travel period between November 2023 and January 2024.Wego has also observed that there's been a steady rise in booking numbers every year since the post-pandemic period of 2021, reflecting a growing appetite for winter travel among MENA travellers.Top destinations this winterCairo stands out as the top destination among MENA residents, followed closely by Jeddah, Dubai, Istanbul, and Kuwait.Major cities in the South and Southeast Asia also feature on the list, with Manila, Lahore, and Delhi in the top 10. Travel interest in these destinations may represent the homecoming trips for the Filipino, Indian, and Pakistani communities in the region.Popular flight routes are now cheaperAccording to Wego’s data, average flight prices for some popular routes are lower this winter compared to last year.Flights to Cairo from several GCC countries notably saw some of the steepest price drops, averaging up to 35% cut compared to last year's winter period. Moreover, these same Cairo routes are now cheaper than during this year’s summer holiday, between 5 to 43.56% decrease, depending on the departure city.Even compared to pre-pandemic rates, Cairo routes now sport cheaper price tags. For instance, the average ticket price from Riyadh to Cairo in 2023 has dropped by 112.81% compared to the winter period toward the end of 2019. Similarly, the Kuwait - Cairo route shows a decline of 62% compared to the average price before the pandemic.Other popular destinations such as Istanbul, Lahore, and London have also witnessed average flight price reductions compared to the previous year. For example, flights to Istanbul from Saudi Arabian cities are now cheaper by an average of 31.86% compared to last year.Manila stood as an exception, where Wego observed up to a 10% YoY increase in flight prices during winter 2023 from various departure points across MENA.*Figures provided are accurate at the time of writing and might experience further fluctuations due to changing demands.

Cryptyd expands into game publishing

Cryptyd Inc announced today the successful conclusion of a funding round, backed by Newton International Management. The capital infusion is poised to propel the launch of Cryptyd’s groundbreaking Baloot Quest mobile game, targeting Saudi Arabia and other GCC markets.Baloot, originally derived from the French Belote game, has transformed into a refined game in its Arab adaptation, demanding a high level of player skill. Cryptyd's Baloot Quest introduces cutting-edge technology, contemporary graphics, and a range of empowerment tools. Users have the flexibility to personalize game modes, round speeds, card types, and game rules. The game, `not only, features advanced social elements such as leagues, competitions, and live chat with audio communication, but also showcases the most advanced artificial intelligence, applicable in both solo player mode and for groups that fall short of the standard four-player requirement for a regular round.The investment proceeds will play a pivotal role in supporting Cryptyd's comprehensive strategy, encompassing marketing initiatives, user acquisition costs, and sustained development efforts for the Baloot Quest game.Ahmed Alaa, CEO, and founder of Cryptyd, Inc expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "We are heartened by the confidence that Newton has placed in our team, and we approach this upcoming stage of moving into game publishing with confidence and excitement." Alaa emphasized the alignment of Cryptyd’s philosophy with Newton, focusing on ensuring the game is enjoyable, and deliberately steering clear of the prevalent "pay to win" culture in many games. He further noted, "We firmly believe that our success will come from the delight of our customers and their eagerness to play Baloot Quest."Baloot Quest is readily accessible on the Apple App Store and Google Android platforms. The team invites mobile gaming enthusiasts to experience the thrill of Baloot Quest where entertainment is paramount, and every player has an equal opportunity to succeed.Cryptyd, Inc, headquartered in Massachusetts, USA, operates seamlessly with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cryptyd SA, strategically located in Alexandria, Egypt, serving as the central hub for operations and development. The company's inception traces back to its incubation at the American University in Cairo V-lab and subsequent nurturing by the Google game accelerator in Singapore.  Cryptyd received seed funding from Acacia Angels as well as Alexandria Angels and AUC Angels. Cryptyd has established itself as a leading independent game development studio in MENA with expertise in game design, artwork, software development and game production. Cryptyd aims to become the first MENA development studio creating IP for regional and global markets. Newton International Management, LLC  specializes in early-stage investments, focusing on companies that leverage technology to elevate consumers' quality of life at the higher levels of the hierarchy of needs.

Neha Dhupia set to make her International film debut in filmmaker, Ali El Arabi

Actor Neha Dhupia is set to captivate global audiences with her debut international film, Blue 52, directed by renowned Egyptian filmmaker Ali El Arabi.Ali El Arabi, celebrated for his award-winning documentary feature "Captains of Za’atari," brings his directorial prowess to the fore in Blue 52. Having garnered acclaim at festivals such as Hot Docs and El Gouna, El Arabi is set to weave his magic once again, this time in the realm of fiction.Blue 52 unfolds against the stunning backdrops of Kochi, India, and Qatar.Neha Dhupia, known for her versatile acting skills in the Indian film industry, steps into a new dimension with her lead role in "Blue 52." The film promises a never-before-seen avatar of the actress, as she delves into a character infused with high-emotion drama. The film is the story of Ashish, who at the age of 9 is isolated by his father when he loses his oldest son and using this fear he isolates Ashish on an island by the backwaters of Kochi, India. Growing up, Ashish becomes a boy trapped in a man's body by the age of 22, with little knowledge of the world beyond his idol Messi and the life lessons imparted by his mother over the years, aimed at preparing him for life beyond their small island home. Strengthened by newfound resolve, Ashish decides to leave home with his mother's support and an opportunity that seems almost like a fantasy, offering him the chance to meet his idol, Messi, at the World Cup in Qatar 2022. Left to navigate the world on his own for the first time, he discovers his true self and finds his own passion.Speaking of her international debut, Neha Dhupia said, "Embarking on the journey of 'Blue 52' has been nothing short of magical. The fusion of diverse cultures in this international venture allowed me to delve deep into a character that is both challenging and emotionally resonant. It's a transformative experience that I believe will leave a lasting impact and I’m glad that Ali chose me to essay the lead in what is my international first”.Director Ali El Arabi said, “Creating 'Blue 52' was a labor of love, blending the cinematic languages of Egypt, America, and India. Neha brought an unparalleled dedication to her role, infusing the character with a nuanced emotional depth. The picturesque locales of Kochi and the vibrant energy of Qatar served as the perfect canvas for our storytelling. This film is a testament to the collaborative spirit of international cinema, and I am excited for audiences to experience the richness we've crafted together."The film is Presented by Ambient Light with Ali El Arabi serving as director and producer, Tariq Al-Naama as producer. Krysanne Katsoolis, Joe Matthews and Katara Studios as co-producers.

Billboard Arabia to launch new website and music charts

Media giant SRMG and Billboard have partnered to launch Billboard Arabia, featuring a new website and global charts tracking popular music from the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. The platform debuted in June, positioning itself as a global destination for artists with Arab roots. The website includes evergreen content, news, videos, reviews, interviews, and coverage of regional and global events.The Billboard Arabia charts include the Billboard Arabia Hot 100 and Billboard Arabia Artist 100. The Hot 100 showcases the most streamed Arabic songs, while the Artist 100 highlights the most popular Arab artists. The inaugural charts feature Sherine Abdel Wahab and ElGrandeToto prominently.Utilizing data from major streaming platforms, the charts aim to reflect global Arab music listening trends. Future plans include introducing eight genre-specific charts, starting in early 2024. Weekly updates of these charts will be released on the website and social media platforms every Thursday.Rami M. Zeidan, Managing Director of Billboard Arabia, said: “This marks an exciting new chapter in the region’s music infrastructure, establishing a centralized platform to spotlight the thriving Arab music scene. By continuing to elevate fan engagement and commemorate the evolution of Arab music, Billboard Arabia is committed to providing both established and new Arab artists and genres access to the global music market. Already, we’ve seen an increasing number of collaborations between Arab stars like Mishaal Tamer, Nancy Arjam, and Myriam Fares with global icons like Marshmello, Nicki Minaj, and Maluma. Billboard Arabia aims to further enhance this with the launch of our website and charts.”Billboard president Mike Van added: “Billboard Arabia symbolizes the beginning of a new era—one where Arab artists are heard around the world. Our commitment to ensuring artists have a platform to resonate and engage with music fans has always defined Billboard, and we look forward to bringing this same passion to Billboard Arabia.”

TrailRunner International joins PRCA MENA as a new corporate member

The Public Relations and Communications Association in the Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA) has announced strategy and communications advisory firm, TrailRunner International, as its latest corporate member.Based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London, Shanghai and the USA, the organisation specialises in Financial and Corporate Communications, offering a comprehensive suite of services to meet the diverse needs of its global clientele. With a focus on International Strategy, the firm assists clients in navigating the complexities of cross-border communications, ensuring effective and culturally sensitive messaging.Head of PRCA EMEA, Monika Fourneaux said:“We are pleased to welcome TrailRunner International as our newest member at PRCA MENA. Their commitment to international strategy aligns with our mission to advance excellence in public relations and communications in the Middle East and North Africa region. We look forward to a collaborative relationship that fosters innovation, knowledge-sharing, and elevates the standards of communication in our industry.”TrailRunner International’s Head of Middle East, Seth Hand, said:“Although we only recently established our offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, TrailRunner International (TRI) has been successfully supporting clients across the region for several years. Our team, comprised of highly experienced professionals both locally and internationally, possesses a deep knowledge and understanding of the regional communications landscape and we look forward to joining the PRCA and contributing to its vital role in elevating the standards of the MENA’s public relations and communications industry.”

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Celebrates Champions at Mother of the Nation Jiu-Jitsu Cup

H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, honored the winners of the Mother of the Nation Jiu-Jitsu Cup in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The event, held at Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City over the weekend, saw top-ranked female athletes testing their skills against each other across multiple divisions, including Adult, Under-18, Under-16, and the newly introduced Under-14. Over two exhilarating days, fierce competition unfolded among athletes representing various UAE clubs and academies. In the Under-14 category, Al Jazira Jiu-Jitsu Club, Sharjah Self-Defence Sports Club, and Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club emerged as the top three academies respectively. For the Under-16 division, Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club claimed the top spot, followed by Al Wahda Club Jiu-Jitsu Academy and Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club. In the Under-18 category, Al Wahda Club Jiu-Jitsu Academy secured the first position, with Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club and Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club also recognised for their commendable performances with second and third places. In the Adults category, Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club took the first place, while Al Wahda Club Jiu-Jitsu Academy and Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club took the second and third places. Winners across multiple categories were acknowledged and collectively received prize exceeding Dh400,000. H.E. Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, commended the exemplary performances of the athletes, praising their exceptional skills and dedication. “Emirati women have always been at the forefront of various fields, epitomising creativity, and excellence. The Mother of the Nation Jiu-Jitsu Cup serves as a pivotal platform, allowing our girls to showcase their skills and perpetuate the UAE’s legacy of sporting eminence,” said Al Dhaheri. “The tournament highlighted the remarkable technical prowess and unwavering determination of Emirati girls on the mat. It signifies a promising future for jiu-jitsu, producing champions who will contribute to elevating Emirati sports to unprecedented levels,” he added. HE. Salem Naif Al Kuthairi, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Baniyas Sports Club, said: “I extend my congratulations to Lt. General H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and President of Baniyas Club, as well as to the esteemed members of the Board of Directors and our passionate fans. This achievement brings us immense joy, given the profound significance of the tournament. Its impact resonates deeply within us, marking it as one of the most pivotal events we prioritise.” “We’re thrilled with our success, securing titles in both Adults and U-16 categories, and achieving second place in the U-18 category, where our strong competitive spirit shone through. This victory adds to our record, a testament to the vigorous efforts of the management and the unwavering dedication of our players,” he added. Ghala Alhammadi from Palms Sports - Team 777 clinched gold in U16 44kg. She said, “Winning the gold medal amidst tough competitions added a different flavor to the victory. I extend my heartfelt thanks to my coaches, club staff, and the supportive audience, whose presence greatly motivated me to give my best.” Aisha Alhammadi from Sharjah Self-Defence Sports Club secured gold in U14 63kg. “The continuous training, and unwavering support from the Federation, club, family, and friends made this achievement possible. It wasn’t easy, but my determination to win prevailed,” she added. Dana Ali Albreiki of Al Jazira Jiu-Jitsu Club won gold in U18 -40kg. “Jiu-jitsu taught me the importance of determination and preparation, enabling me to achieve this gold medal. This victory isn’t just mine; it uplifts the achievements of the Al Jazira club and inspires confidence in my female colleagues,” she said. Additionally, Maitha Shraim of Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club secured a gold medal in the adult 48kg category. “This victory fuels my confidence for future competitions. I am committed to training harder and refining my techniques for greater accomplishments,” she added.

