Air India Express rebrands with X factor in livery & brand identity Air India

Air India Express, a brand of Tata Group, has unveiled a new livery and brand identity at a lavish event hosted at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The rebrand may be aimed towards bringing together the identities of Air India Express and AirAsia India. The latter of which was recently acquired by the Air India Group.Air India Express, which earlier had the motto ‘Simply pricless’, will now be ‘Fly as you are’, indicating the shift in the airline’s marketing from price-focused to more experiential and premium.Moreover, the airline’s branding debuted a fresh new aircraft in the fleet, the Boeing 737 MAX, which is a bold and major change. The airline’s new visual identity includes an energetic and premium colour palette of Express Orange and Express Turquoise, with Express Tangerine and Express Ice Blue as supporting colors. In its visual transformation, the airline also redesigned its livery, taking inspiration from Indian tie-dye technique called Bandhani. It is said that the airline will be incorporating other such textile patterns in its livery to showcase the country’s diversity.Campbell Wilson, Air India Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, also announced that “Air India Group will take delivery of one new aircraft every six days on an average till the end of 2024”.Aloke Singh, Managing Director of Air India Express, spoke about the rebranding, saying, "The integrated Air India Express-AirAsia India entity will operate as Air India Express, with a modern, refreshed branding, positioned as 'New India's Smart Connector”. Singh mentioned that sales, services, and distribution will now operate under the Air India Express branding. Additionally, he informed that the combined entity will roll out a new network covering domestic, Gulf, Middle East, and Southeast Asia regions.Air India Express has also unveiled a sleek and stylish new uniform for its cabin crew, embracing a fresh look that exudes elegance and professionalism. The primary colors of this attire are a captivating shade of Ice blue for the top, beautifully complemented by a sophisticated grey for the pants.

StickyGinger launches PUMA and Warehouse Gym partnership

Dubai-based Media and PR company StickyGinger has unveiled a comprehensive campaign to celebrate the official partnership between PUMA and Warehouse Gym. The campaign encompasses a cross-location branding strategy, a conceptual promotional film, and interactive consumer-facing activities.The unique co-branding system for this new partnership takes inspiration from the nine distinct Warehouse Gym locations scattered across Dubai. Each location mirrors the diverse landscape of the city while maintaining the unmistakable Warehouse Gym quality. This branding approach seeks to capture and reflect this uniqueness.To kick off the partnership in style, StickyGinger introduced an innovative retail activation concept, a first of its kind. The "Burn And Earn" event at Warehouse Gym encouraged people to sweat it out and earn PUMA Coins, lasting for just three days. Rooted in a blend of challenges, tangible rewards, and collaboration, this activation, known as "The WORK-SHOP," brought to life PUMA's commitment to being "FOREVER FASTER" and highlighted the shared journey of PUMA and Warehouse Gym. Participants were motivated to push their limits and surpass their personal bests.During the three-day activation, "The WORK-SHOP" drew over 600 participants who collectively burned an impressive 200,000+ kcals. As a result, they earned a significant number of PUMA Coins, which granted them exclusive rewards. These rewards included a signed Al Hilal shirt, an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the Al Hilal vs. Al Nassr match, a one-year membership for Warehouse Gym Al Quoz, and the latest apparel, accessories, and sneakers from PUMA.  Lucy Freeman, co-founder of StickyGinger, commented: “At StickyGinger, we pride ourselves on our ability to creatively fuse any brand’s identity and ethos into an innovative result driven and creative ideas. From the innovative branding approach to establish the partnership through design, to the consumer-facing WORK-SHOP concept, where we transformed fitness into a gamified experience, we looked to expand creative boundaries as well as showcase our capabilities as an agency in crafting comprehensive campaigns. We redefined the fitness landscape, offering a fresh perspective on wellness, highlighting the strength of inventive thinking in today’s evolving consumer landscape.”

Liminal Unveils Comprehensive Rebrand to Elevate Digital Asset Custody Services

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

Cannes Lions switch to Luxury & Lifestyle in place of Mobile

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will be launching the Luxury & Lifestyle Lions, and will discontinue with Mobile Lions.  The Luxury & Lifestyle Lion will provide a global benchmark for brands in the luxury space for recognising and celebrating the most impactful creative work experiences in the luxury and lifestyle sector.Simon Cook, CEO, LIONS, said: “When we introduce a Lion that reflects the needs of an industry sector, the Award is crafted in collaboration with the relevant industry. Our global committee of experts have advised us that this highly disrupted sector needs its own benchmark, so that we can move from driving awareness to recognising solutions that are changing business models and setting a new creative standard for a market in flux. The Luxury & Lifestyle Lions will recognise branded communications and solutions that drive business performance and brand loyalty.”“The luxury market has faced significant disruption in recent years, especially post-pandemic. A shift in consumer behaviour and an accelerated shift towards e-commerce and emerging technologies are just a few of the areas the market has had to navigate and innovate. Adding to this, is the changing values of new demographics, the evolving definition of luxury in non-Western markets and the need for a heightened focus on sustainability and conscious consumption," said Marian Brannelly, Global Director of Awards, LIONS.In WARC’s ‘Guide to luxury marketing in an era of change’, Euromonitor research cited shows that sales in the luxury category have bounced back post-Covid-19 and are expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2023 as China activity normalises. As cited on WARC, further research by Ipsos, shows that the global luxury market is changing bringing new opportunities and challenges. Commenting on the Award, Charles Georges-Picot, Global CEO at Marcel and Publicis Luxe, Global Client Lead, said: “At a time where the luxury sector must constantly reinvent, transform and honour brand heritage with a keen eye on the future, the introduction of a Luxury & Lifestyle Lions will help set a new creative benchmark for this highly disrupted and exciting sector. We know that creativity has the power to push boundaries and progress sectors and disciplines. We’re excited about a new industry standard that will redefine how we look at branded communications, business models and creative transformation in this dynamic space.”In other changes to the Lions, Brannelly commented: “It’s important that the Awards reflect the current landscape and pave the way forward, so as well as evolving the Lions, it’s equally important for us to retire Lions when necessary. In 2024, following consultation with our Juries, we will close the Mobile Lions. Mobile devices are embedded in work across every channel and discipline, and over the past number of years, mobile-led creativity has been expanding into almost every Lion.”

