Houda Tohme on her 22-years at Havas Media: A journey of growth and innovation

Houda Tohme has had a remarkable 22-year career in media and marketing, with her journey at Havas Media Middle East beginning in 2006. Over the years, she has demonstrated unwavering dedication and passion in her field of expertise. Notably, she has played a pivotal role in the impressive growth of Havas Media, leading the planning team with pride. Throughout her career, she has worked with prestigious brands such as Chanel, Puig, Coty, and Kia.In 2019, Houda Tohme achieved the position of Managing Director and later assumed the role of CEO at Havas Media, marking more than 13 years of invaluable service with the group. As an integral member of the management team, she oversees the media operations across the region. Her leadership reinforces the agency's mission to bring people and brands together through meaningful connections.In this exclusive interview with Adgully Middle East, Houda Tohme, CEO of Havas Media, reflects on her journey with the company and sheds light on the significant progress made by women in the Middle East. Her rise from leading the planning team to the highest executive positions is a testament to her commitment and substantial contributions to the company's growth. Excerpts:Could you please describe your professional journey and share what or who inspired you to reach your current position?In 2002, my media journey started in Dubai as a media planner. Over the years, I've worked with diverse clients, ranging from FMCG giants to luxury brands. I began as a Media Manager at Havas with a team of no more than 10 people. I was able to play an active role in growing the agency into a team of 250+ professionals across five GCC markets, making us one of the top five agencies in the region.I am very fortunate to be part of an organization that doesn’t just recognize the dedication of its employees but actively nurtures their potential. This approach not only motivates the workforce but also demonstrates the agency's commitment to fostering individual growth and empowering each team member to achieve their utmost potential.In your role as CEO of Havas Media, what are your main responsibilities, and what can you tell us about your experience with the organization over the years?My priority has always been and will always be my team, the heart and soul of our organization. We take pride in our unique culture rooted in integrity, transparency, and collaboration. I lead a skilled team, many of whom have been with us for over a decade, seamlessly embodying our values. I focus on business development for growth and client retention, highlighted by the most recent successful partnerships like Nakheel, Aujan, and LG Electronics. And I also oversee refining our product, and ensuring it stays ahead of the curve across the region.What are your thoughts on women's empowerment in the Middle East, and how have you observed changes in this regard over the past decade?The region has made significant progress in promoting women's rights and opportunities for their advancement. The UAE serves as an exemplary model for women's empowerment for the entire Middle East. With a strong belief in the pivotal role of women in society, the UAE boasts a thriving community of women entrepreneurs who own thousands of businesses valued at AED60 billion1. Women in the UAE also occupy two-thirds of public sector positions, including 30% in senior leadership roles2, and an increasing number in ministerial roles.Remarkably, since 2018, Saudi Arabia has implemented substantial changes to champion the empowerment of women in the kingdom as part of the overarching societal reforms undertaken for vision 2030. Moreover, the percentage of Saudi adults actively participating in the economy has risen to 51.5%, with more than two million men and women now engaged in the private sector3. The first Arab woman to go on a space mission is a Saudi national, further highlighting KSA’s commitment to breaking new frontiers and advancing gender equality. These developments underscore the broader recognition of women's contributions throughout the Middle East and I believe we should all be proud of that.Being a media expert, what can you say about the new media marketing strategies adopted by Havas in the UAE?Our distinguished ‘village model’ is fundamentally client centric with creativity, innovation, and agility serving as the core pillars of our offering. This unique model allows us to offer tailored, flexible solutions based on our clients' ever-changing needs. It fosters an environment of collaboration and versatility, enabling us to bring together diverse talents and disciplines to solve a wide range of challenges for our clients. We are constantly evolving to stay at the forefront of the industry, embracing new solutions and approaches while staying true to our creative roots.Havas Media is recognized as one of the most successful communication companies. What distinguishes Havas Media from its competitors?At Havas Media, our reputation as a leading communications agency is rooted in an organizational culture that not only places our talented team at the core, but also creates an environment where individuals can truly thrive. This culture fosters a sense of innovation and collaboration, providing our passionate team the foundation and tools to thrive. It's this exceptional team, many of whom have been with us for over a decade, that serves as the cornerstone of our achievements.Furthermore, our forward-thinking approach ensures we stay ahead of the curve. We have a strong core product which is centered around building meaningful media experiences for consumers. In the recent years, we have expanded the breadth of our offer by bringing in new capabilities in commerce, content, and data. With our Havas market practice expanding into the Middle East, we're equipped to guide clients through the complexities and intricacies of the commerce ecosystem. We are actively enhancing our data offering and expanding our content pillar to anticipate and meet evolving client needs. This helps us create stickier and deeper relationships with our key partners.Can you provide details about a campaign that posed significant challenges but ultimately achieved great success?The Adidas Liquid Billboard campaign was an integral initiative that really stood out for us. This campaign is a testament to the power of collaboration, bringing together versatile talents across our village to solve a challenge facing the women of the region. We needed to go beyond conventional and create something truly ground-breaking. The outcome was the world’s first swimmable billboard, a bold and innovative concept that not only captured the attention of our target audience but also made a significant impact globally. It earned us, and the Middle East, one of only three Cannes Lion Grand Prix awards in the region's history while sparking discussions about body positivity and inclusivity in swimming.This campaign also demonstrated our passion about not just reaching audiences but also about creating meaningful and lasting difference to the people and the brands we work with.As an accomplished media professional, what advice would you offer to newcomers in the field on how to achieve success in their careers?In my journey as a media professional, I’ve learned that success in advertising and marketing goes beyond the perceived glamour and excitement of the industry. My foremost advice to those starting out is to ensure your career choice aligns with your interests and personal values. While it offers a dynamic and creative work environment, it is equally demanding and can be stressful.Pursuing a career merely for the sake of having a job can lead to demotivation and burnout. Therefore, it becomes important to carve a path that truly speaks to your passions and strengths, as motivation and a deep-seated commitment are crucial for navigating the demanding aspects of this industry and ultimately achieving success.What are your views about the statement ‘women can be better media experts as communication is their forte’?The notion that 'women can be better media experts because communication is their forte' is an interesting perspective, but it's important to approach such generalizations with caution. While it's true that many women excel in communication skills, attributing a specific skill set to an entire gender can be overly simplistic and overlooks the individual talents and capabilities of each person, regardless of gender. In my view, expertise in media and communication is not gender-specific but a result of individual talent, experience, and hard work. Both men and women can be equally skilled and effective in these roles. At Havas, we focus on harnessing the unique strengths and perspectives of each team member, fostering a diverse and inclusive environment where talent thrives, irrespective of gender.Where do you envision Houda Tohme in 2033? What goals or aspirations still linger on your professional bucket list, even with the numerous achievements you've attained?Looking ahead to 2033, I envision myself continuing to make a meaningful impact, not only in the media industry but in the broader advertising and marketing sector within our region. In an industry driven by human ingenuity and relationships, our actions hold the power to instigate subtle yet impactful changes. My aim is to cultivate environments that emphasize and prioritize collaboration, transparency, and ethics. I intend to actively participate in shaping a more positive and sustainable future, where human welfare is paramount.

Ad exodus: Elon Musk's antisemitic remarks shake X

Concerns over the proliferation of antisemitic content and discussions on the social media platform X have intensified, reaching a critical point with advertisers like Apple Inc. pulling out their ads. Musk, who actively interacts with antisemitic users on X, endorsed a post asserting that Jewish people have a "dialectical hatred" of white individuals, to which he responded, "You have said the actual truth."The White House termed Musk's response as "unacceptable," emphasizing its potential threat to Jewish communities. Shareholders of Tesla Inc., where Musk serves as CEO, have also voiced concerns, with some calling for his suspension.The controversy follows a report from Media Matters revealing advertisements from major companies, including IBM, Oracle, Apple, Bravo and Comcast's Xfinity, appearing alongside pro-Nazi content on X. IBM was quick to suspend ads on the platform until the situation is addressed.In response to the backlash, the European Commission, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Paramount Global, Walt Disney Co., and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. have all announced the withdrawal of their ads from X. The Anti-Defamation League reported a surge in antisemitism on X, increasing by over 900% in the week following the October 7 attack by Hamas.Musk has courted controversies in the past, including a satirical tweet comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler. Some stakeholders, like Ross Gerber of Gerber Kawasaki Inc., have expressed concern that Musk's actions are detrimental to the brand and overall reputation of his companies.Apple, a major advertiser on X, announced a pause in showing ads on X, reflecting the precarious nature of their relationship with Musk, who took over the platform last year. Musk's remarks coincide with a global rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.In the midst of this, Musk accused the Anti-Defamation League of undermining X's ad revenue by highlighting extremist content, contributing to a 60% decline in ad sales on the platform. The EC cited an alarming increase in disinformation and hate speech as a reason for staff to stop advertising on X.Despite X's efforts to address offensive content and label sensitive media, the controversy has triggered widespread concerns about the impact of Musk's statements on the brands associated with the platform. Shareholders and advocacy groups are calling for a response, ranging from censure to potential removal of Musk from his positions.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce attracts 48,616 new member companies

Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, has achieved significant growth in memberships during 2023. A total of 48,616 new member companies registered between January and September this year, representing an impressive year-over-year (YoY) increase of 42.9% compared to the 34,029 that joined during the corresponding period in 2022.The strong growth underlines Dubai’s attractiveness among both companies and investors, as well as the emirate’s growing reputation as a leading global business destination. This was also reflected in the total value of exports and re-exports of member companies, which reached a total of AED 210 billion with 544,538 certificates of origin issued from Q1 - Q3 2023.In addition, 3,209 ATA Carnets were issued and received for goods and commodities with a combined value of AED 3.3 billion during the nine-month period, compared to 2,919 ATA Carnets with a value of around AED 1.5 billion during Q1 - Q3 2022. The value of ATA Carnets received recorded a remarkable YoY growth of 123.6%.Commenting on the chamber’s strong performance, H.E. Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, said: “I am delighted to see Dubai Chamber of Commerce making headway in improving Dubai’s favourable business environment, enhancing its advocacy efforts, and supporting our members to thrive while driving the export and re-export market. We are the voice of the business community in Dubai and remain committed to empowering our members to contribute towards achieving the emirate’s growth ambitions. We will continue to work in tandem with the government as we advance on our journey towards the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33).”As part of its continuous efforts to support the interests of the business community, Dubai Chamber of Commerce reviewed a total of 94 draft laws in cooperation with Business Groups during the first nine months of the year. The number of mediation cases received by the chamber reached 103.The chamber’s Business Relations Department arranged over 180 meetings with representatives from Business Groups and Councils between January and September, including 20 advocacy sessions aimed at shaping Dubai’s favourable business environment. The department also successfully organised 41 Annual General Assembly events for Business Groups and Councils. More than 2,100 attendees benefited from 24 workshops, events, and webinars organised by the department. In addition, a total of 103 meetings were held with key stakeholders and partners to explore opportunities to serve the business community.As part of its efforts to achieve its strategic priority of improving the business environment in the emirate, Dubai Chamber of Commerce also launched the ‘Business Sectors Platform,’ which offers an innovative package of services designed to empower Business Groups and Business Councils and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their activities.The Dubai Centre for Family Business, which was established in May with the goal of ensuring the growth and sustainability of family businesses in the emirate, has successfully launched a number of programmes and initiatives. By the end of Q3 2023, the centre had completed 30 family visits and rolled out two educational certification programmes for family members and advisors. A total of 18 advisors enrolled in the Family Business Advisory certification programme during this period. The centre also concluded two sessions in its Governance Series programme with the participation of 62 family business representatives. In addition, the centre recorded more than 450 downloads of education toolkits and publications between May and the end of September.Dubai Chamber of Commerce seeks to facilitate and improve the ease of doing business in the emirate, while delivering value-added services and serving as a bridge between Dubai’s dynamic business community and the government. A total of 46 country-specific Business Councils and 105 sector-specific Business Groups currently operate under the chamber’s umbrella.

