Rabah Assaf joins Nabd as Business Development Director

Rabah Assaf has joined Nabd, a Personalized Arabic News Aggregator, as Saudi Business Development Director.  Nabd enables Arab users across the globe to stay up-to-date with their favorite topics on the go. Presently, Nabd reaches over 20 million users, generating over 1.6 billion page views every quarter, making it the biggest Arabic app globally. Rabah Assaf has over 18 years of experience across the media sector. He has worked with prominent brands like GroupM in Saudi; he has also headed the digital planning and business development department at Dentsu International, and has also been a part of TikTok KSA. In his new position as Saudi Business Development Director, Rabah will be reporting directly to Aladdin Abukhalaf, Nabd’s CCO. Rabah will concentrate mainly on the development of the firm’s AdTech-focused business strategies and implementations in Saudi across all verticals. This will include leading the teams across the Saudi regions, partner with brands, media agencies and the government.Aladdin Abukhalaf, CCO, Nabd said that along with his rich AdTech experience, from media agency and supply side backgrounds, Rabah would surely encourage people leadership, which is one of the main focus points at Nabd.

Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Al Masaood Automobiles renew partnership agreement

Abu Dhabi: Al Masaood Automobiles, the exclusive distributor of Nissan in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and the Western Region, and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) have reaffirmed their strategic partnership; a partnership that will continue to see the two organizations work together to support major sporting events and activities hosted in the nation’s capital.The partnership, first announced in March of 2022, has seen Al Masaood Automobiles Nissan sponsor a number of high-profile events, including the Leaders’ Summit, the FIBA 3X3 World Basketball Tour, and the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon. The renewed collaboration will continue to see Al Masaood Automobiles Nissan support all ADSC community events across the year, as well as other international sports events including the Spartan and Triathlon World Championships. The partnership showcases Al Masaood Automobiles’ commitment to promote sports and physical activity among youth in Abu Dhabi.“The renewed partnership between Al Masaood Automobiles and ADSC is a significant boost to position Abu Dhabi as a global sports hub,” said HE Suhail Al Areefi, Abu Dhabi Sports Council’s Executive Director of Events Sector. “It is a strategic partnership that builds on the success we have achieved in the past year and will help to ensure that Abu Dhabi remains a leading destination for major sporting events and promote community sports among the nation’s young demographics. For this, we highly appreciate the unfettered support that Al Masaood Automobiles has provided and continues to deliver.”“We are proud to continue our partnership with ADSC,” said Irfan Tansel, CEO of Al Masaood Automobiles. “This partnership is a reflection of our shared commitment to promoting sports and physical well-being in Abu Dhabi, and we look forward to working together to achieve our mutual goals. In addition, this partnership underscores our support of making the capital a global sports hub by further developing the sector in Abu Dhabi.”

Why Saudi firms should weave women’s stories into their brand campaigns?

Saudi women are in anchor roles hence brands need to embrace inclusivity and integrate women’s stories into their brand campaigns and strategies, says a study by GfK, an NIQ Company, a global leader in consumer and market intelligence, analytics, and consulting services. The study reveals comprehensive insights into Saudi consumers' attitudes, behaviors, and preferences at Seamless Saudi Arabia 2023. The event, known for showcasing cutting-edge innovations in payments, fintech, retail, e-commerce, home delivery, and digital marketing, is taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from September 4th to 5th, 2023.As Saudi Arabia forges ahead with its vision of digitization and sustainability through Vision 2030, GfK's study underscores the transformative changes in consumer habits and aspirations. The research reveals how Saudi Arabia is emerging as a "growing and promising" market within the Middle East region and globally, driven by visionary reforms and sustainability initiatives.Prachi Satoskar, Commercial Director at GfK an NIQ Company, emphasized: "Sustainability doesn't always equate to premium. With the right partner equipped with data science, business intelligence expertise, and AI-backed technology, businesses can navigate market and ecological challenges while achieving sustainability targets and growth."Key Findings from the Study:Saudi Women's Evolving Roles: The study highlights the prominent roles Saudi women are assuming in various aspects of society. Brands are encouraged to embrace inclusivity by integrating women's stories into their brand campaigns and strategies.Embracing Experiences: Approximately 47% of Saudi consumers prioritize experiences over possessions, reflecting their desire to explore and engage with the world beyond their homes. This trend presents an opportunity for brands to revamp loyalty and rewards programs in partnership with leisure and entertainment players.Sustainability Matters: An impressive 68% of Saudi consumers are attuned to companies' green motivations, reflecting the increasing importance of sustainability in purchase decisions. This underscores the need for brands to align measures with economic considerations to drive consumer adoption.GfK's insights provide an invaluable guide for brands and industry leaders seeking to tap into Saudi Arabia's evolving consumer landscape. As the Kingdom advances toward a more sustainable and digital future, these insights pave the way for informed business strategies that cater to changing consumer preferences.

Majid Al Futtaim forays into luxury home and beauty sectors

Majid Al Futtaim, a prominent leader in shopping malls, communities, retail, and leisure activities across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, has marked its entrance into the beauty and luxury home segments. This expansion adds two new categories to its offerings, with the brand's focus on expanding its presence in the UAE.During this year, Majid Al Futtaim has successfully launched 11 new stores within its shopping malls. This achievement is largely attributed to the brand's strategic partnerships with notable names such as the Italian furniture brand Poltrona Frau and the Japanese skincare company Shiseido, among others.As a significant aspect of these collaborations, Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle has obtained the rights to distribute Poltrona Frau Products in the UAE. This venture represents the brand's initial step into the Luxury Home category, allowing the iconic Italian brand to embark on a new phase of growth in the Middle East. Poltrona Frau's global expansion strategies have positioned it as an influential international benchmark.Fahed Ghanim, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle, expressed excitement about the partnership with Poltrona Frau. He stated, "We are delighted to introduce Poltrona Frau's Italian masterpieces into Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle's expanding collection of world-class international brands. This collaboration aligns with our strategy of geographical and brand expansion, especially during a period of remarkable year-on-year growth. It reinforces Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle's mission to enhance the customer experience in the region."In a notable collaboration that occurred earlier in May, Majid Al Futtaim teamed up with the Japanese beauty innovator Shiseido Company. This partnership led to the inauguration of the Shiseido Ginza Tokyo brand store in the Mall of the Emirates. This store is a significant milestone for Shiseido's expansion plans and marked Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle's entry into the beauty industry.These partnerships contributed to a 12 percent increase in footfall within the shopping malls, with the Mall of the Emirates witnessing its highest-ever first-half footfall.Beyond these collaborations, Majid Al Futtaim has launched five additional stores in the region, including two Supeco low-cost hybrid concept stores in Egypt. The brand's entertainment division continues to expand its reach across the region, as evidenced by the opening of Snow Abu Dhabi in June – the capital's inaugural indoor snow park and the fourth snow destination within the group's portfolio.

Hisense to sustain MENA growth with production expansion and new flagship store

Dubai: Global electronics leader Hisense has revealed its plans to build on production capabilities and sales growth opportunities throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as it gears up for the opening of two new production facilities, new offices, and three new flagship stores across the Levant, GCC and North Africa. This will allow Hisense more flexibility when delivering its award-winning lineup of products from home entertainment and home appliance categories in market to customers, streamlining delivery times and increasing after-sales support offerings.“Under our expansion strategy, Hisense has planned to develop new production facilities across North Africa and LEVANT region, as well as new flagship store in GCC, Saudi Arabia and LEVANT region, means we are even better placed than ever before to bring our high-performance display technologies and quality premium product offerings to more of our customers across the MENA region,” commented Jason Ou, President of Hisense Middle East and Africa.Hisense is looking to build on its MENA growth trajectory, which has seen it emerge over the past decade as one of the most preferred brands of regional consumers.“Our heavy investment in brand building through sponsorship of global sporting assets, including FIFA World Cup, Euro Cup and PSG Football Club, has accelerated our growth which is supported by our reputation for high-quality product delivery and accessibility,” added Ou.Hisense’s regional growth has been elevated by the expansion of local offices in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, and Algeria, improving regionwide operations and a more robust partner network and relations strategy. This advancement has also brought the brand closer to its key markets, allowing Hisense to better cater for its end users and network partners. We also look forward to catering to local requirements in terms of products, lifestyle, environment and social that influence the customers consumption patterns and habits with a global R&D centre based in Dubai, that will be an innovation centre for Hisense to introduce new products and technology. Strong H1 2023 sales results for the MENA region have also expanded the brand’s consumer reach and spurred the opening of new exclusive and partner-operated Hisense Care Hub service centres in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to upscale its after-service, parts, and product consultation offerings. It now plans to expand its exclusive customer care operation to the remainder of the GCC, Iraq and Algeria.Hisense is also making huge inroads into the region’s B2B air-conditioner market with a growing reputation for product efficiency. Moreover, regional white goods revenue grew by 10.33 per cent wherein air conditioning displayed a subsequent increase of 20 per cent in 2023 as compared to 2022 YTD.  Hisense secured a major contract from Dubai-based property developer Nshama to supply 1092 ducted AC units and 364 wall-mounted AC units with a total capacity of 2430 tons for its Town Square townhouse community project. These ducted units are high energy efficient products with an EER range of 11.8 to 12.3 perfectly suitable for the townhouse project.“We are on course for our best year yet in the region, and our MENA expansion strategy will be further enhanced by the introduction of new, award-winning smart and AI technology-led products,” added Ou.To the existing smart home appliances of refrigerator line-up, Hisense plans to shortly bring in smart 5S laundry series and Smart Air conditioning that are wi-fi, voice and APP controlled into the region.The company’s solid MEA performance closes a successful 12-month period that has also seen the manufacturer secure a slew of high-profile product awards, including the prestigious CES 2023 Innovation Award and EISA Award for ‘Best Product of the Year’ for its premium 4K Mini-LED ULED TV 65U8HQ, and the Tom's Guide Award 2023 for its 4K UST Triple-Laser Trichroma Projector 100L9H.

