CABSAT 2023 successfully concludes

Dubai: The 29th edition of CABSAT 2023, the award-winning event for the broadcast, satellite, content creation, production, distribution, digital media, and entertainment industries, drew to a successful conclusion on May 18, 2023, showcased emerging trends and technologies in these fields and facilitated thought-provoking discussions, alongside practical demos on the show floor.The three-day exhibition, which kicked off on May 16, 2023, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) served as a significant platform for numerous exhibitors from across the globe to present their various innovative solutions and forge alliances to grow their business in the region. During the event, several announcements, partnerships, and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between various organisations exhibiting at the show.CABSAT brought together international industry leaders alongside regional government and business stakeholders for three days of business networking, knowledge sharing, and innovation discovery. Exhibiting companies included NEOM; Beijing Municipal Radio and Television Bureau; Vectracom archives solutions from France; Kenya Television Network; Akratek Elektronok San Türkiye; Canadian media technology company Grass Valley, and multinational Hitachi.Innovative products on the show floor included the highspeed Glambot camera, known for its precision focus video from Hollywood red carpets, dual-camera VR, a virtual production studio created in collaboration with PIXOJAM, the latest use of artificial intelligence (AI), and multi-dimensional tech transforming the editing process.Over the three days, exhibitors taking part in CABSAT were able to demonstrate the game-changing impact of their latest technologies and solutions, build relationships with their peers and attract new partners to their network.Marta Olender of Moviebird International commented: “We are delighted to have participated in CABSAT 2023, a significant event for the broadcast, satellite, content creation, production, distribution, digital media, and entertainment industries. Through this event, we showcased our range of advanced solutions which included the cutting-edge, high-tech telescopic camera cranes for film and television production. Our advanced solutions enable a convenient and creative filmmaking process, significantly assisting film producers and camera operators across the globe. The event further served as a platform for us to explore avenues for collaboration with a number of companies from throughout the region.”Andrew Bear, Head of Video Protection Business at Verimatrix, stated: “CABSAT 2023 provided a significant opportunity for us to highlight our cutting-edge anti-piracy and cybersecurity solutions that help prevent large-scale content theft and safeguard the digital media landscape. Our solutions aim to address concerns surrounding video piracy, cyberattacks, and enterprise threats, which continue to grow significantly both regionally and globally. By participating in the event, we aimed at assisting our partners in expanding quickly in the regional markets, protecting important revenue streams, and achieving new clients.”Hamid Rahmani, Managing Director of Broadcast Hightech Systems (BHS) said: “At the CABSAT 2023, we exhibited our innovative ideas and solutions that are aimed at advancing the broadcasting and telecommunication industries. By offering cost-effective services of the highest standard and quality, we strive to assist people in communicating effectively and efficiently. In keeping with our goal to deliver swift and efficient connectivity, we are committed to providing superior and reliable satellite solutions.”Attracting a large gathering of industry professionals from the MEASA region, CABSAT also hosted several educative panel discussions and conferences which featured a remarkable line-up of thought-leaders as speakers, that shed light on emerging technologies that will reshape the future development of the media, entertainment and satellite sectors. The Content Congressdiscussed the numerous challenges in producing high-quality content and ways to overcome them, meanwhile, the SatExpo Summit highlighted the significance of various ground-breaking technologies such as AI and automation to improve and promote sustainable space operations. The NextGen Content Screening event exhibited the latest content offering of the Middle East and Africa in the scripted and non-scripted formats across various genres including anime, drama, kids, sports, comedy, action, mystery, and thriller.CABSAT 2023, which recently received a Broadcast Pro ME award for outstanding contribution to the development of the MENA media and entertainment industries, offered an unparalleled opportunity for exhibitors to explore various business opportunities, as well as for attendees to discover a wide range of ground-breaking solutions and stay up to date with the most recent developments in the broadcast, satellite, media, and entertainment industries.

Dubai to host Grand Finale of Eureka! GCC 2023

Dubai: Dubai is set to host the grand finale of Eureka! GCC 2023, Asia's largest business model competition, later this month in the presence of the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.The Eureka! GCC finale at the Habtoor Palace, Dubai on May 26 will feature ten finalists, chosen from amongst 150 business plans from aspiring entrepreneurs and budding startup founders after a rigorous competition over seven months to assess their innovative ventures and commercial concepts. Each finalist will pitch their business ideas to a panel of prominent investors, venture capitalists, CEOs and industry leaders, to win the coveted Eureka! GCC title and a share of prizes worth US$100,000.Participants in the sector-agnostic competition, now in its second year, received a holistic entrepreneurship programme featuring business insight and knowledge, mentorship and other training appropriate for early-stage startup companies. Following an extensive screening process, 27 semi-finalist teams were selected to participate in advanced entrepreneurship training, with tailored workshops focusing on effective business planning and personalized mentoring from seasoned industry professionals over a five-week period. Ten finalists were chosen, based on mentors’ recommendations and business reports. The Eureka! GCC 2023 competition is powered once more by Gulf Islamic Investments (GII), a leading UAE-based Shari’ah-compliant global alternative investment company with over US$3 billion of assets under management. Its co-Founder and co-CEO, Pankaj Gupta commented, “Startups have the potential to create significant business growth and have already made a significant impact on the GCC economy in the past decade. Eureka! GCC provides the right platform for entrepreneurs to develop and launch their ideas, showcase their ventures, network with potential investors, and fast-track their growth.”Mr Gupta added, “We are most grateful for the support received from government ministries and industry leaders, which has undoubtedly contributed to the success of this entrepreneurship programme.”

IFS to highlight innovative AI solutions for the Telco industry

Dubai: IFS, the global cloud enterprise software company, announced its participation in Telecoms World Middle East 2023, being held on 30-31 May 2023 at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. The company will showcase their AI driven IFS Cloud suite of solutions, which delivers a composable, single enterprise platform enabling Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to optimize service, project, and asset management. Speaking on its participation in the event, Markus Persson, Telecommunications Global Industry Director at IFS says, “The native 5G stand-alone landscape is accelerating and moving towards cloud creating an increase in assets and the rise of IoT. These changes further amplify the unique value that IFS Cloud delivers to the telecom industry. The build-out of 5G and the new B2B industry use cases are exciting opportunities, and IFS is the ideal partner to support CSPs in the Middle East region since we not only support the network build-out itself, but we also have deep expertise in the other industry verticals that telecom operators and infrastructure providers are addressing with new B2B industry use cases”.Markus Persson is presenting at the event and will speak on “AI-powered field service evolution: Optimize your assets, workers, and projects to scale operational efficiency and excel in the Moment of Service.” As part of his session, he will be showcasing how IFS enables some of MENA’s leading brands, including Saudi Telecom Company to increase process and field engineer efficiency, improve margins, and deliver a better customer experience. The session will explore how IFS empowers CSPs and communication infrastructure providers to manage their assets and resources from a single innovative platform, enabling optimization at an unparalleled scale and quicker decision-making always based on up-to-date real-time data.With IFS Cloud, CSPs can access all IFS solutions and capabilities from a single product suite built on a common platform with common persistence storage. From AI-powered workforce planning and scheduling optimization and integrated mobile support for field workers to industry-leading field service management and enterprise asset management, all IFS solutions are inherently integrated to ensure accurate data sharing across the entire business, enabling more agile and efficient operations. “Our telecom customers choose our software to support their digital transformation initiatives by replacing legacy systems with scalable, future-proof technology that offers embedded innovations such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, and augmented reality,” adds Markus.IFS is continually recognized by technology analysts such as Gartner and IDC for its deep industry expertise. It is also the only telecom-focused vendor that is a Gartner and IDC leader in both Field Service Management and Enterprise Asset Management. Industry experts from IFS will be present at booth no. E54 to showcase to visitors the latest IFS Cloud solutions that enable CSPs to maximize profitable service-based revenue streams and increase their agility and efficiency.

Auburn Digital Solutions Expands its Operations in Dubai

Dubai: As part of its expansion plans, Auburn Digital Solutions has now set base in Dubai. With its office located in Dubai, they will serve clients from all around the MENA region. They have a full-service agency with staff and resources that are expanding in tandem with their expanding clientele. Following their expansion in Canada, this is a step forward in Auburn's success overseas. Since its founding in 2013, Auburn Digital Solutions has provided top-notch services and solutions for digital marketing to companies across sectors in India and established business in Canada in the first leg of expansion. From Dubai, the firm aims to provide services for the whole of Middle East and the Gulf. They provide several services including digital strategy, media buying and planning, brand planning, website development, app development, SEO etc.“We are one of the few homegrown digital marketing companies with an expanding international clientele. We are actively seeking to increase our worldwide footprint through India, Canada, and the Middle East. We want to provide our clients worldwide with the greatest 360-degree marketing services.” Says Harsh S. Kedia, CEO, Auburn Digital Solutions.“By providing clients with top-notch digital solutions, we hope to establish ourselves as a preferred partner in the global marketing industry. We strive to help brands fully realise their potential through our services. Added Ashish Tripathi, MD, Auburn Digital Solutions."

Dubai’s Sukoon completes acquisition of majority stake in Ascana

Dubai: Dubai listed Sukoon, formerly known as Oman Insurance Company, has completed the acquisition of 93.0432% of the share capital of Arabian Scandinavian Insurance Company P.S.C. (ASCANA) by way of special deal through Dubai Clear.Sukoon had signed a share purchase agreement in December 2022 to acquire a majority stake of more than 93% in the DFM-listed takaful insurer.In a statement, Sukoon also confirmed its intent to submit an offer to acquire the shares of the remaining shareholders of ASCANA, as soon as it receives the regulatory approvals.The insurer did not disclose the financial value of the acquisition.

Aramex enlists Gambit as its consumer PR agency for Middle East

Dubai: Logistics and transportation solutions company Aramex has chosen Gambit Communications as its new consumer PR agency in the Middle East. Gambit's selection came after a rigorous tendering process that involved multiple agencies in the region. With their expertise, Gambit will effectively communicate Aramex's compelling consumer stories, showcasing groundbreaking work across diverse sectors like healthcare, fashion, retail, oil and gas, sustainability, and more, along with highlighting Aramex's CSR initiatives.Mike Rich, Aramex's Group Chief Marketing Officer, expressed his enthusiasm, stating that Aramex has fascinating tales to share, from emission-free deliveries to robotics and innovation. He commended Gambit Communications for their fresh perspective and a team of talented communication professionals who will play a crucial role in reaching and engaging with regional audiences. With Gambit as an extended member of Aramex's marcomms team, exciting collaborations are set to unfold.Jamal Al Mawed, Founder and Managing Director of Gambit Communications, expressed pride in representing Aramex, a well-known brand born in the region. He emphasized the significance of sharing the remarkable stories of how Aramex positively impacts people's lives every day. In the spirit of their shared commitment to delivering exceptional results, Gambit is thrilled to embark on this partnership.As a Dubai-based independent communications agency, Gambit Communications has a strong portfolio of multinational clients, including TikTok, Acer, BMW, Amazon Payment Services, Porsche, Mandarin Oriental, and more. Their exceptional work has earned them prestigious accolades, such as being crowned PRCA Regional Medium Agency of the Year for the second consecutive time, as well as the MEPRA Homegrown Agency of the Year award.

Dubai Chambers taps LPS for social media, content production

Dubai: LPS, a leading UAE-based marketing communication agency, has been selected by Dubai Chambers following a bid to manage its social media presence and content production services across its four brand accounts: Dubai Chambers, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai International Chamber, and Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.LPS was assigned as Dubai Chambers’ communications partner considering the agency’s expertise in managing corporate strategic communications in the Middle East and its communities-first approach. LPS will work with Dubai Chambers to attain key goals, such as creating a modern, consistent social media image through unified visuals and messaging while streamlining the entity’s online presence by integrating diverse triggers, events, activations, and business groups across its three chambers.LPS will leverage its communication prowess to support Dubai Chambers’ growth. By tailoring strategic communication to showcase the accomplishments and ambitions of Dubai Chambers, LPS will help strengthen the entity’s brand image and foster connections with businesses and stakeholders across the globe.Aasim Shaik – Managing Director of LPS, said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Dubai Chambers, utilising our cutting-edge creative, social media, and new-age content and production capabilities to contribute to the growth and advancement of Dubai and its vibrant business community. As the entity’s dedicated communication partner, we are honoured to play an integral role in shaping its narrative and forging opinion leadership, positively impacting current and future businesses.”LPS aims to elevate Dubai Chambers image and streamline its online presence by crafting compelling communications that reflect its recent developments and expansion. LPS will effectively convey the entity’s vision and values, contributing to the emirate’s growth as a global commerce and digital economy leader.As part of its continued commitment to growth and innovation, LPS is soon expanding its operations to two new locations, Riyadh – KSA, and New Jersey – USA. These strategic expansions will further establish the agency’s global presence, enabling it to better serve its diverse clientele while tapping into new markets and opportunities.

iSTYLE opens UAE’s first Apple Premium Partner store in Dubai

Dubai: iSTYLE today announced that it will formally open UAE’s first Apple Premium Partner (APP) store on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 6 pm in Dubai Marina Mall (Level 1) with a grand opening event. The new Apple Premium Partner store is the perfect destination to shop the entire ecosystem of Apple Products and accessories in a spacious and welcoming environment. The store's professional team speaks multiple languages to give customers the best-personalized service for all their Apple requirements.“Established in 2005, iSTYLE has 13 Apple Premium Reseller stores in UAE, with Dubai Marina Mall being the first Apple Premium Partner store, taking the customer experience to the next level for all visitors. We cater to the needs of all types of customers, including business enterprises. We encourage you to drop by one of our stores, where iSTYLE’s professional team can tell you more about incorporating Apple hardware and software into your digital lifestyle” said Nicolas Daher, General Manager, iSTYLE- Middle East and North Africa.“We conduct workshops, trainings, and group demo sessions regularly, where our customers can meet up, learn something new and share their experiences. Along with the products, we offer multiple services like AppleCare+, Trade-in & B2B solutions. The authorized Apple service center at the new store will take care of customers' post-purchase requirements” said Julia Manzyuk, Retail Manager, iSTYLE UAE.

Bishay to head business growth at Farnek

Dubai: United Arab Emirates: Leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek has appointed Tamer Bishay as its new head of business development.Reporting directly to CEO, Markus Oberlin, Bishay, an Egyptian national, has been given the responsibility of supporting Farnek’s corporate plan, with a structured and targeted business growth strategy.His day-to-day responsibilities include developing, directing and motivating Farnek’s sales team, as well as building and maintaining key client relationships, generating increased revenue and driving profitability, across all of Farnek’s businesses including HITEK and Hitches & Glitches.“Tamer has a wealth of experience in the UAE’s property and FM sectors, stretching back over two decades, having held multiple senior roles with some of the largest companies in the region including government-owned organisations as well as local private entities.“He has a strong technical background and a highly successful track record, securing a raft of significant contracts throughout his career.“He will be an integral part of our senior management team and I am looking forward to working closely with him, promoting our unique market proposition and boosting our competitive edge, both here in the UAE and regionally,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.After graduating from Misr International University in Cairo, Bishay arrived in the UAE in 2006 having been appointed operations manager for real estate consultancy ERA. In 2009 he joined the H Hotel as commercial manager, before taking up an offer from DuServe FM the following year, as senior BD and marketing manager.Here Bishay excelled increasing market share and expanding its services across all seven emirates, over the following four years. For the past five years, he was head of business development and marketing for Concordia and managed to extend their services, covering over 220,000 square feet of residential community space throughout Dubai.Bishay commented: “Farnek has invested heavily in sustainability, innovation, and technology, which are key elements of the Farnek brand, supporting a more cost-efficient proposition and providing a distinct competitive advantage. Naturally, when the opportunity arose for me to join their team, I did not hesitate.”“I will focus on driving profitable growth for the company with a strategic approach to identifying and pursuing new business opportunities.”Bishay also holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and is a certified Property Manager.

