Samsung announces pre-orders for Galaxy S24 Series in the UAE

Samsung Gulf Electronics has announced that the new Galaxy S24 Series - Galaxy S24 Ultra, Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 - are now available for pre-order for customers across the UAE until January 30, 2024.The Galaxy S24 Series ushers in a transformative era for mobile devices, with AI enhancing every aspect of the user experience. From seamless communication through intelligent text and call translations to the Galaxy ProVisual Engine that expands creative possibilities to setting a new benchmark for mobile search, the Galaxy S24 Series, powered by Galaxy AI, is the premium, intelligent experience only Galaxy could create.Fadi Abu Shamat, Head of the Mobile eXperience Division at Samsung Gulf Electronics, remarked, "The Galaxy S24 Series marks a significant leap in global connectivity and mobile innovation. With Galaxy AI at the forefront, we're excited to introduce the Galaxy S24 Series to the UAE, offering Galaxy enthusiasts the chance to explore myriad unique opportunities enabled by Galaxy AI. Our exclusive pre-order promotions ensure easy access to these devices and provide exceptional value for those looking to upgrade."To celebrate the milestone, Samsung has announced special offers across, in Samsung stores, and at retail partners.UAE customers who pre-order the new Galaxy S24 Series will benefit from a complimentary double storage upgrade, a 1-year Samsung Care+ support service covering accidental damage and repairs, and a free 45W travel adapter. Additionally, customers can take advantage of trade-in deals, with potential savings of up to AED 3,700 on the Galaxy S24 Series.The Galaxy S24 Ultra introduces a durable titanium frame, a first for Galaxy phones, delivering enhanced longevity. Its slimmer design ensures a more comfortable grip for on-the-go use. The Galaxy S24+ and S24 feature a sleek One-mass design, merging the rear cover and side frame for a more elegant look. Reflecting the hues of Earth's minerals, the Galaxy S24 Series offers a palette of sophisticated colors. The Galaxy S24 Ultra is available in Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, Titanium Violet, and Titanium Yellow, while the Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 come in Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, and Amber Yellow. Each model also features exclusive online-only color options.

Assembly appoints Ryan Garner as its first Chief Activation Officer in MENA

Ryan Garner has been appointment as Chief Activation Officer at Assembly in MENA. This highlights the company's strategic focus on media activation and delivery. In his new role, Garner will report to Assembly MENA CEO, Faisal Dean, and will be responsible for leading key aspects of the company's operations.Garner's role involves overseeing media activation and delivery, managing important media partnerships, and building high-performance teams that leverage AI and automation to achieve optimal brand and performance results. With a team of approximately 140 individuals under his purview in the Paid Media Department, Garner is positioned to play a crucial role in driving Assembly MENA's goals forward.Having accumulated over 15 years of digital experience in performance teams at network agencies such as Publicis and Dentsu, Garner brings a wealth of expertise to his new position. His diverse experience across industries, working with brands like P&G, Stellantis, and YOOX Net-a-Porter (Ynap), reflects his capability to navigate and contribute to various sectors.In response to the announcement, Garner expressed enthusiasm about joining Assembly and contributing to its performance media initiatives. He emphasized the company's unparalleled capabilities and expressed his eagerness to collaborate with Faisal Dean to further enhance Assembly MENA's market presence.Faisal Dean, the CEO of Assembly MENA, praised Garner's appointment as a strategic milestone that aligns with the company's vision for growth. Dean highlighted Garner's exceptional track record, innovative mindset, and proven ability to deliver results across diverse industries, reinforcing the belief that Garner's expertise will contribute significantly to positioning Assembly as a leading omni-channel media agency.

Disney+ Hotstar partners with Xapads in MENA region

Disney+ Hotstar and Xapads have forged a dynamic partnership to transform the advertising landscape in MENA Region.This collaboration signifies a strategic move to enhance Connected TV (CTV) advertising capabilities in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). This partnership aims to unlock new possibilities for advertisers and underscores Disney+ Hotstar's commitment to staying ahead in the ever-evolving media landscape.The collaboration is focused on improving ad solutions and bridging the gap between brands and the audience in the MENA region. Advertisers may gain exclusive access to premium inventory, providing them with unique opportunities to engage with the audience on the Disney+ Hotstar platform.Ramneek Chadha, COO of Xapads, expressed excitement about the collaboration, emphasizing that Disney+ Hotstar's influential position in the streaming realm, combined with Xapads' expertise in digital advertising, will yield outstanding results for advertisers. Chadha highlights that advertisers will have direct access to premium CTV and connected device audiences in the top 10 metropolitan areas.Dhruv Dhawan, Head of Ads at Disney+ Hotstar, emphasized the platform's continuous search for innovative ways to empower advertisers. He believes that the collaboration with Xapads will help Disney+ Hotstar make significant strides in the MENA region, facilitating the growth of their advertiser base.Gagan Uppal, Country Head for MENA at Xapads, envisioned that this partnership will bridge the gap between brands and the audience, making content and advertising more engaging and accessible. Advertisers will have exclusive access to premium inventory, while the audience can enjoy compelling content and live streaming of matches. Uppal looks forward to witnessing the incredible stories and experiences that will unfold as a result of this development.

Riyadh welcomes 800 industry leaders at grand launch of Foaj Marketing Alliance

The launch of Foaj Group in Riyadh marks a significant development in the communication and marketing industry, positioning itself as the first and largest alliance of its kind in the region. The event, attended by over 800 marketing professionals, including the Minister of Media Salman Al-Dossary, showcased the alliance's commitment to bringing together local and international expertise. Foaj Group operates within an integrated system that combines communication, planning, and creativity. This suggests a holistic approach to marketing solutions.Foaj Group's chairman, Riyadh Al-Zamil, emphasized the integrated system that the alliance operates within, combining communication, planning, and creativity. The group has forged strategic partnerships, alliances, and joint ventures with trusted players in the field, collaborating with international leaders to bring global expertise to local and regional markets.Rayan Al-Tuaymi, the CEO of Foaj Group, outlined the group's structure, comprising 12 leading media and marketing firms. The goal is to position Foaj Group as a "one-stop shop" for comprehensive marketing solutions, creating a connected network of distinguished and innovative companies in the sector. The group boasts a team of over 500 highly qualified professionals, reinforcing its commitment to providing top-notch services in the dynamic and competitive marketing landscape.The launch event at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel signifies the ambition of Foaj Group to play a prominent role in the communication and marketing landscape, bringing together expertise and fostering collaborations for the benefit of local and regional markets.

Dafa News joins DP World ILT20 as official partner

Dubai: Dafa News has joined the DP World ILT20 – the biggest cricket league in the gulf region – as an Official Partner for Season 2. Dafa News has emerged as one of the most popular sports news platforms in recent years. During the 34-match DP World ILT20 Season 2, ‘Dafa News Facts’ will be a part of the broadcast experience for viewers tuned in from around the world.Chief Executive Officer DP World ILT20 David White: “Dafa News is one of the fastest growing sports news platforms with a niche in cricket. We look forward to this exciting partnership for what promises to be an exhilarating month of top-class T20 cricket in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.“The action begins this weekend; the six teams are here and preparing hard with an eye on the glittering DP World ILT20 trophy. We can’t wait for the first ball this Friday at the iconic Sharjah Cricket Stadium.”

Liminal partners with Encryptus to bridge between crypto and fiat

Dubai: Liminal, the fastest-growing digital asset custody and wallet infrastructure provider, has announced a strategic partnership with Dubai-based Encryptus, a pioneer in providing comprehensive fiat off-ramp solutions. This collaboration aims to transform the digital asset space by offering a compliant and consolidated pathway for institutions to convert crypto to local currencies seamlessly. The partnership aligns seamlessly with both companies' goals. Liminal's expertise in secure custody solutions, supporting over 50+ businesses and 20+ chains, perfectly complements Encryptus's robust crypto-to-fiat off-ramp capabilities. This collaboration will enable Liminal users to seamlessly convert their digital asset treasury into fiat currencies, facilitating business payments in 54 countries and individual payments in 80+ countries to bank wires and mobile wallets (e-wallets)In 2023, Liminal announced the grant of an In-Principle Approval (IPA) by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to operate as a custody provider for Virtual Assets. This partnership can be considered as a step forward in expanding its base in the middle east region.This collaboration is poised to yield several key benefits:Enhanced Clientele Access for Encryptus: By partnering with Liminal, Encryptus gains access to a diverse client base seeking secure and compliant crypto-to-fiat solutions. This expands their market reach and allows them to cater to the specific needs of Liminal's clients.Expanded Business Opportunities for Liminal: Liminal can now offer extended service to its existing clients by integrating Encryptus’s off-ramp solutions, enabling direct crypto-to-fiat transfer right from their Vaults app. Simplifying Crypto Transactions: By simplifying complex compliance challenges and streamlining digital to fiat asset conversions, this collaboration makes crypto a more accessible and user-friendly asset for businesses worldwide in a more regulated and in a compliant way. Manhar Garegrat, Country Head India & Global Partnerships at Liminal said, “We are delighted to partner with Encryptus, a company that shares our commitment to security, compliance, and innovation. This collaboration will undoubtedly enhance our ability to provide cutting-edge solutions to our clients globally."Encryptus CEO Shantnoo Saxsena said: "The partnership with Liminal marks a strategic move towards offering a comprehensive fiat off-ramp solution to Liminal's customers. Encryptus is committed to empower their partners to offer Crypto <> Fiat services in a secure and in a compliant way. We are really excited to be a part of Liminal’s ecosystem"This strategic alliance signifies a major leap forward in bridging the gap between traditional and crypto finance. Liminal and Encryptus are committed to revolutionizing the industry by delivering innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of the digital asset landscape. By joining forces, they pave the way for a future where crypto becomes a readily accessible and valuable tool for businesses worldwide.

UAE Tops Arab Nations, Switzerland Leads Global Labour Resilience Index 2024

Against the backdrop of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Whiteshield announces the release of the Global Labour Resilience Index (GLRI) 2024. As the world confronts the profound challenges of global warming and the urgency of transitioning to a sustainable future, the impact on labour markets looms large. The direct consequences of climate change, including displacement, migration, and fluctuations in both physical and mental well-being, have become increasingly pervasive. In response, legislative and policy frameworks are adapting towards green sustainability, emphasizing the critical necessity for robust, inclusive labour markets. This imperative theme is thoroughly explored within the pages of GLRI 2024. The GLRI 2024 provides insights to strengthen labour markets, preparing them to endure climate change challenges and leverage the prospects of a sustainable, green future. To balance environmental needs with labour market dynamics, policymakers must adopt a holistic strategy, integrating climate and labour policies for a smooth and equitable transition to a green economy. Key actions include strengthening social protection transfers, including provisions for unemployment benefits, disability allowances, child support, and pensions, and investing in education, training, and reskilling to equip the workforce for green jobs while addressing the potential broadening of inequalities. This report sheds light on the nations leading in labour market resilience during this era of the green transition. Countries not only must foster labour markets capable of withstanding temporary shocks but also must possess the capacity to navigate structural trends. Labour market resilience, the ability to face and recover from disruptions to the labour market, is a cornerstone of inclusive and sustainable labour markets. The GLRI 2024 quantifies this resilience through both Structural and Cyclical pillars. The most labour-resilient countries in the report are predominantly European, with Switzerland securing the top position. Singapore stands as the only non-European country among the leading nations. In the Middle East, the green transition is crucial for economic diversification, innovation, and trade. The UAE showcases the highest labour resilience among Arab countries, while Saudi Arabia is catching up by diversifying its economy and enhancing workforce skills.China and India face significant challenges and opportunities. China must ensure a sufficient supply of green skills to meet job demand and protect workers during the transition, while India's extensive shift toward sustainability requires a policy framework for green jobs and an equitable transition.The GLRI 2024 highlights several policy implications for labour markets during the green transition. As this development induces structural changes in the economy, targeted policies and effective institutions should be a catalyst to “green” the labour market. The importance of effective institutions cannot be overstated as they can foster better policy choices leading to higher labour market resilience and better environmental performance. However, while good policies and quality institutions are prevalent in high-income countries, resource-poor countries have yet to build strong institutions to seize emerging green opportunities.Policymakers must also consider strengthening economic fundamentals for labour markets to capitalize on emerging green opportunities. Macroeconomic stability, trade resilience, and governance structures enable workers and firms to adapt quickly to changes brought about by greening the economy.Furthermore, policies should aim to curb the widening of inequalities during the green transition and mitigate potential risks associated with it. Investing in education and training is vital for a sustainable future. Public policy should work with the private sector to establish a “green skill agenda” for re-skilling and upskilling of workers and target the youth, who will be tasked to lead the green transition.Fadi Farra, Senior Managing Partner at Whiteshield, said: “We are delighted to launch the 2024 edition of Whiteshield’s Global Labour Resilience Index, continuing our commitment to contribute essential knowledge to the ongoing discourse on sustainability. Based on extensive research, this report identifies the most labour-resilient countries, emphasizing the critical role resilient labour markets play in shaping environmental performance for a sustainable and adaptable future.”Raed Safadi, Whiteshield’s Chief Economist, said: “The GLRI 2024 underscores the need for targeted policies and effective institutions to catalyze the 'greening' of the labour market amid structural changes in the global economy. Acting in anticipation can improve outcomes and this is where the different metrics of the Global Labour Resilience Index (GLRI) offer help in monitoring performance, benchmarking developments, and drawing lessons of experience on the existing policies and institutions within each of the 136 countries included in the study.”

Lanny Smoot: Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame

Lanny Smoot, a Disney Research Fellow and longtime member of Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, is being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He is the first Disney Imagineer to receive this prestigious recognition and only the second individual from The Walt Disney Company to be inducted—the first being Walt Disney, honored posthumously in 2000 for the multiplane camera. Smoot and his fellow Class of 2024 inductees will be formally honored in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 9.Upon learning of his induction, Smoot said, “I was honored and humbled at being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. With all of the inventing greats, however, I caught a true lump in my throat when I realized that I was only the second person at The Walt Disney Company being presented with this honor, and the first person was Walt Disney himself.”For nearly three decades, Smoot has continued to push the boundaries of technology to bring to life awe-inspiring, one-of-a-kind experiences to Disney guests around the world. Throughout his illustrious career, he has worked as a theatrical technology creator, inventor, electrical engineer, scientist, and researcher, resulting in more than 100 patents—an incredibly rare feat that makes Smoot one of the most prolific Black inventors in American history, based on patents issued, according to Disney patent attorney Stuart Langley. Of that total, 74 of his patents were created during his 25 years at The Walt Disney Company.“At Disney Experiences, we’re committed to world-class storytelling, creativity, and innovation in everything we do, and Lanny Smoot embodies every one of those ideals,” said Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Experiences. “As Disney’s most prolific inventor, Lanny continues to amaze all of us with his artistic ingenuity, technical expertise, and endless imagination.”Among his many accomplishments, Smoot is credited with giving Madame Leota her ability to “float” in the Séance Room at the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park; crafting the state-of-the-art extendable lightsaber used by Disney Live Entertainment; inventing the Magic Playfloor interactive game experience on the Disney Cruise Line; producing the immersive Fortress Explorations adventure at Tokyo DisneySea; and designing the virtual and interactive koi ponds at the Crystal Lotus Restaurant at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.When deciding which of his patents to highlight as part of his National Inventors Hall of Fame induction, Smoot selected “Where’s the Fire?” at Innoventions, previously featured at EPCOT. This interactive exhibit promoted fire prevention through engaging challenges; guests “shined” a special flashlight on the walls of a house and, through the magic of his technology, exposed hidden fire dangers and learned how to prevent them from happening.Smoot is the recipient of many awards and honors, including three Thea Awards from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) for his work on the attractions Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Kim Possible: World Showcase Adventure, as well as the Ghost Post limited-time experience inspired by the Haunted Mansion. In 2020, Smoot’s expertise in theatrical technology earned him the esteemed title of TEA Master.Smoot’s forward-thinking inventions have also empowered the theatrical community to create new entertainment, illusions, and magic. He is currently working on the HoloTile floor, the world’s first multi-person, omni-directional, modular, expandable, treadmill floor. It allows any number of people to have a shared virtual reality (VR) experience, walk an unlimited distance in any direction, and never collide or walk off its surface. The HoloTile floor can also be an insert in a theatrical stage, allowing performers to move and dance in new ways, or stage props and structures to move around or appear to set themselves up.Prior to joining Disney, Smoot completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at Columbia University. Before Disney, he worked at Bell Laboratories, followed by Bell Communications Research. While at Bell, he received patents for his role in the early development of video-on-demand technology, video conferencing, and more.