Global leaders gather at museum of the future during COP28 visit to UAE

As the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 successfully concluded at Dubai Expo City, the Museum of the Future welcomed over 30 Presidents, Prime Ministers and delegates from 30 different countries from around the world.The Presidents and Ministers visiting the Museum of the Future during their official visit to COP28 included Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of Cuba; Eng. Hussein Arnous, Prime Minister of Syria; Dr. Terrence Drew, Prime Minister of Saint Kitts & Nevis; Premier E. David Burt of Bermuda; Ding Xuexiang, First Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China; Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister of Nepal and Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta – Canada.The visits to the Museum of the Future were part of the official visits to the United Arab Emirates, coinciding with their attendance at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) held at Dubai Expo City. The Museum of the Future is dedicated to supporting the UAE's hosting of the COP28 conference, while also striving to promote a more positive and sustainable future.The VIP tours showcased the museum’s iconic design and most prominent features, including its unique experiences, highlighting its vital role in shaping the future and designing its ideas as part of the museum's efforts in creating a better future for humanity.The high-level guests were also briefed on the museum's initiatives, departments, and pioneering experiences, as well as its role in developing future technologies, incubating ideas, projects, research, initiatives, and studies of qualitative value.

DEWA’s digital channels achieve global results in sustainability

 In addition to its leading projects and initiatives in clean and renewable energy, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) continues its full commitment to global sustainability goals. This is achieved through its comprehensive system of its operations and its pioneering success in digital transformation, especially in customer services. DEWA recorded a global percentage of over 99% in digital adoption this year. DEWA has a comprehensive ecosystem of ‘green’ digital channels, including its website, smart app, and customer care centre systems, all of which operate through green data centres that rely fully on clean energy. DEWA also intends to launch a new feature that allows customers to use its digital channels with a low carbon footprint. This feature empowers customers to conserve natural resources and achieve sustainability. The feature helps them consume less energy when using their devices and DEWA’s digital services.“We are keen to enhance the sustainability of all our operations. In the Year of Sustainability in the UAE, we intensify our efforts to enhance DEWA’s leadership and excellence in digital transformation and develop our technological infrastructure. We continue to provide innovative and proactive services to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity, in addition to protecting the environment and supporting sustainable and comprehensive development. This is in line with DEWA’s vision to be a globally leading sustainable innovative corporation committed to achieving Net-Zero by 2050. From 2017 to the end November 2023, DEWA’s digital transformation contributed to achieving financial savings for customers and DEWA exceeding AED 2.8 billion. It also contributed to reducing more than 230,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to planting over 260,000 trees,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.DEWA’s website and smart app are hosted at the green data centre by Moro Hub, a subsidiary of Digital DEWA, the digital arm of DEWA. The green data centre, at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest solar-powered data centre. An exemplary model for combining cutting-edge digital and power electronic technologies to create an advanced green ICT infrastructure powered by renewable energy, the green data centre offers digital products and services using Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as cloud services, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), among others.As a Principal Pathway Partner of COP28, hosted by the UAE at Expo City Dubai, DEWA contributed to the success of this global event, which highlighted the UAE’s accomplishments in supporting global climate action. DEWA’s stand in the Green Zone showcased DEWA’s prominent projects and globally leading programmes. It also highlighted DEWA’s efforts in clean and renewable energy, digital transformation, green mobility, smart grids, innovation, and the latest disruptive technologies.

Jackie Shroff & Neena Gupta Shine in Breezy "Mast Mein Rehne Ka"

A quiet release on Amazon Prime in midst of the ongoing Animal shor-sharaaba; Mast Mein Rehne Ka turns out to be a breezy feel good fare with Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta striking a sweet senior citizen friendship, which you would root and hoot...In fact, Jaggu dada is in top form (as usual) playing the Karwari Kamath to perfection. Neena Gupta, as the boisterous Punjaban cussing in every sentence and calling Jaggu "Madrasi" is also first rate. The angst and emotional pain of neglected senior citizens is effectively explored through their platonic relationship.There is a parallel love track between a petty chor (Abhishek Chauhan) and street hooker (Monika, impressive) surviving in the big bad Mumbai. Writer- actor turned director Vijay Maurya does quite well for his first full fledged movie. Mast Mein Rehne Ka easily fits in the "Can See" category. Make it your Sunday matinee!!Ratings on some key aspects* : 1. Acting : 4/5 2. Direction : 3.5/53. Music : 2/5 4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 3.5/55. Cinematography : 3/56. Editing : 3/5 7. Costume Design : 2/58. Special Effects and VFX : NA9. Action : NA10. Production Quality : 3/5#SNRating for #MastMeinRehneKa : 3 stars out of 5. - Sumeet NadkarniLiked the review?Click on the link below and like the #SNRatings page to subscribe to honest and unbiased reviews of all latest movies : can also follow us on Twitter handle : @sumu76in* - The overall film rating is not a simple average of all ratings on key aspects but a weighted average of the ratings where some crucial aspects (like direction, acting, story and screenplay etc) are assigned more weightage than others. #MastMeinRehneKa #RomanticDrama #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #JackieShroff #NeenaGupta #VijayMaurya #BollywoodReview #Filmreview #TheatricalRelease #OTTRelease #AmazonPrime #SNRatings #SNRatings barometer:1 star = Poor1 & 1/2 star = Below average/ Avoidable2 stars = Average2 & 1/2 stars = Above average/ Risk it3 stars = Good enough/ Endurable3 & 1/2 stars = Definitely worth a watch4 stars = Very good5 stars = Masterpiece/ Outstanding. 2023 SNRatings.

IPL auction 2024: When and where to watch, date, time, live streaming, venue

The IPL 2024 Auction will take place on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai. 333 cricketers will go under the hammer, of whom 214 are Indians and 119 are overseas players, with a maximum of 77 slots to fill. The highest reserve price for a player is Rs 2 crore, with 23 players such as Travis Head, Steve Smith, Harshal Patel, Shardul Thakur, and Lockie Ferguson listing themselves at that value. Gujarat Titans will come into the auction with the highest purse with Rs 38.15 crore while the Lucknow Super Giants have the lowest purse balance at Rs 13.15 crore.JioCinema will bring back its multi-language coverage of the league, streaming the auction in seven languages: English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Punjabi, and Bhojpuri. Each language will have former Indian cricketers and experts to cover the auction, including the likes of AB de Villiers, Eoin Morgan, Suresh Raina, Anil Kumble, Hanuma Vihari, Abhinav Mukund, Veda Krishnamurthy, and many more.JioCinema will also live stream a mock auction with the likes of Suresh Raina, Anil Kumble, Mile Hesson, Eoin Morgan, Robin Uthappa, and others on December 18 at 12 noon to give viewers a flavour of what to expect from auction day and analyse potential strategies. Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming IPL Auction 2024 live stream: What: IPL Auction 2024 When: December 19, 2023 (Tuesday) Where: Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Time: Pre-auction analysis begins at 12 noon, followed by live auction coverage 1:00 PM onwards Live streaming in India: JioCinema

Yango unveils the future of AI and LLMs

Yango, the global technology company that recently launched Yasmina, the human-like AI assistant, has offered insights into the future of artificial intelligence, AI assistants, and large language models (LLMs) for the year 2024 and beyond.Samer Mohamad, Yasmina Regional Director for MENA at Yango, said: “While Artificial Intelligence is a source of both huge excitement and apprehension, it is now time to turn our attention to how it will play out in the future. Based on our experience with creating a human-like AI assistant, we understand that LLMs and AI, in general, have a long way to go and can identify a number of upcoming trends.”Yango's predictions for 2024Smarter and easier to use:Smart assistants are poised to become even more intelligent and human-like by integrating with LLMs. Developers will focus on merging assistants with more advanced LLMs, such as ChatGPT-3.5 and 4, to enhance their context-awareness, creativity, and emotional intelligence. The result will be assistants capable of spontaneous storytelling and accurate responses to context-dependent queries, transforming them into ultimate AI companions.More culturally customized:AI and smart assistants will be increasingly tailored to diverse cultural and linguistic nuances. This includes support for multiple regional languages and dialects, as well as a deep understanding of local customs and social norms. Yango envisions assistants responding consistently in the same dialect as the speaker, ensuring a seamless and personalized experience.Universal translators:LLMs are already proficient at translating text, and this capability is expected to improve further. Yango anticipates a future where LLMs or LLM-powered software and devices will possess mastery over all languages, offering seamless translation for any language pair.Smarter assistants for smarter homes:Smart assistants will play a pivotal role in advancing smart home development. Yango envisions a scenario where users can delegate tasks to their AI assistants, seeking guidance on configuring smart home scenarios and discovering efficient ways to use connected devices. Whether it's recommending the right appliances or providing advice on optimizing existing devices, the AI assistant becomes an indispensable resource for creating intelligent and efficient smart homes.Yango invites tech enthusiasts, developers, and AI aficionados to stay tuned for these exciting developments in the coming year as the company continues to push the boundaries of AI innovation with Yasmina, the human-like AI assistant.