WEE Marketplace taps UAE e-commerce market with quick delivery service

Dubai: WEE Marketplace, has launched its last-mile logistics platform based on advanced technology to provide quick and seamless delivery service – tapping into UAE’s $12.7 billion e -commerce market1.WEE’s platform aims to have over 500 reputed and trusted retailers and sellers by end of 2023. Currently based on an invite-only model, the platform will feature limited number of sellers to ensure minimal competition and maximum quality of products for UAE customers. With a network of over 50,000 riders (along with local partners), WEE can offer customers across the UAE access to a wide range of high-quality products from top-tier brands/retailers with a speedy delivery service (within 45 minutes) and competitive prices on its platform.Anastasia Kim, Co-founder, WEE Marketplace said, “Increased adoption of smartphones, rising internet penetration, has shifted consumer preferences towards online shopping. Our platform will allow retailers to provide a hassle-free on demand delivery service to its customers across the UAE. It will help them streamline the process even further by tackling the most crucial parts of their supply chain, giving them a competitive edge.”Currently the platform features over 7,000 products from various categories like electronics and appliances, beauty and health, household, petfood, automotive, sports and leisure, books, kids and toys, and accessories. The company plans to expand its fulfillment services to stock more than half a million products by end of 2023.

Younger tech-Savvy MENA to raise e-commerce spend by 15% in 2023

Dubai: Tradeling, the largest business-to-business (B2B) marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), cites that the pandemic-induced trend of digital adoption across several industries is set to continue with a relatively young and technologically inclined population driving this projection. The region’s median age of 26 for its younger population is reported to be significantly lower than the global average, and this is forecasted to boost e-commerce spending by 15% in 2023 when compared to the previous year .Out of necessity, increased worldwide digital adoption was witnessed at the onset of the pandemic. Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) declassifying COVID-19 as a global emergency , MENA is projected to maintain its upward trajectory by adding approximately 100 million new digital service users over the next five years.This progress is predicted to see as many as 125 million new digital users by 2030 while boosting the region’s digital economy from its $100 billion value in 2022 to an eye-popping $500 billion by the end of the decade .Hyper growth in MENA’s digital economy is expected to continue for the foreseeable future with hyper growth expected in the GCC. Furthermore, the UAE’s e-commerce sector is poised to make major contributions via its high internet penetration rate of more than 90%, a growing smartphone user base, and an increasing demand for online shopping; consumers have grown to prefer such convenience over traditional brick-and-mortar stores since the outbreak of COVID. Favourable government policies are also supporting the country’s e-commerce rise .The UAE government has implemented several initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the country’s e-commerce space while also developing frameworks which protect consumers and businesses; this includes regulating payment systems and establishing dispute resolution mechanisms among other efforts . As a result, MENA’s digital economy is rapidly gaining ground on emerging markets like Indonesia and India which are respectively valued at around $70 billion and $135 billion.Marius Ciavola, CEO of Tradeling, commented: “E-commerce in the Middle East, and the region’s digital economy as a whole, are well-positioned to lead the world in the coming years with the UAE at the forefront. A strategic location, diverse economy, and innovative infrastructure have seen e-commerce popularity surge in the country in recent years and there appears to be no slowdown in sight. As a younger, tech-savvy demographic continues being nurtured through proactive efforts of the UAE’s wise leadership and a willingness to embrace new technologies and digital solutions, the industry’s future is promising.”As MENA’s dominant B2B marketplace, Tradeling is shaping the future of e-commerce in the UAE. The company has grown rapidly since its inception three years ago with a wide selection of more than 1.7 million unique products across 14 categories and more than 200,000 registered buyers and sellers from 55 countries. Partnerships with local entities such as Wio Bank and Food Tech Valley, as well as global ones like Mastercard, are further solidifying Tradeling’s presence while simultaneously helping to prop up the country’s economy.

Fake ChatGPT Apps scam users out of thousands of Dollars, Sophos reports

Dubai: United Arab Emirates: Sophos, a global leader in innovating and delivering cybersecurity as a service, today announced that it had uncovered multiple apps masquerading as legitimate, ChatGPT-based chatbots to overcharge users and bring in thousands of dollars a month. As detailed in Sophos X-Ops' latest report, “’FleeceGPT’ Mobile Apps Target AI-Curious to Rake in Cash,” these apps have popped up in both the Google Play and Apple App Store, and, because the free versions have near-zero functionality and constant ads, they coerce unsuspecting users into signing up for a subscription that can cost hundreds of dollars a year. “Scammers have and always will use the latest trends or technology to line their pockets. ChatGPT is no exception. With interest in AI and chatbots arguably at an all-time high, users are turning to the Apple App and Google Play Stores to download anything that resembles ChatGPT. These types of scam apps what Sophos has dubbed ‘fleeceware’—often bombard users with ads until they sign up for a subscription. They’re banking on the fact that users won’t pay attention to the cost or simply forget that they have this subscription. They’re specifically designed so that they may not get much use after the free trial ends, so users delete the app without realizing they’re still on the hook for a monthly or weekly payment,” said Sean Gallagher, principal threat researcher, Sophos. In total, Sophos X-Ops investigated five of these ChatGPT fleeceware apps, all of which claimed to be based on ChatGPT’s algorithm. In some cases, as with the app “Chat GBT,” the developers played off the ChatGPT name to improve their app’s ranking in the Google Play or App Store. While OpenAI offers the basic functionality of ChatGPT to users for free online, these apps were charging anything from $10 a month to $70.00 a year. The iOS version of “Chat GBT,” called Ask AI Assistant, charges $6 a week—or $312 a year—after the three-day free trial; it netted the developers $10,000 in March alone. Another fleeceware-like app, called Genie, which encourages users to sign up for a $7 weekly or $70 annual subscription, brought in $1 million over the past month. The key characteristics of so-called fleeceware apps, first discovered by Sophos in 2019, are overcharging users for functionality that is already free elsewhere, as well as using social engineering and coercive tactics to convince users to sign up for a recurring subscription payment. Usually, the apps offer a free trial but with so many ads and restrictions, they’re barely useable until a subscription is paid. These apps are often poorly written and implemented, meaning app function is often less than ideal even after users switch to the paid version. They also inflate their ratings in the app stores through fake reviews and persistent requests of users to rate the app before it’s even been used or the free trial ends. “Fleeceware apps are specifically designed to stay on the edge of what’s allowed by Google and Apple in terms of service, and they don’t flout the security or privacy rules, so they are hardly ever rejected by these stores during review. While Google and Apple have implemented new guidelines to curb fleeceware since we reported on such apps in 2019, developers are finding ways around these policies, such as severely limiting app usage and functionality unless users pay up. While some of the ChatGPT fleeceware apps included in this report have already been taken down, more continue to pop up and it’s likely more will appear. The best protection is education. Users need to be aware that these apps exist and always be sure to read the fine print whenever hitting ‘subscribe.’ Users can also report apps to Apple and Google if they think the developers are using unethical means to profit,” said Gallagher. All apps included in the report have been reported to Apple and Google. For users who have already downloaded these apps, they should follow the App or Google Play store’s guidelines on how to “unsubscribe.” Simply deleting the fleeceware app will not void the subscription. Learn more about these scam ChatGPT apps and how to avoid them in ’FleeceGPT’ Mobile Apps Target AI-Curious to Rake in Cash on Sophos.comLearn More About Fleeceware apps on the Google Play and Apple App Store How to use ChatGPT to your advantage when thwarting cyberattackers in GPT for you and me: Applying AI language processing to cyber defensesAttacker behaviors, techniques and tactics in the 2023 Active Adversary Report for Business Leaders, based on analysis of Sophos incident response casesThe threat landscape and trends likely to impact cybersecurity in the 2023 Threat ReportSophos X-Ops and its groundbreaking threat research by subscribing to the Sophos X-Ops blogs

PRCA Platinum Awards celebrate achievers in communication

PRCA Global - The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is proud to announce the highly anticipated return of the PRCA Platinum Awards, dedicated to acknowledging and honoring exceptional achievements in global communications practice.With a judging panel comprising some of the world's most respected practitioners, the Awards aim to celebrate and acknowledge the outstanding achievements of PR teams, agencies, and individuals on a global level.The PRCA Platinum Awards are open to all teams, agencies, or individuals who have been either awarded or shortlisted in a PRCA Awards programme between 17th May 2022 and 16th May 2023.Applicants are encouraged to showcase their work by submitting multiple entries across all 20 categories, regardless of the specific category in which they were previously shortlisted or awarded. The PRCA Platinum Awards provide a wide range of categories including B2B, Digital and Social Media Awards, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, Employee Engagement Award, Strategic Communications Award, Rising Star of the Year, and Small/Medium/Large/In-house Consultancy of the Year.The final deadline for submission is set on the 13th of June 2023.For further information on pricing, guidelines, and the submission process, please visit the PRCA Platinum Awards webpage. The PRCA eagerly awaits exceptional entries that exemplify the highest standards in communications practice and looks forward to celebrating the outstanding achievements of the global PR community.

iion and MMPWW unite to reshape MENA's gaming landscape

Dubai: iion, the global leader in gaming advertising, and MMP World Wide (MMPWW), a prominent ad-tech provider in the region, have joined forces to revolutionize gaming experiences in the vibrant Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market.In an era where gaming is on the rise, this groundbreaking collaboration aims to unlock the full potential of immersive gaming formats for brands, driving substantial growth in an industry that is projected to reach an astounding market volume of US$449.60 million by 2027, according to Statista.Coinciding with a remarkable surge in gaming and metaverse investments, the Middle East is quickly establishing itself as a hotspot for cutting-edge innovations. The MENA region is set to host an estimated 87.9 million gamers by the end of 2023, propelled by mobile gaming, increased investments from both public and private sectors, and the explosive growth of esports.Thanks to the revolutionary immersiion platform offered by iion, clients of MMPWW now have unparalleled access to the ever-expanding gaming audience across all devices and environments. Yasin Dabhelia, Head of Demand, US & UK, says, “The Middle East is emerging as a top market for gaming and the metaverse, with significant investment being directed towards this sector. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for brands in the region to integrate into gaming environments and leverage measurement and targeting tools to determine their return on investment. I can’t wait to showcase this alongside MMPWW.”Sanjaya Molligoda, iion co-founder, said: “We are incredibly excited to join forces with MMPWW, and to enable brands in the MENA region to tap into the massive potential of game advertising. As gaming experiences rapid growth—thanks to significant investments by Middle Eastern governments and the private sector—advertisers can connect with a diverse, engaged audience. Our goal is to establish gaming as an indispensable, always-on media plan component.”Molligoda highlights the extraordinary opportunities this partnership offers advertisers, allowing them to connect with gaming audiences across multiple platforms. "Our unique self-serve ad platform provides extensive access to inventory, including in-game, around-the-game, and away-from-the-game environments on PC, console, app, web, esports, and game influencers."Ultimately, Molligoda believes that this partnership will reshape the advertising landscape in the rapidly growing Middle Eastern gaming market.Walid Ramadan, GM of MMP Experiences, said: “We are delighted to be iion’s new and exclusive partner for the MENA region. Their innovative programmatic offering puts the user at the heart of the experience, while still allowing for in-depth targeting to reach these diverse audiences and create tailored messaging that best aligns with their interests. We look forward to collaborating with the team to bring these immersive solutions to our clients.”This groundbreaking partnership empowers brands to craft captivating and immersive campaigns that resonate with gamers across all devices. With the average UAE gamer spending an impressive USD 115 per year, as reported by Mordor Intelligence, this alliance is primed to capitalize on the rapidly expanding market.Excitingly, iion and MMPWW are gearing up for an agency roadshow where they will unveil their state-of-the-art gaming solutions to brands and advertisers across the region. Stay tuned for further details about this highly anticipated event, promising remarkable opportunities and invaluable insights for industry professionals.Romit Gharat, Ad Tech Director at MMPWW, said: “Our partnership with iion will unlock new channels for brands to reach a large number of engaged audiences in a unique and fascinating environment. With the potential to revolutionize the way advertisers can reach and engage with gamers, we are thrilled to offer this innovative and effective approach to driving brand awareness, engagement, and sales in the region.”

Jiu-Jitsu festival returns

Dubai: The Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Festival is set for a welcome return to the Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City from May 26-28, and the excitement is palpable among participants, parents, and fans. The second of the four Festival rounds in the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s action-packed season calendar promises to be bigger, better, and more competitive, with male and female players aged 4-17 from various clubs and academies vying for glory and prizes.Maiky Reiter, a jiu-jitsu black belt and proud father of three, is among the many parents eagerly looking forward to the jubilant atmosphere and high spirits that are expected at the event. He said, “As a jiu-jitsu black belt myself, I know firsthand the benefits of this beautiful sport, and I’m delighted to see my kids follow in my footsteps and excel in their categories. Maryah, Ryan, and Marcelo are all excited to showcase their skills and compete against other talented athletes from across the UAE.”He further added, “Maryah is now nine years old and has been practicing the sport since she was three. She has participated in the previous editions of the Challenge Festival. Ryan and Marcelo are looking forward to participating in their first event, and we can’t wait for the championship to begin.”Reiter added that the Challenge Festival is not just a competition, but also a celebration of sport, family, and community. “We had attended the previous editions, and we always had a blast. The vibe is incredible, and the crowd is passionate and supportive. We are grateful to the UAEJJF for organising this beautiful event and promoting jiu-jitsu as a way of life and a source of inspiration for all ages.”Laila Al Kaabi, a mother of two kids who will participate in the event, also praised jiu-jitsu for its values and virtues. She said, “I believe that jiu-jitsu is more than just a sport; it's a philosophy and a lifestyle that teaches discipline, respect, and perseverance. My children practice jiu-jitsu not only to win medals but also to develop their character and confidence.”Al Kaabi commended the UAE’s visionary leadership and the UAEJJF for their role in promoting jiu-jitsu and nurturing young talents. She said, “I am proud to see how far jiu-jitsu has come in the UAE, thanks to the support and vision of our leaders and the dedication of our coaches and athletes. The Challenge Festival is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to excellence and innovation, and I’m honored to be part of this vibrant community.”Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federations, said, “The Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Championship is one of the highlights of our season calendar, as it showcases the best and brightest talents in the country and promotes the sport’s values and principles. We are proud of our young athletes, and we believe that they represent the future of jiu-jitsu in the UAE.”Al Shamsi added that the Challenge Festival aims to expand the base of practitioners and inspire more people to embrace jiu-jitsu as a way of life. He said, “We want to create a culture of excellence and sportsmanship, where everyone can benefit from the power of jiu-jitsu and the joy of competition. We invite all interested participants to register as soon as possible and join us in this exciting journey.”Registration for the three-day event is still open and interested participants can register before May 22 to secure their participation.

Meta and BMW collaborate to explore AR/VR tech inside vehicles

Meta has announced its partnership with BMW Group to investigate the integration of AR and VR technology within fast-moving vehicles. This joint research project aims to enhance the passenger experience and potentially revolutionize travel in cars, trains, planes, and beyond.The collaboration between Meta and BMW, established in 2021, envisions a future where AR and VR are seamlessly integrated into smart vehicles, providing passengers with more productive, social, and entertaining experiences on the road. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, this partnership seeks to unlock new forms of hands-free communication, entertainment, and utility, transcending the limitations of current screens and instruments found in vehicles today.One of the challenges encountered in incorporating VR technology into moving vehicles is the conflict between inertial motion sensors (IMUs) and cameras. While VR headsets, such as Meta Quest 2, employ these sensors for precise motion tracking, they struggle to display stable virtual content when the vehicle is in motion. To address this issue, Meta has worked closely with BMW to integrate real-time IMU data from a BMW car's sensor array into the tracking system of the Project Aria research glasses.This significant breakthrough enables the system to calculate the glasses' location relative to the vehicle, overcoming the conflict between camera-observed motion inside the car and IMU-measured acceleration and rotational velocity relative to the world. By transferring this tracking system to the Meta Quest Pro, virtual objects can now be accurately anchored to a moving car using a digital twin representation. This advancement has allowed the demonstration of compelling virtual and mixed reality passenger experiences within moving vehicles.Moving forward, Meta and BMW are committed to leveraging the advanced machine perception capabilities of modern cars to explore future possibilities. Access to the car's precise six degrees of freedom (6DOF) positioning system could enable the rendering of world-locked virtual content outside of the vehicle, including the identification of landmarks and other points of interest. Such capabilities are expected to be invaluable for future AR glasses and personalized AI assistants.The Meta-BMW partnership signifies a significant step towards revolutionizing the passenger experience and paving the way for new advancements in AR and VR technology. By merging innovation from both companies, the collaboration aims to unlock the full potential of immersive experiences within vehicles, setting the stage for the future of transportation.