Alex MacCallum Named as Executive VP, Digital Products & Services of CNN

Alex MacCallum has been named CNN Worldwide’s Executive Vice President of Digital Products and Services, a new role focused on overseeing and spearheading CNN’s suite of digital products that serve and engage millions of people globally every day. MacCallum is an experienced product, business and media executive who joins from the Washington Post where she served as Chief Revenue Officer overseeing subscriptions, partnerships and advertising. At the Post, MacCallum began the transformation of the Post’s business, from changing the way its advertising team was structured to evolving how cross-functional work happens across the company. She returns to CNN after previously serving as Global Head of Product for CNN Worldwide and General Manager of CNN+ where she managed product, data, design, growth marketing and business operations. At CNN the first time, MacCallum led cross-functional teams to the launch of CNN+, a direct-to-consumer streaming service as well as re-structured the core product teams to better serve its users. Before joining CNN, she spent eight years at The New York Times in various roles, including Head of Product for Standalone Products, a NYT portfolio that included Cooking, Games, Wirecutter, Audio and Kids, and as the founding Masthead editor for Audience in the newsroom. She was the founding product leader on NYT Cooking, leading the creation and growth of the product in partnership with editorial. She also spent time in the newsroom overseeing NYT Video, re-focusing the team on user-oriented formats and experiences. MacCallum has deep experience in building products that bring world class journalism and storytelling to life. At the Times, she championed a cross-functional product development process that allowed for rapid iteration, new product creation and innovation in product and in particular, direct to consumer businesses. She began her career in media at the Washington Post and was the first news editor for the Huffington Post. She graduated from Brown University and holds a law degree from U.C. Berkeley. MaCallum’s first day at CNN will be March 4. She will be based out of CNN’s New York bureau.

Meta’s ex-COO Sheryl Sandberg to leave Board

Sheryl Sandberg, former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Meta Platforms, has revealed her decision to resign from the company’s Board of Directors once her term concludes in May 2024. This announcement was made through a Facebook post on Wednesday (January 17, 2024).In her FB post, Sandberg said that she will act as an adviser to the social media giant.She had served Meta as the COO for 14 and half years and as a board member for 12 years.Sandberg wrote on her FB wall, “With a heart filled with gratitude and a mind filled with memories, I let the Meta Board know that I will not stand for re-election this May. After I left my role as COO, I remained on the Board to help ensure a successful transition. Under Mark’s leadership, Javi Olivan, Justin Osofsky, Nicola Mendelsohn, and their teams have proven beyond a doubt that the Meta business is strong and well-positioned for the future, so this feels like the right time to step away. Going forward, I will serve as an advisor to the company, and I will always be there to help the Meta teams.”Sandberg wrote that serving as “Facebook’s - and then Meta’s - COO for 14 and half years and a board member for 12 years has been the opportunity of a lifetime”.She wielded considerable influence as the second-in-command to Mark Zuckerberg, having played a pivotal role in devising Meta Platforms’ advertisement-based business model.

Trevor Noah to headline inaugural Web Summit Qatar

Web Summit, the world’s largest technology event, announced today that award-winning presenter and author Trevor Noah will speak on Centre Stage at the inaugural Web Summit Qatar, taking place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) from February 26-29, 2024. The South African comedian is one of the most successful comics in the world, and was the host of the Emmy-winning The Daily Show for seven years. Trevor’s 2019 book, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, was a New York Times bestseller, and he is currently working on a new book – Into the Uncut Grass – scheduled for publication in 2024. Trevor currently hosts an original Spotify weekly podcast – What Now? with Trevor Noah – during which he interviews entertainers, CEOs, actors, athletes and thought leaders. Recent guests have included Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sam Altman and Janelle Monáe. In 2018, Trevor launched the Trevor Noah Foundation to improve equitable access to quality education for underserved youth in South Africa. Trevor will join founder and chief wizard Sachin Dev Duggal, YouTuber Felipe Neto, soccer legend and Brazilian World Cup winner Gilberto Silva, and Tabby co-founder and CEO Hosam Arab – alongside 200-plus other speakers, 800-plus startups, 400-plus journalists and 500-plus investors – at Web Summit Qatar in February.This event in the Middle East is part of Web Summit’s global strategy to broaden its reach into new markets. Web Summit Qatar will provide new opportunities to connect the tech world in growing ecosystems across the Middle East, Africa and India, expanding on the company’s established presence in Europe, North America, South America and Asia. “Trevor is an exceptional comedian, author, philanthropist and advocate. I know firsthand his charisma, intellect and wit, and his ability to make a discussion of difficult topics a prelude to meaningful action. I can’t wait to welcome him on Web Summit Qatar’s stage for our first event in Doha,” said Web Summit CEO Katherine Maher.Web Summit Qatar joins Web Summit’s global roster of events: its flagship event, Web Summit, which draws 70,000-plus attendees to Lisbon each November; North America’s fastest growing tech event, Collision, in Toronto; Web Summit Rio, which gathers thousands of attendees in the hottest startup country in the world; and RISE, which will be returning to Hong Kong in 2025. About Web Summit Web Summit runs the world’s largest technology events, connecting people and ideas that change the world. Web Summit events – Web Summit in Lisbon, Web Summit Rio in South America, Collision in North America, RISE in Asia, and Web Summit Qatar in the Middle East – have gathered half a million people since Web Summit’s beginnings as a 150-person conference in Dublin in 2009. Web Summit’s mission has been to create software that enables meaningful connections between the CEOs, founders, investors, members of the media, politicians and cultural icons who are reshaping the world.  Forbes says Web Summit is “the best tech conference on the planet”; Bloomberg calls it “Davos for geeks”; Politico “the Olympics of tech”; the Guardian “Glastonbury for geeks”. In the words of the Financial Times, Web Summit is “the world’s largest tech conference”, and the Telegraph calls it the “planet’s best tech conference”.

Sarah Qazi's marketing playbook for building winning home care brands

In this exclusive interview, Adgully Middle East delves into the professional journey of Sarah Qazi – Business Lead, Home Care, Unilever, a seasoned leader in the home care industry. With over 15 years of experience and a diverse background spanning various geographies and categories, Sarah has played a pivotal role in the success of Unilever's Home Care Arabia division. Join us as we explore her highs and lows, her role as a business lead, successful marketing strategies, and insights into the evolving landscape of the home care sector. Excerpts:Kindly share your professional journey with us. What can you say about your highs and lows?Over the past 15 years, I have had the privilege of developing my career across various geographies and categories. I have worked in both local and regional roles, focusing on innovation mix creation and market deployment. My experiences have been primarily based in Pakistan and the Middle East. Having joined Unilever as a management trainee in 2006 in the finance function, I fell in love with creating magical experiences for consumers, triggering a move to marketing. One of the highs has been the wealth of diverse marketing experience I have gained across food, refreshment and home care, with exposure across South Asia and MENA.In my current role, I am the business lead for Home Care Arabia, and I double hat as the marketing lead for our beautiful brands as well. Juggling this dual hat has had its highs and lows. From the initial lows of dealing with change after coming back from maternity leave to taking this new challenge to the high of building a team that is on a transformation journey of success. I don’t have many other lows to quote, but the ones I can recall have always been about disappointment in not being recognized or promoted for my efforts. They have been short-lived enough not to feature in my list as I have learnt every step of your professional journey is meant to happen at the right time.Being the Business Lead of Home care Arabia (Unilever), what are your responsibilities? What is the most that you enjoy in your work profile?My primary responsibility is to serve our consumers, giving them a brand experience that serves their needs and serving my team across functions, enabling them to maximize their potential, removing roadblocks to their success. It goes without saying that I am responsible for delivering my business P&L and building beautiful brands in the process. What I enjoy the most still is to get neck deep into a problem or opportunity and find a creative, unexpected way to solve it.You have been working in Unilever since 2006, what changes have you seen in the company in the last decade?Unilever has always been a company built on great brands with great people and an amazing culture. I believe we have become more focused on delivering superior product experiences powered by purpose for a sustainable future. The biggest headline change has been the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan which was introduced in 2010 and was the first of its kind in the industry. This has brought focus on delivering a vision to make sustainable living commonplace using the power of our operations, people, and brands.Could you please share some of your successful marketing strategies that have proven effective for clients in the home care segment?For home care as a category where product efficacy and value for money are both key, what I have seen work is to find ways to differentiate. There are many ways to differentiate beyond the obvious, whether it is to differentiate our products, our proposition or even our selling approach. Differentiating our proposition from conventional wisdom of dirt being the bad guy to turning it on its head being an enabler of growth and development is one such example. Premiumising with newer product benefits appealing to a younger audience which I believe is another one set to conquer Gen Z.Given the expansive nature of the home care segment, what specific elements within the home care portfolio tend to attract the most customer attention? Additionally, which aspects contribute the most to overall profits in this industry?If you think, is there one product in your home that you all use, it would be laundry detergent. It is the widest penetrated segment and has a big opportunity for us to leverage. Home care as a category is traditionally lower profits so premiumising remains a focus area to bring more profits.With your expertise in marketing, how have you observed the industry's evolution over the years? What notable changes have occurred in this sector?Some of the obvious ones are the rise of social media influencers driving purchase decision-making, exponential growth in e-commerce as a buying channel and a lot more consumer awareness about the science behind products. Being contextual with popular culture with brands drives a lot of agility in how we look at advertising and building consumer experiences.How has the increasing prevalence of AI across industries impacted the home care sector? Specifically, has AI simplified processes or introduced complexity within the home care sector?AI has the potential of truly simplifying consumer life in this category. If you think about the future of washing machines or dishwashers in the context of AI, it can be game-changing. We are ready to embrace AI in how we work, we must get more comfortable with it. I believe it can simplify processes and bring extreme efficiency. We must find a way to unlock their potential safely.What are your thoughts on women's empowerment in the Middle East, and how have you witnessed changes in this regard over the past decade?I am beyond impressed by the focus on women’s empowerment in the middle east. It is called out as a focus area both in public and private sectors. 50% women in the UAE cabinet reflects the focus on women’s empowerment. in the UAE is an inspiration to many. Recently I was privileged to attend the Annual Middle East Women Leaders’ Summit which blew my mind on the amazing progress made by women entrepreneurs, companies lead and run majorly by women trail blazing their way to success. There is also a growing awareness that women are decision makers, users, and shoppers of many FMCG products so bringing their perspective in the industry is crucial to designing experiences that win their hearts. Companies like Unilever are increasingly focused on enhancing diversity within their workforce. In Unilever UAE, we have moved the needle substantially with women in mid & senior management roles going up from 23% in 2014 to 47% in 2022.What would be your advice to women who aim to reach where you have?This could end up being a long one, so I will try to be sharp and precise. Embrace yourself fully with your vulnerability, emotions, and amazing capacity to nurture. This is an inherent strength we have as women, and too often we try to hide it for fear of judgment. The journey to success will be unique for each of us; we should wear our achievements and struggles both proudly. The second one is something I have learnt recently leading a lean in circle for women in Unilever based out of Dubai. We all need a support circle, to share our resilience, to lean in, learn and get inspired. We have the tendency to shoulder all our burdens ourselves but sharing and seeking support can make it lighter and help take care of ourselves better.

Lenovo reveals top three challenges faced by CIOs

Across industries, as technology becomes more central to business operations, the role of a CIO is increasingly broad. From digital transformation to the carbon footprints of data centres, CIOs are responsible for an ever-growing set of workstreams.This is backed up by Lenovo’s Global Study of CIOs, which found that 84% of IT leaders believe they contribute to company success more than other C-suite leaders, and that nine out of ten believe that they are shouldering more responsibility than ever before. Lenovo’s global study also found that many are also worried that investment in innovation will ‘dry up’, leaving them unable to achieve their many goals, with 83% concerned that they will be left with insufficient budget. Mohammed Hilili, General Manager, Intelligent Devices Group Gulf, Lenovo, said, “CIOs are now expected to make decisions on everything from business reporting and data analytics to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The most recent discoveries from Lenovo's Global Study of CIOs indicate a growing weight of responsibilities on these leaders as their roles have become more critical to business success than ever before. As such, equipping CIOs with the right technologies will empower them to make more reliable and confident decisions in many of these areas and in turn, help companies run more efficiently and competitively.”There are three challenges CIOs are currently contending with. Investing in the right technology can help ease the burden and deal with some of the key issues they face, including the evolving workplace, artificial intelligence (AI) and sustainability. Challenge #1: The digital workplaceTechnology is woven into every part of the modern workplace, functioning like a nervous system which joins together corporate strategy, operations, finance and innovation. This in turn loads more challenges onto CIOs, who are grappling with recruitment and retention (59%), managing a remote workforce (59%), and diversity, equity, and inclusion (55%). The technology environment is also changing, with employees now using two devices on average, combined with a sharp increase in ‘bring your own device’ usage.For IT leaders, technology can help to bring simplicity to this shifting landscape. Optimising endpoints using one centralised platform helps to bring order to the chaos, this means that IT teams can focus on business-critical tasks, with end users enjoying a better experience, optimised by AI.Meanwhile, ‘as-a-service’ models offer the flexibility and simplicity to empower teams with the technology they need, in a simple, scalable pay-as-you-go model. As-a-service models allow businesses to stay up to date with the latest and greatest technology, meaning that employees are never held back by older devices, and that less secure devices are not as likely to be used in the workplace. Lenovo’s research found that as-a-service options were highly popular with CIOs, with 92% saying they would consider adding new offerings over the next two years. This provides them with the flexibility to deploy hardware and software with ease, eliminating bottlenecks and freeing up teams to innovate rapidly and supercharge business strategy.Challenge #2: Building intelligenceThe current boom in generative AI has sparked a level of excitement around technology not seen since the dawn of the smartphone era. For CIOs, this poses further challenges: there is high expectation for organisations to engage proactively with AI, and for the technology to deliver business results, fast. The demand to engage with this emerging technology is very real, with 43% of CIOs saying they felt ‘urgent pressure’ to deal with AI.But it’s not simply a case of buying solutions and sitting back and waiting for results: AI has to be used effectively. Edge computing technology helps to bring AI to the data source and will be hugely important for any organisations hoping to reap the benefits through cutting-edge applications such as virtual assistants, generative AI and computer vision. With edge computing, organisations can gain AI-powered insights right where data is created, which can be immediately used to improve outcomes across store aisles, manufacturing floors, hospital rooms and service desks all over the world. Edge AI computing can also process thousands of data points in real-time to gain the insights required to make decisions. In customer service, for instance, it can analyse data to make live recommendations for personalised products and services, or identify issues before they become pain points, enhancing the overall experience.Technology that delivers data centre-like computing to the edge will be crucial to delivering improved experiences in industries from tourism to retail, as well as improved emergency response and public safety. Challenge #3: Maintaining sustainabilityIn previous decades, sustainability has not fallen within the traditional purview of IT leadership. But with increasing attention on the issues such as e-waste, and the emissions associated with data centres, thinking about environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is yet another responsibility on the shoulders of today’s CIOs. With data centres responsible for up to 1.5% of global electricity use, according to the International Energy Agency, it’s critical that CIOs engage with technologies such as water cooling to increase efficiency and reduce electricity demand. Modern workloads mean that older air cooling technologies now struggle to keep up while becoming very expensive. Liquid cooling technologies will be an important factor in responsible computing going forward, and will also enable the sustainable supercomputers which will be crucial to tackling the challenges of climate change. Decision-makers in IT must also be bold and move beyond the ‘make, use, destroy’ of the linear economy to the ‘design, use, return’ approach of the circular economy. The world produces 50 million tonnes of e-waste every year, and just a fifth of this is recycled. Asset recovery services (ARS) will be key to this, helping to find the most efficient and clean ways to deal with hardware at the end of its service life, whether that’s using the parts in manufacturing, refurbishing, reusing or environmentally friendly scrappage. For CIOs grappling with the challenges of sustainability, the flexibility of ‘device as a service’ models, where devices are recycled or repurposed at the end of their service life, can also help switch to more efficient, environmentally friendly hardware without up-front capital outlay. Meeting the challenge“CIOs currently face challenges that would have been almost unimaginable 20 years ago, with responsibilities spanning everything from DE&I to ESG. Shouldering this increasing burden and being more central to an organisation’s success than ever before, it’s no wonder that it can feel like a lonely battle,” Mohammed Hilili added. “Thankfully, choosing the right technologies can make the role easier and empower CIOs to innovate, making a real difference for the business as a whole.”

