Vitor Papao appointed General Manager of Gilead Sciences

Dubai: Gilead Sciences, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, has appointed Vitor Papao, as the General Manager of its Middle East operations. Moving from Portugal to Dubai, he will be taking over from Sebnem Girgin, General Manager of Turkey, who has been serving as the interim Middle East head over the past few months.Having joined Gilead in 2007 as Sales Director in Portugal, Vitor went on to take on several senior titles such as Business Unit Director for HIV, in 2008, and Commercial Lead, between 2012 and 2015, for various therapy areas, and manage international remits in the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. In March 2015, Vitor was selected for the position of General Manager of Gilead Portugal and led the affiliate toward success as it launched a full FTAF portfolio. He also managed the team while it supported the Kite colleagues in establishing a clear leadership in Cell Therapy with Yescarta. His excellent leadership skills allowed him to lead the Russian affiliate as an interim General Manager during a difficult time, starting June 2022, ensuring patients’ access to essential, life-saving medicine.Vitor Papao, General Manager, Gilead Sciences, Middle East said “I am delighted to take on this challenge and lead a dynamic region such as the Middle East, a leader in adopting innovations to support patients and a rapidly growing market for us with significant growth potential. I am very proud to learn that the team in the region has been delivering innovative treatments that aim to prevent, treat and cure life-threatening diseases such as HIV, cancer, and viral hepatitis, supporting more than 96000 patients between 2014 and 2022.”As of December 2022, Gilead Sciences has 55 employees supporting 12 markets in the region. In the Middle East, the company has 58 active licenses across its therapeutic areas of HIV, HCV, HBV, Fungal diseases, oncology, and COVID-19.

Mastercard and DIFC to drive digital transformation

Cairo: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Mastercard that aims to drive digital transformation through partnerships with innovative FinTech companies.The partnership between DIFC and Mastercard will provide FinTech start-ups and established companies with access to Mastercard's network and expertise, as well as DIFC's world-class financial ecosystem. The collaboration will focus on creating new payment solutions and digital services, as well as enhancing existing ones.“At Mastercard, we are committed to driving innovation through collaboration between different players in the financial ecosystem. The collaboration between FinTech companies and established players would enable us to drive digital transformation. We are delighted to participate in DIFC’s programmes to accelerate innovation in the financial technology sector with the aim of boosting the country’s digital economy,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, EEMEA, Mastercard.Mastercard’s collaboration with DIFC underpins the objective of the financial hub’s first global Venture Studio – DIFC Launchpad – which seeks to fast-track the growth of the UAE’s financial ecosystem and serve as a business enabler for venture studios, allowing them to set up and scale from DIFC. Venture studios build start-ups, taking them from the concept stage to launch while providing capital and guidance through the incubation period. They also help start-ups to grow using internal capabilities and external networks.The DIFC Launchpad programme expects to support the launch of more than 200 new ventures, with over 100 of them being scale-ups that will collectively create over 8,000 new jobs and attract over $544 million in venture capital.Mohammad Alblooshi, Head of Innovation Hub at DIFC, said: "At DIFC, we are committed to fostering innovation and growth in the FinTech sector, and our strategic collaboration with Mastercard is a testament to that. By leveraging Mastercard's expertise and network, we can empower FinTech start-ups and established companies to create new payment solutions and digital services that enhance the region's financial ecosystem. Together, we aim to fast-track the growth of the UAE's financial sector and serve as a business enabler for venture studios, bringing about significant benefits to the FinTech sector in the Middle East.”The collaboration between DIFC and Mastercard is expected to bring about significant benefits to the fintech sector in the Middle East, providing them with the tools and resources needed to drive innovation and growth in the region's digital economy.

Snap Inc. unveils game-changing innovations for AR and AI

Snap Inc.'s highly anticipated fifth annual Snap Partner Summit unveiled an array of new features and advancements that will drive innovation in AR & AI technology, retail as well as the creator ecosystem. Designed to enhance Snapchat’s relationship with friends, family and the world, whilst providing an elevated experience, the entire Snap community gathered in California, eager to get a glimpse of the platform's latest innovations and its vision for the future.Snap took the opportunity to reveal a host of exciting new announcements coupled with demos and activations for attendees to experience, alongside keynote speeches from top executives including founder Evan Spiegel and external voices such as partners, Snap Stars and power users.Highlights included core product updates such as brand new story formats that allow the community to stay better connected, as well as more monetisation options for creators that demonstrate Snap’s enhanced level of investment in the ecosystem. Shopping continued to be a key focus for the platform as it continues to dominate the retail sector both on and offline with the expansion of interactive AR features, whilst key partnership spotlights including Nike, Coca-Cola and the recently announced Microsoft Teams Snapchat Lenses, exemplified how Snap can make experiences and passions better than ever. Finally, the hot topic on everyone’s lips is undoubtedly the platform’s integration of AI alongside its hallmark AR functions, with brand-new AI Generated Lenses and other new capabilities.“Consumers today are no longer looking for a platform that allows them to just communicate visually. Today’s audiences are seeking opportunities to enhance their relationship with friends, family, and the world. Snapchat was built as an antidote to other social media apps. We continue to leverage the power of advanced AI technology to give our users a platform to establish better connections to the world." said Hussein Freijeh, General Manager at Snap Inc. in MENA. "These new products and features are designed to enhance the user experience, unlock new creative opportunities for developers and creators, and drive business results for advertisers. We are certain that our highly engaged community across the MENA region will benefit immensely from the new updates, using the power of AR and AI to elevate their worlds and unlock possibilities in new and exciting ways”.New features to fuel friendshipsOn Snapchat, there are a plethora of ways to stay connected with the people that matter most. Snapchatters can look forward to an abundance of new features, updates, and interactive experiences on the platform, such as new Stories formats like Friendship Flashbacks, After Dark and Communities, all allowing users to document special moments in more enhanced ways. While Snaps and Chats are designed to delete by default, some Snaps are too good not to save. In fact, flashbacks made from Snapchat Memories are viewed over one billion times each day and now, with Friendship Flashbacks, these throwbacks are able to be brought right into conversations with friends. After Dark is a new type of story specifically for evening memories, designed to act as a debrief to the night before, meanwhile Communities is a feature that lets students share their perspective with classmates.The Snap Map will include new location sharing options whilst a highly lifelike and personalized 3D Snap Map will make it easier to discover landmarks and buzzing hotspots. Finally, the most advanced Bitmoji style yet will mean that avatars will not only look like Snapchatters but dress like them, with more shoppable clothes and accessories to choose from.New programs and features for creatorsSnapchat’s camera makes storytelling easier and enables anyone to express themselves and become a content creator. Now, creators with at least 50,000 followers, 25 million monthly Snap views, and who post at least 10 Stories per month, may be eligible to join the Stories revenue share program, which places ads within creators’ Stories. This program helps creators get consistent rewards for their investment in Snapchat, and provides the community with even more engaging content from the creators they love. The program is in addition to increasing the total rewards available to creators for making the top Spotlight Snaps.New Story updates will enable more creators to share their creativity with a wider audience, all while keeping Snapchat the best place for their real friends. Starting today, Snapchatters aged 18 or older will be able to post their own Public Story with a simple tap from the same account. What’s more, creators can get access to content performance insights and Story Replies.Snapchat will also be providing creators more audience growth opportunities through new surfaces such as Snap Map, making it easier to discover creators across Stories and Spotlight. By simply tagging locations in Spotlight Snaps or saving Stories they love, they can expand their reach and give the community the opportunity to discover new Creators.Finally, the platform has and will continue to implement dozens of new tools for Creators to help them build a following. For instance, creators can now add a Linktree, the leading link-in-bio platform, to their new Public Profile, whilst a new tool that recommends Sounds to pair with Lenses will help make Snaps even more expressive.More partners that make connections betterSnap also reaffirmed new partnerships with brands and individuals that will bring more opportunities for creative collaborations and the chance to reach broader audiences. One of these partnerships was with Microsoft Teams, and users can now apply Snap Lenses in their workspaces to allow for more creative and expressive meetings.Transforming Retail with the ARES Shopping SuiteSnap is committed to improving the shopping experience and delivering unique AR experiences, both on and off Snapchat. The new AR Shopping Suite by ARES (AR Enterprise Services) will now allow the world-leading technology to be used in customers’ own apps and websites, bringing together AR and AI features such as Try-On and Fit Finder. The Shopping Suite has already shown success for businesses, improving brand loyalty, decreasing product return rates, and differentiating in a competitive environment.Snap also announced AR Mirrors in retail spaces as a way to bridge the digital and physical worlds. Used already by some of the world’s leading brands such as Nike and the uber cool AR-enabled Coca-Cola vending machine now in its prototype, brands that choose to implement innovative experiences in-store such as virtual try-ons and content sharing, are 82% more likely to be recommended to others.Making Snapchat the most personal cameraUndoubtedly a key highlight of this year’s SPS was the newly developed AI Generated Lenses, which were showcased on stage and are now available to Snapchatters globally, allowing them to transform themselves and the world around them into an animated sci-fi scene through the Cosmic Lens. Marking a new generation of Lenses that are easier to create and with exponential creative potential, AI Generated Lenses are real-time, realistic, and the most optimized AR experiences available today.Snapchat will also begin to recommend Lenses that fit with the context of a photo or video a Snapchatter has captured, in addition to testing ways to make it faster to add AR to Memories and improving the Lens Carousel to recommend Lenses based on Snapchatters’ unique preferences.Bringing MyAI to Snapchatters around the worldThe pioneering MyAI chatbox, which has been piloted by a select number of Snapchat+ subscribers, will become slowly available to Snapchatters across the world without an S+ subscription and with new capabilities including integration with Snap Map, group chats, and more. The AI-powered chatbot has been receiving nearly 2 million chat messages per day from Snapchatters, eager to learn more about movies, sports, pets, and the world around them, making the platform the perfect place to bring the power of conversational and generative AI directly to the community. With the roll-out of MyAI will be a continued focus on safety including age-appropriate responses and restrictions for those who misuse the service.The Snap Partner Summit showcased Snap's commitment to pushing boundaries and setting new standards in many areas. With these exciting new features and advancements, Snap is driving innovation and creativity to the forefront, providing a platform for businesses and consumers to explore new and exciting ways to connect, engage and create.

NWTN signs MOU with Elfaba Investment

DUBAI: NWTN Inc. (Nasdaq: NWTN), an eco-conscious mobility technology company bringing passenger-centric green premium mobility solutions to the world ("NWTN"), today announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Elfaba Investment and Advisory ("Elfaba") for the sales and purchase of products of NWTN and Rabdan brands across more than seven countries.The MOU stipulates that NWTN will authorize Elfaba as the NWTN and Rabdan brand distributor for a period of five years, enabling the sale of NWTN and Rabdan vehicles, parts, and accessories together with the provision of after sales services. The MOU also stipulates that Elfaba will aim for sales of up to 5,000 vehicles. A definitive agreement is targeted to be signed by the end of April 2023.Rabdan is a NWTN brand of intelligent new energy vehicles and encompasses a full range of intelligent new energy passenger vehicle products from extended range to pure electric technology solutions.Rabdan products will integrate the most advanced technologies and resources in the global new energy vehicle industry as well as surpass traditional fuel vehicle products in many aspects, from driving experience and intelligent comfort to energy saving and emissions reduction. It aims to define a new category of traveling and lifestyle.The MOU between NWTN and Elfaba was signed at the NWTN Suhoor Gathering which was held in celebration of the Holy month of Ramadan. The Suhoor Gathering was held at the NWTN's assembly facility in the Khalifa Economic Zone Abu Dhabi (KEZAD) which was completed at the end of 2022. The facility enables NWTN to address the rapidly growing demand for electric vehicles in the UAE and the Middle East, promote green mobility, and accelerate sustainable energy transformation in the UAE.Guests mingled and enjoyed traditional Suhoor dishes and were offered an exclusive preview of the Rabdan brand's first vehicle – the Rabdan ONE.The Rabdan ONE is a dynamic, intelligent, and comfortable, all-wheel-drive SUV that adopts the world's leading range extension technology. The Rabdan ONE is suitable for a variety of uses from business, family, leisure, adventure, work to pleasure. The Rabdan One is designed to be a powerful intelligent car leading a new fashion lifestyle.

Formula E principal partner SABIC announced as title sponsor

Dubai: SABIC, a global leader in diversified chemicals, formally announced today its title sponsorship of the Berlin E-Prix on 22 and 23 April for Rounds 7 and 8 of the motorsport’s 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. The title sponsorship is part of SABIC’s larger and ongoing role as a Principal Partner to Formula E, the first all-electric FIA World Championship and the first sport in the world to be certified with a net zero carbon footprint since inception.SABIC’s partnership with Formula E strongly aligns with the company’s overall sustainability strategy to accelerate its journey towards carbon neutrality. It also dovetails perfectly with the company’s BLUEHERO™ electrification initiative, which aims to support the world’s transition to electric power and a lower carbon future. The starting point of SABIC’s efforts under BLUEHERO is providing support to the automotive industry as it strives to make advancements in electric vehicle (EV) battery technologies. SABIC’s contributions include unique flame retardant materials and solution development expertise to help fast track EV innovation.First announced as a Principal Partner in 2022, over the coming years SABIC will continue to collaborate closely with Formula E to develop cutting-edge solutions, and help drive further innovation in sustainable practices across the sport’s ecosystem and operations.Frank Kuijpers, General Manager Corporate Sustainability at SABIC, said: “We are energized and honored to serve as title sponsor of the Berlin E-Prix. Doing so helps us underline the importance that we place on helping the world make the transition to cleaner transportation and a more sustainable future. Our work with Formula E is one additional way that we are pursuing that priority.”Matt Scammell, Chief Commercial Officer, Formula E, said: “We are thrilled that SABIC is extending its partnership with Formula E to become title sponsor of the iconic double-header of races in Berlin. The 2023 SABIC Berlin E-Prix will give fans in Europe their first chance to see the new GEN3 race car in competitive action.”As part of its presence at the 2023 SABIC Berlin E-Prix, SABIC will host a pavilion at the Allianz Fan Village – Formula E’s immersive fan festival with a full day’s worth of entertainment and excitement. Visitors to SABIC’s pavilion can learn more about the company’s efforts to help advance electrification and support carbon neutrality. This includes the opportunity to view innovative, award-winning EV battery parts made from SABIC plastics, which are integrated into production vehicles today.