EMEA tops global brand suitability violations: DoubleVerify

Dubai: EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) has recently emerged as the region with the highest instances of brand suitability violations compared to other global regions. This is one of the many findings of 2023 Global Insights Report by DoubleVerify (DV), the digital media measurement, data and analytics platform.  The report has analysed trends from almost 5.5 trillion media transactions across over 1,000 customers in about 100 countries. Despite a 15 percent reduction in fraud/SIVT (Sophisticated Invalid Traffic) violations in 2022, EMEA has experienced a significant surge in brand suitability violations, reaching a staggering 10.6 percent. This marks a concerning 13 percent increase from the previous year, firmly establishing EMEA as the region with the highest occurrence of such violations.Advertisers are increasingly adopting attention-based measurement to optimize campaign performance and improve return on investment (ROI), especially in the face of economic uncertainty and identity deprecation. EMEA campaigns stand out for their ability to capture attention through high exposure and engagement across display and video placements.The report shows major digital media quality trends, and establishes the need for verification across channels for creating the foundation for impactful performance. “Based on our research, in order to drive consistent performance, it is essential that advertisers engage verification across all campaigns and environments. When verification is turned off or not applied, an advertiser becomes vulnerable to the swings in quality caused by unpredictable news cycles and increasingly sophisticated fraud schemes. Moreover, always-on protection helps the industry maintain a common and consistent gauge of media quality everywhere, as verification techniques evolve to encompass emerging channels for content consumption. Having coverage, protection and insight into all channels is critical,” says Collette Spagnolo, Vice President of Marketing Analytics at DoubleVerify.Key findings: CTV consumption is on the rise, but it remains vulnerable to fraud. According to eMarketer, advertisers are projected to spend nearly $24 billion on CTV advertising in 2023. The Global Insights Report indicates that CTV consumption and quality verification in the UK have grown by an impressive 252% year-over-year. However, as investment in CTV advertising increases, so does the risk of fraud.  1. CTV ad fraud involves deceptive tactics aimed at generating revenue by inflating video ad impressions. Fraudsters use bots or fake CTV devices to simulate viewership, deceiving advertisers into paying for ads that are either non-existent or never viewed.  2. Bot fraud specifically saw a significant surge of 69% in 2022 compared to the previous year, and the number of CTV fraud schemes and variants detected annually by DV has tripled since 2020. Advertisers without proper protection face significant risks.  3. To illustrate the risk, DV compared fraud rates of protected and unprotected advertisers. The campaign without verification measures in place experienced a fraud rate of 11.2%, whereas the protected campaigns had a significantly lower fraud rate of 0.6% – a difference of nearly 18 times.      4. Most advertisers currently run campaigns on sites or apps with low attention rates. However, DV's analysis reveals a significant inventory available that could deliver better attention and performance if utilized effectively.“Today, the average person is exposed to between 6,000 to 10,000 ads a day. As such, attention has emerged as a vital, yet, an increasingly scarce resource. Attention-based metrics such as exposure and engagement have emerged to help marketers better understand the overall relevance and resonance of an ad experience — and how that experience translates to driving high-value business outcomes,” said Nick Reid, SVP and Managing Director of EMEA at DoubleVerify.

Dubai Press Club partners with in5 and Podeo

Dubai: Second edition of the ‘in5 x Podeo Podcasting Program and Competition’ provides a platform for budding podcasters to showcase their talentMajed Al Suwaidi: The initiative is part of the TECOM Group’s strategy to further consolidate Dubai’s position as a leading hub for digital mediaMaitha Buhumaid: Dubai Press Club is keen to partner with industry stakeholders to undertake initiatives to develop a vibrant podcasting community in the regionWorkshops featured in the Program offer participants the opportunity to learn advanced podcasting skills and techniquesFirst of five weekly workshops in the programme held on 28 AprilProgramme will culminate in a podcasting competition to be held on 27 MayDubai Press Club has partnered with in5, the TECOM Group’s enabling platform for entrepreneurs and startups, and Podeo, the Arab world's largest podcasting platform, to organise the second edition of the ‘in5 x Podeo Podcasting Program & Competition’.The initiative features a series of workshops and a competition aimed at providing a platform for budding podcasters from across the UAE to develop their skills, showcase their talent and match their skills with some of the best emerging content creators in the UAE.Majed Al Suwaidi, Senior Vice President of Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and Dubai Production City, part of TECOM Group, said: “Dubai’s continued growth and development as a focal point for media industry development will be driven by the innovation, energy and capabilities of its creative talent. Initiatives like the ‘in5 x Podeo Podcasting Program & Competition’ are part of the TECOM Group’s strategy to further consolidate Dubai’s position as a leading digital media and content production hub in the Arab world.”“Harnessing local media talent through targeted initiatives in partnership with leading media organisations represents one of our highest priorities. The in5 x Podeo Podcasting Program & Competition is one of a series of initiatives through which we seek to nurture promising content creators. Through further initiatives like these, we will continue to provide exciting opportunities for media talent in the UAE and the wider region to develop their abilities,” he added.All participants in the ‘in5 x Podeo Podcasting Program & Competition’ will attend five workshops conducted by Podeo that offer them the opportunity to master the advanced skills and techniques needed to create compelling podcasts. The first of the weekly workshops featured in the programme was held on 28 April. The workshops will culminate in a podcasting competition to be held on 27 May.Dr. Maitha Buhumaid, Director of the Dubai Press Club said: “We are keen to partner with industry stakeholders to undertake initiatives to develop a vibrant and dynamic podcasting community in the UAE and the region. Consistent with Dubai’s ethos of development, we believe that partnerships between the public and private sectors are vital to develop the talent pool and ecosystem needed for this emerging sector to grow and thrive. The creativity and skills displayed by the participants in the ‘in5 x Podeo Podcasting Programme & Competition’ will serve as a benchmark for emerging content creators in the region and the outcomes of the initiative will inspire the regional community of podcasters to strive for greater excellence and innovation.”Stefano Fallaha, Founder and CEO of Podeo, said: “Participants in the initiatives will learn to harness their creativity and storytelling abilities and hone their technical capabilities to create exceptional podcasts. The workshops will provide extensive practical and hands-on training in every aspect of the podcasting process including generating content ideas, planning, production and publishing.”Fallaha added that the three winners of the competition held at the end of the workshops will be offered the opportunity to publish one season of their winning podcasts on Podeo, which will provide hosting, editing and distribution support. The winners will also be given a six-month membership at in5 that includes access to networking events, subsidised rates to use its design, technology and media facilities, mentorship, advisory and other services.Established by TECOM Group in 2013, in5 is an enabling platform for entrepreneurs and startups. in5’s incubation programme offers startups five key benefits: simplified business setup, creative co-working spaces and specialised facilities, mentorship, workshops and networking events, as well as access to potential investors.

CABSAT Day 2: Focus on business growth, emerging trend

Dubai: Day two of CABSAT 2023, the flagship event for broadcast, satellite, content creation, production, distribution, digital media and entertainment industries, welcomed visitors from around the world to network, collaborate, and seek opportunities for advancement.Through a dynamic programme of conference sessions, live technology demos, and showcases of global innovation, the 29th edition of CABSAT has reaffirmed its position as the region’s largest gathering of the creative, broadcast, and satellite communities that will run until May 18, 2023, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).During the event's second day, industry leaders participated in panel discussions on a range of topics. Session topics included, ‘Women Power: Shattering the Glass Screen,’ ‘Content Partnerships in MENA: Trends in Co-productions, Commissioning, and Content Rights Sharing,’ and ‘Fireside Chat: How Social Media is Disrupting the Disruptors,’ among others. Discussions focused on emerging developments in the media and entertainment industries, allowing participants to evaluate the current conditions and develop effective strategies for the sector’s future.Catherine Mwangi, Head of the TV at Kenya Television Network, said: “Kenya Television Network took part in the Content Congress platform's session at CABSAT 2023 entitled, ‘Women Power: Shattering the Glass Screen,’ which was geared towards women working in the media. Having the opportunity to engage with leading female executives who are shaping global content, laying the foundation for future generations, and advancing inclusivity was an honour. At Kenya Television Network, we will continue to work towards making women's voices heard, to build a society that is more inclusive and equitable, as well as support the invaluable contributions of women in all spheres of life.”“The MENA content industry is currently experiencing significant growth in premium content production. Through collaboration with high-calibre talents and leading partners, we are dedicated to bringing quality content to audiences in the region and beyond. As part of CABSAT 2023’s ‘Content Partnerships in MENA: Trends in Co-productions, Commissioning, and Content Rights sharing’ session, we were able to lead effective discussions on the importance of collaboration in driving the region’s content industry forward and how successful film production relies on the collective effort of a diverse group of talented professionals,” Darine El Khatib, VP of Film Production at Majid Al Futtaim, commented. CABSAT's SATEXPO Summit on day two, took place concurrently with the Content Congress, the most comprehensive gathering of regional and global satellite and space technology industry influencers. Innovators established executives, engineers, government officials, and diverse solution providers attended the Summit, which also examine the role of satellite and space technology in promoting and enhancing sustainability on Earth.The NEXTGen Content Screening programme on CABSAT’s second day showcased some of the best content the Middle East and Africa have to offer, providing an impactful addition to the Content Congress agenda. The screening features content from TV, film, serial drama, kids, documentary, and sports genres, and facilitates prearranged meetings with content buyers to foster collaborations and partnership opportunities.Moreover, key news releases were unveiled during the event, providing valuable insights into the latest industry trends.Nevion, a Sony Group Company and award-winning provider of virtualized media production solutions, announced the integration of its Nevion Contribution solution by Viacom18, a subsidiary of Network18 Group, one of India's most diversified media and entertainment conglomerates, at CABSAT. Nevion's solution, which was delivered in just three weeks, is being used for live coverage of the hugely popular TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament.CABSAT’s 29th edition also highlights the latest technologies that are transforming the production, remote production, editing, preservation, and distribution channels of movies, including the revolutionary Glambot camera made famous by the Oscar’s red carpet, dual cameras bringing the real world and Virtual Reality together, along with an on-site virtual production studio hosted in partnership with PIXOJAM. The Beijing Pavilion, which featured an '8k Zone,' displayed examples of 8k resolution content, the latest evolution of display technology. A video conference between Beijing and the UAE was also held in the pavilion to fortify relations between the two countries and encourage collaboration within the industry.CABSAT also provided over 21 French companies with the chance to present their technological innovations, promote La French Tech, and build alliances with businesses from the Middle East, as well as other nations like Turkey or India. France further highlighted its goal to adapt and capitalise on its film and audio-visual industry’s assets, which are among the most diverse and dynamic in the world in terms of creativity, originality, artistic expertise, and skills ranging from direction and production to post-production.The event proved to be a successful networking opportunity, with business deals being struck amongst attendees.Arabsat announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Loft Orbital (Loft) to collaborate on the mission definition for a future infrastructure in low earth orbit (LEO). Both companies will work together to create the infrastructure that will cater to the needs of various sectors of Arabsat's customers.Exhibitors praised the three-day exhibition for the host of opportunities it offers to the industry to present breakthrough innovations to peers, potential investors, and decision-makers.Philipp Glänzel, General Manager – CTO, Qvest Dubai, said: “CABSAT 2023 has been pivotal for us, not only because it has been a home game for our Qvest team in the MENA region, but also for providing us with an excellent opportunity to interact with industry partners and customers, especially with cloud-based technologies creating new possibilities for content creation, management, and delivery. We are convinced that a strong tech stack will be the key differentiator going forward to establish reliable hybrid integrations in both on-prem and multi-cloud environments. Furthermore, platforms like CABSAT will undoubtedly increase our potential for strategic alliances and ensure a reliable forum to expedite the adoption of current market trends.”Jonas Michaelis, Head of Operations, Techtriq, stated: “At CABSAT 2023, our focus was on generative Artificial Intelligence tools, as they offer tremendous potential to media companies both in the MENA region and worldwide. For instance, we completely integrated ChatGPT into qibb in January of this year, providing us and our customers with improved options for even more efficient professional media workflows in our cloud-based integration platform. With our participation, we were able to highlight the competitive advantages of these tools and look forward to their widespread adoption for the sector’s advancement.”For the first time, this year CABSAT is co-located with the inaugural edition of Integrate Middle East, which brings together the region’s global professional audio-visual (Pro AV) and media technology communities.

Mbank CEO Mohammed Wassim Khayata wins MENA ‘Digital Innovator of the Year’

Dubai: Mohammed Wassim Khayata, Chief Executive Officer at Mbank, the leading digital bank in the UAE, was awarded the prestigious "Digital Innovator of the Year" MENA Banking Excellence Award 2023 by Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) that celebrates outstanding achievements and innovations within the banking and finance industry in the Middle East and North Africa region. Khayata was applauded for his insightful strategies leading the next-generation digital bank in the Emirates that have revolutionized the entire banking industry in the digital business landscape; all while driving a culture that values agility, innovation, and a lean AI-powered digital approach.The MENA Banking Awards recognize and celebrate the high-performing banks and most innovative financial figures in the region, showcasing their achievements and promoting best practices. Winning this award further cements Khayata's position as a trailblazer and a leading player in the banking and finance industry.Digital innovation is everchanging the financial services industry and how it positively impacts end customers. The number one solution to the world’s major challenges is digital, and its convergence into business models is crucial. Future technologies, the evolution of robotics and automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital innovations are here to stay, and they’re going to make an extraordinary set of transformations to the betterment of the world. The future has proven that ‘cash is no longer king’ and that payment transactions will instead be made through smartphones or wearables, rendering physical cards unnecessary.Al Maryah Community Bank stands out from the competition through its digitization of the entire banking experience by developing the Mbank UAE mobile application that has exceled in serving customers across the Emirates by providing them with a range of fully digital banking services tailored to the highest levels of quality, efficiency, security and comfort – without the need to visit any branch or submit any documents physically. With its integrated set of safe digital banking products and services, Mbank offers through its mobile application virtual cards, payments, and digital saving deposit accounts for the Nation’s youth – Generation Alpha – to encourage savings and financial planning skills for their future. Moreover, Mbank offers its corporate customers a Corporate Banking Suite with many tailored financial solutions that facilitate the opening of business accounts for all types of companies. In addition, customers interested in investment opportunities can enjoy an unparalleled experience by creating their National Investment Numbers and subscribing to IPOs on both ADX & DFM – via an entirely digital experience.Khayata recently announced the release of the newest product: Mbank Wallet, the UAE’s first national digital wallet that has been approved and licensed by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates. This addition to Al Maryah Community Bank’s financial technology suite illustrates the bank’s continued promise in building the most advanced mobile payment experience for its customers. Through Mbank Wallet, end-users will be able to perform all daily financial transactions including but not limited to sending, receiving, requesting, and paying money.On this occasion, Mohammed Wassim Khayata, CEO of Al Maryah Community Bank, commented: “I am honored to have been awarded the title of ‘Digital Innovator of the Year’. This recognition is a testament to my dedication, commitment, and passion in leading a team of highly skilled and devoted employees who strive tirelessly to deliver exceptional products and add value to our services in order to continue leading the way, driving positive change, and serving the overall community through digital innovation. I am happy to announce that we will be soon introducing our Corporate Banking Platform that will offer all business types the ability to open a fully digital account using the Mbank UAE mobile app in 6 simple steps, in less than 10 minutes, with zero minimum balance, and zero monthly fees”.He added: “I thank the MEED team for nominating me and congratulate all businesses and prominent figures in the FinTech industry who have won in other categories”.