Familia partners with Wild Media to enter ME region

Familia, a UK-based production company, has expanded into the Middle Eastern region through a partnership with Wild Media. This collaboration seems to bring together the global expertise of Familia with the regional production knowledge of Wild Media, creating a promising synergy.Familia's experience in delivering commercial work for prestigious brands like Cartier, BMW, and Meta suggests a strong track record in the industry. The decision to establish operations in the Middle East reflects the growing creative landscape and business opportunities in the region.Toby Walsham, as the Managing Director for Familia's Middle East operations, along with Partners and Directors Craig Moore and Francis Wallis, will likely play a crucial role in steering the company's endeavors in this new market. This expansion also indicates the recognition of the Middle East as a significant market for creative content, and Familia's decision to bring its global roster of directors to the region indicates a commitment to delivering high-quality productions tailored to the local market. Overall, it will be interesting to see the impact of this partnership on the creative landscape in the Middle East and the projects that emerge as a result.

Al Habtoor Motors earns acclaim as JAC's Best Global Distributor

Al Habtoor Motors (AHM), a leading automotive brand in the UAE, celebrated significant success at the JAC Global Partners Conference 2024 in Hefei, China. The partnership between AHM and JAC began in 2013. Since then, the collaboration has flourished, culminating in AHM’s recent success at the conference, underscoring the company’s global standing and commitment to excellence, and highlighting its dedication in promoting the JAC brand in the UAE. The company secured four prestigious awards, including 'The Best Global Distributor Award,' 'Sales Star Award,' 'Excellent After-Sales Service Award,' and 'Parts Star Award.' These accolades recognize AHM's outstanding global distribution efforts, remarkable sales achievements, dedication to after-sales service, and exemplary contributions to the parts division. The awards further contribute to AHM's legacy of excellence in the automotive industry and highlight its commitment to promoting the JAC brand in the United Arab Emirates.Ahmed Al Habtoor, CEO of Al Habtoor Motors expressed immense pride, stating, “This accomplishment is a testament to our team’s dedication and hard work. Beyond selling vehicles, we are committed to creating exceptional experiences for our customers. Al Habtoor Motors remains steadfast in delivering unparalleled service and performance, and these awards validate our ongoing pursuit of excellence.” Karim Maksoud, Managing Director, reflected on the company’s global achievements, saying, “Under the visionary leadership of our Founding Chairman and the strategic direction set by our CEO, Ahmed Al Habtoor, Al Habtoor Motors stands out as the sole global distributor recognised across all facets of our business – sales, after-sales service, and parts. This recognition, including the Best Global Distributor Award, exemplifies our commitment to excellence and innovation.” JAC, a cornerstone brand for Al Habtoor Motors, has witnessed significant milestones, including the recent launch of three standalone showrooms – two in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi, strategically expanding options for customers to purchase their favourite vehicles closer to home. The partnership between AHM and JAC appears to be thriving, driven by shared values of innovation, excellence, and customer satisfaction. Such partnerships are crucial in the automotive industry, allowing brands to leverage each other's strengths and provide customers with top-notch products and services.

Dubai Jewellery Group wraps up DSF campaign with giveaway of 25 kg gold

 The Dubai Jewellery Group (DJG), the distinguished trade body representing the jewellery industry in the region, has announced the successful conclusion of its Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) campaign. Dedicated to providing an enriching shopping experience for customers during the festive season, DJG delightedly handed out a total of 25 kilograms of gold to 300 winners over the course of the 38-day campaign.During the campaign, shoppers had the golden opportunity to participate in this remarkable winning streak with a minimum spend of AED 500 on gold, diamond, or pearl jewellery pieces at any of the 275 participating outlets from December 8th, 2023 through January 14th, 2024.Laila Suhail, Board Member & Chairperson of Marketing at Dubai Jewellery Group (DJG) commented, "We are elated with the overwhelming response to our DSF campaign this year. The Dubai Shopping Festival is a time of celebration and joy, and we are delighted to have added to the festive spirit by awarding 25 kilograms of gold to our esteemed customers. The success of this campaign is a testament to the vibrant and dynamic jewellery industry in Dubai, and we look forward to continuing to bring joy and excitement to our customers in the future.”This campaign by the Dubai Jewellery Group featured a series of raffle draws with prizes ranging from quarter-kilo to 10 grams of gold. This year, the group also introduced an engaging digital raffle, further amplifying the chances of winning for participants.

Careem Food reintroduces ‘Dirhams for Delays’ in Dubai

Careem Food once again launches its ‘Dirhams for Delays’ campaign in Dubai from January 15 - March 10 2024, promising to reimburse customers AED 1 for every minute a food order is late.Jaskaran Singh, VP of Product Management at Careem, commented: “This campaign is about being super accurate with the delivery times we share with our customers, not about excessive speed. We’re confident that our delivery prediction and tracking technology is the best in the market and we want to show our customers that they can rely on us to eat on time, every time.”“The safety and wellbeing of our Captains is a priority for us. They can’t see ETA times for orders and won’t bear responsibility for any late deliveries. This is really just about us being so confident in the efficiency of our service, and we’re willing to bet on it.”Despite increases in traffic in Dubai, Careem Food remains committed to reliable deliveries so customers can receive their orders fresh and on time. Careem optimizes the ETA accuracy of orders by assigning Captains to orders based on their proximity to the restaurant and delivery location and working with restaurants to ensure orders are dispatched on time. In 2022 and 2023, only 1 in 20 orders were delivered past the ETADelivery Captains will not bear any responsibility for late deliveries, cannot see the order ETA (estimated time of arrival), and are being encouraged to drive safely through safe driving bonuses, where 20 Captains will be rewarded every week with monetary incentives as a recognition of their commitment to road safety measures.Careem Food launched in 2020 in Dubai and has expanded to become one of the region’s leading food delivery platforms, active across the UAE, KSA, and Jordan with an extensive network of over 15,000 restaurants and flexible earning opportunities to thousands of delivery Captains.For just AED 19 a month, Careem Plus members benefit from free delivery on food and discounts of up to 50% on dining in restaurants through Careem DineOut and a range of other benefits on other services.

Aramco expands global VC programme with $4bln funds injection

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia: Aramco, one of the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals companies, has allocated an additional $4 billion to Aramco Ventures, its global venture capital arm. It will more than double the capital allotted to Aramco Ventures, increasing its total investment allocation from $3 billion to $7 billion.It will take Aramco’s overall venture capital allocation to $7.5bn, which also includes the $500 million venture capital fund Wa’ed Ventures that focuses on the start-up ecosystem in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.The decision reflects the growing significance of Aramco’s venture capital programme in enabling the development of disruptive new technologies, creating diversification opportunities for Aramco, and paving the way for collaborations with innovative start-ups. In doing so, it aims to help advance the Company’s long-term strategy, which includes a focus on new energies, chemicals and transition materials, diversified industrial businesses, and digital technologies.Ahmad Al Khowaiter, Aramco Executive Vice President of Technology & Innovation, said: “Innovation is key to addressing some of the fundamental challenges facing the world today, including the energy transition. Through Aramco Ventures, we aim to support pioneers with big ambitions, and ultimately help bring their ideas to life. By injecting an additional $4 billion in funding over the next four years, we intend to provide the financial backing required to take game-changing solutions to the next level. This will provide crucial impetus to businesses at various stages of development around the world, while also contributing to Aramco’s own long-term objectives.”Prior to the new capital allocation, Aramco Ventures managed three funds. These are a Digital/Industrial Fund, which stood at $500 million, investing in technologies of strategic importance to Aramco; the Prosperity7 Fund with $1 billion, investing in disruptive technology ventures beyond the energy sector; and the Sustainability Fund, which stood at $1.5 billion and invests in start-ups with the potential to support Aramco’s ambition to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across its wholly-owned and operated assets by 2050.

Michael Stroband announced as CEO and President of Mercedes-Benz Cars ME

Michael Stroband has been appointed as President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East. He succeeds Martin Schulz who held the position since February 2021 and led Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East and the General Distributor Network across Middle East, Central Europe and Africa. Michael joins the Middle East team with 15 years of experience across Retail, Marketing and Sales, Supply Chain and Production.As Mercedes-Benz undergoes strategic transformation to lead in electric mobility, vehicle software, and digitalization, Michael is set to build on excellent customer reputation, expand digitalization across the business, maintain success in the high-end luxury vehicle segment and build the core vehicle portfolio.His responsibilities also extend to the Mercedes-Benz General Distributor Network in Latin America and South East Asia for the Commercial Van segment, where he will focus on enhancing the customer experience and targeting profitable growth.Since 2011, Michael has held various leadership positions at Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Trucks. In his previous role, Michael was responsible for Product and Sales Management for Mercedes-Benz Cars in Germany. Commenting on his appointment, Michael Stroband, CEO and President of Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East said, “I look forward to working alongside the Middle East team and our General Distributor Network to successfully drive the Mercedes-Benz strategy forward, while pushing digitalisation to deliver an exceptional and unified customer experience both online and offline. By focusing on our traditional strengths of leading in technology, we will continue to deliver the world’s most desirable cars that defines luxury mobility of tomorrow.”

SRMG accelerates its growth and transformation strategy

SRMG, the largest integrated media group from the MENA region, has announced significant operational changes with the launch of a new exclusively digital approach for Arriyadiyah, AlEqtisadiah and Malayalam News, effective January 19, 2024. Additionally, SRMG has announced the appointment of several new editors-in-chief, deputy editors-in-chief, and assistant editors-in-chief.This announcement aligns with SRMG’s digital transformation, growth and expansion strategy, demonstrating the Group’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of journalists and media professionals to meet the demands of audiences worldwide. This decision also reflects the significant shift in regional media consumption habits, particularly with the rising popularity of digital, social and audio-visual media platforms. These developments will optimize SRMG’s operational efficiency and support the production of innovative digital products across audio, video and written formats, which in turn will create new and diverse content offerings and marketing opportunities for advertisers across its digital platforms.Additionally, SRMG announced several appointments at the editor-in-chief level, empowering the next generation of media professionals and journalists. These individuals have demonstrated the skills and knowledge to meet the evolving demands of SRMG’s diverse audience across different generations, backgrounds and interests. The new appointments include:Ibrahim Hamidi has been appointed as Editor-in-Chief of Al Majalla, the Arab world’s leading current and political affairs magazine. With more than 22-years of experience, he has held various editorial positions at Al-Hayat Newspaper, including Director of the publication’s office in Damascus. Since 2017, he has served as a Senior Diplomatic Editor and Writer, covering Syrian affairs at Asharq Al-Awsat. Additionally, he oversaw the digital transformation of Al Majalla, leading to an impressive annual increase of 1704% in views.Fahim Al-Hamid has been appointed as the General Supervisor of Editorial Affairs for Malayalam News, Urdu News and Independent Urdu. With over three decades of experience in political journalism, Al-Hamid has actively covered Middle East and South Asian affairs, engaging with several political leaders and other prominent international figures.Mohammed Al-Bishi has been appointed as the Acting Editor-in-Chief of AlEqtisadiah, in addition to maintaining his current role as Managing Editor of Asharq Business with Bloomberg in Saudi Arabia. Al-Bishi has held a wide-range of editorial positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, AlEqtisadiah, Asharq Business with Bloomberg, which is ranked number one for digital economy news. His extensive economic and editorial expertise has played a pivotal role in the growth of Asharq Business with Bloomberg since its inception. This comes following the latest strategic decision from SRMG to restructure AlEqtisadiah under Asharq Business with Bloomberg, allowing it to focus on the most important global business and economic news and its impact on the region through in-depth high-quality analysis and coverage.SRMG has appointed several new assistant editors-in-chief and deputy editors-in-chief to sustain high-quality editorial processes, transfer knowledge and skills, and create innovative media content. The appointees are as follows:Mohamed Hani has been appointed as a Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, the leading international Pan-Arab newspaper. Hani brings a wealth of experience, having served in various editorial positions at Al-Hayat and currently at Asharq Al-Awsat. He played a pivotal role in the recent revamp of Asharq Al-Awsat, overseeing the media title’s digital transformation and growth strategy by drawing on his extensive experience in modern content management systems.Zaid bin Kami has been appointed as a Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. He previously served as Assistant Editor-in-Chief of AlEqtisadiah and Director of Economic News at Asharq Al-Awsat. Additionally, he worked as Managing Editor of Asharq Al-Awsat in Saudi Arabia from 2009-2014. He brings extensive experience in both print and video journalism, with a specialization in economics. He has actively participated in several international conferences, showcasing his broad and diverse expertise.Nour Nuqli has been appointed as a Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, having progressed through various editorial assignments. Notably, Nuqli played a significant role in the launch of the digital version of Arab News in French in 2020. She has also conducted prominent interviews with leading political figures, including US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Nuqli has been instrumental in covering high-level conferences and has been part of the media delegation for His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's international tours.May AlSharif has been appointed as the Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Independent Arabia, having held several editorial positions within the publication, including her most recent role as Supervising Manager of the Riyadh office. During her tenure in the content creation department, AlSharif effectively implemented various projects and documentaries. Additionally, she oversaw the media title’s social media accounts, contributing significantly to the initial stages of the publication’s establishment and development.Jomana R. Alrashid, CEO of SRMG, said: “We are proud of SRMG’s achievements over the past three years since launching our ambitious growth and transformation strategy. This strategy was developed to address growing audience demand for accurate, in-depth, credible and high-quality content, and our investments aim to further cement the Group’s rich journalistic history through modern, innovative products and services.”Further commenting on this important step in SRMG’s digital transformation, Alrashid stressed that the Group’s growth and expansion strategy is “focused on maintaining our leading role at the forefront of the regional media landscape and reaffirming our commitment to meet the needs of our diverse audiences, utilizing innovative digital platforms.”