MBC and Saudi Culture Ministry to launch TV channel

Jeddah: Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, and MBC GROUP Chairman, Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, have officially entered into a landmark agreement aimed at unveiling a cutting-edge television channel dedicated to celebrating Saudi cultural heritage. The collaboration underscores the commitment to elevating the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a regional cultural epicenter and realizing the aspirations set forth by the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative.Scheduled for launch in September, the upcoming channel will be seamlessly integrated into the MBC satellite package and the popular online platform This novel initiative aims to engage not only the intellectual elite but also a wider audience, offering around-the-clock interactive programming that showcases the Kingdom's rich cultural legacy.This new channel is set to fortify Saudi Arabia's presence on the global stage, particularly within the realm of innovation, by introducing a plethora of distinctive programs spanning literature, poetry, theater, cinema, fashion, and culinary arts. Designed to captivate both local and international viewers, the channel will serve as a bridge that connects cultures and fosters a deeper appreciation for the multifaceted facets of Saudi culture.Beyond its television offering, the agreement encompasses the launch of a digital media platform with a specialized focus on crafting engaging video content tailored for online platforms. Moreover, the platform will curate and disseminate a wide range of content, including articles, podcasts, and documentaries, designed to expand the horizons of local content creators. This strategic move will facilitate meaningful collaborations between content creators and domain experts, amplifying their impact and reach.The establishment of this culturally enriching channel comes at an opportune time, coinciding with the Kingdom's remarkable journey towards a cultural renaissance spurred by the Saudi Vision 2030 framework. As Saudi Arabia's next generation eagerly embraces rapid technological advancements, the channel is poised to inspire and nurture creativity, providing an invaluable platform for the expression and preservation of cultural heritage.Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, "This partnership marks a significant step towards the realization of our cultural ambitions and the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030. Through this channel, we aim to strengthen our global cultural footprint, celebrate our heritage, and foster cross-cultural understanding."MBC GROUP Chairman, Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, shared his excitement about the venture, saying, "We are proud to join hands with the Ministry of Culture in this transformative endeavor. By creating a dedicated channel for Saudi cultural heritage, we are embracing our role as cultural catalysts and contributing to the Kingdom's cultural narrative on a grand scale."As the launch date approaches, anticipation is growing for the unveiling of this groundbreaking channel that is poised to shape the future of Saudi cultural engagement and contribute to the ongoing realization of Saudi Vision 2030.

Onur Tepeli appointed as FeatureMind’s CEO

DUBAI:  FeatureMind, a leading provider of digital solutions within the retail environment, today announced that Onur Tepeli has joined the company as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, Onur will develop and execute a growth-oriented strategy that will help to build on the company’s presence in the region, leading the FeatureMind team based out of the Middle East, Turkey and Nigeria and supporting the growth of partnerships with Salesforce, Mulesoft, Akeneo and other leading providers.As CEO, Onur will work to support the continued growth of the businesses, adding momentum to the region and scaling the team. He will prioritise innovation, imagination and excellence in implementation that bring value to FeatureMind’s clients as customers’ businesses and operational needs shift, streamlining complex requirements.Onur is a proven technology leader with decades of international experience in customer-centric business growth. Most recently, he served as Head of Digital Engagement Practice, Turkey at EPAM Solutions – a digital transformation services and product engineering company – where he headed up digital customer services functions for the Middle East. Before this, he worked at Emakina (now acquired by EPAM Solutions) – a full-service digital agency with global reach, as the Managing Director, UAE, having been based in Dubai for over twelve years.Edwin Stonestreet, Managing Director at FeatureMind, said:“I could not be more excited to welcome Onur to the team. This is an appointment that reaffirms our commitment to servicing our clients in-region with a wealth of expertise and proven competence. Onur’s knowledge and ability to take a holistic view of our business in the retail-tech space will bring great value to our company and our customers. We look forward to him continuing to drive growth and innovation within our business model, with his integral contribution to our customer-centric promise for service and results.”Onur Tepeli, Chief Executive Officer at FeatureMind, said:“FeatureMind brings together all the components of what is required and appreciated in this industry from world leading middleware through Order Management, Content Management, Product Information Management and innovative In Store solutions. Acting as a leader of change in end-to-end omnichannel support and management, FeatureMind is well-positioned to help customers address some of the biggest challenges and complexities that clients face today, as the march to enhanced customer experience journeys continues at pace. I am looking forward to working with this highly talented team.

BMW Group ME strengthens esports commitment with Nigma Galaxy partnership

Dubai: BMW Group Middle East, the iconic premium automotive manufacturer, has unveiled its partnership with Nigma Galaxy, one of the biggest esports teams in the MENA region. This exciting collaboration underscores BMW Group Middle East's involvement in the esports community, further supporting the rapidly growing local gaming scene.Nigma Galaxy, a global esports brand, emerged in 2019 through the merger of Team Nigma and Galaxy Racer, and has quickly risen to prominence in the gaming world.Founded by four of the most successful players in the esports realm, Nigma Galaxy boasts 6 esports teams competing across different games, including popular titles such as League of Legends, Dota 2, PUBG Mobile, and more. At the forefront of developing esports infrastructure and nurturing local talent in the MENA region, Team Nigma has a very active presence in the gaming arena in the region and beyond, participating in top events such as Gamers8, currently taking place in Riyadh until August 31, 2023.BMW Group Middle East has been steadily expanding its presence in the esports landscape the last few years, following a number of exciting partnerships with Publicis Groupe. The Nigma Galaxy partnership, which was defined and driven by Publicis Groupe together with BMW Group Middle East, will further accelerate the automotive brand’s presence in esports, elevating the gaming experience for enthusiasts around the world.Dr. Hamid Haqparwar, Managing Director at BMW Group Middle East, said, "As a gamer myself, I am very thrilled to join forces with Nigma Galaxy, a leading player in the esports domain. BMW Group Middle East will continue to play an active role in the gaming community as part of its commitment to encourage and foster talents in the region. As we embark on this partnership, we aim to engage with gaming enthusiasts and create unforgettable experiences that reflect both Nigma Galaxy's and BMW's community values."Emphasising the shared values that underpin this partnership, Christoph Timm, co-founder of Nigma Galaxy said, "This collaboration with BMW Group Middle East resonates deeply with our vision and values. BMW's passion for excellence and constant innovation aligns seamlessly with our commitment to pushing the boundaries of esports. Together, we aim to inspire and empower a new generation of gamers, supporting their dreams and aspirations in this exciting world of competitive gaming while creating unforgettable experiences that bridge the gap between the virtual and physical worlds."The partnership between BMW Group Middle East and Nigma Galaxy is also sound when viewed around the latter’s core values of passion, innovation, people and sportsmanship. Both brands embody a relentless passion for what they do, striving to exceed expectations and elevate their performance to new heights. Innovation is deeply ingrained in their DNA, with BMW's commitment to sustainability and cutting-edge technology aligning with Nigma Galaxy's pioneering spirit in the esports industry.The human element is central to their operations, as both organisations recognise the crucial role played by their teams and communities. Finally, sportsmanship serves as the foundation of their competitive spirit, whether it's while pushing the limits on the road or dominating the esports arena.To announce the partnership, the brands unveiled a collab video featuring two of Nigma Galaxy’s top names, Hamody and LORD. The gamers put their skill and focus to the test while in the backseat of a BMW M5 Competition, demonstrating their exceptional abilities as they engage in esports while on the move in the dashing sports saloon at the Dubai Autodrome.As Nigma Galaxy furthers its pursuit of nurturing local talent and promoting esports on a global stage, BMW Group Middle East is committed to supporting this mission through its extensive expertise and resources. With its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Nigma Galaxy is uniquely positioned to develop talents in the Middle East, creating a stronger bond between the international esports league and the MENA region, while simultaneously opening doors for local talent to flourish.The BMW-Nigma Galaxy partnership marks an exciting chapter in the esports industry, combining the legacy and innovation of the automotive brand with the talent and ambition of the esports team. Together, they strive to elevate the esports experience, create unforgettable moments for fans, and inspire the next generation of gaming enthusiasts.