ROAA Media Ventures joins Saudi Cultural Development Fund and MEFIC Capital

Riyadh: ROAA Media Ventures, a pioneering holding company at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s rapidly evolving media and entertainment industry, has announced an agreement in principle with Saudi Cultural Development Fund and MEFIC Capital to establish a Film Investment Fund for the Kingdom. The partners announced the agreement this morning (17 May 2023) during an exclusive industry breakfast hosted by Saudi Cultural Development Fund at the 76th Edition of the Cannes Film Festival.The $100m Film Investment Fund is the first capital injection initiative to be revealed under Saudi Cultural Development Fund’s Investment Track, part of its recently launched Film Sector Financing Program.The Fund will help stimulate investments in film projects, companies and media infrastructure, support the growth of talent and create new opportunities for job creation and development of the film industry in Saudi Arabia and internationally.Mohammed Bindayel, CEO, Saudi Cultural Development Fund said, “We hope that our partnership with ROAA Media Ventures and MEFIC Capital to establish the first investment fund, marks the beginning of more public-private sector collaborations and a new chapter for the Saudi film sector, where the private sector takes the leading role in investing in its growth.”ROAA Media Ventures will be the Technical Partner of the Fund and was selected by Saudi Cultural Development Fund because of its deep industry expertise and shared vision to create a dynamic media and entertainment industry that drives growth, innovation, and creativity across the entire value chain.Established in 2022, the media venture builder fosters local media projects, develops and nurtures regional talent and forges strategic international alliances and partnerships in alignment with the Kingdom’s cultural transformation and goals of Saudi Vision 2030. Its subsidiaries include some of the region's most exciting and innovative media companies. Among them are Hakawati Entertainment, a leading film and TV production company, and Meridian-Hakawati Pictures, a groundbreaking international partnership with Hollywood's Meridian Pictures.Commenting on the new agreement, Redha Alhaidar, Chairman, ROAA Media Ventures said: “ROAA Media Ventures is honored to partner with Saudi Cultural Development Fund and MEFIC Capital to establish the Film Investment Fund. Through this collaboration we will be able to foster partnerships that support the expansion and diversification of the film industry, creating valuable synergies between international expertise and the rich resources and talent present in the region.“The establishment of this fund signals confidence in the region’s media and entertainment industry and will help attract more private sector investments, greater international collaboration and improve the availability of talent in the region and abroad.“Our appointment as technical partner to the Fund is testament to the experience and capabilities of the ROAA Media Ventures team and we are pleased to be recognized as a positive driving force cultivating and growing the media and entertainment landscape in the region and beyond.ROAA Media Ventures is led by a distinguished senior executive team and board with exceptional track records delivering media and production, management, communication, investment and policy in Saudi Arabia and around the world. Combining this local market expertise with its global experience, perspective, connections and financial resources, the company is helping accelerate the growth of the Saudi media and entertainment industry.As a key partner in the Fund, ROAA Media Ventures will play a pivotal role in facilitating connections between international partners and local opportunities for filming, investment, or co-funding. It will also provide investment evaluation and management related services to the Film Investment Fund’s manager as well as technical and business assistance to the Fund’s portfolio companies, projects and assets.“Cannes is one of the most important and prestigious film festivals in the world and we are thrilled to be here to announce such a great initiative to the international film community. We firmly believe that the power of cinema lies not only in its economic potential but also in its ability to share local cultures and values with the rest of the world, breaking down barriers and building bridges of understanding and respect. With the right financial backing, we can help unleash the full potential of talent from the Middle East to create authentic, high-quality content that can compete on the global stage,” Alhaidar added.

Five reasons to visit Museum of the Future on International Museums Day

Dubai: Museum of the Future is a global hub for intellectual discussions, a magnet for visionaries and thoughtleaders, a playground for innovators, and a catalyst for change. Bringing to life the latest developments in science, technology, AI and robotics across key pillars including sustainability, health, wellbeing, mobility and space, the Museum of the Future unites local and international changemakers with the general public to create innovative solutions for a better tomorrow.18 May marks International Museum Day, which celebrates the role of museums worldwide and highlights the creative aspirations and efforts of cultural spaces globally. The theme for the 2023 International Museum Day edition is Museums, Sustainability and Wellbeing and aims to shed light on the way museums support the Sustainable Development Goals, from educating visitors about climate change, to highlighting pathways to improved wellbeing, to fostering inclusivity.Here are five compelling reasons why you should visit Museum of the Future this International Museums Day:See awe-inspiring architecture: Museum of the Future stands as one of Dubai's most iconic landmarks. With a cutting-edge design, often recognised as one of the world's most beautiful buildings, the museum showcases an asymmetric curved shape, clad in steel and glass. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the design brings to life Dubai's forward-thinking ethos, whilst the museum's exterior features inspiring Arabic calligraphy featuring quotes from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adding a touch of artistry to the futuristic structure.Play your part in creating a better future: The Museum of the Future not only offers a platform to learn about innovative ideas but also encourages visitors to actively contribute to shaping a better tomorrow. Through its ‘Tomorrow Today’ exhibition, developed in collaboration with strategic partners from around the world, visitors can explore how today's innovations are addressing urgent global challenges. By understanding and supporting these transformative technologies, individuals can play their role in building a more sustainable and inclusive future.Disconnect to reconnect: Visitors to the museum will encounter extraordinary exhibits that bring to life the limitless possibilities of science and technology. As a "living museum," it invites guests to envision and explore potential futures. Those heading to Al Waha, are invited to explore a world that stimulates their senses in this deeply immersive oasis. Visitors embark on an intimate journey in an environment centered around health and wellbeing, where they can easily detach from technology. During their visit, guests can truly disconnect and meditate, reconnect with themselves and restore natural balance.Engage in interactive experiences: Visitors are invited to go beyond the present and embark on a journey into the realms of innovation. Everyone who steps foot into the museum will be immersed in a world of interactivity and innovation. Each floor of the museum is designed as an expansive, interactive multi-media experience, brought to life by expert storytellers, technologists, and visionary artists. Engage with groundbreaking technologies, participate in workshops, and attend talks by the greatest minds shaping our future. From space travel and climate change to health, wellness, and spirituality, the museum covers a broad range of thought-provoking topics.Inspire young minds: With education at its heart, the Museum of the Future recognises the importance of nurturing the next generation of innovators and visionaries. Within the dedicated space called ‘Future Heroes,’ children aged three to 10 can embark on an open-world experience designed to encourage exploration, play, and the development of future-proof skills. Through interactive activities that foster communication, collaboration, and creativity, young visitors can unleash their potential and gain insights into the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.Celebrate International Museums Day at the Museum of the Future and discover a destination where ideas become reality, and where imagination knows no bounds. Gaze upon awe-inspiring architecture, marvel at the amazing displays, engage in interactive experiences, contribute to a better future, and inspire the young minds of tomorrow.Visiting the Museum of the Future on International Museums Day is an opportunity to delve into the fascinating world of science, technology, and innovation. Tickets, can be booked through the official website, with complimentary entry for children under three, people of determination, and Emirati senior citizens. Advance bookings are recommended.

Proven Robotics integrates ChatGPT with Pepper humanoid robot

Dubai PROVEN Robotics, a leading provider of robotic solutions worldwide, announced the successful integration of natural language artificial intelligence (AI) technology, ChatGPT, into its cutting edge humanoid robot, Pepper. A regional first, the significant milestone offers several key benefits and solidifies the company’s position as an industry pioneer. PROVEN Robotics also announced a partnership with one of the largest chemical manufacturing companies in the world - the deal saw the Saudi-based chemicals specialist leverage PROVEN Robotics’ advanced robotics solutions at two of its events in the Kingdom.Since its arrival in the market, ChatGPT has stirred far-reaching debates and has already made a significant impact due to its potential to profoundly impact a number of sectors, and revolutionize how people view and interact with AI. The integration of ChatGPT with Pepper demonstrated the innovative spirit of the PROVEN Robotics development team, and simultaneously presented an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the ground-breaking capabilities of both ChatGPT and Pepper.“The combination of an advanced AI language system with our highly effective Pepper robotics platform provides a unique proposition for a wide range of applications, from customer service and entertainment to education and research. The ability to seamlessly integrate advanced language capabilities with the physical agility of Pepper has exciting potential, and reinforces PROVEN Robotics’ standing as a leader in the industry,” explained Mohammed Aldousari, Regional Robotics Lead at PROVEN Robotics.By leveraging the advanced language capabilities of ChatGPT, the PROVEN Robotics development team was able to overcome some of the robot’s limitations and took its conversational abilities to new heights. The integration of the two technologies signifies a tangible step forward in the evolution of humanoid robotics, while showcasing the innovative spirit of the team at PROVEN Robotics.The integration of ChatGPT in Pepper offers several significant benefits including: improving Pepper’s natural language understanding, enabling the robot to understand a wide range of human inputs and to respond naturally; encouraging flexible and personalized communication, so the robot can engage in open-ended conversations with users in an array of environments; boosting Pepper’s entertainment capabilities by enabling it to create interactive games, stories and other forms of entertainment; growing the educational applications that Pepper offers thus making it a more effective tool for learning, while also enhancing the assistive capabilities Pepper features. The latter enables Pepper to better assist people with disabilities by providing more human-like responses, and enabling it to understand more specific requirements.PROVEN Robotics’ industry leading solutions was recently demonstrated through its partnership with a prominent chemical manufacturing company. The client leveraged PROVEN Robotics’ cutting-edge solutions across two of its key events, thus providing its employees and customers with rich experiences. At the first event, PROVEN Robotics unveiled its Pepper, Bellabot, KettyBot, and Double 3 robots to the client’s employees. Pepper welcomed them and engaged in quiz sessions, while the other three robots distributed gifts, food, and beverages. The robots were tailored specifically to meet the needs of the client and its visitors and increased visitors’ awareness of the company.The second event was a Year End Meeting event for the client’s VPs around the globe. This event saw Pepper engage with attendees in a friendly manner and effectively fielded many queries. In this instance, the multipurpose KettyBot displayed the organization’s details on its large display, while BellaBot delivered food and beverages to guests.“Our partnership with one of the largest chemical manufacturing companies in the world, which saw the rollout of our advanced robotics solutions at their key events in Riyadh, Jubail and Yanbu, proved without a shadow of a doubt that our robots could contribute to significant events. We thank our client for their trust and cooperation and look forward to building a productive partnership going forward. We are yet to leverage the full potential of robots and what they can bring to communities and businesses, however this was a fantastic proving ground and a stepping stone to a brighter future,” concluded Aldousari.

QDB, Microsoft Qatar partner to foster innovation, accelerate startups and SMEs

Doha: Entrepreneurs and innovators in Qatar will now have access to a wide range of technologies and tools to propel their success thanks to a new partnership between Qatar Development Bank and Microsoft. The partnership aims to accelerate the digital transformation of startups and SMEs and to foster innovation as part of QDB’s integrated efforts to bolster the local entrepreneurship ecosystem and talent pool as well as Qatar’s position as a regional innovation and technology hub.The partnership will enable SMEs to benefit from emerging technologies, leveraging Microsoft Cloud to improve performance, boost productivity, reduce costs, and develop innovative solutions.The initiative will also provide SMEs with the opportunity to build their digital skills through the Microsoft Learn platform, which equips entrepreneurs, leaders and employees with the necessary skills to leverage cloud technology to accelerate digital transformation and achieve growth in a knowledge-based economy.Startups under Qatar Development Bank’s umbrella will also now have access to Microsoft’s Founders Hub, a platform that brings together people, knowledge, and technology to help founders solve challenges in every stage of their ambitious journey.Microsoft will also offer access to learning tools to enable entrepreneurs and startups to leverage cloud technology such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and the Internet of Things to launch a successful business.Commenting on this partnership, Mr. Abdulrahman Hesham Al Sowaidi, Acting CEO of QDB said: “This partnership provides access to an advanced set of digital platforms, and guarantees the readiness of our innovators and startups to pursue aspirations that fall in line with our goals of developing Qatar's entrepreneurship ecosystem and strengthening the country's position as a center for innovation and technological excellence.”Lana Khalaf, General Manager, Microsoft Qatar, expressed her enthusiasm about the partnership with Qatar Development Bank which aligns with the company’s investments to empower in the startups and SMEs ecosystem in Qatar. She said, "Startups and SMEs play a pivotal role in accelerating Qatar’s digital economy and its position as an innovation hub for investment. Through this initiative, businesses will have access to the latest cloud technologies and digital skills needed to achieve their business goals and contribute to Qatar’s economic growth and development. This partnership supports our efforts to be the preferred and trusted partner for cloud innovation for all sectors of the economy in Qatar."QDB’s partnership with Microsoft is the latest in a series of initiatives to bolster capacity development and build a diversified entrepreneurship ecosystem that drives economic development.

Seedtag unveils industry-first generative AI for contextual creative

Dubai: Seedtag, the leading global contextual advertising company, has launched a powerful new generative AI capability that gives brands and agencies the capacity to build tailored creative based on the context of the surrounding page-level content. Advertisers can now benefit from iterations of ads that better fit “where they live” online. One creative now has infinite opportunities - saving time and resources.Generative AI has been fully integrated into Liz, Seedtag’s contextual AI platform that provides Deep Learning, Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing capabilities. Liz fully understands the desired contexts for the client’s ad campaign and creates prompts to modify the original creative based on the best possible outcome. The AI generative platform builds new creatives using the insight driven prompts that target specific audiences and meet campaign objectives, according to the brand's creative brief.While Seedtag already employs AI in its advertising offering to categorize the content of articles and contextualize creatives, generative AI provides advertisers more sophisticated creatives that perfectly match the content of the articles. This increases the effectiveness of contextual creatives even further, as studies from Lumen and Xandr have already shown that aligning context and creative generates a 20% uplift in attention and increases CTR by 1.6x. To ensure a brand’s creative integrity is always upheld, Seedtag’s leading global design team oversees every AI-generated creative before presenting to advertisers - fusing the best of both worlds: state-of-the art tech with a human touch. Fernando Pascual, VP of Design at Seedtag, states: “Outstanding creatives are vital to the success of any ad campaign, but it’s equally important that these creatives are relevant to the context in which they’re served. By integrating Liz with generative AI technology, we can offer our clients contextual creatives that integrate seamlessly with the context in which they will be displayed, helping them win the attention battle and drive better results, while also saving time and resources.”

Unique podcast series featuring inspirational conversations with climate leaders

Dubai: The Dubai PodFest 2023 held at the Dubai Press Club today saw the launch of a unique podcast series that will feature inspirational conversations with climate leaders and changemakers. Supported by the Dubai Press Club and presented by Goumbook, a leading UAE-based social enterprise, the new series, which marks the ‘Year of Sustainability’, will be released in the run-up to COP28, the global climate conference to be hosted in the UAE towards the end of the year.The new series titled 'Climate Leaders- Rising Up to COP28’ forms part of Forward T?alks, a podcast show launched by Goumbook in 2019 featuring interviews with individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the sustainability and climate action movement in the UAE and beyond.Maitha Buhumaid, Director of the Dubai Press Club said: “Our support for the 'Climate Leaders- Rising Up to COP28’ podcast series forms part of our commitment not only to foster the development of a vibrant podcasting community but also encourage innovative digital media initiatives that promote a dialogue on national and global causes. We are keen to partner with stakeholders in various spheres to promote content initiatives that raise awareness and drive meaningful conversations about efforts being made to advance the UN’s sustainable development goals and combat climate change. Our support for the initiative also reflects our contributions to the UAE’s ‘Year of Sustainability’ campaign and the success of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) to be held in Dubai.”Tatiana Antonelli Abella, Managing Director and Founder, Goumbook said: "We are delighted to launch a special series of our Goumbook Forward Talks podcast in the ‘Year of Sustainability’ with the support of the Dubai Press Club in the lead-up to COP28 to be held later this year. The special series titled 'Climate Leaders- Rising Up to COP28’ will feature inspiring stories of sustainability leaders and champions, driving awareness and much-needed call for action on behalf of climate change issues, as well as social and environmental sustainability opportunities, from the UAE to the world."The new podcast series seeks to amplify the voice of leaders driving sustainable development and climate change action by giving them a platform to share their perspectives as well as showcase their initiatives and practices that are catalysing transformation in the sector.The region’s largest annual gathering of podcasters, the third edition of the Dubai PodFest, organised by the Dubai Press Club, brought together stakeholders across the sector to share strategies, ideas and solutions for accelerating the growth of the Arab world’s podcasting sector.