Merkle MENA welcomes Stacy Andersen as Deputy Managing Director

Merkle, dentsu’s leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management company, today announces the appointment of Stacy Andersen as Deputy Managing Director, Merkle MENA. In this newly created role, Stacy will join Merkle’s regional leadership team and help drive growth across Merkle's client base, services and capabilities, with a focus on regional expansion.Stacy brings a wealth of experience and expertise in digital and business growth consultancy, omnichannel strategy, CXM, and transformation. With a career spanning over 18 years, Stacy has spent much of her career navigating an evolving digital landscape to deliver impactful solutions to clients across various industries and regions. In her new role, she will play a pivotal role in leading performance, strategy, and growth initiatives for Merkle MENA. She will oversee all performance accounts, including high-profile clients, while driving the adoption of capabilities beyond performance marketing to include data, AI, emerging technologies, SEO and experience.Prior to joining dentsu, Stacy held various leadership positions across major holding groups both in the Americas and MENA, with her most recent role being Head of Digital Transformation and Innovation at Publicis Groupe. She was responsible for opening Hearts & Science MENA, and previously worked at Merkle New York prior to dentsu’s acquisition of the company. Throughout her celebrated career she has worked with a diverse range of clients, including Neom, Majid Al Futtaim, Nestle, BMW, Samsung, One & Only, LVMH, Visa, and Amazon.Commenting on her appointment, Andreas Skopal, Managing Director of Merkle MENA, said: "Stacy's extensive experience, understanding of our business and our clients’ needs make her an invaluable asset to Merkle MENA. We are confident that her leadership will contribute significantly to our strategic objectives, bringing together creativity, technology and data to deliver seamless customer experiences. We are thrilled to have Stacy join the team and partner with her as we embark on our next phase of our growth."Expressing her enthusiasm for rejoining Merkle, Stacy added: "I am delighted to take on this new role with Merkle MENA to support the business in forging a new path for CX transformation in the region. The opportunity to partner with clients to accelerate their digital dexterity and enrich their customer experience through Merkle’s unique data and technology-enabled solutions is compelling, especially in a region that is at the forefront of digitization, innovation and economic diversification globally."

TijaraHub launches cutting-edge B2B e-commerce platform

With the beginning of the new year, TijaraHub announced the launch of its new e-commerce platform to support small and medium manufacturers in Egypt and Turkey to expand the reach of their products to global markets, enabling them to spread, penetrate promising markets, and grow sustainably. At the same time, the platform allows buyers to switch between various options and complete purchases from various approved suppliers.Mr. Mohamed Sharif, Co-founder and CEO of TijaraHub, said: “Our belief in the strength of Egyptian and Turkish products and their ability to compete globally, coupled with the revival of relations between Egypt and Turkey on both political and economic levels and the increase in the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, was the motivation behind launching this platform that will play a vital role in boosting exports of both countries, in particular achieving the Egyptian government's goal of USD 100 billion worth of exports annually. Furthermore, we envision the platform evolving into a regional hub for the Middle East, Europe, and Africa."The company's founders have more than 15 years of experience in international trade and have strong relationships with major buyers and manufacturers around the globe. The pandemic crisis, and the consequent growth of e-commerce, was a pivotal factor motivating the launch of the TijaraHub platform.Currently, the platform displays the products of more than 300 Egyptian factories in diversified industries such as food & beverage, fashion & textile, home appliances, and furniture, in addition to handicrafts, and it’s planned to reach 1,000 factories by the end of this year. Among the most prominent vendors on the platform from Egypt: El-Arabi Group, Crystal Asfour, Regina for Pasta & Food Industries, Dalydress, Cairo Poultry Processing Company (Koki), Libra Sport, Ariika, Manzzeli, Ceramica Cleopatra Group, Ragab El Attar Company, Janssen Egypt for Mattresses, Pure Misr. Additionally, the platform also includes vendors from Turkey such as Powertec, Simply, FemCasual, Avecon Republica, Simper, Fakira, Merkur, Bubbles cosmetics, Schnider, BYBURT69, and others.The platform aims to attract buyers from the Middle East and Europe as a first stage, especially the Arab Gulf countries, which are among the promising markets for Egyptian and Turkish exports across various sectors experiencing significant growth. The strong relations between the Gulf countries, Egypt and Turkey provide great opportunities for trade exchange and economic cooperation. supported by international trade agreements that facilitate logistics and reduce barriers.The platform offers a package of comprehensive services that ensure safe and simple trading experience for manufacturers and buyers, including a shipping service that provides a hassle-free door-to-door delivery experience, in cooperation with Saudi NAQEL express, FedEx, SMSA Express, and addition to diverse and secure payment service for more than fifteen payment methods that enable buyers to pay in flexible installments plans up to nine months, to a comprehensive inspection service for products before, during, and after the manufacturing process in cooperation with SGS and Intertek.The platform is currently available through website, and It’s planned to introduce mobile applications for both Apple and Android devices by March 2024 to provide an integrated experience for vendors and buyers.

FitnGlam appoints fitness pioneer George Flooks as Group CEO

Wellness Forward Group, parent company of the UAE’s premium women-only fitness SuperClub, FitnGlam, have announced the appointment of industry veteran George Flooks as the Chief Executive Officer. Specialising in luxury fitness and wellness, Wellness Forward Group is a luxury conglomerate proudly housing three exclusive brands – FitnGlam, Platform Studios and FitCode. With 13 years’ experience as the CEO of one of the largest fitness chains in the UAE, George successfully oversaw the comprehensive growth and management of all their fitness clubs in the MENA region, solidifying the brand's prominence in the fitness industry. Prior to working in the Middle East, Flooks managed and led a portfolio of over 160 clubs across the UK and Northern Ireland, contributing to an annual revenue of 150 million GBP. “The Wellness Forward Group is a business I have always admired, both for its impressive growth and its unique mission to revolutionise fitness across the UAE. I look forward to building on the success of the team and leading them through this exciting phase of development and expansion while maximising the longer-term opportunities as the demand for fitness, health and wellbeing continues to increase in the region,” comments George Flooks. As a board member of the Health and Racquet Club Group, George was Instrumental in its growth from 8 to 86 clubs, with a membership of one million, George played a key role in listing the Health and Racquet Club Group on the South African stock exchange and facilitating the strategic sale to Virgin Active. As a seasoned athlete, George’s commitment to physical training is rooted in his past role as a Physical Training Instructor (PTI) in the South African military. George holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Administration from the University of West Virginia Wesleyan, and a Masters degree in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).Embodying the perfect fusion of leadership, athleticism and passion, George will be responsible for steering The Wellness Forward Group towards new business objectives and expansion across the portfolio, including the current expansion of FitnGlam into the Ras Al Khaimah market in the UAE.

Professionals prefer UAE, KSA rather than relocating to Europe: LinkedIn

According to new research from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, professionals in the UAE and KSA prefer working in the region rather than relocating to Europe or the USA.82% of surveyed professionals expressed this sentiment, with standard of living (46%), attractive lifestyle (35%), and opportunities for professional growth (31%) making the region a preferred destination for working professionals. This comes as no surprise as the UAE emerged as one of the most resilient international markets when it comes to hiring, with a 0.3% annual increase in hiring, up by 30% compared to pre-pandemic December 2019.Professionals aim to reclaim their careers in the new year as a significant number of them (62%) are either actively looking for a new job, or plan to start looking for one soon. Better salaries (42%) and the need for a better work life balance (33%) are the top two reasons for professionals seeking a career move.However, it is worth noting that 73% of professionals in the UAE and KSA are considering finding new homes due to rising rent prices, underscoring the correlation of affordable housing with retaining talent within the region.Skills remain at the core of the future of work in UAEThere is a growing understanding of the importance of skills in the UAE labor market, with more professionals highlighting their skills instead of degrees when looking for a new job (83%).Professionals are notably focused on upskilling, as 76% of them said that they would take on more stretch projects at work to diversify their skills, and spend more time than usual doing online courses to boost their career progression (72%).Following the last few years of uncertainty in the workplace, 84% of UAE professionals are keen to future-proof their careers by focusing on skilling.KSA professionals are confident about their careers in 202479% of KSA professionals state confidence about interviewing for a new role, and 78% feel confident about searching for a new job. This confidence stems from a significant number of them (77%) believing that their job prospects in 2024 are better than last year.More KSA women are pursuing career moves in 2024 (61%) than men (57%), citing a desire for better pay (39%) and better work-life balance (34%) as opposed to men (30%). Women in KSA state satisfaction in their current job as the main reason for not wanting to look for a new one (57%), while men said that their main reason is good salary and benefits (52%).Ali Matar, EMEA Growth Markets Leader and Head of LinkedIn MENA, says: “In 2024, we are seeing UAE and KSA professionals taking agency and moving to the driver's seat when it comes to their careers. This will give rise to a more competitive job market, so standing out from other candidates will be more important than ever. Fortunately, we do see an appetite amongst professionals in our region to upskill and invest in building their personal profiles on LinkedIn. Highlighting how one’s skills are relevant to the job they want and staying on top of industry trends will also improve chances of finding the right opportunity.”LinkedIn has also unlocked free LinkedIn Learning Courses such as A Career Strategist's Guide to Getting a Job; Navigating Your Career Through Restructuring, Layoffs, and Furloughs and Recession-Proof Career Strategies to help professionals. These courses are available from 17 Jan 2024 until 1 July 2024.Jobs on the Rise - the fastest-growing roles and trends defining the future of workToday we also unveil our annual Jobs on the Rise lists in the UAE and in KSA, featuring the 15 fastest-growing jobs over the past five years and the trends defining the future of work.Whether it’s the rise in finance and tech roles or new opportunities in healthcare, the rankings shed light on where the workforce is heading and the skills needed to get ahead. No matter what stage of your career you’re in, these lists can give you actionable insights to help you future-proof your career and prepare for the jobs of the future.Appendix: LinkedIn’s Jobs On The Rise and Top Skills List in the UAEReal Estate Consultant: Residential real estate, real property, investment propertiesPartnerships Specialist: Strategic partnerships, business development, digital marketingMortgage Advisor: Mortgage lending, residential mortgages, bankingPrivate Client Advisor: Retail banking, credit, financial advisoryGrowth Manager: Growth strategies, growth hacking, search engine optimization (SEO)BIM Architect: Navisworks, Revit, architectural drawingsSales Development Representative: Cold calling, lead generation, business-to-business (B2B)Banking Officer: Retail banking, investment banking, commercial bankingBack End Developer: REST APIs, back-end web development, microservicesFront End Developer: React.js, Redux.js, React NativeTax Associate: Tax advisory, value-added tax (VAT), corporate taxFinancial Auditor: International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), auditing, financial audits3D Artist: 3D modeling, Autodesk 3ds Max, texture mappingChief Marketing Officer: Digital marketing, marketing strategy, social media marketingProduct Designer: Wireframing, Interaction design, prototypingLinkedIn’s Jobs On The Rise and Top Skills List in the KSAPatient Care Technician: Patient safety, nursing, healthcareInformation System Analyst: Systems analysis, information technology, business analysisBIM Coordinator: Navisworks, Revit, SynchroHealth and Safety Manager: NEBOSH, health, safety and environment (HSE) management systems, incident investigationHuman Resources Operations Specialist: HR policies, HR management, HR operationsEnvironmental Specialist: Environmental impact assessment, environmental compliance, environmental management systemsPartnerships Specialist:  Strategic partnerships, partner relationship management, business developmentProject Management Specialist: Project management office (PMO), project planning, project coordinationLegal Specialist: Legal writing, legal research, legal assistanceContent Creator: Creative content creation, video editing, social media marketingInterface Specialist: User interface design, user experience design (UED), user experience (UX)Talent Acquisition Specialist: recruiting, sourcing, talent managementCommercial Manager: Commercial management, contract negotiation, contract managementCompliance Specialist: Regulatory compliance, anti-money laundering, compliance managementProcurement Contract Specialist:  Contract management, contract negotiation, procurement contractsMethodologyThe research was conducted by Censuswide, among a sample of 16288 White collar professionals in full time or part time employment (Excluding business owners and manual unskilled workers) across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, India, Singapore, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil and the US. The data was collected between 24.11.2023 - 15.12.2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR.