VisitBritain launches Come See Things Differently campaign in the Gulf countries

VisitBritain, the national tourism agency for Great Britain, invites travellers from the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries to ‘Come see things differently’ by showcasing more exciting and unexpected experiences only found in Britain.Underway from November until early 2024, the campaign uses a mix of inspiring destination content and short films showcasing Britain's 'wild coastlines’, drawing attention to seaside locations within a few hours' reach of major city centres, 'countryside adventures', promoting its diverse landscapes and 'vibrant cities’, highlighting Britain’s bustling urban life and contemporary culture. The campaign has been developed based on VisitBritain’s research into motivations for travel now, with discovering new and surprising experiences high on the wish list for its target audiences and markets.The campaign is a progression from VisitBritain’s ‘Spilling the tea on Great Britain’ campaign which was launched earlier in 2023 and encouraged visitors to explore more of Great Britain’s nations and regions especially during non-peak travel seasons.VisitBritain’s Deputy Director APMEA CNEA, Carol Madisson said:“The GCC is an incredibly important tourism market for Britain and we are delighted to launch this new phase of our major brand campaign, to drive urgency for GCC travellers to visit now, while showcasing the breadth of exciting experiences and destinations across Britain. Whether it's the thrill of coastal and countryside adventures, such as riding the waves on our wild coastlines, or relaxing in remote landscapes, or exploring our bustling, vibrant cities through street art tours, indulgent afternoon teas and shopping sprees, our campaign shows that Britain has so much to explore.As well as inspiring international visitors to discover more of Britain’s nations and regions we’re working with industry partners in the GCC to convert that desire to visit into confirmed bookings for travel now. Through this campaign we look forward to welcoming more visitors from the Gulf to experience Britain’s exciting tourism offers well into 2024 and beyond.”An integral part of the ‘Come See Things Differently’ campaign is its advertising elements that use an integrated mix of channels including cinema in Saudi Arabia, branded content across social media including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and digital billboards along high-traffic areas such as Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai.Additionally, VisitBritain will continue to work with its premier trade partner Wego to expand the campaign's reach throughout 2024 and encourage travel bookings for the upcoming winter and spring seasons.The recent introduction of the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme, combined with the region’s strong airline connections to the UK, is set to further enhance the ease of travel for GCC nationals visiting Britain. The ETA will cost £10 and allow visitors to visit the UK multiple times over a two-year period. Qatar is the first country to move on to the ETA scheme and Qatari nationals can now apply and will require an ETA to travel to the UK on or after 15 November 2023. From 01 February 2024, the scheme will be introduced for nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.Since the Covid pandemic there has been continued recovery in tourism from the GCC to the UK. VisitBritain is forecasting that spending by GCC visitors in the UK will return to 2019 levels by 2024 and visitation numbers to return by 2025.The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries are very important inbound tourism markets for the UK, its second most valuable market for visitor spending, when all six countries are combined. The latest official full year statistics are for 2022. These showed that there were 791,000 visits from the GCC to the UK, with those visitors spending £2 billion during their stays. Visitors from the GCC spent an average of £2,578 on their trips to the UK in 2022, more than three times the all visitor average. They also stayed longer in the UK, 16 nights, compared to an all market average of eight.The latest available statistics are for January to June 2023. These show that from January to June 2023 there were 411,000 visits from the GCC to the UK with those visitors spending £945 million. Flight bookings from the Middle East to the UK have been showing strong recovery and are currently tracking at about 93% of 2019 levels.VisitBritain’s research shows that visitors from the GCC enjoy dining in Britain’s wonderful restaurants, shopping, sightseeing at its famous monuments and buildings, visiting parks and gardens, museums and art galleries - all of which Britain caters for in abundance. VisitBritain’s consumer sentiment research also shows travellers from the GCC are keen to roam around, visiting multiple destination types on their next international trip, as well as visiting large cities.VisitBritain’s ‘See Things Differently’ campaign is part of the UK Government’s GREAT campaign.More information about the ‘See Things Differently’ campaign:VisitBritain’s marketing campaign in the GCC is a continuation of its ‘Spilling the Tea’ on Great Britain campaigns which first rolled out in February this year under the umbrella of ‘See Things Differently.’The campaign has been developed based on VisitBritain’s research into motivations for travel now, with discovering new and surprising experiences high on the wish list for its target audiences and markets.The full list of locations and activities seen in the campaign are:EnglandBamburgh, NorthumberlandBath, SomersetBirmingham, West MidlandsBrighton, East SussexBristolCoventry, West MidlandsLake District, Cumbria (Alpacaly Ever After)Leeds, West Yorkshire (Afternoon Tea at Issho)Liverpool, Merseyside (Oh Me Oh My roof garden)Liverpool, Merseyside (Crosby Beach)Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and WearYorkshire Moors, North YorkshireSaffron Walden, EssexSeaford, East SussexWhitby, North YorkshireLondonCovent Garden, LondonLittle Venice, LondonNotting Hill, LondonRichmond, LondonSouth Kensington, London (Science Afternoon Tea at the Ampersand Hotel)Tottenham, London (The Dare Skywalk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)Tower Bridge, London (London Kayaking Company)Scotland:Achmelvich, Scottish HighlandsCairngorms National Park, Scottish HighlandsCaledonian Canal, Scottish HighlandsEdinburghElie, FifeGlencoe, Scottish HighlandsLoch Ness, Scottish HighlandsWales:Cardiff (Cardiff Castle)Eryri (Snowdonia), GwyneddPorthcawl Beach, BridgendFreshwater West; PembrokeshireStrumble Head, PembrokeshireThe Gower Peninsula, SwanseaFor more on the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme please visit, the national tourism agency for Great Britain, invites travellers from the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries to ‘Come see things differently’ by showcasing more exciting and unexpected experiences only found in Britain.Underway from November until early 2024, the campaign uses a mix of inspiring destination content and short films showcasing Britain's 'wild coastlines’, drawing attention to seaside locations within a few hours' reach of major city centres, 'countryside adventures', promoting its diverse landscapes and 'vibrant cities’, highlighting Britain’s bustling urban life and contemporary culture. The campaign has been developed based on VisitBritain’s research into motivations for travel now, with discovering new and surprising experiences high on the wish list for its target audiences and markets.The campaign is a progression from VisitBritain’s ‘Spilling the tea on Great Britain’ campaign which was launched earlier in 2023 and encouraged visitors to explore more of Great Britain’s nations and regions especially during non-peak travel seasons.VisitBritain’s Deputy Director APMEA CNEA, Carol Madisson said:“The GCC is an incredibly important tourism market for Britain and we are delighted to launch this new phase of our major brand campaign, to drive urgency for GCC travellers to visit now, while showcasing the breadth of exciting experiences and destinations across Britain. Whether it's the thrill of coastal and countryside adventures, such as riding the waves on our wild coastlines, or relaxing in remote landscapes, or exploring our bustling, vibrant cities through street art tours, indulgent afternoon teas and shopping sprees, our campaign shows that Britain has so much to explore.As well as inspiring international visitors to discover more of Britain’s nations and regions we’re working with industry partners in the GCC to convert that desire to visit into confirmed bookings for travel now. Through this campaign we look forward to welcoming more visitors from the Gulf to experience Britain’s exciting tourism offers well into 2024 and beyond.”An integral part of the ‘Come See Things Differently’ campaign is its advertising elements that use an integrated mix of channels including cinema in Saudi Arabia, branded content across social media including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and digital billboards along high-traffic areas such as Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai.Additionally, VisitBritain will continue to work with its premier trade partner Wego to expand the campaign's reach throughout 2024 and encourage travel bookings for the upcoming winter and spring seasons.The recent introduction of the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme, combined with the region’s strong airline connections to the UK, is set to further enhance the ease of travel for GCC nationals visiting Britain. The ETA will cost £10 and allow visitors to visit the UK multiple times over a two-year period. Qatar is the first country to move on to the ETA scheme and Qatari nationals can now apply and will require an ETA to travel to the UK on or after 15 November 2023. From 01 February 2024, the scheme will be introduced for nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.Since the Covid pandemic there has been continued recovery in tourism from the GCC to the UK. VisitBritain is forecasting that spending by GCC visitors in the UK will return to 2019 levels by 2024 and visitation numbers to return by 2025.The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries are very important inbound tourism markets for the UK, its second most valuable market for visitor spending, when all six countries are combined. The latest official full year statistics are for 2022. These showed that there were 791,000 visits from the GCC to the UK, with those visitors spending £2 billion during their stays. Visitors from the GCC spent an average of £2,578 on their trips to the UK in 2022, more than three times the all visitor average. They also stayed longer in the UK, 16 nights, compared to an all market average of eight.The latest available statistics are for January to June 2023. These show that from January to June 2023 there were 411,000 visits from the GCC to the UK with those visitors spending £945 million. Flight bookings from the Middle East to the UK have been showing strong recovery and are currently tracking at about 93% of 2019 levels.VisitBritain’s research shows that visitors from the GCC enjoy dining in Britain’s wonderful restaurants, shopping, sightseeing at its famous monuments and buildings, visiting parks and gardens, museums and art galleries - all of which Britain caters for in abundance. VisitBritain’s consumer sentiment research also shows travellers from the GCC are keen to roam around, visiting multiple destination types on their next international trip, as well as visiting large cities.VisitBritain’s ‘See Things Differently’ campaign is part of the UK Government’s GREAT campaign.More information about the ‘See Things Differently’ campaign:VisitBritain’s marketing campaign in the GCC is a continuation of its ‘Spilling the Tea’ on Great Britain campaigns which first rolled out in February this year under the umbrella of ‘See Things Differently.’The campaign has been developed based on VisitBritain’s research into motivations for travel now, with discovering new and surprising experiences high on the wish list for its target audiences and markets.The full list of locations and activities seen in the campaign are:EnglandBamburgh, NorthumberlandBath, SomersetBirmingham, West MidlandsBrighton, East SussexBristolCoventry, West MidlandsLake District, Cumbria (Alpacaly Ever After)Leeds, West Yorkshire (Afternoon Tea at Issho)Liverpool, Merseyside (Oh Me Oh My roof garden)Liverpool, Merseyside (Crosby Beach)Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and WearYorkshire Moors, North YorkshireSaffron Walden, EssexSeaford, East SussexWhitby, North YorkshireLondonCovent Garden, LondonLittle Venice, LondonNotting Hill, LondonRichmond, LondonSouth Kensington, London (Science Afternoon Tea at the Ampersand Hotel)Tottenham, London (The Dare Skywalk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)Tower Bridge, London (London Kayaking Company)Scotland:Achmelvich, Scottish HighlandsCairngorms National Park, Scottish HighlandsCaledonian Canal, Scottish HighlandsEdinburghElie, FifeGlencoe, Scottish HighlandsLoch Ness, Scottish HighlandsWales:Cardiff (Cardiff Castle)Eryri (Snowdonia), GwyneddPorthcawl Beach, BridgendFreshwater West; PembrokeshireStrumble Head, PembrokeshireThe Gower Peninsula, SwanseaFor more on the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme please visit

Al Ramz Corporation PJSC appoints Yazan Abdeen as CE of Asset Management

Al Ramz Corporation PJSC (ALRAMZ:UH), a leading financial services provider in the UAE, announced today the appointment of Yazan Abdeen as chief executive of its asset management business.Yazan will spearhead Al Ramz's distinguished asset management division, a foundational component of the Group. This boasts an impressive track record and manages a robust portfolio of assets under management. With a comprehensive value proposition that includes fund management, discretionary portfolio management, and tailored family business services, Al Ramz continues to solidify its leadership position in the industry, catering to a growing clientele.Yazan boasts an extensive track record in asset management, having accumulated over twenty years of expertise in the MENA capital markets. He has served in key roles such as CEO of Abu Dhabi Investment Management, Head of MENA Capital Markets at SEDCO Capital, and Fund Manager at ING Investment Management Middle East. Notably, Yazan was instrumental in launching and managing the first MENA equities long/short hedge fund in the Middle East. Yazan has been recognized for his contributions and awarded prestigious titles, including Saudi Asset Manager of the Year, Top-Performing MENA Fund, and Best MENA Fund Launch. He has also been listed multiple times on the MENAFM Power 50 Fund Managers.Bottom of FormMohamad Al Mortada Al Dandashi, Group Managing Director at Al Ramz, stated: "As Al Ramz progresses in its growth trajectory, we are pleased to welcome Yazan Abdeen to our team. Yazan’s experience and strategic insight support our growth goals. We believe that under his leadership, we can address the challenges and opportunities as we continue our development and expansion."Yazan Abdeen, Chief Executive of Asset Management at Al Ramz said: "As I take on the role of chief executive of Al Ramz Asset Management, I recognize the importance of our strategic direction. We aim to partner for growth, invest for value, lead through innovation, succeed through discipline and grow with trust. Our vision includes embracing innovation and intelligence into our business including quantitative offering and digital solutions through the use of advanced technologies as well as expanding our track record to capitalize on market opportunities.Al Ramz Corporation PJSC's appointment of Yazan as the CEO of Asset Management reflects its dedication to enhancing its asset management capabilities and serving its clients effectively. This decision aligns with the Group’s vision for growth in the evolving financial sector.

Olfa Messaoudi appointed as new Chief Digital and Marketing Officer of L’Oréal

Olfa Messaoudi has been appointed as the Chief Digital and Marketing Officer for L’Oréal Middle East. This marks a significant milestone for the company. With a remarkable 20-year career in digital and marketing transformation, Messaoudi brings a wealth of experience from her work with renowned brands and agencies across different regions.In her current position, Messaoudi is tasked with leading L’Oréal’s marketing initiatives in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This includes overseeing various aspects of the business strategy such as digital, media, e-commerce, platforms, services, market intelligence, and consumer insights. Her role is pivotal in reinforcing L’Oréal Middle East's position as a global leader in the beauty industry.Messaoudi's journey with L’Oréal began in 2010 when she joined as the Global Digital Manager for Lancôme. During her tenure, she played a crucial role in orchestrating Lancôme's digital transformation, encompassing 360 activations, e-commerce strategies, and customer relationship management. In 2014, she relocated to Dubai to take on the role of Regional Head of Digital for L’Oréal Middle East Luxe Division. Here, she played a key role in advancing e-commerce in the region and spearheading the luxury transformation.Returning to Paris in 2017, Messaoudi assumed the position of Global Vice President of Digital, E-commerce, and Customer Relationship Management for YSL Beauty. In this capacity, she played a vital role in driving the brand's e-commerce growth and enhancing the online-to-offline consumer experience through the rollout of services and beauty tech. Before her current role, Messaoudi joined the SAPMENA Luxe Management Committee in 2021, based in Singapore, as the Chief Consumer Experience Officer. Here, she continued to contribute significantly to the online-to-offline consumer journey and laid the foundation for customer relationship management transformation. Additionally, she implemented new frameworks to ensure a seamless consumer experience across media and the e-boutique.Overall, Olfa Messaoudi's extensive experience and innovative approach are expected to play a crucial role in furthering L’Oréal Middle East’s digital and marketing initiatives, solidifying its position as a leader in the beauty industry.

Bold Group unveils groundbreaking AI project at Athar Creative Festival

The Bold Group made a significant impact at the Athar Saudi Creative Festival by launching an AI project, showcasing a pivotal step in integrating artificial intelligence into the advertising realm. The festival, hosted at the RDC - Crown Plaza in Riyadh, served as a platform for the company to unveil its innovative AI initiative designed specifically for the cultural context of Saudi Arabia's advertising industry.At the heart of the initiative was the company's booth, which demonstrated the practical application of AI in the Saudi advertising sector. Beyond being a technological leap, the project aligns with Saudi Arabia's strategic vision for the advertising industry, aiming to enhance the cultural relevance of advertising campaigns and create tools tailored to the Saudi market.Key industry figures, including Abeer Alessa, Ziad Abou Rjeily, and Rasha Alsaleh, played significant roles as speakers at the festival. Alessa shared insights into the evolving challenges within Saudi Arabia's creative industry, Abou Rjeily delved into the metaverse and its potential for immersive experiences, and Alsaleh focused on the changing engagement of youth in the creative sector, emphasizing their needs and aspirations.The Bold Group's initiative seeks to inspire and involve creative professionals and industry stakeholders, urging them to explore and embrace AI in advertising. The company emphasizes collaboration, partnerships, and investments to drive advancements in the advertising industry in the region. Abeer Alessa stated, "Our initiative is a journey to embrace AI in a way that complements and enriches our cultural fabric, perfectly aligning with the strategic vision of Saudi Arabia." Ziad Abou Rjeily added, "We are on the brink of a new era where AI offers deep insights, marking our commitment to continuous learning and evolution in the creative industry."The Bold Group's presence at the Athar Saudi Creative Festival sets a new standard in the industry, showcasing their dedication to pioneering AI technology in advertising and fostering innovation within the creative community. Their active involvement establishes a foundation for future advancements and collaborations in the advertising landscape of Saudi Arabia

Athar Awards honours Saudi marketers Obeid Al Abdali, Kaswara Al Khatib

 Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity, the largest gathering of the creative marketing industry in the Kingdom, concluded its inaugural edition with the Athar Awards ceremony that saw the likes of Dr Obeid Al Abdali, President of Mazeej Marketing Consulting and Kaswara Al Khatib, Chairman of UTURN, take home the Saudi Athar Marketer Award and Saudi Athar Empowerment Award, respectively.The festival, which brought together more than 1,400 attendees from across the region and beyond to Riyadh, celebrated the distinguished work of some of the finest talent at the first Athar Legacy Awards of the Decade and the Athar Special Awards on 16 November 2023. In addition, the event also recognised winners of the Young Talent Academy Programme’s 24-hour hack competition as well as the participants of the Maheerah Programme.Attended by the who’s who of the industry from across the region, the award ceremony saw top honours being given away by the awards were given away in grand fashion by Ian Fairservice, Chairman of Athar Festival and Managing Partner & Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate Media Group, and Mohamed Al Ayed, Vice Chairman of Athar Festival and CEO of TRACCS, alongside other senior leaders from reputable Saudi organisations.Commenting on the success of the festival, Fairservice stated: “Over the last few days, Athar Festival has proven that the potential for creativity in Saudi Arabia is simply boundless. Though it may have come to an end here at the Athar Awards, the conversations have only just begun, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”Similarly, sharing his thoughts on the inaugural edition of the Athar Awards, Al Ayed said: “Creativity has always been the differentiating factor of success. That success is what the first-ever Athar Awards intends to recognise and celebrate as we draw the curtain on what has been a truly amazing and inspiring festival. We are confident that the impact created here will spread to empower even greater levels of creative innovation in the Kingdom.”Athar Legacy Awards of the Decade:The Athar Legacy Awards of the Decade, recognised agencies and brands verified by the Dubai Lynx and Cannes Lions international festivals of creativity based on the highest number of cumulative points gained over the last decade. The four categories and the proud winners were:Saudi Athar Media Network of the Decade: StarcomSaudi Athar Brand of the Decade: stcSaudi Athar Agency of the Decade: Wunderman Thompson, RiyadhSaudi Athar Network of the Decade: Wunderman ThompsonAthar Special Awards:The Athar Special Awards went out to the most outstanding individuals, market leaders, and organisations who have positively contributed to the local creative industry’s growth and development. These awards were given across two individual categories and four group categories:Individual CategoriesSaudi Athar Marketer Award: Dr Obeid Al Abdali, President of Mazeej Marketing ConsultingSaudi Athar Empowerment Award: Kaswara Al Khatib, Chairman of UTURNGroup CategoriesSaudi Athar Disruptors Award: The Bold GroupSaudi Athar Excellence Award: The FullstopSaudi Athar Game Changer Award: AramcoSaudi Athar Creative Recognition Award: Impact BBDOYoung Talent Academies Awards:A fitting culmination of the Young Talent Academy Programme that took place over the course of the Athar Festival, the Young Talent Academy Awards at the ceremony acknowledged the outstanding performance of participants who excelled in six academies related to public relations, social communications, branding and design, innovation, copywriting, and planning.Held from 13-15 November, these youth took part in a 24-hour hack competition that saw the leaders of tomorrow put their skills to the test, with each academy producing a number of winners:Social Communications Academy Hack Competition WinnersLama Baaj, XELEMENTHessa Alnoufal, BassmatShahad Alhammad, HungerStationBranding and Design Academy Hack Competition WinnersNancy ElAzzi, Wunderman ThompsonMazunah Alfagham, King Saud UniversityAhmed Al-Hassan, XELEMENTInnovation Academy Hack Competition WinnersRaghad Othman, HungerStationSara Alruwalily, King Saud UniversityShaden Alotaibi, King Saud UniversityCopywriting Academy Hack Competition WinnersNouf Mishall Mohabat, SABICRuba Alshamrani, HungerStationYara Al Hanaya, Lhamin MarketingPlanning Academy Hack Competition WinnersNoora Alissa, HungerStationAmmar Sadiq, MindshareAbdullah Dahan, Onsor MoshaSaleh Alhedaithy, BassmatAyman Aldahan, MindsharePublic Relations Academy Hack Competition WinnersRaneem Alotaibi, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic UniversityAljohara Alsuliman, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic UniversityRaghad Asiri, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic UniversitySahar Alharbi, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic UniversityRaya Almoshawah, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic UniversityThe Athar Awards ceremony successfully culminated the inaugural edition of the Athar Festival that brought the local and international creative community together to uncover and amplify the creative potential of Saudi Arabia. The realisation of this potential and its business impact on the industry and beyond will likely be explored in next year’s edition of the festival.

