E& money and Ericsson partner to fortify the fintech service in the UAE

e& money has partnered with Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) for a strategic multi-year partnership to strengthen and expand their fintech platform. Through Ericsson’s leading fintech solution, the Ericsson Wallet Platform, will bolster e& money’s infrastructure, making it more secure and reliable to manage transaction processes effectively.Founded on cutting-edge security technologies and the principles of an open architecture framework the Ericsson Wallet Platform will provide secure and personalized financial services to a wide range of users through a variety of digital channels. The modernization and expansion of the platform marks a pivotal moment in e& money's evolution as it aims to become a financial super app in the region's flourishing fintech sector.e& money empowers citizens and residents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with secure, convenient, and swift payment solutions delivered through an intuitive mobile application. e& money extends its services to encompass businesses and individuals from all segments of society facilitating seamless digital transactions and payments. The wallet offers a wide array of services, ranging from international and local transfers, prepaid cards, payment processing and gifting.Melike Kara Tanrikulu, Chief Executive Officer, e& money says: "Our collaboration with Ericsson is aimed at ushering in a new era of fintech reliability. This joint endeavour underscores e& money's commitment to enhancing digital experiences and equipping individuals and businesses in the United Arab Emirates with reliable financial solutions. With Ericsson's support, we aim to set new standards in fintech, transforming the financial landscape in the region."The Ericsson Wallet Platform supports over 400 million registered mobile wallets and processes more than 2.8 billion transactions worth over USD 40 billion every month through communication service providers and financial institutions globally. With open architecture and easy integration, the Ericsson Wallet Platform will enable e& money to discover new revenue streams and expand services as it advances digitization of financial transactions and fosters economic growth in the UAE.   Ekow Nelson, Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit for e& at Ericsson Middle East and Africa says: "Our partnership with e& money is long-standing with a joint commitment to revolutionize fintech across the United Arab Emirates. We aim to empower individuals and businesses with secure, efficient, and inclusive financial services. Our Mobile Financial Services platform combine the power of mobile communication and financial services and will provide e& money with the tools needed to elevate its capabilities. This will allow e& money to offer easy-to-use and secure next-generation mobile money, digital wallet, and digital payment services. We are committed to supporting e& money in transforming the fintech landscape in the country, driving economic growth, and delivering convenient mobile financial services that are aligned to a digital lifestyle of today’s consumers.”With pioneering technologies and a shared commitment to financial inclusion and well-being, Ericsson and e& money remain committed to delivering secure and innovative solutions that empower and transform the region’s financial landscape.

Beyon Solutions to acquire ‘INSOMEA’

Beyon Solutions, part of the Beyon Group, has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in INSOMEA Computer Solutions, operating in Bahrain, Tunisia and the wider MEA region. INSOMEA is recognised as a leading regional cloud IT solution consultancy and managed services provider specialized in Microsoft technology.The deal was signed by Beyon Group CEO and Beyon Solutions Chairman, Mikkel Vinter and INSOMEA’s founders Nabil Youssef and Hejer Krichene, during a meeting which took place at the Beyon Stand during GITEX 2023.INSOMEA, a Microsoft Advanced Specialisation Partner, Microsoft Security Services Partner and Microsoft Partner of the Year for Bahrain and Tunisia in 2023, is specialized in Modern Workplace, Cloud Migration, App Modernization and Security. Beyon Solutions is a Digital transformation system integrator delivering scalable, efficient, and secure outcome focused solutions to organisations. The acquisition of INSOMEA will support Beyon Solutions strategic plans to grow its IT services, particularly leveraging the relationship with Microsoft with the ambition of becoming a leading Microsoft services provider in Bahrain and regionally.Beyon Group CEO and Beyon Solutions Chairman, Mikkel Vinter commented on the acquisition saying, “This significant step aligns with Beyon Solutions' strategic objectives of regional expansion and developing an expansive range of solutions and services that deliver on the needs of clients in achieving their strategic outcomes. The company is positioned well to become a market leader, renowned for its centre of excellence in delivering Microsoft technology solutions and the acquisition serves to further enhance the Beyon Solutions Group capabilities.”Nabil Youssef CEO and founder of INSOMEA, shared, "We are thrilled to be a part of Beyon Group and anticipate the expansion of our award-winning solutions to a broader customer base in Bahrain, Tunisia and the MEA region.”“Our achievement is a testament to our multinational, highly professional, and fully committed team and the continuous trust of our long-term customers. Insomea is already serving some of the larger corporations in Bahrain, including companies under the Beyon Group, and through the acquisition they will be able to extend their operational team and regional outreach,” he added.The Beyon Group of companies is focused on creating an international, thriving, and diverse portfolio that spans across a variety of sectors, supported by key partnerships and acquisitions.

SEE Holding strengthens executive leadership team with CFO appointment

Following the recent announcement of the consolidation of SEE Holding Ltd, UAE’s first sustainably focused global holding company, the Group today announced the appointment of Christine O'Brien as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), which strengthens the company's leadership team and brings top international top financial expertise to the management of the holding group.Christine O'Brien joins SEE Holding from Elliott Investment Management - a global investment firm. There, she served as Head of Investment Stewardship from 2017 to 2023, successfully and effectively integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into the firm’s investment process. Ms. O'Brien has extensive experience in investment management in addition to her former audit experience in the banking practice at KPMG. She has served on multiple boards and industry advisory councils. Ms. O'Brien holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Accounting from the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University and is licensed in New York State as a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner. Ms. O'Brien's wealth of experience brings a unique perspective to SEE Holding's financial strategy, ensuring a well-rounded approach to growth and sustainability.Commenting on the appointment, Eng. Faris Saeed, Chairman & CEO of SEE Holding, said: " The appointment of Christine is an important milestone in SEE Holding’s journey, as her leadership will be instrumental in driving the company’s mission and accelerating SEE Holding’s next stage of growth in the region and internationally . I look forward to working closely with Christine to drive sustainable social, environmental, and economic impact and create value across our integrated network of subsidiaries and business units.”Christine O'Brien, Chief Financial Officer of SEE Holding, said: "With my experience and passion for integrating ESG into the investment process, joining SEE Holding is an exciting opportunity for me. Primarily because of the group’s two decades of experience and its very forward-thinking approach to creating an integrated ecosystem to promote social, environmental, and economic sustainability and, most importantly, its tremendous growth potential to achieve global impact. I look forward to working closely with the Chairman and CEO and the rest of the teams to drive the Holding Group’s investment, financial and governance practises and to realise the Holding Group’s vision to lead a zero-emissions future”. Christine’s appointment follows the addition of F. Jacob Cherian to the SEE Holding’s Executive Leadership team earlier this year, which he joined as Chief Operations Officer (COO). With an established background in U.S. capital markets, IPOs, mergers & acquisitions, and international management consulting, Mr. Cherian brings a wealth of managerial experience to SEE Holding, spanning over two decades of serving as CEO of three NASDAQ-listed corporations. Jacob's professional background includes positions at prominent institutions such as JP Morgan, KPMG, and Computer Sciences Corp., as well as significant contributions to academia. He also served as an Adjunct Professor of Finance at St. John's University's Tobin College of Business MBA Programme. Mr. Cherian's experience overseeing operational strategies will contribute to the company's success in navigating complex market dynamics and expanding its global presence.

Saudi Exports and Amazon collaborate to launch ‘Saudi Made’ storefront on Amazon

Amazon Saudi Arabia today launched a 'Saudi Made' storefront on, featuring thousands of local products certified by the ‘Made in Saudi’ (MIS) program. Aligning with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the dedicated storefront promotes locally manufactured products to millions of Amazon customers, accelerating the development of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia.The launch was announced following the signing of a Co-operation Agreement between Eng. Abdulrahman Althukair, CEO of Saudi Exports Development Authority and Abdo Chlala, Country Manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia, in the presence of His Excellency Bandar bin Ibrahim Alkhorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia. The signing ceremony was held at the ‘Made in Saudi’ Exhibition 2023, an annual event that aims to bring Saudi products closer to consumers and businesses.Amazon’s new ‘Saudi Made’ store is a curation of thousands of locally manufactured products across a range of categories including health and personal care, grocery, home care, baby care, and beauty, offering a wide selection to customers. The store encourages shoppers to support local businesses and makes it easier for customers to find, explore, and purchase local products from across the Kingdom.Eng. Abdulrahman Althukair, CEO of Saudi Exports Development Authority, said: “Our ‘Made in Saudi’ program is much more than a certification; it places local businesses at the heart of a collaborative community. The program plays a key role in promoting Saudi products under one unified, trusted brand, while helping them expand their reach and increase their competitiveness on the global stage. Our partnership with Amazon bolsters our commitment to enabling more brands to expand their local manufacturing, while positioning Saudi products and services as the preferred choice for domestic and international consumers.”Thousands of local businesses have been endorsed by the MIS program’s logo and certification, representing quality and authenticity. These businesses now have the opportunity to reach Amazon customers around the world through the recently launched Global Registration Program on The program makes it easier and more seamless than ever for local businesses to sell on Amazon stores globally.Abdo Chlala, Country Manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia, said: “Today, we are very proud to be launching our dedicated Saudi Made store on in partnership with the Made in Saudi program, supporting sellers of all sizes, including SMBs, within the Kingdom and further contributing to the country’s path towards a thriving digital economy. The store supports these local sellers as they expand their operations online, while endorsing thousands of local products and showcasing some of the nation’s most interesting and unique items for customers to discover. Launching the Saudi Made store is the first step towards a long-term partnership with Saudi Exports that reiterates our commitment to invest in local businesses and SMBs, providing them with the tools and services they need to succeed.”Since the launch of in 2020, the company has continued to invest in Saudi Arabia, launching services and tools to support local businesses. The company has been coordinating with Monsha’at, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, to empower this segment of the economy, with an aim to host 40,000 Saudi sellers by 2025 on Saudi sellers can take advantage of the Amazon Seller Mobile App to conduct business with more speed, ease and flexibility. Local selling partners can also select from a wide range of shipping options suited to their business needs and goals, including Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), where Amazon stores, packs, and ships products to customers, allowing businesses to reach customers faster and more efficiently.

Mastercard partners with tmam to help GCC SMEs digitize corporate expenses

 Mastercard has entered a strategic partnership with tmam - one of the leaders in multi-currency corporate card, expense management and accounts payable solutions for SMEs - to launch its innovative payment proposition across the GCC region. The collaboration will help small businesses digitize their corporate expenses while saving money on company spend.With a transparent fee structure and deep integration into leading accounting platforms, tmam provides unlimited physical and virtual cards in regional currencies, including USD, with EUR and GBP to follow, to businesses of any size worldwide. Through its partnership with Mastercard, tmam customers will be able to access a range of benefits through a simple digital onboarding experience via the tmam app, allowing them to transact seamlessly physically and online. The payment solution for SMEs will help improve expense tracking for their branch offices. In addition, the companies can monitor the spend of all their remotely-located staff and branches, reducing the cost of doing business in the local currency. The new proposition will also enable organizations to save on fees while paying USD invoices and streamline all recurring expenditure into one platform.“SMEs are crucial drivers of the economy. Guided by our pledge to connect 50 million small enterprises globally to the digital economy by 2025, we are delighted to partner with tmam to deliver our innovative payment solutions to SMEs. Our collaboration will contribute to accelerating digital transformation and enhancing financial inclusion in the region while providing companies with practical tools that align with their business and operational needs, and facilitate their access to the digital economy,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development,EEMEA, Mastercard.“As one of the leading regulated corporate multi-currency spend platforms in the GCC, we are thrilled to work closely with Mastercard to provide our clients a financial operating ecosystem navigating multi-geographical operations and transactions spanning a myriad of currencies powered by smart physical and virtual corporate cards. Augmented by intuitive software, these cards empower meticulous oversight and control of departmental budgets, eliminating any worry on where and how your money is being spent. With the backing of Mastercard’s platform, they can be utilized seamlessly across the vast expanse of online retailers and global merchant locales,” said Maseeh Ahmed, Founder and CEO, tmam.Pursuing its vision of financial automation, tmam works closely with its clients to build solutions by them and not for them. Supporting the company are leading fintech investors, such as Aditum, JIMCO, Plus VC, and a number of strategic angels stretching from Silicon Valley to South Africa and the Middle East.

TikTok goes Out of Phone with its latest ad solution

TikTok is expanding its advertising horizons with a new solution known as "Out of Phone." This innovative approach allows TikTok to extend its presence beyond the confines of mobile screens and venture into various physical locations, such as billboards, kiosks, cinemas, bars, restaurants, cars, airports, gas stations, and retail stores.This expansion has already kicked off with TikTok's Out of Home (OOH) initiatives, which includes a partnership with GSTV, a video network provider. For instance, the skincare brand CeraVe, under the L’Oréal umbrella, was among the first brands to take advantage of this development by extending its TikTok advertising campaign to OOH screens through a partnership with Adomni.According to Dan Page, the Global Head of Distribution for new screens at TikTok, "With Out of Phone, we're bringing TikTok into our daily lives beyond our mobile devices." This solution empowers brands to launch campaigns on TikTok, foster growth within the platform's communities and among creators, and subsequently expand their reach to other platforms, potentially reaching new audiences.In addition to TikTok's partnerships with entities like Redbox and Vevo, brands are already exploring the possibilities offered by Out of Phone. For example, "Out of Phone: Billboard" takes existing campaigns and projects them onto billboards on a global scale. Meanwhile, "Out of Phone: Cinema" replicates the on-platform experience onto cinema screens, captivating viewers during the pre-show by showcasing TikTok's top content alongside brand advertisements.