Revolutionizing retail: The silent rise of AI in e-commerce

In the bustling markets of the Middle East, a silent revolution is underway that is reshaping the landscape of retail - the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the operations of e-commerce platforms. As the region experiences a digital transformation, businesses are leveraging cutting-edge technologies to enhance customer experiences, optimize operations, and stay ahead in the highly competitive e-commerce space.Advanced algorithms, machine learning, and AI-driven innovations converge with the rich tapestry of Middle Eastern commerce. AI is becoming an integral part of the e-commerce ecosystem, offering a glimpse into the future of retail in the region.AI is not just a tool but a transformative force. E-commerce giants are employing AI to tailor personalized shopping experiences, predict consumer preferences, and create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with diverse and dynamic consumer bases.Customer experienceTake the case of Kibsons, which provides fresh fruit and vegetablesin the UAE. The company has internal algorithms that have been cleverly designed to follow the learnings of our past experiences and mimic the decision-making choices of senior minds to automate our local procurement process, says Halima Jumani, CEO of Kibsons.E-commerce platforms currently leverage AI for various operations, including personalized recommendations, demand forecasting, fraud detection, and chatbots for customer support, says Ahmed Elgebaly, Regional Head of MENA, Globale Media.<img src='\94fe07f639edc89580cf648941ae8907.png' class='content_image'>He provides a detailed breakdown as follows:Personalised recommendations: AI algorithms analyze user behavior and preferences to provide personalized product recommendations, improving the overall shopping experience.Predictive analytics: E-commerce platforms use AI for demand forecasting, inventory management, and pricing optimization, helping to minimize stockouts and overstock situations.Fraud detection: AI algorithms analyze transaction patterns to identify and prevent fraudulent activities, ensuring secure online transactions.Image recognition: Visual search and image recognition technologies allow users to search for products using images, making the search process more intuitive.Customer service automation: AI helps automate customer service tasks through chatbots and virtual assistants, handling routine queries and improving response times.Supply chain optimization: AI is employed to enhance the efficiency of supply chain processes, from logistics and transportation to warehouse management.Behavioral analytics: E-commerce platforms analyze user behaviour through AI to gain insights into shopping patterns, helping them refine marketing strategies and enhance user.<img src='\81c0d7f069a20d2bae66972543c3744c.png' class='content_image'>E-commerce platforms have embraced AI in a number of ways, observes Lisa Lee, Vice President and Head of Business Development, Perfect Corp.According to her, AI solutions have simplified the process for customers to discover desired products, while also facilitating brands in effectively meeting their requirements.“One fundamental aspect of the AI revolution in e-commerce is the use of AI-powered personalised shopping experiences. One such example is our Virtual Try-On technology. This tool utilizes augmented reality to allow customers to virtually test beauty products with incredible accuracy, easing online purchasing hesitations. The technology also uses AI to determine information about users’ specific facial features and skin tone, generating personalized makeup recommendations based on their unique facial features.The AI-driven Skin Analysis and Product Recommendation tool also enhances personalization by recommending tailored skincare solutions based on individual needs and preferences by detecting the unique skincare concerns of the user’s skin,” says Lee.She adds that these AI solutions redefine beauty e-commerce, creating a harmonious blend of personalized experiences and streamlined operations for both consumers and retailers.On the motivation behind the adoption of AI in its e-commerce processes, Halima Jumani said: “The challenge is to control our costs and remain competitive on prices. The fresh produce industry is price-sensitive and prone to high food wastage. Internally designed generative AI model based on data patterns and machine learning techniques help us control our wastages much lower than industry averages.”AI enhances customer experience by analyzing user behaviour to offer personalised product recommendations, providing chatbot and virtual assistance for quick customer queries, and optimizing search algorithms for better results, says Ahmed Elgebaly.He adds that e-commerce platforms use AI to adjust prices dynamically based on various factors such as demand, competition, and customer behavior, optimizing revenue.Lisa Lee observes that the adoption of AI in e-commerce is motivated by various factors. First and foremost, she adds, it aims to improve customer engagement and satisfaction by tailoring product recommendations to individual preferences.“It also provides a competitive edge by offering superior customer service and more targeted products. Brands that have adopted AI-powered virtual try-on solutions have seen impressive benefits. In some cases even marking over 300% increases in conversions and site dwell times,” she adds.Halima Jumani says that Kibsons uses smart competitor price analysis to be able to give its customers guaranteed low prices on our platform.Customer experienceAI plays a pivotal role in elevating the customer experience on e-commerce platforms, says Lisa Lee. Personalized product recommendations make the shopping experience more enjoyable and efficient."AI-powered Virtual Try-On allows customers to preview products virtually, overcoming the limitations of online shopping while AI-driven Skin Analysis tailors product recommendations, creating a personalized skincare journey. Perfect Corp.’s AI Skin Analysis for instance, analyzes up to 14 distinct types of skin concerns, and is able to realistically simulate improvement of 9 these issues with AR technology.We also recently partnered with Unilever to create a try-on experience for their Tresseme brand. The experience used AI-Generated Content to allow users to try on a range of different highly-realistic hairstyles before committing to a specific look. This level of personalization enhances customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall shopping experience by giving customers a unique tailored experience.Supply ChainAI plays a key role in revolutionizing supply chain management and inventory forecasting. AI transforms the landscape, ensuring efficiency and accuracy for e-commerce platforms.Halima Jumani says that 80% of their locally sourced SKUs are fulfilled by system-generated purchase orders.“This reduces considerable time spent on demand planning/ forecasting. In the fresh produce industry, excess ordering can result in wastages and conservative ordering can result in unfulfilled customer service in the form of undelivered items to customers. Our internal algorithms developed over months of planning and research help us find the right balance between food wastages and fulfillment shortages. At the same time, our inventory cycles are also carefully optimized as part of the algorithm set up, thereby reducing stock holding costs and supply chain management,” she adds.According to Ahmed Elgebaly, AI contributes to supply chain management by optimizing routes, predicting demand, and automating inventory management, leading to more efficient operations and reduced costs.“AI algorithms analyze historical sales data, market trends, and external factors to predict future demand more accurately. This helps in optimizing inventory levels and reducing the risk of overstock or stockouts. AI-driven models continuously assess inventory levels, reorder points, and lead times, enabling more efficient stock management. This prevents excess inventory and minimizes holding costs,” he adds.ChallengesWhat challenges or obstacles do e-commerce platforms face when integrating AI into their e-commerce business, and how do they address them?Ahmed Elgebaly says that challenges in integrating AI include data quality issues, resistance to change, and the need for skilled professionals.Data quality and accessibility: AI models require large amounts of high-quality data, and ensuring data accessibility and quality can be challenging. E-commerce platforms invest in data management practices, and data cleansing, and may use data augmentation techniques to enhance data quality. They also employ data governance frameworks to ensure compliance and security.Costs and ROI concerns: Implementing AI involves upfront costs, and measuring the return on investment (ROI) can be challenging.Talent and skill gaps: There is a shortage of skilled professionals with expertise in both AI and e-commerce.Ethical and privacy concerns: AI applications may raise ethical and privacy concerns, especially when dealing with customer data.Constant technological evolution: AI technologies are continually evolving, and keeping up with the latest advancements can be a challenge.Integrating AI into e-commerce has traditionally come with its set of challenges, says Lisa Lee. These included high initial development costs, aligning AI with specific business objectives, and navigating regulatory compliance.Nowadays, she adds, the bar to entry is much lower.“Perfect Corp. has broken down down many of the barriers by offering cost-effective solutions that are simple to use and easy to integrate. The AI algorithm has been put to the test in many commercial scenarios, is trusted, and has delivered results for many large global brands,” she adds.For Halima Jumani, the fresh grocery shopping patterns are complex and different to other household products in the market. For example, she adds, AI could possibly suggest a tennis ball to be bought along with a tennis racket, but we cannot presume onions will always be purchased along with potatoes.“Household fresh grocery shopping patterns are different from each other and even different from their own shopping patterns each week. For example, family members may be travelling or have preferred diet plans each week. Having said this, our internal AI team is working on data insights to understand shopping patterns, consumer profiles, frequently purchased items or weekly items missed,” she adds.<img src='\22cc6a09bd427cf45464a83f549bfed9.png' class='content_image'>Data privacyData privacy and security are crucial in e-commerce. E-commerce platforms need to ensure the protection of customer data in AI-driven processes.Data Privacy is crucial and of utmost importance at Kibsons, says Halima Jumani.“As a family business, we respect that consumer details must not be shared with any third-party service providers, and therefore we are focusing on building our own inhouse machine learning techniques,” concludes Halima.E-commerce platforms prioritize data privacy and security by implementing data encryption, access controls, and regular audits, says Ahmed Elgebaly.“Platforms use encryption techniques to secure customer data both during transmission and when stored. This helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. Strict access controls are implemented to limit access to customer data only to authorized personnel. This includes role-based access, ensuring that employees have access only to the data necessary for their responsibilities. Platforms adhere to data protection regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, or others applicable in their region. Compliance ensures that customer data is handled responsibly and by legal requirements,” he adds. Our approach to solving this problem was to develop our AI solutions as edge solutions, statesLisa Lee. This means that zero data transmission from users’ devices to the networks is required."All user data remains on the user's personal device throughout the entire experience, virtually eliminating any security issues and concerns. For a small fraction of our solutions that can’t be fully implemented as edge solutions, we ensure the full stack is in compliance / certified with GDPR, ISO27001, HIPPA standards," she concludes.Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Saudi online cosmetics retailer Nice One explores stock exchange listing

Nice One, the online cosmetics retailer based in Saudi Arabia, is considering a listing on the local stock exchange, according to sources informed by Bloomberg.The company has requested proposals from banks regarding potential participation in the initial public offering (IPO), though specific details on the IPO's size and timing are yet to be determined, as discussions are still ongoing.Established in 2016, Nice One is part of the growing landscape of technology startups in the Middle East exploring the possibility of IPOs.In a related development, Bloomberg had previously reported in November that Floward, an online business specializing in flower and gift deliveries, was collaborating with banks for a potential listing later in the year.Image (by Katrina_S from Pixabay) for representation purpose only.

Advanced Media wraps CINETomorrow

Advanced Media Trading returned with CINETomorrow, another edition of its digital cinema community event, in January 2024. CINETomorrow served as an interactive intersection of digital cinema, virtual production and sustainability in media and entertainment.The three-day open house from January 11-13 was held at Advanced Media’s Dubai headquarter on Sheikh Zayed Road and welcomed up to 200 filmmakers, visionaries, students, and industry experts everyday who were interested in the tomorrow of the industry. This year Advanced Media welcomed guests from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Algeria, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Kenya, Oman, and Lebanon who had flown in exclusively for the event. Kaveh Farnam, renowned producer and chairperson of Advanced Media commented that “CINETomorrow is an avenue that allows our enthusiastic guests to discover the latest advancements in digital cinema and to learn about sustainability for the first time and adopt green practices such as relying on cutting-edge cloud technology and virtual production.”Advanced Media’s showroom had been converted to accommodate three different sets aptly named “nation”, “nature” and “knowledge” to showcase the range and capabilities of digital cinema equipment in outdoor, indoor, and virtual production settings and compliment the workshops. The sets were intentionally designed to first and foremost pay homage to the rich culture and history of the UAE, and how the exemplary leadership envision the future. “Our commitment to sustainability and community are one of the main reasons that we have set ourselves apart in the industry. Knowledge, education, and development are the cornerstones of Advanced Media’s mission statement. So we really wanted to create environmental awareness throughout the event including the workshops,” remarked Parnian Farnam, Head of CSR at Advanced Media.CINETomorrow included nine workshops of 90 minutes each and broken down into three main themes: “Light, Sound, Action!,” “Behind the Scenes,” and “Future of Cinema.” The free-to-attend workshops attracted up to 65 attendees each. On the first day, Simon Battensby conducted a “Lighting for Drama” workshop followed by “Microphone Selection for Different Film Genres” powered by Sennheiser’s Ryan Burr and sound specialist Simon Charles and culminated with the launch of Sony Burano and “Changing the Way You Shoot Cinema” with Tim Fare-Matthews.Day two covered the crucial steps behind the scenes of a production which had masterfully been curated by Mark ‘Hobz’ Hobson and Mostafa Salah in three workshops. In this series, attendees experienced Red Cameras in action and learnt hands- on about choosing the right optics for a shoot that was later edited in the “Workflow and Post” workshop. Finally, day three focused on how environmental concerns have shifted productions from physical to digital with cloud technology and virtual production. Filipe Pereira, a dynamic figure in the cinema and sustainability scene, dissected the core departments of the industry, evaluated their environmental footprints, and ended by offering solutions that were highlighted by M&E technology expert Iain Churchill-Coleman in workshop powered by Editshare to “Master Remote Production for Video Editors,” and Simon Battensby who emphasized the importance of lighting a virtual production set properly to achieve a convincing final image. While the community event is always brand-agnostic, there were representations from well-known brands such as Sony, DJI, RED, Zeiss, Atomos, and Cooke, and exceptional products were highlighted such Sony Burano, RED Komodo-X, Cooke SP3, Astera LEO and Aputure Electro Storm. “Every event that we do is in service to the brands that we represent and the clients we cater to. We take pride in our ability to bring them all together in our premises,” concluded Alaa Al Rantisi, co-founder of Advanced Media.Advanced Media regularly hosts training workshops and product launches across the UAE and in its regional offices in Riyadh and Cairo. The next CINE event would be in March 2026.

Joyce Hallak joins Publicis Media as Chief Strategy Officer

Joyce Hallak has been appointed as the Chief Strategy Officer of Publicis Media for the Middle East. This newly established role is in line with Publicis Groupe's commitment to enhancing its media capabilities in the region. Hallak's appointment is a crucial addition to the recently formed executive leadership team at Publicis Media ME and is expected to play a vital role in strengthening the strategic direction of the group's media operations.Joyce Hallak has a longstanding history with Publicis Groupe Middle East, spanning 16 years. She initially joined as Media Director at Starcom Lebanon in 2007 and has since held various roles, including Client Managing Director for Mondelez EMEA. In this role, she oversaw 20 markets and drove digital transformation, earning the team accolades at industry events such as MENA Effies, Cristals, and Dubai Lynx.In 2016, Hallak was promoted to Head of Starcom for Levant, where she led all local operations. Her extensive experience includes handling key brands like Cadbury, Oreo, and Trident for Mondelez, as well as delivering value for multinational clients such as Samsung, Heineken, and Visa across multiple markets.Bassel Kakish, CEO of Publicis Groupe Middle East and Turkey, expressed enthusiasm about Hallak's expanded role, highlighting her strategic prowess and leadership qualities. He emphasized her importance in advancing Publicis Media ME's transformation and contributing to the overall strategic agenda for the region.Tony Wazen, CEO of Publicis Media ME, underscored the increasing demand for innovative solutions from clients and expressed confidence in Hallak's ability to contribute to meeting and surpassing those expectations. As Chief Strategy Officer, Hallak will play a pivotal role in crafting solutions for client business challenges, setting standards for the media strategic product, identifying new business opportunities, and aligning client needs with successful strategies.In her new position, Joyce Hallak expressed her excitement to be part of the Publicis Media team and emphasized the unique opportunity to navigate the evolving landscape of how brands connect with consumers. She highlighted the 'Power of One' proposition, emphasizing the integration of media, creative excellence, and performance solutions to deliver tangible business impact for clients.

Conrad Dubai appoints MEPRA’s homegrown agency of the year Brazen MENA

Conrad Dubai Hotel, located in the centre of Downtown just off Sheikh Zayed Road, has appointed Brazen MENA to handle communications across its portfolio of in-house facilities and food & beverage outlets.Following a competitive pitch, Brazen MENA has been chosen by Conrad Dubai as partners for all press and media needs. As eight-times winner of the MEPRA and PRCA Small Agency of the Year, and the 2023 winner of the MEPRA Home-Grown Agency of The Year, Brazen MENA has been appointed to increase awareness of the Conrad Dubai brand as a whole, firmly establishing its existing F&B outlets, MICE facilities, rooms and wellness facilities on the Dubai scene.A leading hotel, Conrad Dubai, prides itself on its ability to suit the modern travellers’ needs, be they families, couples or solo business travellers. With sustainability at its heart, the hotel is passionate about being an eco-conscious market leader. With initiatives such as ‘Green Ramadan’ the hydroponic farm and food waste reduction, Brazen MENA’s objective is to work with Conrad Dubai, to increase awareness of these causes.In addition, the agency will manage all media and influencer communications, including F&B outlets; Anasa, Kimpo, Bliss 6 and more. Brazen MENA will also look to increase awareness of the property’s room offering and residences, the unrivalled urban pool deck and the state-of-the-art, versatile event spaces and packages that are available for both personal and business needs.Michael Schmitt, General Manager of The Conrad Dubai comments: “We have had Brazen MENA on our radar for quite some time given their excellent reputation within the region. Not only did they present a compelling pitch, but their dedication and passion was more than apparent from the first moment we met and we are absolutely delighted to be working with them as our communications partners”.Louise Jacobson, Managing Partner of Brazen MENA added: “We are absolutely thrilled to be handling the communications for Conrad Dubai. This partnership with the bustling Dubai city-centre hotel only serves to strengthen our authority as communication leaders across the hospitality and luxury scene. We very much look forward to generating fantastic results using our signature approach – creative intelligence.”

Jacky's Brand Shop unveils website revamp for enhanced customer experience

Jacky's Retail, a premier electronics retailer in the UAE, has announced the launch of its newly revamped website, This significant upgrade is set to revolutionize the online shopping experience for its customers, offering faster navigation, improved features, and a seamless user experience.Enhanced E-Commerce Platform for Superior Shopping ExperienceUnderstanding the evolving needs of our customers, Jacky's Brand Shop has invested in an extensive website overhaul. The new site boasts cutting-edge technology, ensuring a swift and more responsive online shopping journey. This upgrade reflects our commitment to scaling up our e-commerce operations and accommodating a greater capacity, thus delivering a cohesive and smooth user experience.Galaxy Hand Raisers Campaign: An Exclusive Opportunity for Tech EnthusiastsIn celebration of the revamp, we are excited to introduce the 'Galaxy Hand Raisers' campaign, a unique initiative for Samsung enthusiasts. Customers who register their interest in the upcoming Galaxy device before the Galaxy Unpacked event on 17th January will enjoy exclusive benefits. Participants in this campaign will receive a complimentary 2-Year Samsung Care+ and 1-Year Entertainer on their pre-orders.To be part of this exciting offer, customers can register at This campaign is a testament to Jacky's Brand Shop's commitment to delivering not just quality products but also exceptional value to our customers.A Future-Ready Platform for the Digital-Savvy Shopper “We are incredibly excited about the launch of our revamped website, which marks a significant milestone in our journey towards providing an unrivalled online shopping experience," said Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer of Jacky's Retail. "This upgrade is more than just a facelift; it's a complete overhaul designed to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers. With faster performance, enhanced features, and a user-friendly interface, we are setting a new standard in e-commerce efficiency. This is a testament to our commitment to not only meet but exceed customer expectations by offering exclusive benefits and a seamless shopping journey.”The revamped Jacky's Brand Shop website is more than just an e-commerce platform; it's a gateway to a future-ready shopping experience. We are dedicated to continuously enhancing our services and offerings, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of the digital retail landscape.