Idealz announces its latest millionaire winner

 In a life-changing triumph, Athul Monika, a computer engineer from Kerala - India, residing in the UAE, wins the latest AED1 million raffle draw by Idealz.This was made possible with a simple purchase of a AED30 'idealzbasics' shopping card from the Idealz mobile app. The campaign that attracted a diverse range of participants ended on November 5th and Athul’s name was drawn by a government official from Dubai Economy and Tourism during a live draw aired on the Idealz app and YouTube channel.Speaking of the win, Athul said: "When I first received the call, my wife and I thought it was not real. I'm still in disbelief that I've won this amount. With my baby girl born just last month, this news is beyond incredible, and I believe that her birth has brought immense luck to my family. This amount is truly life-changing, and though I haven't planned what I’m going to do with it, it presents incredible opportunities."Athul further added, “I've been participating with Idealz for a year now, and to finally emerge as a winner is truly gratifying. I plan to continue being a part of Idealz’s upcoming campaigns and strongly encourage everyone to join in as you never know when you might strike it big."The AED1 million campaign is a mainstay on the Idealz platform, designed to offer its global customer base a continuous chance to become a millionaire with a single affordable purchase. As the platform evolves and pioneers new ideas however, participants can look forward to a host of thrilling opportunities and surprises in the days ahead such as the chance to drive home a luxury sports car or move into their very own apartment.Visit or download the Idealz mobile app to stay up to date on the life-changing and exciting campaigns offered by the ‘first-of-its-kind’ platform.

Smart Salem appoints new CEO and unveils expansion plans across MENA

Smart Salem, the UAE's leading high-tech visa medical testing provider, today announced the appointment of Amanda Gravitis as its new Chief Executive Officer. Amanda will replace Sanjay Verma, who will move into a new role with Visiomed Group, the parent company of Smart Salem, as the Regional Manager for the MENA region.Amanda is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Smart Salem and, over the last 18 months, has played a pivotal role in structuring and expanding the company. Amanda will begin as Smart Salem CEO effective immediately. She will lead the diversification and further growth of the three premium visa medical and wellness centers in Dubai – located in Index Tower DIFC, City Walk and Dubai Knowledge Park.Prior to joining Smart Salem, Amanda held senior positions at PwC and Government entities across Asia Pacific and the Middle East. She has an excellent track record for strategy development and execution and organisational transformation.Sanjay took over the Chief Executive role at Smart Salem in early 2022. Since then, Smart Salem has tripled its physical footprint to three prestigious centers around Dubai and has seen impressive and steady growth: from approximately 300 daily visits in early 2022 to over 570 in October 2023, +41% revenue growth in H1-2023 versus H1-2022, and a strong diversification of its services towards wellness and prevention.Sanjay’s new appointment highlights Visiomed Group’s expansion into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and follows the incorporation of a new joint venture, called Smart Health, between Visiomed Group, Abrar Communications and Al Ghazzawy Group, with the support of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Investment (MISA), as part of a national project to deploy digital diagnostic centres.Thomas Picquette, CEO of Visiomed Group, commented: “The appointments of Sanjay and Amanda underpin one of the most exciting chapters of the Smart Salem journey yet. This year has seen us hit milestone after milestone, and we are set up to meet our future ambitions for 2024 and beyond, including the expansion of our services and physical presence across the MENA region. Both individuals have excellent, proven strategic capabilities, and we, the board, are more than confident that the company will reach new heights of success under their esteemed leadership.”Sanjay Verma, Regional Manager of Visiomed Group in MENA, commented: "In just a few years, Smart Salem has been established as one of the most vibrant and technologically advanced health and wellness providers in the UAE, reflecting the remarkable progress we've made in a short time. I have had the privilege of leading the business during this exciting phase, and I am delighted to be passing it over to Amanda, who has been instrumental in the success of our strategy so far."I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated team and loyal clientele, whose unwavering trust and support have been instrumental in my journey with the firm. In my new role, I look forward to driving further the impressive global footprint of Visiomed Group as we remain steadfast in our mission to redefine the standards of wellness and healthcare services across MENA.”Amanda Gravitis, CEO of Smart Salem, said: “I am delighted with my appointment to CEO of Smart Salem. During my time as COO, I have had the pleasure of scaling our business by delivering state-of-the-art facilities, leveraging cutting-edge technologies and innovations, building a talented team, and ensuring our purpose – improving the health and wellness of the community – is central to everything we do. I look forward to this next challenge of steering our business and its growth, and ultimately to continue pushing boundaries to deliver world-class health and wellness services.”Smart Salem offers express visa services, providing customers with a premium experience, the convenience of one-stop shop visa residency services, and preventative, general wellness testing. Visa medical results are the fastest in the market, with results guaranteed within just 30 minutes. Smart Salem is conveniently open for extended hours six days per week, with three easily accessible locations across the city.

AGMC Geely launches all-new Tugella

AGMC, the official distributor of Geely vehicles in the UAE, has announced the launch of the all-new Geely Tugella in the UAE. Tugella features an iconic 14-degree fastback coupe design that combines elegance with superior aerodynamics, alongside a raft of exciting technology, unrivalled performance and incredible value at a starting price of AED105,900.Defined by leading features such as an L-shaped asymmetrical cockpit – an innovative design offering unmatched visibility and easy-to-reach controls – and outstanding driver and passenger comfort, all underpinned by Geely’s pioneering Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), the all-new Tugella allows customers to discover the joy of a premium driving experience. The sportback’s elegance and superior aerodynamics are the result of the 14-degree golden ratio unbroken roofline extension from the top of the windshield down to the tail of the car.Commenting on the launch, Dr Andreas Schaaf, CEO – New Ventures at Albatha Automotive said: “We are delighted to introduce our valued customers in the United Arab Emirates to the all-new Geely Tugella, a trendsetting sportback SUV boasting a luxurious interior and advanced technology, safety and performance features. With a compelling price positioning, the launch of this latest model will only serve to boost Geely’s popularity in the UAE, and we are deeply thankful for the trust in Geely shown by customers across the country so far. With the sleek and sporty Tugella, we are confident that they will be thrilled by the unmatched value alongside the superior driving experience and impressive list of features. Backed by Geely’s impeccable commitment to quality, the Tugella is certain to become a hot favourite among motorists in the UAE.”The Geely Tugella elevates driving to a new level with its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder direct-injection engine, providing a power output of 238hp and torque of 350Nm. Its Aisin 8-speed automatic transmission and BorgWarner’s fifth generation 4WD system ensure superior road handling through even distribution of power between its axles. This sophisticated combination of powertrain and chassis technology enables the Tugella to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 6.9 seconds – setting the stage for a thrilling driving experience on the UAE’s roads.The Tugella’s stunning list of features includes top-of-range industry benchmarks such as keyless start, Electric Parking Brake, and adaptive cruise control system, in addition to a bundle of impressive safety and driver assist functions such as a 540° camera, Hill Start and Descent Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Crossing Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Speed Limit Identification Function (SLIF). An in-built wave radar scans blind spots to ensure driving safety, especially when reversing at low speed – where pedestrians and vehicles approaching laterally can be detected in real-time.A key highlight of the Geely Tugella’s interior is the Interstellar Aurora Cockpit featuring a seamless blend of superior technology, a jet plane throttle-inspired gear shifter, and an 8-color ambient light display that changes as per the selected driving mode – Normal, Eco, Sport, Snow/Sand, or Off Road.The latest intelligent vehicle technologies turn the Tugella into a smart car providing greater connectivity and convenience, while the high-tech dual 12-inch screen can also display Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) functions that make every journey safer. The 12 discreetly installed Bose speakers ensure that all on board can revel in a truly immersive sound experience. The all-new Geely Tugella’s sporty exterior is complemented by its array of colour options, including crystal black, titanium silver, moonstone white, deep ocean blue, and amber red.With an unbeatable combination of style, safety and technology, it’s no wonder that the Geely Tugella recently surpassed the global auto industry reliability verification standards, derived from performance tests conducted in 57 environments.

Introducing shiplifier, a unified platform set to streamline e-commerce shipping

Shiplifier, a homegrown platform providing seamless shipping solutions under one dashboard, has formally launched operations, coming in as a key solution to ecommerce businesses to secure reduced shipping rates from multiple shipping companies. At the North Star’s Supernova Competition held at GITEX in 2022, Shiplifier were a finalist for its Top 10 Startup of the MENA Region. Founded by CEO Ali Javaheri, Shiplifier was born out of desire to streamline and automate shipping logistics for e-commerce businesses. A traditionally tedious process that typically requires users to shop rates from various couriers via different platforms. Since its inception in March, Shiplifier has garnered more than 300 customers and ecommerce businesses, amassing a Month-to-Month increase of 100%. Shiplifier’s achievements and strategic courier rates from multiple third party logistics grants businesses unprecedented flexibility with access to competitive rates from couriers including I Mile Delivery, DHL, FedEx, Aramex, Zajel and SMSA Express. Shiplifier is a cost-effective path delivering in a timely manner by streamlining key operations empowering businesses to efficiently process, ship, track, and monitor packages. The platform significantly reduces the time businesses spend on logistics management, through consolidation and conveniently accessible within a unified and user-friendly platform.Drawing from his four years of invaluable experience within the shipping and e-commerce industry in North America, Shiplifier’s CEO Ali Javaheri comments, “Today, users are accustomed to placing orders for food that encompasseses all aspects from cooking, preparation, packaging and the delivery. Similarly with Shiplifier, customers can expect the same 360 solutions for their ecommerce business when it comes to shipping and logistics.” Shiplifier’s extensive network not only provides businesses the freedom to choose from top-tier shipping solutions but also facilitates smooth integration with leading e-commerce platforms, elevating the overall efficiency of logistics and order processing.

3-Day Super Sale to commence at The Galleria Al Maryah Island on 24 November

As the holiday season approaches, The Galleria Al Maryah Island launches its highly anticipated 3-Day Super Sale, set to take place from 24 to 26 November 2023. Guests will be offered an exclusive opportunity to enjoy discounts of up to 90% off from a myriad of leading brands.Aligned with the excitement of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Race Weekend, The Galleria welcomes guests from Abu Dhabi and beyond to indulge in a unique shopping and dining experience. The lifestyle destination complements the highly anticipated weekend with a vibrant atmosphere of discount shopping.The Galleria boasts a diverse range of retail concepts, from luxury brands to homeware, electronics, accessories and dining options. Guests seeking the perfect gift or looking to pamper themselves will find an array of offers tailored to their preferences.Key retailers such as Gina and Lululemon will present enticing discounts of up to 50%, while Sophia Home will offer an impressive 75% discount and the newly opened Foot Locker will offer deals up to 50% off on selected items.Moreover, guests seeking exceptional home furniture can enjoy up to 80% on selected items at United Furniture and Ashley Homestore. For those looking to update their makeup sets, NYX Cosmetics is offering a buy 1-get-1 free offer and 50% off on selected items whereas Kiko Milano is offering a buy 3, get 3 free package.Guests are offered the simplest yet ideal solution for gifting loved ones with The Galleria Gift Card that can be redeemed at any boutique or restaurant within the destination throughout an entire year, allowing guests the convenience to shop at their own leisure.For every gift card purchase totalling AED 250 or more, guests will receive the exclusive fragrance from The Galleria, making the shopping experience even more delightful and memorable. This luxurious fragrance seamlessly weaves together the refreshing essence of citrus, the inviting embrace of wood and the alluring notes of musk. The exclusive scent will be available only while stocks last.Adding to the excitement of Race Weekend, the Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season returns for its fourth consecutive year boosting the emirate’s flourishing retail scene during the bustling festive period. As part of this initiative and in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), The Galleria will continue to position itself as a hub for tourists and locals alike to relish the approaching shopping and festive season as it welcomes its highly anticipated Winter Wonderland from 04 December 2023.Experience an abundance of engaging activities and diverse dining options suitable for everyone, ensuring cherished moments with family and friends.

Ooredoo wins two prestigious investor relations awards

Ooredoo Q.P.S.C, a leading telecommunications provider, has won two prestigious awards at the 2023 edition of the Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) Annual Conference held in Bahrain. The prestigious event, attracting 500 delegates, culminated in Ooredoo being named the “Leading Corporate for Investor Relations” and secured the “Best Investor Relations Professional” award in Qatar for the fourth consecutive year.The MEIRA Annual Conference concluded on the 14th of November 2023. Held in Bahrain this year, MEIRA is the Middle East’s largest event dedicated to investor relations hosting over 500 delegates. The theme of the event was “From ESG to Sustainable Capital Markets”.Commenting on the news, Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, said: “I like to extend my gratitude to the MEIRA community for their confidence in our efforts. Once again, these awards reaffirm our steadfast dedication to best practices in Investor Relations. At Ooredoo, our commitment to delivering timely, transparent, and reliable information is paramount. I express my sincere appreciation and pride for the exceptional work of our team, whose dedication has been instrumental in earning these prestigious recognitions.”