Emirati Entrepreneur Salama Mohamed to share her journey at next in Conference

With over 1.5m followers on Instagram and ranked #11 in Forbes ‘50 Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands’ Emirati Salama Mohamed is founder of Peacefull and one of the region’s most inspirational beauty entrepreneurs.The Next in Beauty Conference brings up to the minute insights, talks, trends and panels featuring regional and international experts and practitioners at Beautyworld Middle East - the region’s largest international trade fair for the beauty and wellness industry. Dubai, UAE: Renowned Emirati skincare entrepreneur, Salama Mohamed will take to the stage at Beautyworld Middle East later this month, detailing her inspirational journey as part of the three-day show’s Next in Beauty Conference. Mohamed, who has achieved global success with her homegrown Peacefull brand, will be the keynote speaker at the region’s largest international trade fair for beauty, hair, fragrance and wellbeing. Beautyworld Middle East runs from 30th October to 1st November at Dubai World Trade Centre.In a one-on-one conversation with Lauren O’Connell, Beauty Editor of Cosmopolitan Middle East, Salama will share her personal experience and the inspiration behind the launch of her skincare brand Peacefull. Exploring the complexities faced by Arab women in the ever-evolving beauty and wellness sector, she'll reveal her transformative journey from content creator to entrepreneur. Additionally, she will discuss the profound impact of her Emirati heritage and the science underpinning Korean skincare on the creation of products tailored to the unique conditions of the Middle East region.“Stepping onto the world stage at Beautyworld Middle East is a true honour,” Salama noted. She continued, “As the coveted exhibition unites all aspects across the beauty industry, I’m excited to share Peacefull’s journey and what it means to be an inclusive, people-driven brand. I’m looking forward to meeting fellow entrepreneurs, aspiring young professionals and industry leaders, coming together over three days of boundless inspiration”. Flyn Roberts, Show Director, Beautyworld Middle East said: “We’re thrilled to have Salama Mohamed headline an exciting speaker line-up at our Next in Beauty conference this year. Sharing her unique perspective as an Emirati beauty and skincare entrepreneur, she joins a diverse mix of both international and local thought leaders who’ll be sharing market intelligence, the trends and technologies that are disrupting the sector on a global level, and contributing to the markets growth and ongoing success.”Conference topics include environmental and sustainability challenges and opportunities for the industry. Diversity, inclusion and representation will also be covered alongside the influencer economy and emerging trends in wellness and personal care. Kicking off day is ‘The Story of the Middle East: Health & Beauty in Sync’ with analysis and insight from Amna Abbas, Euromonitor International, while day two concludes with insight and intelligence updates on ‘Beauty and Personal Care Trends for 2024’ from Kinshen Chan, Mintel.Natural hair care pioneers and founders, Ellen Rucker Sellers and Ione Rucker Jamison, of Rucker Roots will be joined by Tamara Bakir, founder and CEO of US based Manifest Beauty and Aleena Khan, Co-Founder CTZN Cosmetics to explore ‘Diversity and Inclusion in Beauty: Facing challenges and embracing opportunities’ whilst Nidhima Kohli, founder of Beauty Matching Engine will be looking at ‘How to Leverage AI to Boost Business Growth’.Sustainability will also feature heavily among the topics, with input from an incredible number of fragrance and beauty industry heavyweights as they discuss ‘Building Sustainable Bridges in Perfumery: Grasse meets GCC for sourcing, production, and knowledge transfer,' in a panel that includes Valerie Lovisa, Consultant - Fragrance and Cosmetics at ABTYS; Emma Barber, Director at DGrade; Claire Lonvaud, Trainer at Cinquième Sens; Carole Biancalana, Fragrance Producer at Domaine De Manon; Julien Maubert, CSO of Robertet Group; Ali Junaid, Owner of Junaid Perfumes; and Xavier Blaizot, CEO of PCW France. Caroline Bassoni, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Cosmed will present ‘Going Green: What the EU's chemical strategy means to the beauty industry’, while the ‘Sustainable Innovation in the Perfume Industry’ panel features a diverse group of experts, including Valerie Lovisa, Consultant - Fragrance and Cosmetics at ABTYS; Umut Yildiz and Meriem Bennami, Dapy Paris; Loïc Bouet, Techniplast; Anisha Oberoi, Secret Skin; Amna Al Habtoor, Arcadia and Gaelle Doré, Centdegrés.The full Next in Beauty Conference agenda features an array of important industry sessions encompassing market intelligence, emerging trends, and revolutionary technologies reshaping the beauty sector on both a regional and global scale. As part of Beautyworld Middle East 2023, the three-day agenda will expose attendees to fresh viewpoints, new insights and advanced business strategies from a range of international trend analysts, key brand experts, educators and business leaders from around the world. Innovation, market trends and the Middle East’s business landscape for a booming beauty industry will be explored between 30th October and 1st November.The Next in Beauty Conference is one of several features taking place within this year’s Beautyworld Middle East event. Attendees with visitor tickets to the exhibition can attend the conference, as well as many other features, for no extra cost. Beautyworld Middle East 2023 promises an unparalleled opportunity to expand professional networks, discover new products and unlock the tremendous business potential in one of the world’s key trade hubs. Stay ahead of this dynamic and fast-evolving market on 30 October – 1 November to unlock a world of possibilities at Beautyworld Middle East 2023.

X launches pink app icon in partnership with Paris Hilton

X, formerly known as Twitter, has launched a pink app icon in partnership with Paris Hilton. It is its latest strategy to boost its ‘X’ Premium subscription offering. The social media platform has teamed up with entrepreneur and media icon Paris Hilton on a variety of initiatives, including a custom Paris pink X icon exclusively for X Premium subscribers. This partnership is part of a larger collaboration between Hilton’s 11:11 media company and X, which includes plans for Hilton to work on live video, live commerce, X Spaces (live audio), and more.Linda Yaccarino, CEO at X, announced that its her first major talent signing with the app, with Paris Hilton becoming the first celebrity to ink an exclusive content deal as part of X’s expanding video content push. Yaccarino’s initial Twitter growth strategy will involve pitching the platform to high-profile users, as a means to get more of them sharing their content to Twitter itself, as opposed to tweeting and linking to other sources, or sharing key updates in other apps.In addition to this, Hilton will also serve as a launch partner for new X products, services, and feature releases.

Accredify from Singapore beats 260 startups to win the 2023 Supernova Challenge

Accredify, a Singapore-based startup and service provider for issuing verifiable documents and information, has emerged as the champion of the 2023 Supernova Challenge at Expand North Star Dubai, the world's largest startup event. The startup received the $100,000 grand prize after an intense final round of pitching against 27 global finalists from 521 entries.The Supernova Challenge in partnership with the Dubai Future District Fund, is the region's biggest startup pitch competition, offering $200,000 in total cash prizes. The challenge is a key feature of Expand North Star Dubai, which hosted its biggest edition this year. It attracted over 1800+ startups from over 100 countries to explore the emerging opportunities in Dubai's dynamic, diverse and tech-driven digital economy.Simon Gordon, Chief Commercial Officer of the winning team, said, "Supernova 2023 has been an incredible experience. It's surreal to win this challenge at Expand North Star. This region, particularly the UAE, has so many great opportunities, and we are excited about using this prize money to expand our presence here."One of the judges at Supernova, Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund, commented, "It is encouraging to see a shift towards sustainable solutions that are better for the planet and its people. We witnessed several startups delivering concise yet compelling pitches that could impact our lives. The pitches we witnessed here at the Supernova Challenge are brimming with promise, unique innovations, and inspiring ideas."An expertly curated list of categories covered the latest trends in tech, inviting startups to showcase innovations that can solve some of our most pressing challenges. These included AI Disruptor, Fintech & Ecommerce Disruptor, Blockchain & Web3 Disruptor, Mobility & Smart Cities Disruptor, Healthtech & Wellness Disruptor, Martech Disruptor, Insurtech Disruptor in partnership with MENA Insuretech, Female Founder Award in partnership with the Sharjah Businesswomen Council, Africa Fast Award presented by GITEX Africa, Asia Fast Award, India Fast Award, and the Top MENA Award. In collaboration with GITEX Impact and Future Urbanism, Expand North Star also awarded the most proficient Sustainability and ESG Disruptor.Thirteen category winners representing the USA, India, UAE, South Korea, France, UK, Nigeria, Switzerland, China and Bangladesh took home $8,000 each in prize money, while the winner of the Female Founder Award won $10,000.The Supernova Challenge category winners were:Sustainability and ESG Disruptor: Zenerate from the USA, a platform providing AI-powered feasibility solutions for real estate development.AI Disruptor: Knorish, a platform that enables hobbyists, professionals and niche experts to build, launch, market and sell online courses powered by their own knowledge and as an extension of their own brand.Fintech and E-commerce Disruptor: Appro Technologies from the UAE, a digital platform simplifying retail banking onboarding.Blockchain and Web3 Disruptor: Verofax from the UAE, a platform enabling real-time consumption data by offering a unique microsite per product.Mobility and Smart Cities Disruptor: Innocel from France, a company providing clean energy solutions for a net zero future.Healthtech and Wellness Disruptor: Skia from Korea, a digital surgery guide solution using augmented reality (AR) technology.Martech Disruptor: Smartzer from the UK is a SaaS platform brands use to make live streams and videos interactive and shoppable to drive sales.Female Founder Award: Matis from Switzerland, a platform empowering art market stakeholders with accessible and quantifiable tools for art authentication.Africa Fast Award: Gifty from Nigeria, an app that helps people easily share gift lists with family and friends and avoid duplicating purchases.Asia Fast Award: Urtopia from China, a company dedicated to revolutionizing urban transportation with its smart, sleek, and stealthy e-bikes.India Fast Award: EyeROV from India, a marine robotics company providing underwater ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) to various industries.Insurtech Disruptor: InsureCow from Bangladesh, a platform offering a 360° technology-powered cattle insurance and wellbeing monitoring solution.Top MENA Award: from the UAE is the world's first restaurant operating system that helps restaurants save 5% on the cost of every order served.The Supernova Challenge featured 40 startups selected from the Expand North Star global roadshow, a series of international pitch competitions held by the Dubai World Trade Centre and DCDE to attract startups to Dubai and foster collaborations with digital ecosystems in various countries.Expand North Star hosted by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy (DCDE) is the powerhouse startup show of GITEX Global, organized by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) concluded this week marking its largest-ever edition at its new Dubai Harbour venue.

Kia launches upgraded Seltos SUV in Jordan

 Kia Middle East and Africa has launched its latest redesigned Kia Seltos in Jordan. A bigger and bolder iteration of its predecessor, the reimagined five-seater compact SUV will be available across all markets in the MENA region from October 2023. The highly anticipated launch event and test drive left attendees impressed with the new Kia Seltos’ unique combination of enhanced performance, bold new design and ergonomic safety features, a premium choice for power and supreme comfort. A reinvention of the highly regarded Seltos, the latest model sports an exciting range of innovative features and benefits that deliver an enhanced driving experience. Yaser Shabsogh, Vice President, Commercial Operations, Regional HQ, Middle East & Africa, Kia commented: “With the launch of the latest Kia Seltos, our customers in the MENA region can now experience upgraded performance, enhanced comfort, and drive confidently with advanced safety features. Our initial Kia Seltos launch in 2019 gained much popularity for its seamless and convenient driving experience; now, with the reinvented version, each element of the vehicle is bigger, better and bolder for an enjoyable, tech-savvy retreat. At Kia, we’re always working to pioneer new vehicles alongside refining our existing high-tech lineup. This allows us to stay committed to our global vision of bringing enthralling innovative experiences beyond our customers’ expectations.” Ahmed Soudodi, Vice President, Product & Marketing, Regional HQ, Middle East & Africa, Kia added: “At Kia, our unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence drives us to continually enhance the automotive experience for our valued customers. The new Kia Seltos stands as a testament to this commitment, redefining the SUV landscape in the MENA region. With its robust exterior design exuding strength and a spacious, comfortable interior, the Seltos delivers a superior driving journey. Our dedication to delivering performance, excellence, and innovation will only continue from here, providing our customers with an unparalleled driving experience.” Futuristic and hypermodern design The new Kia Seltos is designed to impress with its futuristic and sporty appearance. Its front and rear end headlights feature signature star-maps that add a hypermodern look to the Seltos when lit, as well as a front fog lamp. The new Kia Seltos boasts two brand new exterior hues including Pewter Olive, and Pluton Blue — in addition to the already existing Clear White, Sparkling Silver, Aurora Black Pearl, Vivid Red, Snow White Pearl, and Gravity Gray. The interior’s new panoramic display presents high-tech imaging and design with a 10.25-inch cluster and 10.25-inch audio, video, and navigation - AVN display. The model also boasts a high-tech integrated controller where air conditioning and infotainment features can be easily navigated. The new Kia Seltos makes significant advancements in its design and features compared to its predecessor. Notably, the previous Seltos had a single tilt sunroof, whereas the new model boasts a panoramic sunroof, providing an expansive view and enhancing the overall driving experience. The panoramic sunroof can slide open or close within a single touch for safety when driving. Passengers can also control their comfort with five-degree recline rear seats. For a more comfortable driving experience, if the driver prefers a different temperature setting from the passengers, the new Kia Seltos' Dual Auto Climate Control proves invaluable as it seamlessly allows for separate temperature adjustments. Twice the safety The latest Kia Seltos is re-engineered to provide maximum safety through the integration of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist Systems) to ensure maximum safety on the road including: Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), and Smart Cruise Control (SCC). These systems actively monitor the road and provide alerts to the driver to prevent potential collisions, enhancing overall road safety. In addition, the new Kia Seltos is equipped with an electric parking brake, a significant improvement compared to the previous Seltos’ manual brake. The electric brake aids by stopping the car to a stationary position, assisting with emergency braking, as well as assisting with seamless parking. Kia’s new Seltos will be available in the MENA region from October 2023 across Kia

Minor Hotels welcomes Pedro Carvalho as Director of F&B Operations for the ME

Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of 530 hotels and resorts in 56 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Indian Ocean, has announced the appointment of Pedro Carvalho as Director of Food & Beverage Operations at their Regional Office in Dubai. Pedro brings a passion for excellence and 30 years’ experience from some of the UK’s most sophisticated restaurants and members clubs.Pedro’s incredible knowledge, understanding, and talent for food and beverage strategy and operations demonstrates an ongoing commitment by Minor Hotels to deliver world-leading service across its portfolio of properties and outlets in the Middle East region.After establishing an outstanding career in the UK's F&B industry, which included directorial positions at renowned establishments such as Annabel's in London, one of the world's most exclusive member clubs, and The Ivy Collection, Pedro has built an impressive track record. Throughout his career, he has successfully managed and coordinated events for over 1,000 attendees, including prestigious film premieres. Additionally, his leadership skills have been demonstrated through overseeing a team of more than 560 dedicated professionals.In his new role as Director of F&B Operations, Pedro will be responsible for directing and overseeing all aspects of food and beverage planning and service at Anantara, Avani, NH Collection, Oaks and Tivoli properties across the Middle East. His responsibility extends across all signature restaurants, events catering, in-room dining, and unique flagship experiences from Dining by Design to Spice Spoons cooking classes. He will also become an integral part of all future F&B innovations and enhancements as Minor Hotels continues to provide luxurious and trailblazing experiences for every guest.“It’s a pleasure to welcome Pedro to our Minor Hotels Middle East team," said Amir Golbarg, Senior Vice President Operations Middle East and Africa for Minor Hotels. “Pedro has a well-deserved reputation as a hospitality professional with impressive attention to detail and an inspirational style of management that we feel is the perfect fit for our operations in the region. His talent and experience are an asset, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact he creates on our restaurant and bar operations across the Middle East.”“I am honoured to join Minor Hotels and to join the outstanding team that is driving the group’s growth in the Middle East,” said Pedro. “The scope and quality of F&B operations across the portfolio of hotels in the region is remarkable, and I look forward to building upon that reputation and developing exciting new plans.”In the Middle East Minor Hotels currently operates 26 hotels and resorts across five brands, with a strong pipeline of properties across multiple brands and countries. Minor Hotels is committed to providing exceptional hospitality experiences to its guests and is focused on sustainable development and social responsibility.

Scent Arabia to take place on November 14 at Exhibition World Bahrain

Under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Scent Arabia will take place at the Exhibition World Bahrain, in Sakhir on the 14th -18th of November 2023, it is considered Bahrain’s first luxury fragrance event taking place alongside Jewellery Arabia.Organised by Informa Markets, the pioneers behind MEOS GEO, The Autumn Fair and Jewellery Arabia. Scent Arabia is bringing together over 40 exhibitors from 6 countries for 5 days, promising to bring an extensive range of limited-edition perfumes, niche perfumes, oud, incense and candles. A unique and exceptional culinary experience “The Scent Arabia Aromatic Indulgence” will be featured during the show for media and influencers. An exquisite set of dishes specifically created by Chef Lorenzo Severini Head Chef of Due Mari Restaurant at Jumeirah Gulf of Bahrain Resort and Spa will be presented for a unique concept which incorporates flavours of perfume into culinary art. This intriguing blend of scents and flavours not only heightens the dining experience but also adds a touch of elegance and sophistication. Chef Lorenzo Head chef of Due Mari Restaurant at Jumeirah Gulf of Bahrain Resort and Spa said: “My personal cooking style is all about flavours, senses, and colours. Every creation I embark on is meant to be exciting and interesting, even if it’s a dish we are all familiar with. My passion for cooking is not just about nourishing the body, but also about exciting the senses and igniting the imagination. Through the interplay of flavours, colours, and scents, I aimed to transform mundane dishes into extraordinary experiences”.Commenting on the occasion, Mohammed Ebrahim, Exhibitions Director at Informa Markets, said: “Our visitors satisfaction is our top priority and this year we aim to transport our visitors to a world of fragrances and scents through our activations. Scent Arabia brings luxury to another level. Offering a 360-degree experience into the world of fragrances that goes beyond walking into a store at the mall.”With a line-up of the most prestigious brands participating at Scent Arabia this year’s like Al Hawaj, Faces, Junaid perfumer, Rasasi and many more luxury perfume brands will exhibit their latest products and limited-edition collections.If you are a perfume lover, then Scent Arabia is an event that you should not miss. It is a unique opportunity to discover new fragrances, meet the perfumers and experience the world of fragrance in a new way.