ADMO Lifestyle Holding expands global lifestyle portfolio with Em Sherif

In a strategic move to further solidify its global lifestyle presence, ADMO Lifestyle Holding (ADMO), the joint venture between Alpha Dhabi Holding PJSC (ADX: ALPHADHABI) and Monterock International Limited, has announced its acquisition of a stake, pending regulatory approvals, in the distinguished Lebanese fine dining brand, Em Sherif. This transaction follows a strategic investment in 2022 from Turmeric Capital, the specialist investor in global consumer brands founded by former LVMH Asia Head Ravi Thakran.; Turmeric Capital will remain a shareholder post completion of the transaction. This acquisition underscores ADMO’s unwavering commitment to diversifying its luxury, lifestyle, F&B, and entertainment portfolio. Em Sherif, renowned for its elegant Lebanese Mediterranean cuisine, has established a significant presence in regions including the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Cairo, Monaco at the Hotel De Paris, Qatar, and the iconic Harrods in London among many other cities. The brand, which epitomizes the rich culinary heritage of Lebanon, features prominent concepts such as Em Sherif Café, EM Sherif Restaurant, Em Sherif Sea Cafe, and the soon-to-launch Em Sherif Deli. Petros Stathis, Vice Chairman, ADMO, said: “This acquisition signifies more than just our vision of global expansion. By integrating Em Sherif into our portfolio, we’re not only diversifying but also emphasizing our dedication to fostering world-class lifestyle brands. Em Sherif, with its rich legacy and global acclaim, aligns seamlessly with our aspirations.” Dani Chakour, Chairman, Em Sherif, said: “Our partnership with ADMO marks a pivotal moment for Em Sherif. Leveraging the strengths of scaling luxury F&B brands, as we celebrate an important milestone in the wonderful journey of Em Sherif, we anticipate unprecedented growth. While we expand, our commitment to delivering the authentic essence of Lebanese hospitality remains unwavering. This collaboration promises to elevate the Em Sherif experience and broaden our global presence.”  Em Sherif, an acclaimed name in the culinary world, is charting an aggressive growth path with planned expansions in regions including the London, Greece, Paris, Casablanca, Marrakesh, Sao Paolo, Muscat and beyond. With trademarks registered in over 80 countries, the brand envisions inaugurating 68 outlets by 2027. Em Sherif’s expansion blueprint includes imminent openings in the GCC region. Currently operating 21 outlets through local operations in Lebanon and franchise partnerships, Em Sherif’s presence is felt in prestigious locations across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Monte-Carlo, London and more. Em Sherif’s prototype, ‘Em Sherif – Deli’, launched in Harrods London in January 2022, is poised for swift expansion across territories. The brand’s commitment to authenticity and excellence has garnered it numerous accolades, including a two-year consecutive ranking in the world’s 50 best restaurants MENA region, the “Art of Hospitality for Middle East & North Africa” award, and multiple recognitions as the best Lebanese Mediterranean restaurant in cities like Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Lebanon. This acquisition aligns with the UAE’s national tourism strategy, aiming to attract 40 million hotel guests by 2031 and secure Dh100 billion in tourism investments. As ADMO’s third deal since being established in 2022, this acquisition underscores the venture’s commitment to scaling its platform and integrating new brands.  ADMO seeks to explore a myriad of opportunities in the F&B sector, aspiring to be the partner of choice for leading lifestyle and F&B brands. This venture is a testament to their commitment to creating a world-leading platform of lifestyle, luxury, hospitality, and entertainment brands.