Majid Al Futtaim announces half year financial results

Dubai: Majid Al Futtaim (“the Group”), the leading shopping malls, communities, retail, and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia, today announced its operational and financial results for the period ending June 30, 2023. During the first half of the year, Majid Al Futtaim reported a 5% increase in consolidated revenue to AED 18.9 billion, and EBITDA growth of 13% year-on-year to AED 2.1 billion.Reporting growth across all its businesses, the Group’s positive performance was underpinned by focused efforts to drive operational excellence and further buoyed by the UAE’s thriving economy. The Group continues to maintain a healthy balance sheet with assets valued at approximately AED 68 billion.Commenting on the results, Ahmed Galal Ismail, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, said: “Majid Al Futtaim is successfully balancing strategic growth with profitable and responsible execution. Our efforts to drive defined business objectives across our portfolio with a renewed focus on operational excellence and productivity are delivering sustainable, profitable growth and value to our stakeholders.“The economic buoyancy of the UAE in conjunction with our internal focus to unlock the inherent power of our ecosystem, has enabled the Group to deliver a solid half year performance. Majid Al Futtaim will continue to evolve, anchoring strategic choices in value-creation that support the evolving needs of our customers, colleagues and communities across the region.”Operating Company PerformanceMajid Al Futtaim – Properties: Net revenue increased 39% year-on-year to AED 3.4 billion, while EBITDA grew 22% to AED 1.7 billion. Performance was primarily driven by UAE-based shopping malls and Tilal Al Ghaf residential real estate development.Shopping Malls footfall increased 12%, boosted by Mall of the Emirates recording its highest ever first-half footfall. Tenant sales grew 7%, with UAE-based malls making the largest contribution. Hotels remained steady with occupancy rates and RevPAR (revenue per available room) growing at 3% and 2% respectively.Tilal Al Ghaf maintained its impressive sales performance through the first half of the year, including the record-breaking sale of an ultra-luxury villa at Lanai Islands and the completion of 916 residential units, significantly contributing to the sustained growth of the Properties business.Majid Al Futtaim – Retail: Driven primarily by the impact of currency devaluations across the Group’s footprint, overall revenue declined by 2% to AED 14.1 billion with EBITDA dipping 7%. At a constant currency rate, revenue grew 8% and EBITDA grew 5%. Online performance of Retail’s digital business remained strong, recording a 13% increase in revenue to AED 1.2 billion in the first half of 2023.Over the same period, Majid Al Futtaim opened five new stores across the region, including two further Supeco low-cost, hybrid concept stores in Egypt. These efforts underline the Group’s continued work to meet the growing consumer demand for digital and omnichannel experiences.Majid Al Futtaim – Entertainment: Revenue increased by 4% to AED 822 million and EBITDA grew 39% to AED 46 million, as the cinemas business continues to recover from delays and adjustments to its content pipeline.More broadly, Majid Al Futtaim’s entertainment business continues to expand its footprint across the region. In June 2023, the Group opened Snow Abu Dhabi, the capital’s first indoor snow park and the Group’s fourth snow destination, underscoring its commitment to deliver innovative, family-friendly and immersive experiences across the region.Majid Al Futtaim – Lifestyle: Revenue increased by 31% to AED 473 million and EBITDA improved by 300% to AED 12 million over the first six months of the year.The Lifestyle business opened 11 new stores in the first half of the year and entered two new categories; Luxury Home and Beauty. In January, the business introduced prestigious Italian furniture brand, Poltrona Frau to the region, and in May opened the only Shiseido store outside of Asia. The new brands complement Lifestyle’s pre-existing portfolio of 8 leading franchise and 2 homegrown brands and provide additional opportunity to further the business’ consistent year on year double digit growth.Progress on Sustainable ImpactMajid Al Futtaim continues to lead the region in prioritising long-term sustainable growth aligned to science-based targets and validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The Group remains on track to become Net Positive in carbon and water by 2040 and through its commitment to phase out single-use plastics, supported by Government-mandated taxation in the UAE, Majid Al Futtaim has achieved 82% reduction in the consumption of single-use plastic.The Group, recognised as a pioneer in sustainable financing for the region, issued its USD 500 million green sukuk in June this year. Proceeds from the issuance will be directed to funding eligible green projects under its 2019 green finance framework. This marks Majid Al Futtaim’s fourth Green capital markets issuance underscoring its commitment to responsible financing and its overall ESG goals.In June 2023, the Mall of the Emirates was presented with a LEED Platinum Award for Operations and Maintenance following its certification in late 2022, making it the largest mall in the world to receive such certification.The Group has also maintained its low risk ESG rating by Sustainalytics.FinancingMajid Al Futtaim continues to maintain a strong financial and liquidity position backed by a well-balanced financing mix encompassing capital markets and bank financing. Net borrowings are at AED 15 billion, with most of the debt maturing 2026 onwards.The Group has upheld its BBB credit rating with a stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

Shanadi Liyanage joins Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites

Dubai: Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites, the renowned luxury ultra-all-inclusive resort nestled on the eastern crescent of the iconic Palm Jumeirah, is pleased to introduce Shanadi Liyanage, a seasoned lifestyle marketeer, as its new Marketing Manager. With a commitment to pursuing her personal passions and a remarkable track record in brand marketing, strategic thinking, and creative innovation, Shanadi brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role, perfectly aligning with the ethos of Rixos Hotels. Her seamless transition to this role further underscores her dedication to infuse her personal interests and passions with her profession, solidifying her position as a leading lifestyle marketeer. As a global citizen well versed with international fashion brands, Shanadi is keen to encourage high fashion editorials within the property to cater to the luxury travel connoisseurs. The fact that she can combine her hobbies with her profession makes her job all the more enjoyable and exhilarating, making this the dream appointment for her.  Hailing from Sri Lanka and having studied Business and Social Entrepreneurship at Antioch University in California, USA, Shanadi has carved an impressive career as a brand marketeer specialising in lifestyle hospitality. Her journey includes spearheading the creation of distinctive brand identities for esteemed names in the high-end luxury lifestyle sector including with several of Accor Group's lifestyle brands under Ennismore. Prior to her current role, she has been involved in a range of exciting projects including having the honour to collaborate with international productions such as Dubai Bling on Netflix and Real Housewives of Dubai on Bravo TV, working alongside renowned celebrities like Jason Derulo, Becky Hill, and Ronan Keating.  Shanadi brings a vibrant and dynamic perspective to her work, fuelled by her passions for travel, fashion, design, and global cuisine with her marketing prowess further enhanced by her love of content creation on TikTok and Instagram. At the heart of her expertise lies lifestyle hospitality, where she excels in crafting distinct and unconventional experiences. Shanadi understands the significance of blending design, architecture, décor, fragrances, music, and culinary excellence to create a memorable and holistic guest journey. "I am thrilled to join the esteemed team at Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites," Shanadi expressed. “My vision is to transform this incredible resort into the ultimate lifestyle destination in Dubai, where couples can find a haven to relax and indulge in their time together, while ensuring their children are exceptionally cared for.”  Ali Ozbey, Regional Director of Marketing and Communications at Rixos Hotels, commented on the appointment, "We are delighted to announce Shanadi Liyanage as our new Marketing Manager at Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites and we are excited to witness the energy and enthusiasm she will bring to the property. Her dynamic perspective and commitment to crafting unique experiences perfectly align with our ambition to be a global leader in the luxury all-inclusive sector. It is fantastic to have her on board as we continue to give our guests unparalleled experiences.”  Shanadi's vision further extends to positioning Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites as the ultimate lifestyle resort on the Palm Jumeirah, capturing the essence of vibrant living and family-centric experiences. She envisions a destination where stylish young couples can revel in romantic evenings while their children enjoy the safe and engaging Rixy kids club.  In her new role, Shanadi is determined to elevate the guest experience to even higher levels of excellence, and Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites is delighted to have her as part of the Rixos family.

Phil Roberts promoted to Cluster Hotel Manager Role

Dubai: Radisson Blu Dubai Media City and Park Inn by Radisson Motor City are excited to announce the well-deserved promotion of Phil Roberts to the position of Cluster Hotel Manager. In this diverse and challenging role, Roberts will oversee the operations of two great well established Dubai Hotels: the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Media City and the Park Inn by Radisson Dubai Motor City. Phil's journey within the Radisson family began as the Director of Food and Beverage at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Media City having joined from a Hotel Manager role at a European resort Hotel. During his Radisson tenure he began managing a diverse portfolio of five dining venues including front and back of house operations, as well as a large catering operation. From there Roberts moved up into the Director of Hotel Operations role, managing the Hotel operations in their entirety. Roberts oversaw outlet renovation, concept implementation as well as key capital projects for Hotel investment, whilst overseeing all department operations delivering consistent high standards of service quality as the loyal returning guests of Radisson Blu Dubai Media City have come to expect, and rightly demand, over the last seventeen years.In his new capacity as Cluster Hotel Manager, Roberts will begin the challenge of leading the operations of the Motor City market leading Park Inn Hotel, one of the highest achieving Park Inn Hotels in the brand globally for guest satisfaction results. This will include the Hotel’s outside catering operations and event management.James Berry, the Cluster General Manager for Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Media City and Park Inn Hotel Motor City, is very proud to see Roberts to continue to develop, "I am delighted to witness Phil's remarkable journey from Director of Food and Beverage now to Cluster Hotel Manager. It is important to develop careers for our people, and grow our talent for our Radisson family as leaders of the future, but sometimes it is easier to get out of someone’s’ way, as in this case with Phil. Over the past 3 years, he has consistently demonstrated his passion, diligence, and invaluable contributions to our brands, and got the results he deserved. I have full confidence in his ability to drive outstanding performance across all operational aspects in both Hotels."In his own words, Phil Roberts shares his excitement for his new role, stating, "I am deeply honoured to be entrusted with the responsibility of shaping and executing the operational strategy of these two exceptional Radisson hotels. Since joining the Radisson Hotel Group, I have taken immense pride in delivering and demonstrating high standards of guest care, and I am excited to get the chance to apply those standards to a new bigger challenge."