Foreign Investor Ownership in Saudi Capital Market Surges by 300% Over 5 Years

The value of foreign investments in the Saudi capital market has increased by 300% over the past five years, specifically from 2018 to the end of 2022, reaching SAR 347.01 billion by the end of the period. This constitutes 14.2% of the total value of the free float in the main market, compared to SAR 86.86 billion in 2018, which represents 3.77% of the total value of free float shares in the main market for that year.In this regard, the Capital Market Authority's (“CMA's") Deputy of Listed Companies and Investment Products, Abdullah Mohammed Binghannam reported that the CMA aims to position the Saudi capital market among the leading markets regionally and internationally. Diversifying the investor base is critical to reaching such a ranking. The CMA has made major efforts in recent years to increase the attractiveness of the Saudi capital market to foreign investors and to encourage their entry and participation in the trading and offerings, as well as in the general assemblies of firms. Since allowing foreign investors to directly invest in the capital market in 2015, the Saudi Capital Market has evolved from a local market to one where the foreign investor participates in daily trading at rates exceeding 17%, compared to less than 4% before. The foreign ownership value now exceeds SAR 347 billion.Foreign investment in the main capital market has increased significantly, reaching unprecedented historic levels. From 2018 to 2022, net foreign investment in the main market exceeded SAR 180 billion. The contribution of foreign investors to company offerings has increased, and foreign investor ownership in the Saudi debt instruments market has increased more than tenfold since the debt instruments market was opened to all categories of foreign investors without restrictions by the end of 2020. Since the Saudi capital market joined the major emerging market indexes in 2019, the rate of increase in foreign investments throughout 2022 has been the highest. This development has contributed to QFI ownership increasing to 1877%, reaching SAR 271.23 billion by the end of 2022, up from SAR 13.7 and SAR 134.48 billion in 2018 and 2019, respectively. By the end of the preceding year, QFIs accounted for 78% of total foreign investment.According to the CMA's Deputy of Listed Companies and Investment Products, the anticipated positive effects of raising foreign investors' share of the capital market and improving their cash flows go beyond that. They stimulate the local economy by attracting new foreign capital to finance the growth of listed firms, as well as offering knowledge and expertise to local companies by strengthening the foreign investor's position in them.Binghannam added that the CMA exerted strenuous efforts during the previous period to increase foreign investors' participation in the Saudi capital market. Among the said prominent efforts are allowing foreign investors to directly invest in debt instruments and approving Instructions for International Central Securities Depositories, a step that contributes to facilitating procedures for attracting foreign investments to Sukuk and debt instruments domestic market. In addition, the recent approval of the Rules for Foreign Investment in Securities. These Rules were methodically and gradually facilitated to minimize the differences between QFIs and other investor categories in the Saudi market, facilitate procedures for foreign investors' entry to the Saudi capital market, and enable broader access to other investment types. The approved Rules can be reviewed through the following link: (Link)The Deputy concluded that CMA's strategic plan, along with its main pillars, aim to raise the Saudi market's status and global classification in a way that shall contribute to raising the attractiveness and efficiency of the capital market and enhancing its competitiveness regionally and internationally. One of the strategic objectives of the CMA's plan is to raise the attractiveness of the market to foreign investors. ?

Forbes Middle East presents the 2023 class of 30 Under 30

Dubai: Forbes Middle East has unveiled its highly anticipated sixth annual 30 Under 30 list, showcasing the region’s most exceptional young talent making waves across diverse industries. This year’s list spotlights 120 entries spanning four main categories: Commerce and Finance, Entertainment, Science and Technology, and Social Impact. Each category has 30 entries.To be eligible for the 30 Under 30 list, applicants had to have been under 30 years old on December 31, 2022, meaning that anybody born in 1993 or later was eligible to be on the list. Candidates could have any nationality but had to have their primary impact in MENA.To find the region's most promising young talent, Forbes Middle East assessed more than 600 applications over several rounds of assessments. A shortlist of 240 candidates were then evaluated by independent external judges, all experts in their respective fields. Factors like candidates' impact on their industry, market, society, and future potential were considered. Quantifiable data such as funds raised, awards won, revenues, the value of deals, number of people impacted, number of customers, and number of social media followers were also taken into account.The Class of 2023 celebrates the achievements of 145 individuals representing 22 nationalities, with Egyptians leading the way with 44 individuals, followed by 15 Saudis, 14 Lebanese, 13 Emiratis, and 10 Jordanians. All honorees are based in the Middle East or have their primary business or conduct their core activities in the region. They are dispersed across 20 countries, showcasing the diversity and impact of the region’s emerging leaders. The U.A.E. is home to the most listees with 43 based in the emirates, 36 in Egypt, 14 in Saudi Arabia, nine in Lebanon, and six in Jordan.While each category has 30 entries, Commerce and Finance dominates with the highest number of individuals with 44, followed by Science and Technology and Social Impact with 34 each, and 33 in Entertainment. Among the impressive roster of honorees is Egyptian table tennis champion Hana Goda, the youngest listee at just 15, and 18-year-old Iraqi weightlifter Ali Ammar Rubaiawi. The average age of everyone on the list is 26.6 years old. The list also features Egyptian rapper Wegz and sports stars Mayar Sharif, Hana Gouda, Basant Hamida and Sarah Samir.Of the 145 individuals, 107 are entrepreneurs, making up 74% of the list. If one business had two cofounders or more under the age of 30, they were counted as one entry. Notably, Abdallah Abu Sheikh, leads U.A.E.-based Astra Tech, the highest-funded company on the list. The 28-year-old secured $500 million from G42 in 2022.Forbes Middle East is now finalizing an electrifying agenda for its flagship Under 30 Summit in El Gouna, Egypt in January 2024, which will gather together the Middle East’s esteemed Under 30 community, investors, and business leaders.

Meta, Christian Louboutin file joint lawsuit against counterfeiter

Meta and Christian Louboutin filed a joint lawsuit against an individual running a counterfeiting operation from Mexico. The defendant was using digital platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, to promote the sale of counterfeit Christian Louboutin products. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, claims the defendant violated Meta’s Terms of Service and Instagram’s Terms of Use and infringed Christian Louboutin’s intellectual property rights by using Facebook and Instagram accounts to promote the sale of counterfeit goods. Our policies and Terms prohibit IP infringement, including the sale or promotion of counterfeit products. Consistent with this, we have taken multiple enforcement actions against the defendant’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp accounts. "We have implemented robust IP protection measures across our technologies, including proactive detection and enforcement, a global notice-and-takedown program and policies to suspend repeat infringers. In addition, we provide businesses with tools to report IP violations and prevent harm via Brand Rights Protection, Rights Manager and the Intellectual Property Reporting API. Our global team of trained professionals provides around-the-clock coverage removing infringing content in multiple languages. In the second half of 2022, we removed more than 1.7 million pieces of content on Facebook and Instagram in response to more than 180,000 counterfeit reports, and more than 115 million pieces of content before it was reported to us by a rights holder," said Jessica Romero, Director & Associate General Counsel, Litigation and Mark Fiore, Director & Associate General Counsel, IP.  "We continue to work to ensure Meta’s platforms are safe for people and businesses to connect, share and buy and sell together. This lawsuit is a clear signal to those who would seek to engage in similar abuses that this behavior will not be tolerated. Meta and Christian Louboutin plan to continue their enforcement efforts against counterfeiting and hold those who abuse our policies accountable."

BizAway appoints Shiraz Ahmad Farooqui as Regional Sales Director

BizAway, a leader in the corporate travel and technology sector, has announced the arrival of Shiraz Ahmad Farooqui as the Regional Sales Director for the UAE region. This new hire represents a significant step in BizAway's expansion into the Middle Eastern market and is based on an impressive career and a unique set of skills.Shiraz Ahmad Farooqui brings with him over 20 years of professional experience, particularly in launching and developing new businesses and territories, as well as identifying growth opportunities from scratch. His expertise spans from designing Go-To-Market strategies to establishing local teams and discovering new revenue opportunities. His ability to innovate and implement solutions for sustainable growth across various marketing and sales strategies is an invaluable asset to BizAway.Shiraz has excelled in complex environments, having worked with successful startups like Fetchr and Holidayme in the Middle East region since 2014.Furthermore, Shiraz has a deep wealth of experience in various sectors, including location-based startups, e-commerce companies, and businesses that have achieved success through funding rounds, including his initial company's IPO in 2019. He has demonstrated his ability to manage large teams and has held key roles in revenue generation.His decision to join BizAway was driven by his passion for technology and the corporate travel industry, as well as his belief that BizAway is solving the day-to-day challenges of business travel in an innovative and compelling way. Shiraz sees significant potential in the solutions offered by BizAway and perceives no significant barriers to their adoption in the market."Shiraz Ahmad Farooqui's extensive experience in innovation and startup management, combined with his strong professional commitment, provide a solid foundation for a successful collaboration," says Luca Carlucci, CEO of BizAway. "We are excited to welcome him to our team and are confident that he will make a significant contribution to the future of BizAway in the UAE region."

McDonald’s and Crocs partner for a global shoe collaboration

McDonald’s and Crocs fans have been buzzing about a new brand mash-up that could elevate any look, and now it is confirmed. McDonald’s and Crocs are introducing their first-ever collab. Inspired by both Crocs Stars™ and Mickey D’s loyalists, the collab will drop with a full line of shoes, socks and Jibbitz™ charms beginning tomorrow in countries around the world.The collection features a variety of footwear, including Crocs' classic clogs and Cozzzy Sandals, along with matching socks. The inspiration for the collection comes from iconic McDonald's trademark characters such as Grimace, Birdie, and Hamburglar. Each character's shoes are designed to reflect their personality and favorite menu items. For example, the Grimace x Crocs Cozzzy Sandal in purple comes with a shake, the Birdie x Crocs Classic Clog in yellow and pink comes with a McDonald's Egg McMuffin, and the Hamburglar x Crocs Classic Clog in black and white stripes features his go-to order—a hamburger.Although the collection doesn't include shoes inspired by McDonald's famous clown, Ronald McDonald, it does feature classic golden arches-sporting red Crocs, known as the McDonald's x Crocs Classic Clog.<img src='\be7e80059e1cbc8c80eb7f528e9180dd.png' class='content_image'>Additionally, the collection includes new charms representing popular menu items such as Chicken McNuggets, World Famous Fries, and the Big Mac. This collaboration seems to offer a playful and unique fusion of fashion and fast-food culture.The McDonald’s x Crocs collab not only fuels a shared brand love, but McDonald’s first-ever global shoe collab also celebrates a beloved cause in Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC). In honour of the Crocs partnership, McDonald's is stepping up for RMHC and will make a donation to help support families with children who are sick and give access to the medical care and resources they need.

Third Investopia Summit in Abu Dhabi to kick off in February

Abu Dhabi: H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of Investopia, announced the details of the upcoming edition of the Investopia summit, which will be held in Abu Dhabi on 28 and 29 of February, 2024, under the theme “Emerging Economic Frontiers: Investing in Fast-Growing Sectors in the New Economy.” It is set to draw the participation of a number of prominent local and international figures including investors, government officials, decision-makers, and entrepreneurs.The announcement was made during a press conference held recently, in the presence of Investopia partners, and more than 75 officials and investors from the government and private sectors at the local, regional, and global levels. The press conference witnessed the signing of eight MoUs between Investopia and its prominent partners for the third edition, which includes the General Civil Aviation Authority in the UAE (GCAA), “SALT”, a global forum for entrepreneurship and investment, EFG Consulting, Standard Chartered Bank, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and Citibank, who will collaborate in organizing Investopia 2024.H.E. Bin Touq said: “The Investopia summit is one of the most important projects of the UAE in transitioning towards the new economic model and stimulating investment in future economic sectors. The summit has succeeded in presenting a unique and innovative model for global investment events, and building partnerships with global institutions and companies. Investopia will continue its vital role as an influential player in the regional and international investment arena, generating opportunities in new economic sectors and strengthening the link between global business communities and the UAE, one of the fastest-growing global investment and trade hubs.”Elaborating on the latest edition of Investopia, H.E. Bin Touq said that it focuses on three main themes: Global Dialogues, Investment Communities and Investopia Marketplace. Under the first theme, dialogue sessions and events will be organized with the participation of business leaders, investors and innovators from all over the world. They will discuss key topics that are shaping the global investment ecosystem strategies for risk capital transactions, job creation and growth potential for a low-carbon economy and the new generation of investment. Opportunities to expand into new economic sectors, particularly advanced technologies for the aviation sector, renewable energy, circular economy and modern technologies used in supply chains will also be discussed.He added: "The second axis of Investopia contributes to promoting dialogue between investors and decision makers in governments and the private sector globally and in specific economic sectors. Meanwhile, the third one focuses on enhancing the use of the Investopia Marketplace platform, which connects capital and investment funds around the world and provides the largest investment opportunity database."He added: "The new Investopia summit, to be held in Abu Dhabi, will feature a series of events and activities, including several interactive sessions and closed roundtables at the government level on investment opportunities in the UAE market as well as regional and global markets. It will also highlight the shifts in the global investment climate in light of developments that have created new economic concepts of virtual reality and green and sustainable economies and their implications for investment priorities in critical sectors. These include food technology, clean energy, climate technology and modern technologies associated with the transport, shipping and logistics sector. "During the press conference, H.E. Bin Touq also reviewed Investopia’s achievements since its inception in 2021, including eight rounds of global dialogues and discussions in prominent strategic markets, such as New York, Geneva, New Delhi, Mumbai, Cairo, Rabat, Havana and Milan, as well as the signing of 10 partnerships with global institutions and companies. Moreover, Investopia has successfully increased the number of participants in its events from 800 key local and global personalities from investors, government officials, decision makers and entrepreneurs in 2022 to 800 in 2023, with access to more than 350 executives and officials in 2023 compared to 200 executives in 2022. It also succeeded in increasing the number of participating countries from 45 in 2022 to 58 in 2023, and 150 speakers, reflecting the Summit’s growing potential in connecting the UAE with business communities at the local, regional and global levels, and creating new economic opportunities that promote global economic growth.The conference also highlighted the global dialogues that Investopia 2024 is set to organize in collaboration with its partners throughout the year, most notably the UAE-India Investopia in Dubai, the Investopia London event in the city of London, as well as the Investopia Europe event to be held in the Italian trade capital, Milan.

Manga Productions secures rights for GREAT PRETENDER razbliuto

Manga Production, a subsidiary of the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation "Misk," has signed an agreement with the renowned Japanese production company and studio, Production I.G., to license the animated series "GREAT PRETENDER razbliuto" which is scheduled to be launched in 2024. The partnership includes granting full rights to Manga Production for distribution, licensing, and marketing of the third season of the animated series "Great Pretender" in the Middle East and North Africa region, including events and merchandise rights.Dr. Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions, commented on the expansion of distribution and licensing, saying: “We are witnessing significant expansion in the field of distribution and licensing at Manga Productions, and this success is attributed to the trust of our partners around the world and the special efforts of our team in their continuous pursuit of success and leadership in the creative industry. Our partnership with “Production I.G” and through “GREAT PRETENDER razbliuto” will play a crucial role in promoting the growth of the local and Middle Eastern market, as it represents a significant milestone in the licensing world within our Arab community."In addition, Mr. George Wada, the president, and the CEO at Production I.G, expressed his enthusiasm towards this partnership, saying: “GREAT PRETENDER razbliuto” is an anime that Production I.G takes full responsibility for, and we have officially entrusted its rights to Manga Productions in the Middle East and North Africa. We are confident that our partnership with Manga Productions will allow the audience in the Arab world to closely enjoy “GREAT PRETENDER razbliuto” series and other upcoming anime works.Eng. Abdulaziz Alnaghmoosh, Director of Marketing, Distribution, and Business Development at Manga Productions, says that “the partnership with Production I.G. in distributing and licensing “GREAT PRETENDER razbliuto” is an important step in their strategy to enhance their presence in the animation industry. They are excited to bring this unique show to audiences in the Middle East and North Africa”.It is worth mentioning that the animated series "GREAT PRETENDER" was directed by Mr. Yuuichiro Hayashi and written by Ryota Kosawa. It premiered in June 2020 on Netflix in Japan, followed by its release on Netflix worldwide. The series has received positive reviews, with an IMDB rating of 7.0 and 8.2 on My Anime List.