Apparel Group celebrates the launch of its 100th fashion chain - R&B Fashion

Kuwait: Apparel Groups’ famous lifestyle and fashion brand R&B Fashion opened the doors of its milestone 100th store at The Avenues Mall, Kuwait. The grand opening was attended by key influencers and artists across the fashion industry, special guests including famous Kuwaiti actress Elham Alfadalah, officials of Apparel Group and attracted visitors and onlookers.  The new retail destination, spread over 12,000 sq.ft, is expertly curated to showcase an extensive range of trendy fashion while incorporating the best from the international runway for children, ladies and men across fashion apparel, footwear, beauty, toys and accessories. R&B Fashion also embraces diversity and body positivity by offering a choice of styles in a broad range of sizes. Shoppers have the freedom to select from a collection that is closest to their personal style.Speaking about the launch of the 100th store in Kuwait, Arun Pagarani, Chief Executive Officer R&B Fashion, said: “Our growing presence in the region is a testament to the trust placed on us by our loyal customer base. We are thrilled to expand our brick-and-mortar presence in Kuwait with the opening of R&B’s flagship store at The Avenues, which marks our fourth store in the country, and celebrates this momentous 100th store in the GCC.”“Our mission has always been to make our brand experience accessible to our customers, and we will continue to strive for it as we expand our presence in the GCC even further. This opening is also an important occasion for us to celebrate, as it gives the fashion-forward shoppers in Kuwait a new choice to shop for the upcoming Eid” concluded Arun Pagarani.The UAE-based lifestyle and fashion brand continues expanding its footprint in the GCC and Indian markets since its operations in Oman in 2012 at the MGM Mall. With 40 stores planned to be opened in the first half of 2023, majorly across The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and India, R&B Fashion is at a fast expansion growth.A true Omnichannel player, R&B Fashion provides customers with online shopping convenience across all GCC market through its user-friendly e-commerce platform

Oracle reinforces commitment to the UAE

Dubai: Abu Dhabi is one of the five global cities that will host one of the global technology industry’s most awaited, and Oracle’s annual flagship event, CloudWorld Tour. In a yet another initiative to support the growth of Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s digital economy, Oracle is bringing its new event series, the CloudWorld Tour to the UAE Capital on 3rd May 2023 in association with the Department of Economic Development, and the UAE Cybersecurity Council.Nick Redshaw, Senior Vice President – Technology Cloud, Middle East and Africa, and UAE Country Leader, Oracle said: “Oracle is fully committed to help the UAE achieve its development objectives with latest cloud technologies, and we are delighted to bring the tech industry’s most definitive event to Abu Dhabi. Oracle Cloud World Tour Abu Dhabi will provide an inside look at how organisations are solving their most complex business challenges with latest innovations in cloud infrastructure, databases, and applications across diverse industry sectors.”To be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the Oracle Cloud World Tour Abu Dhabi will showcase the latest innovations in cloud infrastructure, databases, and applications across diverse industries in some of the most popular sessions and labs from the Las Vegas global conference. The event also offers the opportunity to connect with the Oracle partner and customer community and be inspired by leaders from local companies as they share lessons from their latest projects.Oracle CloudWorld Tour Abu Dhabi will be headlined by top UAE Government leaders including His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), and the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government, and Managing Director of the National Data Centre under the Supreme Council for National Security is also a keynote speaker at the event.Top Oracle leadership including Mike Sicilia, Executive Vice President – Oracle Global Industries, and Jae Sook Evans, Global Chief Information Officer, and Executive Vice President – Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Platform Services will also deliver keynotes at the event.His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said: “The launch of Oracle’s cloud region in Abu Dhabi reflects our efforts to ensure that Abu Dhabi’s economy is supported by strong partnerships and clear objectives to fuel the transition to a futuristic digital economy and position the emirate at the forefront among the smartest cities in the world.”“As Abu Dhabi is doubling its efforts in strengthening its knowledge-based and innovation-driven industries, we are developing and incentivising talent to devise solutions for current and future challenges. This move by Oracle will help in accelerating Abu Dhabi’s digital transformation by developing pioneering talents and leveraging innovative solutions to strengthen the emirate’s position as economic and technology powerhouse and a global hub for business, investments, and talent”.His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity for the UAE Government said: “The UAE is at the forefront of creating state of the art and secure digital infrastructure that is acting as a major catalyst towards driving the country’s digital economy growth. We are also focused on boosting the ‘cyber resilience’ of the UAE to mitigate cybercrime and increase international collaboration. With its two cloud regions in the UAE, a dedicated innovation hub in Abu Dhabi, and a series of capacity building programs, Oracle has consistently invested in helping build a resilient local cloud infrastructure and help strengthen the country’s talent pipeline of IT professionals. Oracle’s flagship event, Cloud World Tour Abu Dhabi 2023 will act as an excellent platform for all stakeholders in the UAE to learn about the country’s digital future ambitions, while also gain unique insights from global best practices in the realm of digital transformation.”Oracle has established two second generation cloud regions in the UAE; Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Oracle has also established two innovation hubs in the UAE to accelerate the adoption of latest digital technologies. Oracle has also collaborated with the Higher Colleges of Technology, and Zayed University to help prepare the UAE’s next gen workforce for the digital economy.

Abu Dhabi launches $100mln Culinary Investment Fund to bring iconic restaurants

Dubai: The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced a new $100 million Culinary Investment Fund that will help introduce iconic brands to the UAE capital. In addition, the fund will support building and establishing a Culinary School to aid with recruitment, training, and other staffing resources in the sector. The school will offer an established core curriculum and introduce two new degree programmes that focus on maritime sustainability and food security.The newly launched, Abu Dhabi Culinary Investment Fund (ADCIF), is an incentive for world-class culinary brands to enter the emirate and will further elevate the culinary scene by co-investing with local asset partners and incentivising top chefs, top restaurants, and culinary educational institutions, to enter the market and make Abu Dhabi their new home.H.E. Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism, DCT Abu Dhabi said: “The Abu Dhabi Culinary Investment Fund is part of our ongoing commitment to elevate the culinary scene across the emirate and create new dining experiences. There is no better time or place to bring best-in-class chefs, restaurants, and hotel brands to the capital. This fund, in combination with the Culinary School will ensure that Abu Dhabi appeals to even more visitors around the world, who can experience increasingly diverse and high-quality dining in the emirate, centred on our tradition of Emirati hospitality.”The main requisites for successful fund applicants are brands or chefs recognised by leading awards committees and global culinary guides, with a multi-regional presence – operating in more than one country. Applicants should offer a premium casual, lifestyle, or fine dining experience, without yet having an existing presence in the region and would be making their debut in Abu Dhabi – with a one-year period of exclusivity to the emirate.Abu Dhabi’s dining scene has recently been making headlines around the world, welcoming the MICHELIN team to launch the first-ever MICHELIN Guide Abu Dhabi. The guide details 42 restaurants across Abu Dhabi, awarded three establishments with one MICHELIN Star for their high-quality cooking and four with a Bib Gourmand, acknowledging culinary excellence and value. In addition, Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 – the regional food awards ranking – returned Abu Dhabi in 2023 after a hugely successful 2022 event.

Sharjah Animation Conference to feature masterclasses with Oscar

Dubai: The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) is set to host a first-of-its-kind event in the Middle East, the Sharjah Animation Conference, from May 3-5, 2023, at the Sharjah Expo Center, in partnership with Italy's Bergamo Animation Days (BAD) festival. The upcoming three-day conference promises to be an enriching experience for anyone with an interest in animation, with a range of masterclasses designed to provide valuable insights and practical tips for industry professionals, aspiring animators, and anime fans alike.The conference seeks to harmonise the interplay of nostalgia and modernity, inviting both the creators of cherished childhood cartoon characters and contemporary animated personalities to converge in a celebration of this dynamic art form. With an extensive line-up of Oscar, Emmy and Annie winners, the Sharjah Animation Conference is set to give those who attend direct access to experts in the field on a level that has never happened in the region.The conference boasts a truly comprehensive and immersive experience for animation enthusiasts, artists, animators and publishers. With 12 masterclasses on offer, attendees will have the opportunity to glean valuable insights from a roster of experts in various animation fields, making it an unmissable occasion for those seeking to expand their knowledge and hone their craft in the ever-evolving world of animation.“The Sharjah Animation Conference is a truly unique event for the region that aims to provide a comprehensive platform for individuals who are passionate about animation to connect with the industry's best, learn from them, and network with like-minded individuals," said Khoula Al Mujaini, SAC Executive Director. "Our primary goal is to empower participants and help them develop their skills, and gain valuable insights into the latest trends and techniques of the animation industry. By bringing together enthusiasts and professionals from all over the world, we hope to foster new collaborations and partnerships, and promote innovation and creativity in the industry. Through this event, we hope to inspire the next generation of animators and encourage them to pursue their passions and make a difference in the industry.”"Our goal for the inaugural Sharjah Animation Conference is to provide attendees with a 360-degree view of the animation world. We've invited a truly world-class and diverse group of artists and professionals with different approaches to showcase the various styles and techniques used in animation production." said: Pietro Pinetti, SAC Artistic Director.Learn from the best in the business through an extensive range of masterclassesTo kick things off, Oscar winning John Nevarez; a renowned figure in the animation industry with over 25 years of experience at animation giants like Disney, Pixar and Sony Pictures Animation; known for his work on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Astro Boy, and The Emoji Movie, will present the masterclass ‘My Journey In The Animation Industry’. Through this engaging and inspiring presentation, attendees will gain insight into Nevarez's personal experience, tracing his journey from humble beginnings to notable projects, and learn about his work in various areas, including 2D animation, storyboarding, and concept art. Nevarez will also share his creative process and provide tips and tricks for budding animators and artists.Sandro Cleuzo, an Annie Award winning 2D animator and character designer, known for such works as Mary Poppins Returns, The Iron Giant, Fantasia 2000 and Tarzan, will present ‘The Art Of Animation’. In this masterclass, he will share his career journey and work experiences, starting in 1985 at just 15-years-old, working at Walt Disney Feature Animation and going on to work at Sony, Paramount and Netflix Animation. Attendees will learn from Cleuzo's vast knowledge and expertise, including the creative process behind character design, animation techniques, and storytelling.Takahiro Yoshimatsu, widely considered one of the best anime directors in the world, most famously known for Dragon Ball Z, Overlord, Vampire Hunter D, and Hunter X Hunter, will present ‘Exploring The Creative Process Behind Innovative Anime Projects’. Through his engaging presentation, Yoshimatsu will discuss his experiences working on some of the most innovative and captivating anime projects in the industry, inspiring and providing insights to aspiring animators, seasoned professionals, and anime fans alike.‘Behind The Scenes: Creating Award-Winning Tv Series With Blue Zoo’ will be presented by Oli Hyatt, the founder and MD of the BAFTA-winning production house, Blue Zoo. In this masterclass, Hyatt will provide captivating case studies of their latest projects and insights into the creative process behind developing a successful TV series. Oli’s education programs on youtube have been a massive success with over 10 million subscribers and attendees will have the chance to learn first-hand from Blue Zoo's experience and gain valuable knowledge on the importance of creativity, innovation, and collaboration.Emmy award-winner, Mario Brioschi, compositor and VFX supervisor for blockbuster hits such as Avengers: Infinity Wars, Wonder Woman and Star Trek: Beyond, will present ‘House Of The Dragon’, a masterclass focused on the importance of compositing and lighting in creating an immersive viewing experience. Attendees of this masterclass will gain insight into Brioschi's work on the acclaimed TV series House of the Dragon and learn about his techniques for achieving stunning visual effects.‘Mamoru Yokota – My Life’ will feature a world-famous character designer and animation director for Death Note, Naruto Shippuden, One Piece and Macross Frontier to name a few. Through showcasing some of his previous works, including being the animation director for the ‘Blazblue: Continuum Shift II’ arcade game, he will discuss his creative process, techniques, and the challenges he faced during his career, as well as the importance of character design and its impact on storytelling in anime.Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn from Pascal Charrue, CEO of Fortiche, during the masterclass ‘Arcane - League of Legends,’ where he will reveal the creative process behind the popular animated series that has scooped up 4 Emmys and 9 Annies to date. Pascal, who’s company has also been instrumental to gaming giants such as Ubisoft, Carbine Studios and Riot Games, will discuss the unique stylistic choices made, the challenges the team faced, and provide valuable insights for those seeking to enter the animation production industry.For ‘The Invisible Craft of Character Design: Unveiling the Creative Process,’ renowned character designer Wouter Tulp, who started his career as an illustrator for newspapers and children’s books, will share his vast knowledge and experience on the subject of character design. As an expert in the field, working for power-houses like Netflix, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures, this lecture aims to unveil the creative process behind this invaluable craft, allowing attendees to gain a deeper understanding of what goes into creating successful characters for animation, gaming, and other media.Multiple award-winning author, director and creative director Giorgio Scorza, Co-Founder and CEO of Movimenti Production, will discuss the potential of animation beyond its traditional association with children's entertainment in ‘The power of animation for adult audiences’ Using the example of their latest collaboration with Netflix for the production of the new upcoming Zerocalcare series "This World Can’t Tear Me Down," he will emphasise the importance of using animation to speak to a more adult target audience.For over 25 years, Frank Falcone has been bringing film and television projects to life as an animator, director and executive producer. As the President and Executive Creative Director of the world-famous Guru Studio, famous for hits such as PAW Patrol, Justin Time and Ever After High, Falcone will provide insights into the creative and business aspects of developing successful children's shows that resonate with audiences worldwide during ‘How To Build An IP - Case Histories From Guru!’ This industry stalwart will discuss the strategies used to create compelling characters, build a consistent world, and develop engaging storylines, as well as the business side of building an IP, including securing funding, negotiating distribution deals, and expanding the franchise across multiple platforms.Aaron Gilman, CEO of Steamroller Animation will share his unique personal journey through the Animation Industry during his masterclass “A journey into the career of an animator”. He will explore the timeline of his professional journey, discussing his adventures and the many stories of his inspirational career, from a Junior Animator working on dinosaurs to Animation Supervisor at the famed Weta FX in New Zealand, and currently as the Chief Executive Officer of Steamroller Animation. He has worked for many famous feature films including The Avengers, Iron Man 3, The Hobbit:The Battle of the Five Armies, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip, and Godzilla. He’s also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been nominated for a VES and Annie award.Finally, Robin Linn, a respected Artist, Director of Animation, Recruiter and most notably, Artist Manager in the industry, will teach participants how to increase their chances of landing a job in animation and gaming studios during the masterclass ‘How To Increase Your Odds Of Landing A Job In Animation & Gaming.’ The class will cover how to create an online presence that showcases one's skills, experience, and personality, and provide tips on building a personal brand that aligns with career goals. Attendees will also learn how to effectively present their portfolio, craft a resume and cover letter that catches recruiters' attention, and stand out in today's competitive job market.The Sharjah Animation Conference promises to be an exciting and enriching event for animation enthusiasts in the Arab region. Tickets are available for purchase on the newly launched conference website, Those interested in this expanding industry and fans of moving artforms are encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to connect with industry leaders, learn from the best, and engage with like-minded individuals, for this first-of-it-kind conference in the region.