Kwai's "Live" feature enhances interactive social media content in MENA

Dubai: Social Media usage in the MENA region has grown substantially to over 260 million users, representing nearly 57% of the total population in the region. This reflects the ongoing digital revolution sweeping through the area at present.Previous studies have shown that people in the Middle East and North Africa spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes daily on social media, highlighting the pivotal role these platforms play in people's lives. It is expected that the use of social media in the region will continue to grow, with the number of users reaching 300 million by the end of 2023.In this context, Ma Da, General Manager for MENA business of Kuaishou International Business, KSIB emphasized the dominance of visual content on social media platforms. Specialized reports indicate that 73% of users watch video clips on social media, including our platform "Kwai," one of the leading global platforms for short video content and a key player in user interaction with features tailored to their needs, particularly the "Live" feature for video content.Kwai's "Live" feature is characterized by numerous options that enhance the live video viewing experience. Viewers can interact directly with broadcasters through comments, likes, and virtual gifts. The "Live" feature on Kwai supports up to 10,000 viewers simultaneously, facilitating seamless communication between content creators and their audience.Kwai is committed to delivering high-quality video content to ensure the best viewing experience for users by delivering videos in high definition. Kwai's "Live" feature proves to be an indispensable tool for individuals and influencers to connect with their audience and enhance effective communication within the growing communities around their content.Ma Da, General Manager for MENA business of Kuaishou International Business, KSIB stated, "Users of Kwai's Live data, focus on content related to lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food, travel, and fitness. Comedy content holds a significant share, alongside news and events, catering to sports enthusiasts, entertainment lovers, and technology enthusiasts. Additionally, the platform offers educational and informative content through instructional videos and effective lessons on various subjects."It is worth mentioning that Kwai, the global platform specializing in showcasing short video clips, boasts over 650 million active users worldwide. The application allows users to create, share, and interact with short video clips of various genres. Thanks to its presence in more than 150 countries and regions, Kwai has become a global hub for creativity and communication.

Wasslz signs MoU with Al Hussein Technical University

Amman, Jordan: Wasslz, an Internet of Things (IoT) startup dedicated to digitally transforming how people live and work, recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Al Hussein Technical University (HTU). Through this partnership, the two parties will work together on the research and development of an AI-powered electronic device recognition system, which will ultimately aim to advance progress and innovation in the field of smart energy solutions.As an academic-industrial collaboration, the partnership between Wasslz and HTU will engage local youth in activities that will advance their education and their long-term career prospects in the ICT sector, allowing them to gain a high-quality, market-driven technical education. Both partners will contribute to the research and development efforts of this landmark project, which will work to integrate advancements in artificial intelligence with the development of IoT smart energy solutions.Commenting on the occasion, the President of Al Hussein Technical University, Professor Ismael Al-Hinti, said, “At HTU, we are always pursuing opportunities to provide our students with highly engaging, practical, and meaningful educational activities—activities that will ultimately add value to their long-term career prospects and drive the progress of Jordan’s ICT sector. We are delighted to partner with an innovative startup like Wasslz, and we look forward to seeing this partnership grow and flourish in the years to come.”Meanwhile, the President of Wasslz and Managing Partner of Globitel, Fadi Qutaishat, added, “It is our greatest pleasure to partner with an esteemed technical university like HTU. The work being done by Wasslz is revolutionizing the Internet of Things landscape, especially with the integration of artificial intelligence, and we are eager to engage the young, creative, ambitious minds at HTU in helping drive industry-wide progress and innovation, by giving them an opportunity to learn through the practical, hands-on application of the knowledge they are gaining in the classroom.”

InMobi Acquires Quantcast Choice

InMobi, a leading provider of content monetization and marketing technologies that help businesses fuel growth, has announced the acquisition of Quantcast Choice, a consent management platform (CMP) designed to help publishers seamlessly align with the rapidly changing global privacy regulations. This strategic acquisition reinforces InMobi’s commitment to bolstering its privacy management platform for mobile app and web publishers, empowering them to navigate the dynamic and intricate privacy landscape.As privacy regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) evolved, CMPs have become critical for publishers to ensure compliance and maintain ad revenue. The lack of a proven CMP often results in lost opportunities for publishers, as many of the leading demand partners require the use of a CMP that supports the latest privacy standards maintained by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Quantcast Choice supports more than 500 Google-Certified, 800 IAB-approved vendors, and non-certified vendors specific to publishers’ needs. This inclusive approach helps publishers increase monetization, higher fill rates, and sometimes up to a 35% boost in eCPMs in certain regions. As part of the acquisition, InMobi will uphold the platform’s free availability for existing customers and remains committed to extending this promise to both existing and new customers.“InMobi has always been at the forefront of building solutions that help brands and publishers alike navigate the complex global privacy landscape. This acquisition allows us to bring the power of a proven world-class CMP into the in-app ecosystem where the challenges remain enormous and unresolved,” says Kunal Nagpal, Chief Business Officer, InMobi Advertising. “Quantcast Choice is a gold standard for thousands of Web publishers; we are excited to build and extend its benefits to the 40,000 mobile apps that currently work with InMobi.” “Quantcast Choice was born of our commitment to protecting consumer privacy and we’re proud of helping so many businesses meet the needs of an evolving regulatory landscape,” says Peter Day, CTO, Quantcast. “InMobi understands the needs of publishers and we’re delighted that this market leading CMP will continue to be available as a free solution. We remain committed to our customers and have formed a close partnership with InMobi to ensure a seamless transition.”The addition of a reliable, scalable and versatile CMP aligns with InMobi’s commitment in delivering comprehensive publisher monetization solutions. InMobi plans to seamlessly integrate the CMP within its extensive publisher SDK offering, delivering improved data governance, easy consent management, and heightened privacy control, thereby ensuring full compliance with global privacy regulations and fostering trust with their audiences. The transition of Quantcast Choice customers to InMobi’s offering is set to begin in the coming months, with the launch of the new publisher offering expected in the early fall.

BOUNZ and EROS announce strategic partnership

Dubai: UAE-based lifestyle loyalty program BOUNZ has announced a strategic partnership with the well-known electronics retailer and distributor Eros Group.Timed to coincide with the upcoming Back to School and Back to Work period after a long summer break, this move brings on board the BOUNZ family its first all-electronic partner. Members can earn 1 BOUNZ on every AED 6 spent on Electronics and 2 BOUNZ for every 6 AED spent on Accessories at 9 EROS stores across UAE and online at Earn and redeem on the app and enjoy instant savings at over 35 partners across groceries, travel, dining, jewellery, electronics and more. You can even pay telephone, utility, and internet bills by redeeming BOUNZ in full or with a combination of cash and BOUNZ. Or redeem your BOUNZ to purchase gift cards on the app.It was also confirmed that the collaboration will be further enhanced in Q2 2024, with digital receipts and in-app purchase (BOUNZ members will be able to buy EROS electronics and accessories on the app itself) added to the app’s portfolio of services. Sridhar Krishnamurthy, Managing Partner, and Co-Founder of BOUNZ, reaffirmed the programme’s promise of always working with best in their category partners.“We aim to leverage the Eros Group’s legacy, its customer base and its reputation in the market for excellence. At BOUNZ, we firmly believe that such associations upgrade the suite of exclusive benefits and other personalized offers for our members, and we will continue to add other partners of the highest calibre to our portfolio,” he said.“A key indicator of our high level of customer engagement is evident from the fact that out of the +600 million BOUNZ points in our members' wallets, nearly 50% have already been redeemed. Such impressive numbers for a young programme like ours is testament to the programme’s robustness and bodes well for partners like EROS.”BOUNZ already counts the likes of Choithrams, Emirates Draw, Al Jaber Optical and Joyalukkas as partners and just recently launched a new state-of-the-art app.The app can be download from the Apple App Store, Huawei App Gallery or Google Play store.  Promising smoother navigation, faster loading times, and improved responsiveness, the new app had been lauded for delivering a more intuitive and engaging experience for current and potential customers. Mohammed Badri, Managing Director, Eros Group added, “This collaboration with BOUNZ is a major addition in our endeavour to enhance the EROS experience by engaging with a loyalty partner who shares our customer-centric approach. For us as a leading tech retailer and distributor, BOUNZ’s data-driven insights will go a long way in helping us develop our consumer engagement strategy.”