Cartoon Network ME partners with UNICEF for anti-bullying initiative

Cartoon Network Middle East has collaborated with UNICEF’s Regional Office in the Middle East and North Africa to produce and promote content to raise awareness on the topic of bullying; as part of Cartoon Network’s EMEA-wide anti-bullying initiative, CN Buddy Network.CN Buddy Network rolled out in the Middle East region in 2019, focusing on educating children and parents about the effects of bullying, both in the online and physical world. The initiative provides practical ways to counter bullying, emphasising the importance of friendship and kindness and encouraging children aged 5 to 12 to ‘Be a buddy, not a bully.’Mohamed Sheiha, Head of Marketing, Digital & Communications, WarnerMedia MENAT, said: “No child should have to endure bullying. Cartoon Network’s CN Buddy Network aims to raise awareness of bullying and to promote friendship and kindness. It is a priority for us to address this issue in a way that is positive, supportive, and relevant to kids. We are thrilled to be partnering with UNICEF MENA in our efforts to raise awareness of the issue in the Middle East.”Juliette Touma, Regional Chief of Advocacy and Communications at UNICEF Middle East & North Africa, said: “Bullying can have harmful and long-lasting consequences on children, affecting their emotional and mental wellbeing. We are happy to cooperate with Cartoon Network Middle East on CN Buddy Network campaign – a key initiative to protect children from the scourge of bullying.“Working in close collaboration with UNICEF and drawing on the global organisation’s expertise, Cartoon Network Middle East will air a series of programmes to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week, which runs from 15-21 November, as a central part of its CN Buddy Network campaign. The network will release a new piece of content every day, including a song-and-music video with Kuwaiti star Humood Alkhudher, a rap track from Cartoon Network’s Laith the King characters, as well as a series of awareness videos.The CN Buddy Network campaign uses TV content, events, and digital and social outreach to spread its anti-bullying message.

TBWA\RAAD appoints Dan Leach as Managing Director for Saudi Arabia

TBWA\RAAD has announced the appointment of Dan Leach as the new Managing Director for its operations in Saudi Arabia. Currently serving as the Managing Director for Growth in Dubai, Leach's appointment to head TBWA\RAAD’s operations in the Kingdom strengthens the agency's presence in the country and continues its commitment to sustained growth and investment in the Middle East.The appointment aligns with TBWA\RAAD's growth strategy and follows the recent establishment of the agency’s new office in Saudi Arabia. The expansion enhances the agency's presence in the Kingdom, where it has been operating for over two decades, playing an instrumental role in supporting renowned brands such as Al Ula, Nissan, KFC, and NEOM.In his new role, Dan Leach, brings a wealth of experience and proven leadership, and aims to continue TBWA\RAAD’s legacy of delivering disruptive creative work for brands in Saudi Arabia.Reda Raad, Group CEO at TBWA\RAAD, highlighted the significance of this move, stating, "Dan’s appointment marks a pivotal moment in our ongoing commitment to shaping the advertising landscape in the Middle East. As we expand our footprint, TBWA\RAAD remains unwavering in our dedication to excellence and disruption. Dan's track record positions him as the ideal leader to oversee our operations in Riyadh and across the Kingdom, solidifying our impact there."Commenting on his appointment, Dan Leach said: “Saudi Arabia stands as the epicenter of opportunity and ambition in the Middle East, with projects emerging from the Kingdom resonating on the global stage. I look forward to continuing TBWA\RAAD’s growth in Saudi, further establishing our presence, and harnessing the best local talent to craft world-class disruptive work for global, regional, and local brands."

Investment Corporation of Dubai reveals new visual identity

 Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai, has revealed a rebrand of its visual identity incorporating a new logo.Going forward, the Corporation will be known by its acronym ‘ICD’, with its visual identity reflecting its dynamism and evergreen commitment to the pursuit of growth, development, and excellence. The change further signals ICD’s preparedness to adapt to the ever evolving global investment landscape.Utilising the best practices in design, the new sleek and bold brand mark takes on a fresh aesthetic, positively reflecting the corporation and its mission, while remaining instantly recognisable.H.E. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Managing Director of ICD, said: “As we continue to evolve and grow, our new identity will reflect the spirit and mindset with which we exist in the world today. We lean on our past, as we embrace the future”. He added, “ICD will continue to build on its successes, embracing a forward and future-focused outlook as it strives to maximise value for the long-term benefit of the Emirate of Dubai.”The rebrand coincides with ICD’s move to its new headquarters in Dubai’s newest, record-breaking architectural landmark, One Za’abeel, developed and owned by ICD.

Spinneys announces five UAE business incubator winners

Spinneys, one of the UAE’s leading fresh food retailers, has announced the winners of the fourth edition of the Spinneys Local Business Incubator. The Incubator program was launched in 2020 and directly supports the UAE's vision of becoming an attractive incubator for entrepreneurs as part of its “We the UAE 2031” strategy. The Spinneys Local Business Incubator has played a vital role in fostering entrepreneurial success in the UAE. In its previous three editions, 30 brands have successfully launched in Spinneys stores. A number of these have since expanded to international markets, bolstering the credentials of the UAE's entrepreneurial landscape. Following participation in the program, Naksha Collections launched gourmet meal kits in top-tier UK retailers including Selfridges, Harrods and Whole Foods Market, while BRW Society, a local tea brand, successfully entered the Saudi market, securing space in Panda and Carrefour outlets and forming key partnerships with renowned regional hotel chains.Sunil Kumar, Chief Executive Officer at Spinneys, commented: “Spinneys continues to foster an environment where homegrown businesses can thrive and expand at home and beyond borders. This year, once again, our Incubator Program attracted significant interest, drawing in a remarkable 73 entries, showcasing the creativity that is shaping the future landscape of the UAE's consumer sector. Our winners demonstrated innovation across a range of product types, from personal care to desserts, fragrances, homeware and hot sauces – and now they will bring their unique products to our stores.”The winners of the Fourth Edition of the Spinneys Local Business Incubator are:<img src='\14eb5bd9a4d93176a6228dc25329a53f.png' class='content_image'>Kumar continued: “The historic success of the Incubator program reflects the resilience and ingenuity of UAE entrepreneurship. These pioneering brands, committed to quality, innovation and community align seamlessly with Spinneys' own philosophy. Each winning brand brings a unique perspective that resonates with today's consumers, promising an exciting addition to our increasingly diverse product range. From strategic mentorship to market presence, Spinneys pledges unwavering support to its incubator winners, enabling high-potential businesses to flourish. We look forward to continuing to support these ventures and wish them every future success.”Backed by government support and visionary leadership, the UAE’s startup ecosystem offers an increasingly attractive environment for entrepreneurs. In support of the startup community, Spinneys takes an active role in fostering entrepreneurial success. The Company will be showcasing the products of the Incubator winners on shelves across 69 Spinneys and Waitrose stores in the UAE, offering a direct pathway to wider consumer reach. Spinneys also pledges ongoing guidance, market presence, and strategic mentorship to empower the winning brands.With a commitment to fostering their growth, Spinneys assists with providing entrepreneurs with the resources and backing necessary to flourish in a competitive market. For example, winners will have all fees related to shelf placement in Spinneys and Waitrose stores in the UAE waived. These are typically borne by entrepreneurs seeking shelf space for their products. Additionally, they benefit from preferential payment terms, helping to support reliable cash flow crucial for growth and expansion. Winners will benefit from tailored coaching sessions, access to Spinneys' marketplaces, and opportunities for featured placements, all aimed at maximizing their commercial potential.

Sumsub joins the MENA Fintech Association

Sumsub, a global full-cycle verification platform, has joined the MENA FinTech Association (MFTA) to drive business growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), raise identity fraud awareness, and foster innovation in the fintech sector. This partnership highlights Sumsub's commitment to establishing and strengthening key industry connections and contributing to the ever-evolving fintech landscape in the Middle East and African markets. Founded in 2018, the MENA Fintech Association is globally recognized as one of the top-4 fintech groups in the world, bringing together fintech companies, startups, investors, regulators, influencers and academia. It is the premier not-for-profit organisation dedicated to serving fintech startups and established players across the Middle East and Africa. The MFTA provides numerous opportunities as a fintech hub that connects different stakeholders from the industry and creates space for growth, innovation and inclusivity. This presents Sumsub experts a generous choice of engaging with top fintech professionals, exploring potential partnerships in the fintech network and sharing verification expertise within the community.In December, Sumsub was announced winner in the RegTech of the Year category of the 2023 MENA FinTech Awards. As an MFTA member, Sumsub aims to contribute to the regional fintech ecosystem by providing insights into anti-fraud measures, compliance with the shifting regulatory requirements, and expertise in KYC, KYB and transaction monitoring for fintechs. This partnership will enhance the development of the entire fintech community, driving more innovative solutions and projects in the MENA region. Furthermore, Sumsub will lead conversations within the policy and regulations working group, collaborating with industry peers to host panel discussions, workshops, and reports with the aim of advancing the industry.Nameer Khan, Chairman of the MENA Fintech Association and Founder of FILS, commented: "We are pleased to welcome Sumsub to the MENA Fintech Association. Their expertise in KYC, KYB, and transaction monitoring will be invaluable in our efforts to strengthen the fintech ecosystem in the MENA region.Sumsub's commitment to sharing insights and actively participating in policy discussions aligns with our mission to foster collaboration and innovation. We look forward to their contributions to the MFTA family and the Policy and Regulations Working Group and believe that together, we can create a more secure and compliant environment for fintech to thrive in the Middle East and Africa."Andrew Sever, co-founder and CEO of Sumsub, added, "For Sumsub, partnering with the MENA Fintech Association marks a new level of presence in the region.We believe that our expertise and years of experience in the verification, anti-fraud, and compliance sector will be valued by other MFTA members. Together with this extraordinary community, we aim to build a safer digital environment based on top-notch technologies tailored for the fintech industry."

GP Inc launches digital media agency Thirty31North

Dubai-based marketing services group GP Inc has recently launched Thirty31North, a digital media agency poised to specialize in performance media solutions. Led by CEO Rahul Kantharia, backed by Practice Head Samir Pancha, the agency aims to navigate the post-COVID era, emphasizing the shift towards omni-channel consumer behavior.Rahul Kantharia, with over 20 years of industry experience, highlights the agency's strategic focus on the bottom of the marketing funnel, ensuring measurable outcomes in sales, qualified leads, app downloads, or return on advertising spend (ROAS). Samir Pancha, also an industry veteran with over fifteen years in digital marketing, brings diverse expertise to the agency.Chairman and CEO of GP Inc, Rahul Nagpal, views performance marketing as the key to adapting to evolving consumer behavior. With Thirty31North's addition, GP Inc consolidates a comprehensive digital marketing ecosystem, integrating creativity from Tuesday, technology from Mobiiworld, and CRM solutions from Steroid. This holistic approach aims to address the challenges of the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.Thirty31North joins existing GP Inc verticals, including Tuesday Communications for creative content, Mobiiworld for technology, and Steroid for data analytics and CRM. Established last year by ex-WPP veterans, GP Inc positions itself to provide a complete suite of services to clients in the dynamic digital marketing landscape.

Ogilvy veteran Joe Lipscombe bids farewell after nearly a decade

Joe Lipscombe, Executive Strategy and Creative Director of Ogilvy, has announced his departure from the agency after nearly 10 years. He made this announcement through a LinkedIn post, expressing gratitude for his time at Ogilvy and acknowledging the transformative impact it had on both his professional and personal life. He also mentioned meeting his wife during his tenure at the agency.In his post, Joe thanked specific individuals for their support and mentorship. He writes: “I’ll be brief, but it’s important to recognize some incredible people.Thank you Sami Moutran and Saada Hammad, who took a big risk on a young journalist a long time ago. Thank you both for pushing others forward, putting your trust in people, and relentlessly searching for excellence.“And thank you Ashraf Shakah, my partner, leader, friend, and mentor. A planet of knowledge, a man of great taste (for the most part), and someone who will move mountains to get the best work and people seen. The business is secure in your hands.” Joe also extended his thanks to others, including Patou Nuytemans, David Fox, Samer ABBOUD, and Joanna Oosthuizen, expressing his indebtedness for their guidance, partnership, friendship, and wisdom. The post suggests a strong sense of camaraderie and collaboration during his time at Ogilvy.While Joe didn't provide extensive details about his departure, his post reflects on the positive experiences, professional growth, and relationships he cultivated during his tenure at Ogilvy.

Aramco and etisalat by e& lead the way for Middle Eastern brands in global rank

etisalat by e&, e&’s telecoms brand, is strongest Middle Eastern and African brand, and strongest telecoms brand in the worldBanking brands QNB and Al-Rajhi Bank see strong brand value growth Apple achieves remarkable 74% growth in brand value, reclaiming its title as the world’s most valuable brand by huge marginArtificial Intelligence sector booms as NVIDIA becomes world’s fastest growing brand Tesla drops out of top 10, falling to 18th placeAramco retains status as most valuable Middle Eastern brand in global ranking, followed by ADNOC and stcAramco's brand value has witnessed a slight decrease to USD41.6 billion in 2024.While largely influenced by revenue changes, this decrease is also associated with a dip in perceived quality and reliability. That said, Aramco remains the most valuable Middle Eastern brand by a significant margin. Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes over 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 500 most valuable and strongest global brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Global 500 2024 ranking.ADNOC, the second most valuable Middle Eastern brand, has grown its brand value by 7% to USD15.2 billion, driven by a 1-point improvement in its BSI to 80. It is also now an AAA- rated brand. ADNOC recently made a strategic investment in Storegga, a company that focuses on the development of global carbon capture and storage projects. ADNOC's brand strength has also improved due to its commitment to decarbonisation; it is one of 50 founding signatories of the Oil and Gas Decarbonisation Charter (OGDC) that is a global commitment to speed up climate action across the industry, launched at COP28.David Haigh, Chairman and CEO of Brand Finance, commented: “We are witnessing several brands from a wide array of sectors on the cusp of breaking into the top 500. The region is investing heavily in tangible and intangible away from the oil industry and as such many brands are making the step up from being strong regional players to becoming brands with global aspirations.”etisalat by e&, e&’s telecoms brand, is strongest Middle Eastern and African brand, and strongest telecoms brand in the worlde& group’s telecom vertical, etisalat by e&, has retained its position as strongest brand in the Middle East and Africa as well as the strongest telecom brand in the world, scoring 89.4 in the Brand Strength Index. The telecom operator has benefited from being part of a larger technology group, e&. This also means that e& has retained its ranking as the most valuable portfolio of TMT brands in the Middle East and Africa, with an increase of 15% on last year to a total brand value of USD17 billion. Key contributing factors include its ongoing Manchester City Football Club partnership, 5G network leadership, innovative customer experience initiatives, and participation in global events like the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi and breaks into top 150 brands globallystc (brand value up 12% to USD13.9 billion) has shown impressive growth and entered the top 150 within the Global 500 ranking this year. This achievement makes stc the first consumer brand in the Middle East to enter the 150 most valuable brands globally. stc has taken significant strides in its expansion strategy, integrating specialized subsidiaries in digital infrastructure, IoT, cloud computing, cybersecurity, business outsourcing, telecommunications, and fintech. stc’s acquisition of an interest in Telefonica, one the largest telecommunications companies in the world marks a key milestone in stc’s growth journey in 2024.Banking brands QNB and Al-Rajhi Bank see solid brand value and strength growthQNB, (brand value up 10% to USD8.4 billion) has increased its brand value and strength in this year’s ranking, maintaining its AAA rating. As the region’s largest financial institution, the brand’s growth success stems from a combination of robust financial performance, and a strong reputation amongst consumers both internationally and abroad. Al-Rajhi Bank, the region’s second strongest brand, has grown its brand value by 13% to USD6.4 billion. It also has a brand strength index of 85.07, along with a AAA rating. Brand Finance research found that customers were considering Al-Rajih more frequently and were more willing to pay higher prices for premium services from the bank.Apple achieves remarkable 74% growth in brand value, reclaiming its title as the world’s most valuable brand by huge marginApple has achieved exceptional brand value growth this year, increasing by USD219billion (74%) to USD517 billion, reclaiming its title as the world’s most valuable brand by a huge margin. Apple has achieved a remarkable brand value increase, even as iPhone volume share has largely plateaued, as its strategy of finding new markets, expanding its ecosystem, and encouraging upgrades to higher-value iPhones has been highly effective. Apple has maintained its position as the dominant player in the premium smartphone market, with 71% value share.Artificial Intelligence sector booms as NVIDIA becomes world’s fastest growing brandBrand Finance research found significant gain amongst brands that have heavily invested in AI, seeing NVIDIA (brand value up 163% to USD44.5 billion) become the world’s fastest-growing brand. A key supplier of chips in the AI space, NVIDIA is perceived as highly innovative while familiarity, consideration, and recommendation levels all increased year-on-year, according to Brand Finance research.Tesla drops out of top 10, falling to 18th placeTesla (brand value down 12% to USD58.3 billion) has dropped out of the top 10, falling to 18th place in the ranking. Tesla has been harmed by its large exposure to the Chinese EV market, and BYD (brand value up 20% to USD12.1 billion) has now overtaken Tesla to become the world’s largest EV maker. While Tesla’s brand strength remains high overall, rated AAA-, Brand Finance research shows a significant fall in reputation. Tesla’s close association with Elon Musk, a controversial leadership figure, creates added reputational risk for the brand.