Second Bike Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo to take place in the emirate

The second Bike Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo will take place on Saturday 18 November 2023 featuring cyclists from across the MENA region preparing to race the 154km route.Participants will compete for a share of the AED2 million prize pool at the Bike Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo, that is also open to amateur cyclists as well as experienced riders. Participants able to complete the 154km route at a minimum average speed of 28km per hour are invited to take part in the second edition.The 154km fully-supported race route for the Bike Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo starts in Al Bahyah, turning onto the E16 road to Sweihan, turning to the E20 road to Nahil, then the E95 Street reaching Al Bidda area, before reaching the finish line at Al Ain Cycle Track.Abu Dhabi Sports Council are providing bus transport from the finish line back to Al Bahyah for participants and has once provided free access to training for all participants in the Bike Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo. Designed by trainers from the UCI World Tour winning team, UAE Team Emirates, the 10-week training programme prepares participants of all levels for the challenges of the Bike Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo.Kevin Poulton, Trainer at UAE Team Emirates, said: “Here at UAE Team Emirates, we always strive to bring out the best performance of our riders, creating training plans that enable them to fight for the win at the highest level. The same approach has been applied for the Bike Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo Training Plan.“We created this training plan with the goal to provide the community with the right guide to get them physically ready for the Bike Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo.”

DIEZ Elevates customer experience with sprinklr's conversational AI chatbots

The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), home to more than 5000 companies across its three economic zones: Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ), Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), and Dubai CommerCity (DCC), has adopted Sprinklr’s cutting-edge Unified Customer Experience Management (Unified-CXM) systems to elevate and refine its customer service capabilities.  As a prominent contributor to Dubai and the UAE’s economic development, DIEZ is keen to continuously strengthen its customer service processes to align with the evolving expectations of its valued stakeholders. In its ongoing pursuit of enhancing customer satisfaction, DIEZ has embarked on a journey to deploy AI-powered chatbots and integrate its customer service operations seamlessly across digital channels, employing Sprinklr's Conversational AI Chatbots, complemented by Sprinklr Service Seats and a Salesforce Connector.By harnessing the power of Sprinklr's Conversational AI and Unified-CXM platform, DIEZ will streamline its contact center operations, delivering rapid and efficient service on a multitude of channels, including live chat, email, and WhatsApp. DIEZ’s customer service agents will leverage Sprinklr's advanced capabilities to manage customer inquiries in multiple languages, all from a single, integrated Sprinklr dashboard. Sprinklr’s Salesforce integration will also aid in harmoniously adapting the overall customer experience.Badr Buhannad, Chief Corporate Support Officer at (DIEZ), said: "At the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), our mission has always been to drive economic growth and innovation in Dubai and the UAE. In this era of digital transformation and evolving customer expectations, our unwavering commitment to providing outstanding service through our customer’s preferred digital channels remains steadfast. Our collaboration with Sprinklr, harnessing their cutting-edge Conversational AI Engine and Unified-CXM platform, will redefine customer convenience and enhance the ease of doing business, in line with our objectives to deliver an exceptional experience seamlessly across different digital channels.”Sprinklr is equally enthusiastic about collaborating with DIEZ on this journey. Haitham Elkhatib, Vice President of MEA at Sprinklr, said, "DIEZ has been at the forefront of Dubai's economic development. We're honored to have the opportunity to support DIEZ in maintaining its customer-centric focus by building a digital global customer service center on Sprinklr's unified platform."DIEZ, at its core, plays a pivotal role in Dubai's economic ecosystem. It serves as a catalyst for business growth and investment, offering strategic economic zones and facilitating an environment conducive to innovation and commerce. By partnering with Sprinklr, DIEZ aims to bolster its commitment to customer-centricity, providing businesses within its economic zones with the tools and support needed to thrive in the modern digital landscape. This partnership marks a significant milestone for both DIEZ and Sprinklr, demonstrating the power of Sprinklr's conversational AI platform in delivering exceptional customer service and driving organizational growth.SHARE NOWMost Recent NewsAnsett Aviation Training launches Dubai training centre at the (MBRAH) during Dubai AirShow 2023DEWA and UAE Space Agency sign (MoU)DIEZ Elevates Customer Experience with Sprinklr's Conversational AI Chatbots

Mickey's 95th voyage: Celebrating a legacy that's forever young

95 years ago this weekend, a rambunctious animated mouse set sail, becoming one of the most recognizable and beloved icons in history.That mouse—as you probably have guessed—was named Mickey and on November 18, 1928, the character—alongside his partner Minnie—debuted in the touchstone animated short, Steamboat Willie.Since then, Mickey Mouse and The Walt Disney Company have become—in many ways—one in the same.“All of the wonderful things that followed in Walt’s own career were founded upon the first screening of a simple little mouse whistling his way into the hearts of audiences all over the world,” Rebecca Cline, the director of the Walt Disney Archives, said.But Mickey is more than just a company mascot. He’s a symbol, a work of art and a beloved “everyman,” according to Cline.“When asked why Mickey was so popular, Walt once said, ‘when people laugh at Mickey Mouse it’s because he’s so human; and that is the secret of his popularity,’” she added. “He struggles with life as we all do, but uses his innate sense of optimism to overcome all obstacles and has a wonderful time while doing so. He is terrifically appealing because of that optimistic, sunny outlook, and that optimism is sorely needed in the times we are living in today.”Mickey’s everyman quality was evident from the start as seen in the sketches found within the Steamboat Willie story script. That very first image of Mickey is one of a character joyfully whistling a tune.Cline noted that the script was of great importance to Walt Disney—a man who is synonymous with the character itself.“When the Archives was founded in 1970, many of the historical materials remaining in Walt Disney’s offices were inventoried and preserved. The original script of Steamboat Willie was found in one of the drawers of Walt’s desk,” she said. “While Walt always claimed that he was not particularly sentimental, the fact that he kept the script so close illustrates how important it was to Walt himself.”But after 95 years as a cultural star, how does Mickey keep that iconic legacy alive for future generations?“My take is that while Mickey has evolved over time, he is forever young and is still as relatable as he was when he first appeared as Steamboat Willie 95 years ago,” Cline said. “I expect we will continue to see Mickey’s sunny personality in great stories full of heart, and he will continue to charm audiences of all ages, all over the globe, for generations to come.”

IBM enables responsible Enterprise AI with watsonx.governance

Cairo, Egypt - IBM announced the general availability (GA) of watsonx.governance in early December to help businesses automate AI lifecycle governance and proactively manage risk and compliance. This expands IBM’s industry-leading AI governance capabilities to help clients govern machine learning and generative AI tools, applications, and models in one place. Watsonx.governance is one of three software products in the IBM watsonx AI and data platform, along with a set of AI assistants designed to help enterprises scale and accelerate the impact of AI with trusted data. The platform also comprises the next-generation enterprise studio for AI builders and the open, hybrid, and governed data store.   In the first release of watsonx.governance, clients using LLM models within — including IBM-developed and various third-party models, such as Llama 2 and those from the Hugging Face community — will be able to govern them on the cloud. Consistent with IBM’s approach to open AI, IBM is expected to expand these capabilities in 1Q24 to allow clients to govern third-party AI models from any vendor — on cloud or on-premises — to orchestrate governance processes across their entire organizations. Watsonx.governance also can help clients facilitate compliance with internal policies, industry standards, current and future regulation. IBM believes in regulation at the use case level, with responsibilities on companies to operate trustworthy AI. To do this, there needs to be an understanding of how and with what data models are trained, how they arrive at their recommendations, and whether they are routinely screened for harmful bias. These priorities — transparency, explainability, safety and fairness — are the foundation of multiple proposals advancing worldwide for the regulation of AI. IBM watsonx.governance is designed to help clients manage their AI and prepare to meet those regulatory requirements head on.  IBM offers automated capabilities that cover all three major pillars of AI governance — lifecycle governance, risk management, and compliance. Expanded capabilities for LLMs include:  Monitor new LLM Metrics: Monitor and alert in both inputs and outputs of LLMs when pre-set thresholds are breached for quality metrics and drift, instances of toxic language — including hate, abuse, and profanity — and Personal Identifiable Information (PII).  Visibility into LLM development: Automatically collect information about the model building process, while explaining decisions to mitigate hallucinations and other new risks.  Transparency of AI Lifecycle for LLMs: Automatically document model facts across all stages of the lifecycle, monitor for drift for text models, and track health details such as data size, latency, and throughput to identify bottlenecks and compute intensive workloads.  Validation Tools for LLMs: Enable prompt engineers to map LLM outputs to provided context/reference data for Q&A use cases to determine whether the LLM is appropriately influenced by the reference data to help ensure it is relevant to the output.  IBM fosters open innovation and collaboration to help clients deploy AI in a transparent and responsible way. IBM Consulting helps clients scale responsible AI with both automated AI model governance and organizational AI governance that encompasses people, process and technology from IBM and strategic partners. Our consultants have deep skills in establishing organizational culture and accountability, AI ethics boards, training, regulatory and risk management and mitigating cybersecurity threats, all using human-centric design.IBM’s commitment to trust and transparency forms the foundation for its products. Recently, it announced intellectual property protection for its IBM-developed watsonx models. Watsonx.governance is a continued investment in helping to foster responsible AI practices across various business domains and industries.

"Apurva": A Gritty Survival Drama with Shades of "NH10"

"Mera Naam Apurva Hai" is her clap-worthy concluding line to one of her abductors. Indeed, this is Tara Sutaria's finest performance till date and the titular film, which premiered directly on Disney Hotstar this mid-week, will hopefully give her career the much needed boost!! Tara plays the about to be married Apurva, who gets abducted from her bus on the Chambal highway. The four sadistic robbers, who take her away just to add some fun element to their night out, don't know whats in the offing for them though!! As such, Apurva's plot is pretty much predictable like any survival drama...but it's the execution and the acting department that works in its favour. The film's crisp pace at just one hour thirty five minutes run time is another plus. I was actually reminded of Anushka Sharma’s far superior NH10 (2015) during some chilling moments. And that's a compliment!! Expectedly, Abhishek Banerjee and Rajpal Yadav are first rate as the uncouth rabid criminals, who derive perverse pleasure in killing humans -male or female!! Particularly, you will just loathe Banerjee's character as he cares two hoots for even his own gang members... The surprise revelation of Apurva is but of course Tara Sutaria, who makes most of the golden opportunity she gets to shoulder an entire movie on her own and comes up trumps at the end of it. Atta Girl!! Ratings on some key aspects* : 1. Acting : 4/5 2. Direction : 3/53. Music : 3/5 4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 2.5/55. Cinematography : 3/56. Editing : 3.5/5 7. Costume Design : 3/58. Special Effects and VFX : NA9. Action : 3.5/510. Production Quality : 3/5 #SNRating for #Apurva : 3 stars out of 5. - Sumeet Nadkarni Liked the review? Click on the link below and like the #SNRatings page to subscribe to honest and unbiased reviews of all latest movies : You can also follow us on Twitter handle : @sumu76in * - The overall film rating is not a simple average of all ratings on key aspects but a weighted average of the ratings where some crucial aspects (like direction, acting, story and screenplay etc) are assigned more weightage than others. #Apurva #SurvivalDrama #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #TaraSutaria #RajpalYadav #NH10 #AbhishekBannerjee #BollywoodReview #Filmreview #TheatricalRelease #OTTRelease #Hotstar #SNRatings #SNRatings barometer:1 star = Poor1 & 1/2 star = Below average/ Avoidable2 stars = Average2 & 1/2 stars = Above average/ Risk it3 stars = Good enough/ Endurable3 & 1/2 stars = Definitely worth a watch4 stars = Very good5 stars = Masterpiece/ Outstanding. 2023 SNRatings.

Nike welcomes Nicole Habbard as CMO

Nike has appointed Nicole Hubbard Graham as its new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), welcoming her back to the company where she previously served as vice president of global categories and consumer direct brand marketing. Graham will succeed Dirk-Jan van Hameren, who is retiring after more than 30 years with Nike.Graham will be reporting to Heidi O’Neill,Nike’s president of consumer, product, and brand. Graham started her career at Nike as the director of women's marketing for North America. In her prior role as vice president, she supervised global marketing teams and was responsible for Nike's global category brands, digital, retail, and editorial strategies. Her involvement extended to consumer-facing campaigns across various sports and categories such as basketball, football, running, women's, sportswear, training, skate, tennis, and kids.This leadership transition coincides with other changes at Nike, including the creation of a new role for chief innovation officer, filled by John Hoke, who is leaving the design team, with Martin Lotti taking his place. Additionally, Muge Erdirik Dogan, Amazon's chief technology officer, is set to join Nike.Nicole Hubbard Graham's appointment aligns with Nike's strategic shift away from promotions for the current fiscal year. Heidi O’Neill expressed confidence in the leadership changes, emphasizing the company's commitment to innovation, design, and storytelling as the driving forces behind Nike's success. O’Neill thanked Dirk-Jan van Hameren for his 31 years of dedication and leadership, noting his contributions to making Nike a global leader in the industry.

Growing momentum for TikTok boycott in Saudi Arabia

TikTok, the popular social media platform, has been under scrutiny for several years, and the call for a boycott has gained momentum in Saudi Arabia. The hashtag "Boycott TikTok" is trending as users in the country report account suspensions and the removal of pro-Saudi content. Allegations include the deletion of Saudi accounts and the removal of videos supporting Saudi causes, while allowing content that portrays the country negatively.Recent incidents, such as the removal of a Palestinian man's TikTok account for praising Saudi aid during the Hamas-Israel conflict, have fueled the boycott. This movement has led to a decline in the number of Saudi users and a drop in TikTok's rating from 4.4 to 4.3 on app stores. Renowned Emirati artist Ahlam and other celebrities have announced their boycott in solidarity with Saudi Arabia.In response to the growing boycott, TikTok's official Middle East account posted a statement on the platform. While the post is in Arabic, a translation emphasizes TikTok's pride in its Saudi community, rejecting the allegations as contradictory to their policies and values. The statement asserts TikTok's commitment to community guidelines governing content management.Despite this response, the boycott continues to gain strength in Saudi Arabia, with the "Boycott TikTok" movement showing no signs of waning.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club and Monoprix Qatar Forge Exclusive Loyalty Alliance

Qatar Airways Privilege Club enhances its members’ daily experience by partnering with renowned hypermarket brand, Monoprix Qatar. Through the loyalty programme’s Card-Linked Offers platform, members can now collect and spend their Avios on their purchases when shopping at any of the seven Monoprix and three Monop stores in Qatar, using the debit or credit card they have linked to their membership account.Through Card-Linked Offers, Privilege Club members can choose to spend their Avios on a wide variety of benefits which include award flights and upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, or while shopping and dining at over 600 locations participating in the Card-Linked Offers platform and at Qatar Duty Free.Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Thierry Antinori, said: “As Qatar Airways’ customer loyalty programme continues to evolve, we strive to find partners that align with Privilege Club’s commitment to providing members with lifestyle-enhancing experiences. Joining forces with a renowned brand such as Monoprix will bring valuable benefits to our members as they will now have more collecting and spending opportunities in their everyday shopping at one of the best-known hypermarkets in the country.”“Monoprix Qatar is excited to be the only hypermarket partner of the Qatar Airways Privilege Club. This new partnership between our two companies will benefit Privilege Club members by offering them more ways to earn and redeem rewards, more personalised experiences, and a wider range of products and services.”, added Sébastien Farhat, Chief Operating Officer, Ali Bin Ali Consumer & Hi-Tech Retail.About Qatar Airways Privilege ClubPrivilege Club is the loyalty programme by Qatar Airways and features four tiers of membership – Burgundy, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, giving members a range of exclusive privileges and benefits that have been designed and tailored to make travelling even more rewarding.Members can earn Avios when flying with Qatar Airways and with oneworld® airlines, and other airline partners, as well as with a number of financial and lifestyle partners. Avios can be spent on shopping and dining at Qatar Duty Free, packages with Qatar Airways Holidays, award flights, cabin upgrades and much more. Members can also collect and spend Avios on their purchases at a wide range of shopping, dining and entertainment outlets by linking their payment cards with their Privilege Club account.