Viola Communications appoints Fady Karim, Ahmed El Sheikh

Viola Communications, a marketing and communications solutions provider in the MENA region, has made two important appointments to reinforce client services from its Abu Dhabi headquarters. Viola Communications is a fast-growing Abu Dhabi-based group specializing in providing fully integrated marketing and communications solutions to national and regional firms with head office in Abu Dhabi and other offices in Dubai and Cairo.In a recent development, the company has appointed Fady Karim and Ahmed El Sheikh.Fady Karim, the new Integrated Client Services Director, brings in a wealth of experience to Viola. He has more than 24 years of expertise in management and communications. Karim has worked for several projects of different clients, including Meraas, Red Bull, Aldar, Dubai Properties, Philips, Abu Dhabi Airport and many more.He will be responsible for developing and optimizing marketing communications, advertising campaigns and producing strategies that can augment stakeholder value.The second appointee, Ahmed El Sheikh, has taken up the role of Group Account Director. It is a powerful position that requires a highly skilled professional capable of multi-tasking and trouble-shooting while creating and maintaining full alignment between clients and the agency’s internal teams.El Sheikh has about 18 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry, which makes him perfect for the role. He has experience in business advertising, branding, events and activations, and digital media platforms in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.El Sheikh’s role at Viola demands exceptional project management skills which he has honed with clients including Pepsi, Mobil, Samsung Mobile, Nescafe, NCB, General Motors & Mansour Automotive and GM North Africa, Etisalat and SAMA (Saudi Central Bank).

Atteline assigns Malaika Fernandes as ambassador of its sustainability division

Atteline, an award-winning integrated communications agency founded and headquartered in the UAE, has appointed Malaika Fernandes as Sustainability Ambassador and Strategic Counsel. This is with regard to the launch of its new sustainability specialism, solidifying its commitment to environmental and social responsibility across its consumer and corporate divisions.With this significant milestone, Atteline would surely become B Corp-certified by 2024, making it the first UAE-headquartered integrated communications agency to achieve this prestigious recognition. Atteline is dedicated to integrating sustainable practices into its business operations and fostering positive change in the communications industry.Malaika Fernandes, who would be the brand Ambassador, is thrilled to be associated with Atteline’s Sustainability Division, fueled by a passionate team with a vision to amplify voices for good and drive meaningful change in the UAE and beyond. She further acknowledged that by embracing more sustainable practices and pursuing B Corp certification, the company would surely align purpose with action and embark on an impactful journey. Moreover, as a certified B Corp, Atteline would be among businesses leading a global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy.Key Initiatives of AttelineA few of Atteline's initiatives include partnering with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to support awareness and advocacy efforts around the displacement crisis in the MENA region and the growing needs of those displaced by war, conflict, persecution, and the effect of climate change and natural disasters. Atteline has also commenced sustainable action by decarbonising its staff’s carbon footprint through a monthly carbon reduction plan, supporting four key projects to accelerate the company’s climate action and reduce the footprint of its employees’ personal and professional lifestyles.Also in 2020, Atteline took on its first pro bono client Azraq, a non-profit marine conservation organisation, on a mission to safeguard and protect the oceanic ecosystem.

Guy Hutchinson back on board at Hilton as president, ME, Africa region

Guy Hutchinson has been appointed as president, Hilton Group in Middle East and Africa region.  However, he will be commencing his new role in Hilton by next year.  Presently, Hutchinson serves as the president and CEO of Abu Dhabi-based hotel management company Rotana. He has been with Rotana for a decade. Along with his experience with Rotana, he has had previous experience of more than 16 years at Hilton, spanning across the Middle East, Europe, Japan, China, Australia, and India, where he served as vice president of operations until 2014.This appointment of Hutchinson as president of Hilton in MENA is due to the sudden passing of Jochem-Jan Sleiffer (widely known by his initials JJ) in April 2023. JJ had worked at Hilton for over 33 years. He was president of the Middle East, Africa and Türkiye at the time of his demise.Hutchinson will be based at Hilton’s regional office in Dubai, and will report to Simon Vincent CBE, EVP and president for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Hilton.Simon Vincent said: “Finding the right individual to propel our Middle East and Africa region forward has been of the utmost importance as we considered this pivotal leadership position. Guy brings regional operations expertise, genuine passion for hospitality, and a leadership style aligned with our Hilton culture. Amidst a period of unparalleled growth and performance in MEA, under Guy’s leadership I am confident we will continue to build on the significant momentum achieved in the region.”Guy Hutchinson added, “I am delighted to return to Hilton to lead the Middle East and Africa region and continue the incredible work that my friend JJ spearheaded. I started my career with Hilton in Amsterdam and have always admired this iconic hospitality brand and its superb culture. I look forward to leading Hilton’s next chapter in MEA and working with a team known for delivering incredible guest experiences and best-in-class results.”Hilton currently has a 285 hotels, either operational or under development, across the Middle East and Africa region, with 11 brands, supported by a workforce exceeding 29,000 individuals.In 2023, Hilton opened several new hotels, including Hilton Skanes Monastir Beach Resort and Hilton Kinshasa, and secured agreements for destinations including Ghana, Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

The Loeries unveils the Jury and Presidents for 2023

The Loeries, Africa and the Middle East’s premier award festival, has unveiled its Jury Presidents and jury panels for 2023’s Loeries Creative Week. The festival will be organised in the city of Cape Town from 2nd to 6th October of this year.It is the 45th year of the success of The Loeries festival week, which recognises, rewards, inspires and fosters creative excellence in the advertising and brand communication industry. Winning a Loerie is the highest accolade for creativity and innovation across the MENA region.It is a not-for-profit company, which promotes and supports creativity by helping marketers, agencies and consumers, and appreciates the value of fresh thinking, innovative ideas and outstanding execution. This year, the festival will include awards evenings, masterclasses, seminars, workshops and networking dinners.Jury Presidents of Loeries 2023The highly acclaimed Loeries festival will have a 16 judging panel, led by 10 Jury Presidents, in which four come from the Middle Eastern region. This year the Jury Presidents are from the MENA region, unlike the previous years where Jury Presidents from outside the region were invited. Among the Jury presidents from the UAE are Ali Rez, Aakriti Goel and Tahaab Rais.Ali Rez will be heading up the print and print crafts categories. He will be accompanied by Mike Barnwell.Aakriti Goel from Leo Burnett’s along with Brian Mtongana, will lead the student category, while Publicis’ Tahaab Rais and Vaughan Croeser will oversee the social impact campaign, service design and effective creativity.Rana Hamarneh, the final Jury President from the region, joins from Jordan. She will lead the panel of judges for the media innovation category.The complete list of the Jury Presidents for the Awards is given below:• Ali Rez, Chief Creative Officer, Impact BBDO• Aakriti Goel, Head of Strategy & Insights, Leo Burnett MEA• Brian Mtongana, Executive Creative Director, Woolworths• Carl Willoughby, Chief Creative Officer, TBWA\ Hunt Lascaris• Mike Barnwell, Creative Consultant, Independent• Tahaab Rais, Chief Strategy Officer, Publicis Groupe• Terry McKenna, Executive Creative Director, The Odd Number• Rana Hamarneh Partner & Group Chief Executive Officer, AdPro Jordan• Vaughan Croeser, Vice President, Marketing, AbinBev• Xolisa Dyeshana, Chief Creative Officer, Joe Public UnitedThe Loeries Judging Panels Apart from the Jury Presidents, there is a total of 11 judges from the region who will be on the judging panels this year.• Anshuman Bhattacharya, Creative Director, Havas Dubai• Bassam Doss, Senior Copywriter, Horizon FCB MINA• Camila Venegaz Gomez, Associate Creative Director, M&C SAATCHI Abu Dhabi• Deanne Hofhuis, Creative Agency Partnerships Lead, METAP, Tiktok MENA• Federico Fanti, Chief Creative Officer, FP7 MENA• Jonathan Cruz, Creative Director, ? and us• Kalpesh Patankar, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett MENA• Rana Najjar, Senior Creative Director, Momentum Mena• Rana Sadek, Associate Creative Director, Impact BBDO• Sanele Ngubane, Founder / Creative Director, Samish• Samer Lahoud, Creative Studio Director, Saudi Tourism Authority

OFC signs MOU with Saudi Arabian Football Federation

Sydney: Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at creating reciprocal growth opportunities.The MOU will focus on three pillars, Women’s football, Beach Soccer and Futsal.OFC and SAFF will collaborate and cooperate in areas such as Technical and Managerial Football Development, Competitions and Friendly Matches.“The recent development of women’s football in Saudi Arabia with a women’s football league and a women’s national team is commendable and OFC will be happy to share its expertise and help SAFF in this area.” OFC President Lambert Maltock said.The MOU will allow for Women’s Football, Futsal and Beach Soccer teams from Saudi Arabia to participate as guest teams in relevant OFC competitions and vice versa.SAFF President Yasser Al Misehal commented: “this partnership with OFC will allow us to consolidate knowhow and grow Women’s football, Futsal and Beach Soccer together. It represents a great opportunity as well to hold friendly and official matches with Member Associations from OFC in all age categories.”OFC and SAFF will explore exchange opportunities in the fields of football technical development and management focusing on the three pillars. Exchanges include areas, amongst others, such as general management, marketing and commercial activities, sport facilities, coach development, referees, or league and competition development.The MOU is for an initial period of five years.