Lulu Group unveils plans for India's largest shopping mall in Ahmedabad

Lulu Group, the UAE-based retailer, is set to embark on the construction of India's largest shopping mall in Ahmedabad, with an estimated cost of Rs 40 billion ($482.67 million). The commencement of construction is scheduled for this year, as reported by the Asian News International (ANI) news agency. Yusuff Ali MA, Chairman and Managing Director of Lulu Group International, announced the ambitious project at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in India.In September 2023, Yusuff Ali had revealed plans for two expansive shopping malls in India, located in Ahmedabad and Chennai. Expressing Lulu's expansion strategy, he mentioned the imminent opening of a shopping mall in Hyderabad by the end of the month, along with plans to establish additional malls and engage in food processing ventures in various states.Lulu Group already boasts malls in six Indian cities: Bengaluru, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Coimbatore. Beyond India, the company operates more than 250 hypermarkets and supermarkets across the GCC, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia, with a global annual turnover of $8 billion.

Omar Sultan Al Olama: AI is the engine for the future

His excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, emphasized that the rapid growth observed in the global generative artificial intelligence market reflects that AI is the driving force and the engine for the future. His excellency pointed out that the leadership of the United Arab Emirates has recognized for more than two decades the importance of adopting and developing the capabilities and solutions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, enhancing investment in the technology and artificial intelligence sector that reshapes various industries worldwide.This came during a session titled "Generative AI: Steam Engine of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” as part of the 54th World Economic Forum. The session included Omar Sultan Al Olama, Cristiano Amon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Qualcomm, Julie Sweet, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Accenture, Ireland; Member of Board of Trustee WEF andArvind Krishna, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IBM, USA; International Business Council. The session was moderated by Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist.Al Olama stated that global efforts' integration through providing effective platforms for international dialogue, such as the World Economic Forum, contributes to enhancing governments' readiness in future sectors and supports their efforts in developing solutions and tools to accelerate progress towards the future. Al Olama emphasized the importance of international cooperation in mapping current and future challenges and opportunities and laying the foundations to address them.The Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications stated that the UAE government seeks international collaboration and partnerships with technology companies worldwide to ensure the realization of positive returns and address the negatives of technology that may occur over time. Al Olama emphasized the UAE's commitment to creating an environment conducive to accelerating the adoption of generative artificial intelligence, recognizing its potential to contribute to the UAE’s ambitious goals and the positive opportunities it holds for large, small, and medium-sized enterprises.Al Olama added that the UAE possesses significant capabilities and resources by having over 200 nationalities, making it an ideal platform for developing global artificial intelligence applications in various fields such as healthcare and other sectors in need of development and improvement. Al Olama highlighted the UAE's digital infrastructure and flexible legislative frameworks, ensuring the mutual prosperity for the UAE and technological companies.Al Olama stated that, with the evolution of generative artificial intelligence, the importance of developing digital skills has increased, emphasizing the need to ensure the agility of talents to adapt to new technologies and keep pace with global changes. His Excellency further stated that the government has to closely explore new technologies, studying their challenges and potential opportunities rather than completely ignoring them. Al Olama said that the UAE has taken significant steps in the digital field by graduating over 400 participants from the AI Program in collaboration with Oxford University. The program aims to train government officials and decision-makers in digital skills, ethics, digital foundations, and artificial intelligence to enhance awareness in government entities and society, ensuring the comprehensive adoption of digital technologies across various entities.Al Olama mentioned also that the UAE celebrates the UAE Codes Day every year on October 29, with more than 100,000 community members participating in coding to promote digital awareness in society and encourage them to start their digital journey and excel in these future fields. His excellency also highlighted the success of the UAE in introducing artificial intelligence into educational curricula, teaching students programming methods, and the ethics of artificial intelligence.The session, held as part of the initiatives of the World Economic Forum's Artificial Intelligence Governance Alliance, focused on the evolution of generative artificial intelligence and the transformation of intelligent technology into one of the fastest and most impactful innovations in the Fourth Industrial Revolution across various sectors, from creativity to production and distribution. The session addressed the importance of developing digital skills in anticipating the future, the effects of generative artificial intelligence on global industry, the solutions for governments and leaders to manage its various challenges, and the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence solutions in improving production efficiency, industrial systems, and enhancing product quality.

BBC sells Elstree studio to French company

AXA Investment Managers, the investment arm of leading French insurance company AXA, will buy renowned Elstree studio complex from the BBC. The deal, valued at £70 million, is set to provide a significant financial boost to the BBC.Situated on a sprawling 16-acre site near Watford, north-west of London, the Elstree studio complex has been a hub for UK television and film production for over a century. The acquisition aligns with AXA's strategic focus on prime real estate investments, particularly in film and TV production spaces near major urban centers.As part of the agreement, the BBC will enter into a 25-year leaseback of a portion of the facilities, ensuring continuity in its operations and the continued filming of popular soap opera EastEnders at the Elstree location. The deal is expected to reach completion early next year.Alan Dickson, Chief Finance Officer at the BBC, stated that the sale of the Elstree Centre is part of an ongoing review of the BBC’s property portfolio to provide the best value for license fee payers." This move comes as the BBC faces financial challenges, having experienced a freeze in the license fee and the need to implement cost-saving measures.AXA Investment Managers, recognizing the potential of the Elstree studio complex, is finalizing plans to invest in expansion and additional support facilities. Despite industry-wide pressures on production budgets, AXA remains optimistic about the demand for reliable studio spaces.John O’Driscoll, Global Co-Head of Real Estate at AXA Investment Managers, said that this is possibly the most established studio location in the UK. "We like the idea of something that works, but also something that can be improved." The Elstree deal underscores the increasing investor interest in the UK's studio sector, which has become integral to the global film industry. With advanced film technology, a skilled workforce, and attractive tax incentives, the UK continues to attract major players in the entertainment industry.

Google lays off employees in ad sales team amid AI push

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking it toll. Alphabet-owned Google has announced the implementation of workforce reductions within its advertising sales team, as disclosed on Tuesday. The tech giant says it is embracing AI and automation to navigate the changing landscape, following industry trends. Hundreds of Google advertising sales team members are expected to experience job cuts.The layoffs follow a series of workforce adjustments within Google, including personnel reductions in hardware teams overseeing Pixel, Nest, Voice Assistant units, and Fitbit, as well as the AR team. Google emphasizes that its customer solutions unit will play a pivotal role in driving future growth. The announcement aligns with a broader industry trend, as companies across sectors increasingly turn to AI and automation to enhance productivity. Google's latest model, Gemini, showcases its commitment to staying ahead in the AI gold rush. disclosed last week its plans to undertake workforce reductions in its streaming and studio operations, along with 500 layoffs at its video streaming platform Twitch.

Emma Burdett: A catalyst for positive transformation with WILD

Adgully has always saluted and honoured women managers and leaders across diverse fields. W-SUITE is a special initiative from Adgully Middle East that has been turning the spotlight on some of the most remarkable women achievers in the M&E, advertising, marketing, PR and communications industry.Today, our guest is Emma Burdett, the Founder of WILD (Women in Leadership Deliver) network, a keynote speaker, moderator, executive coach and business mentor. Emma is an advocate for gender balance, diversity and inclusion. Adgully Middle East interviewed Emma Burdett to explore her dedication to challenging the status quo and championing change. The WILD movement, with its emphasis on gender equality, demonstrates Emma's advocacy for a more inclusive and balanced society. By addressing gender disparities and promoting equality, WILD aims to create a more just and equitable world for everyone. Emma's passion for change and her involvement in the WILD movement make her a trailblazer in the pursuit of a more equitable and empowered world. Let’s find out more...Kindly share your career and entrepreneurial journey so far?I moved to Dubai in January 2014, and have had a long career in the corporate sector. In 2016, I was headhunted into a corporate director role. The company asked me if I would like to start a women’s network as a CSR initiative. What started as four women and a sheet of paper, grew to 15 women, and I witnessed the power of women coming together. We were sharing knowledge and expertise, offering each other guidance and support, and ultimately, doing business together. Unfortunately, I encountered significant workplace challenges and lost my job. During this time, I rebuilt myself, took time out, and embarked on a spiritual journey. I wrote the concept of WILD from scratch after a mental breakdown. I knew I could create a women’s network as a business. WILD was nothing at the time. Just a lot of faith and a big dream. I launched WILD in July 2018, primarily doing events and building community.What inspired you to launch ‘WILD’ (Women in Leadership Deliver)? What do you aspire to achieve from it?Since its launch in 2018, WILD has become the fastest-growing women’s network in the Middle East. Throughout its six years, I have become a coach, and IINSEAD qualified in gender equality studies. Women’s networks are the key to gender equality. I saw a niche in the market for this platform for corporate women. WILD now offers a myriad of solutions for female leadership and for the women within the community, from consultancy to leadership training to memberships, coaching, and masterminds. In November 2022 we launched in Saudi Arabia as the first and only women’s network from outside the kingdom. This allows our members to connect across borders. The bold move has earned WILD a contract with the United Nations Global Compact Network, KSA to support the Kingdom with SDG5 gender equality. WILD is a movement I am proud to pioneer.What are your views on the development of women in the Middle Eastern countries? What are your hopes for the future?I feel the future is bright as the world wakes up to gender equality and the benefits it offers. While there is a long way to go, companies are beginning to strategize and invest in female talent. I have been mightily impressed by the talent and ambition I have seen in KSA. KSA Comprises of over 65% of Generation Z. This generation is radical, ethical, and rebellious, and desires to see diversity and inclusion. It is also important to mention that KSA is seeing the highest percentage of young females graduating in STEM more than anywhere else in the world. I hope we will see change when this generation moves up to leadership level.With the success of WILD this year, what are your hopes and aspirations in the coming years from it? What were the main takeaways for women in the WILD event?We plan to scale WILD across nine countries over the next few years. Countries such as Qatar, Jordan, and Oman; places that need and would benefit from having a platform such as WILD.I am always blown away by WILD events. I may be biased but they are amazing- Authentic, inspiring, and motivating. Every event is different. We are about the solution at WILD, not continually discussing the ‘problem’. One of the main reasons I created WILD was because I was so bored and fed up with all of the current events held in Dubai. Sterile, contrived, and filtered conversations. No one says what they want or how they feel. One of the key pillars of WILD is authenticity. We embody this in all of our events.Regarding takeaways, we always see a genuine sense of solidarity and empathy building when women feel seen, heard, and understood. My intention is that every woman who comes to a WILD event leaves inspired and ready to take on the world. We live in a patriarchal society with many outdated workplace cultures and structures that don't support women in the workplace, however, we also need to take ownership and accountability for our own lives and careers. I always suggest women invest in their own growth and development, especially hiring a coach or mentor. I have worked with 4 coaches and it has been life-changing and a key catalyst for me building WILD with the success and level we are at.You have been awarded as one of the 10 ‘Women of Substance’ in Dubai? Whom do you owe your success to? Who has been your inspiration?I owe my success to myself! For staying tenacious and committed, even when times get tough. Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster and an arduous journey full of highs and lows. It is important to surround yourself with the right people, who hold space for you and whom you can trust implicitly. I am grateful to have those people in my life. I am inspired by all of the women in WILD, who show up, who commit and who want to further themselves and their careers. I am inspired by some of my private clients whom I mentor, they step up with courage and build the life of their dreams, it's beautiful to see!What will be your advice to women who aspire to be leaders?Anything is possible when we work on ourselves and move past fear, limitations, and doubt. We need to get out of our own way and give ourselves permission to be bold, doing things we haven't done before. Fear can be debilitating and will only cling to stagnant people. Trust yourself and your own intuition, the gut never lies. Lastly, always work on YOU like a full-time job, no one will save you!

GoDaddy’s Selina Bieber: Unleashing the power of AI in Saudi Arabia

In this exclusive interview with Adgully Middle East, Selina Bieber, Regional Director for MENA at GoDaddy, discusses the game-changing implications of the .AI domain extension for individuals, startups, and research institutions in Saudi Arabia. She sheds light on GoDaddy's commitment to supporting the ambitious goals of the Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA) and outlines the role of .AI domains in projecting innovation and benefiting small businesses across sectors. Bieber also delves into the accessibility of GoDaddy’s user-friendly tools, the contribution of dedicated domain brokers, and the strategic positioning of .AI domains in shaping the future of AI-driven businesses in the Kingdom.Can you elaborate on the specific opportunities that the introduction of the .AI domain extension brings for individuals, developers, startups, and research institutions in Saudi Arabia, aligning with the country’s AI strategy? Do you have similar plans in the region?The introduction of the .AI domain extension presents significant opportunities for individuals, developers, startups, and research institutions in Saudi Arabia. This extension allows them to establish a unique online presence and align their digital identities with the evolving landscape of AI. It provides a platform for showcasing innovations, fostering collaboration, and contributing to the growth of the AI community. GoDaddy remains committed to offering support for entrepreneurs and businesses in the region, aligning with the broader goals of the AI landscape.Given the ambitious goals of the Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA) and the overall AI agenda for the Kingdom, how does GoDaddy envision supporting the dimensions of ambition, skills, policies, investment, research, and innovation in the Saudi Arabian AI landscape through the .AI domain extension?At GoDaddy, we understand the evolving landscape of AI in Saudi Arabia. We are dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs through our .AI extension. Our focus is on providing a platform that empowers individuals and businesses to contribute to the advancement of AI initiatives. We are committed to providing the tools to foster an environment conducive to AI development in Saudi Arabia.In what ways does the .AI domain extension contribute to projecting innovation to customers and benefiting small businesses across sectors? Can you provide specific examples of how businesses have leveraged this extension to embrace AI’s potential?The .AI domain extension serves as a powerful tool for projecting innovation to customers and benefiting small businesses across sectors. By adopting a .AI domain, businesses can convey a cutting-edge image synonymous with the use of artificial intelligence and innovation. This not only can help to enhance their brand perception but also can attract a tech-savvy audience.GoDaddy’s user-friendly tools are designed to help entrepreneurs choose the right domain. How does the company ensure that these tools are accessible and beneficial for users with varying levels of technical expertise, especially in the context of adopting AI-driven technologies?GoDaddy prioritizes accessibility and ease of use for entrepreneurs with varying levels of technical expertise. We understand the time constraints and challenges faced by small businesses, prompting us to integrate AI automation into our services for a streamlined experience. The goal is to empower entrepreneurs to leverage AI-driven technologies without the need for deep technical knowledge.Can you share insights into the role of the dedicated domain brokers at GoDaddy and how they contribute to assisting businesses when a desired .AI domain is already owned? How does this process align with GoDaddy’s commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia’s AI community?GoDaddy’s domain brokers can play a crucial role in navigating the market for .AI domains, especially when the desired names are already taken. They assist businesses in negotiating acquisitions, providing expertise in valuation and transfer processes. This service is particularly beneficial considering the competitive nature of AI-related domains. Our domain brokerage service aligns with our commitment to empowering the Saudi Arabian AI community by ensuring that entrepreneurs and innovators have access to the digital assets that best reflect their innovation and expertise.With AI projected to contribute significantly to Saudi Arabia’s economy, how does GoDaddy see the .AI domain extension playing a role in shaping AI-driven businesses in the country? Are there specific industries or sectors where you anticipate a particularly strong impact?We consider the recent introduction of the .AI domain extension will be an important part in influencing AI-driven businesses in Saudi Arabia.. The extension offers a unique online identity for companies immersed in AI technologies, that could be particularly helpful in sectors like technology, innovation, research, finance, and manufacturing. In the context of Saudi Arabia's AI strategy, use of the .AI domain signals expertise and positions businesses at the forefront of AI advancements, contributing to their credibility and visibility in these evolving industries. For example, in the healthcare sector, AI-driven startups could utilize the .AI extension with their domain name to emphasize their focus on AI-powered medical solutions.This extension not only enhances the digital presence of these businesses but also directly communicates their commitment to leveraging AI for sector-specific innovations in the region.The .AI domain extension is positioned as a symbol of technological expertise and innovation. How does GoDaddy plan to convey this message to potential users, and what strategies are in place to create awareness and understanding of the significance of .AI domains in the context of Saudi Arabia’s AI journey?GoDaddy’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia is reflected in its continual efforts to assist the success of entrepreneurs and small business owners. This is achieved through the provision of a comprehensive suite of online products and services, addressing the unique needs of businesses in the region. Through these sustained initiatives, GoDaddy aims to contribute consistently to the growth and development of the entrepreneurial and .AI domain ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.Given the anticipation of the impact of generative AI by 85 percent of business leaders in the next three years, how does GoDaddy plan to stay at the forefront of providing solutions that cater to the evolving needs of businesses in Saudi Arabia? Are there specific initiatives or partnerships in place to support entrepreneurs and innovators in the dynamic AI landscape?At GoDaddy, we are actively monitoring advancements in generative AI and remain committed to staying at the forefront of providing cutting-edge solutions for businesses in Saudi Arabia. We are dedicated to supporting the dynamic landscape of AI and fostering growth opportunities for businesses in the region.