How engagement, content diversity shape Netflix success

Netflix's emphasis on engagement proves pivotal in its journey to triumph within the streaming landscape. This yardstick for customer satisfaction not only retains existing users but also entices new subscribers while strengthening the platform's recommendation system and fostering a dedicated fan base. With 247 million paying households worldwide, Netflix's outreach is continuously expanding, enabling them to sustain higher levels of user engagement compared to their competitors, according to the company's letter to the shareholders during the third quarter earnings.In the United States, for instance, Netflix's original series commanded the viewership charts for 37 out of 38 weeks in 2023, with the top movie ranking in 31 of those weeks, as per Nielsen ratings. This exceptional viewership translates to Netflix capturing 8% of TV screen time in the US, surpassing most streaming platforms, except for YouTube. This affords Netflix ample room for growth as they continually enhance the quality of their content catalog.Netflix's prowess in generating engagement is exemplified by the remarkable success of "One Piece." This live-action adaptation of the best-selling manga series garnered stellar reviews, ignited social media conversations, and drew 62 million views globally, marking it as Netflix's first English-language title to debut at number one in Japan and remain at the top of Netflix's global Top 10 for three consecutive weeks. This accomplishment is attributed to the close collaboration between Netflix's US creative team and their counterparts in the Asia-Pacific region, enabling them to faithfully honor the source material while breathing life into Monkey D. Luffy's world in captivating new ways.Another case in point is the licensed title "Suits." Despite its prior availability on other streaming services, the arrival of seasons one through eight on Netflix in July broke viewing records, securing the title as the most-watched across film, original TV, and acquired TV on streaming platforms in the US for 12 consecutive weeks, racking up an impressive 614 million view hours and a staggering 1 billion view hours on Netflix globally over the same period. Licensing plays an integral role in Netflix's content strategy, with increasing opportunities to license popular titles alongside their original content, creating added value for both members and rights holders.Netflix's engagement endeavors extend well beyond the United States, as they cater to over 70% of their members located outside the US by delivering authentic local stories tailored to regional audiences. Their productions span across 50 countries and languages, with notable hits in various regions and genres, showcasing Netflix's ability to create content that resonates globally.Furthermore, Netflix's investment in sports shoulder programming has gained immense traction, making it the preferred destination for sports enthusiasts. Their contribution to sports culture is evident across tennis, American football, soccer, cycling, boxing, racing, golf, and more. The Netflix effect has a profound impact, leading to increased social media following and engagement for sports figures and events.To foster fan engagement, Netflix continues to innovate and invest in off-platform experiences, such as pop-up restaurants and live events, allowing fans to immerse themselves in their favorite shows between seasons. In the coming years, Netflix House, a physical flagship destination, will further enhance fan engagement with fresh, interactive experiences, food, and retail options.Animated content also plays a vital role in Netflix's programming mix. They recently announced a multi-year partnership with Skydance Animation to produce animated movies, complementing their existing successful animated series and films.As Netflix looks ahead, their fall/winter schedule promises an array of highly-anticipated content, including the final season of "The Crown," "Berlin" from the "Money Heist" franchise, and an extensive lineup of movies featuring A-list actors. This diverse content offering underscores Netflix's commitment to keeping users engaged and entertained.In summary, Netflix's commitment to user engagement, a diverse content catalog, and off-platform experiences contributes to their ongoing success in the global streaming landscape.

Dubai startup launches AI-driven SaaS solution

Oasis Defender, a UAE-based startup, is advancing multi-cloud security with its AI-driven SaaS solution for cloud network security, designed for unified visualization and configuration across multiple clouds.In 2023, the UAE cybersecurity market is valued at approximately USD 522.06 million and is projected to reach USD 950 million by 2028, showcasing a CAGR of 12.72% from 2023 to 2028. Although the UAE ranks second worldwide in cloud adoption, businesses in the region are also facing a surge in cyberattacks. These attacks lead to breaches of sensitive data and result in substantial financial losses, underscoring the need for robust cybersecurity for both cloud and multi-cloud adopters.Oasis Defender offers a SaaS solution for cloud network security. Powered by AI, their platform ensures safe and secure cloud network configurations. The platform consolidates security details from various clouds into a single, user-friendly interface, helping businesses reduce human errors, swiftly identify potential breaches, and stay compliant with the data and privacy regulations across the GCC region and others.Among the key features that this SaaS cloud network security solution offers are:Securing the entire cloud infrastructure across multiple providersOffering a seamless process for visualizing and managing multi-cloud security configurationsUsing AI and machine learning to detect potential vulnerabilities and threatsConsolidating security data from various cloud providers into a unified, user-friendly dashboardLeveraging the strengths of each cloud for enhanced securityOasis Defender aims to foster collaboration and innovation within the cybersecurity community to tackle the digital challenges contemporary businesses face. An interactive demo of their AI-driven cloud network security solution is now available for security enthusiasts. "We're glad to announce that our SaaS solution for cloud network security is ready for public evaluation," stated Michael Rostov, CEO of Oasis Defender. "We're dedicated to continuous innovation and updates for our platform, and we welcome security experts to contribute to its enhancement."Oasis Defender encourages B2B users, developers, security professionals, and IT decision-makers to explore their solutions and provide valuable feedback and reviews.

2024 predictions: AI, hacktivism, and weaponized deepfakes

Criminal activities surged in the first half of the year, with Check Point Research (CPR) reporting an 8% increase in global weekly cyberattacks in the second quarter, marking the highest volume in two years. Familiar threats such as ransomware and hacktivism have evolved, with criminal gangs modifying their methods and tools to infect and affect organizations worldwide. Even legacy technology such as USB storage devices regained popularity as a vehicle to spread malware.One of the most significant developments this year was the evolution of the ransomware landscape. Data derived from over 120 ransomware “shame-sites” revealed that in the first half of 2023, a total of 48 ransomware groups reported breaching and publicly extorting more than 2,200 victims. There have been several high-profile cases this year including the attack against MGM Resorts, which shutdown major Las Vegas sites for several days and is likely to cost millions in remediation.Check Point’s cybersecurity predictions for 2024 broadly fall into six categories: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Supply chain and critical infrastructure attacks; cyber insurance; nation state; weaponized deepfake technology and phishing attacks.Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning:? Rise of AI-directed cyberattacks: Artificial intelligence and machine learning have dominated the conversation in cybersecurity. Next year will see more threat actors adopt AI to accelerate and expand every aspect of their toolkit. Whether that is for more cost-efficient rapid development of new malware and ransomware variants or using deepfake technologies to take phishing and impersonation attacks to the next level. ? Fighting fire with fire: Just as we have seen cybercriminals tap into the potential of AI and ML, so too will cyber defenders. We have already seen significant investment in AI for cybersecurity, and that will continue as more companies look to guard against advanced threats.? Impact of regulation: There have been significant steps in Europe and the US in regulating the use of AI. As these plans develop, we will see changes in the way these technologies are used, both for offensive and defensive activities."Our reliance on AI for cybersecurity is undeniable, but as AI evolves so will the strategies of our adversaries. In the coming year, we must innovate faster than the threats we face to stay one step ahead. Let's harness the full potential of AI for cybersecurity, with a keen eye on responsible and ethical use, " – Sergey Shykevich, Threat Intelligence Group Manager at Check Point Software Technologies. Supply chain and critical infrastructure attacks:? Zero trust in the supply chain: The increase in cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, particularly those with nation-state involvement, will lead to a shift towards "zero trust" models that require verification from anyone attempting to connect to a system, regardless of whether they are inside or outside the network. With governments introducing stricter cybersecurity regulations to protect personal information, it will be essential for organizations to stay ahead of these new legal frameworks.? Supply chain still a weak link: The rate of incidents involving the supply chain remains a challenge for organizations and the impact can be far reaching. This will continue to be a trend next year if organizations fail to carry out stricter evaluations of third-party suppliers.? Strengthening Security Protocols: Recent breaches highlights the critical importance of stronger security protocols in the supply chain. As cybercriminals target smaller downline suppliers to access bigger companies, organizations must demand stricter evaluations and implementation of security protocols to prevent further attacks.Cyber insurance: ? AI in Insurance: Like all industries, AI is set to transform the way that insurance companies assess how cyber resilient prospective customers are. It is also going to provide opportunities for these companies to offer cybersecurity services directly. However, it is crucial to note that AI alone cannot solve all cybersecurity challenges, and companies must balance security with convenience. ? Preventative approach to reduce premiums: With rising costs of cyber insurance and talent shortages, organizations will begin to shift from reactive security to more effective defensive security. By demonstrating preventative action against cyberattacks, organizations may see their premiums reduced.Nation state attacks and hacktivism:? The staying power of cyber warfare: The Russo-Ukraine conflict was a significant milestone in the case of cyber warfare carried out by nation-state groups. Geo-political instability will continue into next year, and hacktivist activities will make up a larger proportion of cyberattacks, specifically DDoS attacks, with the key aim to disturb and distrupt? Masking hidden agendas: While many hacktivist groups use a political position as a reason to launch attacks, they may be masking ulterior motives. We could see blurred lines between hacktivism and commercialism with threat actors choosing ransomware attacks as a revenue stream to fund other activities. Deepfake technology will be weaponized: ? Deep fake technology advances: Deepfakes are often weaponized to create content that will sway opinions, alter stock prices or worse. These tools are readily available online, and threat actors will continue to use deepfake social engineering attacks to gain permissions and access sensitive data.Phishing attacks continue to plague businesses:? Phishing and legitimate tools: Software will always be exploitable. However, it has become far easier for threat actors to “log in” instead of “break in”. Over the years, the industry has built up layers of defense to detect and prevent intrusion attempts against software exploits. With the relative success and ease of phishing campaigns, next year will bring more attacks that originate from credential theft and not vulnerability exploitation.? Advanced phishing tactics: AI-enhanced phishing tactics might become more personalized and effective, making it even harder for individuals to identify malicious intent, leading to increased phishing-related breaches. Ransomware: Stealthy Exploits, Enhanced Extortion, and AI Battlefields? Living Off the Land Tactics Prevail: The adoption of “living off the land” techniques, which leverage legitimate system tools to execute attacks, is expected to surge, especially in light of successful takedowns of malware networks like Qbot by agencies such as the FBI. This subtler approach, harder to detect and thwart, underscores the necessity for sophisticated threat prevention strategies, including Managed Detection and Response (MDR) that can pinpoint device and network behavior anomalies.? Data Risks Amidst Ransomware Defenses: Despite organizations bolstering their defenses against ransomware, incidents of data loss or leakage are likely to ascend. A contributing factor may be the increasing reliance on SaaS platforms to store sensitive data as part of application services, presenting new vectors and vulnerabilities that malicious entities can exploit.? Ransomware Reporting Nuances: The observed increase in ransomware attacks will require discerning interpretation, potentially being inflated due to newly instituted reporting mandates. It is imperative to dissect these statistics judiciously, understanding the dynamics of reporting protocols in analyzing the true scope and scale of the threat."The use of artificial intelligence by ransomware attackers will become more advanced, requiring organizations to not only focus on preventing attacks, but also enhancing their incident response and recovery plans to mitigate the potential impact. As attacks become more sophisticated, organizations need to evolve their approach to security to stay ahead of the game." – said Daniel Wiley, Head of Threat Management and Chief Security Advisor, Infinity Global Services at Check Point Software Technologies. As cybercriminals continue to evolve their methods and tools, organizations need to adapt their cybersecurity measures. In 2023 we have witnessed several large-scale attacks. In today’s threat landscape, companies not only have to prioritize their own security protocols, but also scrutinize the security practices of their third-party suppliers. With the rise of AI-enhanced cyberattacks, zero trust models, and deepfake technology, it is more important than ever to invest in collaborative, comprehensive and consolidated cybersecurity solutions. We must stay vigilant and agile in the face of the expanding attack vector, and work together to create an effective defense against cyber threats.

Extend AdNetwork witnesses success of Gamers8 collaboration with Smarifai

Following the tremendous success of the 2022 Gamers8 event, the launch of its 2023 iteration was highly anticipated. This year’s event made history as the largest Esports gathering to date, boasting a $45 million prize pool. Gamers8 now firmly stands as a major industry player and has solidified Riyadh’s position as the esports capital of the region. Spearheaded by the Saudi Esports Federation, this year’s ‘Land of Heroes’ event aimed to surpass its predecessor in all aspects, from the prize pool’s size to the scale of games and events hosted in vibrant Riyadh. Gamers8 in 2023 successfully brought the virtual world of esports and gaming to Riyadh’s heart, setting a new industry standard.However, for the 2023 season, the Extend AdNetwork, responsible for strategy, planning, and execution, embarked on an innovative journey to elevate awareness and spark massive engagement for the event. This was achieved by pushing the boundaries and challenging conventional norms, introducing tech-driven, content-centered integration in lieu of the traditional approach, all while targeting a heightened connection with the tech and gaming community.Partnering with Smartifai, Extend unveiled an innovative strategy designed to captivate users and amplify event awareness. This pioneering approach centered around the integration of ChatGPT with contextual tech, generating unprecedented attention for Gamers8. Harnessing the power of generative AI, the entire execution was meticulously designed to seize users’ attention. It achieved this by delivering swift and concise content summaries in both English and Arabic while strategically navigating users to ad content through the integration of video and three distinct visual communications within the ChatGPT ad format. This approach enhanced the reading experience and fostered deeper engagement by developing strategic partnerships with gaming, sports, music, and entertainment publishers.The campaign was launched on a global scale, employing in-screen and in-image ads in international markets while focusing on ChatGPT Ads in regional markets such as KSA and the UAE, complemented by in-screen and in-image ads. The results have been nothing short of remarkable.The campaign achieved an impressive reach, connecting with a unique audience of 4.7 million individuals and sparking a staggering half a million ad interactions.The ChatGPT-led ad format, meticulously tailored to cater to Gen Z and Generation Alpha, successfully tapped into their desire for instant gratification, boasting an astonishing 7% interaction rate, with over 21,000 unique content summaries. Remarkably, nearly 70% of these interactions originated within Saudi Arabia. As the campaign progressed, interaction rates soared to an astounding 16.6% during the final week, surpassing display and social benchmarks in the region.The campaign’s success extended beyond the digital realm, with over 3,500 footfalls recorded at the Gamers8 event’s physical location. Commenting on the success of the campaign, Tareq Al Awar – Head Of Digital Media – Extend, said: "This is a testimony to push our efforts to stay at the forefront of innovation and bring a unique execution to our clients, introducing the latest tech as an early adopter in the Saudi market. We are continually striving to establish ourselves as a key differentiator in our digital offerings to our clients. When we proposed this first-of-its-kind execution, we were confident of achieving exponential results by applying a unique use-case of technologies like Generative AI and its applications to advertising that enhance the user experience and set new industry standards for creativity and engagement."Adel AlMeqren, The Head of Marketing & Branding at the Saudi Esports Federation, emphasized the historical significance of these achievements, proclaiming that Gamers8 is in the process of making Saudi Arabia a global epicenter for esports and gaming. He further underscored that Gamers8’s willingness to explore and implement something truly new and unique in the industry signifies the organisation’s commitment to innovation and its open-minded approach to marketing strategies.AlMeqren’s remarks shed light on Gamers8’s determination to break away from traditional marketing practices, highlighting their readiness to embrace novel ideas and execute them successfully. This forward-thinking approach not only distinguishes Gamers8 but also positions Saudi Arabia as a pioneering hub for esports and gaming innovation.In response to the campaign’s success, Herman D’Souza, Co-Founder of Smartifai, emphasized the pivotal role played by Extend, under the leadership of Tareq Al Awar, in shaping the outcome of the Gamers8 2023 digital activation campaign. Furthermore, Islam Haggag, Media Manager, played a vital role in orchestrating the campaign’s media presence and impact, further reinforcing the synergy between collaboration and execution in achieving remarkable outcomes through the Gamers8 unique activation.The 2023 Gamers8 event has not only shattered records but has also ignited a blazing trail of success, illuminating the path for a future where esports and gaming take center stage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond. As the gaming world continues to evolve, Gamers8 remains at the forefront, leading the charge towards new horizons and unprecedented triumphs.