Anna Gidirim: Leading Admitad's global performance marketing triumph

In this exclusive interview with Adgully Middle East, Anna Gidirim, the CEO of Admitad, delves into the company's remarkable journey from a small affiliate marketing network to a global force in performance marketing. Gidirim shares insights into Admitad's major milestones, innovative strategies, and effective team management in a diverse and multicultural environment. She offers a glimpse into the future of performance marketing, how AI is shaping the industry, and her personal approach to maintaining work-life balance. Gidirim's wisdom and experience provide valuable guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals, particularly women, looking to excel in the dynamic worlds of marketing and technology. Excerpts:As the CEO of Admitad, could you share some insights into how the company has evolved since its inception in 2009 ? What are some of the major milestones or achievements that you are particularly proud of ?Since its founding in 2009, Admitad has undergone remarkable growth and transformation. We started as a small affiliate marketing network and have evolved into a global performance marketing company with a wide range of innovative solutions. Some of our major milestones include expanding our international presence and opening offices in 11 countries, developing advanced technology to enhance affiliate marketing, and establishing partnerships with leading brands including Aliexpress, Emirates, Sharaf DG, Dubai Store, Ournass and many more which generate 5 billion dollars annually with our platform. I am particularly proud of our consistent focus on innovation and our ability to adapt to changing market trends. Admitad has a team of over 350 employees worldwide. How do you manage such a diverse and multicultural team ? What are some of the strategies you employ to ensure effective communication and collaboration ?Managing a diverse and multicultural team is a priority for us at Admitad. We value different perspectives and experiences, which contribute to our creativity and problem-solving. To ensure effective communication and collaboration, we utilize digital tools for seamless virtual interaction, encourage open dialogue through regular team meetings, and organize cross-functional projects to foster teamwork and share the experience among different geographies. The company additionally facilitates language courses and provides training for navigating within a multicultural environment, aiming to enhance the efficacy of communication across diverse geos.You have mentioned the focus on innovation, what does it mean for Admitad ? How do you see the future of performance marketing evolving ?The landscape of innovation has become notably challenging due to recent regulatory shifts concerning personal data usage and the latest advancements introduced by prominent players like Apple and Google. Given that our business hinges on tracking, these changes have profoundly transformed its foundation. Had we not proactively anticipated and commenced preparations for these shifts several years ago, our operational capacity would have been compromised. Presently, we persist in refining our tools while foreseeing the forthcoming phases in the evolution of the MarTech sector. For us, this isn't just a matter of thriving; it's vital for our survival.Looking ahead, I see performance marketing continuing to evolve through instant payout solutions, AI, data-driven insights, personalized customer experiences, and stronger collaborations between advertisers and affiliates. There are also more and more small and medium enterprises entering the world of affiliate marketing and recognizing its benefits for growth. Can you provide some key points on how affiliate marketing can drive small and medium businesses forward ?One of the key advantages of affiliate marketing for SMEs which usually does not have large marketing budgets is that instead of paying upfront for clicks or ads, businesses only pay a fee when affiliates bring actual results. It is like having a team of online marketers who earn rewards based on how well they do. This helps smaller businesses show their brand more, reach more customers, and make more sales, without risking a lot of money upfront. Platforms such as Admitad Rise help SMEs to start affiliate campaigns easily and faster. They have a large group of affiliates, saving the trouble of finding them on your own. These platforms also give tools to keep track of data, analyze how well things are going, and handle payments. This makes it easier for small businesses to see how their marketing is doing and make changes if needed.Now we live in an unstable world. Crisis situations can significantly impact businesses in your experience, what are some effective strategies or approaches to survive and get back on track during challenging times ? Can you share any specific examples from your own journey at Admitad ?Crisis situations indeed test a company's resilience. Admitad's approach involves maintaining a strong financial foundation, diversifying our partnerships, and agilely adapting to changing market conditions. For instance, during the economic downturn of 2020, we swiftly adjusted our strategies to focus on sectors that showed growth potential, which helped us navigate the challenging times successfully. We ensure protection against adverse effects on specific industries through our comprehensive diversification across various sectors, coupled with the continuous integration of innovative tools tailored to contemporary customer requirements. The ongoing surge in e-commerce further contributes to our favorable trajectory. Our strategy involves parallel investments in well-established economies such as the USA and Germany, alongside an assertive pursuit of market participation in emerging regions like India and LATAM. Simultaneously, we are strategically entering uncharted territories for the affiliate industry, exemplified by our focus on nascent markets like Indonesia, with the goal of securing pioneering positions.Being a top manager and a mother of an 11 year old boy, how do you manage to maintain a work-life balance ? What are some practical tips or strategies you can share with other professionals who struggle with balancing their personal and professional lives ?Balancing work and personal life is a challenge many professionals face. My approach involves setting clear boundaries, prioritizing tasks, and delegating responsibilities. Regularly scheduling quality time with my family and practicing self-care are crucial as well. It is important to remember that achieving work-life balance is an ongoing effort and may require adjustments over time.As a media contributor on performance marketing topics, what are some common misconceptions or misunderstandings that you often come across ? How do you aim to educate and inform your audience about the potential of performance marketing ?A common misconception is that performance marketing is solely about driving immediate sales. In reality, it is a comprehensive strategy that involves building long-term relationships with customers, enhancing brand loyalty, and optimizing various touch-points across the customer journey. My aim as a media contributor and a conference speaker is to educate the audience about these multifaceted aspects of performance marketing.You said that AI is part of Admitad's strategy, how exactly do you use AI in your business model ?We are currently engaged in the testing of an AI-driven fraud detection program. This initiative aims to identify violations of the network rules and restrictions as well as ensure transparency and traffic quality. We also implement AI technology in Admitad's Instant Payout forecast tool, which permits affiliate publishers to promptly access their earnings, eliminating the need to retain funds for extended periods. The machine learning model, boasting a remarkable 95% accuracy rate, has significantly simplified publisher payouts.What advice would you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs or professionals who aspire to reach leadership positions in the business world, particularly in the field of marketing and technology ?To aspiring women entrepreneurs in marketing and technology, my advice is to believe in yourself, embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, and seek out mentors who can guide you. Stay curious, continuously update your skills, and don't be afraid to take calculated risks. Remember, your unique perspective is an asset that can drive innovation and positive change in your chosen field.

Netflix announces documentary series on fastest athletes on earth

Netflix has announced the upcoming production of a groundbreaking sports documentary series titled "Chasing the Speed: World Sprinters." This series will provide an unprecedented glimpse into the lives of top sprinters from around the globe as they strive to become the fastest athletes on Earth."Chasing the Speed: World Sprinters" takes viewers on an exhilarating journey into the hearts and minds of elite athletes hailing from nations including the United States, Jamaica, the United Kingdom, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Italy. This gripping six-episode series offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes exploration of the intense training, high-stakes competitions, and unyielding mental fortitude that define the world of professional sprinting. As these dedicated sprinters dedicate their lives to shaving off precious fractions of a second, they prepare to cross the finish line in record time, where victory and destiny await.Viewers can anticipate the premiere of "Chasing the Speed: World Sprinters" in the sizzling Summer of 2024. The series will consist of six exhilarating 45-minute episodes, each providing an in-depth and captivating look into the world of sprinting.The series is brought to life by the acclaimed production company Box to Box Films, known for its exceptional work on other sports documentaries such as "Full Swing," "Drive to Survive," and "Break Point.""Chasing the Speed: World Sprinters" boasts an impressive lineup of executive producers, including Paul Martin, James Gay-Rees, and Warren Smith of Box to Box Films. Their creative vision and commitment to authenticity promise to deliver a captivating and compelling narrative.World Athletics President Sebastian Coe expressed his enthusiasm for the series, stating: "We’re delighted that Netflix has chosen to turn a spotlight onto the lives of the fastest people on Earth. It takes a special talent, both physically and mentally, to succeed in a world where your fate is decided in just ten seconds. As Muhammad Ali said: 'The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.' The same applies to our athletes, and we can think of no better partner than Netflix to give our fans new insight into the fascinating high-intensity world of sprinters as they prepare to take their shot at glory at the World Championships."