ADMO Lifestyle Holding Expands Global Lifestyle Portfolio

Abu Dhabi, UAE: In a strategic move to further solidify its global lifestyle presence, ADMO Lifestyle Holding (ADMO), the joint venture between Alpha Dhabi Holding PJSC (ADX: ALPHADHABI) and Monterock International Limited, has announced its acquisition of a stake, pending regulatory approvals, in the distinguished Lebanese fine dining brand, Em Sherif. This transaction follows a strategic investment in 2022 from Turmeric Capital, the specialist investor in global consumer brands founded by former LVMH Asia Head Ravi Thakran.; Turmeric Capital will remain a shareholder post completion of the transaction. This acquisition underscores ADMO’s unwavering commitment to diversifying its luxury, lifestyle, F&B, and entertainment portfolio. Em Sherif, renowned for its elegant Lebanese Mediterranean cuisine, has established a significant presence in regions including the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Cairo, Monaco at the Hotel De Paris, Qatar, and the iconic Harrods in London among many other cities. The brand, which epitomizes the rich culinary heritage of Lebanon, features prominent concepts such as Em Sherif Café, EM Sherif Restaurant, Em Sherif Sea Cafe, and the soon-to-launch Em Sherif Deli. Petros Stathis, Vice Chairman, ADMO, said: “This acquisition signifies more than just our vision of global expansion. By integrating Em Sherif into our portfolio, we’re not only diversifying but also emphasizing our dedication to fostering world-class lifestyle brands. Em Sherif, with its rich legacy and global acclaim, aligns seamlessly with our aspirations.” Dani Chakour, Chairman, Em Sherif, said: “Our partnership with ADMO marks a pivotal moment for Em Sherif. Leveraging the strengths of scaling luxury F&B brands, as we celebrate an important milestone in the wonderful journey of Em Sherif, we anticipate unprecedented growth. While we expand, our commitment to delivering the authentic essence of Lebanese hospitality remains unwavering. This collaboration promises to elevate the Em Sherif experience and broaden our global presence.” Em Sherif, an acclaimed name in the culinary world, is charting an aggressive growth path with planned expansions in regions including the London, Greece, Paris, Casablanca, Marrakesh, Sao Paolo, Muscat and beyond. With trademarks registered in over 80 countries, the brand envisions inaugurating 68 outlets by 2027. Em Sherif’s expansion blueprint includes imminent openings in the GCC region. Currently operating 21 outlets through local operations in Lebanon and franchise partnerships, Em Sherif’s presence is felt in prestigious locations across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Monte-Carlo, London and more. Em Sherif’s prototype, ‘Em Sherif – Deli’, launched in Harrods London in January 2022, is poised for swift expansion across territories. The brand’s commitment to authenticity and excellence has garnered it numerous accolades, including a two-year consecutive ranking in the world’s 50 best restaurants MENA region, the “Art of Hospitality for Middle East & North Africa” award, and multiple recognitions as the best Lebanese Mediterranean restaurant in cities like Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Lebanon. This acquisition aligns with the UAE’s national tourism strategy, aiming to attract 40 million hotel guests by 2031 and secure Dh100 billion in tourism investments. As ADMO’s third deal since being established in 2022, this acquisition underscores the venture’s commitment to scaling its platform and integrating new brands. ADMO seeks to explore a myriad of opportunities in the F&B sector, aspiring to be the partner of choice for leading lifestyle and F&B brands. This venture is a testament to their commitment to creating a world-leading platform of lifestyle, luxury, hospitality, and entertainment brands.

Sharjah Government explores Web 3.0, metaverse technologies

Sharjah: On its third day participating at GITEX Global 2023, the Sharjah Government Pavilion in the Arena Hall at the Dubai World Trade Centre continues to draw senior government officials, distinguished personalities, and enthusiastic members of the public, welcoming H.E. Sheikh Salem bin Abdulrahman Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Ruler's Office, H.E. Major General Saif Mohammad Al-Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, H.E. Mohamed Bin Taliah the Chief of Government Services of the UAE Government, H.E. Khaled Butti Al Muhairi, Chairman of the Department of Housing, H.E. Hamad Juma Al Shamsi, Head of the Department of Town Planning and Survey, H.E. Omar Khalfan Al Shamsi, Chairman of the Sharjah Human Resources Department, H.E. Dr. Sulaiman Abdullah Al Zaabi, Head of the Sharjah Municipalities Department, H.E. Ali Ahmed Abu Ghazin, Head of the Sharjah Fish Resources Authority, H.E. Dr. Sherzad Abdul Rahman Taher, Secretary General of the Holy Quran Academy, H.E. Issa Yousef, Director General of Sharjah Archeology Authority, and H.E. Ibrahim Al-Hosani, Director of the Department of Housing.Web 3.0, Metaverse, and BlockchainAs part of its participation, the pavilion witnessed the launch of the Department of Town Planning and Survey's groundbreaking project, ‘Digital Transformation Using Web 3.0 Technology,’ which utilises metaverse technology to educate citizens about the various virtual world services, including the land exchange service. This innovative service empowers citizens to list their lands, receive offers, and seamlessly complete all exchange transactions. Moreover, department employees can now conduct meetings and training sessions within virtual meetings and training rooms located within the same metaverse building. In addition to this, the department will soon incorporate blockchain technology into its web platform, harnessing the smart contracts feature.Cultural Heritage in the Virtual WorldIn line with Sharjah's ongoing commitment to provide educational and cultural content and promote awareness of cultural diversity on a local and global scale, the Sharjah Archaeology Authority introduced ‘Archaeology in the Metaverse,’ a pioneering regional initiative among cultural heritage institutions developed through the collaborative efforts of the ‘Archaeology Centre’ and the ‘Jabal Khatam Milaha Archaeological Trail.’ It offers a virtual representation of Sharjah's most significant archaeological treasures, many of which are included on UNESCO's preliminary list of World Heritage sites.This innovative platform grants a global audience the opportunity to virtually explore the emirate's archaeological sites, fostering interaction and dialogue with these historical landmarks while also allowing for physical visits. The project's significance lies in its focus on showcasing the emirate’s role in human civilization and cultural diversity, achieved through the integration of cutting-edge technologies. The Sharjah Archaeology Authority firmly believes that human cultural heritage serves as a bridge of communication connecting diverse cultures and peoples worldwide.SakaniThe presence of the metaverse in the Sharjah Government Pavilion gained additional momentum with the introduction of the ‘Sakani’ initiative developed by the Sharjah Housing Programme. This groundbreaking programme leverages cutting-edge virtual reality technologies to offer an immersive platform for Sharjah residents to explore and visualise approved designs within the Sharjah Housing Programme.Within this interactive virtual space, users can access a virtual reception hall to review the latest designs, select options that best suit their preferences and requirements, and seamlessly proceed with contractual procedures. Furthermore, the platform facilitates direct interaction with virtual reception service personnel, ensuring a streamlined and efficient user experience.In line with its commitment to fostering collaboration and synergy among all government entities, the Department of Housing in Sharjah has recently forged a partnership agreement with Al Etihad Credit Bureau, in the presence of H.E. Khaled Butti Al Muhairi, Chairman of the Department of Housing, Ebrahim Ahmed Al Zaabi. Chief Business Development Officer at Al Etihad Credit Bureau, and Ibrahim Al-Hosani, Director of the Department of Housing.WorkshopsFour engaging workshops were hosted on the third day:The first workshop, ‘ChatGPT and the Future of Cyber Crimes,’ took an educational approach. Nada Al Suwaidi, a cybersecurity technician at the Criminal and Investigation Department of Sharjah Police, delved into the future of cybercrime. Her focus was on the modern technologies and tactics employed by internet hackers and the repercussions on the digital realm and the wider community. The second workshop, ‘Using Generative AI for Your Daily Tasks,’ was led by Khalifa AlJaziri AlShehhi, group managing director at Smart IoT. He explored the practical applications of artificial intelligence and how it can be harnessed for day-to-day activities. The third workshop, helmed by Dr Marwan Al Zarouni, CEO of the Dubai Blockchain Center, highlighted the potential for enhancing data analysis processes and bolstering reliability within the decentralised finance sector. The Sharjah Government rounded off the day's activities with a workshop titled ‘OPSEC When Traveling,’ presented by Dr Grigorios Fragkos, head of the Sharjah Cyber Security Centre.