Plus500 secures regulatory licence & strengthens its strategic expansion in UAE

The global multi-asset fintech group, Plus500 which has over 25 million registered customers worldwide, has obtained a new regulatory license approval from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) through its subsidiary Plus500AE in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).This license from the DFSA presents Plus500AE, whose parent company Plus500 Ltd is a FTSE 250 company listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), with significant growth opportunities in the burgeoning and dynamic UAE market. Approval of the new regulatory licence enables the company to provide a more localised experience to prospective customers in the UAE's online trading sphere through Plus500AE, complementing the group’s renowned user-friendly diverse offerings, innovation, and customer-centric approach.Additional customer benefits include the integration of local payment methods, and bespoke versions of the Plus500 trading platform, website, and mobile app, enabling access to the most popular financial instruments. The proprietary tech-based trading platform will enable UAE traders to engage in Over the Counter (OTC) or Contracts for Difference (CFD) products.Additionally, the platform's advanced analytics empower traders with real-time data, robust charting tools, and technical indicators, aiding informed trading decisions. It also ensures mobile accessibility on both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.The establishment of the UAE subsidiary fortifies Plus500 group’s regulatory framework and complements the portfolio of regulatory licenses in markets such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Cyprus, Singapore, the United States, and Japan.According to the latest trends released by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the Middle East’s online trading industry is witnessing spectacular growth and is expected to reach US$1 trillion in value by 2025 with commonly traded assets including stocks, commodities, currencies, and cryptocurrencies.The intuitive and advanced trading platform allows customers to manage leveraged exposure appropriately with the aim of protecting potential profits and limiting exposure to losses.

Samsung launches Galaxy Experience Spaces to welcome new era of Galaxy AI

Samsung Electronics has announced it is opening nine Galaxy Experience Spaces around the world to showcase how galaxy AI enables new ways to connect, create and play. The spaces — opening after Galaxy Unpacked — will immerse fans in Samsung’s latest innovations in cities including Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Dubai, London, New York, Paris and Seoul.“Galaxy empowers people with new experiences and new ways to do what they love. With Galaxy AI, we’re redefining what’s possible on mobile devices,” said Stephanie Choi, EVP & Head of Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics. “These spaces will give Galaxy fans the first opportunity to see a new era of innovation firsthand, and we can’t wait to see how Galaxy AI will empower people to unleash their potential.”Immediately upon entering these vibrant, contemporary spaces, visitors will know they’ve stepped into the future. Yet, everything visitors will experience will be available to them very soon on Galaxy’s newest devices. As visitors move between interactive and immersive zones, they’ll see how Galaxy AI amplifies everyday activities in ways never seen before, from discovering new places to capturing and sharing content to communicating across language barriers.In every region, visitors will experience different twists on what Galaxy has to offer. Fan-favorites like Nightography and Galaxy gaming will captivate visitors, inspiring new ways to be creative and play with cutting-edge technology. In some regions, visitors will even be able to participate in special activities like daily gaming tournaments where gamers will compete against one another in some of the most popular mobile games. As visitors explore and test out all the features, they’ll receive stamps that can be redeemed for exclusive giveaways before they leave. Plus, a lucky draw will give visitors the chance to walk away with a special prize.

Anghami and Almarai join forces for fresh milk campaign

Audio streaming platform Anghami Inc has partnered with dairy company Almarai to launch an innovative, technology-driven segment as part of Almarai's latest fresh milk campaign, titled "Milk every day, is the smart way.This collaborative effort seamlessly integrate education and entertainment to promote innovative awareness about food and health.The campaign aims to underscore the significance of consuming fresh milk by seamlessly combining education and entertainment. The collaboration with Anghami propels this campaign forward, enhancing engagement through personalized experiences, gamification, and storytelling.Leveraging Anghami's AI features, along with the beloved and nostalgic voice of Rasha Rizk, a prominent figure in Saudi Arabia, parents can effortlessly create a personalized song for their children. This unique approach not only entertains but also promotes the healthy daily habit of drinking fresh milk.To participate, parents simply need to add their child's name, choose the song's topic, and they are ready to go. Additionally, participants can share these distinctive songs on various social media platforms.This initiative goes beyond creating unique experiences; it raises public awareness and empowers parents to educate their children. Furthermore, it reaffirms the shared commitment of both Almarai and Anghami to support the realization of one of the key pillars of Vision 2030 in the Kingdom – the health and well-being of Saudi society.

Emirates readies to recruit 5,000 cabin crew from six continents in 2024

Emirates is celebrating the new year and the imminent arrival of its spanking new fleet of Airbus A350s with a global cabin crew recruitment drive with a difference. The 5,000 new joiners will ensure the airline’s commitment to offering the world’s best inflight experience maintains a steady course.The recruitment drive is designed primarily for those who will soon or have recently stepped into the world of work. The airline is inviting fresh graduates with internships or part-time jobs on their résumés, those with a year or so of hospitality or customer service experience, and individuals keen to embark on an exciting career travelling the globe. The new recruits will be a part of the world’s largest international airline and one of the most iconic brands, plus they will learn hospitality and life skills from the best trainers in the business.What’s more, they will travel the world across more than 140 cities in 76 countries and enjoy the entire gamut of benefits working as Emirates’ cabin crew. Recruitment driveIn 2024, Emirates’ recruitment team will host open days and assessments in more than 460 cities across six continents, reflecting the span of the airline's network and the diversity of its cabin crew team, while flying the flag for living and working in dynamic Dubai.In 2023, Emirates hired a staggering 8,000 cabin crew and held recruitment events in 353 cities as the airline ramped up its services post the pandemic. In August 2023, the airline’s cabin crew numbers crossed the 20,000 milestone and are now 21,500 strong. Fleet and network expansionThe new cabin crew recruitment drive comes as Emirates begins to take delivery of its eagerly anticipated A350s from mid-year and the Boeing 777-Xs starting in 2025. The airline has 65 A350s and a mix of 205 777-9s and 777-8s in its order book. The new aircraft will expand the airline’s reach and provide flexibility to add new routes to its network.Training and life skillsAll new cabin crew recruits undergo an intense eight weeks of training in delivering the highest standards of hospitality, safety and service that Emirates’ customers have come to expect over the years. Trained in Emirates' state-of-the-art facility in Dubai, cabin crew learn invaluable transferable skills that include a knack for communications, initiative and leadership qualities. They develop the ability to work effectively in a multicultural team, the focus to stay mentally strong and calm under pressure, becoming bastions of hospitality and exceptional service, and ambassadors of an iconic brand. Cabin crew also have access to the latest training programmes and LinkedIn courses.What new joiners sayAne Monego Castagna from Italy, who joined May 2023 said: “Sometimes you’ve got to chase your dreams, other times the dream chases you. In April last year, I received the ‘golden call’ that changed my life. During training, I was amazed by the knowledge and skills imparted to us and what it took to become an Emirates cabin crew. The opportunity to make friends for life, be super confident and to fly with the airline is priceless. Thanks to Emirates, the life I live today is better than anything I have ever dreamed of!”Robyn Clark from the UK, who joined in February 2023 said: “Working for Emirates is a job like no other. From the day I got the call to boarding every flight, I feel so proud of what I’ve accomplished. Putting on the iconic Emirates uniform every morning is a feeling I can’t explain – this really is a dream come true. I will always be grateful to Emirates for the memories I’ve made, the amazing experiences I’ve had travelling the world, and being able to come back from my journeys to Dubai – one of the safest and most vibrant cities globally – that I now call home.”Cabin crew communityEmirates’ multicultural cabin crew team hail from more than 140 nationalities and speak a staggering 130 languages – which is why customers can always expect to converse with a warm, friendly voice in their own lingo. Crew form lifelong friendships and close-knit bonds within the community, fostering better teamwork, a common sense of purpose and a shared service philosophy.Cabin crew experience excellent career progression, including upgrading to higher cabin classes, and becoming a cabin supervisor, purser or trainer. Today, the airline has 1,180 pursers who have climbed the career ladder after successfully completing exacting training and assessments. Crew also have the opportunity to apply for internal vacancies throughout the Emirates Group.The cabin crew lifeEmirates’ cabin crew lead a cosmopolitan lifestyle in vibrant Dubai, living with 200 nationalities in a city renowned for its hotels, restaurants, food scene, leisure activities and for being one of the safest in the world.Emirates’ cabin crew enjoy a competitive, tax-free salary and flying pay, eligibility for profit share, hotel stays and layover expenses, concessional travel and cargo, annual leave, annual leave ticket, furnished accommodation, transportation to and from work, excellent medical, life and dental insurance coverage, laundry services and other benefits. Friends and family enjoy deeply discounted flight tickets, and travelling with their loved ones creates lasting memories for crew.

Nissan Saudi Arabia launch the Nissan Rewards Program

 In a bold move towards reshaping the landscape of automotive customer service, Nissan Saudi Arabia is thrilled to announce the much-anticipated Rewards program, set to revolutionize the way customers engage with the brand. This program is set underscores Nissan’s steadfast commitment to “Defy ordinary.” This innovative program a result of a strategic collaboration between Nissan Saudi Arabia and The Entertainer, a partnership publicly revealed at the Seamless event in Riyadh. With aims to redefine the ownership experience of Nissan vehicles in Saudi Arabia by leveraging the power of a dedicated mobile application.The program is designed to elevate customer loyalty, enhance after-sales services, and deliver an array of exclusive discounts across a spectrum of categories such as Food &Drink, Beauty & Fitness, Attractions & Leisure, Retail & Services, Hotels Worldwide.The rewards program also has different offers and discounts that includes "2 for 1," "Fixed price off," "Package price," and "Percentage off." This dynamic range of offerings caters to the diverse.The rewards program offered by Nissan is available to all New Nissan owners by default, and they can access the program's benefits through the Nissan App. However, owners of the Patrol and or the new X-Trail who bought their vehicles during the fourth quarter of 2022 can join the program one year after their purchase.Customer engagement and loyalty are further bolstered by the opportunity for customers to advance through tiers by accumulating points. These points are earned through aftersales purchases and interactions with Nissan, with each tier offering specific benefits and merchants. The system also encourages tier advancement through after-sales services.Adib Takieddine Managing Director of Nissan Saudi Arabia said: “We believe in putting customers at the center of everything we do” and by launching the rewards program it showcases Nissan keenness into fulfilling the needs of its customers and creates an essence of loyalty between the two parties.”The Nissan Rewards Program opens a world of possibilities for customers to enhance their Nissan ownership experience, promoting loyalty and engagement while enabling them to derive added value from every facet of their lives. It signifies Nissan's unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, excellence, and delivering beyond ordinary customer service.

Du teams with Intelsat to enhance cellular connectivity in remote areas in UAE

du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), has partnered with Intelsat, operator of one of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial networks, to expand cellular connectivity across the UAE. This collaboration marks an exciting step towards enhancing cellular services nationwide, even in areas that were previously out of reach.Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Technology Officer at du, said: "The pivotal role of digital connectivity in shaping the socio-economic landscape of the UAE is irrefutable. As a leading national telecom operator, we relentlessly pursue exceptional customer experiences, delivering tangible value to our stakeholders by leveraging the latest telecom technologies and fostering a culture deeply imbued with innovation throughout our operational framework. The introduction of advanced networking infrastructure and services will act as a catalyst, propelling our community into the digital transformation era.“du's cellular backhaul solution stands at the forefront of innovation, significantly enhancing the capabilities of mobile coverage in remote areas. Through our partnership with Intelsat, we can leverage the full capacity of IS-39 satellite, providing coverage to even the most remote areas of the nation. With this advanced technology, end users can enjoy a superior, uninterrupted connection experience, regardless of their location. This unparalleled level of quality and reliability sets a new industry standard for cellular networks," added AlBlooshi.Rhys Morgan, Vice President and General Manager of Intelsat, said: “The UAE continues to bolster its telecom and infrastructure capabilities. As global leader in satellite connectivity, Intelsat is well-positioned to support the UAE’s connectivity plans, supporting du in the provision of reliable connectivity. We look forward to working with du to expand its reach into these important areas, providing reliable access to an increasing number of end customers.”This collaboration demonstrates du's commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences and driving the digital transformation of the UAE. With this advanced networking infrastructure, end users will benefit from a superior connection experience regardless of their location. The partnership sets a new industry standard for cellular networks, paving the way for enhanced connectivity nationwide.

Snap Inc MENA elevates Rasha El-Ghoussaini to its Head of Agency

Snap Inc. in MENA has announced the appointment of Rasha El-Ghoussaini as the new Head of Agency.Rasha has had a remarkable career at Snap Inc., spanning over 18 years with a significant impact on the company's growth and strategy. Having served as the Head of Industry, she has gained valuable experience working across various verticals. Her tenure since May 2017 highlights her commitment and contributions to shaping Snap Inc.'s strategy in the region.With her recent appointment as the Head of Agency in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, Rasha is set to leverage her extensive experience to formulate, build, and execute strategic partnerships within the Agency ecosystem. Her responsibilities will likely include cultivating relationships across the Agency landscape, engaging with leadership figures, and enhancing capabilities across the networks."As a long-standing member of the UAE leadership team, I've had the privilege of working closely with Rasha El-Ghoussaini over the past 6 years and I am excited to see her take on this pivotal role as Head of Agency. Her wealth of experience and proven success in driving business growth and fostering strategic partnerships makes her the perfect person to take our Agency business to the next level." said Jake Thomas, Head of UAE at Snap Inc. in MENA.Rasha El-Ghoussaini expressed her enthusiasm for the new role, stating: "I am honored and excited to take on the position of Head of Agency at a time when the agency landscape in the MENA region is experiencing remarkable growth and transformation. I look forward to leveraging my experience and passion for building strategic partnerships to drive continued innovation and growth across the agency ecosystem.”