ATA Football Joins Dazn, The 'Home Of Women's Football

DAZN Group, the world’s leading sports entertainment platform, has completed the acquisition of ata football. ata is a platform that brings together premium live and curated women’s football content and connects it to fans and players of the game from broadcast distribution through to direct engagement with the grassroots. DAZN’s commitment to, and investment in, women’s football is significant and strategic. From the ground-breaking partnership with YouTube to develop the UEFA Women’s Champions League, the creation of bespoke FAST channels, innovative distribution deals, and the transitioning of premium women’s football competitions into fully-fledged commercial propositions; DAZN has a vision and ambition for the sport that is unrivalled by any other major streamer or broadcaster. Bringing ata football into the DAZN family will significantly increase the visibility, growth and development of DAZN’s status as the ‘Home of Women’s Football’. Founders Esmeralda Negron and Hannah Brown have built a trusted and far-reaching network across the women’s football ecosystem from the professional game to the grassroots. Working with all the critical stakeholders in the growth of women’s football they are laying the foundations for exponential growth in the sport in terms of visibility, value and viability.   DAZN Group CEO Shay Segev said, “DAZN and ata football share the same view when it comes to women’s football, the strength of game lies in its participants, fans and distinct appeal. By harnessing these characteristics, we believe that DAZN can build on the foundations our investment in the women’s game has delivered so far."The progress that has been made in creating visibility for competitions like the UWCL, LigaF, Frauen Bundesliga amongst others, has seen value created in the whole ecosystem. More viewers, higher attendances and better sponsorship deals. With Esmeralda and Hannah joining the team at DAZN to establish a women’s sport business unit, we are confident that DAZN will keep setting the pace in this area of huge potential, as well as establishing even better and greater links with the communities that are driving the women’s game on to ever-increasing heights.”    ata football co-founders, Esmeralda Negron and Hannah Brown, said, “Three years ago we recognised there was significant opportunity for the growth in audience and engagement in the women’s professional game, and also the real near-term challenges to achieve that."Over a million young girls play grassroots football in the US alone and are largely unconnected to the professional women’s game. Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed the rise of women’s football in the storied clubs of Europe, significant investment, and development of leagues across all markets, exponential growth of national team football and advocacy across the landscape. Now is the time to build the product, partnerships, and experiences to fuel the women’s football ecosystem and become the global community for fans and players of the game.  “We would like to thank 777 Partners who invested in us from launch for their belief in our vision and absolute commitment to ata football. This acquisition by DAZN to combine our assets and capabilities presents an extraordinary opportunity to build a truly global women’s football business; we can’t wait to get going.”

SAS launches Air India’s new in-flight magazine

Strategic Advertising Solutions (SAS) Media, which had been the media representative for Air India’s new in-flight magazine in the GCC region, has released its in-flight magazine successfully.SAS Media had been appointed as the media and advertising representative for BurdaLuxury, an independent media house based across Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.The newly launched Air India’s in-flight magazine features JRD Tata, who is hailed as the father of Indian aviation, on its cover page. The 88-page magazine marks his birth anniversary. He founded the Air India airlines 90 years ago.The Indian airlines new magazine,, has been launched across all its domestic and international flights in the end of July. It replaces the airline’s previous bilingual magazine Shubh Yatra.The in-flight magazine would feature all about travel destinations, lifestyle, culinary arts, culture and showbiz, along with updates from Air India and the firm’s initiatives.The collaboration with SAS Media aims to provide Gulf-based brands and enterprises the opportunity to extend their reach to’s readership. Through the partnership, the magazine aims to cater to the large number of Indians who live in the GCC and frequently travel between India and their country of residence.According to India’s External Affairs Ministry, the number of non-resident Indians in the UAE stands at 3.41 million, followed by 2.59 million in Saudi Arabia, 1.02 million in Kuwait, 740,000 in Qatar, 770,000 in Oman, and 320,000 in Bahrain.

Starzplay launches web 3.0 sports game

This move precedes the upcoming Series A season and will be found solely on the Starzplay Sports platform.Players will now be able to partake in live match predictions and regional league analyses through the captivating realm of in-game arenas.Starzplay Fantasy Sports will give users prizes, which include in-game currency for buying NFTs and redeemable vouchers, subscriptions, Serie A and football-related merchandise, exclusive match tickets, and even in-person encounters with football luminaries. Commencing with the Supercoppa Italiana finals, users can anticipate a spectrum of prizes.??Notably, third-party sponsors will also extend prizes to players, thereby forging a fresh avenue for commercial engagement. This innovative approach presents advertisers with a distinctive route to connect with Web 3.0 platform-based online gaming and sports enthusiasts.Alessandro Masaro, the Chief Strategy Officer at Starzplay, remarked: Starzplay Fantasy Sports is the first of its kind blockchain service in the region, which will give customers a new dimension to engage with sports while competing to win incredible prizes. We believe this is the first step of a larger plan which will see the game expand into other leagues and sports in the near future.”This launch signifies a momentous leap in the realm of fantasy sports, leveraging the power of Web 3.0 and blockchain technologies. The platform boasts an array of content including Western programming, Arabic and Turkish shows, anime, and live sports broadcasts.

TCL Electronics announces new partnership with JD Group

Johannesburg: TCL Electronics, a global leader in consumer electronics, is excited to announce that a distribution partnership has been signed with JD Group – a leading retailer of electronic goods in South Africa.This collaboration marks a significant milestone as TCL's state-of-the-art televisions become available to more consumers at Incredible Connection and HiFiCorp stores across the country, offering South African consumers unparalleled access to the latest advancements in home entertainment.As the No. 1 Android TV and Google TV brand in the world and the world's No. 2 TV brand, TCL has consistently pushed the boundaries of technology, revolutionizing the way we experience television. Through this partnership with JD Group, TCL aims to make its cutting-edge TVs even more accessible to a wider audience, enhancing the entertainment experiences of households throughout South Africa."We are excited to join forces with JD Group and expand our presence in the vibrant South African market," Muhammed Ebrahim, Sales Manager at TCL South Africa says. "JD Group shares our passion for delivering top-tier technology and superior customer experiences. This collaboration will provide consumers with direct access to our latest range of televisions, showcasing our commitment to redefining home entertainment.”The availability of TCL TVs at both Incredible Connection and HiFiCorp stores coincides with TCL's latest product range launch, featuring innovative display technologies, enhanced audio capabilities, and seamless integration with smart home ecosystems. Consumers can expect an unparalleled visual and auditory experience that transforms their living rooms into immersive entertainment hubs."We are delighted to welcome TCL Electronics to the JD Tech stores and online platforms," says Stef Michael - Marketing Executive at JD Group. "TCL's reputation for innovation and quality aligns perfectly with our commitment to offering the best in consumer electronics. With TCL's impressive range of televisions now available in Incredible and HifiCorp stores and online, we are confident that our customers will be thrilled with the elevated home entertainment options.”TCL Electronics' partnership with JD Group is a testament to the brand's dedication to enriching lives through innovation. As the availability of TCL TVs expands across Incredible Connection and HiFiCorp stores, more South African households can enjoy the ultimate home entertainment experiences that only TCL can deliver.

The new Serie A season kicks off live on STARZPLAY Sports

Football is back this weekend on STARZPLAY Sports as the new Serie A season kicks off on Saturday August 19th. All 380 matches will be broadcast across two channels dedicated to the league, Abu Dhabi Sports 1 & 2 Premium which are exclusively on STARZPLAY Sports.The first match on the opening day of the 2023/24 season sees newly promoted Frosinone welcome last term’s champions Napoli at 8:30pm UAE, followed by the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League finalists Inter Milan at home to Monza at 10:45pm UAE. On Sunday, last season's UEFA Europa League finalists, Roma host Salernitana in the Stadio Olimpico at 8.30pm UAE then Udinese face Juventus at 10:45 UAE. AC Milan travel to Bologna on Monday at 10:45pm UAE rounding off the weekend’s action.Launched ahead of the new 2023/24 season, fans can now engage with the Serie A like never before with STARZPLAY Fantasy Sports. Players can make predictions around live Serie A matches, from forecasting scores and possession percentages to identifying the first goal scorer via in-game arenas, in order to win fantastic prizes.Serie A recently jumped to second in the updated UEFA League rankings for 2022-23. The combination of exciting football, incredible players, massive clubs, different title winners over the past four seasons and success in Europe including a team in each of the three UEFA finals has seen the rise of Serie A which is now ranked higher than La Liga and Bundesliga. The league is packed with star power players like Di Maria, Lautaro, Pogba, Dybala, Osimhen, Leao and Immobile.Serie A coverage includes some of the most popular commentators and analysts in the Arab world elevating the match day viewing experience. In celebration of the start of the season, STARZPLAY is offering SERIE A fans a 30% discount on the annual package. With thousands of hours of premium content including blockbuster movies, exclusive TV shows, kids’ content, Arabic series, as well as varied content via add-on channels, STARZPLAY is a leading video-on-demand subscription service in the MENA region. The service is available across 19 countries for fans to enjoy quality content anytime, anywhere, and from any device.

Publicis Groupe dominates New York’s AME Awards

Publicis Groupe, the biggest communication agency in the Middle East, has emerged as the top brand at this year’s AME Awards. Moreover, three UAE communication agencies, Publicis Groupe, Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, have dominated this year’s famous New York’s AME Awards.  The AME Awards of New York celebrates the best in marketing and creative effectiveness worldwide. This includes the unique, brave and effective campaigns that achieve the essential mission of making the client’s products and services successful.Publicis Groupe has stood out as the only regional agency in Middle East to bag 20 awards at this year’s AME Awards. Of a total of 36 awards, the communication agency dominated the field by bagging 20 medals - three gold, six silver and 11 bronze – and becoming the ‘Most Awarded Company’.  Coming in close second position was Leo Burnett of Dubai, which bagged 17 medals, followed by Saatchi & Saatchi which won three medals. Bassel Kakish, CEO, Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey, said: “The work and the results speak for themselves. I am proud of this incredibly talented team, whose passion for creating impactful work in this region is raising the bar for creativity and excellence worldwide.” Tahaab Rais, Chief Strategy Officer at Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey, adds: “The best agencies win at both creative and effectiveness award shows. The AME Awards by New York Festivals have, for many years, been respected as a premium competition for creative and marketing effectiveness globally. It is not easy to win. And seeing our work win the most globally across a range of big brands, only from our region following the success at other shows for those same brands is a testament to the fact that we are making work that does work for our brand partners.”The AME Awards involve rigorous judging by industry experts worldwide. The competition’s structure includes regional rounds, providing a comprehensive evaluation of entries within their social, economic and cultural context.