Ajman Tourism achieves milestones in Egypt roadshow and secures partnerships

The Ajman Department of Tourism Development (ADTD), led by His Excellency Mahmood Khaleel Alhashmi, Director General, successfully conducted a strategic roadshow in Egypt from December 13 to 14. This initiative marks a significant step towards enhancing collaboration between Ajman and Egypt, with a primary focus on fortifying tourism ties and fostering mutual relations within the sector.In an impactful endeavor, ADTD solidified three major memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with renowned Egyptian tourism companies, reinforcing their commitment to seeking support for tourism development in the region. The agreements were formalized with Travco - Egypt, Travista - Egypt, and Heliopolis Express Tours - Egypt, all prominent entities in the Egyptian tourism industry. His Excellency Mahmood Khaleel Alhashmi formally signed a memorandum of understanding with Travco - Egypt, a premier tourism company. The focus of this collaboration is to strengthen cooperation and coordination in the fields of tourism, hospitality, and marketing, with special emphasis on hotel reservations and promoting tourist attractions in Ajman.Simultaneously, the department entered into a memorandum of understanding with Travista - Egypt, a trailblazer in tourism and international destination marketing within the Egyptian market. This memorandum aligns with strategies for hotel bookings and the promotion of tourist attractions in Ajman, highlighting their unique features.In a separate context, the partnership with Heliopolis Express Tourism - Egypt, specializing in international tourism, aims to bolster the global presence of the emirate of Ajman. The joint effort seeks to attract travelers worldwide, enhance the visitor experience, and promote Ajman's cultural landmarks, setting the stage for robust future collaboration.In his statement, His Excellency Mahmood Khaleel Alhashmi expressed, “This collaboration marks a new era in the partnership between Ajman and Egypt, solidifying our mutual relations. We are dedicated to promoting tourism, fostering cultural exchange, and building enduring connections. We eagerly anticipate the promising prospects that these memorandums hold and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship.” Alhashmi underscored the Ajman Department of Tourism Development’s commitment to achieving sustainable development in the tourism sector, emphasizing the ambition to elevate Ajman as a primary international tourist destination. This commitment is evidenced through comprehensive projects spanning entertainment, events, and hospitality, with a strategic focus on enhancing the unique tourism components that distinguish the emirate of Ajman. These initiatives align with a broader vision to position Ajman prominently on the global tourism stage.Consequently, ADTD integrates introductory roadshows into its programs, aiming to showcase Ajman globally and bolster its standing on the international stage. Additionally, efforts are directed towards increasing demand from Egyptian tourists by raising awareness about the significance of Ajman and its rich cultural and tourism diversity. The department remains dedicated to strengthening relationships with key partners in the tourism sector and fostering strategic partnerships to augment these endeavors.

TDRA organises an exhibition about the UAE’s ICT history

The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) organized an exhibition titled "Telecommunications in the UAE History", on the side-lines of the WRC-23, hosted by the UAE in Dubai from 20 November to 15 December 2023.The exhibition tells the story of the ICT sector development in the UAE since the establishment of the UAE. It highlights significant milestones using prevalent products and tools from each era, commencing with telefax machines and vintage rotary phones and advancing through subsequent generations of mobile and smartphones.The exhibition garnered the attention of participants at the WRC-23, portraying a journey spanning decades that witnessed rapid leaps of development in the UAE ICT sector. These leaps went along with the urban and cultural progress of the UAE throughout its history. The exhibition showcased an extraordinary collection of landline phones, antiquated fax and telex machines, along with call indicator (bleeper) devices and oversized mobile phones representing the first generation of mobile communication devices in the UAE. These carefully selected devices serve as symbols of distinct eras, reflecting technological evolution and ultimately shaping the present communications scene in the UAE.Commenting on the considerable interest of visitors in the exhibition, H.E. Mohammed bin Markhan Al Kitbi, Deputy Director-General of TDRA for the Support Services Sector, and leader of the team organizing the WRC-23, said: "Throughout our national journey, the telecommunications sector has stood out as the most tangible symbol of progress. This sector has consistently garnered attention from the UAE’s leadership, starting with the founding fathers and continuing under our current leaders. The UAE has emerged as a leading country today across various indicators, notably in digital transformation. The "Telecommunications in the UAE History" exhibition has effectively narrated a story with tangible examples of communication devices that were integral to daily life in each historical era, leaving a lasting impression on its visitors from the conference participants."The exhibition hosted by TDRA at the WRC-23 venue provides an immersive experience for visitors, enabling them to delve into a carefully selected group of traditional and vintage phones. This includes rotary and push-button phones, each capturing the spirit of its specific era. Moreover, the exhibition showcases various old fax machines, mapping their evolution from the era of thermal paper and sluggish transmission. The exhibition offers an introductory narrative about the historical context and the influence of these communication devices on society and business. It emphasizes the landmark accomplishments that positioned the UAE as a leader in the telecommunications industry.The exhibition extends throughout the WRC-23, offering delegates and technology enthusiasts a chance to delve into the communication history and gain insightful perspectives into the UAE's digitally supported vision for the future.

Qatar Airways touches down in Tabuk, its 10th destination in Saudi Arabia

Qatar Airways, the Best Airline in the Middle East, has landed its inaugural flight in Tabuk, on Thursday, 14 December, marking it as its10th gateway in Saudi Arabia. The new direct service will be operated by an Airbus A320, with two weekly flights on Thursday and Sunday.In addition to reinforcing Qatar Airways’ position in the Saudi Market, the launch of this new route is poised to deepen economic and cultural bonds between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as the airline expands its comprehensive network to cover 10 cities in the Kingdom including AlUla, Dammam, Gassim, Jeddah, Medina, Neom, Riyadh, Tabuk, Taif, and Yanbu.The national carrier of the State of Qatar will offer business and leisure passengers from Tabuk unparalleled travel experiences and convenient travel options to over 170 destinations worldwide including key connections in China, Europe, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and United States.Group Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, said: “We are proud to introduce Tabuk as our newest gateway in Saudi Arabia after launching flights to AlUla, Neom and resuming flights to Yanbu in recent weeks. This further demonstrates our commitment to enhancing connectivity in the Kingdom. Tabuk offers a wealth of historical, cultural and natural experiences and we look forward to connecting it to our extensive global network.”Airports Cluster2 Company Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Ali Masrahi, said: “We're delighted to celebrate the launch of Qatar Airways flights at Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Airport and other key destinations. This milestone builds on our recent expansion efforts, welcoming multiple new flights to further enhance connectivity across airports managed by Airports Cluster2 Company."Known as the Northern Gate to the Arabian Peninsula, Tabuk stands out for its rich history, pristine nature and delectable local cuisine. The city is also renowned for its archaeological wonders, picturesque landscapes and snow-covered peaks in winter.Operating more than 125 weekly flights across Saudi Arabia, Qatar Airways is dedicated to offering passengers from six continents an array of seamless options to explore incredible destinations in Saudi Arabia onboard the airline’s modern fleet and through its multiple-award-winning hub, Hamad International Airport.Tickets for flights to Tabuk and other destinations are now available for booking through the Qatar Airways website, mobile app, and travel agencies.

Record 25,000 participants expected for 5th edition of ADNOC Abu Dhabi Maratho

The fifth edition of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is set to take place on Saturday morning, with a record-breaking 25,000 runners, from 168 nationalities, participating alongside a host of elite athletes. At the press conference held at the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon – Event Village, located behind the ADNOC Tower, there was a number of pavilions for sponsors and partners with entertainment provided as well as musical performances for visitors. The Marathon organising committee confirmed the completion  of the preparations for the event and the most prominent international runners, male and female, were revealed at the conference. Organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council and ADNOC, the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is recognised as one of the Middle East’s premier marathon events, with a prize fund of $303,000. Among the elite athletes taking part this year will be Uganda’s Andrew Kwemoi, winner of the 2023 Milano Marathon, Kenya’s Ilham Tanui Ozbilen and Emily Kipchumba. Suhail Al-Arifi, Executive Director of the Events Sector at Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “The remarkable confirmed participation this year of more than 25,000 runners signifies the substantial growth of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon over the years. With 168 nationalities represented at the race, including an intriguing elite line up, it showcases the event’s significance locally and globally.” Al-Arifi added: “This fifth time organising and hosting the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is certainly a special occasion. The marathon route will take you on a tour around the most famous landmarks in our beautiful capital, starting from the ADNOC headquarters, passing through the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Al Hosn Palace, and the World Trade Centre.” Al-Arifi expressed his gratitude to all sponsors, official partners, media partners and suppliers, who are contributing to the success of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon. Beyond its burgeoning reputation as a platform for global athletic excellence, this year’s marathon incorporates several eco-initiatives dedicated to promoting sustainability. The organisers have pledged their commitment to ensure, wherever feasible, a positive impact of the event on the community and environment. Khalid Al Hosani, SVP Group General Services at ADNOC, said: “The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon continues to positively impact the UAE community and cement Abu Dhabi’s global reputation as a world-class sporting destination. We are thrilled to welcome participants from around the world to this fifth edition which promises to provide an unforgettable, inclusive experience grounded in health, resilience, and the spirit of unity.” Kenyan Brigid Kosgei , a two-time winner at both the Chicago and London Marathons, remarked: “I’m very excited to test myself here in Abu Dhabi. Two of my training mates have both run here [in this city] and won on these roads, so I want to make my training camp shine again. “I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi before, but I can see it’s a very nice track. I have come here to run the Marathon and win the race. I want to take the [gold] medal this year.” Emily Kipchumba, a Kenyan long-distance runner, added: “I love to run in Abu Dhabi as it is a very good place to be. I’m very happy to close my Marathon season here in Abu Dhabi. I’m well prepared and I hope to run my personal best. I get a lot of motivation from running against Brigid.” Kenya’s Paul Kipngetich Tanui, a silver medallist at the Rio de Janiero Olympics in 2016, had a powerful message for his fellow participants ahead of the gruelling 42.195 km race on Saturday. “The Abu Dhabi Marathon has always been one of my favourite races,” Tanui told the audience in attendance.  “The Marathon is a challenge and a great opportunity for us all. When we start running and begin chalking off those miles, I know it will motivate us [all] to keep going – especially when we see everyone on the road supporting us. This is a journey and we must finish.” Meanwhile, Turkish runner Ilham Tanoy Ozbilin is in positive spirits ahead of his first-ever Marathon appearance this weekend. He commented: “It’s my first Marathon and I’ll be expecting to run good. I have a good feeling about this place, so I hope everything will go well.” Kwemoi, who won his first Marathon in April, is also looking forward to running in the UAE capital once more. He said: “I am happy to come to Abu Dhabi for the Marathon. It is good to be back here again.” The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon caters to various fitness levels, offering race categories including the marathon (42.195 km), marathon relay, 10km, 5km, and 2.5km. All races will commence at different locations near the ADNOC headquarters on Corniche Road and finish at the ADNOC Campus, near Bainuna Public Park.  The daily Marathon Village, hosted at the ADNOC Campus, is accessible until race day, from 3pm to 10pm. The free-to-enter facility promises an immersive experience for visitors with entertainment, a wide array of eating options, activations, and services.