Bidding adieu to PR legend Tony Christodoulou

The global PR and comms industry just lost one of its all-time greats: Tony Christodoulou. He was the founder and chairman of Action Global Communications. Tony passed away last week, and it's a major loss for the industry.Back in 1971, Tony started the Action network in Nicosia, Cyprus. He had a passion for storytelling like no other, and he worked his magic for a solid 35 years with British Airways, taking the Action brand to a whopping 40 markets. British Airways was expanding exponentially in the '80s and '90s, opening up all these fresh biz and tourism destinations. Tony took advantage of that and made Action the biggest indie agency network in the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Europe.In '94, Tony made moves in the UAE, setting up Action's first presence in Dubai after snagging MCS. This was a game-changer for the PR and comms scene in the Middle East. Tony built teams and made his mark in the industry, showing love to clients from all kinds of industries.But Tony wasn't just about PR. Homie was also the Honorary Consul General of New Zealand in Cyprus for 22 years. And he racked up a bunch of awards, including an Honorary Fellowship from MEPRA in 2018.Tony's son, Chris, who's now the CEO, said his dad had an infectious personality. People from all over the MENA region are showing love on social media and industry platforms, reminiscing about Tony's mentorship. His legacy is something the whole Action Global Communications family is proud of.Action Global Communications set up an online tribute book for Tony on its website. PR pros and industry bosses from around the world are leaving hundreds of messages honoring Tony's impact.Tony's daughter, Kathy, who heads up new business development, said her father had a gift for forging real connections with clients and colleagues. In today's fast-paced industry, where everyone's focused on deliverables, that personal touch often gets forgotten. But it's all in Action's DNA, and they're going to keep it alive in Tony's memory, pushing the agency and the industry forward.Tony leaves behind his wife, Mickey, his children Chris and Kathy, and six grandchildren. Plus, there are thousands of past and present Action Global Communications employees who've been part of the team during the agency's 51-year run. Tony was 80 when he passed, but his legacy lives on.

Yemen's HSA Group enhances customer service with SAP

Dubai: Hayel Saeed Anam (HSA) Group Yemen, one of the Middle East's largest family-owned conglomerates, has successfully undergone a digital transformation in partnership with global technology company SAP SE (NYSE: SAP). By leveraging the security provided by SAP cloud-based solutions, HSA Group has increased its resilience and will ensure continued exceptional service for customers and staff amid the considerable challenges currently facing Yemen.HSA Group has had a partnership with SAP for IT services since 2013, and over the past couple of years, the two parties collaborated closely on the digital transformation roadmap that saw the successful migration of HSA's Yemen operations to the cloud in March this year. The comprehensive project included implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution S/4HANA at the group's larger operations, achieved in collaboration with SAP gold partner Phoenix Business Consulting and accelerated through the adoption of RISE with SAP. To bolster the performance of HSA's smaller operations, SAP Business ByDesign was selected as the ERP system and was implemented in collaboration with additional SAP partners."HSA Group is committed to supporting the digital transformation of Yemen and leveraging new technologies to promote economic growth as well as food and job security amid challenges brought by the ongoing conflict, famine and environmental disasters in Yemen," said Managing Director and Board Member of HSA Group, Nabil Hayel Saeed Anam. "In this complex and rapidly evolving landscape, the newly implemented SAP cloud solutions will increase the resilience of our business and enable full visibility of our global operations so that we can concentrate on expanding our core businesses and developing new services and products. Moreover, we are ensuring that we can continue to meet the needs of millions of Yemenis who rely on us for essential goods, including food and medicines, and those who are employed by our companies."HSA Group is the largest private employer in Yemen, with 20,000 employees, and has also optimized employee experiences through this digital transformation, by implementing the SAP SuccessFactors human experience management suite.Sergio Maccotta, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, SAP Middle East and Africa – South, commented, "This digital transformation project demonstrates the forward thinking that, over the past 85 years, has earned HSA Group a strong reputation as a visionary business leader in Yemen. The implementation of SAP ERP cloud solutions future-proofs the business by ensuring that it is scalable, flexible and able to operate in an agile way based on data-driven decisions in a rapidly evolving environment. Aside from enjoying 360-degree views of its operations, automation of business processes, and real-time data insights and analytics, the group's companies will also benefit from increased efficiencies and lower costs."HSA Group was established in 1938 and now operates more than 60 companies across Yemen, all of which are now using SAP cloud services. The company conducts business across more than 40 markets, providing goods and services to communities in the MENA region, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

Will AI impact the Arabic publishing industry?

Dubai: The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), a part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), will organise the 2nd International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries on 21-22 May, as part of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.Last year, this major publishing conference’s debut created a memorable impression, bringing together a strong cohort of speakers to explore themes of publishing and influences on it in today’s evolving markets, under the direction of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.More than 380 attendees were on hand at the event, hearing from 35 speakers both from the world of publishing and from “nearby” creative industries that hold in common both victories and challenges in today’s shifting markets.With a theme this year of “Adapting Stories,” the conference is focused on several elements of adaptation, including: How to draw inspiration from the rich history of Arabian fantasy while also breaking new ground and creating compelling and original such content for a global marketplace; How to export Arabic content for global audiences while remaining true to the cultural roots of that content; How educators and content creators can ensure that “edutainment” supports learning; How artificial intelligence may be impacting the Arabic publishing industry now, and what may be ahead in the future; and how to adapt a novel for the big screen.Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “This is an exciting time of growth and opportunity for creative and publishing industries in the Arab world. The richness and creativity of Emirati literary heritage and contemporary culture offers great potential for collaboration and new ways of working."“By bringing people together from different regions and disciplines, the congress plays an important role in supporting the cultural ecosystem and shaping the future for the next generation," he added.Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, stated, “Following the success of its inaugural year, we’re delighted to announce the second edition of the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries. The congress is a unique opportunity for professionals across the publishing and creative industries working within—or with—the Arab market to come together, discover the latest developments in publishing, share their expertise, and make important new connections."“In particular, this year’s congress highlights the significant potential in developing and promoting home-grown talent for global markets. There’s a wealth of innovation and creativity in the Middle East/North African region which holds great potential for the future of storytelling.”This year’s programme includes an opening from comics creator Brian Michael Bendis, with focal sessions on Arabian fantasy tales and the impact ahead of artificial intelligence on publishing.

Riyadh to host world class AI and Data Analytics event

Dubai: Deloitte, the world’s leading provider of professional services, announced the return of its global flagship AI and Analytics event, Experience Analytics, to the Middle East. The event will take place on Thursday, May 18th, at The Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, offering a platform to explore emerging technology solutions tailored to address opportunities unique to the Middle East region. Experience Analytics will be attended by over 450 guests including C-suite, senior executives, leaders and experts in Data, Analytics and AI, who will address key issues and challenges, as well as explore strategies, solutions and best practices. Mutasem Dajani, CEO Deloitte Middle East said, “Experience Analytics is the ideal forum to engage in discussions and the exchange of ideas on the best means to leverage emerging technologies that are truly shaping our present and future. Leaders and experts across the public and private sectors will get together in Riyadh, which is the ideal place to host this forum, as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is experiencing today an unrivalled rate of development, and the resulting socioeconomic transformation will be surely accelerated by these emerging technologies.”The agenda will pivot around key themes that help better understand the impact of Data, AI and Analytics on businesses, society and individuals. Through over 30 sessions of Ted-X style talks, panel discussions, live demonstrations and interactive lab activities, this all-day event will allow attendees to engage with thought-leaders, learn from industry-peers and explore the latest insights and trends in data and AI.Data is everywhere, it is all around us. In our homes, our workplace and even our pockets. In fact, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created around the world, every, single, day. The pace of which this data is produced, is only going to accelerate with the further adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) and future technological innovation. So, how do we make sense of this data? How do we make it accessible, clean, secure and usable to help drive insights, value, profits and sustainability within organizations? If you are interested in attending Experience Analytics

Egypt's Entrepreneur Awards unveils third edition shortlist

Cairo: Egypt's Entrepreneur Awards (EEA), the first platform in Egypt that recognises, and connects Egypt's most innovative, successful, and resilient entrepreneurs, announced a total of 35 shortlisted candidates, as selected by 38 prominent jury members across 11 categories.This year’s edition brought new categories including “Next Gen Intrapreneur of the Year”, “Rising Entrepreneur of the Year”, “Entrepreneur for Good Award” and “From Art to Business”Across all the categories, the 3rd edition of the competition received 286 applications entrepreneurs, and after significant deliberations by a panel of distinguished jury members, 35 numbers of nominees were chosen as finalists.Amr Mansi, EEA’s Founder and CEO, spoke at the shortlisting ceremony about how these finalists, and previous editions’ finalists and winners, are distinguished by their innovative and successful businesses and their tangible impact on their respective industries. “We created this platform three years ago with a mission to recognize local, and now regional entrepreneurs, in a way that acknowledges their journey to success that has not been done before. Through challenging times, these entrepreneurs have shown resilience and created real value for their industries in innovative and tangible ways such as product market fit, growth and financial stability, as well as social impact. They are an unseen force contributing to this economy and a source of inspiration for the next generation of entrepreneurs.” Mansi also thanked EEA’s jury members, who are some of Egypt’s most dynamic and inspirational entrepreneurs, business leaders and industry pioneers.For the first time, the shortlisting event witnessed the “Ideation Competition” that is created by EEA & MINT by EGBANK. The competition targets young entrepreneurs from the age of 18 till 29 years. The young entrepreneurs presented their ideas and will be chosen based on the clarity, usability and scalability of this idea, in addition to its impact socially, environmentally, economically or financial benefits for the community and stakeholders.The jury members will meet to deliberate and interview the finalists over the next few weeks. Selected winners from the 14 categories will be announced at the awards ceremony on the 10th of June in Cairo.EEA is presented by IEvents and powered by Tatweer Misr. The official Bank partner: EGBANK. Orange and Pepsico are both co- partners for this year’s edition.Official Media Partner: Startup scene. Industrial Partner: El Sewedy electric, Official Fashion Partner: Concrete, Payment Solutions Partner: Geidea,Supported by Partner; Dolato Supported by partner; Nestlé. Tech partner: collard, TV Partner; Al Sharq Business , Radio Partners; Nile & Nogoum FM, Ecosystem Partners; She wins Arabia by IFC, Mint by EGBANK, American Chamber( AMCHAM), Endeavor, Entrepreneurs Organizations (EO) and SYNDO. Digital Partner; Yellow & Co, Post production partner; Snappers. Design House; Amr Helmy DesignsBelow are the finalists who have been shortlisted for each category:Fashion Business Award: Maram Aboul Enein -Founder & Creative Director MARAM , Aya Abdelraouf     - Co-Founder BE IDNIE Mounaz Abdelraouf - Co-Founder BE INDIE, Mohamed Abdelraouf - Co-Founder BE INDIE, Vano Alexanian - Co-Founder BE INDIE , Ahmed Hamdi - Founder & Creative Director Nile Eye WearInterior Design Award: Heba El Gabaly - Founder & CEO Efreshli, Nourhan Kanjo - Co-founder & Managing Director KANJO Design House , Dayana Kanjo - Co-founder and Managing Director KANJO Design House, Ahmed Dsuki - Chief Designer BLCK, Amena Mashhour - Chief Designer BLCKFrom Art to Business: Mustafa Sharara - Co-Founder & CEO SYNC School, Omar Heraize - Co-founder & Chief Content Officer SYNC School , Abdelrahman Selim - Co Founder & CEO 2oolameme, Sarah Aboulkhair - Co Founder & CCO 2oolameme, Layla Ghaleb - Co Founder GOODSPACE, Mahmoud Shoukry - Co Founder GOODSPACE.Next Gen Entrepreneur of the Year: Nada El Ahwal - Chief Strategy Officer Transmar, Mohamed Khattab - EVP, b_labs & Digital Commerce B Tech, Mohamed El Kahhal - Managing Director Kahhal 1871Digital Solutions & Customer Experience Award: Rafik Zaher - Co founder Cartona, Mahmoud Talaat- Co founder & CEO Cartona, Mohamed Younes - Co founder & CEO Khazenly , Mohamed Montasser - Co Founder & Chief Experience Officer Khazenly , Osama Al Jammali       - Co Founder & CCO Khazenly , Ahmed Dewidar - Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer Khazenly , Ahmad Yousry - CEO Rabbit Mart , Ismail Hafez - COO Rabbit Mart , Tarek El Geresy - CFO           Rabbit Mart , Walid Shabana - CTO Rabbit Mart Mohammed Elhorishy - Co Founder & CEO Taager, Abdelrahman Sherief - Co Founder & VP of Growth Taager, Ismail Omar - Co Founder and CTO   Taager, Ahmed Ezzat Kadous - CEO & Co-Founder Pharmacy Marts, Haitham El-Ghotni - Co-Founder & CBO Pharmacy Marts - Ahmed Mazhar - Co-Founder & CSO Pharmacy Marts, Mahmoud Shousha - Co-Founder & Sales Head Pharmacy MartsRising Entrepreneur of the Year: Mohamed Wahid - Founder & CEO Impactyn, Ali Mokhtar - Co-founder & Head of Investment          Impactyn, Amr Zikry- Co-founder & Head of Operations Impactyn, Ramy Radwan           - Co-founder & PR Advisor Impactyn, Omar El Defrawy - Chief Executive Officer Slyndr, Andrew Morcos - Chief Operating Officer Slyndr, Moataz El Etreby - Chairman    Slyndr, Amr Gamal - Co Founder & CEO Octane, Ziad el Adawy - Co Founder & CCO Octane, Hatem Farag - Co Founder & COO Octane, Hatem Mamoun - Co Founder & Engineering Director OctaneEntrepreneur for Good Award: Mustafa Abd Ellatif - Co Founder & CEO E-Youth, DR. Ahmed Fathy- Co Founder & CEO MEDEX, Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim - Co Founder & Ph. Manager MEDEX, Rawia Saeid - Co Founder & Marketing & PR MEDEX, Karim Dabbous - Co founder & CEO E-TadweerExperiential Dining Business Award: Amr Barghash - Co Founder The Sage Experience , Ahmed El Meligy - Co Founder The Sage Experience , Karim Abdelrahman - Executive Chef / Founder Avec Karim, Mona Saeed Mohamed Nassef - CEO Tabali, Mohamed Abdel-Hamid Sabbour - Co-founder, Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Nassef, Vice Chairman of Board of Directors Tabali, Said Mohamed Nassef, Co founder & CEO Impact TabaliSports & Wellbeing Award: Ayman Hakky - Founder & Managing Director Trifactory, Khaled Nagy Ibrahim - Co-founder & CEO SR Padel, Seif Adel Abou Senna - COO SR Padel, Ahmed Ayman- CEO and Co-Founder Linos, Ahmed Shalaby - Sales Director & Co-Founder Linos, Ahmed Sedky - Marketing Director & Co-Founder    Linos, Ahmed El Shamy Co-Founder LinosReal Estate Services Award: Mostafa El Beltagy - CEO Nawy, Aly Rafea - Chief Experience Officer Nawy, Mohamed Abou Ghanima - COO Nawy, Abdel- Azim Osman - Chief Marketing Officer - Nawy, Ahmed Rafea -Chief Business Development Officer Nawy, Ahmed Selim - Founder & CEO Co-55, Farah Selim - Co-Founder & COO Co-55, Norhan Selim - Co-Founder Co-55. Ahmed El Raggal - Co-Founder & COO Partment, Nadim Nagui - Co-founder & CEO Partment, Chinmaya Das - Co-Founder & CTO PartmentFintech / Fintech Enabler Award: Marwan Kenawy - Co Founder & CEO Dsqaures, Ayman Essawy - Co Founder Dsqaures, Momtaz Moussa - Co Founder Dsqaures, Amr Sultan - Co founder & CEO           BInk, Tarek Elsheikh - Co-Founder & Chief Risk Officer BInk, Ahmed Atalla - Co Founder & CEO Raseedi