HubForward announces official registration of trademark

HubForward has announced that they've officially registered their trademark, HubForward®. This isn't just paperwork it's a big step for a brand that's changing the way manufacturing and Industry 4.0 work.As industry growth speeds up globally, HubForward is making a name for itself as a game-changer. This trademark proves the value of their brand and shows they're ready to keep leading with new ideas.Dr. Abdenour, founder and CEO of HubForward, commented, "By getting the HubForward® trademark, we're not just marking our spot; we're building a strong foundation for our company's future. This helps protect our unique technologies and shows our dedication to improving the industry."With this new trademark, HubForward is making it clear they're committed to their innovative technologies and aim to keep being a leader in industry change."HubForward is deeply rooted in innovation. Our trademark isn't just a sign; it's our commitment to continually challenge the norm and envision new possibilities in our field," stated Mr. Hyun Min Park, Co-Fouder and chief manufacturing officer of HubForward.

Netflix raises prices, adds 8.8 million new subscribers

In its latest quarterly earnings report, Netflix has announced the success of its global initiative to combat password sharing and unveiled plans to increase subscription rates.Over the past three months, the streaming giant added 8.8 million new subscribers, a significant leap beyond expectations and a substantial increase from the 2.4 million added during the same quarter in the previous year. In the US, the cost of a basic Netflix subscription will rise by $2, reaching $11.99, while premium subscriptions will experience a $3 increase, reaching $22.99. Across the pond in the United Kingdom, the price of the basic subscription will climb by £1 to reach £7.99, and premium memberships will see a £2 hike to reach £17.99.In Australia, prices will remain constant, but the basic subscription tier, previously priced at $10.99, will no longer be available to new or returning subscribers starting next week. The basic tier will also be phased out for new subscribers in Germany, Spain, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil, commencing next week. It has already been discontinued in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada.Netflix has taken steps to curtail the practice of password sharing during the summer months. The company reported that the number of cancellations stemming from this initiative was lower than originally expected.Netflix has introduced an ad-supported subscription tier a year ago, which now constitutes 30% of new subscribers. However, the company acknowledged that building this service "from the ground up" would require some time.Netflix reported revenues of $8.54 billion, in line with expectations. Net profit surged by 20%, reaching $1.68 billion in the third quarter, exceeding its own forecasts. This strong financial performance resulted in an over 11% increase in Netflix's share price during after-hours trading.

P2P payment App Kem appoints Tamara executive to board $1mln investment

Kem, Kuwait's first peer-to-peer payment (P2P) app, has announced the appointment of Faris Al Obaid, Chief Executive Officer of Tamara Bahrain, to its board of directors. The move, along with a recent investment round of over $1 million, is the latest step in Kem’s mission to revolutionize digital payments in Kuwait and the GCC region, where the addressable payments market is worth $400 billion. The start-up has tripled its account volume and overseen a 350% rise in transaction volume over the last month.Faris Al Obaid brings unique experience to Kem's board in his roles as a Tamara leader and Conference founder, as well as Chairman for the Kuwait Vision 2035. His expertise goes beyond his leadership at Tarama, Saudi Arabia’s leading buy now, pay later fintech, and extends into the political and diplomatic spheres of the Gulf region, helping Kem cement its status as a leading fintech in the GCC.Speaking about the importance of Kem's QR code-based payment app, Mr. Al Obaid stated, "Kem is offering a solution that has been long awaited in the region. Until now, instant P2P and QR code payments on par with those in Europe, the US, and China haven’t emerged here, but Kem is set to change that. Their critical financial infrastructure empowers not only individuals but also SMEs that are unbanked and underserved. Many have tried, and most have failed, and I joined Kem because they have an excellent team that knows how to execute a project like this.” Kem’s innovative spirit, which recently helped them secure a $1 million investment round, is embodied in its CEO Seth Sedeq. As a young Kuwaiti-American, he saw what fintech had achieved in the United States and wanted to bring it to his homeland. The appointment of Mr. Al-Obaid is a key step in doing that."Having someone on board like Faris is exactly what we need,” says Mr. Sedeq. “ Not only does he have experience leading a regional fintech giant, but his reach in the political realm makes for a rare recipe. Faris has helped us accelerate our growth and become recognized as a financial services leader.”As the first P2P payment app in Kuwait, Kem aims to use this blend of know-how and youthful vigor to trigger a digital payments revolution among young people. “50% of the GCC population is under the age of 25 and this generation is looking for stuff like Kem,” states Mr. Sedeq, who is in his twenties and in touch with what this demographic needs. “They don't want old tech, they want stuff that works for them and answers their financial needs in today’s economic climate. Kem is the first P2P payment app in Kuwait, and we now see a shift where people can access these essential services."Kem's latest developments mark the start of its next expansion phase, which includes launching in other GCC countries such as Saudi Arabia and adding thousands of new users to its growing customer base.

Haier: Creating a global brand with local innovation in the ME and Africa

For Chinese companies, planning localization layout in the local market to quickly enter and nurture global markets is becoming an imperative topic in their new phase of international expansion for China's smart manufacturing.Recently,'s premiere of "Chinese Brands Enhancing Life in the Middle East and Africa through Innovation" detailed Haier's dynamic branding in these regions. It showcased the robust technological prowess behind the rise of Chinese intelligent manufacturing on the international stage, epitomized by Haier.Localized Innovation: Crafting New Experiences for a Better Life. Considering the cultural and habit differences across countries and regions, it's tough for global companies to market identical products everywhere. The documentary showcases Haier's specific innovations for the Middle East and Africa. Using a three-fold approach of localized R&D, production, and marketing, Haier has opened up more possibilities for enhancing the lives of local consumers.The documentary features Sara, an Egyptian mother of two, who chose Haier's products to provide a comfortable environment for her children. She attests to the Haier air conditioner's rapid cooling and energy-efficient performance, marking it as ideal for her family's use. Today, innovative technology and product solutions tailored to local needs have made their way into millions of homes across the Middle East and Africa. For instance, facing the extreme high temperatures in Middle Eastern countries, Haier launched 55 degree full capacity, 68 degree non stop inverter AC. Addressing the prevalent issue of unstable power supply in most parts of Africa, Haier has introduced generator-compatible air conditioners, ensuring long-distance air delivery in large spaces even during power outages.Focusing on consumer needs, Haier sets the standard for Chinese companies going global. For them, releasing a new product is just the start of continually striving to create enjoyable consumer experiences.Technological Breakthroughs: Innovating for Health. Committed to enhancing user experience through technological innovation, Haier has devised cutting-edge solutions for blood and vaccine storage in the Middle East and Africa, safeguarding the health and well-being of the local communities.Haier Biomedical has introduced a series of vaccine refrigerators powered by solar direct-drive cooling technology, addressing the critical challenges of vaccine storage safety due to the lack of electricity in Nigeria. A representative of Haier Biomedical stated, "Our innovative development of solar-powered vaccine refrigerators has ending two decades of foreign tech dominance, keep contents below 8°C for 120 hours in 43°C heat, surpassing the World Health Organization's 72-hour standard for temperature control."In Nigeria, the safety of storing medical blood supplies faces significant challenges due to power deficiencies. Haier Biomedical's innovative solar-powered blood storage solution effectively addresses this issue. This method reduces reliance on standard power and uses remote monitoring for easier, more secure management.Globally, with the deepening advancement of localized innovation, Haier Biomedical's life science and healthcare innovations continue to be implemented across various scenarios. Currently, Haier Biomedical products and solutions have been employed in over 140 countries and regions worldwide.Global Brand Creation: Establishing a World-Renowned Brand with Global Leadership. By focusing on customer needs and fostering in-depth localized cultivation and collaborative innovation, Haier has seen consistent global growth. Now, Haier has operated in 200 countries, serving over a billion households around the world.Adhering to the tripartite strategy of localized research, manufacturing, and marketing, Haier has accomplished a global network configuration with 35 industrial parks and 138 manufacturing centers. Relying on its 10+N innovative ecosystem, Haier efficiently meets the unique and varied demands of customers worldwide.Transitioning from an outbound brand to establishing globally leading labels is an essential trajectory for the transformation and upgrade of Chinese brands. The future world will witness an increasing presence of Chinese brands continually innovating on the global stage, creating globally recognized identities with unique Chinese characteristics.

UAE AI Minister announces reskilling initiative to boost job security

Dubai: His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications on Wednesday announced a pioneering initiative aimed at empowering the UAE workforce to keep pace with developments in AI technology.His Excellency made the announcement today during the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2023.The new initiative aims to reskill, retool, and retire UAE employees. HE explained: “If someone is going to be augmented by AI, we want to retool them to actually be able to use these tools, and if someone is a year or two from retirement and has no interest in retooling, they have the option of retiring early.”Explaining the rationale behind this forward-thinking initiative, HE Al Olama said: "If people are part of a job class that is going to be completely displaced by AI, you need to provide government programs that will completely reskill them in a new job class that is not going to be displaced.”The session also touched on challenges around sustainable development, women empowerment, data equity and the interconnectedness of climate and human development.Badr Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Enterprises, said: "We can no longer separate the climate agenda from the human development agenda or the nature agenda. It can no longer be a zero-sum game where we can progress one at the expense of another."Nili Gilbert, the Vice-Chairwoman of Carbon Direct in the USA, echoed this sentiment: "Everything is interconnected and interdependent, and we need to organize ourselves as an ecosystem to be able to address the challenges as they are."Gilbert further reiterated the moral imperative of maintaining a focus on social and equality issues, alongside climate and environmental goals, believing it to be “impossible to address the climate challenge without simultaneously addressing social and equity concerns”.Lauren Woodman, Chief Executive Officer of DataKind in the USA, emphasized the importance of data equity as a response to social challenges. She stated: “We began with the action-oriented premise that we must move forward and undertake the necessary steps to ensure that this powerful technology, with its abundant promising opportunities, maintains its human-centered focus."Reshma Saujani, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Moms First, stressed the importance of empowering women in future-oriented fields such as AI.She noted: "Most women across the globe live in countries that have a broken structure of care.”The Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2023 took place from 16-18 October in Dubai. It presented a critical opportunity for experts from around the world to meet and collaborate on solutions that will improve economic growth and development.The event hosted 600 experts from academia, government, international organizations, business, and civil society from the 30 members of the Global Future Councils, one of the world’s foremost multistakeholder and interdisciplinary knowledge networks.

DIEZ Partners with Liferay to transform stakeholder digital experiences

Dubai: The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), home to more than 5000 companies across its three economic zones: Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ), Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), and Dubai CommerCity (DCC), has partnered with Liferay, a leading provider of enterprise-level, cloud-powered digital experiences. The strategic partnership aims to enhance customer and stakeholder experiences across the three free zones through innovative digital solutions.Under the partnership, Liferay and DIEZ will adopt a multi-faceted approach to elevate the digital landscape within DIEZ's economic zones. The initial phase centers on the modernization of web platforms for DAFZ, DSO, and DCC to deliver enhanced, user-friendly, and streamlined navigation experiences.The redesigned web interfaces will illustrate ultra-modern and future ready platforms, offering the flexibility to embed and integrate multiple elements that bind DIEZ with the three free zones. Each of these platforms powered by Liferay Experience Cloud (SM) and built following international best practices, will enable seamless, enhanced, and scalable visitor experiences. Upon completion, Liferay will empower DIEZ with self-management tools, ensuring adaptability to each free zone’s specific requirements.Badr Buhannad, Chief Corporate Support Officer at DIEZ, said, “DIEZ serves a diverse stakeholder community from DAFZ, DSO, and DCC. Hence, our focus on tailoring digital platforms to meet their unique needs is paramount. Hence, our collaboration with Liferay to enhance stakeholder digital experience through their cloud-enabled, self-managed experience platform, aligns with our long-term vision for excellence in stakeholder engagement. With an eye on long-term success, we look forward to a highly successful partnership focused on excellence for our stakeholders.”He added: “By embracing digital transformation and elevating stakeholder experiences, DIEZ is committed to solidifying its position as a catalyst for economic development and a trusted partner for businesses operating within its economic zones.”Moussalam Dalati – General Manager Liferay Middle East and Africa stated, “DIEZ is tasked with managing complex, challenging, and multivariate digital requirements. With Liferay Experience Cloud, our team is committed to deliver global benchmarks of service standards across hybrid environments. We appreciate their long term and future-oriented approach to stakeholder digital experiences, and as their tech partner, we look forward to the fruition of this vision.”Liferay’s DXP platform facilitates and empowers enterprises with digital innovations and experiences in a quick and agile manner.