Retail giant Walmart ranks first in list of brands

DUBAI: Check Point Research (CPR), the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) and a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally, has published its Brand Phishing Report for Q1 2023. The report highlights the brands that were most frequently imitated by cybercriminals in their attempts to steal individuals’ personal information or payment credentials during January, February and March 2023.Multinational retail giant Walmart topped the ranking last quarter, accounting for 16% of all attempts and climbing from 13th place in Q4 2022. This is due to a significant phishing campaign urging victims to click on a malicious survey link, relating to ‘the supply system collapse’. Meanwhile, DHL held onto second place, appearing in 13% of phishing events, closely followed by Microsoft with 12% during the quarter. Overall, the technology sector was the most imitated industry, followed by shipping and retail.The latest report also highlights how threat actors are leveraging organizations in the finance sector to steal account details. Bank Raiffeisen made the list for the first to the 8th places. In the Raiffeisen phishing campaign, which accounted for 3.6% of phishing attacks last quarter, recipients were encouraged to click on a malicious link and to ensure the accounts security against any fraudulent activity. Once submitted, those details would then be stolen by the attacker.“Criminal groups orchestrate phishing campaigns to get as many people to part with their personal data as possible,” said Omer Dembinsky, Data Group Manager at Check Point Software. “In some cases, attacks are designed to obtain account information, as seen with the Raiffeisen campaigns. Others are deployed to steal payment details, which we witnessed with popular streaming service Netflix.”He added: “The best defense against phishing threats, as ever, is knowledge. Employees should be given appropriate training to spot suspicious traits such as misspelled domains, typos, incorrect dates, and other details that can expose a malicious email or link.”In a brand phishing attack, criminals try to imitate the official website of a well-known brand by using a similar domain name or URL and a web-page design that resembles the genuine site. The link to the fake website can be sent to targeted individuals by email or text message, a user can be redirected during web browsing, or it may be triggered from a fraudulent mobile application. The fake website often contains a form intended to steal users’ credentials, payment details or other personal information.Top phishing brands in Q1 2023Below are the top brands ranked by their overall appearance in brand phishing attempts:Walmart (relating to 16% of all phishing attacks globally)DHL (13%)Microsoft (12%)LinkedIn (6%)FedEx (4.9%)Google (4.8%)Netflix (4%)Raiffeisen (3.6%)PayPal (3.5%)Raiffeisen Bank Phishing Email - Account Theft ExampleThis is an example of an attempt to steal a user's Raiffeisen bank account information through a phishing email. The sender's name is "Raiffeisen", but the email address is "support@raiffeisen-info[.]com”. The email's subject is "The new SmartToken service is not active" in Romanian (origin:”Noul serviciu SmartToken nu este acti”), and the content claims that the victim needs to activate the “SmartToken“ service to ensure the account's security against any fraudulent activity. The email contains a malicious link, "https://urlz[.]fr/kxnx" which the attacker tries to lure the victim into clicking so he could steal his account.“The new SmartToken service is not active” (origin: “Noul serviciu SmartToken nu este acti”)Netflix Phishing Scam - Attempts to Steal Payment DetailsDuring the first quarter of 2023, we detected a fraudulent email that utilized Netflix's branding to deceive individuals. The email, which appeared to originate from "Netflix", was sent from the webmail address “support@bryanadamstribute[.]dk”. The subject line of the email was "U?d?t? r?qu?r?d – ????unt ?n h?ld", and the message claimed that the recipient's Netflix account had been suspended, due to a failure to authorize payment for the next billing cycle. The email provided a link to renew the subscription and requested that the victim enter accurate payment details.

Tata Steel makes strategic appointment to complement regional growth

Dubai: Tata Steel has announced the appointment of Shuja Haque as Regional General Manager for the Middle East region. A 23-year steel industry veteran, he has helped achieve multi-million tons of business volume since he joined Asia’s first integrated private steel company 18 years ago as a sales executive.He was quickly promoted to sales manager and was an integral part of the team on the ground when Corus and Tata Steel merged in 2007 In 2017, he became Head of Sales followed by another promotion to Head of Business Development in 2021 before being asked to take the reins as Regional GM.During his tenure, he has contributed tangibly to the detailed mapping of several countries including Saudi Arabia, resulting in the current order book being highly skewed to the Kingdom with some key wins including the Makkah Haram expansion and some of the largest malls, hotels, airports and parks in KSA. He also played a crucial role in executing the first ever Blockchain transaction in the steel industry, a testament to his forward-thinking mindset and approach.In his new role he will oversee the Middle East and North Africa business with responsibilities as varied as People's Health & Safety (EHS), P&L growth, and plant operations. Current Tata Steel projects include a few upcoming museums in the UAE, various airport expansion projects across the GCC and unique projects like Sindalah Island at NEOM in Saudi Arabia.   “My business acumen has been finely honed thanks to the many cross-functional roles I’ve had at Tata Steel. My talented team has a proven record of delivering differentiated products and solutions resulting in consistent business growth, and this will stand me in good stead as I ease into this new role. I am passionate about leveraging synergies, driving our transformational agenda as we grow in the region by effectively using innovation to create long-term mutual value for all stakeholders,” said Mr. Haque.

Dubai Festival City Mall adds popular Copenhagen-born global juice empire

Dubai: Dubai Festival City Mall, part of Al-Futtaim Malls, is excited to announce the eagerly anticipated arrival of Joe & The Juice, the widely celebrated Danish café brand. The new addition is now open at the mall’s Festival Square, becoming the chain's seventh establishment in UAE and further expanding the mall's diverse array of F&B offerings.Renowned for its creative blends and exquisite flavors, customers can expect to find all their favorite items at the new outlet, such as “Joe's Green Mile” juice, a mix of broccoli, spinach, apple, avocado and lemon, and the “Pick Me Up” juice with strawberries, bananas and apples. Vegan shakes like “Blue Magic”, blending blue spirulina, avocado, protein, dates, lemon and oat-coconut milk, will also be available alongside the viral hit, the “Tunacado” sandwich.In addition to its enticing F&B menu, the new outlet promises spectacular views of IMAGINE show, the awe-inspiring, multi-sensory laser, light and water extravaganza, making it the perfect spot for a quick meal or a relaxed gathering with family and friends.Commenting on Joe & The Juice's opening at Dubai Festival City Mall, Hayssam Hajjar, General Manager of Al-Futtaim Malls, said: “We wish a warm welcome to Joe & The Juice to the vibrant dining scene at Dubai Festival City Mall. This renowned international brand has a reputation for its innovative offering and trendy vibe, which perfectly aligns with the dynamic and contemporary spirit of our mall. We continue to expand our F&B line-up to cater to all tastes and preferences.”Walid Hajj, CEO of Lavoya Group, the premium restaurant operator brining the venue to the region, said: “A key location for us as it opens doors to a whole new customer base, we are thrilled to partner with the Al-Futtaim Group and bring Joe & The Juice to Dubai Festival City Mall. Marking our seventh store in the UAE, we at the Lavoya Group are committed to expanding our presence and continue providing our customers with the exceptional experiences they have come to love at our outlets. This is another significant step forward in our growth story as we aim to bring Joe & The Juice to more people across the UAE and beyond.”Located on the Ground Floor at Festival Square, Joe & The Juice's new outlet at Dubai Festival City Mall will be open from 8am to 11pm on weekdays and 8am to 12am on weekends.

Citi appoints Shamsa Al-Falasi as CEO of Citibank, N.A. UAE Onshore branch

Dubai: Citi announced the appointment of Shamsa Al-Falasi as Chief Executive Officer of Citibank, N.A. UAE Onshore Branch, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), subject to regulatory approvals. Shamsa will also assume the role of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) UAE across all Citi entities operating onshore & offshore in the country.Al-Falasi is a seasoned banker with almost two decades of experience at Citi. She joined the bank as a graduate in 2004 and has since worked across many geographies including Dublin, London and Sao Paulo, before being appointed as Senior Business and Relationship Manager for the MENA and Turkey region based in the UAE.In 2015, Al-Falasi was appointed as Head of the Global Subsidiaries Group (GSG) for the UAE and Iraq, a role that was expanded in 2018 to include regional responsibilities as Head of GSG in GCC and Iraq based in the UAE. Since the beginning of 2023, Shamsa has served as interim Citi Country Officer (CCO) and interim CEO of Citibank, N.A. UAE Onshore Branch. She will continue to serve as Interim CCO until a permanent appointment is made.Commenting on her new role, Shamsa said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to be the first Emirati woman to lead Citi’s UAE onshore businesses and operations and contribute to the overall franchise performance. We have a seasoned team in the country, and together we will continue to provide the highest standards of products and services to our clients."Ebru Pakcan, CEO of Citi’s Middle East and Africa Cluster said: "This is a landmark appointment which testifies to Shamsa’s talent and leadership skills. Citi UAE is the bank flagship franchise in the Middle East and Africa region offering a full spectrum of institutional banking and wealth management services, and with Shamsa’s elevation, I am sure the franchise will continue on a trajectory of growth and success.”The UAE serves as the regional hub for Citi’s Middle East & Africa Cluster covering 59 markets. Citi UAE offers a full spectrum of financial services including Corporate & Investment Banking, Capital Markets, Sales & Trading, Transactions Services, Private Banking and Commercial Banking. In addition, it serves as one of Citi’s four global Wealth Management centers and continues to be a major player in local consumer credit services.

Ski Dubai in partnership with Dubai Sports Council to host DXB Snow Run

Dubai: Ski Dubai in partnership with Dubai Sports Council are excited to announce that the fourth edition of the DXB Snow Run will take place on 21 May. The unique running experience is open to anyone between the ages of 15 and 70 and will see participants navigate the slopes of Ski Dubai in -4?C.DXB Snow Run was launched in 2020 and was one of the first snow sports competitions in the world to take place post-lockdown. Due to popular demand, it has become an annual event and last year a record 500 athletes from various nationalities took part.Mohammad El Etri, Vice President, Global Snow, Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas, said, “Ski Dubai is delighted to partner with Dubai Sports Council once again to host this unique event, which enables members of the community to stay fit and active as the weather heats up. We’re also excited to introduce a team’s category this year for added camaraderie. DXB Snow Run is just one of many events we host throughout the year as part of our commitment to improve community wellbeing by promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.”Ali Omar Al Balooshi, Director of Sports Events, Dubai Sports Council, said, “We are always delighted to partner with Ski Dubai on initiatives such as the DXB Snow Run. Our partnership is built on our shared commitment to bring the community together through sport. We are confident that by hosting regular community events and sport initiatives, we can improve the overall health and wellbeing of Dubai residents.”The first race starts at 6.30am and runners can choose from two distances – 3km (3 loops) or 5km (5 loops). A new teams category has been added this year which allows groups of five people to take part in the race where they will be competing against other teams. Each person that crosses the finish line will receive a commemorative medal. Registration is now open (until 18 May) and participants can secure their spot on PremierOnline.Ski Dubai was recently awarded the Best Sport / Adventure-Based Entertainment at the 2023 MENALAC Awards, which are the benchmark of excellence in the leisure, entertainment and attractions industry, in recognition of its commitment to foster a snow sports culture in the MENA region.

UAE brands donate 50 tonnes of rice to UAE food bank

Dubai: UAE rice brands, part of the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Group, have generously donated 50 tonnes of rice to the UAE Food Bank to support the Three Million Meals Initiative during the holy month of Ramadan. The initiative, under Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, aims to provide food to people in need within the country and beyond and to strengthen food security and the spirit of giving.As rice is a staple food for the UAE's diverse population and demand for this nutritious energy source continues to grow, the contribution of the country's leading rice brands is particularly noteworthy. Participating brands include Sinnara, Gautam, Tilda, Daawat, Crown, Lal Qilla, and HK Gourmet, which are popular among UAE customers.The donation was handed over to the Food Bank at an event in Dubai and was attended by representatives of the participating brands.Mr. Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Chairman of the Food & Beverage Manufacturing Group, commented: "UAE food companies have always been responsible and aligned with the initiatives of the National Food Security Strategy, which demonstrates their commitment to social responsibility as partners in the country's food sector in ensuring a safe and reliable supply of essential food to the market. Food security is achieved when all businesses in the value chain work together to ensure a consistent food supply. To this end, members of the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Group have worked closely with the government to ensure long-term food security and understand the needs of the market.”Furthermore, Manal Obaid Yaroof, Chairperson of the UAE Food Bank Steering Committee expressed her gratitude for the collaboration with the food companies and stated, "The partnership with the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Group has been fundamental to the success of the Food Bank initiative. We are now effectively channelling corporate responsibility efforts and amplifying their impact. We are grateful to all donors for their invaluable support in supporting Food Bank's mission to effectively manage surplus food and delivering it to beneficiaries locally and globally."Rice is a key item in the shopping basket in the region, as different nationalities in the UAE consume rice as part of their daily diet, and the strong presence of multiple global brands is a result of the country's robust strategy to retain major food companies in the region.

UAE launches global competition for sustainability-focused tech start-ups

Abu Dhabi: In line with UAE Net Zero 2050 and the UAE’s direction towards sustainable economic development and industrial decarbonization, the Ministry of the Industry and Advanced Technology is hosting high potential technology start-ups with a focus on sustainability and decarbonization to participate in a start-up competition launched ahead of COP28.The Ministry created the Make it in the Emirates Start-up Competition to provide technology start-ups with a platform where they can meet investors and network with policy makers and industry partners.The competition invites transformative start-ups seeking to have a global impact to showcase and pitch new innovations and technologies and provides them with the opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest minds working in the fields of sustainability, manufacturing and technology. The competition will also provide the startups with the opportunity to further develop and deploy their technologies in the UAE in collaboration with various industry partners. The Make it in the Emirates Startup Competition seeks to enable forward-looking technology startups with pioneering sustainability related innovations that can transform and green existing industries, while also seeding the green industries of the future.Taking place at the Make it in the Emirates Forum from 31 May to 1 June, the competition is open to just 24 start-ups from all over the world. Startups from various sectors with a focus on sustainability, decarbonization-and digitalization are welcomed to apply.Tariq Al Hashimi, Director of Advanced Technology Adoption and Development at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology said: “We are living in an age in which start-ups have the power to disrupt entire industries and rewrite the playbook. These startups also have promising solutions for some of the world’s most pressing issues including climate change. However, access to funding and other enablers remains a huge challenge for startups all over the world. That is why the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology is leveraging the Make it in the Emirates Forum as platform to provide promising tech-driven, sustainability-focused companies with a stage at one of the region’s largest and most attended industrial investment events to pitch, learn and connect.Al Hashimi added: “Start-ups participating in the competition will be able to access unique investment and collaboration opportunities, as well as get exposed to a suite of incentives offered by the UAE’s Advanced Technology ecosystem. The Ministry is committed to supporting companies of all sizes as part of our mission to create an industrial and technology ecosystem that generates inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”Start-ups can apply here: Applications close on May 5 2023.The 24 start-ups will initially be selected from the pool of submissions based on the innovation they have demonstrated, their disruptive potential, their scalability and sustainability, as well as their marketing potential, competitive advantage, and positive social impact.The judging panel will include representatives from Aspire, EDGE Group, Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, Technology Innovation Institute, Dubai Industrial City, UAE University and Strata.The competition is one of several initiatives launched under the Make it in the Emirates umbrella. Make it in the Emirates aims to attract investors, industrialists and innovators to the UAE to benefit from the country’s competitive advantages.In 2022, MoIAT launched the inaugural Make it in the Emirates Forum, which received the attendance of around 1,800 stakeholders, including investors from around the world. The forum resulted in offtake agreements worth AED 110 billion with national enterprises committing to purchase more than 300 products from local suppliers to support their future growth plans.The second Make it in the Emirates Forum, which takes place at the Abu Dhabi Energy Centre, aims to build on this success and is set to draw significant interest and attendance from across the region and beyond.