THE LIST partners with authentication platform Stitchain

Dubai: Global online commerce THE LIST has appointed the Middle East's first authentication platform, Stitchain, to solidify authenticity and ownership within the luxury fashion sector. Headquartered in New York, and with a presence in Dubai and Lisbon, THE LIST identified the Dubai-based ID authentication platform due to its proprietary protocols to connect physical products and assets to the digital world. This represents a significant milestone for Stitchain as the company aims to further showcase the region's advanced technologies globally for use across all verticals. The partnership further demonstrates the continued emergence of blockchain technology in "traditional" sectors. Businesses, consumers, and governments can easily access and verify product and asset data profiles. As the first social commerce platform for luxury fashion, THE LIST enables immediate access for consumers to a network of leading global brands and retailers, where they can discover and shop personalized content and access "hard-to-find" items. The partnership supports THE LIST's mission to ensure the authenticity of every product listed on the platform. By embedding NFC (Near Field Communication) tags linked to Stitchain's blockchain-based authentication system, customers can also use the platform to verify the provenance and ownership of their purchases, fostering trust and confidence in the platform's offerings.Each asset registered on the platform is allocated a unique, encrypted digital ID stored on the blockchain. This digital ID is then linked to a physical NFC tag that can be embedded or attached to the asset. As a result, users can easily authenticate and verify ownership by tapping the NFC tag on their smartphone via mobile application.Samir Al Andari Founder of Stitchain, said, "By partnering with THE LIST we are able to showcase our cutting-edge solution for asset authentication and management that well-align with THE LIST's commitment to quality, authenticity, security and transparency. Not only does this showcase the technology pioneered from the MENA region, but it also aims to set a new standard in the luxury goods industry."Andreas Skorski Founder of THE LIST, said, "At THE LIST, we are committed to giving our customers the highest level of authenticity and transparency. We are thrilled to work with Stitchain and take advantage of their ground-breaking authentication platform to boost our customers' trust in the legitimacy and ownership of the high-end goods we offer on our platform”

E3 Customer Experience Conference 2023 opens in Riyadh

Riyadh: The third edition of the E3 Customer Experience Conference 2023, organised by Ejtemaat Saudi Arabia in partnership with the Saudi CX Association, opened today at the Crowne Plaza RDC in Riyadh.The E3 CX Conference is one of the largest platforms discussing customer experience in the region and is organised in strategic partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of KSA and Tamkeen Technologies. It addresses strategies and tools to accelerate customer-centric growth and innovation in the face of capricious developments in the experience economy, where consumers have started interacting with AI and demand fast services.The first day of the conference also saw the launch of the highly anticipated CX Saudi Excellence Programme, led by the Saudi CX Association, which recognised Saudi organisations, including, The National Center for Performance Measurement "Adaa"; Digital Government Authority; Communications, Space and Technology Commission; Ministry of Commerce, KPMG Saudi Arabia, Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha'at); Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC); Flying Bisons; National Center for the Development of the Non-Profit Sector; and Quality of Life Program of KSA, with the ‘Saudi Customer Experience Awards’."The Kingdom lives in the light of its comprehensive development vision, a comprehensive renaissance that extends to all sectors. To keep up with this developmental renaissance, the CX SAUDI (Customer Experience Association) is building a CX professional community in the Kingdom to educate, innovate and exchange insights to develop and implement sustainable and successful Customer Experience programs across the region," said Eng. Abdullah AlGhamedi, Founder & Chairman of Saudi CX Association, in his welcome address.He continued to emphasise on the Association's mission to support the Kingdom's CX agenda saying, "In order to activate the role of the association and achieve its goals, we are here today as a main partner in the E3 CX Conference, and we continue to support and enable events and programs that aim to serve the customer experience field at the local and regional levels."The two-day event gathers key decision-makers, CX experts, technology leaders, and thought leaders to explore the theme "Revolutionising Your Customer Experience". Topics include the influence of AI on customer journeys, brand loyalty, and the $482.18M customer experience management market. They will present actionable strategies and initiatives to drive customer-centric growth and innovation in the evolving experience economy and aligns with Saudi Vision 2030, aimed at economic development and diversification.During an insightful keynote session, Dr. Muhammad Al-Shaibi, CEO of Tamkeen Technologies, expressed Tamkeen Technologies' keenness to participate with the Ministry of Communications And Information Technology (MCIT) and Saudi Customer Experience Association (CXA) in sponsoring this specialised conference and contributing to the development of the customer experience industry.In addition, the Vice President of the Customer Experience Sector of Tamkeen Technologies, Mr. Ali Al-Zubaidi, also confirmed that Tamkeen Technologies is working hard to apply the latest international methodologies in this sector, which prompted us to design "JSOUR TX", which was established with the aim of integrating all known experiences, "such as the Customer Experience (CX), Employee Experience (EX), User Experience (UX)," which has become traditional and cannot achieve the customers' expectations without homogenising and harmonising all experiences together.Dr Fahad Al Twaijry, Director of Ejtemaat KSA, the organiser of the event, said, "It has become evident that designing and delivering quality customer experiences requires KSA business and government organisations next level understanding in terms of technology, trained manpower and seamless integration across the organisations. This can be only achieved by breaking down complex customer engagement processes and aligning the business or government services around the customer. The conference has attracted great feedback and attendance this year, and this reflects that KSA organisations are determined to take customer experience practises to the next level, and this is in line with the nation's and our leaderships objectives."The conference is set to feature over 40+ industry-leading speakers from the region and beyond, including industry pioneer Abdulaziz Alshamsan, CEO of CXKSA, who said, "Customer experience is trending, and CXKSA is as well. We are dedicated to the age of customers with our vision and CX capabilities. Technology can enhance customer experience and aim to create a total experience (TX). We are joining E3 to demonstrate that CXKSA has the talent and will to support the industry towards customer-centricity adoption. We are proud to announce during the event the "Saudi Customer Experience Awards", with its international history now in Saudi Arabia, the country with a vision for the future. We will contribute to enhancing and building the CX community here."Addressing important industry topics, the conference also highlighted how trust and safety is a rapidly growing industry critical to all organisations and individuals who gather in digital space. The Teleperformance SVP, Camilla Hegarty, focused on the theme "What is Trust and Safety and what invest in this now ", where she shared extensive insights on crucial areas of content moderation, payment and transactions, anti-fraud and security and social media monitoring to increase the overall customer experience."Managing customer experience is no longer an option for brands; it has become a necessity. To be recognised as market leaders globally, brands in the region need to use solutions like Lucidya, to provide the best CX possible to their clients. We support and partake in events like E3 to spread awareness on the importance of customer experience management and the effect of AI on customer experience." said Abdullah Asiri, Founder & CEO of Lucidya.Supported by global partners Teleperformance, Lucidya, Qualtrics, Genesys, Fourth Dimension Systems, QuestionPro, New Metrics, Medallia, Emplifi, Survey2Connect, Sprinklr, KPMG, Sitecore, Delight, Zoho, Silah, Freshworks, Alnafitha IT, Horváth, RayaCX, Sandsiv+, Ziwo, CXKsa, Taqniyat, Kanari, Hansa Research, and CXBrand, the E3 Customer Experience Conference 2023 highlights regional and international CX success stories, bringing together over 500+ delegates from the Middle East CX community with recognised CX practitioners and thought leaders from around the world.

Beyon announces the biggest ever investment in digital infrastructure in Bahrain

Dubai: Manama, Bahrain: Beyon has announced a major investment of more than USD 250M in state-of-the-art digital infrastructure helping to support the acceleration of Bahrain’s digital transformation and the growth of the country’s digital economy, in a press conference attended by Beyon Chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.The Bahrain Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) General Director Mr. Phillip Marnick and SEA-ME-WE 6 Management Committee Chairperson Mr. Yue Meng Fai were also in attendance at the event, which took place at Centraal, Beyon Campus, Hamala, Kingdom of Bahrain on May 16th, 2023.During the event, Beyon CEO Mikkel Vinter announced that Batelco, part of the Beyon group, has joined the SEA-ME-WE 6 (Southeast Asia - Middle East - Western Europe) consortium, which is building a 21,700 km-long undersea telecommunications cable system connecting Bahrain with 14 other countries.Additionally, Batelco is investing to build a regional subsea cable, the ‘Al Khaleej’ Cable which the Company will fully own, enhancing the region’s data exchange. Beyon’s CEO also announced Data Oasis, which will be the biggest technology hub in the Kingdom of Bahrain and include a newly built advanced Data Centre for the Company.SEA-ME-WE 6 Superhighway Connecting the Middle East to Southeast Asia and Western EuropeThe SEA-ME-WE 6 cable system, offering one of the lowest latencies available between the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Western Europe will significantly boost Beyon’s global network infrastructure. SEA-ME-WE 6 will have the capability of transferring more than 100 terabits per second. The new subsea cable will create a layer of network diversity and resilience for the heavily used routes connecting the Middle East towards Europe and Asia.Al Khaleej Cable, the Company’s Fully Owned Subsea CableBatelco is also investing in the Al Khaleej Subsea Cable, to extend from Bahrain to other regional countries including Oman, UAE and Qatar. This fully owned subsea cable will help to diversify routes and augment international connectivity for the region.Beyon Data Oasis Announced Incorporating Advanced Data CentreAnother major initiative supporting the ever-growing data movement was also announced. Beyon is developing Bahrain’s biggest and most advanced Data Centre that will be located within Beyon Data Oasis, being developed on a 140K Sq. Mts. site located in the south of Bahrain.Beyon Data Oasis will incorporate the SEA-ME-WE 6 and the Al Khaleej cables into the Data Centre, therefore enabling hyperscalers and businesses to access seamless integrated solutions and helping to strengthen Bahrain’s position as a leading regional technology hub.Furthermore, the new Data Centre will feature multiple Megawatt power capacity and utilize clean power technologies provided by the Company’s Solar Park, aligning with its sustainability plans to increase alternative power sources.Beyon Chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa praised the major announcements that were made today, noting that a robust connectivity infrastructure is central to the growth of the digital economy and that these major initiatives will support the acceleration of the digital future for Bahrain in line with the Kingdom’s vision 2030.Beyon CEO Mikkel Vinter said, “Beyon is delighted to join hands with other leading international communication companies and join the SEA-ME-WE 6 cable consortium which will support and strengthen connectivity in the region.”“We are also pleased to reaffirm our commitment to building state-of-the-art facilities that help to attract global tech companies plus leading local and regional companies, by building Beyon’s new Data Centre, which will be the biggest in Bahrain.”“Our significant Investment, the biggest of its kind in Bahrain’s history, reflects the immense importance we place on meeting the requirements of the business industry and our commitment to supporting the growth of Bahrain’s digital ecosystem,” he added.The TRA General Director Phillip Marnick who attended the event said, “This is a very important announcement that will have a significant impact on the development of a robust digital connectivity infrastructure for the Kingdom of Bahrain.”“The deployment of advanced technologies for citizens, residents, and businesses gives them access to the latest communication solutions, and also further enhances Bahrain's position as a leading digital hub.”SEA-ME-WE 6 Management Committee Chairperson Yue Meng Fai said, “We are very happy to welcome Batelco to the consortium, which will directly connect Bahrain to the cable and enhance the overall coverage of the SEA-ME-WE 6.”“With millions of people living and working remotely today, this new cable system will support all partners to provide superior broadband access along this multi-regional data superhighway, enabling them to meet and exceed capacity demands of their customers. By building more capacity and flexibility we are ensuring readiness for future needs.”In addition to Beyon in Bahrain, the SMW6 consortium includes its sister company Dhiraagu in the Maldives and additionally Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company, Bharti Airtel (India), China Unicom, Djibouti Telecom, Mobily (Saudi Arabia), Orange (France), PCCW Global, Singtel (Singapore), Sri Lanka Telecom, Telecom Egypt, Telekom Malaysia, Telin (Indonesia) and Trans World Associates (Pakistan).The SEA-ME-WE 6 submarine cable connectivity to Bahrain and Al Khaleej Cable are expected to be completed by Q2 2026.

Vodafone, 14.6% owned by UAE’s e&, to cut 11,000 jobs

Dubai: Vodafone Group plc, which is 14.6% owned by UAE telecoms company Etisalat, now known as e&, is to cut 11,000 jobs worldwide over the next three years, as it pares back costs to compete with rivals, the UK-based company said on Tuesday.In its full-year earnings report Vodafone Group CEO Margherita Della Valle said the company’s performance had “not been good enough”.The job cuts equate to 12% of the Vodafone’s global workforce of 90,000, and follow an annual profit forecast cut last year, as well as a cost cutting plan of more than 1 billion euros ($1.089 billion) to cope with soaring energy bills and inflation.Della Valle said: “To consistently deliver, Vodafone must change,” adding that the organisation was being simplified, cutting out complexity to regain competitiveness.“We will reallocate resources to deliver the quality service our customers expect,” she said.Statements to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) last week said e&’s group CEO Hatem Dowidar would join the Vodafone board and remain there as long as the company maintained its current 14.6% stake. The statements added that e& would become a cornerstone shareholder in Vodafone Group plc.e& also said last week that it would jointly explore a series of collaborations with Vodafone, starting with offering cross-border digital services and solutions to multi-national customers, and a range of other services including fixed and mobile connectivity and cloud based services.

Coffee Communications wins La Marzocco's communication mandate

Dubai: Coffee Communications, the Dubai-based brand consultancy and communications agency, has announced its partnership with La Marzocco as a new addition to its PR clientele. La Marzocco, recognized as the 'Best Luxury Coffee Makers in the World,' is a distinguished artisan company that specializes in crafting superior quality and exquisitely designed espresso machines, ensuring an unparalleled coffee experience. With a rich heritage and a reputation for excellence, this Italian manufacturer is celebrated for its pioneering role in creating the finest brews.Coffee Communications has been entrusted with the task of establishing and managing media communications for La Marzocco in the UAE and GCC region. Founded in 1927 by Giuseppe and Bruno Bambi, La Marzocco originated in Florence, a city steeped in the Italian Renaissance and revered for its association with brilliant minds like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Brunelleschi, who created some of the world's most iconic artworks.In addition to its industry leadership in espresso machines, La Marzocco also offers an array of home products designed to deliver an uncompromised espresso experience within the comforts of one's own abode. These products are complemented by a range of accessories, enabling coffee enthusiasts to achieve the perfect brew in the convenience of their homes.Coffee Communications Founder-CEO said: “We are thrilled to be adding a timeless brand, La Marzocco to our growing portfolio. We look forward to further developing the brand ethos and heritage – positioning La Marzocco as the one and only luxury pioneers of coffee machines in the region. Not only does this reflect the agency’s exceptional work and service delivered in the past years but it is also an opportunity to showcase our talent in the international market.”Established in 2016, Coffee Communications is renowned for providing bespoke, innovative, and integrated solutions to brands in the fashion, beauty, hospitality, and lifestyle sectors. With its expertise in strategic brand communication, Coffee Communications is poised to elevate La Marzocco's presence and reinforce its reputation as a symbol of refined coffee craftsmanship in the UAE and GCC market.

Data streaming delivers 2-5x ROI for 76% of organisation

Dubai: Data streaming is now the backbone for the most critical areas of a business—from personalized customer experiences to real-time business operations. The Confluent, Inc. (NASDAQ: CFLT) 2023 Data Streaming Report: Moving Up the Maturity Curve dives into data streaming’s rise as a requirement for business success. Based on a survey of 2,250 IT leaders using data streaming from across seven countries and representing midsize to large enterprises across all major industries, the report makes clear that the technology is a must-have for running a more efficient, responsive, and ultimately more competitive business in this digital-first era.  “In today’s economic climate, IT leaders face a new level of pressure to prove each technology buying decision is worth the cost,” said Chad Verbowski, CTO, Confluent. “Findings from the Data Streaming Report show that data streaming delivers outsized returns and greater efficiencies for most organizations. So it’s clear to see how it cemented its spot as one of the most important IT investments of 2023.”Key Findings from the 2023 Data Streaming ReportToday’s most successful organizations are those that are the fastest at turning data into action. Data streaming platforms provide the quickest, most reliable access to continuous streams of data that are updated in real time. And, according to the report, data streaming is pervasive within businesses, powering a wide array of use cases that keep top-performing companies secure, agile, and ahead of customer expectations.The report is centered around the Data Streaming Maturity Curve, which maps out organizations' adoption journey—from pre-production activity happening at Level 1 to data streaming as a strategic enabler for all areas of an enterprise at Level 5. The survey data found that the more a company invests in data streaming, the more benefits and returns they realize.However, as with many disruptive technologies, companies face common challenges when scaling implementations, including a persistent skills gap and silos across teams. The report identifies the most common challenges alongside expert advice on how to overcome these hurdles no matter where an organization is on its data streaming journey. Key findings include: Data Streaming Drives Business Value and Strong ROI64% of organizations in Level 2 of the Data Streaming Maturity Curve are achieving or anticipating 2x-5x returns, and this increases to 78% with Level 3 companies.73% of IT leaders report their organizations are seeing significant or emerging benefits from data streaming when it comes to increased product or service profitability. Data Streaming Is a Top Priority for IT Investments89% of respondents say investments in data streaming are important, with 44% citing it as a top strategic priority for IT investments overall. 72% of IT leaders say they are using data streaming to power critical applications—and 60% cite that five or more of their organization’s critical systems are reliant on the technology. Data Streaming’s Biggest Challenges: Silos and Skill Gaps74% of IT leaders cite that fragmented projects and uncoordinated teams and budgets can be a challenge or a major hurdle to advancing data streaming. 87% of respondents say training and recruitment to bolster skills is a high or medium priority as they continue to invest in data streaming over the next 12 months. MethodologyThe report is based on a survey designed by Freeform Dynamics and conducted by Radma Research from February to March 2023. Responses from 2,250 IT leaders were collected across Australia, France, Germany, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Qualifying respondents are from organizations using data streaming that have more than 500 employees.