ARTE fine art cakes and coffee shop opens second branch at Dubai mall

ARTE, a culinary destination dedicated to redefining the dessert experience, announces the opening of its second branch at the prestigious Dubai Mall. Nestled on the Lower Ground level, the new ARTE Dubai Mall is not just a coffee stop, it's an experience – a haven for dessert lovers and coffee connoisseurs alike.  Immerse yourself in the warm and cozy vibes of the newest venue, radiating minimalistic elegance and bathed in inviting light. Picture this: a dessert wonderland with a full display, plus a private room to customize your dream cake in a one-on-one session with Chef Kuzma. Yes, you can customize your cake.  Think coffee, hot and cold beverages, and a dessert collection that reads like poetry: Paris-Brest, Raspberry and Passion Fruit Tart, Choux, Éclair, and more. It's a rendezvous with decadence!  The design of ARTE Dubai Mall echoes the cool, contemporary charm of the flagship showroom at Dubai Production City – warm lighting, a minimalistic interior, and bright aesthetics, creating an inviting atmosphere for patrons to indulge in the artistry of ARTE's offerings.  “ARTE Fine Art Cakes and Coffee Shop is not just a brand; it's an experience. With a passion for crafting desserts and brewing coffee that's as much art as it is flavor, ARTE will be the go-to for those who crave something extraordinary. The opening of our second branch at Dubai Mall is a celebration of taste, artistry, and the joy of indulgence. Come, savor the moment with us,” said Chef Kuzma, the creative genius behind ARTE's culinary wonders.  During the opening, ARTE showcased a jaw-dropping 2-meter Burj Khalifa cake. This is not just cake; it's edible art. Additionally, the event marked the introduction of "Just Choux," a new addition to ARTE's portfolio – a Choux kiosk that redefines sweetness with an exquisite collection of choux pastries in six tantalizing flavors. From classic vanilla to decadent truffle, each pastry is meticulously crafted to perfection, presented in beautiful packaging to keep every bite as fresh as the first.  Aligning with ARTE's vision and mission, the opening of the second branch at Dubai Mall marks the beginning of an expansion plan, with two additional branches planned by the end of 2024. The expansion aims to bring the ARTE experience to a broader audience across Dubai.  And here's the scoop: be the first to taste "Just Choux" exclusively at the Dubai Mall branch before it hits Festival City and beyond.  Indulge, celebrate, and be part of the ARTE experience. ARTE Dubai Mall is open daily, from 10:00AM to 12:00AM. For enquiries, please call +971 52 575 2211. For the latest updates, follow

Idea Bakery selects Saudi Arabia as first base for International expansion

US-based brand strategy firm, Idea Bakery, has selected Saudi Arabia as its first overseas base as part of its international expansion. This was announced at the Athar Festival of Creativity, which took place from 14-15 November in Riyadh.This can be an interesting development for Idea Bakery as expanding internationally can open up new opportunities and markets for the brand strategy firm. Choosing Saudi Arabia as the first overseas base suggests a strategic move to tap into the growing market and creative landscape in the region.Moreover, the decision to make the announcement at the Athar Festival of Creativity is also noteworthy. It indicates a desire to align the expansion news with a platform that celebrates creativity, possibly aiming to establish a connection with the local creative community.As Idea Bakery positions itself as a "boutique yet global brand strategy company," it suggests that they aim to maintain a personalized and tailored approach to their services while still operating on a global scale. This could be appealing to clients who seek a more individualized and unique strategy for their brands. Its clients include Google Global, Bayer Global, Coty, Coca-Cola and Unilever.Idea Bakery has been active in Saudi Arabia for the past decade across the food & beverage, technology, tourism, banking, health and wellness, retail, mobility and entertainment sectors. It helps build and strengthen brand strategies, run agency pitches, develop creative briefs and bolster the capabilities of marketing teams at all levels.Idea Bakery will open and operate an office in Riyadh as its first international expansion.It will be interesting to see how Idea Bakery adapts its strategies to the cultural and business environment in Saudi Arabia, and how it navigates the challenges and opportunities that come with expanding into a new international market.

BMW teams up with Legends League football event in Dubai as official VIP player

DUBAI, UAE: – BMW and AGMC, the official BMW Group importer for Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, proudly announces its partnership with the Legends Football League as the exclusive VIP Player Transport Partner.Playing a pivotal role in the event, AGMC will be supplying an all-electric fleet of 10 BMW iX cars, in keeping with the event's commitment to sustainability. This further cements the brand’s role as a leader in e-mobility, having delivered a total of over 1.5 million electrified vehicles to customers to date.Incorporating several sustainability practices in its production cycle, the BMW iX reduces CO2 emissions in its supply chain by 17%, by relying on renewable green power to produce the vehicle’s battery cells, which already use up to 50% recycled nickel.The Legends League for football will be opening with a spectacular ceremony on Saturday, November 18 at Al Maktoum Stadium, the home ground of Al Nasr Club, bringing together football royalty from around the world. It promises an unforgettable display as football legends, including several World Cup and Ballon d'Or winners gather for a historic game.In line with BMW Group’s ambitious sustainability strategy, the BMW iX reduces CO2 emissions in its supply chain by 17%, relying on renewable green power to produce the vehicle’s battery cells, which already use up to 50% recycled nickel.Ayhan Olcer, CEO of AGMC, said, “We are thrilled to contribute to the vision of a sustainable and landmark football event. Supplying sustainably powered vehicles, in line with the event’s ambitions to reduce its environmental impact, we'll be shuttling the players in the BMW iX. Our partnership with the Legends League showcases our commitment to sustainability and our dedication to providing luxury transport solutions that don’t compromise on performance or the environment.”BMW is committed to establishing electromobility as one of the main pillars of sustainable individual mobility. By combining high-performance electric vehicles and world-class sporting events, the premium brand continues to lead the way in demonstrating that sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand and deliver a memorable football experience.

Single’s Day shopping frenzy: MENA customers made 63% more orders than usual

While online retailers are still offering the latest specials for 11.11 or Single's Day - brands are already taking stock of one of the biggest sales of the year. This year's Singles Day sale went extremely well - both Asian stores and local marketplaces and brands recorded all-time high records in sales. Admitad partner network estimates that online sales in MENA jumped by 63% during the sale week. Consumers favoured electronics, clothing and home and garden products. Originating in China, the 11.11 sale has long been very popular in other countries - although it still has room to grow in MENA. This is evidenced by the explosive growth in sales - Admitad calculates that MENA customers have placed 63% more orders and spent 35% more on them compared to “normal period”. The company's experts estimate that worldwide, sales have grown by more than 10% and the amount spent on them by 15%. This is confirmed by the first positive reports from the progenitors of the sale - Chinese giants like Alibaba,, TMall and others. In a barometer of consumer sentiment this year, China's State Post Bureau said that between Nov. 1 to Nov. 11, parcel volume swelled to 5.26 billion packages, 23.22% higher than a year earlier.Brands are currently actively evaluating trends from this sale to make the most of the upcoming White Friday and Christmas sales. Admitad researched more than 80 million orders it generated for more than 2,000 brands worldwide during Single’s Day week to understand which products were being snapped up by MENA clients and which customer sources brought businesses the most orders this year.Shift in leading categoriesOnce again, marketplaces played a central role in the sale - it was from them that more than 70% of online orders were made during the sale days. Their influence in 11.11 increased by several percent since last year.The top categories whose products were most actively purchased by MENA shoppers were very similar to the results of 2022, but some of them changed positions. For instance, Fashion sales dominated the sale this year:Fashion - 15%Home & Garden - 12,9%Consumer Electronics - 10,8%Phones & Telecommunications - 9,2%Automobiles, Parts & Accessories - 7%Toys & Hobbies - 6,4%Beauty & Health - 6%Sports & Entertainment - 5%Tools - 4,8%Lights & Lighting - 4,6%Computer & Office - 3,7%Home Improvement - 3,6%Others - 11% The sale also saw enormous spikes in sales in certain categories of goods compared to “normal period”. Among Admitad's record-breaking MENA industries in terms of sales growth were: Tools +120%Toys & Hobbies +118%Phones & Telecommunications +117%Consumer Electronics +108%Home & Garden +92%Reading and saving: where the customers came fromUsers made over 25% of orders after reading about the product on the pages of affiliate stores that aggregate the most interesting offers and create feeds with goods on high demand. 22% and 16% of purchases in MENA were made by users of content platforms and social media. Another 9,5% and 8% of sales were attracted by cashback and coupon services respectively. Partner marketing gave a significant boost to online sales during the Single’s Day this year.  Number of MENA publishers and partners attracting customers for a reward from brands during the sale days grew by 13%. Admitad estimates that their profits jumped by 75% during this period. Number of brands that are using partner marketing model to attract customers grew by 20% before the sale.The mobile shopping trend has shown itself in all its glory. The share of orders from smartphones has grown from 39% to 45% during the sale.

Publicis Groupe makes key appointments and shifts in hierarchy

Publicis Groupe has announced significant changes in its leadership, including key appointments and shifts in hierarchy. Loris Nold, previously the EMEA Chief Executive, has been promoted to the position of Global Chief Financial Officer (CFO), succeeding Michel-Alain Proch.Demet Ikiler, formerly the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of EMEA, will assume the role of CEO of EMEA, filling the vacancy left by Loris Nold's promotion. Meanwhile, Michel-Alain Proch, the outgoing CFO, will be departing Publicis Groupe for a new role after three years in the position.Effective February 2024, the UK, which previously reported financial numbers to Nold during his EMEA tenure, will now report directly to Arthur Sadoun, the Global Chief Executive. This change aligns with the existing reporting structure for the US and will extend to France as well.Notably, under Proch's leadership over the past three years, Publicis Groupe has been the top performer among the big six global agency groups in terms of organic growth and profit margin, particularly in France and the UK. Proch, with no prior advertising industry experience before joining Publicis in November 2020, will be succeeded by Nold, who boasts over two decades of experience within the company, including roles in APAC and the US, along with a background in investment banking.The appointment of Nold as Global CFO is viewed as a strategic decision to enhance the financial function of the group, leveraging his comprehensive expertise in finance, operations, and understanding client needs. Simultaneously, as the new CEO of EMEA, Ikiler will focus on capabilities, fostering connectivity within the group, and building strong client relationships.These leadership changes represent a strategic realignment within Publicis Groupe, positioning key executives to drive the company's continued growth and excellence across different regions.

WAM signs MoC with Fujairah Government Media Office

The Emirates News Agency (WAM) and the Fujairah Government Media Office signed a media Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to coordinate and prepare for the Fujairah Media Forum, which will be held in February 2024 under the title “Parallel Media”.The agreement, which was signed on the sidelines of the second edition of the Global Media Congress, aims to enhance media cooperation between WAM and the Fujairah Government Media Office to achieve the media objectives declared therein, serving as the foundation for future cooperation related to various media affairs.Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency, affirmed the agency's keenness to cooperate with all national media talents and support them in their future projects, noting that Fujairah has made great strides in presenting remarkable media proposals in recent years, pointing out that the upcoming Fujairah Media Forum will be a point of attraction for decision-makers and heads of international media companies.For his part, Jamal Adam, Director of the Fujairah Government Media Office, said that the partnership with the WAM will support the upcoming Fujairah Media Forum, where the agency's expertise will be utilised through providing logistical support for the forum to be a major media partner, as well as its experience in launching the Global Media Congress.The agreement stipulates that the Emirates News Agency will provide the necessary media support for the events of the Media Forum that will be held in Fujairah in February 2024, by publishing and broadcasting the media materials of the forum through its website and social media accounts, in addition to allocating a team of editors and photographers to cover the events of the forum.Based on the terms of the agreement, the Fujairah Government Media Office will avail WAM's services as a main media partner.

RAW Coffee Company empowers Palestinian artisans in the UAE with compassion

At the forefront of UAE's entrepreneurial landscape, RAW Coffee Company takes immense pride in its ongoing initiatives aimed at empowering Palestinian artisans and business owners. This dedication is spearheaded by the company's visionary leader, Kim Thompson, who is not only the Owner and Managing Director of RAW Coffee Company but also the co-Founder behind the establishment of Artisans of Palestine.At the core of RAW’s operations lies a deep-seated commitment to ethical business practices and the cultivation of strong, meaningful relationships with suppliers. This ethos is seamlessly extended to their support initiatives for Palestinian artists and entrepreneurs. Kim Thompson reflects on her pivotal 2019 journey to Palestine, stating, “That trip marked a significant chapter in my personal and professional life. The resilience of the Palestinian people, their rich history, and the daily challenges they face under occupation deeply touched me. The ancient olive groves and the vibrant cultural fabric of the land resonated with me, inspiring my commitment to actively support Palestinian artisans.”In 2021, RAW began hosting pop-up events to support Palestinian enterprises, starting with a successful event in June that brought together Palestinian artists, poets, and musicians. Continuing this tradition, a similar event was held in 2022, underlining RAW's commitment to promoting Palestinian culture and talent. These efforts are further amplified by more structured pop-up events involving guests like Mishkah, Fyrouzi, Rula fashion, Reham (artist), Heba’s Closet, and showcasing Artisan's of Palestine goods made in Palestine. These events, including comedy and music nights, have not only raised awareness about the occupation but have also been crucial in supporting the Palestinian artisans economically.Kim Thompson, alongside Lisa Dale, established Artisans of Palestine with the goal of bridging the gap between Palestinian artisans and the global market, including the UAE. This initiative is instrumental in showcasing products created in Palestine, promoting cultural exchange and economic growth.Together with Artisans of Palestine, RAW has organized numerous events at their spacious venue, providing a platform for Palestinian artists and entrepreneurs to showcase their products and engage in meaningful dialogues.Lisa Dale, also the author of the bestselling novel “People Like Us” is the founder of The Palestine Hub. Based in Beit Sahour, this organization focuses on business networking and support, aiding Palestinian businesses to connect with partners in the UAE and beyond. The Hub's work spans various industry sectors, facilitating growth and success for Palestinian-owned businesses.Looking ahead, RAW Coffee Company is excited to announce upcoming events, including a fundraiser for Palestine in collaboration with NASAB – LOWE on November 19th and a pop-up event on December 2nd and 3rd featuring numerous Palestinian businesses and Artisans of Palestine.RAW Coffee Company remains committed to its role as a responsible and compassionate business leader in the UAE, continually striving to make a difference in the lives of Palestinian artisans and entrepreneurs.