Yandex Ads appoints Mohamed Mahmoud as Head of Client Partnerships and Data

Yandex Ads, a prominent global digital advertising company, has announced the appointment of Mohamed Mahmoud as the Head of Client Partnerships & Data for the Middle East and Africa (MEA). This strategic move underscores the company's commitment to expanding its presence in international markets.Yandex Ads is the digital advertising division of the renowned Russian search engine and web portal, Yandex.Mohamed Mahmoud brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles at companies like Microsoft, Huawei, Publicis, Dentsu, ConnectAds, and Petal Ads, where he played a pivotal role as the Head of Client Partnerships and Data for the MEA region. In this capacity, he formulated the organization's go-to-market strategy, cultivated the partnership team, and elevated the brand's visibility through innovative events, educational programs, workshops, and collaborative efforts. Furthermore, as the Data Management Lead at Choueiri Group, he significantly contributed to the enhancement of data product collection and categorization for various media teams across industries.Evgenii Pavlov, General Manager at Yandex Ads MEA, expressed enthusiasm about the appointment, stating: "We are delighted to welcome Mohamed to the Yandex Ads team. His extensive international experience and proven track record in the MEA region make him a valuable addition as we continue our global expansion. Mohamed's leadership and strategic vision align perfectly with our commitment to delivering cutting-edge advertising solutions. We look forward to leveraging his expertise to strengthen our client partnerships and data initiatives, driving innovation in the ever-evolving digital advertising landscape."Mohamed Mahmoud expressed gratitude and said: "I am honored to join Yandex Ads, a company renowned for setting global standards in digital advertising excellence. I am excited to apply my expertise in data-driven strategies to fuel innovation as we embark on our international expansion journey."

Carat enters partnership with Oktopus Group to expand presence in Pakistan

Carat, a dentsu company, today announces a new partnership with Oktopus Group, a leading media and planning agency in Pakistan. Going forward Oktopus Group will be co-branded as Carat, and continuing its ongoing investment into the market, Carat will work with local management on developing a leading go-to market offering that combines Oktopus’ local market expertise with Carat’s global scale, tools and capabilities.  Established in 1965, Oktopus Group will represent Carat in Pakistan. With a solid track record for helping clients grow their brands via innovative media ideas using the right media channels, the team of over 100 communication professionals working across 3 cities in Pakistan service an impressive roster of clients, both local and international.Working with Oktopus Group, Carat will deploy its proprietary research tool, The Consumer Connection System, in Pakistan to build local knowledge of audience segments and identity-based marketing. The market data and insight gained from this approach, together with Carat’s suite of tools will optimise media investments across marketing and media channels to deliver connected experiences across media, technology, content and commerce for local clients. Oktopus will benefit from access to the dentsu Partner hub – a platform designed to accelerate business performance with access to operational principles, regional and local business support, quality data-supported product solutions and training specific to the region. Oktopus’s offices will also serve as the base for a dentsu Networked Talent Hub in Karachi – offering vast experience and expertise in Performance media. “This represents another important step in expanding our growth and breadth in Pakistan and with Oktopus’ extensive experience and understanding of the media landscape in the market, we are confident that we will see significant expansion,” said Ramzy Abouchacra, CEO Carat MENA. “Their services are aligned with our vision of taking a more human approach to brand building, and this partnership strengthens our desire to significantly increase Carat’s contribution locally and regionally.” “I am really excited about the opportunity to work with Carat in Pakistan. This will enable us to combine the best of local expertise, with the world-class tools and systems that will help our client base derive value from media owner relationships, enhanced brand experiences and maximize efficiencies and return on investment in our market,” said Nadeem Kabir Alvi, CEO Oktopus Group.

Deutsche Bank appoints Waldemar Rotfuss as General Manager of Abu Dhabi Branch

Deutsche Bank today announced the appointment of Waldemar Rotfuss as General Manager of Deutsche Bank AG Abu Dhabi Branch, approved by the UAE Central Bank.Based in Abu Dhabi, he will join Deutsche Bank’s UAE Executive Council.As General Manager of Abu Dhabi Branch, Mr.Rotfuss will have oversight over all activities regulated by the UAE Central Bank. He will work closely with divisional and infrastructure business heads to ensure a seamless delivery of the Bank’s products and services to clients whilst ensuring strict compliance with local regulatory requirements. In addition to his new responsibility as General Manager, Mr.Rotfuss will continue his current responsibilities as Head of Distribution for Middle East & Africa (MEA) where he is responsible for the de-risking and hedging of Deutsche Bank's Corporate Bank credit and market exposure in the Primary and Secondary Markets by working with the Middle East & Africa Investor base.Starting in the work-study Deutsche Bank program in Germany, Mr.Rotfuss has been with the Bank for over 13 years and managed various roles across the Trade Finance, Lending and Cash Management product suite based at various locations in Germany, Asia and United Kingdom. In his previous role, he was part of the Trade Finance & Lending COO team where he was instrumental for the successful execution of various strategic and regulatory projects and initiatives across the Trade Finance & Lending vertical.