Salesforce and PwC’s ETIC partner to offer Salesforce

Dubai:  Salesforce, The Global Leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), partners with PwC’s Egypt Technology and Innovation Centre (ETIC) to offer a free, three-week Salesforce training that aims to equip participants with the skills and knowledge needed to lead off a thriving career in the Salesforce ecosystem. This partnership comes to reinforce the strategic alliance between Salesforce and PwC to accelerate the digital transformation across the region.The program is designed to help Salesforce's new learners to grow and sharpen essential technical skills. Additionally, the program offers a valuable opportunity for participants to gain a full scholarship and be considered for subsequent employment at PwC’s ETIC as Salesforce Developers.Kicking off on April 26, the program will be starting with a keynote session and in-person career panels to brief the participants on the program’s activities which will include weekly in-person and pre-recorded sessions, and scheduled emails with recommended modules on Trailhead – Salesforce’s free app for consultants. Over the course of three weeks, participants will be exploring:The growth of customer relationship management tools and related in-demand careersSalesforce Business Skills: Discovering Salesforce in business contexts, from a customer and Salesforce Administrator perspective.Different tools and practical ways to acquire Salesforce skills, and how to connect with employers.Commenting on the program, Thierry Nicault, Area Vice President, MENA, Salesforce, said: “This training program is an ideal opportunity for people who recognise the potential of digital technology to transform organisations and to learn everything they need to know to develop a career as a Salesforce expert. Currently, the economic headwinds are reinforcing the need for organisations to digitise and make their operations smarter, allowing them to transform challenges into opportunities for growth.”From his side, Wael Moustafa, Partner and ETIC CEO & Board Member, commented: “We’re proud to continue our investment in the local talent in Egypt through our strategic partnership with Salesforce to build the next generation of digitally-enabled talent. Throughout Egypt’s resilient, high-quality digital infrastructure, we will continue to build on the Public Sector efforts to accelerate the digital transformation in Egypt. At PwC’s ETIC, we will continue to build a community of solvers who collaborate to evolve technology enabled services that reimagine the future of businesses and leverage leading practices.”With Salesforce’s anticipation of 9.3 million jobs to be created in the global Salesforce ecosystem by 2026, the program will contribute in offering significant opportunities for those with the right knowledge and expertise. Furthermore, the program will be taking place in Egypt where young talent and governmental initiatives (ex. ICT 2030 strategy) are growing to drive economic growth.

Emirates increases flights across the GCC and Middle East ahead of Eid Al Fitr

Dubai: Emirates will be expanding its schedule this week to offer 38 additional flights across six cities in the GCC and Middle East to meet significant demand for Eid Al Fitr holiday travel. This year, more than 110,000 travellers are expected to board Emirates flights during Eid Al Fitr across the region, with additional flights planned for Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, Medina, Kuwait and Beirut.In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Emirates will be adding four extra flights between 19-29 April to and from Riyadh to cater to Saudi travelers looking to venture to Dubai and beyond. In Jeddah, the airline will be operating three daily A380s, and will additionally layer on six flights operated by its Boeing 777 to serve the peak travel holiday period from the city between 20-25 April.Emirates will boost its flights to Dammam from 18 to 21 weekly, starting from 20 April until 31 May with additional flights scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays to connect travelers to their favorite holiday getaways. Travelers from Medina will have the choice of an additional 16 flights in the month of April to accommodate those travelling inbound for Umrah, as well as travelers looking to start their holidays earlier.This year, Emirates customers in KSA will be venturing to Dubai for their Eid Al Fitr celebrations, in addition to the Maldives, London, Phuket, Mauritius, Manila and Paris.In Kuwait, Emirates will operate an additional eight flights for Eid with its Boeing 777 from 20-27 April. Popular destinations for Kuwaiti travelers this year include Dubai, Maldives, Phuket, Bangkok, London, Mauritius and Milan.Emirates will offer an additional flight on 23 April on the airline’s existing Beirut schedule to accommodate for more travelers as they head home to visit friends and relatives.Upholding Eid traditions and keeping in with its proud Middle Eastern heritage, the airline will be serving a specially crafted Eid menu for customers between 21-24 April for flights departing from Dubai. Favourites like chicken mandi, mansaf, samka harra, samak matfi, madfoon, and Gulf style braised lamb will be served onboard, among other moreish dishes.All Emirates customers connecting in Dubai and travelling onwards during this time will be treated to delicious sweets and desserts, like warm date pudding in First Class, a fluffy vanilla sponge cake with white chocolate and hibiscus cream in Business and Premium Economy Class, and Batheetha – a saffron date crumble, or a sweet pumpkin Asseda, topped with roasted cashew nuts in Economy Class. All passengers will also receive an additional mini treat of ashta sfouf with their meal wishing them ‘Eid Mubarak’.Customers entering Emirates’ First Class lounges on the first day of Eid will be welcomed with Arabic coffee, traditional jallab and kamarrudin juices, mezze, lamb or Emirati ouzi, followed by regional favourites kunafa and baklava ice-cream. Special Eid mocktails will also be served across both First and Business Class lounges. Business Class lounges will serve special Eid dishes and desserts during this time as well.

Samsung brings its ‘phygital’ space to Dubai Mall

Dubai: Samsung Gulf Electronics today announced the launch of its latest pop-up store in Dubai Mall, once again bringing its online offering,, to a physical creative space. As part of its 'Nowhere better than' campaign, the pop-up store allows customers to experience the best of Samsung's cutting-edge products across multiple categories, just in time for Eid Al Fitr.Through the pop-up, the brand has combined physical and digital experiences in the same space. By integrating the two, customers can explore the many benefits of shopping for Samsung's products online while having a hands-on experience of the latest offerings.In March, Samsung launched its first-ever online store pop-up at Mirdif City Centre, showcasing its Ramadan offers. The latest pop-up at Dubai Mall will focus on Eid offers and provide visitors with access to a diverse range of Samsung products, including mobiles, tablets, TVs, gaming monitors, home appliances, and more.Shafi Alam, Head of Direct-to-Consumer Business & Corporate Marketing at Samsung GulfElectronics, said: "As we approach the joyous occasion of Eid Al Fitr, we are excited to bring our latest pop-up store to Dubai Mall, offering our customers the perfect opportunity to invest in gifts for their loved ones. A flawless fusion of physical and digital spaces, the pop-up provides customers with a unique opportunity to explore the innovative world of Samsung products, while enjoying the benefits of online shopping. These experiences represent our efforts to provide consumers with an opportunity to truly personalize not only their products, but their shopping journeys as well. “The interactive pop-up, located at the Star Atrium on the lower ground level of Dubai Mall, will feature experience zones inspired by different lifestyle themes, such as home entertainment, fitness, gaming, and more. Visitors can experience the capabilities of the latest Samsung innovations, such as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy Watch 5, Neo QLED or OLED TVs, and Bespoke microwaves, refrigerators, or lifestyle TVs such as The Frame.Samsung is also offering exclusive discounts and deals on a selection of its most sought-after products as part of its Eid campaign. Customers can enjoy up to 40% discounts across mobiles, tablets, TVs, and home appliances when shopping online or at the pop-up store.The Samsung Eid pop-up is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm, from April 21 to April 30.Shopping on is convenient, with 24-month installment payment plans, free shipping and returns, doorstep trade-in evaluation, extended warranty via Samsung Care+, secure payments, trade-in offers, reward points, and access to Samsung experts.

Nestle Cereals becomes first breakfast cereal business to enter the Metaverse

Dubai: Cereal Partners Worldwide, the maker of Nestlé Breakfast Cereals and a leading breakfast cereal business in the world, is taking fans beyond the cereal bowl with an interactive metaverse experience.The Nestlé Cereals Metaclub will host a vast space with 10 unique virtual attractions on Decentraland, bringing together access to sustainability themed online challenges, NFTs with real life rewards, and a digital Anghami lounge featuring specially curated playlists with free Anghami Plus subscriptions.“Living up to our purpose to “Make Breakfast Better”, we are excited to be the first Breakfast Cereal Business to enter the metaverse and aim to create immersive and rewarding experiences for our consumers to enjoy and connect with our brands while raising awareness with our dedicated sustainability attractions”. said Nehmatallah Younes, Business Executive Office, Cereal Partners Worldwide, Middle East & North Africa“Our Nestlé Cereals Metaclub offers a unique channel to engage and connect with younger audiences, educate them on the topics of sustainability, while taking them through an omnichannel brand experience,” said Bahaa Boulmona, Brand Manager, Cereal Partners Worldwide, Middle East & North Africa.Qossay Al Sattari, Distribution Partnerships Lead, Anghami, commented: “At Anghami we strongly believe in innovation and in offering customers unique entertainment experiences that have a positive social impact. This initiative is a great example of innovation meeting sustainability.”With a special focus on regenerative agriculture, the Nestlé Cereals Metaclub features a dedicated Rainforest Corner, in partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, to raise awareness for sustainability projects and encourage donations. A Nestlé Cocoa Plan Zone further spotlights how cocoa is responsibly sourced, and a virtual breakfast cereal factory – modelled after Nestlé’s Karacabey Factory in Turkiye – highlights how renewable energy is efficiently used.To enter the Nestlé Cereals Metaclub, users can simply choose their favorite avatar and start exploring the space.Cereal Partners Worldwide is behind some of the world’s most iconic breakfast cereals brands – NESQUIK®, CHEERIOS®, LION®, and KOKOKRUNCH® to name a few.

Bybit opens global headquarters in Dubai

DUBAI: Bybit, the world’s third most visited crypto exchange with 15 million users worldwide, announced the grand opening of its global headquarters in Dubai today. The second largest crypto exchange in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)1 also revealed future plans to elevate its global presence with a stronger foothold in the region. Occupying a full floor at One Central, Dubai World Trade Center, Bybit’s corporate headquarters boasts an open space of 16,000 square feet overlooking Dubai’s iconic landmarks such as Burj Khalifa and the Museum of the Future.One of the first exchange services to obtain the in-principle approval to operate in Dubai, Bybit has seized the momentum on a meteoric rise to the No.2 spot among the over 400 crypto and blockchain businesses in MENA in the past year. In 2023, the exchange is on track to double its trading volume in the region2.Building on its ambition to become the world’s Crypto Ark and to facilitate the mass adoption of digital assets, Bybit is looking to power up global expansions from its new home base through new partnership, talent cultivation and product innovation programs.The headquarters will be dedicated to community and trust building, offering a physical space for the global Bybit community to connect and explore a plethora of opportunities at the heart of the city of gold.Community: Bybit welcomes partners and affiliates from around the world to exchange ideas and diversify the community at the new home. From professional meet-ups to livestreaming facilities, members of the Bybit network will have access to exclusive spaces and the support they need to grow the community. Listen, Care, Improve: Bybit plans to bring the product building experience closer to the ground at the new headquarters. In the pipelines are workshops to gather user feedback and shed light on the product design and commercialization processes, as well as sharing sessions about the latest market insights and trends.Talent: Bybit is committed to building a diverse and dynamic workforce in Dubai and globally. It also recognizes the importance of connection to the local community and will be working with local institutions to organize hackathons and other educational and entrepreneurial programs to foster local talent.“We are excited to be part of Dubai’s futuristic skyline and most importantly, to be able to officially call Dubai home,” said Ben Zhou, CEO and co-founder of Bybit. “The digital economy is advancing at incredible speed and crypto and blockchain technology will be the mainstay and the connective tissues. As one of the most progressive digital assets hubs in MENA and the world, Dubai is optimally positioned to capture the opportunities in the sector by bringing together state-of-the-art tech and infrastructure, international talent and vision.”Zhou said the space was designed to encapsulate Bybit’s commitment to openness, creativity and transparency. “The new office will be an innovative hub for dreamers and creators to exchange ideas and unlock next level opportunities of Web3. Our door will be open to friends and members of the Bybit family,” he said.

LinkedIn reveals its top companies lists in UAE & Saudi Arabia

Dubai: LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network, has released its annual list of Top Companies for the UAE and Saudi Arabia.Produced by the LinkedIn News team and fueled by LinkedIn data, the list is a guide for professionals at any stage of their career, whether it’s the ones planning to change paths, those who are jumping back into the workforce after a hiatus, or even individuals seeking to enhance their skills.In its largest iteration yet, this year’s Top Companies list launches across 39 markets. The methodology looks at various pillars including how employees are advancing both within a company and when they leave, how they’re upskilling while employed, and how companies are empowering people to get ahead in their careers.Given the global decline in hiring and economic uncertainty that businesses are grappling with, highlighting these employers will help professionals understand which companies have invested in making their workplace an ideal environment for talent to thrive.Key trends observed from this year’s Top Companies list:Ascent of FMCG and retail companies in the UAE2023 rankings for the UAE highlight the growth of prominent FMCG companies such as Procter & Gamble, Majid Al Futtaim, and Henkel. Both P&G and Henkel have secured a place in the rankings for the first time, while Majid Al Futtaim has soared from the 13th place in 2021 to claiming the 4th place this year.Public sector grabs top spots in Saudi ArabiaWhile Saudi Arabia has made considerable progress towards diversifying its economy, the Kingdom’s oil and gas sector maintains its power with Saudi Aramco retaining its position as the country’s top company for the third year in a row.The following two spots also feature prominent government-backed entities, with Red Sea Global making its debut appearance, followed by telecommunications provider stc.P&G holds court in the regionMultinational corporation Procter & Gamble, which specializes in a wide range of consumer products including personal care, cleaning agents, and pet food has made a noteworthy appearance in both UAE and KSA, indicating a strong foothold in the GCC and commitment to empowering career growth for employees across markets.Lynn Chouman, Managing Editor at LinkedIn News MENA said, "This year’s list is an indication that the world of work is still undergoing enormous change, and it is interesting to see how quickly our markets are evolving with 75% new entrants in the 2023 Top Companies lists for the UAE and Saudi Arabia.Chouman continued, “This is a testament to the dynamic nature of the modern workplace and how the top industries are growing alongside market trends. Our data recognizes companies that have remained an employer of choice in the midst of global uncertainty, while acting as a valuable resource for professionals seeking the best places to work in the region."MethodologyOur methodology uses LinkedIn data to rank companies based on eight pillars that have been shown to lead to career progression: ability to advance; skills growth; company stability; external opportunity; company affinity; gender diversity; educational background and employee presence in the country. Ability to advance tracks employee promotions within a company and when they move to a new company, based on standardized job titles. Skills growth looks at how employees across the company are gaining skills while employed at the company, using standardized LinkedIn skills. Company stability tracks attrition over the past year, as well as the percentage of employees that stay at the company at least three years. External opportunity looks at Recruiter outreach across employees at the company, signaling demand for workers coming from these companies.Company affinity, which seeks to measure how supportive a company’s culture is, looks at connection volume on LinkedIn among employees, controlled for company size. Gender diversity measures gender parity within a company and its subsidiaries. Finally, educational background examines the variety of educational attainment among employees, from no degree up to Ph.D. levels, reflecting a commitment to recruiting a wide range of professionals. Finally, employee presence in the country looks at the company’s number of employees in the country relative to other companies, as a means of capturing companies that provide a diverse work environment and more opportunities for career advancement and networking.To be eligible, companies must have had at least 500 employees as of Dec. 31, 2022 in the country and attrition can be no higher than 10% over the methodology time period, based on LinkedIn data. Similarly, companies with layoffs that amount to more than 10% of their workforce, based on public announcements between Jan. 1, 2022 and the list launch, are also ineligible. Only parent companies rank on the list; majority-owned subsidiaries and data about those subsidiaries are incorporated into the parent company score. The methodology time frame is Jan. 1, 2022 through Dec. 31, 2022. This analysis represents the world seen through the lens of LinkedIn data, drawn from the anonymized and aggregated profile information of LinkedIn's members around the world.We exclude all staffing and recruiting firms, educational institutions and government agencies. We also exclude LinkedIn, its parent company Microsoft and Microsoft subsidiaries.

Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council appoints Fatima Al Blooshi as Director

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, has appointed Fatima Helal Al Blooshi as a Director of the Council, to lead the development of women’s role in the private sector and enable them to be a key partner in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s sustainable economic development. Al Blooshi is a seasoned entrepreneur, with a proven record of accomplishment in both the private and public sector.In her new role, Al Blooshi will develop and implement strategic plans that align with the Council's vision, mission, and objectives, represent the Council’s interests to various stakeholders, and support building partnerships, and more. Al Blooshi’s main goal will be centred on establishing the leading role of businesswomen in driving the growth of Abu Dhabi’s private sector, by boosting the involvement of female entrepreneurs in society, enhancing their skills, and empowering them to grow and thrive.H.E. Asma Al Fahim, Chairwoman of the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council, said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Fatima Helal Al Blooshi, to support our journey of enabling female entrepreneurs to be a key partner in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s sustainable economic development. With her entrepreneurial spirit and outstanding experience, I am certain that Fatima will play a pivotal role in supporting businesswomen and providing them with the required guidance to enhance their role in driving the Emirate’s economic growth.”Fatima Helal Al Blooshi said: “I am keen to embark on a stimulating new challenge to make a substantial contribution to the economy and business community of Abu Dhabi. I look forward to initiating innovative collaborations with various public and private sector stakeholders to yield wide-ranging economic benefits and novel business incentives, advance the business landscape in Abu Dhabi, and create new opportunities for growth and development.”

PROVEN Arabia names Leandra Meintjes as its CMO

Dubai: PROVEN Arabia, announced that Leandra Meintjes has been promoted to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), taking on a broader scope of responsibilities for its group of companies and brands. Leandra has been a part of the PROVEN Arabia success story for nearly three years and has contributed immeasurably to the marketing department, culminating with the recent launch of a dedicated marketing agency: PROVEN 360. In her new role, she is tasked with acquiring additional clients and uplifting PROVEN 360 by strengthening its reputation in the market.As CMO, Leandra leads a creative global team spread across seven countries that offers distinctive and powerful marketing solutions to PROVEN Arabia’s internal companies, as well as external clients. Since she first joined PROVEN Arabia, the marketing department’s headcount has grown, and it has also taken on significant additional responsibilities. Initially comprising four team members who were responsible for three internal brands, the department now boasts of a global team of 16, who oversee the marketing requirements of 15 brands.Launched in late 2022, PROVEN 360 strives to remain region sensitive whilst yet offering localised content and ideas that are ‘out-of-the-box’ to clients. Benefiting from its global talent base, which is spread across seven countries, PROVEN 360 offers clients localised content with an international flair. Its mission is to become an extension of its clients’ internal marketing teams, with the goal of empowering them to focus on the business of expanding in the region.Speaking on her promotion, Omer Salem, CEO of PROVEN, said, “Leandra's exceptional leadership in spearheading our vision for a wider marketing platform with a client service offering has been nothing short of phenomenal. Her ability to bring the team together with her positive energy and focus on the mission, along with her exceptional stakeholder management skills, made her the ideal candidate for the position. With Leandra at the helm as our new CMO, I am confident that Proven 360 will continue to grow and thrive in the years ahead.”Initially, Leandra joined PROVEN Arabia as Marketing Manager and was responsible for promoting the company’s brands including PROVEN, PROVEN Consult, and more recently PROVEN Solution."PROVEN Solution expanded its offering, with the first of its products being robotics solutions and VR. Now the portfolio boasts a chatbot, intelligent document-processing platform, and AI-driven solutions with more in the making. Being resilient, Leandra took it in her stride and worked on all our brands with a strategic approach they needed for a successful GTM marketing plan. Her customer-centric approach paved the way for exponential growth of our companies, and supporting our internal teams for driving long-term success,” Zaid Mashari, CEO PROVEN Arabia Group of Companies.In her earlier years as a marketing specialist, Leandra worked for an NGO, following which she then joined a hospital that would mark the start of a 15-year career in the healthcare sector. She also has a wealth of experience in the luxury fashion and technology sectors.“The outbreak of the pandemic taught me to adapt and break out of my comfort zone, and I’m grateful that PROVEN Arabia gave me the chance to begin a new journey at that point. Nearly three years on, I’m immensely grateful to the leadership team for the opportunity to expand my sphere of marketing influence as CMO. I look forward to delivering positive results for the group as a whole and to playing a decisive role in the start-up phase of PROVEN 360, with the aim of driving growth and profitability through effective marketing and brand positioning,” stated Leandra Meintjes, CMO, PROVEN Arabia.PROVEN 360 delivers specially curated content fashioned by subject matter experts who were handpicked from relevant sectors. It empowers its diverse team, who are fluent in over eight languages and situated over seven countries, with the best tools to generate the best results for clients.The team is organised and nurtured to develop fully integrated marketing strategies, and can expertly touch on critical elements to suit specific marketing needs, while freeing up time for its clients to focus on their customers. It offers a raft of services including: strategic consulting, content and copywriting, branding and design, event management and digital marketing.

Sila Insights CEO Paul Kelly on unlocking consumer intelligence with AI

In this interview,  Sila Insights CEO Paul Kelly tells Adgully Associate Editor BF Firos how the inspiration behind starting Sila stemmed from recognizing the untapped potential of consumer intelligence in the Middle East, especially in understanding Arabic-speaking consumers' unique needs and preferences. Kelly explains the role of AI in the consumer intelligence industry and how their unique Arabic-native AI sets them apart from competitors. He also discusses Sila's data collection and analysis methods, case studies of providing valuable insights to clients, and measures in place to ensure data privacy and security. Excerpts:Can you tell us about the inspiration behind starting Sila Insights and how it has evolved since its inception?The inspiration behind starting Sila Insights stemmed from recognizing the untapped potential of consumer intelligence in the Middle East, especially in understanding Arabic-speaking consumers' unique needs and preferences. Since its inception, Sila has evolved by continuously enhancing our data collection methods, refining our AI algorithms, and expanding our services to provide increasingly valuable insights to our clients across various industries.Can you explain the role that AI plays in the consumer intelligence industry, and how your unique Arabic-native AI sets Sila Insights apart from competitors?AI plays a crucial role in the consumer intelligence industry by automating data collection, analysis, and insights generation, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions quickly and efficiently. Our unique Arabic-native AI sets Sila apart from competitors by providing a deep understanding of the Arabic-speaking market's cultural nuances, language, and preferences, giving our clients a competitive advantage in the region. Our natural language processing, for example, can work natively in 20+ dialects of Arabic, rather than using translation methods like many platforms.How does Sila Insights gather and analyze data on consumer behavior, and what kind of insights have you been able to glean from this data so far?Sila Insights gathers data on consumer behaviour through various sources, including social media, online forums, surveys, and website analytics. Our AI algorithms then analyze this data to identify trends, patterns, and sentiment, and provide actionable insights to our clients. So far, we have been able to help businesses better understand their target audience, optimize marketing strategies, and develop more relevant products and services.Can you walk us through a case study where Sila Insights was able to provide valuable insights to a client, and how these insights impacted their business decisions?In one case study, Sila Insights worked with a leading FMCG company to expand their knowledge of important consumer segments. We analyzed consumer data to identify key demographics, preferences, and pain points, enabling the company to develop targeted marketing, NPD and advertising campaigns that resonated with their audience. As a result, the client has seen a significant increase in conversion rates and customer satisfaction. This also meant we were able to segment an audience efficiently and effectively.How does Sila Insights ensure the privacy and security of the data it collects and analyzes, and what measures do you have in place to prevent any potential breaches?At Sila, we take data privacy and security very seriously. We adhere to strict data protection regulations and industry best practices, including anonymizing data, encrypting data during storage and transmission, and conducting regular security audits. Also, we have a robust incident response plan to quickly and effectively address potential breaches.How do you see the consumer intelligence industry evolving in the next 5-10 years, and what role do you see Sila Insights playing in this future?We envision the consumer intelligence industry becoming increasingly data-driven and automated, with AI playing a central role in extracting actionable insights from vast data. Sila aims to be at the forefront of this evolution by continuously enhancing our AI capabilities, expanding our services, and providing unparalleled consumer insights to businesses in the Middle East and beyond.How do you foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning within Sila Insights, and what steps do you take to ensure that your team stays ahead of the curve in terms of technology and industry trends?We foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning at Sila Insights through open communication, cross-functional collaboration, and ongoing education. We encourage team members to share ideas, attend industry events, and participate in training programs to stay ahead of the curve regarding technology and trends.How does Sila Insights balance the use of technology with the need for human expertise and analysis, and what is your approach to striking this balance?Sila Insights balances technology and human expertise by leveraging AI for data analysis and pattern recognition while relying on our experienced analysts to provide context, interpretation, and strategic recommendations. This approach ensures we deliver our clients accurate, relevant, and actionable insights.What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the consumer intelligence space, particularly in the Middle East region?For aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the consumer intelligence space, particularly in the Middle East region, my advice would be to:(a) develop a deep understanding of the local market and cultural nuances,(b) continuously invest in technology and innovation to stay competitive,(c) prioritize data privacy and security, and(d) build a diverse and skilled team that can drive your business towards success.

TBWA\RAAD promotes Romy Abdelnour to Head of Communications

Dubai: TBWA\RAAD has announced the immediate promotion of Romy Abdelnour to the position of Head of Communications. In her new role, Romy will lead the agency's Public Relations and Corporate Communications strategy, reporting directly to Group CEO Reda Raad. She will be responsible for promoting the company's vision for Disruption® in the region.Previously, Romy served as Corporate Communications Director, where she oversaw the agency's internal and external communications, media relations, partnerships, corporate events, and presence at regional and global creative award shows such as the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, the Loeries, New York Festivals, Dubai Lynx, and MENA Effie awards, among others. She has helped enhance TBWA\RAAD's reputation in the region, contributing to agency, leadership, and talent recognition: The agency has been recognized for its innovation, earning the title of The Middle East's Most Innovative Company in Advertising by Fast Company Middle East, and CEO Reda Raad designated Advertising Person of the Year by Arab Ad in 2022.Reda Raad, Group CEO of TBWA\RAAD said: “Romy is a multitalented and passionate leader who has strongly contributed to our workplace culture throughout the years and played a key role in enhancing the agency’s reputation, securing the right exposure to our people and creative product, and telling our story to the world. Romy has done remarkable work on the comms front during the pandemic by reinforcing our internal communication and launching key initiatives that contributed to a smooth navigation and solid recovery. All of these have showcased her problem-solving skills and speedy adaptability. I believe she is more than ready to take on bigger responsibilities within the agency.”Speaking of her promotion, Romy said: “TBWA is a collective that never ceases to reinvent itself and innovate its operating model, philosophy, and products. Every year brings an exciting set of challenges, new products, projects, offerings, ideas, campaigns and most importantly, new stories to tell, to reflect an everchanging landscape. All of these are nurtured by the incredible TBWA culture - a culture one cannot but get addicted to. It has been a great journey for me so far on every level, and I look forward to this next chapter of my career. I’d like to thank our CEO Reda Raad for his trust, support, and mentorship throughout the years.”Romy has over 15 years of experience in the creative industry, having started her career as a graphic designer before shifting to communications. She holds a BA in Graphic Design from the Lebanese American University and a Masters' degree in Marketing and Communication from ESA/ESCP Europe.Romy was also recognized in Communicate's list of Women to Watch for 2022, which celebrates women in the Middle East who are driving change in the industry. and Binance Card announce partnership

Dubai:, the leading online platform for business transfers, has announced a strategic partnership with Binance Card, the leading cryptocurrency payment card provider. The partnership will enable Binance Card users to receive an exclusive discount on all transportation services that can be booked online via addition to the discount, both parties have plans to further expand the partnership in future. Some of the mechanics may include tiered cashback rewards in cryptocurrency to Binance customers' accounts via Binance Pay. Furthermore, some of these plans would involve NFTs and soulbound tokens."We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Binance Card," said Alexander Sapov, Co-Founder & CEO of "This partnership is a significant milestone for us and is a testament to our commitment to providing innovative and exclusive services to our customers. We are excited to collaborate with the leader in the web3 industry and look forward to exploring new ways to serve our customers."Raj Nandwani, Regional Business Development Lead for Asia Pacific & Eastern Europe at Binance, expressed his excitement for the partnership and stated, "We thank for this unique discount and exclusive service to Binance users. This partnership is an exciting step in the right direction towards crypto mass adoption globally”The partnership between and Binance Card will be effective immediately, and Binance Card users can take advantage of the exclusive discount by entering the promo code provided by at the time of booking.