Athar Festival and Publicis Groupe Middle East launch Maheerah WEP

Riyadh: Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity, the largest gathering of the creative marketing industry in the Kingdom, is proud to announce Maheerah, its women’s empowerment programme, for the festival’s inaugural edition.Organised in partnership with Publicis Groupe Middle East, a regional leader in marketing, communication, and digital business transformation, Maheerah is an acceleration initiative designed for women poised for career advancement within Saudi Arabia’s marketing communications industry. It aims to bring participants into the industry's spotlight at a time when more women than ever are rising to prominent roles in the Kingdom's workforce.Geared towards women with mid to senior-level expertise in the industry, the program offers 10 participants a series of tailored coaching sessions, individualised workshops, mentoring by esteemed industry leaders from around the world, exclusive networking opportunities, and more. In addition to full festival access, participants will also be invited to attend the Athar Industry Awards.As the official ambassador of Maheerah, Alaa Khushaim, Director of Marketing and Communications at McDonald's KSA - West & South will play a pivotal role throughout every stage of the programme, from participant shortlisting and selection to providing guidance and inspiration to the attendees. Excited with the opportunity, and the impact it will have on the careers of the participants, Khushaim stated, “When I was first approached with Maheerah, I saw a chance to be a part of an initiative that will leave a mark on the professional lives of 10 young women in Saudi Arabia and enable and inspire them with the right knowledge and skills to achieve remarkable things in our industry. I look forward to not only sharing my own experiences and expertise but also to learning from them. In line with one of the core objectives of Athar Festival, this programme will undoubtedly bring the marketing and creative community together to create long-lasting impact.”Ian Fairservice, Chairman of Athar Festival and Managing Partner & Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate Media Group, said, "We are truly delighted to bring this initiative to Athar Festival. There is a wealth of female talent in the Kingdom, and this program offers a unique opportunity to create a supportive network of empowered women who can achieve their full potential and pass on their knowledge to others."Bassel Kakish, Chief Executive Officer of Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey said, “Talent will always be the most important asset that this industry will have. As a talent-first organisation, Publicis Groupe Middle East believes in investing in and empowering the future generation of leaders, so when we heard of the Maheerah Programme, we knew it was something we needed to support. The communications industry is going through an exciting transformation within the Kingdom, and we are committed to progressing the careers of women within the field.”Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity is Saudi Arabia’s largest celebration of creativity, culture, talent, and innovation to date. Across four days, two content stages, a diverse range of training programs, an industry award event, and much more, the festival will serve as a platform for all those with an interest in joining an exciting new community of creative industry leaders from Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Ericsson & etisalat by e& sign MoU to collaborate on Cloud RAN testing

Ericsson and etisalat by e& have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the ways in which Ericsson Cloud RAN solution can support the development of the 5G mobile broadband network of the Communication Service Provider (CSP). The signing ceremony took place during GITEX GLOBAL 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).Ericsson and etisalat by e& will test Ericsson Cloud RAN solution in the network and identify areas where its introduction would best complement the existing purpose-built radio access network (RAN) infrastructure. They will also examine the potential of the solution to address a variety of 5G deployments and use cases with increased flexibility, faster service delivery and greater scalability.As an initial step, the two partners will conduct a proof of concept (PoC) for the new technology in a lab environment in the UAE.Ericsson Cloud RAN is based on cloud-native principles and open architecture with standardized interfaces that are compatible with the deployed Ericsson Radio System products and solutions, enabling etisalat by e& to evolve its network to its architecture of choice.Marwan Bin Shakar, Senior Vice President Access Network Development, at etisalat by e&, says: “Our innovation-driven alliance with Ericsson aligns with our continued commitment towards leveraging the latest technologies in the telecommunications industry to meet the rapidly evolving needs and high-performance expectations of our customers and enterprises. We look forward to strengthening the capabilities of our 5G network with Ericsson Cloud RAN.”Ekow Nelson, Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit for e& at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “Today’s collaboration is another step in etisalat by e&’s 5G journey. Ericsson Cloud RAN will enable etisalat by e& to seamlessly evolve towards cloud-native technologies and open network architectures, with the vision that it can deploy cloud-native networks on any site, any cloud, and any server platform.”Ericsson Cloud RAN delivers network capabilities that enable service providers to pursue new business opportunities and diversify 5G use cases.

Microsoft and Majid Al Futtaim accelerate roadmap for digital transformation

Dubai: Microsoft expanded its long-term partnership with Majid Al Futtaim with a new strategic agreement that will enhance Majid Al Futtaim's operations across the retail, real estate, and entertainment sectors by utilizing Microsoft's robust suite of technologies and services.Both organizations will be working together on a number of strategic objectives that will leverage their strengths to enhance innovation, data monetization and capacity building. The partnership will also see them drive digital transformation through a Governed Innovation Hub, which will be led by a team of experienced professionals from both organizations. The Innovation Hub will focus on developing advanced applications that drive automation, enhanced customer experiences, and smart mall solutions. These applications will be powered by Microsoft’s Azure data analytics and AI capabilities, which will help Majid Al Futtaim to better understand its customers, optimize its operations, and create a more seamless and personalized shopping experience.“We are proud to have been a key partner in Majid Al Futtaim’s digital transformation journey for many years,” said Naim Yazbeck, General Manager, Microsoft UAE. “Our partnership will accelerate this journey even further, empowering Majid Al Futtaim’s employees to tackle new challenges, create new innovative customer experiences, and improve business efficiency. We are confident that this work will help pioneer new possibilities for the retail industry across the region and beyond.”Under the partnership agreement, both organizations will be jointly working on a Data Strategy aligned with Majid Al Futtaim’s business objectives to deliver actionable insights and transform decision making horizontally across functions and operating companies.“We are excited to embark on the next phase of our partnership with Microsoft. This alliance will not only enhance our digital capabilities, but also allow us to jointly explore and enter new markets in MENA,” said Mohamed Tolba, Senior Vice President, Majid Al Futtaim Global Solutions. “The partnership is a testament to our commitment to innovation and our belief that advanced technologies hold the key to future growth. We look forward to working with Microsoft to create new and innovative ways to better serve our customers and partners.”Under the agreement, the companies will jointly develop comprehensive end-to-end roadmaps for innovative products and solutions and foster specialized expertise, collaboration, and advanced practices in key digital domains like automation, data, AI, employee experience and others.To support Majid Al Futtaim in reducing its carbon footprint, Microsoft will also leverage various tools to enable compliance with sustainability standards. And in line with Microsoft’s mission of empowering today’s professionals for the workforce of tomorrow, the partnership will also see both sides setting up joint training programs, online courses, and certifications to upskill employees in areas like AI, cloud computing, and data analytics.

Stc group launches the biggest-ever expansion of the 5G network in its history

Riyadh: stc group has announced the largest expansion of the 5G network in history. Investments will be made to develop and expand the existing network to cover more than 75 cities and governorates in Saudi Arabia. This project builds on the group's success in delivering 5G network technologies to over 90% of its locations in major cities. The investments made by stc group will contribute to the development and expansion of the network, encouraging the digital economy, supporting local content, creating quality jobs, and enhancing people's lives digitally. This is all in line with the group's expansion and growth strategy.The Kingdom has witnessed a digital transformation since 2006, which was a milestone for the people of Saudi Arabia. They could access the Internet through their mobile phones (before smartphones) using the third-generation network (3G) provided by the Saudi Telecom Company. This company is now known as the stc group, leading the way in enabling digital transformation. This journey started with the provision of Internet services through the first-generation networks (1G and 2G) in the late nineties. Homes, companies, and Internet cafes were about to the Internet for the first time in the history of the Kingdom. The introduction of 4G services in 2011 enabled users to live stream videos and gain more substantial access to a more robust world of applications, continuing the journey of Internet generations. This mega project is the outcome of these achievements and marks the success of this journey.In 2018, stc group launched the 5G network, marking a significant milestone that initiated a historic transformation in communications and information technology in the Kingdom and the region. The MENA region's development standards differed from the rest, making it the first commercial launch of the 5G network. This event began a new era, where physical and digital technology boundaries are blurred at blazing speeds with near-zero response time. Currently, stc group is working towards achieving digital transformation at every level, being the most prominent leader of the ICT sector in the region. The group is currently carrying out the most extensive expansion of their 5G network. This initiative aims to enhance the infrastructure, making it more robust and advanced than ever, thus promising to enrich the user experience. The 5G network is the beating heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and machine education, and a significant driver of national digital transformation. So, how will this historic expansion strengthen the 5G market, sustainability, and local content?"Dare" strategy and the 5G expansion in 2023More than 35% of the population in 5 major cities in Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, and Dammam, were provided with 5G service by stc group in 2019. The 5G service was extended to 75 cities nationwide the following year. The expansion of the 5G network continued and was further accelerated by stc group's "Dare" strategy, which comprised four pillars: expanding in size and scope, renewing the experience, digitizing stc, and performing faster than before. In 2022, the proportion of mobile sites with 5G services surpassed 90% of locations in major cities, marking a significant milestone. Moreover, the second carrier in the 2300 MHz band was introduced in Riyadh and Jeddah to provide greater capacity and better coverage.This year, the group set a new goal by embarking on its largest expansion. It invested heavily in upgrading its existing 5G network to an advanced 5G network across all its towers in the five main cities. This move aims to provide better services and opportunities for retail and business customers while solidifying stc group's position as the leading digital enabler in the region.Sustainability Impactstc group is committed to providing the latest digital solutions and technologies to keep up with the world's desired digital development. It also recognizes the importance of improving energy efficiency, a critical aspect of strategic sustainability for all its operations and subsidiaries. Despite the dual challenge of expanding its business while consuming energy, stc group is dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by focusing on energy-efficient and renewable solutions for over 16,000 towers undergoing 5G expansion.TAWAL, the tower-based subsidiary of stc group, achieved a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2022. This was made possible by advocating innovation and adopting eco-friendly practices. The reduction was measured cumulatively and amounted to around 30% compared to the baseline.TAWAL now has over 16,000 towers, but the company has successfully decreased the number of diesel-powered plants from 1,718 to 1,045, showing its dedication to environmental preservation. Local Content DevelopmentKeeping in mind the development of local content, stc group is expanding the 5G network, taking into account technical, financial, and environmental aspects, to transition from technology consumption to production. The 5G network is the foundation of future businesses based on integrated digital empowerment. Thus, one of the long-term goals of this expansion is to strengthen the digital economy of Saudi Arabia.TAWAL has implemented various internal strategies to enhance the participation of native resources, surpassing 69% and receiving the Local Content Certificate from the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority.The expansion of 5G is expected to have various effects, including the increase in digital projects that will benefit from the high speeds provided by this technology. InspireU, an accelerator affiliated with stc group, aims to provide advanced technical solutions for incubated projects, including the 5G network, which has contributed to a market value of investments and financial transactions for products of projects incubated by inspireU exceeding 12 billion SAR. Meanwhile, more than 600 thousand direct and indirect job opportunities have been generated by these startups. Additionally, inspireU's entrepreneurial projects have benefited over 40 million group aims to enhance the Saudi digital economy by upgrading digital empowerment and connectivity to the highest level. This will create more job opportunities for male and female citizens while supporting local content and enriching people's lives digitally. The company is committed to sustainability standards for the environment, operations, and business models to contribute to achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. stc group strives to play a more significant role in digital transformation within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond, impacting the Middle East and the world.

G42 & OpenAI launch partnership to deploy advanced AI capabilities

Dubai: G42, the leading UAE-based technology holding group, has announced a partnership with OpenAI, the AI research and deployment company behind ChatGPT, to deliver cutting-edge AI solutions to the UAE and regional markets.This partnership will focus on leveraging OpenAI’s generative AI models in domains where G42 already has deep expertise including financial services, energy, healthcare and public services. OpenAI will work with G42 to accelerate the solution development process, ensuring that organizations can best leverage the power of generative AI in their specific use cases.Through solutions built by G42, organizations in the UAE and the region will be able to simplify the process of integrating these advanced AI capabilities into their existing enterprise landscapes, unlocking the potential of OpenAI’s models.To drive this expansion across the entire region, significant AI-ready infrastructure is imperative. G42 will prioritize its substantial AI infrastructure capacity to support OpenAI’s local and regional inferencing on Microsoft Azure data centers.Commenting on the partnership, Peng Xiao, Group CEO, said: “At the core of our mission lies the pursuit of AI as a transformative force for good, fueling innovation and progress. Our partnership with OpenAI transcends technological synergy; it's a convergence of value and vision. We are excited to join OpenAI on the journey to shape a future where AI benefits all of humanity.”Sam Altman, Co-Founder and CEO of OpenAI, stated: “Our partnership with G42 is a significant commitment to further harnessing AI's transformative power. Leveraging G42's industry expertise, we aim to empower businesses and communities with effective solutions that resonate with the nuances of the region. This collaboration lays the foundation for equitable advancements in generative AI across the globe.”Both organizations will continue to explore ways to accelerate generative AI innovation and adoption globally.G42's efforts in the field of generative AI are currently on full display at GITEX Global in Dubai where its portfolio companies are showcasing a wide range of offerings that span across multiple industries.

Sharjah Media City's impressive showcase at MIPCOM Cannes

Sharjah: Sharjah Media City "Shams" announced its meetings with several international television, entertainment, and advertising companies during the international content and entertainment exhibition "MIPCOM 2023" in Cannes, France. These companies, hailing from various countries, including Canada, Italy, India, Brazil, Turkey, and others, praised the facilities and offerings provided by Shams aimed at attracting major production projects for the Emirate of Sharjah.Sharjah Media City "Shams" affirmed its commitment to providing benefits and incentives to companies that decide to establish representative offices within Sharjah Media City "Shams." This comes within the framework of capitalising on business growth and competitive openness in the Emirate of Sharjah, which offers numerous investment opportunities supportive of achieving attractive and sustainable economic returns.The delegation from Sharjah Media City "Shams" met with several leading media service companies on the sidelines of its international participation. The delegation attracted entrepreneurs and global companies to the Emirate of Sharjah by introducing the integrated infrastructure and technological means of Shams, which includes packages of licenses, offices, production services, and premium studios. It also offers a wide range of media, content distributors, all of which collectively support unique creative industries capable of driving progress and enhancing community well-being."MIPCOM 2023" brings together a selection of the largest companies in various media fields, specializing in the production of diverse content such as films, series, and programs. It provides a comprehensive platform for display, purchase, and sale, as well as for forming international partnerships, contracts, and deals in the fields of production and business development. Participants have the opportunity to explore production projects, fund them, and develop media content, television programs, and entertainment.

Alphabet's Pixel 8 to Boost 'Make in India' Initiative with Local Manufacturing

Alphabet Inc, the parent company of tech giant Google, is set to make a significant foray into the Indian manufacturing sector. During the ninth edition of the 'Google for India' event, an executive from Alphabet revealed the company's ambitious plan to commence local production of its popular Pixel smartphones. This move is aimed at strengthening the brand's presence in the Indian market while promoting the government's 'Make in India' initiative.The manufacturing of the upcoming Pixel 8 smartphones, slated for release in 2024, will mark Alphabet's entry into the Indian production landscape. The company is preparing to partner with both international and domestic manufacturers to initiate this venture, further expanding the smartphone's reach in the country.India, with its rapidly growing smartphone user base and a burgeoning market for tech products, represents a pivotal region for Alphabet. The decision to produce Pixel smartphones locally aligns with the country's vision to become a global manufacturing hub and will provide Alphabet with certain advantages, including reduced production costs, easier access to the Indian consumer base, and compliance with the 'Make in India' initiative.The move underscores Alphabet's commitment to fostering innovation and technology development in India, a country known for its thriving tech ecosystem. With this endeavor, Alphabet is not only set to contribute to India's economic growth but also strengthen its position in a fiercely competitive smartphone market. As the official launch date of the Pixel 8 approaches, tech enthusiasts in India eagerly await the introduction of this locally manufactured, cutting-edge device.