Admiral Mobility partners with Avis to introduce electric trucks to UAE

Dubai: United Arab Emirates: Admiral Mobility, a leading company that provides accessible eMobility and energy charging solutions, has announced a major partnership with vehicle hire company, Avis, to bring electric commercial trucks to the leasing market in the UAE.The strategic partnership represents a commitment to deliver the GCC’s largest rollout of electric commercial trucks, which will be leased to fleets across the UAE. They are set to be let out to companies who want to move towards cleaner, more sustainable fleets as part of their pledge to operate in more environmentally-friendly ways.Comprising of electric commercial trucks split between 6T and 8T, the announcement was made during Mobility Live in Abu Dhabi, which brought together world leaders in the green transport and EV space. With a range of up to 220km, with full load, the zero emissions electric vehicle takes less than 90 minutes to fully charge via its efficient, and safe, liquid cooled CATL LFP battery.Advanced safety features include lane-keeping assist adapt cruise control, remote locking systems, high beam LED lights equipped with auto adaption to the surrounding traffic, and of course, ease of comfort of driving.The news builds on the commitment of Admiral Mobility back in December last year, when it announced a strategic partnership with Geely Farizon New Energy Commercial Vehicle Group to bring 5,000 electric commercial vehicles to the Middle East region.Building on the requirement to create ‘a green transportation industry’, Admiral Mobility has done extensive testing of the vehicles over the last six months to ensure they are fit for the GCC market when it comes to being both operationally and commercially viable.Graham Bremer, General Manager from Admiral Mobility, commented: “In our quest to ‘decarbonise’ the transport industry we are proud of our latest announcement, which represents a major step forward for both commercial fleets, and the UAE market. This commitment with AVIS UAE represents the largest rollout of EV trucks to be leased in the UAE to date. It is an exciting time to be partnering with a forward-thinking company the size of Avis, which has a major footprint in the commercial leasing market.“We are looking forward to our vehicles hitting the road, as per our commitment to support the growing demand for more cleaner transportation, be it for highways, the city or backroads, to ensure a cleaner environment for us all.”Dominic Hagerty, General Manager from AVIS UAE, commented:“We are delighted to be entering this strategic partnership with Admiral Mobility, to provide a more sustainable solution for our fleet customers in the UAE. Through this agreement, we will be able to offer businesses an attractive leasing model arrangement to provide complete flexibility for fleets who want to move towards a more sustainable mode of transport.”“The Electric commercial trucks in this agreement represent a step change in commercial fleets, by being the first of its kind available in its category, any where in the GCC. We are truly excited to be a launch partner for this vehicle.”With the UAE’s focus on achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) to provide access to clean energy and sustainable economic growth, the latest commitment from Admiral Mobility and Avis UAE will further help build the ‘green transportation industry’, especially in the lead up to COP28.The vehicles are expected to be available from August this year.

Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management and Flash Entertainment join forces

Dubai: Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) and Flash Entertainment (Flash) have officially integrated their activities and operations, combining the complementary expertise of the two entities to launch a new powerhouse that will shape the future of events, entertainment, and venue management throughout the Middle East and beyond.The company has been named 'Ethara' - meaning 'thrill' in Arabic - and launches today (May 15). Its ambition is to shape the untapped and unique opportunities in the live events space while continuing to deliver growth that has firmly positioned the Middle East on the global entertainment stage.Ethara is led by Saif Al Noaimi, formerly the CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management and Board Member of Flash Entertainment, who will bring his proven leadership to drive commercial expansion across new markets.Al Noaimi, CEO of Ethara, said: "By combining our strengths, we are perfectly positioned to make memorable moments that matter. By integrating the activities and operations of two of Abu Dhabi's pioneering entertainment and event management titans, Ethara will further establish the Emirate as an economic engine in the entertainment, event management, and sports industries, locally, regionally, and internationally."He added: "We have an unrivalled wealth of expertise, experience, knowledge and skills, which will propel Ethara's success far beyond what either company could achieve alone – all powered by world-class creativity and innovation."ADMM and Flash have collectively conceptualised, produced, promoted, and delivered over 700 major events to more than 16 million fans in the 15 years since their inception. These events have included the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yasalam After-Race Concerts, Mubadala World Tennis Championships, FIFA Club World Cup, AFC Asian Cup, NBA Abu Dhabi Games, UFC, national celebrations and festivals, as well as many more spanning sport, music, culture, entertainment, corporate, and MICE events.  Ethara welcomes the teams from both organisations under the new entity across offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Riyadh. Through the combination of expertise, Ethara will now seek to drive reach through an innovative approach to technology and future-focused ambitions across key markets."Ethara provides an exceptional platform to realise our collective potential and create experiences of the future, today," said Al Noaimi. "Ethara is a people-first event, and entertainment powerhouse that promotes and delivers best-in-class experiences."Ethara will continue to manage and oversee an impressive portfolio of assets, including: Etihad Park, the region's largest open air venue; Etihad Arena, the Middle East's largest indoor multi-purpose, state-of-the-art entertainment venue; Abu Dhabi's iconic Formula 1® circuit, Yas Marina Circuit; along with the Yas Conference Centre, offering versatile conference, meeting and events spaces with stunning Yas Island views.The company will also nurture and enhance existing relationships with local and international partners, which have been established since the inception of both organisations, as well as creating new partnerships that will see future, first-to-market events, ideas and activations.

Nutanix announces vision for hybrid multicloud platform-as-a-service

Dubai: Nutanix (NASDAQ: NTNX), a leader in hybrid multicloud computing, announced Project Beacon, a multi-year effort to deliver a portfolio of data-centric Platform as a Service (PaaS) level services available natively anywhere – including on Nutanix or on native public cloud. With a vision of decoupling the application and its data from the underlying infrastructure, Project Beacon aims to enable developers to build applications once and run them anywhere.According to the Enterprise Cloud Index, 75% of IT teams expect to leverage more than one IT infrastructure ? including on-premises, in public cloud or at the edge ? in the next one to three years. Moving applications to a different environment is currently possible at the infrastructure layer. However, the PaaS services that many organizations use to help developers build and ship applications faster cause lock-in as they are tied to specific public clouds. This leads to high switching costs when looking to move applications to an environment that is more suitable, whether it’s due to cost, compliance, latency or other factors. Project Beacon aims to change that.“Project Beacon is our vision for enabling developers to write applications once and run them anywhere by delivering data-centric PaaS level services that are no longer tied to a single infrastructure provider,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, President & CEO at Nutanix. “We hope to enable enterprises to fully embrace the benefits of hybrid multicloud, not only at the infrastructure layer but also at the application data layer.”As part of Project Beacon, Nutanix aims to deliver the platform services that many organizations rely on, with a single API and console, integrated with Kubernetes® container orchestration, and consistent management across environments. This suite of data-centric platform services would be characterized by a consistent and simplified management experience, automated mobility, portable licensing, developer self-service, with built-in security and governance for cloud operations teams. Through these services, developers would have access to a suite of data-centric PaaS services whether in native public cloud, on-premises or at the edge, while operations teams would be able to remain in full control of data governance, compliance and data protection.“As the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, Red Hat OpenShift helps customers build, deploy and manage any application, anywhere,” said Matt Hicks, President and Chief Executive Officer, Red Hat. “With Project Beacon, Nutanix will build on our mission with a vision of data-centric platform services delivered consistently, anywhere, further extending customer choice on Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud platforms with Nutanix’s advanced data services.”Nutanix is starting with database services, the foundation of all apps. As part of this effort, the company aims to extend the customer benefits of the Nutanix Database Service™ (NDB) solution as a managed service in the public cloud. This will build on the NDB database automation and management experience already available on Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), as a managed service on native public cloud infrastructure.Nutanix would then expand from there to the most popular data-centric platform services, such as streaming, caching, and search. The goal of this effort is to deliver all key elements needed to build modern applications so that developers would not have to rely on solutions that will lock them into a single infrastructure.“Organizations have come to rely on public cloud services to accelerate the speed of development and innovation, but there are trade-offs – in terms of complexity, cost, lock-in, and more,” said Dave Pearson, IDC RVP for Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies. “With Project Beacon, Nutanix aims to reduce lock-in and increase application development simplicity through unified management, automated mobility, and the ability to write applications once and deploy them as-needed on appropriate infrastructure.” becomes WhatsApp Business Solution Provider

Dubai:, a leading messaging platform that powers the future of business communications, has become a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP). The platform is now equipped to support and assist enterprises in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in effectively managing WhatsApp conversations with their customers and driving business growth.This recognition places the company in an exclusive category as a WhatsApp BSP globally, highlighting its commitment to offering the most cutting-edge messaging solutions that enhance customer communication and relationships.Following this, businesses using can now seamlessly integrate with the WhatsApp Business Platform directly from Meta’s cloud servers for faster updates and better message delivery times. With direct access to Meta’s support team, will also be able to better facilitate customer requests such as WhatsApp Business verification.As an omnichannel customer conversation management software, enables multiuser access to the WhatsApp Business Platform, making it possible to receive and respond to multiple customer messages from a single WhatsApp number. It adds value by providing businesses with a comprehensive set of tools, including an advanced automation builder and detailed analytics on team and agent performance. In addition, supports seamless integration with custom messaging channels and over 5,000 applications like CRMs and e-commerce platforms, such as Hubspot, Salesforce, Shopify, and Magento.With becoming a WhatsApp BSP, companies will also be able to manage their WhatsApp business accounts and conversations on This entails managing their WhatsApp business profile, creating and approving messaging templates, as well as viewing and paying for their WhatsApp conversation charges, all through a single enables businesses to comply with WhatsApp's policies and regulations, such as obtaining customer consent to receive messages from a business. By offering multiple chat entry points, such as ads that click to WhatsApp, QR codes and chat links, as well as obtaining opt-ins as part of an automated conversation with customers, removes the friction in customer communication.Gerardo Salandra, CEO of, said: “As a WhatsApp BSP, we are committed to offering clients a seamless messaging experience over WhatsApp. Our comprehensive messaging solutions cater to key GCC industries, such as e-commerce, healthcare, logistics, and hospitality, and we intend to innovate further to help businesses drive growth, brand loyalty, and revenue. looks forward to serving the rapidly growing GCC market and unlocking the full potential of instant messaging for businesses in the region.”In the GCC and Middle East, new businesses are quickly emerging across a variety of industries. As instant messaging usage has increased, businesses have turned to WhatsApp as their main means of customer communication. Given the sheer amount of WhatsApp users in the region, having a strong presence on this platform has become has contributed to the success stories of numerous GCC businesses, including Etisalat, Dalilk Academy, and Abjadiyat. It has also empowered organisations like Colour My Plate, a Dubai-based meal subscription service, and 800 Storage, a storage and warehousing company to boost their WhatsApp conversion rates by up to 40 per cent.The platform’s new status as a WhatsApp BSP equips to help businesses improve the efficiency of their messaging operations, as well as boost customer satisfaction and retention for steady business growth. Interested clients can try the messaging software for free and get a WhatsApp Business Platform account in minutes.

Ooredoo, Lenovo partner to enhance business offerings with 5G, AI solutions

Doha: Ooredoo, the leading ICT enabler in Qatar, announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lenovo, a global technology leader. The MoU paves the way for the two companies to collaborate on innovative solutions for the B2B sector, with a focus on data sovereignty, private 5G solutions, advanced AI solutions and High-Performance Computing (HPC) as a service.The signing of the MoU took place recently at Ooredoo's Headquarters in West Bay and was attended by Ooredoo’s Chief Business Officer, Thani Ali I A Al-Malki and Lenovo's General Manager META, Alaa Bawab, who both signed the agreement. Senior executives from both sides were also in attendance, including Ooredoo Qatar’s CEO, Sheikh Ali Bin Jabor Bin Mohammed Al Thani.The agreement between Lenovo and Ooredoo is aimed at deploying Lenovo’s cutting-edge solutions across various industries, including healthcare, oil & gas, scientific research and public safety. These solutions will provide the necessary computing power and storage capacity to process and analyse vast amounts of data, enabling faster and more accurate diagnoses, more precise research, and more effective public safety measures. Lenovo's global experience as a leader in HPC, cloud, and edge computing will drive scientific and technological advancements in Qatar.There is increasing demand for advanced computing and storage solutions that enable real-time processing and analysis of large datasets in different sectors such as retail, healthcare, education and energy. To meet this need, Lenovo and Ooredoo will work together to bring in advanced technological solutions that deliver data sovereign Hybrid Cloud with 5G capabilities to their customers. These solutions will allow customers to process and store sensitive data in-country and at the edge, providing an extra layer of security and compliance.Thani Ali I A Al-Malki – Chief Business Officer, Ooredoo – said: "We are excited to enter into this strategic partnership with Lenovo that will see us further enhance our business offerings. Ooredoo is always on the look-out for new solutions to support the growth of businesses in Qatar, with the aim of creating solutions that will enable businesses to thrive and providing our customers with more innovative and upgraded services. This collaboration will enable us to do just that. We are confident that the partnership will result in significant benefits, and deliver transformational digital experiences to our customers."Alaa Bawab, General Manager at Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group, META said: “We recognise the value of telecommunications and aim to collaborate closely with Ooredoo to offer AI-powered solutions for the challenges on the road to a more connected future. Our high-performance computing service intends to drive scientific breakthroughs and our 5G-in-a-box approach promises diverse applications like traffic monitoring, public safety, manufacturing and logistics. Our solutions are customisable and tailored to meet specific requirements. Partnering with Ooredoo will establish a sustainable ecosystem in Qatar, providing the necessary infrastructure to support innovative research and bolster economic growth.”By collaborating closely with partners such as Lenovo, Ooredoo further demonstrates its strategic commitment to offering the Ooredoo advantage to business customers.

TDRA participates in SAMENA Summit on telecom's role in digital economy

Dubai: With the active participation and sponsorship of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), SAMENA held its annual summit at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai, in the presence of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence in the United Arab Emirates as a guest of honor at the summit, and with the participation of a group of decision-makers and workers in the field of ICT in the public and private sectors in the Middle East and North Africa region.His Excellency Eng. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, TDRA Director General, gave the opening speech in which he highlighted the importance of regional cooperation to advance the telecommunications sector and digital transformation in order to contribute to creating the future and promoting a sustainable digital economy to serve the region. He said: “Advanced digital ecosystems have proven to have an effective impact on society, economy and government work. Today, emerging technologies constitute a strong drive for the transformation process towards a sustainable digital economy, whether in the UAE or in the region and the world. However, this journey has some challenges that we must work together to overcome and turn into opportunities and prospects. One of these challenges is the legislative issue, as technologies are constantly evolving, and in order to keep pace with them legislatively, we must be highly innovative. Thus, TDRA was keen to launch the first experimental legislative environment for the ICT sector (ICT Regulatory Sandbox), on the sidelines of the World Government Summit that was held in Dubai last February.”H.E Al-Mesmar called for concerted efforts to support countries that are not connected to submarine cables, which deprives them of broadband Internet services, and offered the UAE's assistance in this context based on the UAE's global trends, and said: "The UAE is ready to provide the necessary advisory and technical support to those countries.", in order to achieve the noble global slogan raised by the United Nations in the context of its development goals, (Leave no one behind).”His Excellency Mohammed Al Ramsi, Deputy Director General for the Telecommunications Sector, participated in the activities of 5.5G session. Al Ramsi presented TDRA's efforts to enhance the infrastructure of 5G and 5.5G, and the role of this technology in promoting innovation and increasing the speed of communication between devices and stations, which support the establishment and development of smart cities in their various fields such as education, health, transport, logistics, industry and others. Al Ramsi indicated that TDRA has taken many necessary steps to facilitate the development of 5.5G, including the allocation of spectrum at 6GHz and mmWave scales.Among TDRA’s participants in the summit sessions, Adel Al Mehairi, Director of CERT, participated in a discussion session on enhancing digital trust to reach a sustainable, connected and smart world. Khalid Al Awadi, Manager of Broadcasting and Space Services, also participated in a session on the integration of terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks and space platforms. TDRA also had an active participation in the discussion session "Creating Digital Value and the Internet", where Sultan Albalooshi, Manager of Spectrum Policy, touched on the importance of infrastructure in enhancing the role of the Internet in digital life and the digital economy.On the sidelines of the summit, TDRA participated in the collective launch of the 5.5G open lab, in partnership with Etisalat by e& and Huawei. This launch reflects the stakeholders' keenness on the principle of partnership in preparing for the future and dealing smartly with new technologies.