Two new beIN SPORTS shows reach No.1 in MENA rankings

Doha:  beIN SPORTS has followed up its highly successful FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ podcast with a further two sports-focused audio shows – and despite its latest offering only launching two weeks ago, both new shows are ranked No.1 in the football category across a host of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets. From the Heart of the World Cup™ represented beIN’s first foray into podcasting, launched during the FIFA mega-event that took place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December. beIN published a total of 13 episodes during the tournament, with the Arabic-language show ranking No.1 on Apple Podcasts in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Mauritania, and Saudi Arabia.Such was the success, beIN launched its second podcast in January this year. Legends is a weekly, 30-minute show diving into the rich history of elite athletes who have left their mark on their chosen sport. Primarily focused on football, subjects so far include Pele, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, and Just Fontaine, among others. Episode six explored the life and career of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, while the most recent episode – published this past Monday – looked at Luis Figo, the Portuguese midfielder who played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid.With 12 episodes published so far, Legends is ranked No.1 in the football category of Apple Podcasts in eight countries: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi, Tunisia, and the UAE, as well as holding the No.1 position in the general Sports category in Oman, Qatar, and Tunisia. In Yemen and Bahrain, “Legends” is respectively the second-most and fourth-most downloaded football podcast, while it ranks No.12 in Russia.Noting the high demand for their engaging podcasts, beIN launched a third audio offering on 27 March. The twice-weekly Podcast with Ayman Jada is an open space for the renowned beIN SPORTS presenter to discuss and debate all the hot topics surrounding global football, from specific matches, to teams, new rules, competitions, and crises in certain leagues. The most recent episode, published on 11 April, featuring Haytham Farouk and Tareq Al-Jalahma, explored the current situation of Liverpool FC and their Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah. Other beIN talent that make guest appearances include Wael Gomaa, Tarek Dhiab, Mubarak Mostafa and Abdulaziz Al-Sulaiti.Podcast with Ayman Jada is currently the most-downloaded football show on Apple Podcasts in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi, Tunisia, and the UAE, as well as ranking No.5 in Malaysia, No.9 in the Netherlands, No.16 in Sweden, and No.17 in France.Faisal Mahmoud Al-Raisi, Director of Digital, beIN MENA, said: “beIN SPORTS has long provided high-quality, award-winning visual content to our customers, yet it was somewhat of a new experience entering the world of podcast publishing last November. The reception those first World Cup™ shows received was fantastic and has ultimately led us to launch these two new shows. There is clearly a huge demand for insightful sports opinion and localised football analysis, delivered in podcast format in the Arabic language. We are excited to roll out a host of podcasts in the near future.”All 30-minute episodes of Legends and Podcast with Ayman Jada, as well as the 13 episodes of From the Heart of the World Cup™ can be downloaded for free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

CRYPTOVSUMMIT to highlight latest developments in the cryptocurrency industry

Dubai: CRYPTOVSUMMIT, the premier conference for the cryptocurrency industry, is set to take place on May 10th, 2023, at the Address Dubai Mall Hotel. The event will bring together industry leaders, innovators, investors, and policymakers to discuss the latest developments and opportunities in the rapidly evolving world of cryptocurrency. With the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms and the increased adoption of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, the industry has experienced unprecedented growth and innovation over the past year. At CRYPTOVSUMMIT, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from experts on the current state of the industry and the trends that are shaping its future. Keynote speakers will include industry leaders, such as Veiko Krunberg, the CMO of Riddec, and Dr. Zayed Al Hemairy, the UAE’s leading advisor on Blockchain for Gov. sectors. In addition, the event will feature a panel discussion on the impact of regulation on the industry, with policymakers and industry leaders sharing their insights on the best practices for navigating the changing regulatory landscape. As part of the event, attendees will have the opportunity to network with fellow industry professionals, explore the latest products and services from leading companies, and participate in workshops and training sessions on the latest technologies and trends. “We are excited to bring together the best and brightest in the cryptocurrency industry for CRYPTOVSUMMIT,” said the event organizer. “With the industry experiencing unprecedented growth and innovation, this is the perfect opportunity for attendees to learn from industry leaders, network with peers, and explore the latest technologies and trends.” Registration for CRYPTOVSUMMIT is now open, and limited seats are available due to the invite only policy. For more information on the event and to register, visit the CRYPTOVSUMMIT website

UAE ranks 10th globally in Nation Brand Strength index

Dubai: The UAE has preserved its global leadership in the Nation Brand Performance Index, maintaining the first place globally for the second year in a row. The UAE ranked 10th globally in Nation Brand Strength index and 16th globally and 1st in MENA in Nation Brand Value index.Issued by the world's leading brand valuation consultancy "Brand Finance", the index surveyed more than 100,000 people from 121 countries.His Excellency Saeed Al Eter, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic project, Chairman of the UAE Government Media Office, said that the development of the UAE is always supported by a strong and established global brand identity that reflects that ambitions of our leadership, to reach the top in all indicators.His Excellency added: “The UAE’s soft power consolidates the country’s leading position in various fields and sectors, including economy, space, tourism, advanced technology and culture.”Saeed Al Eter noted that the UAE’s leading position in the indices of the Brand Finance Report 2023, comes after surveying opinions of over 100,000 people from 121 countries.Nation Brand PerformanceThe UAE ranked first globally in Nation Brand Performance for the second year in a row, achieving 83.5 points. Many reasons stand behind the UAE achievement, including its strategic location as a destination linking Asia, Europe and Africa, its strong financial solvency, and its continued success in implementing economic diversification policies.UAE ranks 10th globally in Nation Brand StrengthThe UAE ranked 10th in the Nation Brand Strength scoring 78.4 points out of 100. This was supported by the growth of its soft power at the global and regional levels, especially after its remarkable performance in the fields of international relations and good governance.The strong economic performance in all sectors contributed to the UAE's attainment of advanced ranks in main and sub-indicators, as the gross domestic product (GDP) continues to grow in 2022, in addition to high foreign trade volume. The country's ability to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) from many countries of the world has also increased.Nation Brand ValueThe UAE ranked 16th globally and 1st in MENA region in the Nation Brand Value index. The UAE enhanced its position as and most valuable country brand in MENA in 2023 with a Nation Brand Value worth AED3.540 trillion ($957 billion).The strong performance of the UAE economy during the last period contributed to the increase of the Nation Brand Value, especially with the projections of the UAE Central Bank that the economic growth rate for the year 2022 will reach 7.6%, the highest in more than a decade.The various oil and non-oil economic sectors have also achieved strong performance during the past year, especially the tourism and hospitality, real estate, transportation, and industry sectors, in addition to the large number of encouraging legislations to promote sustainable growth.

How female leaders are set to take 30% of the MENA tech industry

Dubai: The tech industry has traditionally been male-dominated, but in recent years, women have been increasingly making their mark in the sector, particularly in the field of technology. The MENA region, in particular, has seen a rise in the number of women taking on leadership roles in real estate tech companies, paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive industry.According to a report by McKinsey, gender-diverse companies are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability compared to their peers. This suggests that the rise of women leaders in the real estate tech industry could have significant economic benefits for the MENA region.One such leader is Anastasia Denisova is the CEO of Realiste MENA, a proptech startup based in Dubai that uses artificial intelligence to digitize global housing markets and make them more efficient, transparent, and attractive to property investors. Realiste MENA covers 20 cities worldwide, including Dubai, New York, London, and Riyadh, and aims to expand its presence to over 30 additional cities by the end of 2023. Under Anastasia's leadership, Realiste MENA has integrated with 27 real estate developers in Dubai, attracted more than 50,000 users, and increased monthly revenue in Dubai from zero to $1M by the end of 2022.“I believe that the greatest contribution was made by educational institutions. Many countries in the region invest in education and provide better access to technology-related fields, resulting in women graduating with engineering degrees at higher rates than more technologically advanced countries such as the US, the UK, and Japan. In some Gulf states, more than half of engineering students are female.Overall, women in the MENA countries comprise nearly half, and sometimes more, of STEM students at the university level. Eleven of the 18 Arab states have a majority of female science graduates. This trend has resulted in women playing a significant role in high-profile tech projects in the region, such as the UAE's Mars Hope probe, where women made up 80% of the scientists involved.I have also observed that women who have accomplished notable feats in the business field become role models for others and provide support to the women's community. Our advisory board includes several individuals who serve as such examples. One such person is Aisha Bin Bishr, Vice Chairwoman at Emaar Development, who was recently recognized by Forbes Middle East as one of the 100 Most Powerful Businesswomen of 2023. Another exceptional role model is Fatima Al Jaber, who serves as a Board member and Head of the Projects Committee at Al Jaber Group, one of the Middle East's most prominent construction and infrastructure companies.”, Anastasia Denisova says.Anastasia's success is a testament to the crucial role that women play in MENA's real estate technology industry. Women are driving innovation and progress in the region, from startups like Realiste MENA to established companies like Emaar, which is led by Aisha Bin Bishr, Vice Chairwoman of the Board. The MENA region has long been known for its conservative attitudes towards women in the workplace, but the growing number of female leaders in the real estate technology industry is helping to break down these barriers and create new opportunities for women . Anastasia believes that women may make up to 30% of the tech industry in the MENA region by 2030.Women are breaking down barriers in the real estate tech industry and inspiring a new generation of female entrepreneurs to pursue careers in the field. According to a report by the Dubai Future Foundation, women now make up 45% of the UAE's startup workforce, a significant increase from just a few years ago.It is clear that women are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the future of the MENA real estate tech industry. By promoting gender diversity and inclusion, these women leaders are not only paving the way for future generations but also contributing to the economic growth and success of the region as a whole.

UK datacenter and cloud specialist XDS sets up office in Dubai

Dubai: XTREME DB SYSTEMS (XDS) are currently engaged with financial services in the UAE supporting customers to reimagine their datacenter and support the drive to a new colocation or deploy to Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services.   Speaking to CEO’s in the UAE its become clear the key driver to maintain competitive advantages are instant provisioning and fast go to market.   This is no longer possible with on-premise datacenters.XTREME DB SYSTEMS chose Equinix based at the Dubai Production Zone for datacenter colocation with dedicated connections to Microsoft Azure & Amazon Web Services.  As enterprise infrastructure moves toward cloud distributed application delivery, the datacenter itself is being transformed. C-Level executives must transition to a hybrid model mindset where the presence of an on-premises datacenter is no longer the primary driver for infrastructure decisions.   Growth is typically an exciting moment for an organization that brings with it new customers, new innovations, and new opportunities. In most cases, however, rapid growth can also expose critical shortcomings in on-premises infrastructure. The tech stack that served a company well during the early phases of the business is seldom capable of carrying it to the next level of success. If the right steps are not taken quickly to help the organization scale more effectively, it could find that growth becomes a non-existing exercise.On-premises datacenters may have once been the standard means of deploying IT resources and applications, but today’s companies have a much wider range of options available to them. Colocation datacenters and public cloud platforms are a compelling alternative for organizations that lack the capital resources to build and maintain their own facilities. Even larger enterprises that have long operated an on-premise datacenter are turning to other options.XTREME DB SYSTEMS not only support datacenter transformation but also database and operating system upgrades.  Most customers either manage Oracle, SAP-Sybase or MS-SQL database environments which requires dedicated database administrators to manage data workloads, optimization, weekend maintenance and software upgrades.  All three database vendors will send end of life notifications however organizations sweat out the current version which has now become security debt.  This impacts internal & external audits in particular if your trading in financial services.Predictions and strategic planning assumptions -By 2025, 40% of newly procured premises-based compute and storage will be consumed as a service, up from less than 10% in 2021.By 2025, 70% of organizations will implement structured infrastructure automation to deliver flexibility and efficiency, up from 20% in 2021.XTREME DB SYSTEMS are offering all customers in the UAE a free on-premise survey and migration report.

Amer El Hajj joins GroupM as MENA CEO

DUBAI: Amer El Hajj has joined GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, as MENA CEO.El Hajj will be leading GroupM’s operations in the MENA region, while serving at the company's MENA Executive Committee. He succeeds Ravi Rao. With over two decades of experience in the media and advertising industry, El Hajj brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new role at GroupM. He has held senior leadership positions across the MENA region, including as the Chief Investment Officer for Publicis Media. El Hajj will be in charge of strategy and operations across the region for GroupM and its agencies Wavemaker, Mindshare, EssenceMediacom and mSix&Partners along with its cross-channel organisation GroupM Nexus.Josh Krichefski, GroupM EMEA and UK CEO, said: “MENA is one of the key areas of focus and opportunity for us across EMEA, a region containing significant individual market nuance. Amer’s proven track record of revenue growth, team upskilling and business transformation over such an impressive career in market aligns well with our business goals for the MENA region as well as EMEA as a whole. He’ll play a critical role in helping our clients achieve the business growth goals they are looking for and we’re excited to have him join us.”Amer El Hajj said: “When you think of what the next era of media looks like, there’s no better place to help shape that than at GroupM. I’m really looking forward to working with Josh, his team and our leadership throughout MENA to introduce our business strategies and simplified offerings across our agencies, GroupM Nexus and Choreograph to our clients to help them achieve the sustained business growth they expect from us.”

The Ramadan Shift: How millennials experience Ramadan in the digital age

As the world becomes more digital and social, pressure to "keep up" and economic uncertainty affect how Ramadan is experienced, especially for millennials, according to the latest study by Sila Insights, a Dubai-based consumer intelligence company powered by its unique Arabic-native AI.The study, titled The Ramadan Shift, analyses how Ramadan in recent times has shifted between Gen-Z and millennials. Sila understook this study by taking Arabic-only Tweets, Instagram and TikTok from the MENA region (and worldwide to include all Arab diaspora) that include the word ‘Ramadan’.Content is also being consumed differently now, leading to a more personalised Ramadan, one that is increasingly less homogenous, and more reflective of a rapidly changing society."At the midpoint of Ramadan we see that the Arab youth, particularly in KSA and the UAE are having a shift in experience. Despite this change, the Holy Month retains its spiritual element, but in a more modern context," says the report. Another interesting finding in the study is that budgetary worries are high for millennials and above. While older generations focus on money, there’s a yearning for simplicity and back to tradition for younger generations, even though they are disrupting the most traditional aspects of Ramadan. Financial pressures about Ramadan are evident among older generations - pressures around having to provide, eat out, gifting (a rising occasion) and higher prices are leading to more and more concerns.What’s interesting is the pressures of giving also weigh heavily on the budget considerations of those in the giving season. The study has found that 79% of 30-40 year olds are worried about the financial impact of Ramadan. Another important finding is that in the UAE and KSA, youth prefer TikTok to TV. Spirituality and the pastThe research by Sila challenges the well-trodden trope by every older generation that the younger generations have it ‘easy’. The findings indicate this is not true. Despite this, large scale behaviour patterns don’t change, but the context does. But belief systems are still incredibly strong, staying true to the core of Ramadan’s meaning.When examining core topics associated with Ramadan, the strongest topic is the spiritual connection that Gen Z and millennials feel towards the Holy Month. Not only is entertainment, family and feasts part of the popular discourse, but so are Ramadan-focused activities. Sila’s research shows that in fact, the strongest connection is still with the spiritual connection with the observance of Ramadan. Hope is the strongest theme for spiritual connection. Mostly this relates to the problems of the last few years, and that the hope is that these problems will soon be behind them.Religious obligations, such as the Islamic prayers, and other religious obligations are also top of mind during the Holy Month. This includes the five daily prayers and the growing importance of those, such as Fajr. There is a large segment that is focused on charity, of which most are donations reflecting the want of giving during Ramadan to do better.Gen Z have a strong nostalgia for the past, especially when compared to millennials, says the study. There’s an authenticity missing from the younger experiences of Ramadan. A sense of community and authenticity is missing, which they feel is absent in their experiences, especially compared to their broader families’ memories. While nostalgia is always a strong topic in studies, its remarkable the difference here for a yearning for simpler times.  The Ramadan Shift: How millennials experience Ramadan in the digital age.As the world becomes more digital and social, pressure to "keep up" and economic uncertainty affect how Ramadan is experienced, especially for millennials, according to the latest study by Sila Insights, a Dubai-based consumer intelligence company powered by its unique Arabic-native AI.The study, titled The Ramadan Shift, analyses how Ramadan in recent times has shifted between Gen-Z and millennials. Sila understook this study by taking Arabic-only Tweets, Instagram and TikTok from the MENA region (and worldwide to include all Arab diaspora) that include the word ‘Ramadan’.Content is also being consumed differently now, leading to a more personalised Ramadan, one that is increasingly less homogenous, and more reflective of a rapidly changing society."At the midpoint of Ramadan we see that the Arab youth, particularly in KSA and the UAE are having a shift in experience. Despite this change, the Holy Month retains its spiritual element, but in a more modern context," says the report. Another interesting finding in the study is that budgetary worries are high for millennials and above. While older generations focus on money, there’s a yearning for simplicity and back to tradition for younger generations, even though they are disrupting the most traditional aspects of Ramadan. Financial pressures about Ramadan are evident among older generations - pressures around having to provide, eat out, gifting (a rising occasion) and higher prices are leading to more and more concerns.What’s interesting is the pressures of giving also weigh heavily on the budget considerations of those in the giving season. The study has found that 79% of 30-40 year olds are worried about the financial impact of Ramadan. Another important finding is that in the UAE and KSA, youth prefer TikTok to TV. Spirituality and the pastThe research by Sila challenges the well-trodden trope by every older generation that the younger generations have it ‘easy’. The findings indicate this is not true. Despite this, large scale behaviour patterns don’t change, but the context does. But belief systems are still incredibly strong, staying true to the core of Ramadan’s meaning.When examining core topics associated with Ramadan, the strongest topic is the spiritual connection that Gen Z and millennials feel towards the Holy Month. Not only is entertainment, family and feasts part of the popular discourse, but so are Ramadan-focused activities. Sila’s research shows that in fact, the strongest connection is still with the spiritual connection with the observance of Ramadan. Hope is the strongest theme for spiritual connection. Mostly this relates to the problems of the last few years, and that the hope is that these problems will soon be behind them.Religious obligations, such as the Islamic prayers, and other religious obligations are also top of mind during the Holy Month. This includes the five daily prayers and the growing importance of those, such as Fajr. There is a large segment that is focused on charity, of which most are donations reflecting the want of giving during Ramadan to do better.Gen Z have a strong nostalgia for the past, especially when compared to millennials, says the study. There’s an authenticity missing from the younger experiences of Ramadan. A sense of community and authenticity is missing, which they feel is absent in their experiences, especially compared to their broader families’ memories. While nostalgia is always a strong topic in studies, its remarkable the difference here for a yearning for simpler times