Turbocharging customer loyalty: The need for CRM strategies

In an age where data drives customer service and customization, it is sad to experience a situation where a leading telecommunications company fails to make use of the wealth of information at its disposal.In view of the customer service week a few days ago, I would like to share the experience I had recently with one of the largest telco companies in the GCC region, and it was a stark reminder of how poor customer service and a lack of personalization can drive customers away and benefit competitors.A few weeks ago, I received a call from this telco company, in which they attempted to offer me an upgraded mobile package. In theory, this should have been a straightforward and potentially beneficial interaction for both of us. However, it soon became apparent that they had not taken the time to study my profile or understand my needs before reaching out to me.The first issue was their insistence on pushing me towards a higher-tier package, even though a careful analysis of my data usage would have shown that I was not utilizing all the data included in my current plan. It was evident that the company's representatives had not taken the time to examine my consumption habits or preferences. This oversight, in my opinion, highlights a fundamental flaw in the telco company's approach to customer engagement.This incident serves as a stark example of a major telco company's failure to develop a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy that resonates with its customers. When a company of this stature, which has access to a treasure of data about its users,neglects to employ it to customize its offerings and improve customer experience, it undermines not only its reputation but also the loyalty of its customers.As a marketing professional with over 25 years of experience, I am well aware of the importance of understanding the customer's needs and preferences, developing messages, customer journeys and strategies that resonate with them, and ultimately, creating brand experiences that enhance their daily lives. This experience left me deeply disappointed, especially coming from a telco company that has access to all the necessary customer data to do better.The outcome of this encounter was double:• First, I decided to re-evaluate my mobile package and opted for a more cost-effective option that better suited my needs, still staying with the same telco company.• Second, the poor customer service and the inability of the telco company to provide a tailored offering led me to explore alternative options for my home internet needs. I found myself actively considering packages from other service providers, and finally decided to opt for another telco company.This is a clear example of how a poorly executed customer retention strategy can not only damage the relationship between a company and its customer but can also carelessly promote the interests of its competitors.It highlights the need for telco companies, as well as businesses in general, to invest in data-driven, personalized CRM strategies.My recent experience with one of the biggest telecom companies in the GCC region was a reminder that even giants in the industry can fail when it comes to understanding their customers and providing a level of service that aligns with their preferences. This episode should serve as a cautionary tale for companies that have access to a wealth of customer data, urging them to leverage that information to create meaningful, customized interactions and secure customer loyalty.Failure to do so not only risks alienating existing customers but also presents opportunities for competitors to swoop in and provide a more personalized, customer-centric experience.

CarSwitch Joins Forces with MoEngage to Elevate Personalized Customer Engagement

CarSwitch, the leading UAE site for buying and selling used cars, has partnered with MoEngage, a marketing automation and customer engagement platform and e-CENS.Operating in both UAE and KSA, the brand is a perfect bridge between sellers who are looking to sell their cars conveniently and buyers who prefer not to visit showrooms in search of cars physically.Speaking about the customer engagement challenges, Mohammad Ali Raahim, Head of Product at CarSwitch, said, “There were few challenges that we encountered while building our engagement frameworks. Data analysis, engaging the right channel, personalization at scale and relevant content are some of them. This is where we think MoEngage, along with e-CENS fits perfectly well into our system.”Using MoEngage, the car-selling platform will offload journeys that have been built on their own tech stack onto MoEngage to focus more on maintaining and analyzing these journeys. Additionally, the brand will also identify and capitalize on new opportunities to engage customers at the right time, through the right channels with content that they would care about, with MoEngage’s engagement platform.“In the age of online reviews and social media, our reputation is critical. Meaningful customer engagement helps us manage our online reputation effectively. While our ultimate goal is to increase the number of cars we sell, we want to excel in customer engagement. With MoEngage and e-cens, our experience so far has been great. Hoping for more of the same after we launch the integration.”, said Mohammad Ali Raahim, Head of Product at CarSwitch“We are delighted to onboard CarSwitch as part of our MoEngage family. They have been constantly focusing on providing a supreme customer experience, and we are ecstatic to be a part of their journey”, said Sweta Duseja, Director of Customer Success at MEA, MoEngage.Building a long-lasting relationship with customers is essential for businesses to increase their ROI. That's why we use MoEngage for our clients. Their marketing automation makes targeting and optimizing messaging easier, helping businesses build a loyal customer base, thus increasing their ROI”, said Bashar Hafez, Co-Founder and Managing Director at e-CENS.CarSwitch joins the growing list of 1200+ global companies across 35 countries, such as Azadea Group, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Azadea, Jazeera Airways, Alsaif Gallery, Apparel Group, Airtel, Ola, Oyo, and Mashreq, that trust MoEngage to deliver a consistent experience across multiple devices and touchpoints.

DAMAC Hotels partners with HPE Aruba Networking

DAMAC Hotels, a renowned luxury Hotels & Resorts brand, has announced a strategic partnership with HPE Aruba Networking. This collaboration aims to redefine guest satisfaction by introducing cutting-edge network technology across DAMAC's upscale Hotels.Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), DAMAC Hotels and HPE Aruba Networking are embarking on an innovative project to elevate guest experiences through advanced network solutions. HPE Aruba Networking will deploy its state-of-the-art Wi-Fi 6E and Switches to provide DAMAC Hotels' luxury portfolio guests with high-speed, dependable, and secure connectivity.A central aspect of this partnership is the implementation of Wi-Fi 6E, the latest breakthrough in wireless technology. Wi-Fi 6E offers unmatched network performance, guaranteeing guests lightning-fast internet speeds, reduced latency, and seamless connectivity. This advancement empowers DAMAC Hotels to enhance the digital experiences of its visitors, setting new benchmarks for guest satisfaction.In addition to Wi-Fi 6E, HPE Aruba Networking's Switches will play a pivotal role in optimizing network performance within DAMAC's Hotels. They are designed to deliver robust and efficient network switching, further enhancing the reliability and security of the network infrastructure."Guest satisfaction lies at the core of DAMAC Hotels' mission. We are thrilled to partner with HPE Aruba Networking to introduce cutting-edge network solutions to our luxury Hotels," stated Francis Arul, Group Chief Information Officer. "With Wi-Fi 6E and an industry leading switching solution, we are committed to providing a seamless and secure digital experience, ensuring that our residents and guests have the finest connectivity at their fingertips."Zeeshan Hadi, the Country Manager of UAE & Africa at HPE Aruba Networking, said: "This joint project with DAMAC Hotels is a great example of how to efficiently enhance guest satisfaction through top-tier network solutions. By utilizing technology that has established new standards for connectivity and security, DAMAC Hotels is reinforcing the luxurious experience the brand is known for."This collaboration marks a significant step in redefining luxury living in the real estate & Hospitality sector. Together, DAMAC Hotels and HPE Aruba Networking are elevating guest satisfaction by introducing state-of-the-art network solutions tailored to the digital needs of modern residents and visitors, setting new standards in the process.

Dubai Jewellery Group announces unbelievable prizes and deals this Diwali

Dubai Jewellery Group (DJG), the leading trade body for the jewellery industry in the region, is all set to ignite the festive spirit with its highly anticipated Diwali campaign ‘Glow with Gold this Diwali’, in association with The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET)This year, DJG aims to make Diwali celebrations more radiant than ever by offering an array of irresistible deals, prizes and offers across a variety of jewellery brands in Dubai.Buying and gifting of gold and jewellery has been an age-old tradition of Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. Known as the City of Gold and Jewellery Destination of the world, Dubai is the also the ultimate Diwali shopping destination for Indian shoppers. As the countdown to Diwali begins, DJG is excited to announce that customers visiting the participating outlets will be greeted with complimentary gifts, a heartfelt gesture to embrace the joyous spirit of the festival of lights. DJG is also introducing an electrifying raffle draw where participants have the chance to win a total of AED 150,000 in jewellery vouchers, adding a touch of grandeur to the celebrations. Upon purchase of jewellery for AED 1000 or more, customers can participate in this raffle draw digitally simply by scanning the QR code available at each outlet. 30 lucky winners will stand a chance to win jewellery vouchers worth AED 5000 each.Laila Suhail, Board Member & Chairperson of Marketing at Dubai Jewellery Group (DJG), expressed her excitement about the campaign, saying, "Diwali is a time of immense joy, lights, and togetherness. At DJG, we are committed to enhancing this joy for our valued shoppers by offering them a truly illuminating experience. Our Diwali campaign is a testament to our dedication to making the festive season unforgettable."DJG’s Diwali campaign promises a treasure trove of irresistible offers, including:Up to 50% Discount on Select Diamond and Pearl Jewellery CollectionsZero Making Charge or 50% Discount on the Making Charges of Select CollectionsSurprise gifts and free gold coins with purchase of Diamond, Gold and Pearl JewelleryAround 75 jewellery brands with 150 retail outlets across Dubai are set to take part in the campaign with their exclusive Diwali collection, between October 28 to November 16, 2023. announces expansion to KSA, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, one the UAE’s fastest growing digital ecosystems, announced its expansion across the MENA region with offices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey during GITEX Global 2023. Driven by the success of its two platforms – collect and market – had already expanded its operations across the UAE with offices in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, in addition to a dedicated sales and technology office in India. By bringing both its platforms to new countries in the region, is now enhancing access to its entire ecosystem beyond the UAE, from trading recyclables through market to logistics and movement of goods through’s geographical expansion comes with its exponential growth in 2023, surpassing its performance indicators from 2022. Last year, market -’s online recyclables trading platform - recorded transactions worth over AED 100 million and over 100,000 tonnes of material bought and sold. has surpassed last year’s performance within the first six months of 2023, recording transactions worth over AED 150 million and over 130,000 tonnes of material traded, further driving the circular economy. Similarly, collect, which “uberises” moving and logistics, recorded a 150% increase in trips and a 15% increase in number of users in the first half of 2023, as more people and businesses leverage the platform’s access to simple, convenient and affordable logistics services.Commenting on the venture’s expansion, Salim Al Owais, Chief Executive Officer at, said: “We are fortunate to have demonstrated success in serving customers from the UAE as well as across borders, contributing to local economies, driving circularity and accelerating logistics services. has now established new offices in Abu Dhabi and Dammam, KSA. We are also planning our offices in Jeddah in KSA, and Egypt, Turkey and Jordan. Through this strategically planned network of offices, we are looking to add further value to the local and regional economies, while setting up mutually beneficial business relationships.”In the UAE, has offices in Sharjah, its headquarters, as well as in Abu Dhabi, supporting objectives to enhance employment and the local economy within the emirate. In Dammam, KSA, has already established a base of customers leveraging the collect platform for shipments from the UAE. With a new office in Dammam, seeks to further strengthen the logistics corridor to the UAE with cost-effective services via collect offers several moving and logistics services that can be conveniently booked from the app, including home moving, B2B logistics, renting a truck or fleet, and its most popular service, cross border shipments.As a manufacturing hub, Dammam is also an ideal location to introduce market, with factories having the opportunity to unlock new revenue streams by trading scraps and other recyclables across several categories. Similarly, recyclables traders can use the platform to trade better, faster and more market offers a variety of bidding options, including time-limited bidding, bid-free transactions, partial bidding, spot sales, and spot buys. The platform enables trade across a variety of recyclables categories, including paper, e-waste, wood, glass, plastic, ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, aggregates, recyclable road base and rubber. market sees over 400 bids a month with over 650 enterprises registered on the platform.Similar to Dammam, sees huge potential to make positive impact in Jeddah, KSA, as well as in Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, which are centres for manufacturing, shipping and business in the region.Through market, businesses can unlock value from their waste through recyclables trading. With collect, businesses can accelerate logistics needs with cost-effective options as well as send and receive shipments from the UAE with enhanced ease. During GITEX Global, also announced the addition of a new service on collect to rent earthmoving equipment, offering businesses and project managers the opportunity to complete construction work without high upfront investment and long-term maintenance costs of a specialised fleet.“Digitalisation is the need of the hour – it is demanded by customers and becoming a necessity for business functions and processes,” added Salim Al Owais. “With this expansion, is offering businesses in more countries the opportunity to digitalise aspects of their business quickly and cost-effectively, without the need to invest in building their own platforms from the ground up. Through our new offices, we look forward to furthering the impact of market and collect while adding value to new economies.”Since its launch, has won multiple awards for the transformative impact of its platforms. Some of its awards include the “B2B platform of the Year” at the 2023 E-Business Awards by Entrepreneur Middle East, “Specialist Trading Solution of the Year” at the 2022 and 2023 Innovation and Excellence Awards by Corporate Livewire, and “Technology Innovation of the Year” at the 2022 Middle East Waste and Recycling Awards.

Dubai Government Workshop signs cooperation agreement with eSolutions

Dubai Government Workshop entered into a cooperation agreement with eSolutions, which is aimed at establishing mechanisms for efficient fleet maintenance and operations management. Under the agreement, Integrated Fleet Management system on ‘IBM Maximo Application Suite’ will be utilised in the workshop, incorporating its new features that support the operations of the workshop.HE Fahad Ahmed Al Raeesi, Executive Director of DGW, Gaby Matar, Group Managing Partner of eSolutions, and a number of officials from both sides were present during the signing ceremony, which was held on the Dubai Digital Platform at Sheikh Saeed Hall.The terms of the agreement stipulates that eSolutions will provide the innovative system which will enable Dubai Government Workshop to have complete control of asset data, proactively manage it according to asset life cycle management standards, utilise a streamlined and centralised approach for operations, and promote paperless processes in line with Dubai’s paperless strategy. The new system further helps mitigate manual errors by end to end automation, seemless Integration with other systems, preparing accurate and insightful reports/dashboards that supports improved operational efficiency , facilitating asset tracking and control, and reducing equipment downtime.H.E. Fahad Al-Raeesi said: “As part of our efforts to expand and manage our operations effectively and in accordance with highest international standards, we intend to boost the Workshop operations utilising a sophisticated fleet management system through the Memorandum of Understanding with eSolutions. The The ‘IBM Maximo Application Suite’ system helps streamline operations, reduce risk of human mistakes, and set new standards for quality. We are delighted to work with eSolutions on this project, and we intend to grow our partnership in the future in order to provide the best services, develop cutting-edge solutions, and improve customer satisfaction.”Gaby Matar, Group Managing Partner of eSolutions, said: “We are honoured for Dubai Government Workshop's trust in our advanced fleet management system and look forward to working with them to refine operating procedures and boost workshop productivity. This collaboration reflects our shared aim of delivering innovative technologies and solutions while enhancing the effectiveness and reliability of services.”

Eight of ten of UAE CEOs see AI as an important enabler for cybersecurity

According to new research by Censuswide, commissioned by Palo Alto Networks, 95% of UAE organisations surveyed plan to increase investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to improve their respective cybersecurity strategy, with 81% seeing AI as an important enabler for their organisation’s overall approach to cybersecurity.“As organisations adopt new technologies at a rapid pace, it is critical that they take steps to improve their cybersecurity posture, including their ability to detect and respond to threats in real-time,” said Ercan Aydin, Regional Vice President at Palo Alto Networks, Middle East and Africa (MEA). “By incorporating AI into their cybersecurity strategies, organisations in the UAE and regionally can improve their ability to defend against a wide range of cyber threats, reduce response times, and gain better visibility into their security posture – combined with other best cybersecurity practices such as employee training, strong policies, and a layered security approach.”The research found that 94% of UAE respondents understand the potential cyber risks, and 89% feel their organisation is cyber-ready. However, 52% of organisations researched said they have seen an increase in cyberattacks in the past 12 months.69% of CEOs researched said that cybersecurity is a board-level issue within their organisation, 39% have said they are accountable with the CIO for ensuring their organisation is protected against cyberattacks, especially if that could impact the business, customers and reputation.While 65%5 said they are looking to increase investment in cybersecurity protection, 92% of respondents have confirmed that their company’s CIO or CISO plan to lower the number of security solutions deployed in order to reduce complexity.Palo Alto Networks is showcasing its leading cybersecurity technology at GITEX Global 2023, with live demos of its best-in-class cybersecurity platforms representing three main security pillars plus services: Strata (The Networks Security with NGFW and SASE), Cortex (Endpoint security and SoC Automation, Unit 42 Incident Response), Prisma Cloud (Cloud Security) and Professional Services.The research was conducted by Censuswide with 502 CEOs across the UAE and Saudi Arabia between 20.09.2023 - 28.09.2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.