Hyundai Motor and Mubadala collaborate on future business opportunities

SEOUL, South Korea and ABU DHABI, UAE/PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai Motor Company and Mubadala Investment Company "Mubadala", an Abu Dhabi-based global sovereign investor, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly explore potential business opportunities and synergies for future mobility and technologies. The signing ceremony, which took place in Abu Dhabi, was attended by Jaehoon Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company, and Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer of Mubadala Investment Company. This marks the beginning of a strategic collaboration that will drive progress in future mobility and clean technologies.The agreement will allow both parties to jointly invest and share expertise, leveraging the advantages of Mubadala's investments and Hyundai Motor's expertise in various fields, including green steel production, green aluminum production and recycling, as well as advanced air mobility (AAM), and infrastructure for electric vehicles.In addition, Hyundai Motor and Mubadala will seek to unlock potential investment opportunities."This collaboration capitalizes on the organic synergy between Hyundai Motor's eco-friendly and futuristic business strategies, including hydrogen, green steel, green aluminum as well as future mobility technologies, and Mubadala's investment portfolio," said Jaehoon Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company. "Hyundai Motor will continue to pursue diverse partnerships to achieve a sustainable future and contribute to the global energy transition."Commenting on this agreement, Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company, said: "This strategic partnership with Hyundai Motor Company marks a significant milestone in our journey to further diversify our portfolio across sectors that are shaping the future of the global economy such as mobility, green technology, and energy. Through our combined strengths and expertise, we will surface new investment opportunities that are in line with our strategic growth ambitions and sustainability agendas. We look forward to collaborating with Hyundai Motor Company and expanding our presence in South Korea."

Google plans third-party cookie block by 2024, unveils tracking protection

On January 4, 2024, Google will launch a new browser feature named Tracking Protection, designed to enhance user privacy by automatically restricting a website's access to third-party cookies.Google aims to complete the phasing out of third-party cookies in Chrome by the end of 2024.The implementation plan involves the gradual activation of Tracking Protection for 1% of a randomly selected global group of Chrome users on January 4. Users included in this initial cohort will be notified by a modal pop-up on the right side of the address bar upon opening Chrome on either desktop or Android. The modal will display the message "Browse with more privacy" alongside an eye-shaped icon with a strike through it.The success of this initiative hinges on the oversight of the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, responsible for the Chrome Privacy Sandbox. Anthony Chavez, VP of product management for the Privacy Sandbox, marked this event as a "key milestone" in a blog post released on Thursday announcing the rollout.Contrary to the extended timeline since the initial announcement over three and a half years ago, Google officially made the APIs in the Chrome Privacy Sandbox generally available in September. This has allowed developers and ad tech companies to intensify their testing efforts and seamlessly integrate the APIs into their solutions.However, despite the general availability, testing adoption has been gradual, particularly on the buy side. According to a survey conducted by Blis and Sapio Research in late October, 61% of US marketers and media planners have yet to commence testing the Chrome Privacy Sandbox. Nevertheless, a staggering 98% express concern about signal loss and the disappearance of third-party cookies.Google remains optimistic about the acceleration of testing efforts. Victor Wong, senior director of product for the Privacy Sandbox on Chrome and Android, emphasized that general availability serves as a compelling signal for companies to initiate API integration promptly.In an effort to facilitate live testing, Google is introducing Tracking Protection gradually, starting with a small percentage of Chrome users. This measured approach enables developers to assess their readiness for a web environment without third-party cookies.Crucially, in instances where a site encounters functionality challenges during the 1%-of-users phase, Chrome will automatically present an option to disable Tracking Protection temporarily. This allows the reactivation of cookies to prevent disruptions in the browsing experience while the site addresses any issues before the complete deprecation of third-party cookies.Google's Tracking Protection rollout represents a pivotal step in their ongoing Privacy Sandbox initiative. Stakeholders need to stay updated about these developments and adapt their strategies accordingly to navigate the post-cookieless era.

Cartier lights up the year-end with magical tales of winter

The collaboration between Maison Cartier and Publicis Luxe for the year-end celebration is indeed a captivating and dreamlike adventure. The campaign, fully crafted by Publicis Luxe, features all the iconic jewels of the Maison Cartier, from the legendary Tank watch to the Love ring, spread around 16 animated capsules and a series of dreamlike images. The re-imagined version of a Cartier boutique, inspired by the brand's luxurious boutiques worldwide, takes viewers on a whimsical journey across various landscapes.The videos feature the flying house, representing Cartier, soaring above a mountain, through clouds, over the Place Vendôme in Paris, along a snowy slope surrounded by fireflies, across an ocean of clouds, and into a fairy light-illuminated forest of Christmas trees. These enchanting scenes aim to transport viewers into moments of enchantment and pure magic.The campaign, launched in stores, Cartier's digital platforms, print, digital/3D, and window displays, seeks to create a magical and immersive experience for the audience. The concept and execution of the campaign were overseen by Jasmine Loignon, the Executive Creative Director of Publicis Groupe. The process involved collaboration with Cartier's architects to design the building and a 3D studio production phase to bring the magical house to life, echoing the spirit of Christmas and creating a sense of vitality within the campaign.CreditsCartier InternationalSr Vice President Chief Marketing Officer – Arnaud CarrezGlobal creative & strategic communications director – Emmanuelle Guillon Creative Product Content Director – Marco TerroniCreative Product Content Senior Manager – Charlotte TemamCreative Product Content Project Manager – Bettina GhinozziCreative Product Content Post-Production Manager – Valentine KarasPublicis LuxeExecutive Creative Director – Jasmine LoignonAssociate Creative Director – Adrien CussonneauCopywriter – Franc?ois PelceArt Directors – Jeremy Givord, Hugo Matringe, Erevan Joseph, Margaux Courveaulle Associate General Manager – Amandine RibeiroCommerce: Iris Decoux, Sara Tazekrit, Valentine Guigou Post-Producer – Laurence Le?vyArt Purchase – Veronique Bataille, Christine Bouffort, Beatrice KaganProduction3D & Home Decor – Hugo Fournier produced by Watch Out Animation and Interior Design – MathematicsProduction – Christine Bouffort (Prodigious) Music – Prodigious3D DOOH – AC3NM Print et Digital – Maud Re?my-Lonvis Post-production – Tout Joli.

Emirates National Oil Company leverages Nutanix to simplify IT

Dubai, UAE – Nutanix, Inc., a leader in hybrid multicloud computing, today announced that ENOC Group, a leading integrated global energy player, has centralized its IT infrastructure on Nutanix to support retail expansion and deliver slick digitally-driven customer experiences.Serving thousands of customers across 60 markets, ENOC employs a workforce of over 12,000 employees and deploys its world-class customer service, innovations and technologies and best practices towards the UAE's social and economic development.At the core of ENOC's business are its service stations which offer not only refuelling, but also top-quality retail services. Initially, siloed IT infrastructure was deployed at each of these service stations to deliver the digital services needed. While in the early days this met the company’s needs, the lack of redundancy and centralized management contributed to significant IT overheads and risk as the company rapidly scaled its retail operations.In 2021, ENOC undertook an AED250million (US$68million) digital transformation initiative, aimed at prioritizing customer satisfaction and elevating the service experience.To keep supporting the Group’s impressive growth momentum, ENOC recognized the best way forward would be to implement a fully integrated, scalable, and secure edge infrastructure solution that could be centrally managed for all their remote sites.Backed by the expertise of Nutanix’s local team, ENOC proceeded to deploy Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) - a complete software stack that unifies hybrid cloud infrastructure including compute, storage and network, hypervisors, and containers, in public, managed, and on-prem private clouds as well as Nutanix Unified Storage (NUS) and the vendor’s disaster recovery solution.Furthermore, the new partnership will include implementation of Nutanix Cloud Manager System (NCM), that will minimize any IT related issues, given the high demand of requests.Following the upgrade, Nutanix’s unified infrastructure eliminated the siloed IT infrastructure at each of ENOC’s retail outlets. The vendor has also enabled ENOC’s IT team to attain the holy grail of ‘getting more for less’, as the centralized management, made possible by NCM, has delivered an impressive 80% reduction in IT operation costs across the 400+ sites that are now served by Nutanix’s solution.The high availability, and impressive levels of redundancy and resilience made possible by Nutanix mean that ENOC’s services stations can now operate around the clock without disruption to the vital services they deliver to customers.His Excellency Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO, ENOC, said: "ENOC fully understands that IT is a key pillar of our operations. We are constantly embracing emerging technologies that enable us to advance innovation in our sector, adapt to new business models, and introduce new products and services to the residents of the UAE faster. Nutanix plays a pivotal role in enabling us to achieve these ambitions and thus helps us to stay competitive."Samer Labaky, Manager, Enterprise and Public Sector Accounts - UAE and Oman at Nutanix said, “We are living in the era of digitization. With digital transformation comes several challenges - how can IT bring relevance to the business, including employees and customers? How can IT teams respond to digital business initiatives at the speed the business requires it. The issue is that instead of being a business enabler, IT is a major bottleneck. Current legacy systems that customers have been adopting for the last 10 to 15 years are irrelevant because of inherent complexities, inflexibility and high cost of operation. ENOC fully understands this. With digital transformation being a top priority, the company is now embracing emerging technologies that help drive innovation, new business models, and bring products and services to UAE citizens faster. This agility and innovation help ENOC stay competitive and differentiate themselves from their peers.”