UAE's digital marketing trailblazers honored at DIGIXX Summit & Awards 2023

UAE: Emerged as a hub for digital marketing excellence, and the winners of the DIGIXX Summit & Awards 2023 from the region have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their respective fields. These winners have successfully navigated the rapidly evolving digital landscape to deliver innovative campaigns, creative content and exceptional results. With their exceptional digital marketing skills, they have not only elevated their own brands, but also set a benchmark for the industry as a whole. The DIGIXX Summit and Awards 2023 celebrates the achievements of these inspiring winners and recognizes their contributions towards shaping the future of digital marketing in the UAE.Congratulations to all the winners of the DIGIXX Summit & Awards in the UAE. Your exceptional achievements in digital marketing are truly inspiring!Gagan Uppal, Country Head, MENA, said: "I am really thrilled that the innovation and remarkable brand outcomes for our client, Myco, have been recognized through this award. We strategically leverage our expertise to create a campaign for Myco that resonated with their target audience for the campaign-Watch & Earn with MyCo."<img src='\55668ca717a0baf430515b7e4b38a0f0' class='content_image'>

Beyon Connect and B2Brouter partner

MENA: Beyon Connect, part of the Beyon Group, has announced a strategic partnership with B2Brouter, a prominent global player in the e-Invoicing market. The purpose of the partnership is to provide an e-Invoicing platform and technology services to small and medium sized companies in the MENA region, where e-Invoicing is set to become mandatory in many countries.Beyon Connect is planning to launch OneExpress in the coming months to provide businesses with access to cutting-edge e-Invoicing technology and support services. This will support organisations with complying with regulations, while optimizing their invoicing processes and reducing costs.B2Brouter is well established in Europe and Asia, with over 150,000 customers using its easy-to-use e-Invoicing solutions to streamline their invoicing and e-commerce processes. By partnering with Beyon Connect, B2Brouter will bring its expertise and established platform to the GCC and MENA regions, which represent a huge potential market for e-Invoicing services as the tax and e-Invoicing regulations in the region align with global standards and frameworks, such as Peppol.Beyon Connect CEO Christian Rasmussen commented on the partnership saying, "We are excited to partner with B2Brouter enabling us to bring our e-invoicing platform OneExpress powered by B2Brouter’s established technologies, to the MENA region.”"Our goal is to help businesses in the region grow and thrive both locally and globally, and the potential synergy between OneExpress and our trusted OneID and OneBox platforms will allow secure communication of critical eDocuments with verified entities.""We are thrilled to partner with Beyon Connect to bring our e-Invoicing solutions to the MENA region," said Oriol Bausa Peris, CEO of B2Brouter. "Our partnership will enable us to expand our reach and help more businesses streamline their invoicing processes, increase efficiency, whilst remaining compliant with the relevant regulations and global standards."

Netflix releases trailer of Saudi psychological thriller The Matchmaker

Riyadh: Netflix has opened the door to the mysterious, atmospheric and eerie world of The Matchmaker, with the latest release of the film's trailer. From the modern present day office setting to the ancient UNESCO World Heritage site of AlUla, The Matchmaker is one of the first psychological thrillers from Saudi Arabia and is filled with suspense moments that will leave you captivated. The Matchmaker follows Tarek (Hussam Alharthy), an IT professional who develops a passionate crush on the attractive intern working for him (Nour Alkhadra). He trails her to a strangely haunted desert resort where a matchmaker (Reem Alhabib) promises to pair visitors with their ideal bride. But when Tarek leaves the resort’s boundaries, he unearths a long-forgotten grudge.Director Abdulmohsin Aldabaan said: “I grew up hearing stories about both the supernatural and human stories of love and revenge, and I wanted to bring these together in The Matchmaker, set against the stunning backdrop of the ancient world of AlUla. I am excited that we were able to explore the relatively new genre of psychological thrillers from Saudi Arabia, following the complex emotions of the characters as they embark on a thrilling journey. I look forward to the audience’s reaction to this film that blends the modern and ancient world in a way that is distinctly Saudi.” The Matchmaker is produced by the creative minds at Telfaz11 and directed by Abdulmohsin Aldabaan and launches exclusively on Netflix on April 27, 2023.

Oliver Norman joins Veritas as VP of Channel & Alliances

DUBAI : Veritas Technologies, the leader in secure multi-cloud data management, today announced that Oliver Norman has joined the company as VP of Channel & Alliances, EMEAI. In this role, Oliver will develop and execute a growth-oriented channel strategy that will help to build on the company’s leading position in business and cloud resiliency. He will report to Mike Walkey, Senior Vice President, Global Channel and Alliance at Veritas and will be part of the Veritas International Leadership Team.Oliver will work with partners to mutually grow channel revenues and drive momentum. He will make it his priority to build knowledge, capabilities, and communication that bring value to partners as more of their customers’ businesses and operations shift to complex multi-cloud environments.Oliver is a proven technology leader with decades of international sales experience. Most recently, he served as Area Vice President for BMC Software – which helps customers run and reinvent their businesses with open, scalable, and modular solutions to complex IT problems – where he headed up the channel sales function for EMEA. Prior to this, he worked at Morse, a consulting, IT services and technology company, with proven expertise in business applications services and infrastructure services and technology. Mike Walkey, Senior Vice President, Global Channel and Alliance at Veritas, said:“This hire reflects our continued commitment to the channel. Oliver’s knowledge and ability to take a holistic view of our channel business across the EMEAI region will bring great value to our company and our customers. We look forward to him continuing the growth acceleration across our partner ecosystem and driving innovation within our business model. He will also play an integral role in continuing to build and grow a world class channel go-to-market strategy and partner programme for our business.”Mark Nutt, Senior Vice President, International Sales at Veritas, said:“Oliver is a fantastic addition to our leadership team and the best choice to lead the expansion and deepening of Veritas’ partner ecosystem. Oliver has a wealth of enterprise sales experience which will be a tremendous asset to both Veritas and our partners. His background as an accomplished IT transformation leader and strategist is a powerful strength that he brings to our executive team.”  Oliver Norman, VP Sales International EMEA Channel & Alliances at Veritas, said:“Veritas is recognised as the industry leader in business resiliency and data management and is well positioned to help enterprise customers address some of the biggest challenges and complexities they face today as the march to the cloud continues at pace. I am looking forward to working with our channel partners, advancing Veritas’ position as the vendor partner of choice in cloud resiliency and multi-cloud data management.”Outside of work, Oliver loves sport and has previously run for Great Britain, and all three of his children have represented England; his wife Diana is a World Record holder for the track-and-field pentathlon.

MENA Young Lions Competition 2023 - Winners announced

Dubai: The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is pleased to announce that Gambit Communications’ Judy Bakieh and Sarah Alsalem have won the MENA Young Lions Competition 2023 for their #WalkInTheirShoes campaign. The star duo will go on to represent the MENA at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.Responding to a brief set by Gulf for Good, Judy Bakieh and Sarah Alsalem beat a field of 13 teams. Each team had 24 hours to create a campaign that would help Gulf for Good to promote its fundraising platform across the UAE to generate funds for its global work.  Lana Alrichan, the Marketing Director on the Board of Gulf for Good, commented:"At Gulf for Good, we always welcome a challenge, and this competition has allowed us to showcase the exceptional talent of the region's youth. We are truly humbled to have received an overwhelming number of heart-warming submissions that provide valuable insight for us to further our mission of improving the lives of children around the world. It's an honour to have had the opportunity to review such inspiring work and we can't wait to see the positive impact that our chosen winner will create in both the Young Lions competition and the wider world." PRCA’s Head of EMEA, Monika Fourneaux MPRCA said:“PRCA is very pleased to be Young Lions representatives in the MENA region for the PR Competition. All competing teams have done an amazing job. The range of creative campaigns goes to show the amazing diversity of young talent in our region. Congratulations to Judy and Sarah for their successful achievement and we wish them well in Cannes. Thank you all for your participation and we hope to see you next year.”

Prism Digital launches a new e-commerce website for Neo Front Furniture

Dubai : Headquartered in China, Neo Front Furniture, a leader in sustainable furniture production, hired a Dubai-based full-service digital marketing company to design a completely new mobile-first e-commerce website.Prism has built the bespoke e-commerce website on WordPress with WhatsApp as the primary lead generation module. The multi-device responsive website also has cross-browser compatibility ranking the current score of the website at an A grade. In addition, the home furniture and office furniture products are showcased in a way that will gauge the consumer's purchase intent providing a simple 2-Step gateway for customers to like and buy their furniture of choice.Commenting on their partnership with Prism Digital, WEI YUAN, Managing Director of Neo Front Furniture, said, “It has been an amazing experience working with Prism. From the design to the execution, everything was done systematically and with our complete approval. As a result, the website was built and launched even before the deadline. We will also work with Prism for all our digital marketing campaigns and SEO projects to ensure we generate the number of leads we require to grow our business.”  Speaking on the website launch, Mr. Lovetto Nazareth, Managing Director, Prism Digital, commented, “To achieve the business and design objectives for Neo Front Furniture, we recognized the need for a custom-made clutter-free website that is easy to navigate, slick and speed bound. In addition, we understand the modern-day dynamics of customer demand for an enhanced user experience, ranking high on the search engine with SEO-optimized content driving substantial organic traffic. Given our extensive work tailoring website development requirements, we look forward to adding strategic value to Neo Front Furniture’s vision. Neo Front Furniture has been an official distributor and supplier of SAOSEN in GCC since 2007 and endeavors to introduce product quality enhancement and design innovation from China. The Neo Front Furniture website has been designed to make the shopping experience as smooth, easy, and secure as possible. Furthermore, Prism has ensured that the website will generate as many leads as possible because the entire website works as a lead-generation funnel. This latest innovation by Prism ensures that all the websites we build work as a click funnel, driving and converting leads completely automatedly.

Batelco launches OneOffice solution

Dubai : Manama, Bahrain: Batelco, part of the Beyon Group, launched Batelco OneOffice, a cloud-based suite that includes essential productivity tools to support the needs of a busy office team, through a secure, easy-to-use and cost-effective platform.                 Batelco OneOffice offers online apps such as document editing and sharing, project management, secure email, real-time video calls and team chats. It also features live collaboration with team members and partners, as well as next-generation AI tools to streamline daily operations for businesses. Furthermore, a key differentiator is that each business will benefit from having a separate application sandbox, which means that they will have their own dedicated and independent storage on the cloud platform. Customers will have access to features and functionalities similar to any other online collaboration tool, but at an affordable price with higher security.Two competitively priced packages are available, basic and advance, with the advance package including additional benefits such as automated backups, long-term data retention, and 1TB cloud storage. By using Batelco OneOffice, customers can secure and access their data anywhere, optimize operations, while simultaneously reducing costs and improving communications.Batelco General Manager Enterprise, Abdulla Danesh said, “We are delighted to introduce Batelco OneOffice productivity suite, as we continually look for opportunities to expand our support towards the SME sector and diversify our product portfolio to cater to the different needs of their businesses.”“Batelco OneOffice is a highly secure platform that includes integral applications and tools for all types of businesses. The solution was designed to support businesses to run smoothly with more efficient operations at a great price point. Businesses, regardless of size, can excel by using modern-day digital tools, and here at Batelco we strive to provide just that,” Mr. Danesh added

KMEG partners with Saudi SMEs for global tech innovator

RIYADH: KPMG in Saudi Arabia has partnered with the General Authority for SMEs (Monsha’at) as it launches the third annual Global Tech Innovator (GTI) competition. This competition is set out to recognize leading tech innovators in the Kingdom, allow them to pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges, enable them to get global exposure and the chance to pitch against tech innovators across the globe.The winner of the finals in Saudi Arabia will get the chance to compete against the winners from more than 25 countries present at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.The partnership between the two organizations reflects KPMG's commitment to supporting the development of Saudi Arabia's innovation ecosystem, and Monsha’at's dedication to fostering the growth of the country's start-ups and entrepreneurs.“This competition comes as part of our global strategy to empower and support entrepreneurs and technology pioneers to scale their ideas and innovations into success stories,” commented Khalil Ibrahim Al Sedais, Regional Managing Partner – Riyadh at KPMG in Saudi Arabia. “We are proud to partner with Monsha’at as this really helps to spread the word among the entrepreneurial community for entrepreneurs to apply to our competition and put our Saudi startups in the spotlight.”Saud Alsabhan, Vice Governor, Entrepreneurship at Monsha’at, commented: “We are happy to see initiatives launched by the private sector that support and help develop our entrepreneurial ecosystem. The partnership is very much aligned with Vision 2030, which aims to support entrepreneurship and innovation in the Kingdom and will leverage the expertise and resources of both organizations to provide aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups with the right exposure, guidance and mentorship.”The competition is now open and the last date for submitting the online application form is 30 June 2023. Local finals will be held on 30 August in KPMG’s Insights Center in its Riyadh head office in front of a panel of judges that will be announced over the coming months.In 2022, OTO, a provider of innovative e-commerce delivery management technologies, won the second GTI competition in Saudi Arabia.“Regardless of whether a business is a pure technology company, tech-enabled, tech-led, or tech-driven, we acknowledge the potential of these entities to shape the future. With the GTI initiative, we invite entrepreneurs to showcase and pitch their ideas, opening doors to becoming tomorrow's success story,” according to Dr. Samer Abdallah, Head of ICT Sector at KPMG in Saudi Arabia and a judge on the panel."Each pitching competition will be judged by a panel consisting of investors, industry experts, entrepreneurs and KPMG professionals, who will assign a score to each application based on six equally weighted criteria. These criteria include disruption and innovation, market potential, customer adoption, market traction and marketing, long-term potential, and pitch quality.”Start-ups with a foundation in tech and strong societal impact are especially invited to participate. In 2022, HiiROC, the UK-based start-up and developer of a system to produce low-cost, zero-emission hydrogen, was crowned the global GIT winner. They managed to win and overcome fierce competition from over 1,100 applicants across 22 countries and jurisdictions during the national stages.The countries/regions/jurisdictions participating in the 2023 competition include Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.