Dubai’s Knowledge Fund Establishment launches Strategic Plan 2023-2025

Dubai: The Knowledge Fund Establishment in Dubai has launched its Strategic Plan 2023-2025 focused on further enhancing the emirate’s status as a leading hub for knowledge investments in the region. The Plan is aligned with Dubai’s future growth aspirations and its efforts to drive sustainable economic development, harness talent and foster innovation.The 2023-25 Strategic Plan’s objectives are guided by its vision statement ‘Leading Investment in Knowledge’ and its mission statement ‘Develop and Maintain a Sustainable Investment Portfolio to Support the Growth of the Knowledge Sector in Dubai’.The Plan revolves around three main themes- investment portfolio sustainability, educational asset allocation and educational initiatives management. Under the first theme of investmentportfolio sustainability, the Knowledge Fund Establishment aims to develop an investment portfolio that helps enhance the sustainability and diversification of investment sources. The investment portfolio will support educational initiatives in the emirate and help develop its educational system.Under the second theme, educational asset allocation, the Establishment seeks to enhance investment opportunities in the education and knowledge sector and further attract investors from around the world. The Establishment seeks to create a compelling value proposition for investments in the emirate’s educational assets, including lands and facilities designated by the government to meet the education sector’s needs and achieve the emirate’s strategic objectives.Under the third theme of the new strategy, educational initiatives management, the Knowledge Fund Establishment seeks to establish a competitive educational environment that encourages creativity and innovation and enables various segments of the community – including students, parents, and teaching staff – to benefit from the unmatched opportunities offered through the educational initiatives and projects that the Establishment is a part of, including Dubai Schools and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Distinguished Students Program. The Establishment will play a pivotal role in strengthening the emirate’s attractiveness for education service providers by making it easier for them to take advantage of the government’s initiatives.His Excellency Ahmed Abdul Karim Julfar, Chairman of the Knowledge Fund Establishment, said: “The Knowledge Fund Establishment’s new strategy is in line with the vision and aspirations of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, to further enhance the emirate’s educational sector and boost its competitiveness. To achieve this, we strive to enhance knowledge and educational investment opportunities, develop a sustainable investment portfolio, and harness its revenues to support the growth of the education sector in the emirate.”Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the Knowledge Fund Establishment, said: “Since its establishment in 2007, the Knowledge Fund Establishment has worked to fulfil the goals of theleadership to create a robust educational environment that supports the growth of the knowledge economy. With the launch of our new Strategic Plan, we will collaborate with our partners in the government and private sectors to enhance the positive impact of educational initiatives and projects designed to raise the capabilities of all segments of Dubai’s community.”“Based on our participatory approach, we are keen to involve all stakeholders in the process of developing the new strategy and designing initiatives and projects,” Al Awar added. “We firmly believe in the importance of engaging these parties, who are a central part of the new Strategic Plan. We look forward to working with all of our partners to implement its objectives.”

Abu Dhabi Sports Council wins 4 accolades at Sports Industry Awards 2023

Dubai: Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) won four accolades at the Sports Industry Awards 2023, which was held at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai and attended by several sports leaders, decision-makers, sponsors and partners of sporting events in the Middle East and the UAE.The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship 2022 won the Gold Award for Best Sponsorship Collaboration of the Year at the event.The Triathlon World Championships Final held in November 2022 won the Gold Award for Best Sports Event of the Year, while the UAE Tour 2022 took the Gold Award for Best Fan Engagement at a Professional Sports Event. The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, in only its fourth year, won the Bronze Award for Best Sports Event of the Year.The Sports Industry Awards, established in the Middle East in 2012, is the official celebration of the leaders, decision-makers, organisations, facilities, and campaigns that have contributed to the development of sport in the region.The year 2023 coincides with the completion of the Sports Industry contract in recognising the achievements of the sports industry in the Middle East and rewarding those who have distinguished themselves across a range of diverse sports sectors, in various international tournaments hosted by the region in general and the UAE in particular.The 17th edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, organised by ADSC and hosted by Yas Links on Yas Island for the first time since its inception in 2006, was part of the four Rolex rounds of the global series for the DP World Tour 2022.The event drew 132 top players from around the world for a prize fund worth AED29.38 million and 8,000 points for the race to Dubai 2022. The winner received AED4.4 million.The World Triathlon Championship Final Abu Dhabi 2022, sponsored by Daman and also organised by ADSC in cooperation with the International Triathlon Federation on Yas Island, drew 80 international federations.The event, which ran across three days, attracted a large participation of fans and participation at all levels, local, regional and international as an event staged for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa.The UAE Tour, also organised by ADSC, featured the participation of 20 professional teams from around the world.The fourth ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon 2022, another event organised by ADSC and sponsored by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), featured the participation of more than 20,000 male and female runners, competing across the marathon, the relay marathon and race distances covering 10km, 5km and 2.5km.

Meta launches chat lock on WhatsApp, reinforcing privacy

Meta has introduced chat lock on WhatsApp, a new feature designed to provide users with an additional layer of security for their private conversations. With Chat Lock, users can now protect their most intimate chats by placing them in a dedicated folder that can only be accessed using their device's password or biometric authentication, such as a fingerprint. Furthermore, this feature ensures that the contents of locked chats remain hidden in notifications, offering enhanced privacy and peace of mind.Meta announced it is committed to developing innovative solutions that prioritize user privacy and security. “Chat Lock is a result of our dedication to providing users with greater control over their personal conversations, especially in scenarios where sharing a phone with a family member or passing it to someone else momentarily is necessary,” said the company.Activating chat lock is a simple process. Users can lock a specific chat by selecting the name of a one-to-one or group conversation and choosing the lock option. Once locked, the chat is moved to a separate folder accessible only through authentication using the device's password or biometric credentials. To reveal locked chats, users can slowly pull down on their inbox and enter the designated password or use biometric authentication.Meta plans to introduce additional options for chat lock in the coming months. These updates will include locks for companion devices and the ability to create custom passwords for individual chats, allowing users to use unique and distinct passwords separate from their device's credentials.Chat lock will be gradually rolled out to WhatsApp users globally, starting from May 15. Users need to update their WhatsApp application to ensure they have access to the latest security features and enhancements.

ZOOM launches “ZOOM Millionaire” campaign in partnership with Idealz

Dubai: United Arab Emirates: ZOOM, UAE’s leading home-grown convenience store chain, in partnership with Idealz, the first-of-its-kind ‘shop and win’ online platform, announced the “ZOOM Millionaire” campaign, which is in line with its continued efforts to reward customers.The co-branded spend and win campaign will offer customers the chance to win AED 1 million in cash upon spending a minimum of AED 20 at any ZOOM C-store, standalone store or at the metro station outlets. Additionally, a total of 6 lucky winners will stand a chance to win AED 10,000 every week.Running until June 15th, customers spending AED 20 at any ZOOM store will receive a unique code on the receipt. By scanning a QR code at the cashier’s desk, or visiting and submitting the unique code, customers will be entered into a draw hosted on the Idealz platform for a chance to win AED 1 million in cash as well as weekly cash prizes of AED 10,000. ZOOM has evolved as a leading UAE-brand, delivering enhanced customer retail experience and service excellence, in addition to its rewarding promotions and offers. Located at every ENOC and EPPCO service station in the UAE, ZOOM offers quick snacks and refreshing drinks in addition to a selection of everyday products and services. ZOOM has expanded to over 250 stores across the emirates, including 50 stores located at Dubai Metro stations, and serves over 90 million happy customers every year.Launched in 2009, ZOOM has become part of everyday life for the UAE residents, offering access to a wide range of products on-the-go. ZOOM has a variety of formats ranging from service station C-stores to mini-marts and stores on the Metro network as well as large scale standalone supermarkets in several residential communities and high-end locations, such as Burj Khalifa as well as at the human-centric city of the future-Expo City Dubai.ZOOM accepts a variety of payment methods including VISA, MasterCard, ENOCPay, Nol Payment, Nol Top-up and Dubai Now. Customers can also claim points through the YES rewards programme and get access to exclusive offers and promotions.

MBC launches FM radio station in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: MBC Group is set to make waves in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the launch of MBC LOUD FM, a groundbreaking radio station catering to English-speaking and international music enthusiasts.MBC LOUD FM is the first contemporary hit radio (CHR) format station to grace the airwaves of Saudi Arabia, according to MBC Group. A global sensation, CHR-format stations focus on airing the freshest and most popular chart-topping tunes as defined by the Top 40 music charts.Listeners will enjoy a vibrant mix of locally produced shows and internationally syndicated programming. Featured shows include The Daily Wake Up, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, and Spin City.The Daily Wake Up, hosted by the dynamic duo of Jay R and Danah, will kick-start weekdays from 6am to 10am with a blend of music, news, and celebrity gossip. The show will also cover weather and traffic updates, daily call-ins and contests, and a special showbiz segment called 'Raya on Scoop.'On Air with Ryan Seacrest will dominate the weekday 4pm to 7pm slot with chart-topping tracks, entertainment news, and the latest movie buzz. MBC LOUD FM presents this syndicated show exclusively in the KSA.Spin City, set to air on Thursday and Friday nights from 10am to 3am, will showcase an eclectic mix of local and international DJs to keep the party going.Tarek Majdalani, who has joined the MBC LOUD FM team as Station Manager, will be responsible for executing the brand strategy, profiling, and positioning.This radio station is part of MBC Group's dedication to supporting Saudi Vision 2030 in the realms of entertainment and broadcasting. MBC Group Chairman Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim emphasizes the unifying role of English as a global language. He said: "With MBC LOUD FM, our goal is to reach a diverse audience throughout the country, contributing to the nation's ambitions in developments and growth in the entertainment and media industry."Ziad Hamza, Group Director of Audio, Radio & Music at MBC Group, adds that MBC LOUD FM will "completely change the way listeners experience FM radio," enriching their enjoyment of radio and music content, and connecting them with a global audience through exceptional and distinctive radio content.Tune in to MBC LOUD FM on the following frequencies: Riyadh – 99.0, Jeddah – 94.3, and Dammam – 88.5.

Dubai Chambers taps LPS as communications partner for social media, content

Dubai: LPS, a leading marketing communication agency based in the UAE, has been chosen by Dubai Chambers to oversee its social media presence and content production across its four brand accounts. This exciting partnership will encompass Dubai Chambers, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai International Chamber, and Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.Dubai Chambers selected LPS due to their extensive experience in managing strategic communications in the Middle East and their community-focused approach. Together, LPS and Dubai Chambers aim to achieve key goals, including establishing a modern and cohesive social media image with consistent visuals and messaging. They will also integrate various triggers, events, activations, and business groups across the three chambers to streamline Dubai Chambers' online presence.LPS will utilize its expertise in communication to support Dubai Chambers' growth by showcasing their accomplishments and ambitions. Through tailored strategic communication, LPS will enhance Dubai Chambers' brand image and foster connections with businesses and stakeholders worldwide.Aasim Shaik, Managing Director of LPS, expressed excitement about collaborating with Dubai Chambers and leveraging LPS's creative, social media, and content production capabilities to contribute to the advancement of Dubai's vibrant business community. As Dubai Chambers' dedicated communication partner, LPS is honored to shape their narrative, establish thought leadership, and make a positive impact on current and future businesses.LPS's objective is to elevate Dubai Chambers' image and streamline its online presence by effectively communicating their recent developments and expansion. By conveying the entity's vision and values, LPS will contribute to Dubai's growth as a global leader in commerce and digital economy.In line with their commitment to growth and innovation, LPS has plans to expand operations to two new locations: Riyadh, and New Jersey. These strategic expansions will further establish LPS's global presence, enabling them to better serve their diverse clientele and tap into new markets and opportunities.

Acorn Strategy unveils focused realignment plan

Dubai: Acorn Strategy, the award-winning strategic and integrated marketing communications agency, has announced a focused realignment of teams to drive growth and success for clients. Furthermore, the agency has elevated key team members to reinforce its capabilities and accelerate progress.The restructuring reflects the agency's shift towards a consulting mindset, with the Account Management function now transitioning to Client Servicing. This change is expected to streamline internal processes and workflows, ensuring that clients' needs and expectations are managed and exceeded. To lead this transition, Nitin Nambiar has been appointed Director - Client Servicing. Nitin is a highly experienced communications strategist with a passion for driving results.The agency's Social Media team has expanded remit to Digital team, with Paul Parsons taking the helm as the newly appointed Digital Director. Paul is a digital strategist who’s 17 years experience spans multiple regions, from the Middle East and Africa to the Asia Pacific.Another key aspect of the restructuring is the appointment of Rebecca Wilson as Client Success Director, a new role that focuses on enhancing client satisfaction and adding value to partners.To align with the industry's increasing overlap and merger of content and media, Acorn Strategy has combined its PR and Editorial teams, now led by PR Director Natasha D'Souza.Commenting on the restructuring, new appointments and promotions, Kate Midttun, Founder and CEO of Acorn Strategy said: “With this realignment, we aim to be at the forefront of communications consulting and solutions. We bring our clients the best-in-class mix of all communications practices, traditional and digital, creative and integrated communications, which will help maximise their reach and impact among key target audiences. The move to restructure and promote our key people, underscores the agency's commitment to excellence and our unwavering focus on delivering exceptional results for clients.”

Nutanix appoints Raif Abou Diab as Country Manager for UAE

Dubai: Nutanix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTNX), a leader in hybrid multicloud computing, today announced the appointment of Raif Abou Diab as Country Manager for UAE, Oman, Pakistan and Yemen.In his role, Raif is responsible for ensuring strong business growth and excellence of operations across the region, leveraging Nutanix’s globally renowned expertise to meet the aspirations of government bodies and private sector organizations.With over 2 decades of experience in Information Technology, Raif brings a wealth of expertise and insights to the job, and will play a critical role in strengthening Nutanix's position as a leading provider of cloud computing solutions. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Raif stands at the forefront of the fastest moving technology and digital transformation trends including Artificial Intelligence, Edge solutions, Hybrid Multiclouds, IoT, and customer investments shifting to the information age and digital economy.Prior to joining Nutanix, Raif held several leadership positions at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell EMC, where he was responsible for driving growth and delivering outstanding customer experiences. He holds a BSc in Computer Engineering, and is widely recognized for his strategic vision, entrepreneurial spirit, and passion for innovation.Speaking about the appointment, Mohammed Abulhouf, Senior Director & GM EMEA Emerging Markets at Nutanix commented, “Raif is a seasoned IT veteran with an illustrious career working at top global tech giants, where he was instrumental in planning and executing strategic initiatives that greatly contributed to the success of those companies. We are excited to now have Raif leading the business, overseeing our regional channel ecosystem, and interacting directly with commercial and enterprise customers. We believe that he will play a key role in chartering the next stage of growth for our company in the region.”"I am delighted to be joining Nutanix at such an exciting time in the company's growth journey," said Raif. "Nutanix has established itself as a leader in hybrid multicloud computing, and I am thrilled to be part of a team that is committed to delivering world-class solutions and services to customers in South Gulf."