Emirates reveals ‘most watched and listened to’ content in the sky

Dubai, UAE, 13 Dec 2023: As a busy year of international travel draws to a close, the world’s largest international airline is revealing how passengers spent their time inflight, delving into data to dissect what exactly Emirates customers watched and listened to on journeys to and from 140 destinations around the world.Most watched movies on ice in 2023Customers craving top notch entertainment are spoilt for choice with Emirates ice, offering more than 6,500 channels of on demand movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, and even live TV to catch the international news and sport. From the expansive 2,000 plus Hollywood and international movies available, and all the best movies of 2023, amongst the most watched movies by Emirates customers around the globe were; visually stunning sci-fi film, Avatar: The Way of Water, Ticket to Paradise – a rom-com starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and the enduringly popular action movie Top Gun: Maverick. Long haul customers across the world also settled into box sets of movies, such as The Lord of the Rings complete trilogy and all four of the John Wick films.After English language content, the top viewed international movies include two Bollywood action movies, Vikram Vedha and Bholaa, the French thriller La Syndicaliste, Korean drama Return to Seoul, and the 2023 Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Anatomie d’une chute from France. Arabic speakers tuned into Emirati film Khorfakkan - depicting the 16th century invasion of the city.Kids and perhaps kids-at-heart, tuned into a myriad of movies with the most popular choices in 2023 noted as Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Tom & Jerry Cowboy Up! Teen Titans Go! & DC Superhero Girls and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.Most binged box sets and TV on ice in 2023On long flights, Emirates customers loved to binge a box set, with exceptionally high viewership recorded for all seasons of HBO Max’s Succession and both seasons of The White Lotus. Within the comedy genre, Emirates customers showed a preference for beloved sitcoms – Friends, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Big Bang Theory, while in drama – many travellers selected two historical dramas The English, and Women of the Movement, as well as suspense-filled drama Your Honor starring Bryan Cranston.Trending TV in the Kids and Teens section included Schooled! – a sitcom set in the 90’s and the renowned SpongeBob SquarePants, while younger kids tuned into Australia’s Bluey and Hey Duggee and Supertato from the UK.On Emirates ice live TV channels including Sport 24, BBC World News, CNN and Sky News Arabia, customers tuned into an array of sports and social events including the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, Formula 1® races, NFL Superbowl, English Premier League, Augusta Masters, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, Rugby World Cup 2023, Wimbledon, DP World Tour and the US Open Tennis. The single most watched sports on Emirates live TV in 2023 was the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.The tuneful tastes of Emirates customers in 2023From a library of over 3,000 albums, more than 500 curated playlists, over 40,000 tracks and more than 4,000 hours of music and podcasts – Emirates’ customers showed their sophisticated sides with one of the most popular albums on ice revealed as Mozart’s Chamber Music. Ed Sheeran’s album Subtract was also in the top three, but unsurprisingly the top spot was scooped by the indomitable Taylor Swift and her album Midnights. Kids couldn’t get enough of ice Juniors Music with Cocomelon, Bluey, Kidzbop, and the Encanto soundtrack holding the top spots. The most popular playlists onboard Emirates’ flights included the Arijit Singh Playlist, ABBA’s Timeless Pop Anthems and the Best of Fairuz and Khaleeji Classics. In Global Music, the top trending regions customers accessed were India, Korea and Africa, with the most listened artists places held by Jimin from Korea, Burna Boy from Nigeria and SB19 from the Philippines. Some audiophiles went for content beyond music and showed love to the Rain, Sleep & Nature Sounds Playlist while relaxing at 40,000 feet.Emirates customers embrace Happiness & Wellbeing contentCatering to every mood and personality, Emirates ice also provides a dedicated area for Happiness and Wellbeing content which is popular with flyers. Nature relaxation series’ invite audiences on soothing, majestic journeys to natural paradises, and an array of explorative documentaries discover ways to live life to the fullest. Emirates customers in 2023 tuned into Living Wild: How to Change Your Life, a series where Sophie Morgan goes on a road trip across the UK to meet people united by a desire to build new lives around the things they love. Storytelling with Gian Power: What’s your life story? also proved popular, as TLC Lions founder, Gian Power dives into the powerful world of storytelling and advises the audience how their personal story can become their greatest strength. Finishing 2023 on a high with Emirates iceFor those jetting off for the holiday season and beyond, Emirates is closing out 2023 with the biggest movies of the year on ice. Customers can enjoy the top grossing box office movie of 2023 – the fantasy-comedy blockbuster Barbie, available in French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Arabic and Chinese. Barbie is also available with ‘Closed Captions’ (CC) and ‘Audio Description’ (AD), offering accessibility to the visually impaired, with narration that describes what is happening on screen. Emirates offers up to 130 movies with AD and more than 250 with CC.Action aficionados can catch Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, a high stakes thriller partly filmed in the UAE, available on ice in up to 8 languages, or The Equalizer 3 starring Denzel Washington. Customers can even watch the entire trilogy on ice. Adrenaline enthusiasts will enjoy Gran Turismo, based on the true story of racing driver Jann Mardenborough, a successful gamer who becomes a real-life racer. ice also has an exclusive interview with Jann Mardenborough speaking about the making of the movie in the Emirates World podcast.Kicking off world class entertainment on ice in 2024Looking ahead to 2024, Emirates customers can expect to see many exciting developments on ice from exclusive new content partnerships to new next-generation inflight entertainment systems that offer memorable cinematic and personalised passenger experiences on the incoming 50-strong fleet of A350s. In January, customers can tune into Expend4bles, plus the complete box set of all 4 movies, The Creator – a visually impressive sci-fi from the director of Rogue One and the hit kid’s movie Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie. In February, ice will have Oppenheimer, the award-winning film from Christopher Nolan, Priscilla - Sofia Coppola's biographical drama about the wife of Elvis Presley, amongst many more additions to the world’s largest entertainment library in the sky.

Mohammed Tayem features among Top 50 CEOs in the Middle East as entourage grows

entourage, one of the leading live communication agencies in the MENA region, is ending 2023 on a high note as its founder and CEO Mr. Mohammed Tayem won ‘CEO of the Year’ award in media category at the recently concluded CEO Middle East Awards 2023. The CEO Middle East Awards is a platform that recognizes excellence, innovation, and achievements of business leaders from across various industries and sectors in the middle eastern region. Speaking of the achievement, Mr. Tayem noted, “Running an organization is a continuous learning curve. The journey so far has been challenging to say the least, but most rewarding at the same time. It is great honor for me, and a humbling experience, to be recognized by the prestigious forum. I owe it all to my family, my team, the people who put their trust in me and gave it their best to bring entourage to where it is today. I hope to continue to develop a place where ambitions and creativity thrive effortlessly.” Navigating the dynamic landscape of the marketing & media industry in the region, Mr. Tayem has led the growth of entourage from startup to a flourishing 200+ people strong organization in just over decade. Breaking away from traditional, entourage diversified into a comprehensive integrated marketing solutions agency steadily emerging as a regional brand marketing & management powerhouse under Mr. Tayem’s leadership.Having worked with some of the biggest regional and international brands in both public and private sectors, entourage today scores among the very best agencies in the region, with operations in 4 countries, and retaining top global talents, featuring over 25 nationalities to empower and elevate brands through unique experiences. Mr. Tayem has maneuvered entourage through uncertain times, remaining steadfast in the face of challenges and inspiring an atmosphere of growth. With his strategic mindset and sharp business acumen, he has led entourage to become a formidable champion in the marketing industry.Through commitment, creativity, ambition, and resilience, the agency has witnessed more than triple-fold growth post-pandemic.The CEO award is a great way to end 2023 and welcome 2024 the year entourage celebrates its 15th anniversary of creating excellence.

MINI showcases new electric MINI Cooper for first time in Middle East

MINI, the official automotive sponsor of Sole DXB, was front and centre at the Middle East’s premier lifestyle and street-culture festival, which took place from December 8 to 10. The event marked a significant milestone for the brand, which displayed the new MINI Cooper Electric to the public for the first time in the region.The pulse of urban culture met the spirit of electrification as the MINI Cooper Electric made its debut against the backdrop of music, art, and street style. MINI’s space unveiled two new models, and with this generation of the brand having the most electric models available, it is paving the way towards its goal of becoming fully electric by 2030.The MINI space at the festival offered more than just car reveals it was a hub for live performances, mirroring the brand’s spirit of innovation and creativity. Additionally, Oliver Heilmer, Head of Design at MINI joined the event to provide festival go-ers with an inside look behind the design and technoogy of the new MINI Cooper Electric. MINI’s participation in Sole DXB 2023 underlined the synergy between the two brands, both champions of culture, community and innovation. In addition to electrifying performances, Sole DXB provided a platform for brands to connect with the youth, mirroring MINI’s commitment to fostering connections and shaping urban culture.As MINI takes the road to a sustainable future with its electrifying models, it is also dedicated to nurturing the spirit of creativity and community that shines at events like Sole DXB.

Riyadh & Jeddah Set to Flourish: 193,000 sqm New Retail Space by 2025

Riyadh and Jeddah are at the forefront of a lifestyle retail revolution that is reshaping the retail landscape across Saudi Arabia, with 184,000 square metres of new retail developments that are centred on food and beverage outlets, entertainment and the public realm, expected to be completed by 2025, according to Knight Frank's Riyadh and Jeddah Lifestyle Retail Market Review.Faisal Durrani, Partner – Head of Research, MENA says: "At the heart of the Saudi government’s transformative vision for the Kingdom sits the creation of world class lifestyle amenities to complement the phenomenal transformation of the Kingdom’s urban realm. Lifestyle retail developments that now dot cities across the country offer a glimpse into the cosmopolitan vibe that slowly becoming an entrenched part of the rapidly evolving societal fabric. “The rapidity of this evolution is nowhere more evident than in Riyadh, where over the last 12 months alone, 84,800 square meters of lifestyle-led retail developments, across eight projects have been completed. Not far behind is Jeddah, where a total of four projects, spread across 41,700 square meters have added to the already vibrant retail scene”. Knight Frank says Riyadh began to experience a surge in lifestyle retail developments in 2019. Since then, the lifestyle retail scene has exploded, with a string of food and beverage operators, both local and international vying for a position in the market. Jonathan Pagett, Partner, Retail Advisory Saudi Arabia, explains: "A significant contributor to this evolution is Riyadh's burgeoning food and beverage scene. The city now boasts a total supply of 388,000 square metres of food and beverage led lifestyle retail developments, with a specific focus on parks and gardens, the public realm, and an array of lifestyle amenities. “The driving force behind this transformative shift is the younger generation's inclination towards outdoor experiences and an active lifestyle. Riyadh and Jeddah are responding to this demand by creating multifaceted spaces that seamlessly blend retail, dining, and leisure. This synergy is the catalyst for their ongoing success and appeal to a diverse audience”. F&B concepts are playing a pivotal role in redefining the Kingdom's lifestyle retail landscape and remain the primary driver of footfall in these developments, says Knight Frank. Across Riyadh and Jeddah’s lifestyle-retail developments, F&B outlets are running at an average occupancy rate of 86%, with international restaurants (23%) dominating in Riyadh, while Jeddah’s resident’s appear to have a stronger preference for European cuisine, which accounts for nearly one-third (31%) of all restaurants in lifestyle-retail developments. In Jeddah, Knight Frank says, the lifestyle retail scene began to take off in 2020, aligning with the global post-Covid desire for outdoor activities and holistic well-being. Since then, Jeddah has witnessed the opening of 10 lifestyle retail centres, each embodying a fusion of fountain-based attractions, retail, dining options and attractive promenades. Five more lifestyle retail developments are set to be unveiled in the Red Sea city over the next 12-months, totalling 131,700 square metres.Jeddah's food and beverage venues boast an average occupancy rate of 77%, while the overall occupancy rate is at 81%. Currently, Jeddah offers 201,200 square meters of lifestyle retail space, with an additional 131,700 square meters in the pipeline. Durrani concluded: “What we are witnessing today in Saudi’s retail scene is a glimpse of the future. With nearly 5 million square metres of retail likely to be delivered before the end of the decade, mall operators and developers need to pay close attention to creating ‘destinations’ that are centred around experiences, entertainment and wellbeing. This is going to be key to future success of retail, particularly as the younger generation – Generation Z – have a significantly higher preference for online shopping than any other age brackets”. ?