VOX Cinemas to screen Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour film starting from 03 November

Dubai: VOX Cinemas, the dedicated cinema arm of Majid Al Futtaim, is excited to announce that Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour film will grace its big screens across the UAE starting from 03 November. Advance tickets are now available for online booking at and the VOX Cinemas app.Now Swifties in the UAE don’t have to go too far to experience a breathtaking cinematic view of the history-making tour which will be available in VOX Cinemas’ Standard auditoriums and four of its signature concepts.THEATRE (AED 198.9) and GOLD (AED 198.9) for a luxurious in-cinema dining experienceIMAX® (AED 150) and MAX (AED 150) for a fully immersive experience with larger-than-life visuals and pitch-perfect soundStandard Ticket for One (AED 130)Standard Tickets for Couples (AED 195)Standard Tickets for a Family of Four (AED 350)To complement the once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon, VOX Cinemas will be serving Taylor-inspired F&B items at the Candy Bar.Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour film is based on the pop sensation’s record-breaking stadium tour which kicked off in March. Described as a journey through all of Swift’s musical eras, starting from her country music roots 17 years ago to achieving pop legend status, Taylor Swift: Eras Tour film is set to become the highest-grossing concert film of all time.Experience the magic of Taylor Swift on the big screen! The Eras Tour film session run every weekend (03-05, 09-12, 16-19 and 23-26 November) with 15 shows and one prime showtime (6:00-8:00 p.m.) per day. For more information or to make a booking visit and VOX Cinemas App.

Kazakhstani entrepreneurs secure contracts for food supply & IT services

The United Arab Emirates shows interest in Kazakhstani Agricultural Products, Food Items, and IT Services. As a result of a trade mission organized by QazTrade for domestic entrepreneurs in the emirate of Dubai, export contracts worth over $37 million have been concluded.Kazakhstan and the UAE have been nurturing mutually beneficial cooperation for 30 years. As noted by Vice Minister of Trade and Integration, Kairat Torebayev, during the opening of the business negotiations, our countries have strengthened economic development through mutual investments and continue to work on joint projects."In line with the President of Kazakhstan's goal of increasing trade with the UAE, we are expanding our collaboration with our partners and facilitating business entry into the markets of our countries. In the medium term, Kazakhstani companies are prepared to supply around 90 types of goods to the Gulf country, worth approximately $440 million," said Kairat Torebayev.This includes products from the metallurgical and chemical industries, the food industry, machinery, vehicles, construction materials, and pharmaceuticals.Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, commented: “The UAE is proud to be Kazakhstan’s leading trade and economic partner in the Arab region. The number of companies from Kazakhstan in Dubai has been steadily rising, underlining the strong interest in the emirate among the nation’s business community. We believe there is significant room for further growth in bilateral trade and investments, and remain committed to working together to leverage opportunities for mutual cooperation between our markets.”The UAE market holds appeal for Kazakhstan, being part of the list of priority export destinations for goods produced in Kazakhstan. In 2022, Kazakhstani entrepreneurs exported products worth $560.3 million to the UAE. Organic agricultural products of domestic production have substantial potential for entering the Gulf countries' market. Just in the past year, meat exports from Kazakhstan to the Emirates increased by a factor of 8.According to Vice Minister of Trade and Integration, Kairat Torebayev, UAE companies, in turn, can invest in joint ventures, agricultural production development, the implementation of modern technologies, and the creation of new products.In the trade and economic mission in Dubai, 30 Kazakhstani food producers, chemical industry suppliers, IT service providers, and others participated. The total value of the concluded export contracts exceeded $37 million. Agreements were reached for the supply of dietary supplements, vegetable oil, mineral water, confectionery products, microspheres, and IT services.