GroupM partners with Amazon Ads for creator-led shoppable content

GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has announced a global collaboration with Amazon Ads to introduce creator-led shoppable content to the Amazon advertising suite of services available to its clients. The collaboration gives GroupM clients the ability to amplify creator content within the Amazon DSP and in Amazon Sponsored Brand placements.Developed by The Goat Agency and available exclusively to GroupM clients via Goat, the collaboration enables advertisers to drive commerce outcomes more effectively with audiences on Key features of these exclusive bespoke formats available to clients include:  Off-site DSP amplification: The Goat Agency’s proprietary creator ad format—now further enhanced by Amazon’s expansive insights—will be enabled across the Amazon DSP in every market where it’s available.  Sponsored Brands integration: Sponsored Brands, an “above the fold” ad placement, will now feature creator content developed by The Goat Agency, exclusive to clients of GroupM and Goat. Complimenting Amazon DSP off-site amplification, the ad experience continues the journey onsite with the same influencer-led creative driving further engagement and sales for brands. This integration will allow creator content and Amazon sponsored ads capabilities to be paired, connecting content and advertising capabilities in retail media.  Advanced programmatic creative optimization: Insights from campaigns run with Amazon Ads will be used to cyclically inform The Goat Agency’s custom creative and sharpen audience targeting. Combining Goat’s expertise and Amazon Ads Audience targeting, clients will benefit from improved commercial outcomes by aligning creator content with the audiences most likely to convert by content type across both display and video formats.  Product Pages & Brand Store Enhancement: The collaboration will also mean creator content can be uploaded onto Product Pages and Brand Stores, increasing conversion rates and helping to turn Brand Pages on Amazon into “inspiration hubs” for consumers.Samantha Bukowski, Global Head of Commerce, GroupM Nexus, said: “The development of this new capability is an important step we’re taking to better connect the creativity and engagement of creator marketing with the scale and sophistication of GroupM Nexus’s commerce capabilities. We’re excited to continue this collaboration with Amazon to further integrate inspirational content in commerce advertising in ways that deliver value for clients and Amazon’s consumers.”Amy Armstrong, Director Global Customer Development at Amazon Ads, said: “We are excited to see how GroupM leverages this new ability to deliver creator content directly in the shopping experience and the benefit it will have for our mutual customers. GroupM is a valued customer of Amazon Ads, and we look forward to collaborating with them on innovative projects like this in the future.”“Beyond our proprietary style of content, one of Goat’s most significant points of differentiation is the ability to deliver high-rigor performance and guaranteed outcomes to clients through creator marketing,” said Dafydd Woodward, Global Chief Operating Officer, The Goat Agency. “Our collaboration with Amazon Ads is a natural fit that is already delivering performance improvements on client campaigns across multiple markets.”Nilam Atodaria, Global Product Director at The Goat Agency, added: “Teaming up with Amazon Ads creates valuable opportunities for clients looking to activate creator-led campaigns in a performance-centric way. This collaboration allows us to deliver greater value for our clients by deploying more engaging and intelligent campaigns that drive measurable business outcomes. This unique combination brings an alternative version of Social Commerce, one which puts consumers and their shopping habits at the heart of product development.”

Unilever named lead sponsor for Annual Middle East Women Leaders’ Summit & Award

Unilever, a global consumer goods powerhouse, has been unveiled as the lead sponsor for the upcoming 2nd Annual Middle East Women Leaders’ Summit & Awards 2023, set to take place on the 24th and 25th of October, 2023. With a rich history of delivering high-quality products and a dedication to social responsibility, Unilever's support of this year’s edition of the summit amplifies the summit's mission to foster excellence and inclusive practices across industry sectors.“In today's world, empowering women is not just a moral imperative; it is a strategic necessity. Companies and communities thrive when diverse voices are heard, and different perspectives are valued. It is for this reason that at Unilever Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is ingrained in our ethos because we know that a diverse and inclusive business makes us, and society, stronger,” said Leyal Eskin Yilmaz, Head of Unilever Personal Care Arabia and Chair of the Advertising Business Group. “It drives our growth by helping us engage with our consumers while making sure we can attract and retain talented people and unlock their potential. This has allowed us to increase the representation of women in mid and senior management in the UAE from 22% in 2014 to a current 46% - a dramatic jump that has been supported by a progressive mindset and policies”.Unilever's support on this exemplary initiative is a testament to their dedication to making a positive impact on both local and global scales. As an influential player in the industry, Unilever's involvement promises to elevate the 2nd Annual Middle East Women Leaders’ Summit & Awards 2023 to new heights, offering attendees invaluable insights and opportunities.The 2nd Annual Middle East Women Leaders’ Summit & Awards is an annual gathering that has established itself as a premier platform for across the Middle East, featuring pioneers, dignitaries, and experts who are shaping the future of the region."We are thrilled to have Unilever on board as the lead sponsor for the 2nd Annual Middle East Women Leaders’ Summit & Awards 2023," said Sabah Parvez, Managing Director of Verve Management. "Their commitment to their ERG and DEI initiatives strongly resonates with the values of our event, and we are confident that their participation will enrich the experience for all attendees."Unilever's support for the 2nd Annual Middle East Women Leaders’ Summit & Awards, reinforces their position as a corporate leader in championing inclusivity, and their involvement is anticipated to be a highlight of this year's event.This year’s summit was organized by Verve Management. Verve Management is one of the UAE’s leading business facilitation platforms, where the primary focus involves bringing together pioneers and professionals from all walks of the globe, under one roof. Verve Management strives to do exactly what your business needs; the team strongly believes in a sole purpose, which is to provide solutions that progress your company’s production and performance.

Netflix to host its first-ever live sports event

This fall, stars of two Netflix sports series will face off in The Netflix Cup, Netflix’s first-ever live sports event featuring athletes from Formula 1: Drive to Survive and Full Swing. The drivers and golfers will pair up to compete in a match play tournament at Wynn Golf Club at Wynn Las Vegas, the only 18-hole, championship golf course on the Las Vegas Strip, to kick off the week of the inaugural FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN SILVER LAS VEGAS GRAND PRIX. The Netflix Cup is set to stream live on Netflix beginning at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 14th. The Netflix Cup’s roster currently includes:Formula 1® Drivers: Alex Albon (Williams Racing), Pierre Gasly (BWT Alpine F1 Team), Lando Norris (McLaren Racing), and Carlos Sainz (Scuderia Ferrari).PGA TOUR Golfers: Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas. In a clash of wheels and irons, four pairs consisting of one Formula 1® driver and one PGA TOUR professional will play an eight-hole match with the top two teams advancing to the final hole, where they will battle for the chance to win the inaugural Netflix Cup title. The Netflix Cup is a first-of-its-kind live event that showcases two of Netflix’s sports programming breakouts. Formula 1: Drive to Survive is now in production on its sixth season as the fandom continues to popularize the sport in the US. Full Swing, one of 2023’s new series, is finishing filming on a second season and is credited with a rise in PGA TOUR fan engagement.“We love to see how our sports series have brought increased fandom to sports leagues and competitions all over the world,” said Gabe Spitzer, Vice President, Nonfiction Sports, Netflix. “The Netflix Cup will take that energy to the next level with global stars from two popular hits competing in our first-ever live sports event.” “The continued success of Drive to Survive has played a significant role in the growth of Formula 1 in the US, which has ultimately led to the addition of a third American race,” said Emily Prazer, Chief Commercial Officer, Las Vegas Grand Prix, Inc. “It’s only fitting that we kick off our inaugural race weekend with a fun event that can be streamed by F1 and PGA TOUR fans around the globe.”“The PGA TOUR is proud to participate in this significant milestone for Netflix and we look forward to showcasing our sport’s professional athletes to a live global audience,” said Norb Gambuzza, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President, Media and Gaming. “New and diverse audiences have come to know more about both our sports and their athletes through Full Swing and Drive to Survive, and we are excited to team up with Netflix, Formula 1 and the Las Vegas Grand Prix on this exciting concept.”“The Wynn Golf Club has hosted a number of unique matchups over the years and The Netflix Cup will be an incredible addition to the storied history of the course,” said Steve Weitman, President of Wynn Las Vegas. “This tournament will showcase a tremendous roster of talent, competing on the only golf course on the Las Vegas Strip, just steps away from the inaugural Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.” Netflix is the premier home for great sports stories with popular series such as Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Full Swing, Untold, Quarterback, Tour de France: Unchained, Break Point and upcoming series following athletes in track and field, soccer, rugby and NASCAR. The Netflix Cup, which is sanctioned by the PGA TOUR and Formula 1®, will be produced by Excel Sports Management, BZ Entertainment, and Full Day Productions (Connor Schell and David Chamberlin), the company behind the ESPY Awards, the Oscars Red Carpet Show and the NFL Honors.

UAE AI Office Collaborates with Core42 to Boost National Talent

The Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications organization signed a memorandum of understanding with Core42, a G42 company, aimed at driving a robust Emiratization AI program. This initiative encompasses comprehensive training programs designed to strengthen collaboration structures within technical fields and promote the development of national talent in emerging fields, including artificial intelligence and coding.The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Kiril Evtimov, Chief Executive Officer of Core42, during Global DevSlam, hosted at CodersHQ, as part of Gitex Global 2023. Gitex Global 2023 is the world's largest specialized gathering dedicated to advanced technological fields, including artificial intelligence, generative artificial intelligence, Web 3, and various pivotal digital fields.His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama stated that the UAE seeks to cultivate collaborations with leading institutions, enhancing a foundational cornerstone to advance progress and digital transformation within the nation. This represents a significant stride towards emphasizing the importance of developing national talents within the digital sector. Furthermore, it plays a major role in bolstering the key drive towards comprehensive digital transformation, as envisioned by the UAE's leadership through the implementation of exceptional strategies and initiatives.His Excellency added that the UAE embraces leaders and innovators in the field of artificial intelligence who possess the capability to advance the global digital landscape. The UAE is dedicated to providing support for these technologies by leveraging a variety of elements that enhance digital applications. In doing so, the UAE aims to bolster its position in the digital world, setting an inspiring example and taking promising steps towards achieving tangible digital progress.Kiril Evtimov, Chief Executive Officer of Core42 said: “At Core42, we believe in leveraging the power of innovation to serve our community and drive our nation's vision forward. This partnership with the UAE’s Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications represents a pivotal step in this direction. Together, we aim to cultivate an ecosystem where Emirati talent thrives, fortified by cutting-edge AI tools and global best practices. As we embark on this journey, we are confident that this alliance will lead to the development of new AI solutions resulting from deeper people capabilities that will have a positive impact on the UAE and the world.”The collaboration reflects the UAE’s commitment and efforts to facilitate the interaction between talented coders and AI experts to bolster the development of their journey and refine the essential skills for the digital future. Additionally, it aims to equip individuals with the digital tools in the artificial intelligence and coding field, essential for their professional growth and enrichment within these fields. This strategic partnership further serves to advance the cultivation of global leaders in the field of artificial intelligence, bolstering the UAE's position as a frontrunner in this field.CodersHQ, one of the National Program for Coders initiatives, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is working on initiatives aimed at strengthening the programming community in the UAE, building partnerships that bring together experts in artificial intelligence and coding, and ensuring the sustainability of the development of the digital economy.Core42 is a leading digital transformation provider, offering a vast array of technological capabilities and solutions that enable the delivery of Enterprise AI and national-scale AI programs. Core42 seeks with its unparalleled scalable infrastructure, cutting-edge AI solutions, and centralized professional IT services to enable nations and organizations to transform their ambitions into realities and leverage the latest technologies to make impactful strides in their domains.?

Generative AI Takes Center Stage: Over Half of Organizations Pilot or Produce

 In a recent Gartner, Inc. poll of more than 1,400 executive leaders, 45% reported that they are in piloting mode with generative AI, and another 10% have put generative AI solutions into production. This is a significant increase from a Gartner poll conducted in March and April 2023, in which only 15% of respondents were piloting generative AI and 4% were in production.“Organizations are not just talking about generative AI – they’re investing time, money and resources to move it forward and drive business outcomes,” said Frances Karamouzis, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “In fact, 55% of organizations reported increasing investment in generative AI since it surged into the public domain ten months ago. Generative AI is now on CEOs’ and boards’ agendas as they seek to take advantage of the transformative potential of this technology.”The poll included 1,419 respondents who participated in a Gartner webinar in September 2023 discussing enterprise cost and risks of generative AI. Results of this poll do not represent global findings or the market as a whole. Executives Believe Generative AI Investments Outweigh the Risks Seventy-eight percent of respondents believe that the benefits of generative AI outweigh its risks. This is higher than the 68% who reported this sentiment in the earlier poll. “Executives are taking a bolder stance on generative AI as they see the profound ways that it can drive innovation, optimization and disruption,” said Karamouzis. “Business and IT leaders understand that the ‘wait and see’ approach is riskier than investing.” Generative AI Investments Scaling Across Multiple Business FunctionsThe poll found that 45% of enterprises are scaling generative AI investments across multiple business functions, with 22% scaling across more than three different functions. Software development is the function with the highest rate of adoption or investment in generative AI, followed closely by marketing and customer service (see Figure 1). Figure 1. Generative AI Investment by Business Function Source: Gartner (October 2023)Growth initiatives were cited as the primary business focus of generative AI investments by 30% of respondents, followed by cost optimization (26%) and customer experience/retention (24%). “Many organizations began their AI journey with an overemphasis on cost optimization and efficiency,” said Karamouzis. “Savvy enterprises have moved beyond this to focus initiatives on efficacy, quantifiable value and business agility in products and services. This ensures visibility, trust and synergy among stakeholders, and most importantly, alignment to business outcomes.”Generative AI Hype Cycle Identifies Key Technologies Impacting OrganizationsGartner predicts that by 2026, more than 80% of enterprises will have used generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) application programming interfaces (APIs) or models, and/or deployed GenAI-enabled applications in production environments, up from less than 5% in 2023. In the 2023 Gartner Hype Cycle for Generative AI three innovations are projected to have a huge impact on organizations within ten years which include GenAI-enabled applications, foundation models and AI trust, risk and security management (AI TRiSM) (see Figure 2). Figure 2. Hype Cycle for Generative AI, 2023Source: Gartner (October 2023)

Du to drive digital transformation in the UAE supported by Microsoft

du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft, aimed at transforming the digital landscape in the UAE by combining Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing capabilities du’s network capabilities. This collaboration, which was unveiled at GITEX Global 2023, will fuel innovation and drive digital transformation for businesses, while delivering cutting-edge solutions in AI, sustainability, and cybersecurity.Under the envisaged collaboration, du ICT will establish offerings, powered by Microsoft Azure, which will provide businesses with cutting-edge technologies to drive their digital transformation journey, fueling their growth and success.Commenting on the agreement, Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO of du, said: "We are delighted to go on this journey with Microsoft. Through this collaboration, we aim to leverage Microsoft's technology leadership to position ourselves as a major digital transformation provider in the UAE. By creating a offering specialized, AI driven services, we will empower businesses to embrace sustainability, AI, and advanced analytics, helping them thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape."Naim Yazbeck, General Manager at Microsoft UAE, added: "We look forward to working with du in their digital transformation journey. Our joint efforts will enable businesses in the UAE to harness the power of the cloud and drive innovation in AI, sustainability, and cybersecurity. By leveraging Microsoft Azure, together, we will equip organizations with the tools they need to achieve their strategic objectives and stay ahead in the digital era."This collaboration create a strong foundation for du’s own digital transformation. Microsoft's platform technologies and partner ecosystem capabilities will help du delight customers, attract top talent, and deliver optimal value for shareholders through business excellence and innovation.