Latifa bint Mohammed inaugurates 6th edition of Dubai Watch Week

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Member of the Dubai Council, Dubai Watch Week today commenced its sixth edition. The biennial event, which serves as the premier gathering for congruent industries such as horology, design, fashion and art will also enhance the appeal of horology to new audiences through a fascinating yet educative showcase. It also stands out in the Dubai Calendar as the leading non-commercial event in the horology industry.Held in partnership with Dubai Culture and the Department of Economy and Tourism besides Christie’s, World of Dreams, Du, Aston Martin, and Masafi, Dubai Watch Week 2023 continues until 20 November. The event will feature over 60 leading watch brands, the highest participation to date, showcasing the latest timepieces and a programme that appeals to watch enthusiasts and novices alike. Founded in 2015 by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the global event, which is open to the public and free to attend, celebrates the creative confluence of the luxury watch industry. This edition of the event is anticipated to witness 20 launches from international brands as well as UAE limited editions.Commenting on the event, Her Highness Sheikha Latifa said: “Dubai Watch Week is not just a showcase of fine timepieces but a celebration of creativity, craftsmanship, and cultural convergence.This partnership underlines Dubai’s commitment to fostering cross-cultural collaborations and providing a platform for creative exchange that extends beyond borders blending horology, design, fashion, and art.” She emphasised the importance of partnerships that bring together the public and private sectors, which are key to success and sustainable development, and was one of the pillars that contributed to creating Dubai’s economic success story. She added: “Dubai Culture’s partnership with Dubai Watch Week underscores our dedication to promoting and preserving horology’s intricate art and cultural impressions for present and future generations towards consolidating Dubai’s global standing as a cultural and artistic hub where diverse talents converge to create and innovate.”Hind Seddiqi, Director General of Dubai Watch Week, said: “We are grateful to Her Highness and Dubai Culture for their ongoing patronage and support as we work towards building one of the leading luxury and cultural events in the UAE. Our mission to create a platform that fosters conversations, learning and innovation across the luxury and horology industry, while appealing to a wider audience and expanding their knowledge and experiences. We are committed to our partnership and look forward to jointly ensuring that Dubai and the UAE remain influential on the international scene.” Having attracted over 16,000 guests in 2021 and an international showcasing of the Horology Forum programme in New York in 2022, Dubai Watch Week 2023 will highlight craftsmanship and celebrate innovation via a compelling and versatile programme. This includes Horology Forum panel discussions and the first ever Arabic panel as part of the Horology Forum, featuring Osama Ibrahim Seddiqi, Sheikha Al Nowais and Dr. Habib Al Mulla. Dubai Watch Week will also host renowned brands, thought leaders, and moderators, including François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet; Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi, Chief Commercial Officer of Seddiqi Holding; Daniela Dufour, Watchmaker; Jean Arnault, Watch Director at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton; and Jean-Claude Biver, among many others.A set of Masterclass sessions will also welcome Nour Al Hassan, creator of Kintsugi art workshops. Other highlights include a unique Emirati Safeefah leather-bracelet-making workshop held by Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, besides masterclasses by Bovet and other leading brands. More details about the event can be accessed on

Dubai Parks & Resorts, Real Madrid C.F. announce first ever football park

Dubai Parks™ and Resorts and Real Madrid C.F. have revealed the name of the first ever Real Madrid-theme park: Real Madrid World.Set to open at the Middle East's largest theme park destination, Real Madrid World will welcome sports fans, families and friends who can look forward to adrenaline-pumping themed attractions, immersive experiences and fan engagement opportunities, celebrating football and basketball the Real Madrid way.Dubai Parks™ and Resorts and Real Madrid C.F. announce Real Madrid World as the first ever football theme parkInspired by the skills, winning spirit and values of the club, guests of all ages will be taken on a timeless journey to experience the past, present and future of the club. Here, guests will come face to face with icons from across different eras and share the passion of some of the heroic comebacks and greatest achievements that have created the legend of Real Madrid, both on and off the pitch.Real Madrid World promises to host new and exciting experiences for guests of all ages, including adrenaline-pumping rides, family-friendly attractions, themed food and dining, as well as unique retail stores featuring a collection of official Real Madrid merchandise, celebrating the club's history. Real Madrid World will be home to exciting experiences tailored for every thrill-seeker and fan.A 'world-first' addition to Dubai Parks™ and Resorts, the theme park will engage sports fans, families, and children, contributing to Dubai's status as a leading tourism destination.Dubai Parks™ and Resorts is the first theme park destination in the world to announce a major partnership with Real Madrid C.F. Details will be announced soon, including more information on the signature rollercoasters, food and restaurants, official retail stores, and the interactive and virtual skill games that will become part of the new theme park destination.

Elite runners confirmed for fifth ADNOC Abu Dhabi marathon on December 16

Abu Dhabi Sports Council and ADNOC have announced the star-studded lineup of international runners for the highly anticipated fifth ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon 2023. The event is scheduled for December 16, with an estimated 23,000 runners expected to take part in various distances, including the marathon (42.195 km), marathon relay, 10 km, 5 km, and 2.5 km races. All races will commence at different locations near the ADNOC headquarters on Corniche Road and finish at the ADNOC Campus, near Bainuna Public Park. Uganda’s Andrew Kwemoi, winner of the 2023 Milano Marathon - where he hit a personal best of 2:07:14 - will be joined by Kenya’s Kiptum Barnabas, who finished 1st in both the 2019 Hong Kong Marathon and the Buenos Aires Marathon in 2017. Barnabas’ compatriot, Leonard Barsoton, will also be competing in this year’s race, having set his own personal best of 2:09:06 in 2023. The women’s race will feature Ethopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, the 10km Olympic Champion 2017 Chicago Marathon winner. Joining her in this strong elite female line-up, also from Ethiopia, is Hawi Feysa (2:23:38), and Maurine Chepkemoi from Kenya, the 2022 Enschede Marathon winner. Registration is free for People of Determination and Paralympics participants, underlining the organizers' continued commitment to inclusivity within the UAE. This event is open to the entire community, including families and children, with applicants able to register for the following distances: marathon, marathon relay (teams of 2), 10km, 5km and 2.5km. Suhail Al Arifi, Executive Director of the Events Sector at Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We are thrilled to welcome a group of top international runners for the upcoming fifth edition of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon next month. Their participation highlights the event's significance locally and globally. The presence of well-known runners in this year’s line-up reaffirms Abu Dhabi's and the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon's success in gaining international recognition in long-distance running. Al-Arifi added, “We're delighted to invite people from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds to join us in celebrating physical fitness. Regardless of your fitness level, there's a distance tailored just for you. We encourage everyone to be part of this enriching sports day on the streets of Abu Dhabi, the global capital of sports.” This year’s Marathon Village will again be located at ADNOC headquarters and it will be accessible from December 12th up until race day on December 16th, from 3pm to 10pm. The village will provide an immersive experience for visitors, with entertainment and serving e - a wide array of dining options. The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon race village is free to enter and open to all.  All runners will receive an exclusive Nike technical race T Shirt, made from sustainable materials. Participants can also customise their shirts by adding their respective names online or during the village operating hours. Participants who register for the race after November 30th can collect their race packs from the Marathon Village between the 12th and 15th December. The race pack will not be available for collection after this period. Running teams will also have a designated area in Bianuna Park, where they can warm up, set up a teaLP tent, enjoy refreshments, and take advantage of promotions from partners and sponsors.

Gulf Capital’s ART Fertility Clinics appoints David Jimenes to Board of Director

ART Fertility Clinics, the leading provider of Fertility Services in the Middle East and India, announces the strategic appointment of David Jimenez to its Board of Directors. A portfolio company of Gulf Capital, ART Fertility Clinics is renowned for its high success rates, proprietary research and innovations, and a commitment to providing the highest quality of care.Since its inception, ART Fertility Clinics has been at the forefront of Fertility and Reproductive Health, offering advanced treatments and personalised care under the leadership of CEO Mr. Suresh Soni and Group Medical Director Professor Dr Human Fatemi. The clinics have seen a swift expansion from their GCC roots into the Indian subcontinent, with plans to extend services further around the globe. With a team of highly skilled physicians utilising state-of-the-art technology, ART Fertility Clinics is dedicated to providing the highest level of compassionate and individualised care.David Jimenez is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in the healthcare industry, including a decade-long tenure as CEO of Igenomix, a global leader in Advanced Molecular Diagnostics in the field of Reproductive Medicine. With his strategic acumen, deep industry expertise and vast international experience, David’s presence in the Board will be invaluable in ART Fertility Clinics' ambitious expansion across multiple geographies and new services.As the former CEO of Igenomix, David oversaw the company’s meteoric rise from a single lab in Spain to a global entity with 26 laboratories worldwide. Under his guidance, Igenomix, which originated as a spin-off from IVI, flourished to become a leading provider of genetic testing services in Reproductive Medicine. Starting from the spin-off from IVI in 2011, David steered the company through three significant transactions including its acquisition by Charme Capital partners in 2016, a subsequent sale of a majority stake to EQT, the global private equity investor, and finally culminating in its sale to Vitrolife in 2021 for US$1.5 billion.Having earned a degree in Business Science and an MBA from ESADE Business School, David has over 30 years of extensive international experience in both consumer goods and healthcare industries and has demonstrated his leadership abilities across Europe and the Americas, including the Middle East, Switzerland, USA, Mexico, and Spain. Prior to his time at Igenomix, David served as Managing Director of Corporacion Dermoestética, a leading provider of Cosmetic Surgery and other medical treatments in Spain and Portugal from 2008 to 2011. He also held a series of senior positions at Philip Morris International, including Marlboro Brand Manager for Spain and Mexico and Business Development and Planning Manager for the Latin America Region.David Jiminez said: “Joining the ART Fertility Clinics' Board of Directors is a privilege and an opportunity to contribute to a field that has a profound impact on people's lives. The clinic's dedication to excellence and its patient-first approach resonates deeply with my professional philosophy. I am eager to help ART continue its journey as a global leader in fertility care.”Dr Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital and Chairman of Art Fertility, added: "David Jimenez's vision and leadership have been transformational in the healthcare sector. His experience in building Igenomix into a world leader in its field is invaluable. We look forward to welcoming him to the Art Fertility Board where he can bring a wealth of experience and help us accelerate the growth of our platform.” "We value Mr Jimenez’s leadership and international perspective. His deep understanding of the healthcare landscape will be a significant asset as ART Fertility Clinics continues to expand globally," said Suresh Soni, the Global Chief Executive Officer, ART Fertility Clinics. "We are thrilled to have such a visionary joining our ranks."Professor Dr Human Fatemi, Group Medical Director, also said: "David Jimenez joining our board is a testament to ART Fertility Clinics' commitment to excellence. His profound insights into healthcare advancements will undoubtedly enrich our clinics' capabilities and help us set new benchmarks in fertility care."Hazem Abu Khalaf, Managing Director at Gulf Capital, added, "We are delighted to have David join us on the board of ART Fertility. His addition underlines ART’s commitment to building a best-in-class organisation. Both Gulf Capital and ART’s management will benefit from his insights and his extensive international experience to accelerate ART Fertiltiy’s growth trajectory and further cement its position as the leading fertility treatment provider in the region."

Union Coop caters 30mln tons of fresh produce in 2023

 In a testament to its commitment to providing high-quality and competitively priced fresh food, Union Coop has announced the supply of 30 million tons of local and imported vegetables and fruits since the start of 2023. The cooperative, with its established and approved terms and procedures, continues to uphold its mission of meeting the diverse needs of consumers.Engaging with 35 companies and 45 farms for the supply of vegetables and fruits, Union Coop underscores its dedication to sustainable practices. Notably, the cooperative emphasizes the multifaceted role of its organic farms, transcending commercial interests to serve as educational hubs. These farms, focal points for various segments of society, particularly school students, advocate for modern and healthy farming methods, as well as water conservation. Producing 18 to 20 varieties of leafy vegetables, they contribute to covering 30% of the cooperative's branch consumption.Union Coop places a premium on the authenticity and quality of its products. Fifty varieties of organic vegetables, sourced locally and internationally, hold official certification from the Standards and Specifications Authority. This unwavering commitment spans decades, with continuous support for Emirati farmers, facilitated by substantial incentives to promote sustainable agriculture and bolster the nation's food security.Ensuring a delightful shopping experience for consumers remains a top priority for Union Coop. Recent initiatives include the strategic rearrangement of vegetable and fruit sections in key branches, including Jumeirah, Al Twar, and Al Rashidiya. This restructuring aligns with sales volume and demand, optimizing available spaces in each branch.Union Coop's collaboration extends beyond suppliers to encompass local companies and specialized exhibitions. This proactive approach seeks new sources for global products, fostering diversification. The cooperative's ongoing partnership with Emirati farmers, engaged in longer production periods throughout the year, demonstrates a commitment to sustainable agriculture.Compliance with health standards and food regulations is non-negotiable for Union Coop. Regular visits to supplier companies and local farms, totaling 35 official visits this year, underscore the cooperative's diligence. These inspections ensure adherence to legislative and regulatory requirements in storage, packaging, and transportation, reinforcing Union Coop's dedication to quality assurance.

Dubai International Chamber further enhances its presence in Asia

Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, has enhanced its growing presence in Asia with the official launch of a new international representative office in Japan. Located in Tokyo, the office further strengthens the emirate’s robust economic relationship with Japan and will facilitate the growth of business, trade, and investments between the two markets.The office was officially inaugurated yesterday evening during a special ceremony in Tokyo with the participation of Mr. Ishii Taku, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry; H.E. Shihab Al Faheem, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Japan; and Salem Al Shamsi, Vice President of Global Markets at Dubai Chambers, together with distinguished representatives of the Japanese business community.The Tokyo office is the Chamber’s 27th representative office globally and was launched as part of the ‘Dubai Global’ initiative, which seeks to attract new business, investment, and talent to the emirate while enabling Dubai-based companies to expand into priority international markets. Launched by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, Dubai Global aims to establish a powerful network of 50 representative offices around the world by 2030.Commenting on the significance of the launch, H.E. Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “Establishing a presence in Japan represents a significant step in our global expansion strategy and will further strengthen our shared economic ties. This move not only builds on the progress we have achieved through our international representative offices across the five continents, but it also creates an essential platform to build cross-border partnerships with one of the world’s most sophisticated economies.”The Tokyo office will serve to enhance and diversify the economic relationship between Dubai and Japan, exploring exciting opportunities in various priority sectors. The Dubai International Chamber team will provide on-ground support to members of the Japanese business community interested in doing business in Dubai, as well as build strong relationships with key public and private sector stakeholders.The new office will showcase Dubai’s competitive advantages and share investment intelligence to support Japanese companies seeking to enter Dubai and expand internationally through the emirate, connecting businesses in both markets with trusted stakeholders and potential partners.Japan was ranked as Dubai’s seventh-largest trading partner globally last year, with the value of bilateral non-oil trade between the two markets reaching a total of AED 38.8 billion (US$ 10.5 billion) in 2022. A total of 74 new Japanese companies registered as members of Dubai Chamber of Commerce during the first eight months of 2023. This represents an impressive YoY growth of 222% compared to the same period in 2022, underlining Dubai’s growing connections with the business community in Japan.Dubai’s strategic location and world-class logistics facilities have established the emirate as a preferred trade hub for Japanese companies with global ambitions. Offering easy access to over 2.2 billion consumers, the emirate serves as a gateway for businesses in Japan and the wider East Asian region looking to expand their international footprints.