Abu Dhabi Government continues to showcase efforts in data & AI at GITEX Global

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: The Abu Dhabi Government has continued its announcements of projects and initiatives as part of its participation at GITEX Global 2023.The Abu Dhabi Government pavilion has witnessed a number of major launches and announcements at the event, including the Smart AI Vehicle Inspection by the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT); the ‘Unlocking the Potential of Data for the Greater Good’ initiative and the launch of Insights and Foresights Platform (IFP 2.0) by the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD); and the Department of Energy (DoE)’s third phase of the heatmap project which aims to measure the intensity of water and electricity consumption in buildings using three-dimensional techniques.The entities presented their cutting-edge contributions to the Emirate’s digital future, reaffirming the government’s status as a leader in advancing AI and data-driven progress.SCAD’s ‘Unlocking the Potential of Data for the Greater Good’ project aims to develop state-of-the-art technological solutions to establish a unified virtual database. This database enhances the approach of data governance and integration in a secure environment, allowing decision-makers from government entities and the business community - including local, international and emerging companies - to access data repositories from various sectors and sources, with the aim of leveraging this data to make informed decisions. The project also enables ensuring confidentiality and privacy of data; harnessing the latest artificial intelligence techniques for analysis; and providing reliable proactive insights while improving data quality.As part of the centre's unwavering commitment to optimising data, SCAD also announced the launch of the second version of Insights and Foresights Platform (IFP 2.0). This release incorporates advanced features and enhancements to meet user requirements, such as customising platform settings to generate statistical comparisons; creating interactive dashboards; and issuing analytical reports based on geospatial data. Additionally, the enhanced AI-based platform relies on cutting-edge artificial intelligence techniques to offer timely nowcasts and forecasts through AI-powered models, equipping decision- and policy-makers with reliable proactive analyses into Abu Dhabi’s economic and social landscapes.His Excellency Abdullah Gharib Al Qemzi, Acting Director General of Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, said: “The ‘Unlocking the Potential of Data for the Greater Good’ project represents a significant leap towards achieving data-driven excellence. By harnessing the potential of data and utilising the latest artificial intelligence technologies, SCAD aims to facilitate data access, foster collaboration and integration within the business community in the emirate. This is aimed at improving data quality, management and analysis, providing reliable proactive insights and enhancing efforts to protect the security, confidentiality and privacy of data, using it responsibly as we move towards a new era of progress and development."Meanwhile, DMT’s Smart AI Vehicle Inspection project harnesses AI and advanced technologies to conduct thorough vehicle inspections. This initiative incorporates sensors, cameras, machine learning algorithms and computer vision techniques to analyse various aspects of a vehicle's condition, enhancing safety and regulatory compliance.In parallel, DoE introduced the third phase of its game-changing 3D energy and water use intensity heatmap, an advanced system with elevated capability to reduce human intervention in displaying and analysing data by up to 90% while greatly enhancing the level of awareness among consumers in understanding the rate of consumption.The system also provides complete data for more than 350,000 buildings in a period of no more than a minute, and the system provides visual data for more than 72 million monthly readings on a single dynamic map, ensuring comprehensive insights that help make reliable and effective decisions.His Excellency Eng. Ahmed Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Undersecretary of the Department of Energy, said: "This project reflects the Department’s continued commitment to pioneering digital government initiatives that aim to enhance efficiency in energy use. GITEX Global 2023 is an ideal platform to unveil this significant project that will enhance our ability to make informed decisions while issuing policies and creating programmes to efficiently manage water and electricity consumption in Abu Dhabi buildings.”Other key showcases from Abu Dhabi Government throughout the exhibition included the Department of Health (DoH) project, Unlocking Better Healthcare, which featured four initiatives: an AI Patient Assistant to help patients navigate the healthcare system; an AI Virtual Doctor enabling patients to access virtual healthcare; an AI-Powered Physician Platform for physicians to access and use data; and an AI Anomalies Detection system to collate and monitor data relating to issues such as medication prescription.Similarly, the Family Development Foundation (FDF) introduced the Digital Social Observer system, automating social phenomenon and issue monitoring to predict and address emerging social challenges and develop tailored programmes to meet the community’s needs. The Digital Integration initiative, also on display, encourages and enables full participation in digital life for senior citizens.Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority (ADSSA) launched its Enhancing Customer Experience initiative, designed to streamline, align and ultimately digitalise processes involved in supporting dependent national families with the aim of improving the customer experience.The Abu Dhabi Chamber showcased Chamber ChatGPT, an AI tool specially designed to enable members to engage with the Chamber’s platform naturally and intuitively leverage natural language processing (NLP) technology.Thus far, the Abu Dhabi Government pavilion, led by the Department of Government Enablement (DGE), has showcased some 20 projects and signed nearly 30 MoUs. The government's continued presence at GITEX Global, now in its twelfth year, is testament to its unwavering commitment to innovation and progress, building on past successes and driving the future of technological advancement.

InvoiceMate partners with the DFINITY Foundation

Zurich, Switzerland & Dubai, UAE – The DFINITY Foundation, a not-for-profit research and development organization based in Switzerland and a major contributor to the Internet Computer blockchain (ICP), has announced that it has partnered with InvoiceMate. will migrate from Hyperledger Fabric to the Internet Computer. The DFINITY Foundation will support InvoiceMate in this transition as it becomes an important part of the ICP ecosystem.InvoiceMate is a blockchain & AI-powered invoicing platform that acts as a bridge between SMEs and financing institutions. InvoiceMate leads to easier financial inclusion by enabling SMEs access to various forms of credit like invoice discounting, factoring, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), and supply chain financing. InvoiceMate has processed over $114 million in invoices and partnered with nine financial institutions with over $5mn in locked lending allocation.As part of the partnership not only will InvoiceMate use the Internet Computer blockchain it will work with the DFINITY Foundation to add value to the ICP ecosystem as a whole. The InvoiceMate team will act as advisors and mentors for other enterprise blockchain projects. This will include running workshops for enterprise blockchain organizations, InvoiceMate’s large network of partners and universities that are interested in exploring the Internet Computer. InvoiceMate’s tech arm MateSol will also serve as a “dev shop” and support projects wanting to integrate ICP into their operations. InvoiceMate brings a wealth of experience from the enterprise blockchain industry and is set to play a large role in enterprise adoption for the Internet Computer blockchain.Muhammad Salman Anjum, Chief Mate at InvoiceMate said, “We’re excited to migrate to the Internet Computer blockchain. InvoiceMate has built its reputation on trust and efficiency, and that is what we are looking for in a blockchain. The Internet Computer enables us to use the power of invoices to aid SMEs in accessing credit but in a decentralized, tamperproof, and scalable manner.”The partnership between the DFINITY Foundation and InvoiceMate strengthens the presence of the Internet Computer in the region. Recently, the ICP.HUB GCC was founded in Dubai. The ICP.HUB GCC is a Web3 community of developers and entrepreneurs building the Internet Computer’s presence in the Gulf. The Hub is focused on education, including workshops for developers, incubation, helping founders from ideation to MVP, and developing blockchain use cases for corporates and governments. The ICP.HUB GCC also facilitates partnerships between the DFINITY Foundation and local enterprises.Saed Ereiqat, Co-Founder of the ICP.HUB GCC said, “Since the inception of the ICP.Hub GCC, we have been building the groundwork for projects to transition into the ICP Ecosystem smoothly, and we are seeing significant interest from the local ecosystem to build. InvoiceMate is the perfect example of a mature, Dubai-grown project moving to the ICP Ecosystem. I am looking forward to working with the team on developing corporate use cases powered by ICP!”.The Internet Computer is a general-purpose, layer-one blockchain that acts as a Cloud 3.0. The network has been operating for over two years and has experienced zero downtime. It also processes over 750 million transactions daily, a 425% increase from its first year of operation. The Internet Computer is the only blockchain network in the world capable of hosting social networks and enterprise systems, providing an alternative to the Legacy IT stack, which incorporates Web 2.0 infrastructures such as centralized cloud services run by Big Tech, which run databases and web servers.