Media Blends unveils DOOH network in Abu Dhabi

Media Blends is introducing an exclusive Digital Out of Home (DOOH) network across YAS Island and Al Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi's iconic YAS Island and MIRAL, the renowned master planner and operator. This initiative is divided into two phases, aiming to provide advertisers with a digital screen network that can effectively target the millions of travelers and residents who frequent these islands annually.Abu Dhabi has a population of approximately 2.9 million residents, and in 2018, 22.3 million travelers transited through Abu Dhabi Airport, with 11.35 million international visitors to the city in 2019. In the same year, the city welcomed 518,000 cruise passengers and recorded 5.1 million hotel stays.The YAS Island DOOH network comprises 35 high-quality digital screens of various sizes strategically placed by Media Blends to cover key attractions on the island, including YAS Bay, Etihad Arena, Hilton YAS hotel, YAS Marina Circuit, YAS Mall, and Ferrari World. YAS Island is home to over 150 restaurants, four theme parks, 10 hotels, 3,056 hotel rooms and apartments, and more than 19,500 square meters of business spaces.In the project's second phase, Media Blends, operating in Egypt, UAE, and KSA, will launch over 60 advanced screens across Al Saadiyat Island, another significant landmark in Abu Dhabi.Media Blends CEO Mona Al Amin said: “We’re excited to announce this great opportunity for advertisers in one of the busiest and most vibrant locations in the UAE in general, and Abu Dhabi in specific. Our DOOH network comprises next-gen digital screens that will take advertising campaigns to a new level, helping advertisers from YAS Island and beyond to engage with a substantially wide audience across effective media platforms.”

Liminal's rebrand elevates digital asset custody services in APAC and MENA

Liminal Custody Solutions (Liminal), the fastest-growing digital asset custody and wallet infrastructure provider in the APAC and MENA region, is thrilled to announce a significant rebranding initiative that underscores its commitment to innovation, excellence, and customer-centricity. This strategic move aims to reshape and elevate the brand’s identity, ushering in a new era of secure, compliant, and automated digital asset custodial solutions. Positioning the company as a "custody and wallet expert", the rebranding signifies Liminal's expansion beyond wallet infrastructure. This exercise ensures that the brand remains at the forefront of digital asset custody, delivering enhanced services to clients and partners. The digital asset industry is pivoting towards custody as the need for security and risk mitigation emerges as a top consideration. Liminal has recognised the necessity to expand its services to stay on top of these shifts. With its new outlook, Liminal has dedicated itself to building comprehensive layers that encompass compliance, security, and regulatory readiness. Commenting on the new look, Mahin Gupta, Founder of Liminal, said, "We anticipate a mature, compliant, and standardized web3 ecosystem across the APAC and MENA regions, which will attract institutions to build on Web3. This rebrand aligns with our long-term vision of offering secure, compliant, and efficient custody solutions. Every aspect of our roadmap reinforces this commitment. We are now better positioned to serve this mission by offering improved services and demonstrating our dedication to a compliant, secure, and innovative web3 ecosystem." As a part of this transformative initiative, Liminal has unveiled a vibrant new colour palette that symbolizes abundance and strength. Additionally, a more robust and visually appealing solid colour logo, paired with improved typography, is anticipated to enhance brand visibility and recall significantly. This comprehensive effort extends across the entire spectrum of the brand, encompassing the website, product user interface and user experience, marketing collateral, and all brand-related materials. Although the name "Liminal" remains unchanged, the rebrand introduces fresh design elements and vibes. The redesigned website, in particular, will adopt a more product-centric approach, enabling customers to access vital information swiftly while adhering to web3 design standards that aim to deliver a more meaningful B2B/SaaS experience. This strategic approach ensures a seamless transition for existing customers, emphasizing trust-building and continuous satisfaction. Liminal is poised to expand its footprint in the coming year. With expectations of faster regulatory clarity in the APAC and MENA regions, the company is set to launch regulated custody operations in four regions in the next quarter, providing businesses with a secure, compliant, and regulated custody layer. This will enable businesses to focus on delivering the promises of web3 to end users. Further sharing upcoming expansion plans of the company, Gupta added, "We are poised for expansion and engagement, with a particular focus on APAC and MENA regions. Currently, we are looking at Hong Kong, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Nigeria and Taiwan. Our dedicated local teams will be delivering tailored solutions and building business relationships within these markets."

AlpFin hires Ben Cross as Senior Operations Analyst

Alp Financial Ltd (AlpFin) the global service provider for institutional clients has today announced that Ben Cross has joined the firm as their Senior Operations Analyst at AlpFin. Ben will be based out of London and reporting directly to CEO Chris Ling. Chris Ling, CEO at Alp Financial (AlpFin) commented on the new hire saying: “At the core of AlpFin's DNA and client-focused approach lies a carefully curated team of industry experts who bring together a wealth of knowledge in both B2B and B2C financial solutions. We are delighted to have Ben Cross join our team as our Senior Operation’s Analyst to support the growth we have witnessed since the beginning of the year. With a great team, deep expertise, and commitment to excellence, we strive to deliver tailored solutions that empower our clients to thrive in the ever-evolving financial landscape.”Ben Cross, Senior Operations Analyst at Alp Financial Ltd (AlpFin) gave the following quote about recently joining AlpFin:“I am thrilled to join AlpFin as their Senior Operations Analyst. With a focus on operational excellence and a commitment to delivering comprehensive solutions, Alp Financial is poised to make a significant impact in the institutional financial services industry. I look forward to collaborating with the talented team here and leveraging my experience to drive success for our B2B clients. Together, we will navigate the complexities of the financial landscape, optimise processes, and deliver exceptional value to our partners. It's an exciting opportunity, and I am eager to be part of this journey."Ben brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles in Operations. He has been part of FX Prime Operations, worked as an Operations Consultant, and has worked in Middle Office Trade Support. At AlpFin he will be handling the day-to-day processes across both data centres, supporting the Liquidity Management team and being the first point of contact for clients and third-party vendors. His deep understanding of liquidity management, coupled with his ability to identify and seize market opportunities will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success of Alp Financial.

ADMO Lifestyle Holding to acquire CE LA VI

ADMO, the joint venture between Alpha Dhabi Holding PJSC (ADX: ALPHADHABI) and Monterock International Limited, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire rapidly growing luxury lifestyle group, CE LA VI. This strategic move signifies ADMO’s accelerated efforts in building a diverse portfolio of luxury, lifestyle, F&B, and entertainment brands, significantly expanding its global lifestyle presence to the east. CE LA VI, which translates to “This is Life” in French, first opened its doors in Southeast Asia. Drawing inspiration from the region’s rich artistic heritage, the brand is deeply rooted in the artistic influences of Southeast Asia’s art, carvings, paintings, and temples. It has expanded over the years and now has a presence in gateway cities such as Singapore, Dubai, Tokyo, and Taipei, with its unique multi-concept dining and entertainment offerings in iconic venues continuing to attract guests from across the world who seek spectacular and unforgettable experiences. In 2022, ADMO was unveiled, aiming to curate a portfolio of premier luxury and lifestyle brands, with the acquisition of Nammos Group. Both entities remain committed to exploring global investment opportunities, with ambitions to establish a leading platform of lifestyle, luxury, hospitality, and entertainment projects. Petros Stathis, Vice Chairman, ADMO, said: “This acquisition is not just a strategic move to expand globally, but a bold statement of our vision and pace to identify and invest in brands that have a distinct market presence and transform them into world leading brands. ADMO is proceeding with utmost speed and enthusiasm, forging a robust platform of luxury, lifestyle, F&B, and entertainment brands. This acquisition not only expands ADMO’s global lifestyle presence to the east but also underscores our focus on building and nurturing a portfolio of world-dominating lifestyle brands. CE LA VI, with its unique brand essence and significant presence in key global markets, is a testament to our commitment and a valuable addition to our ever-evolving portfolio.” This acquisition aligns with the UAE’s national tourism strategy, aiming to attract 40 million hotel guests by 2031 and secure Dh100 billion in tourism investments. As ADMO’s latest deal, it underscores the venture’s commitment to scaling its platform and integrating new brands. At the heart of CE LA VI’s offerings are its Restaurants, Asian culinary havens that are among the region’s premier dining destinations. Complementing the dining experiences at the Restaurants are CE LA VI’s Skybars, epitomes of luxury and indulgence that treat visitors to breathtaking views and exotic Asian flavors, and Club Lounges, which are renowned for emanating the energy of both resident and internationally acclaimed DJs. These lounges have also become synonymous with marquee events such as electrifying Grand Prix Nights organized around Formula 1 races in their vicinity and festive New Year’s Eve parties heralding new beginnings. These offerings bear testament to CE LA VI’s commitment to curating experiences that are eagerly anticipated and remembered long after the last song fades.

Ooredoo Qatar introduces AI-powered feature for foreign visitors

As part of its commitment to revolutionising digital experiences, Ooredoo Qatar has proudly announced the launch of an all-new feature to allow foreign visitors to purchase an eSIM or physical SIM online by confirming their identity with their passport details. An easy-to-use eSIM QR code will be generated as soon as the order is placed and activated once the customer connects to the Ooredoo network. Physical SIM cards will be delivered to any location of customer choice in Qatar.Building on the success of Ooredoo’s World Cup 2022™ initiative, which allowed visitors to purchase SIM cards online using their Hayya identification card, this new feature offers an equally secure and more comprehensive digital solution for the purchase of mobile services with the use of passport documents. As Expo 2023 Doha progresses, Ooredoo invites all visitors to benefit from this state-of-the-art solution, promising a seamless, swift, and secure digital experience. This initiative underscores Ooredoo’s dedication to pioneer advancements in the digital services industry, highlighting its unwavering commitment to Qatar’s broader aspirations for a technology-enabled sustainable future.

Interiors brand Sedar Global opens new stores in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh

Wall covering and window interior specialist for over 130 years, Sedar Global has opened two new locations in Al Malqa, Riyadh KSA and Reem Mall, Abu Dhabi UAE. The store openings mark the fourth store to open in Abu Dhabi and first mall store location in the emirate, as well as seventh store to open in Saudi Arabia. Located on the ground floor at mega shopping destination Reem Mall which sits on the picturesque Al Reem Island, the 174sqm Sedar Reem Mall store opened doors in September 2023 following on from the Sedar Al Malqa store, occupying 130sqm in the abundant northern neighbourhood of Riyadh. Bringing the number of outposts to over 30, across 11 countries in the GCC, MENA regions including; UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Iraq, Yemen, Qatar, Oman, Sudan as well stores in Canada and design hub in Northern Italy.Shoppers will have access to unique design options including recently added upholstery lines available to shop at Sedar UAE based stores for the first time this year and will be able to enjoy a new level of autonomy when making purchasing decisions with interactive screens giving visitors the freedom to fully customise and purchase curtains as well as wallpaper, blinds, pillow and folding doors.Following the new look and feel that has already been rolled out revitalising over 10 existing Sedar stores since 2022, both new locations take on a more friendly and approachable visual identity for consumers. Aiming to reach a wider, international millennial and Gen Z audience, the spaces take on a look Inspired by Sedar Global’s highly successful brand campaign ‘Your Space Your Art’, store interiors are brightened with bold colours and include new technology to create interactive design spaces enhancing consumer engagement.  Nahel Selo Creative Director at Sedar Global says “we are delighted to be able to expand our store locations for both KSA and the UAE shoppers, and have done so in an effort to better meet the growing need and demands of our customers. Al Malqa Riyadh in particular has witnessed a surge in population numbers in recent years due to the neighbourhood’s sophistication, services and real estate offerings so was a natural next store location opening for the Saudi market. Similarly, our recent expansion into mall store locations for Dubai customers since 2022 has been received with great success and we were keen to offer a similar shopping option and roll out our first mall location for our Abu Dhabi based consumers”.The two new retail stores showcase an array of products that carefully keep an eye on new interior trends including blinds, curtains, wallpaper, folding doors, throw pillows, awnings and home-automation, in 2023 Sedar Global expanded their lines to focus on sustainable designs and to include upholstery fabrics to better suit consumer interior demands. Sedar have also continued to keep an eye on their trend led consumer, expanding their portfolio of world-renown partners to include Karl Lagerfeld lines. As well as extending smart automation services from Somfy and designs from Armani/Casa, Roberto Cavalli, Versace Home, Missoni Home, Swarovski and Jannelli Volpi to name a few; in addition to several sought-after sub-brands including Marcopolo, Amazona, Fujikawa, York Weave and Antartica. Shoppers can select from thousands of fabric and wallpaper selections from hundreds of suppliers across the globe from some of the finest factories known for soft furnishings. Providing the highest quality fabrics for liveable interiors, dealing with B2B and B2C clients across the globe, shoppers can work with Sedar’s specialist in house style team to customise, tailor design and fit out interiors to their exact needs.   As well as their renowned VIP in-store experience which continues to roll out for 2023, Sedar Global’s  e-commerce platform has seen a refresh including an evolving virtual store and high end-to-end shopping immersive VR experience. Specially designed to provide the unique 360 experience customers enjoy in store virtually, customers can now shop and organise a room makeover from their computer. From consulting, manufacturing, delivery to installation – Sedar continue to work closely on design elements of their e-commerce platform to build in virtual home consultation services for taking measurements and styling consultancy. Working on a user-friendly platform that doesn’t alienate less tech-savvy users and that maintains that unique one-to-one shopping experience appeal of Sedar. The new Reem Mall, Abu Dhabi UAE store is located on the ground floor and Al Malqa, Riyadh KSA store is located at Anas Ibn Malik Road, Al Malqa, Riyadh 13521, Saudi Arabia.

Amazon Payment Services gets license from UAE Central Bank

Amazon Payment Services, a regional leader in digital payments operating across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has been granted a Retail Payment Services license by the UAE Central Bank. Marking a significant milestone for the business, this license enables Amazon Payment Services to unlock an enhanced offering for its merchants across the country, through unique products and services, directly improving the experience for their customers. Obtaining the license reinforces Amazon Payment Services’ position as a trusted payment service provider in the UAE, where the company facilitates payment processing for hundreds of merchants including Small to Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs). This license enables Amazon Payment Services to invest in operational efficiency to deliver more streamlined payment processing and continues to support merchants of all sizes through its various hassle-free products and services.SMBs in the UAE accepting, or considering, online payments are set to gain the most from the regulated payment processing solution by Amazon Payment Services, with a range of benefits enabling faster onboarding and lower cost of payments, which aims to support their growth and success through a secure and reliable platform.Peter George, Managing Director for Amazon Payment Services in MENA, said: “It is a privilege to have earned the trust of the UAE Central Bank and been granted this license which not only instils trust and security for merchants and customers alike, but also allows us to take our offering to the next level. We look forward to continuing to work with key local stakeholders as we expand our offering and invest in our operations across the UAE, facilitating seamless, secure, and fast payments for merchants of all sizes and customers. At Amazon, we insist on the highest standards, and this license is a true testament of this.”Amazon Payment Services continues to offer seamless and secure payment solutions to merchants across new and diverse sectors such as travel, insurance, and education. With this license, the company joins a select group of payment providers operating a regulated retail payment service locally, contributing to instilling trust and promoting further adoption of digital payments in the UAE.