Etihad Airways brings festive cheer to the skies this holiday season

This holiday season, Etihad Airways is spreading seasonal cheer with traditional festive cuisine served at 30,000 feet. From the 23-25 December, Etihad will deliver a festive menu in all cabins on more than 30 routes across the network.The airline expects to serve more than 50,000 Christmas dinners on board over the three-day holiday period. The menu includes roast turkey roulade, chestnut & thyme stuffing, herb & garlic chat potato, green beans, pumpkin with cranberry sauce and is followed by gingerbread cheesecake with berries and chocolate garnish, a Christmas yule log with redcurrant, or warm Christmas pudding with custard and berries.Gingerbread lattes will also be available for guests looking to add some festive cheer to their beverage selection.Etihad’s E-BOX entertainment will feature a dedicated ‘Holiday Movies’ channel with a selection of festive movies to enjoy on board throughout December. Holiday favourites such as Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish, The Holiday Dating Guide and New Year's Eve will feature among a selection of hundreds of movies and programmes.Etihad’s Business and First class Lounges at the new Terminal A at Abu Dhabi International Airport will also feature a merry menu as well as a range of themed mocktails and cocktails such as ‘Christmas Baubles’, ‘Glogg’s on Ice’ and a ‘Gingerbread Espresso Martini’.With Abu Dhabi’s new Terminal A recently opening, Etihad’s guests can expect to enjoy a welcoming atmosphere with extensive check-in facilities, including biometric self-bag drop check-in desks, as well as dedicated services for those travelling in Business and First class.As a family-friendly airline, Etihad offers dedicated family check-in desks at Terminal A. Through its partnership with Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, children will also be welcomed on board with themed activity kits to keep them busy as they jet around the world on their holiday adventures.To beat the crowds at the airport, Etihad’s City Check-In services and Home Check-In continue to be available for guests wishing to complete their check in and drop their bags ahead of time. Guests can then simply turn up at the airport with hand luggage for a quick and easy departure.On 31 December 2023, Etihad will be ushering in the New Year in style with a countdown, celebratory drinks and props on all flights crossing midnight in the sky.Eduardo Matos, Director of Customer Care, Etihad, said: “The holiday season and end of year celebrations are special times, and we invite our guests to enjoy in the festivities as they fly with us. With around 1.4 million people flying with us this December, we look forward to reconnecting loved ones and providing our guests with memorable holiday experiences.”The ultimate Christmas present wishlistWondering what to buy the person who has everything? Etihad has recently announced new destinations, including Bali, Boston and Nairobi which will begin operating in the first half of 2024 and make ideal destinations for a dream holiday gift. Safari, anyone?For the ultimate indulgence and the perfect gift, Etihad’s A380 offers one of the most extraordinary flying experiences, The Residence, a unique, private three-room suite in the sky. The A380 currently connects Abu Dhabi with London Heathrow, and from April 2024, guests will also be able to indulge in The Residence between Abu Dhabi and New York’s JFK. Add a trip to the Big Apple to the ‘best present ever’ list.The Etihad Guest Reward Shop offers a curated collection of gifts to make finding the perfect present easy, and members can redeem miles to purchase their shopping this holiday season. The shop caters for everyone with tech and electronics, fashion, jewellery, beauty and fragrance, home furnishings and travel essentials to choose from.

Rewind Networks’ HITS NOW to premiere in Malaysia via Unifi TV

Rewind announced a significant milestone through its partnership with Unifi in Malaysia. Starting 1st January, the much-anticipated channel HITS NOW will debut on Unifi TV and will be made available on Channel 452 as part of its comprehensive TV packs.This collaboration reflects a shared commitment to provide high-value entertainment to Malaysian viewers and to enrich the Malaysian TV landscape. HITS NOW, celebrated for its award-winning and branded programmes and cutting-edge content, has already garnered a strong following since its launch in February 2023. Its introduction to Unifi TV extends its reach, offering subscribers nationwide an unparalleled viewing experience. All Unifi TV Pack subscribers will be able to enjoy a 1-month free preview from 1st until 31st January 2024. The partnership serves as the latest addition to Unifi TV’s existing offerings, making the platform the first to launch HITS NOW in Malaysia. HITS NOW will be included in Unifi TV’s Ultimate Max, Ultimate Plus, Ultimate and Family Packs starting February 2024. The channel is accessible via the Unifi TV Box and Unifi TV app, which can be downloaded on mobile devices and smart TVs.HITS NOW is the latest initiative in Rewind Networks' ongoing strategy to redefine entertainment in the Asian market. The network has established a formidable presence with its acclaimed channels, HITS and HITS MOVIES, which present a curated selection of iconic TV shows and movies. These channels have captivated audiences in 13 countries, reaching over 24 million households. As the newest member of the Rewind Networks family, HITS NOW is set to uphold this legacy, delivering meticulously selected, high-quality series tailored for the discerning Asian viewer."We are thrilled to unveil HITS NOW to Unifi TV's customers," said Avi Himatsinghani, CEO of Rewind Networks. "At Rewind, our mission is to meticulously pinpoint and fill crucial gaps in consumer entertainment needs, bringing together an exceptional array of entertainment from globally renowned storytellers, studios, and franchises. HITS NOW is set to feature a really diverse programming mix, from Emmy-winning drama series and popular reality shows to innovative game shows. We're confident that it will resonate strongly with Malaysia's discerning viewers, becoming not just a channel but a go-to entertainment destination and a staple in their daily viewing experience."The HITS NOW lineup will feature the ultimate in breathtaking entertainment with exhilarating, branded reality and talent shows like American Idol 2024, Survivor, America’s Got Talent: Fantasy Team, Shark Tank, Hell’s Kitchen, Britain’s Got Talent all express from the US.  It will also debut brand new reality series like Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, The Traitor and Race To Survive: Alaska; stunning dramatic series like the successful Fire Country, Sullivan’s Crossing and So Help Me, Todd as well as Alert: Missing Persons Unit. Game show junkies can play along with Password, Barmageddon, Supermarket Sweep, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, and Celebrity Family Feud. Those craving light-hearted fare can kick back with heartwarming comedies Lopez vs Lopez, Young Rock, The Goldbergs and Ghosts. The network has got viewers covered for everything Hollywood with the long running news show - Entertainment Tonight, and true crime aficionados can follow real life cases with Fear Thy Neighbor, Fear Thy Roommate, Killer Couples and Murder for Hire.HITS NOW will broadcast the prestigious The 75th Primetime Emmy Awards Live starting at 8am (GMT+8) on 16 January with an encore performance at 8pm (GMT+8) that same night.

Shamal Holding takes full controlling interest in SUSHISAMBA

Shamal Holding, a diversified investment firm that manages a unique portfolio of investments, assets and experiences, has completed the acquisition of SUSHISAMBA Group, taking full controlling interest of the award-winning SUSHISAMBA restaurant brand. As part of the new structure, and having already owned 50% of SUSHISAMBA since 2014, Shamal Holding now takes full controlling interest of the brand and its operational activities across all international locations.After opening its first restaurant in New York in 1999, SUSHISAMBA has evolved to become one of the world’s most sought-after dining and entertainment experiences and premier restaurant groups with its unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian culture and cuisine.  With a fast-growing global presence as a trendsetter in hospitality, SUSHISAMBA boasts two London restaurants with epic views of the city, alongside spectacular locations in Doha, Edinburgh, Las Vegas, and Dubai. The brand opened its doors in Dubai in 2021, where, within a year, it was named the Favourite Fusion Restaurant by Fact Dining Awards Dubai. Located on the iconic Palm Jumeirah, SUSHISAMBA Dubai offers breathtaking views of the Dubai skyline and Arabian Gulf from the 51st floor of the St. Regis Dubai. The restaurant has also been shortlisted for Best Fusion Restaurant 2023.  Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer, Shamal Holding, commented, “SUSHISAMBA is one of the most highly acclaimed concept restaurants in the world. Having formed a strong partnership with the SUSHISAMBA team since 2014, we look forward to applying our resources and know-how to drive accelerated growth for the business and its continued evolution as an iconic restaurant experience and lifestyle brand.” Aligned with its long-term investment strategy to bring extraordinary experiences to the region, the acquisition of SUSHISAMBA reflects Shamal Holding’s focus on building an international portfolio of high-end hospitality, food and beverage, real estate and leisure destination assets, investments and experiences.Commenting on the strategic rationale for the SUSHISAMBA acquisition, Binhabtoor said, “SUSHISAMBA enhances our global hospitality portfolio which already includes a number of extraordinary assets as part of a globally diversified portfolio, mirroring Dubai’s ambition, spirit and energy. Omar Gutierrez co-CEO, SUSHISAMBA Group commented, “For close to a decade, Shamal Holding has been a key partner in the SUSHISAMBA’s success story. Over that time, we have formed a strong partnership, working closely to drive growth across our operations. The move signifies more than a shift in structure, it demonstrates a deepened commitment to our growth and evolution enabling us to continue to thrive in this dynamic and creative market as an iconic restaurant experience and lifestyle brand around the world.” SUSHISAMBA’s commitment to culinary excellence and trendsetting in hospitality has established it as a premier global dining and lifestyle brand, with vibrant locations in London, Las Vegas, Edinburgh, Doha, and Dubai with Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and Riyadh opening in 2024.

Qiddiya unveils world’s first gaming & esports district

Riyadh - QIDDIYA CITY will be home to the world’s first mixed-use gaming and esports district that will attract gamers from across the globe and cement Saudi Arabia as the global epicentre of this dynamic sector, it was announced today.The ambitious gaming and esports attraction will boast four dedicated esports venues and host a year-round calendar of some of the biggest esports events with a combined peak esports tournament seating capacity of 73,000 across the destination. Qiddiya Investment Company’s Board of Directors said that one of the new venues will boast the largest indoor LED screen in any esports arena and feature 5,300 seats - making it one of the three largest esports venues in the world.Abdullah Aldawood, Managing Director of Qiddiya Investment Company, said: "Qiddiya City is proud to be home to this innovative gaming and esports district, set to offer a unique, engaging, gamified experience to both its visitors and residents.”The district will host the world’s elite esports clubs, not just during tournaments but on a full-time basis. It will invest in developing innovative facilities that up to 25 esports clubs will be able to call home at any time as they live, train and compete. Leaders from the gaming and esports industry will also be welcomed to Qiddiya City, which will house the regional headquarters of more than 30 leading video game companies.The pioneering Gaming & Esports District will cover more than 500,000 square meters, which in addition to gaming spaces, will include 100,000 square metres of retail, dining and entertainment venues. It will become the place for gamers from all walks of life to live, work and play, with gaming-themed apartments and hotels.The district is a core pillar of the National Gaming and Esports Strategy, which aims to make Saudi Arabia, a country where two-thirds of the population are gaming enthusiasts, the centre of global gaming and esports by 2030.The announcement comes just days after the unveiling of a new vision for Qiddiya: a unique concept focused on the power of play. Qiddiya City will offer unrivalled experiences across entertainment, sports, and culture with more attractions to be announced soon.