Digital Qube launches

UAE: Digital marketing company Digital Qube launches from its new office in Yas Creative Hub in Abu Dhabi.Yas Island has become a global destination, with US actor Kevin Hart appointed as Chief Island Officer reflecting the fast-growing global interest in the entertainment island of Abu Dhabi and the Middle East. With many new, exciting projects being built on the island, from SeaWorld to stunning sea view property developments, Yas Island is fast becoming a household name on the international map.CEO of Digital Qube, said, “We are excited to be growing our digital marketing business from our new base in Yas Creative Hub. Opening our new offices here is in line with our vision to assist companies in Abu Dhabi and the world to run entire digital programmes from start to end.”Set up by one of Abu Dhabi’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs <2>, Digital Qube offers clients a suite of digital services, including digital transformation, talent management, and training in digital marketing for individuals and businesses. This expansion complements the existing services of digital marketing strategy, branding, social media, website creation, content writing and PR.“Digital Qube is here to help Yas Island and the GCC expand, which is exciting,”“Our aim is simply to help our clients deliver projects swiftly in the digital world. At the heart of everything we do is a desire to create seamless and exceptional digital experiences for our customers and clients.”Brilliant marketing and outstanding digital capabilities are key to a flourishing, evolving business.Yet Arabian Business reported that “70 percent of business leaders in the Middle East said the shortage of essential digital skills is a business threat”.Therefore, Digital Qube is training and building a highly qualified team of experts.” Digital is no longer simply a department – it’s an entire operating system. We help companies harness their digital potential.”The team is currently working with some of the leading brands in the UAE as well as international names, SMEs and startups. Projects vary from designing new websites to creating dynamic new marketing or digital transformation strategies.“Our mantra is quality, agility and speed,” Rosie Seldon, CEO said. “Things move at breakneck pace in the digital world, and supporting the biggest brands is often a question of being faster and smarter; with the strongest teamwork, communications and project management skills. Solving problems is integral to what we do. We think of a business like a Rubix cube – manipulate one element, and it will change the structure on all sides. We assess a company’s digital processes from all angles to truly deliver digital transformation.”A certified Google trainer, Rosie Seldon worked in digital marketing for giants including HSBC and Lloyds Bank in London prior to moving to the UAE. The experience of working on million-dollar digital transformation projects in London highlighted the importance of creating a strong, positive digital experience for customers, building all-round strategies that deliver measurable results, and of creating a strong team that puts clients first.“Digital Qube is built on talented specialists working together as a team,” Rosie said. “It’s essential to me that clients find our team highly responsive, a joy to work with – and that we overcome the many challenges to get the projects delivered!”

Universities should embrace ChatGPT, not resist it, says AURAK study

Dubai : Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: ChatGPT and similar tools are here to stay, and it is futile to try to prevent their use. The best course of action is to guide university students to use such AI-enabled text-generation programs responsibly and ethically, according to an internal paper prepared by the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK).As ChatGPT and several newer AI writers are predicted to disrupt the academic world in particular, the study takes the sober view that it is best to embrace these tools and integrate them into teaching practices.The study acknowledges that ChatGPT poses a serious threat to academic integrity, but also underlines ChatGPT’s potential to be a helpful instructional tool under faculty supervision, with several do’s and don’ts.Prof. Stephen Wilhite, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success/ Provost, AURAK, said: “It is very obvious that ChatGPT and other AI writers are set to have a profound impact on higher education. But apart from the obvious negative aspects, AI writers also have some intrinsic positive elements which can be used effectively to students’ advantage. The challenge is to find a win-win solution.”In an experiment to assess the gravity of the situation, AURAK’s IT Department conducted an experiment. Staff members generated an essay on Climate Change using OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Then they ran a plagiarism test using the SafeAssign tool embedded in AURAK’s LMS Blackboard Learn. The result showed 25% of the essay content was copied or matched a source from the Internet. Further, test of demo version of GPT-2 Output Detector showed 100% match with ChatGPT produced content. However, detection of plagiarism was greatly reduced when ChatGPT content was paraphrased by Qillbot.The rising popularity of ChatGPT and other AI writers underlines the need to have supporting faculty to maintain academic integrity, while incorporating appropriate use of AI tools. According to Professor Stephen, there is a need to revise the Academic Integrity/Statement on Plagiarism sections of the syllabus template. He recommends universities make it explicit that use of information generated by ChatGPT and other AI writers without identifying the source of the information would constitute plagiarism, which is a violation of the Honor Code and the Student Academic Integrity Policy.Says Professor Stephen: “Anti-plagiarism software is not good at detecting ChatGPT-generated content. Providers of such software (e.g., SafeAssign, Turnitin, etc.) are endeavoring to improve detection. Also, ChatGPT has developed its own tool for detecting ChatGPT-generated content – GPT-2 Output Detector, and other ‘detectors’ are also being marketed (e.g., GPTZero). However, use of other paraphrasing software (e.g., Quillbot) greatly reduces detection of ChatGPT-generated content.”The AURAK study recommends changes in assignments and assessments in educational settings. For example, in written assignments, students could be asked to connect personal experience or events from the class to course concepts, as the AI writer does not have access to personal experiences or class events. They could be asked to pair short written submissions with oral, in-class questioning about the submission.Another recommendation is to have writing occur in-class with a zero tolerance policy for possession of any electronic devices during such writing exercises – “flipping” classes with reading, viewing of lectures, videos, etc., occurring at home but with writing about the material occurring in class.Further, if written assignments are to be completed outside class, universities should collect an in-class sample of students’ writing as a “baseline” against which written assignments completed outside class can be compared. However, AI writers will increasingly be able to mimic the writing style of users if provided with a sufficient sample of the user’s writing.The study recommends greater vigilance when it comes to examinations, such as having multiple, trained proctors present based on number of students being tested and having all electronic devices turned off and stored at entry to the exam room.Despite the challenges, there are positive educational benefits of ChatGPT – it can be used as a helpful instructional tool under faculty supervision and as a tool to promote information literacy. Graduates will increasingly be expected by employers to use AI writers in the workplace, so gaining familiarity with them and how to use them responsibly and ethically while in university, will better prepare students for their work after graduation.

Ramadan and Eid siscounts drive GCC shoppers to spend more

UAE: GIG Gulf, one of the largest insurance providers in the MENA region, has reported that despite intending to spend more this year compared to 2022, nearly 75% of GCC residents will postpone purchases to wait for special offers and promotions during Ramadan and Eid.The findings are based on two separate research pieces carried out to analyse consumer behaviour during the festive seasons of Ramadan and Eid. One study was commissioned by GIG Gulf and carried out by YouGov, a leading global market research and data analytics firm, while the other was commissioned by Toluna, a leading provider of market research and consumer insights.The research suggests that consumers are driven by inflation and a desire to 'make up for the pandemic years,' with nearly half of GCC residents expecting to pay more for Eid gifts than last year. A majority, however, will hold out for Ramadan in-store events and special offers before making their purchases. The data also reveals that thrifty motorists are likely to renew and pay earlier for insurance policies in exchange for Ramadan promotions.Interestingly, the studies highlight the value placed on love, education, and memories over material wealth by GCC residents. Six out of ten respondents prioritize their family, friends, and relationships over their health, home, or experiences. GIG Gulf's data suggests that while people plan to spend more on material goods this year, 40% would buy insurance for their love, education, and memories if they could. Moreover, 57% of respondents identified 'friends and family' as the most valuable aspect of their lives.The research also unveils how 53% of respondents enjoy pampering themselves with luxurious experiences during Ramadan. Despite this indulgence, many still prioritize protecting their loved ones and cherished possessions through insurance coverage. This sentiment reflects the importance of safeguarding valuable relationships and items against unforeseen circumstances.Caroline Bertrand, Chief HR and Marketing Officer, GIG Gulf said, “While insurance cannot protect the abstract concept of love, it can shield our loved ones from potential harm. For instance, home insurance can protect against legal liability for damages or accidental bodily injury to those we care about. Insuring what we love grants us a sense of freedom, enabling us to live in the moments that matter without worry or anxiety. During the holy month of Ramadan and Eid, when we want to be close to those we love, we can achieve peace of mind by protecting them from unforeseen circumstances.”The findings emphasize the desire to protect what matters most to people. When asked what they would choose to insure if possible, 54% would insure their love, 43% would insure their memories, and 34% would insure their passions. Those who opted for insurance coverage for their health or valuable possessions cited peace of mind and financial security as their motivations. Nearly half also acknowledged that insurance was a financially prudent decision in case of unexpected events.

Karaz Linen Partners With MoEngage

Riyadh: Karaz Linen, Saudi Arabia’s premium bedding and home products brand, has partnered with MoEngage, an insights-led customer engagement platform for engaging and retargeting customers.Founded in 2010, the bed and bath brand currently operates 24 stores across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Post providing an excellent in-store customer experience, Karaz Linen has also shifted its operations online.The brands plan to leverage MoEngage’s capabilities to collect data from its physical stores and online to provide a true omnichannel experience to its customers, which previously they were not able to achieve.“With presence across physical and online, we faced major challenges in collecting data under one place. Using MoEngage, we plan to curate all the data related to a customer to better personalize our offerings. Additionally, MoEngage will also help us in driving the communication”, said Abdulaziz Arjah, e-commerce Manager at Karaz Linen.Karaz Linen also plans to leverage the smart recommendations feature of MoEngage to understand the best time to send and the best channel to utilize for all the communications. Additionally, MoEngage will also assist Karaz Linen in understanding the customer journey flow and provide insights into the interaction that each customer is having, online and offline.Speaking about the partnership, Sweta Duseja, Director of Customer Success at MoEngage, said, “We are elated to welcome Karaz Linen as part of the MoEngage family. As a brand, Karaz Linen has always kept customers at heart and we are more than happy to support them in their journey of elevating customer experience and satisfaction”.Karaz Linen joins the growing list of 1200+ global companies across 35 countries, such as Azadea Group, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Landmark Group, Apparel Group, Airtel, Ola, Oyo, and Mashreq, that trust MoEngage to deliver a consistent experience across multiple devices and touchpoints.

The PR Academy MENA offers CIPR Specialist Diploma

DUBAI : The PR Academy MENA announced the first-ever CIPR Specialist Diploma in Sustainability Communication in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The program is designed to equip communication professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to tackle sustainability issues in business, government, and non-governmental organizations.Reem Masswadeh, Founder of PR Academy MENA said, "With COP28 and the UAE's Year of Climate Change, sustainability communication has taken on a new level of importance in the MENA region. It is more important than ever for communication professionals to be able to effectively communicate about sustainability issues. We are excited to offer this program to our students and to provide them with the practical skills and knowledge they need to become successful in the field of sustainability communication."The CIPR Specialist Diploma in Sustainability Communication is an in-depth, nine-month program that explores the ethical and strategic aspects of sustainability communication. It is designed to equip students with the latest theories and practices in the field, in addition to experiential learning opportunities. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of sustainability and sustainability communication and will be able to develop and implement effective communication plans.Dr Kevin Ruck, Co-founder, PR Academy in the UK said, "This new qualification will equip practitioners with the knowledge and tools to lead an organisation's strategic management of sustainability communication with confidence".The program is set to open in June and will be available in English for practitioners who have two years' broad communication management experience. You can enrol now and interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

NxtWave empowers next-generation Indian Tech innovators

In an endeavour to provide students with enhanced exposure to 4.0 technologies, and strengthen their resolve to build careers in these emerging technologies, NxtWave, an upskilling company, recently held a four-day 4.0 Tech Camp in Dubai, UAE for its students. 27 students were selected for the tech camp out of thousands across India who participated in the Fly High Challenge, a unique challenge that was designed by NxtWave for its students to recognise the next wave of technology leaders. The challenge assessed their coding skills and encouraged consistent learning among students to secure their seats for the tech camp.Speaking about the initiative, CEO of NxtWave, Rahul Attuluri said - “The 4.0 Tech Camp was designed to further encourage students and create an opportunity for them to explore newer forte of Technology. By participating in the event, students gained valuable insights into how the world of technology is evolving and how future careers are going to be shaped by this.”He added, “NxtWave has been extremely successful in creating job-ready tech professionals through its training programs. Over the last couple of years, 1250+ companies, from fast-growing startups to Fortune 500 giants have hired thousands of NxtWave learners. 4.0 Tech Camp is another step forward to provide industry-relevant exposure to Indian youth.”During their time in Dubai, the students visited Samsung Headquarters Gulf and Samsung SmartThings Home, an Ecosystem of Samsung devices that works together using IoT technology. Students got to know about Metaverse, Blockchain and Samsung’s work in these technologies and the opportunities that lie ahead from Mr. Alaa Alsweileh, Head of Digital, Gulf, Samsung Electronics. They participated in an engaging quiz later.The students also attended masterclasses where they learned from industry experts like Mr. Nikhil Nair, Consumer Business Leader of the Middle East, Turkey & Africa, HTC Vive; and Mr. Sonam Kaithan, a Fintech leader in UAE. During the interactions with experts, students learned how companies are shifting their businesses towards the metaverse, and about blockchain technology. They witnessed some cutting-edge projects happening at these companies and understood the vast career opportunities available to students who are skilled in these technologies.At the 4.0 Tech Camp, the students participated in a day-long hackathon where they exchanged and gained knowledge about ongoing digital transformation in India. They learned about inculcating an entrepreneurial mindset and creating solutions to the problems they face and turning them into ?businesses through value creation. After special sessions on how D2C companies are built using technology and case studies of successful tech companies, students participated in teams, and came up with innovative startup ideas. Using no-code tools, they got the website, product, and vision ready by the end of the hackathon.Speaking about her experience at 4.0 Tech Camp, Rashi Chauhan, 2nd year Engineering student from Noida said, ? "I learnt a lot about Artificial Intelligence, Metaverse, Blockchain, NFTs, Fintech and many more emerging technologies. While working as a team in a hackathon, I improved my communication and leadership skills. This tech camp pushed me out of my comfort zone and increased my awareness of these technologies drastically."Apart from the intense learning, the students also got the chance to explore engineering marvels in Dubai by visiting iconic places like the Dubai Mall, the Burj Khalifa, and the Dubai Frame. The city tour provided them with a glimpse of the rich cultural and technological landscape of Dubai. The event was a success and is expected to continue in the future, inspiring more students to become leaders in the field of 4.0 technologies.