Digital DEWA & Nedaa collaborate to enhance IoT & communications in the region

In the presence of HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA); HE Lieutenant General Talal Humaid Belhoul, Director General of Dubai’s State Security Department; and HE Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of Digital Dubai Authority, Digital DEWA, the digital arm of DEWA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Professional Communication Corporation (Nedaa), the exclusive secure network provider for the Government of Dubai. As per the MoU, the two sides will co-develop bundled services like Internet of Things (IoT), fibre connectivity, cloud, data centre and cyber services. The MoU was signed by HE Mansour Bu Asibah, CEO of Nedaa, and Marwan Bin Haidar, Vice Chairman & Group CEO of Digital DEWA, during GITEX Global 2023, which is held from 16 to 20 October 2023 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The MoU marks the beginning of an innovative partnership aimed at leveraging the unique capabilities of both organisations.“We work in line with the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to innovate and develop solutions to foster the growth of IoT and critical communications. Our collaboration with Nedaa aims to pioneer a new era of digital services and underlines our commitment to meeting the evolving needs of private and public enterprises in the region by harnessing Digital DEWA’s cutting-edge infrastructure. This ensures a brighter and more connected future,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.“At Nedaa we adhere to the highest level of safety and security standards. We are thrilled to partner with Digital DEWA and reiterate our commitment towards revolutionising the IoT and critical communications landscape. Together, we aim to set new benchmarks for safety, innovation, and reliability, and take the lead towards a new era of efficiency and innovation in different industries. This alliance marks a pivotal moment in our mission of delivering cutting-edge solutions that protect and serve the public,” said HE Mansour Bu Asibah – CEO of Nedaa.“As we embark on this transformative journey with Nedaa, we are committed to harnessing our combined strengths to unlock the full potential of our digital services. This association is not merely a partnership; it represents our shared dedication to pushing the boundaries of innovation and delivering exceptional services. With Nedaa, we aspire to lead the way in redefining technology for a more intelligent and interconnected world,” said Marwan Bin Haidar – Vice Chairman & Group CEO of Digital DEWA.The collaboration between Digital DEWA and Nedaa is poised to bring about ground-breaking advancements in IoT connectivity and critical communications, solidifying their positions as industry leaders. By combining their strengths, the two organisations aim to drive innovation and deliver solutions that will shape the future of technology and secure communications in the region.

Middle East is going to be the fastest-growing digital asset market in Asia

Dubai: OneInfinity by OneDegree, the first and only licensed digital asset provider in Asia, has been taking part in the Dubai Future Blockchain Summit 2023 in the past four days. OneInfinity is excited to be part of Dubai's dynamic crypto market and contribute to its growth and success. It is committed to building a comprehensive ecosystem that fosters Web3 innovation while ensuring security and trust for all stakeholders.Alvin Kwock, co-founder of OneInfinity, was one of the panel speaker of the discussion on "Crypto Trading & Digital Asset - Redefining Custody in Web3 World", where he stressed the importance of using a qualified custodian and highlighted the growing interest of banks in the crypto world. He as well emphasized that banks' extensive experiences in custody services provides an extra layer of trust.The panelists, including David Lin, founder of David Lin Report; Sagar Sarbhai, Head of Business Solutions & Advisory of Fireblocks, and Dr. Marwan Alzarouni, the CEO of Dubai Blockchain Center, also discussed key custody issues like balancing usability and security and the need for market education. They highlighted the importance of addressing evolving hacker threats and focusing on technology and operational risks. Regulatory authorities like VARA in UAE will demand tools for technical controls, including live audits and ongoing reviews.“We see the investment in digital asset is going full power from the Web3 universe to the traditional investors, especially in the Middle East market, where we are seeing a lot of inbound of fund and enterprise in recent months. We believe that Middle East is going to be the fastest-growing market of digital asset trading in Asia.” said Alvin.“In 2022, US$3.8 billion of crypto asset is stolen. Insurance, together with regulation, serve as the ‘double-tick’ mechanism for investor protection. We are seeing vast demand of insurance cover for the digital asset market in Asia. In Hong Kong, vast majority of VASPs (Virtual Asset Service Providers) are getting insurance from us, in Singapore the proportion is about half.” Alvin added.The Future Blockchain Summit 2023 is the most immersive large-scale blockchain event across the MENA region. This year, the event revamped with a new concept designed to embolden the disruptors, empower the change-makers, and inspire the innovators of the Web 3.0, Blockchain, Crypto, NFT, Metaverse, and Gaming community.