RT enhances its presence in MENA region

New Bureau: With its official opening of a new regional office in Algeria, RT Arabic is also launching two new programs: Studio Algeria, the fifth program in a series of political talk shows from world capitals, and Bridges to the East, a new program about the relations between Russia and the Arab world. The Studio Algeria program is the fifth in RT Arabic’s series of talk shows from the world capitals of Cairo, Beirut, Washington and Paris. Yasmine Moussous, the show’s host and RT Arabic’s bureau chief in Algeria, discusses important news and events with local politicians and experts. The first episode’s guest was former Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem.“Our aim is to get more in touch with our audiences, to expand the scope of our cooperation with Algeria, and provide extensive coverage of the developments across the African region. From our office in Algeria, we will now share with our audience the Algerian perspective on current events”, said Maya Manna, the head of RT Arabic.The other new program on RT Arabic, Bridges to the East, is dedicated to Russia’s cooperation with the Arab world in the economic, political, cultural, military and other areas. Politicians, experts, businessmen, Russian language teachers, musicians and ordinary people talk on the show about what Russia means to them and what connects them to the country.The program will be available in both Arabic and Russian. The first episode, dedicated to Algeria, features interviews with the country’s president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.New Advertising Campaign: Targeting audiences across the region, with activations across KSA, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Libya the latest iteration of RT Arabic’s advertising campaign has landed in the UAE. Calling on audiences to seek out the truth in news the major new advertising campaign takes place across digital, radio and out-of-home platforms. Timed to appeal not only to domestic audiences but also a broad international community visiting Dubai during COP 28, the campaign boldly states: ‘THEY try to silence our voice. YOU seek out the truth. WE meet at RT ARABIC’. It aims to re-energize the conversation around RT’s core editorial principle “Question More” and amplify the importance of having access to news as the right of all.“Access to news is the right of all. RT’s editorial line is embodied by its motto, Question More. We don’t dictate to our audience whom to believe. We give you the facts — you make the choice. This principle is what lies at the heart of the RT Arabic 2023 campaign. We want our audience to know that no matter what, RT Arabic will keep working for you,” commented RT Arabic Editor-in-Chief Maya Manna.“Over the years mainstream western voices sought to shut-down RT’s access to platforms, and shut us out of conversations, including on social media and TV broadcasting platforms in Arabic. In doing so, they are not just trying to silence us, they are infringing upon our viewers’ and readers’ right of access to information,” she continued.RT journalists work tirelessly to bring audiences breaking news, vital stories and local and global voices alike, 24 hours a day. RT Arabic covers pressing regional and world events from an alternative point of view and through this new campaign it hopes that audiences will feel inspired to join the conversation, seek out the truth, and continue to question more.Since its launch in 2007, RT Arabic channel has become a trusted news source for millions of people throughout the Arabic-speaking world, covering stories often overlooked by the mainstream Western media and providing diverse perspectives on current affairs. It also acquaints international audiences with a Russian viewpoint on major global events.The campaign will run until the end of 2023. Find out more about this campaign at and , and for local, regional and world news in Arabic go to .

Samsung Electronics MENA and the UNDP announce 'ACT28 AI for Climate Hackathon'

Muscat: Samsung Electronics MENA, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has announced a regional hackathon to support efforts to tackle climate change and advance sustainable development. The ACT28 AI for Climate Hackathon aims to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), mobile technologies and other frontier technologies to create innovative solutions for climate change challenges.The announcement was made during a joint high-level fireside chat between Samsung and UNDP as part of activities marking their COP28 participation. The panel featured Omar Saheb, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung MENA, Alessandro Fracassetti, Resident Representative of UNDP in Egypt, and Nora Altwaijri, Samsung's Generation17 Young Leader from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The panellists discussed the challenges and opportunities for young entrepreneurs in the climate-tech sector, the role of the sector in creating jobs for youth, and Samsung's initiatives in developing and investing in green and sustainable technology.Alessandro Fracassetti, Resident Representative of UNDP in Egypt said: " UNDP supports youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship in the climate-tech sector, which is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We believe in the potential of youth to provide solutions for climate action, using their mastery and "creativity with technology. The ACT28 AI for Climate Hackathon, a joint activity with Samsung, is an excellent platform for youth in the region to demonstrate their creativity and skill in creating cutting-edge solutions to address one of the pivotal challenges of our time."Omar Saheb, Chief Marketing Officer, Samsung Electronics MENA, said: "As a global technology company, Samsung is committed to protecting our planet and the climate. We are delighted to partner with UNDP to motivate the next generation of leaders who are passionate about tackling climate change. The hackathon and our COP28 participation support regional youth to acquire technical knowledge that helps them explore better sustainable results for the world's problems."How advanced technologies accelerate climate actionAI for Climate Hackathon will be organized in partnership with UNDP and Samsung Electronics. The ACT28 AI for Climate Hackathon builds on the success of the 'Hack for Climate Action Hackathon' at COP27 in Egypt in 2022. It will challenge young data scientists, AI engineers, and AI researchers from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to collaborate, brainstorm, and develop cutting-edge solutions for three thematic areas: Climate Action, Life below Water and Life on Land.The participants can leverage various advanced technologies in their prototypes, such as AI and ML for data-driven solutions, Internet of Things (IoT) for real-time monitoring, Blockchain for transparent climate finance, Data Analytics and Visualization for actionable insights, and Geospatial Technologies for location-based applications. The hackathon will also encourage participants to develop mobile-based solutions for greater outreach and user-friendliness. This technology-driven approach aims to foster transformative solutions that are pivotal in addressing climate change and promoting sustainable practices.They will also benefit from the guidance and support of mentors like Nora Altwaijri and O?uz Ergen, another Generation17 young leader from Turkey who have experience in various fields, including AI, mobile technologies, climate change, and sustainable development. Workshops on AI, climate change, and mobile technologies will also be organized to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to develop effective solutions.The hackathon will culminate in a Demo Day, where the top 10 teams will present their solutions and innovations to a wider audience, including industry experts, investors, and policymakers. The top 3 teams will be invited to Samsung premises in Dubai, UAE, for an onsite award ceremony.

Innovations Group appoints Sharanabasappa S. Shirol as Chief Digital Officer

Dubai, UAE: Innovations Group, UAE's leading HR & Staffing Solutions provider, proudly announces the appointment of Sharanabasappa S Shirol as its Chief Digital Officer. With an illustrious career in the technology domain, Shirol brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Innovations Group, propelling the organization into a new era of digital innovation. For a quarter-century, Innovations Group has been a stalwart in the HR & Staffing sector, offering a spectrum of services encompassing recruitment, temporary staffing, HR outsourcing, and payroll outsourcing.In his role as Chief Digital Officer, Shirol assumes a leadership position, integral to the digital evolution. His responsibilities extend beyond the conventional realms of strategy and execution; Shirol is entrusted with positioning the Innovations Group at the forefront of technological advancement, both nationally and globally.Ravi Jethwani, the CEO of Innovations Group, has commented, “Our commitment to digital acceleration is more than a roadmap; it's a journey we embark on to redefine HR & Staffing solutions in the region. By integrating cutting-edge technology, we set the pace, ensuring unparalleled value for our clients and associates. Our dedication to shaping the future of HR aligns seamlessly with our recent appointment of Sharanabasappa S Shirol as Chief Digital Officer. Together, we embrace the power of technology, leading the way into a future defined by progress and success."Shirol's appointment as Chief Digital Officer at Innovations Group perfectly aligns with the evolving HR landscape, as emphasized in a recent PwC HR Tech Survey. With 57% of HR leaders prioritizing ongoing adoption of HR technology, Shirol's mission resonates with the industry's recognition of technology's crucial role in talent acquisition and management. This synergizes seamlessly with Innovations Group's commitment to innovative digital strategies for delivering advanced talent solutions and enhancing the associate experience.Shirol's vision for the future is people-centric. He seeks to build stronger connections with clients, understanding their unique talent needs, and employing digital solutions to tailor services. His focus is on making Innovations Group agile and responsive, ensuring that the pursuit of growth retains a human touch. By incorporating data-driven decision-making and analytics into recruitment strategies, Shirol envisions a future where success is measured not only quantitatively but also through the impactful stories of clients and associates.On being appointed as Chief Digital Officer for the Innovations Group, Shirol shares, “I am looking forward to implementing the industry's best technology solutions to help the company and its customers achieve the next level of operational efficiency and profitability growth.”The appointment of Shirol marks a strategic move for Innovations Group, aligning the organization with a shared vision of a future where technology and humanity coexist harmoniously, enriching the experiences of everyone involved. Together, they embark on an exciting journey into the digital frontier, where innovation is not merely a concept but a fundamental aspect of the organizational ethos.

Magdi Moussa: Trailblazing edtech, fintech, and Forbes 30 under 30 triumph

Magdi Moussa and El Abiad founded their innovation studio, IMMRSV, in 2017, focusing on edtech and fintech. Today, the studio is at the forefront of various edtech initiatives, collaborating with well-known brands like Udacity, Meta, UNDP, the African Union, Misk Academy, ITIDA, and the Saudi Central Bank. This year, IMMRSV gained significant recognition by securing a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for the Middle East.In an exclusive interview with Adgully Middle East, Magdi Moussa, the CEO of IMMRSV and a brands builder, expressed his joy about being featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list alongside his friend and brother, El Abiad. During the interview, Moussa also provided insights into the future plans for IMMRSV and discussed the anticipated success of the studio. Excerpts:Congratulations on being listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 Middle East with IMMRSV. Did you anticipate being listed this year with your brother? How does it feel now?The recognition in Forbes 30 Under 30 Middle East was unexpected. My wife was behind the nomination, and the news came as a surprise. It feels good and provides confidence, but it also signals new challenges and a fresh journey ahead. Our next journey is to build a creative unicorn through Arab and African talents.Could you please share your professional journey with us?I am a #BrandBuilder, renowned for transforming the landscape of edtech initiatives in the region. Recently, I have garnered additional acclaim by securing a spot in Forbes 30 Under 30 at the age of 27.As a creative entrepreneur and marketing strategist, I specialise in brand innovation and crafting marketing strategies for global initiatives, with a primary focus on #edtech and #fintech in Africa.With over seven years of rich experience, I have played a pivotal role in developing and launching more than 50 brands. My expertise extends to spearheading marketing efforts for regional programmes supported by esteemed organisations such as the World Bank, UNDP, African Union, Meta, Udacity, Intel Nervana, Drosos Foundation, and others.My role as the Growth Marketing Manager at Udacity for Government in MEA showcased my ability to lead marketing initiatives and construct brands tailored to meet the unique requirements of government entities.Recognized as one of the most distinguished young entrepreneurs under 22 in Africa by the African Leadership Academy in 2017, my recent listing in Forbes 30 under 30 at the age of 27, further underscores my contributions to the industry.What inspired you to initiate IMMRSV, and what can you tell us about your venture?Certainly! I initiated IMMRSV to pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur, fueled by a passion for the creative industry, particularly in marketing and branding.IIMMRSV, a brand innovation studio specialising in edtech and fintech, has become a trailblazer in these sectors since its inception in 2017. The company, alongside my brother Mohamed-El-Abiad, has played a pivotal role in spearheading edtech initiatives for prominent brands, including Udacity, Meta, UNDP, the African Union, Misk Academy, ITIDA, and the Saudi Central Bank impacting around 40M people across the Middle East & Africa.You and Mohamed-El-Abiad started IMMRSV at a small scale. What was your aim, and has it been achieved?We launched IMMRSV in 2016. Initially, our goals were not entirely clear, but we aspired to become one of the largest marketing agencies in the region. While we have made significant progress without any capital or investments till now, our company continues to evolve, and there's still a long way to go.The Middle East has emerged as a startup hub in recent years. What are your views on this, and what attracts startups to the UAE?The Middle East's emergence as a startup hub is exciting, driven by factors such as a supportive ecosystem, access to capital, and a growing market. The UAE, in particular, attracts startups due to its strategic location, infrastructure, and government initiatives fostering innovation. And now, the KSA is booming massively achieving their 2023 vision to became one of the strongest business hub not only in the region but also in the world and all of these opportunities and investments fuels startups with many opportunities to scale, pivot and innovate to fit our local markets.Also, the economical challenges our region faces will affect the ecosystem as the strongest startups with agility to survive and grow massively.As a brand innovation studio, IMMRSV provides branding, marketing, and tech solutions for edtech and fintech companies. Which companies have benefited so far?Several companies have benefited from IMMRSV's services, including Udacity, the African Union, Meta, Intel, Total Energies, UNDP, Drosos Foundations, Dubai Future Foundation, and various government entities. Additionally, many medium and small-scale innovators have leveraged our expertise.After achieving 30 under 30, what is next in line? What are your future plans regarding IMMRSV?Our future vision to build a creative technolog unicorn in the regionPlease share your perspectives on the current state of AI, and could you also provide insights into your predictions for the future of AI?AI is a transformative force, driving innovation across various industries. Looking ahead, I anticipate further advancements in AI, shaping industries, improving efficiency, and contributing to societal progress. Our key opportunity to train ourselves in being AI powered studios and trying to build our own solutions using AI as well to help the human talents becoming more efficientHaving accomplished this at a young age, what other goals do you have on your bucket list, and what is your strategy for moving forward?Perhaps making it to the billionaires' list is on my bucket list. That is what everyone dreams of! However, moving forward, I plan to continue scaling IMMRSV, exploring new opportunities, and contributing to the evolution of the creative industry and scaling more in the region.