EVOPS Marketing attracts strong student interest at Career Expo

EVOPS Marketing & PR, a trusted provider of marketing and PR services in the Middle East and Central Asia, participated in the Career Expo organised by the University of Birmingham Dubai yesterday. The event drew over 300 students seeking internship and work placement opportunities. The successful engagement of EVOPS Marketing in the Career Expo underscores the agency’s commitment to fostering new talent and staying at the forefront of the rapidly evolving marketing industry.EVOPS’ station was a hive of activity as students inquired about the internship and training opportunities available at the company’s various AI-enabled marketing services ranging from e-commerce, website and app development solutions to events management, branding, market research, PR and social media.“We were glad to see such a strong interest in our internship and training programs, and grateful to the University of Birmingham Dubai for giving us the chance to participate in such a pivotal event,” said Hina Bakht, Managing Director of EVOPS Marketing & PR.She added, “At EVOPS, we believe in the transformative power of training and internships. They are not just about acquiring skills; they are about shaping futures, igniting passions, and building the leaders of tomorrow. In today's dynamic and fast-paced business environment, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer, revolutionizing various industries including marketing. We were very impressed by the quality of the students we met and are confident that they have the potential to make significant contributions to our company and the industry.”As a reputed service provider in multiple sectors including FinTech, Finance, Technology, Travel & Tourism, Hospitality, Healthcare, Retail, Beauty & Fashion, EVOPS Marketing & PR is committed to nurturing the next generation of marketing and PR professionals.Hina believes with AI enabled marketing tools, businesses and professionals can achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency and effectiveness. “The impact of AI, with its ability to drive efficiency, personalization, and ultimately, business growth is being widely recognized. Its ability to analyze vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and generate actionable insights empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions and drive impactful marketing strategies.”

Satish Rajan appointed Group CMO by buzzworks & Innovation Group, UAE

buzzworks, India and Innovation Group, UAE, a recognized name in the staffing and recruitment industry, have announced the appointment of Satish Rajan as Chief Marketing Officer. This strategic leadership addition is poised to catalyze the company's continued growth and expand its influence within India's dynamic human resources sector and expand its global footprint.With a distinguished career spanning over two decades, Satish Rajan brings a wealth of experience to his role, acquired through his tenure in esteemed organizations prior to joining Buzzworks. He has served as the Vice President of Marketing at Teamlease and held significant positions in companies such as Aryaka Networks, Columbus A/S, Kronos, SAP, and Magnasoft. Satish's diverse background and deep industry knowledge position him as a strategic asset for driving growth and success in his new role. In his current capacity as Group Chief Marketing Officer, Satish will spearhead national and global marketing strategies, injecting fresh potential and innovation into the brand's endeavours. He will own the business impact of marketing by strengthening the B2B (business), B2C (customers), and B2E (employees) brand image. He will also direct buzzworks towards the broader amplification and demand generation effort by harnessing the ideal mix of online and offline levers. Additionally, Satish aims to set up the optimal marketing engine with the right-fit people, processes, and tools for strategic depth, operational efficiency, and speed of execution. Commenting on this significant appointment, V C Karthic, Founder, buzzworks India stated, "Celebrating growth and innovation has always been at the heart of buzzworks. With the addition of Satish Rajan to our team, we are taking another momentous stride towards advancing human capital. Satish's extensive experience and strategic vision align seamlessly with our mission to redefine excellence in HR services. We're thrilled to welcome him aboard and eagerly anticipate achieving new heights together." Satish Rajan holds a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) and an MBA degree from Symbiosis Institute of International Business. On his appointment, Satish Rajan, Group Chief Marketing Officer expressed his enthusiasm, saying, "I am excited to be part of this journey and look forward to showcasing how we have been adding value to our customers, associates and employees for the past 2 decades. Entering a company that boasts a 23-year legacy in this industry offers a tremendous opportunity. I am thrilled to embark on this new chapter at buzzworks with great enthusiasm. Together, we can redefine excellence and build a brighter future for our clients and partners, elevating our presence on a global scale." This appointment signifies a pivotal step forward for buzzworks and Innovations Group as it strives to achieve its highest aspirations in the years ahead. The leadership team at buzzworks and Innovation Group believes that Satish’s presence will not only elevate the brand's presence but also enhance its commitment to delivering exceptional HR solutions to clients and partners.

Ajman Bank Appoints Mamoun Alhomssey as the new Chief Technology Officer

Ajman Bank has announced the appointment of Mamoun Alhomssey as the new Chief Technology Officer. With a distinguished career spanning over 25 years in technology leadership roles at leading financial institutions, Mr. Alhomssey brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Ajman Bank. Prior to joining Ajman Bank, Mr. Mamoun Alhomssey, served as the Executive Vice President – Group CIO and Technology Advisor at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. During his 17 years tenure there, he led a strong team of technology experts and managed large technology budgets across various business units.Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Mustafa Mohammed Saeed Al Khalfawi, the CEO of the bank, stated, “We are thrilled to welcome Mamoun Alhomssey to our team. His remarkable track record in leading digital transformations and implementing cutting-edge technology solutions in the banking sector aligns perfectly with our vision at Ajman Bank. Mr. Alhomssey has been responsible for various technology modernization and innovation programs that have significantly contributed to the growth of the organisations he worked with. We, are confident that under his leadership, Ajman Bank will continue to innovate and provide exceptional service to our customers.”Mr. Salem Al Shamsi, Chief Operating Officer, Ajman Bank, said, “The appointment of Mr. Mamoun Alhomssey fits appropriately into our digital transformation strategy and aligns perfectly with our vision of ‘Digitalization’, and will strengthen our bank operations. Ajman Bank has been actively driving digital transformation and investing in state-of-the-art technology to provide customers with the best banking experience. We believe he will bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table and help our organization to adopt more advanced technologies while ensuring those solutions are reliable and scalable."Mr. Alhomssey's work not only advanced the technological capabilities of the organizations he has served but also ensured alignment with business objectives and regulatory compliance. His role at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was pivotal in digital transformations, managing IT strategies, cybersecurity strategy development, and deployment of AI and data analytics to create new revenue streams and enhance customer experience across the bank’s extensive customer base.Holding a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Jordan, Mr. Alhomssey combines his extensive academic background with a practical, results-driven approach to technology leadership.Mr. Alhomssey's professional journey is marked by notable achievements in the technology sector, particularly in banking, have been recognized by various prestigious awards. These accolades include Strategic CIO Award of the Year at the Middle East Banking AI & Analytics Summit 2023, and being featured in the top twenty CIOs at the IDC CIO Summit 2023, among others.

Next Broadcast Media opens access to podcast ad manager for all businesses

Next Broadcast Media opens access to its AI-powered ad manager, allowing any business to create and broadcast podcast and audio ads at a low cost and within minutes. Today, Next Broadcast Media (NBM) has made its self-serve advertising platform publicly available to all advertisers, including those running campaigns as low as $250, and in more than 50 global markets. The ad manager tool provides advertising capabilities for the podcast, digital audio, and web radio environment. It has been live for several months to select NBM customers, and is already showing early signs of success.NBM's Co-Founder Adel Saadi says: "AdManager.FM allows businesses that are curious about podcast and audio advertising, to get a taste at a scale that works for their needs and budgets. We see this solution being especially significant for SMEs that thrive on low cost - high return tactics, and want to do things fast. An Ad Manager campaign can be live in just 4 minutes and $250."Accessed at, the self-serve tool lets advertisers set up targeted podcast, web radio and digital audio campaigns at their own budget and pace. The added AI integration provides instant (and free) script writing services, plus an option for professional recording.Adel adds: "The user interface is designed to be clean and simple, so anyone can set up and run campaigns . It's just a matter of inputting a budget, date range, and targeting, then moving onto the creative - which is all automated too using AI. That’s it, you're ready to go live!"  Next Broadcast Media, the developer of the tool, is a UAE-founded business that has grown to become one of the largest global podcast and digital audio advertising networks, and operates globally.“We’ve been working in the digital audio space for five years, and in that time we’ve seen an explosion in listener numbers, podcast creators, and brands seeking advertising. We have also seen that there’s barriers to access, especially for small businesses. Resources and minimum media spend being a common problem. was developed as part of our commitment to making audio advertising affordable, accessible, and effective - for every business. It’s one platform where our customers can access inventory for all the leading music, podcast, web radio and gaming platforms - and have full control over it too.With low investment all businesses can now see first-hand the impact that's possible." says Adel.“We are not stopping here, our audio network is constantly growing, and this tool will develop and evolve too. We have many exciting additions coming soon.”

Experience innovation company, Valtech, announces new brand positioning

Valtech, the experience innovation company, has entered a new era as it repositions its brand to reflect its ambition, growth, and evolution in today’s experience-driven world. This comes as the agency doubled its revenue and headcount over the last five years, helping leading brands like Dolby, P&G, L’Oreal, Mars, Audi, and Volkswagen transform as digital enterprises. Valtech’s new brand positioning is driven by the growing business and consumer need for experience innovation — the only way for brands to leap ahead of their competition and maintain market leadership. From its business transformation work with global brands over the last decade, it has seen experience innovation overtake digital transformation as the solution to accelerate its clients ahead and overcome parity — and as the catalyst behind its own growth.“Digital acceleration and increased digital maturity are changing the reality for brands across all industries. Now many leading enterprises are well underway with their digitalisation, the ability to leap ahead isn’t easy,” said Olivier Padiou, CEO at Valtech. “With greater access to advanced cloud-based technology and global talent, digital transformation is now available to everyone. This has levelled the playing field, turning what was once ‘the best’ into ‘best practices.” “Experience innovation is about going beyond today’s definition of ‘the best’ to aim for future-back category leadership. It’s about outsmarting the competition, setting new standards, and unlocking value in a rapidly changing and connected world. This is where we’re primed to deliver.”According to Salesforce, 88% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. Valtech is well-positioned to help brands go beyond the best when delivering experiences to not only keep pace with shifts in customer expectations, but to also ensure profitability under current market conditions. Olivier added, “Our unique approach to experience innovation allows brands to better respond to shifts in business, industry, geopolitics, culture, and technology. We’ve seen the value it brings when driving demand and delight for customers and in turn, how it converts to business performance and revenue.”Valtech’s unique, collaborative culture is at the core of its new brand positioning. It’s because of this that it can combine different disciplines, cultures, industries, and perspectives to create surprising breakthroughs for clients. By daring to blend creativity with commerce, wellness with mobility, retail with b2b, and many more uncommon combinations, it creates solutions that achieve the exceptional. This proven pathway to experience innovation — made possible by its ability to adjust its client engagement model to the client’s specific needs — has allowed major brands in Valtech’s roster, including L’Oreal, Mars, and Audi, to break through silos, exceed expectations, disrupt categories, redefine success, and deliver exponential value. “We’re a borderless company that’s locally responsive and globally diverse,” said Suzanne Schroder, chief collaboration officer at Valtech. “This rich culture enables us to combine uncommon combinations of expertise and disciplines in ways other organisations can’t, due to siloes and competing cultures. As these combinations cross over, they spark ideas and breakthroughs that drive huge value for our growth, and our clients’ growth. Our ways of working, acquisition strategy, partnerships, and client servicing model empower and protect that.”"Our experience innovation strategy is the driving force behind our commitment in supporting the ambitious regional transformational agendas of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the neighbouring GCC countries. In a region where disruption and transformational leaps are the norm, we understand that in today's experience-driven economy, brands must go beyond conventional boundaries to excel. We are here to empower them to outperform, redefine standards, and thrive in a dynamically changing and interconnected landscape. It is an exciting journey where we lead the charge in experience innovation and set the bar for customer experiences that ultimately drive measurable business results," said Adam Cukrowski, Regional Managing Director at Valtech MENA.As part of its new brand positioning, Valtech has not only got a new visual identity to match, but has also identified core offerings that unlock the value of experience innovation — spanning commerce acceleration, data evolution, enterprise transformation, experience elevation, and marketing creativity and performance.

Viory secures multiple new deals at Global Media Congress

Viory, the video news agency of the Global South, today formally signed a raft of new agreements during a VIP Launch Summit hosted by the brand on the opening day of the Global Media Congress in Abu Dhabi, UAE.During the ceremony attended by the Viory team, and an array of distinguished guests, partners and senior delegates from the Global Media Congress, the news agency signed agreements including:A memorandum of cooperation with UNA (Union of OIC News Agencies) focussing on the parties’ cooperation in the field of international news coverage, as well as the coverage of important events concerning the relations between the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the BRICS countries. This will include the provision of joint projects and knowledge sharing across both parties.A content licensing partnership with CCTV+ (CCTV News Content Co.) that will see content from CCTV+ being made available to Viory clients.Membership of the AUB (African Union of Broadcasting), under which Viory has committed to the training of media professionals in all fields of broadcasting, as well as content, to the AUBvision platformCommenting on the agreement between Viory and UNA, Mohammed bin Abd Rabbo Al Yami, Acting Director General of UNA, said: “Our union, which includes 57 member states, exists to enhance tolerance and coexistence. No doubt this Memorandum of Understanding, signed today between Viory and UNA, will result in more joint media activities between our Islamic countries and the world. My thanks to Viory for enhancing relationships with the Islamic world. Good luck Viory!”Gregoire Ndjaka, Chief Executive Officer of AUB, added: “We are proud to welcome Viory as a new member of the African Union of Broadcasting. It is very important and timely to welcome Viory, we need balanced information in Africa and we can see Viory as supporting the development of this. On behalf of all the members of the AUB, we wish Viory welcome. Viory: you are at home in Africa”Alongside its commitment to these agreements, Viory also hosted esteemed guests including; Mohammed bin Abd Rabbo Al Yami (Acting Director General of the Union of News Agencies of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (UNA)); Allamyrat Archayev (Head of Department of State Committee for Television, Radio Broadcasting and Cinematography of Turkmenistan); Li Xiaodong (Counsellor of the Chinese embassy to the UAE); Grégoire Ndjaka (Chief Executive Officer of the African Union of Broadcasting); Ahmed Nadeem (Secretary-General Chief Executive of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union); H.E. Ambassador Lovemore Mazemo (Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the UAE.); H.E. Timur Zabirov (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Embassy to the United Arab Emirates); and Shadrack Ayanda Hollow (Chief Executive Officer of BRICS TV); each delivering their views on the news industry of today and welcoming Viory.Discussions at the event considered the rapid pace of technological advancements that are breaking down barriers once thought insurmountable, as well as emerging economic and intellectual hubs that are reshaping the global landscape. Importantly, conversation also touched on the weighty responsibility to capture these transformative changes comprehensively, ensuring that the global news picture is as objective and complete as possible. They also discussed the need for the industry, in particular agencies like Viory, to authentically empower and inform perspectives across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the CIS, and Latin America.Speakers were also joined by a selection of distinguished guests including H.E. Mr Reza Ameri (Ambassador of I.R of Iran to the United Arab Emirates); Ibrahim Khadim (Director of Licensing and Media Content Department, Ministry of Culture and Youth – UAE); Dr. Samir Al Attrach (Head of the Venezuelan Diplomatic Mission to UAE); H.E. Abdulaziz Akkulov (Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to UAE); Franzisco Kaluvi (Counsellor and Deputy Head of Embassy of Angola to UAE); Almazbek Esenaliev (Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Arab Emirates); and a host over other industry and public figures.The VIP summit today is one of a variety of activities Viory is undertaking surrounding The Global Media Congress as it unveils its first international hub in the vibrant city of Abu Dhabi, UAE and formally launches its global operations this week. These activities include a significant presence at the Congress itself with a large purpose-built stand, engagement in a selection of main-stage speaking engagements, and a variety of side events culminating in a gala launch celebration taking place on the evening of November 16th.From its new headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Viory will focus on empowering and amplifying perspectives from the geographical, geopolitical, and developmental heartland that is the Global South. It shall provide exclusive breaking news across politics, technology, sports, and entertainment. The brand launched with a pre-assembled and growing team of over 150 full-time staff, and an established network of over 3000 video journalists across the world – ensuring presence on the ground wherever news breaks.Sourcing footage from where stories break, it acquires and produces global and regional breaking news thanks to an expansive international team that brings unmissable content from and to the Global South. Viory serves everyone from international media conglomerates to regional news outlets and individual citizen journalists.