Radix delivers on operational excellence, turning data into profitability

Houston, Texas: Radix, a global technology solutions company announces a new Midstream Digital Engineering Services Team that expands its partnership with AVEVA and its entire diversified portfolio of services and clients. The partnership bolsters Radix’s ability to turn data into increased profitability, with hybrid intelligence that enables midstream companies to reduce costs, optimize asset reliability, and deliver efficiency in regulatory standards, such as Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS).Radix has an unparalleled understanding of the midstream business models utilizing AVEVA’s entire portfolio supporting digital transformation initiatives with global Midstream Oil and Gas customers. Leveraging industry domain expertise, Radix collaborates closely with stakeholders to reduce costs and generate new revenue. The accelerated partnership focuses on taking the strategic assets of Midstream O&G operating data, leveraging edge-to-cloud scalabilities, and producing better data-driven decisions.Radix is a member of the AVEVA System Integrator Partner Program and is also a platinum sponsor at this year’s AVEVA World in San Francisco. The Radix team in attendance comprises of industry experts and data scientists, recognized as subject matter experts by Pipeline and Midstream Owner Operators, and viewed as the best-in-class by global customers in the industry.Exhibiting in Booth #1 at the Moscone Center, Radix will demonstrate their expertise on hybrid intelligence in a Partner Solutions Track, participate in a keynote panel focused on Digitalization and Sustainability, and share how to prevent unexpected equipment shutdowns with digital twin results. In addition, the team will present customer success cases with a deep dive on enterprise operational data infrastructures and analytics utilizing AVEVA’s entire portfolio. Bry Dillon, Senior Vice President of Partner Sales at AVEVA, said: “AVEVA’s partnerships with global, industry-leading organizations help our mutual customers leverage the power of technology to become more agile, resilient, and sustainable. Together, we solve complex industrial challenges where the strengths of more than one company are needed.“Industries are looking for both integration and transparency. Integration of dispersed, diverse data sets on their business operations into a single, open, neutral digital backbone. And transparency through insight, which is provided by trusted applications and seamless digital experience. This gives them the confidence to make decisions quickly and based on data-driven intelligence. We’re delighted that Radix is a platinum sponsor at this year’s AVEVA World in San Francisco in October. We look forward to welcoming them at our flagship industrial software event.”With more than 1,600 team members, Radix has grown by 60% in the past two years, adding new offices in Europe and Asia. Maintaining its growth trajectory, Radix’s major equity partner is Sotreq, one of Caterpillar Inc.’s largest dealers in the world.With digital innovation teams embedded inside Fortune 500 customer organizations, and in close collaboration with Tom Richardson, US Central and Southeast Vice President at AVEVA, Radix continues to showcase its unique ability to add unparalleled value in any software platform and for any sized customer in need of immediate transformational business value. Natalia Klafke, Global Head of Energy & Sustainability, Radix states, “More than engineers, Radix collaborates with the best in class to revolutionize data for the industries we serve into profitability for our customers. They see huge transformational business value through our extensive suite of optimization capabilities - turning insightful data into increased profitability while helping them reach their sustainability goals.”The Radix team presence will be a highlight of the event, allowing customers to engage and discover new pathways to learn more about how Radix is converting insightful, raw data into actionable operational business intelligence.

TBWA\RAAD and Core42 unite to boost creative AI innovation in the Arab world

Dubai: TBWA\RAAD, known as The Disruption® Company, proudly announces an unprecedented collaboration with Core42, a G42 company, marking a milestone in the field of artificial intelligence. This groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes TBWA\RAAD as the first creative agency to harness the creative potential of Jais, the world's leading Arabic Large Language Model (LLM).Speaking of the partnership, Joe Lahham, Managing Director, TBWA\RAAD, said: "This exciting partnership between TBWA\RAAD and Core42 represents a significant moment where creativity meets advanced AI. We're embarking on a journey to redefine how people express themselves creatively in Arabic-speaking communities. This collaboration reflects our commitment to pushing creative boundaries and driving innovation in the Arab world."Noah Khan, Regional President of Digital & Innovation - CEE, Middle East and Africa at TBWA, expressed his enthusiasm too, saying: "We are very excited to be working with Core42 on exploring the great creative potential held within Jais, and to build future-facing expressions of creativity together."Jais, developed by G42's visionary subsidiary Inception (now Core42), is at the top of the line among Arabic Large Language Models. Trained on a dataset comprising 116 billion Arabic tokens and 279 billion English tokens, Jais is a 13-billion parameter model that promises to revolutionize generative AI applications across the Arabic-speaking world.Andrew Jackson, Executive Vice President and Chief AI Officer of Core42, emphasized the importance of collaboration in innovation, stating: "Through collaborative innovation, we are setting a new standard for AI advancement in the Middle East and ensuring that the Arabic language, with its depth and heritage, finds its voice within the AI landscape. We are excited about the prospect of exploring new applications for generative AI in the media and marketing industries and we look forward to working closely with the TBWA\RAAD team to deliver the next breakthrough in this domain."Named after the UAE's highest peak, Jais is the product of a groundbreaking collaboration between Core42, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), and Cerebras Systems. Its training took place on the Condor Galaxy 1 AI supercomputer, the cutting-edge creation of G42 and Cerebras, marking a significant leap forward in AI advancement within the Middle East.

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

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

Beyon Solutions to acquire ‘INSOMEA’

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

SEE Holding strengthens executive leadership team with CFO appointment

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

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

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

Mastercard partners with tmam to help GCC SMEs digitize corporate expenses

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

TikTok goes Out of Phone with its latest ad solution

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

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

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

X launches pink app icon in partnership with Paris Hilton

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

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

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

Kia launches upgraded Seltos SUV in Jordan

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

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

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

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

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

How engagement, content diversity shape Netflix success

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

Dubai startup launches AI-driven SaaS solution

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

2024 predictions: AI, hacktivism, and weaponized deepfakes

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

Extend AdNetwork witnesses success of Gamers8 collaboration with Smarifai

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

HubForward announces official registration of trademark

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

Netflix raises prices, adds 8.8 million new subscribers

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

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

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

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

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