Zoho introduces Zoho payroll, a modern payroll solution for UAE

DUBAI: Zoho, a leading global technology company, today launched Zoho Payroll, payroll management software for businesses, in the UAE. The solution allows businesses to streamline payroll management, automate their monthly payroll tasks, and ensure compliance. "Businesses often face key challenges in payroll management like pulling in employee records from multiple sources while staying compliant with the local labour laws. Zoho Payroll serves as a modern alternative for UAE businesses, providing built-in compliance, automating monthly payroll tasks, and seamlessly connecting with the relevant data sources. With a consumer-grade UI, the solution not only simplifies payroll management for finance teams but also enhances the employee experience by offering a user-friendly self-service portal. Today’s launch builds on our recent momentum of addressing Corporate Tax compliance for UAE businesses, further solidifying our commitment to supporting businesses in the country," said Prashant Ganti, Head of Product Management, Zoho Finance and Operations Suite. Today, one of the biggest challenges that UAE businesses face is ensuring compliance with various labour laws like Wage Protection Systems (WPS), pensions, and end of service benefits. Moreover, to do a single payrun, businesses need to pull in relevant employee information from other systems like attendance, loss of pay, and reimbursements. This necessitates a modern solution that offers the flexibility to pull data from relevant sources contextually, and ensures compliance with local laws. Zoho Payroll is a modern payroll solution that comes with capabilities like employee onboarding and offboarding, benefits handling, employee self-service portal, single-click payroll processing, and real-time payroll summary reports. The application automatically ensures end-to-end compliance related to gratuity, and pension scheme contribution based on the employee's nationality. Zoho Payroll also provides advanced customisations that allow businesses to customise fields, salary components, email notifications, reminders and alerts. Zoho Payroll offers a unique payroll insights capability where organisations can see a snapshot of their payrun for a particular period, creating visibility into individual components within that payrun. Businesses can empower employees with access to a self-service portal where they can view their salary information, download payslips, receive notifications related to their documents, and salaries, track borrowed loans, and communicate with the payroll team. The intuitive user interface not only streamlines these processes but greatly enhances the overall employee experience. Moreover, employees can access this portal through the Zoho Payroll mobile application on iOS and Android devices. This ensures that employees can instantly and conveniently perform all necessary functions at any time, providing a user-centric solution for accessing payroll information. Zoho Payroll comes pre-integrated with Zoho Books for automating accounting entries, Zoho Expense for employee expense reimbursements, and Zoho People for employee details and leave data. The software is also pre-integrated with the recently-launched Zoho Practice, practice management software for accountants, where the accountants can view their client's pending payruns, unapproved revisions, and payments. They can also manage employee payroll-related documents, and set expiry notifications. Additionally, the accountants will be able to collaborate with their clients through voice, text or video call, and share important payroll-related documents. Pricing and availabilityZoho Payroll is available for use immediately, and the pricing starts at AED7 per employee, per month, billed annually. For more information please visit Zoho Payroll's pricing page.

Mercer to acquire The Talent Enterprise

Dubai – Mercer, a global leader in redefining the world of work and a business of Marsh McLennan , announced that it reached an agreement to acquire The Talent Enterprise (TTE), a leading psychometric and talent assessment technology company based in the United Arab Emirates. Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition will expand Mercer’s workforce and HR transformation capabilities, at a time when businesses are growing their workforces and need skilled talent.The Talent Enterprise provides progressive and powerful talent assessment tools and capability development solutions that enable organizations to make critical people decisions. With a team of more than 55 organizational psychologists, human capital, data science and technology experts, their services range from career guidance and recruitment to talent management and succession planning and workplace well-being. Through the acquisition of The Talent Enterprise, Mercer will expand its ability to help clients shape their recruitment, high potential identification and coaching, along with leadership development and succession processes through the use of proprietary assessment tools and platforms.“The Talent Enterprise’s suite of services and insights are critically important to organizations today, many of which are pursuing workforce transformations and need people development, upskilling and reskilling tools to remain relevant and competitive,” said Tarek Lotfy, President, Mercer India, Middle East, and Africa.  David Jones, CEO for The Talent Enterprise, added “Along with my Co-Founders, Radhika Punshi and Gauri Gupta, I am thrilled by this significant milestone in our journey to offering enhanced technology-led talent solutions to our rapidly growing client base.Through Mercer, we will be perfectly positioned to meet growing market demands, and empowered to offer the solutions that will attract, retain, and develop the best talent for our clients.”Intrepid Investment Bankers acted as the strategic advisor, Clyde & Co acted as legal advisor and PwC Middle East acted as financial advisor to The Talent Enterprise in the transaction.

Majid Al Futtaim takes a pledge towards sustainability

A significant pledge has been made by Majid Al Futtaim Retail and its Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) partners, in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), during the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28). Majid Al Futtaim Retail and 16 FMCG partners, supported by MOCCAE, have pledged at COP28 to advance the forum’s Collaborative Impact Goals (CIGs), emphasizing a commitment to sustainability. The pledge signifies a collaborative effort among Carrefour and its industry partners to work together towards achieving the forum’s Collaborative Impact Goals, demonstrating a commitment to a sustainable future.The event saw the presence of Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, along with the FMCG partners. The initiative sets a benchmark for end-to-end sustainability operations in modern retail. The focus is on ensuring a secure future for the planet and local communities through sustainable practices.Collaborative Impact Goals (CIGs):CIG 1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Members are committed to measuring, reporting, and taking steps to reduce carbon emissions of their products on Carrefour shelves. The goal is to eliminate one billion kilograms of CO2 by 2030.CIG 2: Sustainable Packaging (Optional): Parties can choose to implement this goal, which focuses on sustainable packaging.CIG 3: Healthier and More Sustainable Products (Optional): Another optional goal for parties to implement, emphasizing the production of healthier and more sustainable products.During the event, the importance of private sector involvement in achieving national climate action goals, including the UAE's commitment to sustainable agriculture and food systems, has also been addressed. The private sector, including retail businesses, is acknowledged for playing an essential role in achieving the UAE's national Net Zero target by 2050.Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri appreciates businesses, including Majid Al Futtaim Retail, for committing to Collaborative Impact Goals and taking significant steps to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions.Hani Weiss, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim – Retail, expresses gratitude to Her Excellency for recognizing and trusting Carrefour’s proactive efforts in sustainability.Carrefour has launched a store exclusively within COP28’s Blue Zone, showcasing tangible actions in line with their sustainability efforts.

TheSmallBigIdea opens Dubai office, targets MENA for global growth

TheSmallBigIdea (TSBI), a leading full-service independent digital agency announces its foray into the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region with its office in Dubai, marking its international expansion. Having built an impressive portfolio in diverse sectors, including Entertainment, Sports, Fashion, Real Estate, BFSI, E-Commerce and Technology in India, TheSmallBigIdea now intends to harness their strengths in these sectors to establish its presence in the thriving MENA market.With remarkable work done for clients like Sobha Realty, Lulu Group and Uganda Government, the agency further solidifies its commitment by offering compelling solutions tailored to the diverse business landscape of the region. Banking on the region's enormous growth potential, TheSmallBigIdea, with a locally built team and culturally driven insights, is dedicated to taking its innovation, creativity, and digital prowess to new horizons.Speaking on the agency’s international expansion with the foray into the MENA market, Harikrishnan Pillai, CEO and Co-Founder at TheSmallBigIdea said, “Embarking on our growth journey in the Middle East is a pivotal moment for TSBI, marking the realization of a long-envisioned plan. We are delighted with the success of this venture, which serves as the initial stride towards transforming TSBI into a truly global agency, firmly rooted in its Indian heritage. By fusing our profound digital expertise cultivated in India with a nuanced understanding of Middle Eastern culture, TSBI Arabia emerges as our gateway to one of the world's fastest-growing economies. As we collaborate with clients in the region, we are confident that our unique blend of Indian innovation and Middle Eastern cultural insight will propel us to possess a formidable presence on the global stage. With seasoned professionals who boast over a decade of experience in the market, TSBI Arabia is set to lead the way in the coming years, offering an exciting prospect for both our team and the industry at large."TheSmallBigIdea’s foray into the MENA region is not just a step towards global expansion but also a commitment to becoming a strategic partner for brands seeking to make their mark in this thriving market.

Amana appoints Haris Loucaides as new Chief Financial Officer

Dubai: amana, the leading online trading specialists in the MENA region, today announced the appointment of Haris Loucaides as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of amana. He succeeds Mr. Mazen Yazbeck after the latter’s untimely passing.Muhammad Rasoul, CEO at amana, said: "I am pleased to announce the appointment of Haris Loucaides as our new Chief Financial Officer. Haris combines six years of financial consulting experience in senior advisory roles with executive roles specifically in the financial services sector across Europe. Haris will play a pivotal role in transforming our financial strategies and driving excellence in our operations. We are excited to have Haris join our team, and we are confident that his leadership skills will contribute to the growth and innovation of our company as we prepare to scale further in 2024."As the new CFO of amana, Haris’s focus will be on implementing tools and mechanisms within the finance team that will enable amana to grow. His approach includes integrating new technology and optimizing team dynamics for enhanced performance."Finance is a dynamic field that underpins the success of any enterprise," says Haris. "I’m enthusiastic about the fast-paced nature of the markets and committed to driving financial excellence. I am perfectly aligned with amana’s transparency principle, I am honored to be part of amana's journey and look forward to contributing to the growth and innovation of the company."Loucaides brings with him a wealth of experience in the finance sector. He began his finance career in London, having studied at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. Haris later joined PwC in Cyprus, where he spent six years advising on IPOs as well as conducting statutory audits of companies offering CFDs, holding companies and investment funds, before moving on to hold executive roles in multiple companies. His tenure as Group CFO at FxPro further honed his skills and prepared him for the complexities and dynamics of the industry. Haris is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. His expertise, enthusiasm, and transformative leadership skills will play an instrumental role in supporting amana through its next phase of growth.