Embracing 'dis-loyalty' to elevate patron experience

Have you ever considered the perks of being disloyal? Well, Ennismore, a subsidiary of Accor, the world's largest hotel group, has introduced an intriguing concept with their 'Dis-Loyalty' membership. Contrary to conventional loyalty programs, this innovative initiative encourages patrons to explore fresh dining and beverage venues, all while being rewarded for deviating from their usual choices.The 'Dis-Loyalty' membership centers around enhancing lifestyles by uniting over 75 hotels and 150 restaurants and bars across 10 globally acclaimed brands, including 25hours Hotels, Mama Shelter, The Hoxton, Mondrian, and SLS.Rather than adhering to the traditional loyalty model, this program takes a refreshing approach. There's no point accumulation, no tiers to ascend, and no waiting for rewards. Members instantly access benefits upon signing up through a dedicated online platform, free from complicated terms and blackout dates for hotel stays.This membership comes at a cost, but the array of advantages is enticing. From a 50% discount at select hotels to 10% off drinks and food at all bars, the perks are alluring. Additionally, a complimentary daily drink from the barista is bound to draw crowds.The marketing taglines further amplify the uniqueness of this program. Catchy phrases like "be loyal to your mom, not your hotel" and "if you love routine, get a dog" add an unconventional charm that resonates with potential patrons.For those who thrive on exploration, 'Dis-Loyalty' is a dream come true. With over 50 destinations and more than 15 openings slated for the upcoming year, the options are endless.Sharan Pasricha, Founder & Co-CEO of Ennismore, expressed his enthusiasm about this groundbreaking initiative, which melds beloved lifestyle brands within a seamless and captivating membership. The focus is on digital innovation and encouraging patrons to embrace the novel. 'Dis-Loyalty' invites brand enthusiasts to discover hotels, restaurants, and bars through a digitally immersive and editorial lens. This aligns with the overarching brand strategy, resulting in superior experiences and heightened direct bookings.While predicting the outcome of new ventures is challenging, one thing is certain: the allure of a "free barista coffee" will undoubtedly attract individuals from all walks of life.

Ski and Dubai Sports Council announce 14th edition of Ice Warrior Challenge

Dubai: The Ice Warrior Challenge is back for its 14th edition on Sunday, 24 September, organised by Ski Dubai in partnership with Dubai Sports Council. Early bird tickets have gone on sale for the endurance challenge, which will see the World’s Best Indoor Ski Resort transformed into a 3.5-km assault course complete with more than 20 obstacles including monkey bar swings, tyre runs, net crawls and the ice water pool.Since launching in 2010, the Ice Warrior Challenge has become one of the most popular events on the sporting calendar for adrenaline junkies, attracting elite athletes from around the world as well as locals and expats of varying fitness levels. Last year’s event was a huge success with more than 300 participants from 46 countries.Ice Warrior Challenge is open to males and females aged between 15 and 60. As in previous years, there will be an Individual category for participants of all fitness levels, and an Elite category for participants with high fitness levels who can complete the course in less than 25 minutes. The event also welcomes groups of five and is a great way to foster team bonding outside of the office or some friendly rivalry amongst your mates.Early bird tickets are priced at AED 210 for Individuals, AED 250 for Elite and AED 185 per person in the Teams category and are available until Friday, 25 August. Normal pricing resumes on 26 August.

TOD to live stream The World Athletics Championships

Doha:  The world’s highest-level championship is set to captivate sports enthusiasts globally as the World Athletics Championships returns from August 19-27. Live streamed on TOD, region’s leading sports and entertainment platform, the championship will be accessible to millions of sports fans around the MENA.Among the highlights of this month’s thrilling World Athletics Championships field and track action on TOD, subscribers will get the opportunity to see the legendary Mutaz Barshim as he sets his sights on an unprecedented fourth gold medal in the championship.Over 2,000 athletes from more than 200 countries will be competing for the 49-gold medals up for grabs at Budapest’s National Athletics Centre.The world’s biggest-name athletes are taking part in sporting history, as TOD brings the world’s top athletes including Fred Kerley, Mondo Duplantis, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Faith Kipyegon right to your fingertips. MENA fans will focus on the fiercely competitive Barshim, one of the most decorated athletes ever in the history of the high jump whose sharing of his Olympics Gold medal in Tokyo 2021 with Gianmarco Tamberi fascinated fans worldwide.John-Paul McKerlie, VP Marketing & Sales at TOD said: “The championships are a must for sporting fans being the pinnacle of athletics competition. We will stream every minute of the action and capture the excitement from the arena as Hungary hosts its biggest-ever sporting event.”

Jumeirah Group makes key appointments for its first hotel in KSA

Riyadh: Jumeirah Group, the luxury hospitality company and member of Dubai Holding, has named Rizwan Shaikh as General Manager of Jabal Omar Jumeirah in Makkah, its first hotel to open in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the Group continues on its path of sustainable growth.With over 20 years of luxury hospitality experience across India, Singapore and Saudi Arabia, Shaikh will be responsible for driving Jumeirah Group’s ethos of exceptional luxury at the new hotel in Jabal Omar. With an enviable location just three minutes’ walk from Masjid Al Haram, the hotel will be one of the largest in the Group’s portfolio featuring 1,033 rooms and suites, and 88 apartments once fully operational. His appointment comes at a time when the company is actively expanding its presence in Saudi Arabia, with the opening of the Group’s second property in the Kingdom, Jumeirah The Red Sea, scheduled for 2024.Thomas B. Meier, Chief Operating Officer of Jumeirah Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rizwan to Jabal Omar Jumeirah. As we look to expand our presence in strategic locations across the globe, Saudi Arabia is a key market for our brand. We are confident that Rizwan’s impressive track record in delivering operational excellence, as well as his expertise in luxury hospitality in the Kingdom, will build on Jumeirah’s incredible success story and lead Jabal Omar Jumeirah to new levels of luxury and service for Saudi Arabia.” Shaikh joined Jumeirah Group with a wealth of experience in luxury hospitality, including tenures at Taj Hotels, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. His consistent delivery of outstanding profitability, development of new sales channels and loyalty programmes and operational innovation to enhance the guest experience and value proposition, saw him quickly progress from front office to management, becoming the youngest General Manager at Oberoi Hotels and Resorts. Recognised for his innovative solutions to drive revenue and increase Average Daily Rate (ADR), Shaikh also brings a wealth of experience in launching new luxury hotels, having overseen the launch of two in India and Saudi Arabia, with the latter gaining a five-star rating in the Forbes Travel Guide shortly after opening.Commenting on his new role, Shaikh said: “I am delighted to lead the team at Jabal Omar Jumeirah and feel privileged to be part of such a significant new chapter for the Group as it enters the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Having spent a number of years in the Kingdom, I look forward to embarking on this exciting journey and welcoming our first guests to experience the exceptional Jumeirah guest experience in the coming months.”Located at the sacred heart of the Muslim world, Jabal Omar Jumeirah, has been designed to create a serene, luxurious haven for guests as they experience a deeply significant life event. Spread across four towers and featuring several signature dining venues, the hotel will open as part of the second phase of the city’s flagship Jabal Omar project, designed by Fosters + Partners.

Arabic SVOD subscriptions to reach 28 million by 2029

There will be 28 million SVOD subscriptions across 13 Arabic countries by 2029, up from 15 million in 2023, according to a report from analyst firm Digital TV Research.Netflix will still lead the market, but local players will provide a strong challenge. StarzPlay, Shahid VIP and OSN+ will account for 46% of the Arabic total subscriptions by 2029 – collectively adding 4.7 million subscribers from 2023.Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “As some of the US-based platforms lower their global rollout and local content commitments, the Arabic players will thrive.” Bahrain OTT TV & videoOTT TV & video revenues are forecast to reach $90 million by 2029, up from $50 million in 2023. AVOD revenues will reach $15 million by 2029, triple from $6 millionin 2023.SVOD will contribute $66 million in 2029, up from $39 million in 2023. There will be 668,000 gross SVOD subscriptions by 2029 compared with 418,000 at end-2023.About 72% of TV households will pay for at least one SVOD subscription by 2029. The report forecasts that Netflix, launched in January 2016, will have 168,000 subscribers by 2029; up from 135,000 at end-2023. Amazon Prime Video, which started operations in November 2016 as part of its global rollout, is predicted to have 49,000 subscribers by 2029.  Apple TV+ ($7.99/month) started in Bahrain with its global rollout in November 2019. The report predicts 15,000 subscribers by 2029. Disney+ ended its distribution deal with OSN in June 2022 by starting as a standalone platform ($8.99/month, $88.99/year). The report forecasts 75,000 subs by 2029.HBO Max and Paramount+ are not expected to start in the Arabic-speaking countries due to their deals with OSN.OSN launched its first SVOD platform in 2017. With 10,000 hours on offer, OSN+ carries Paramount+, NBCUniversal and HBO content. It costs BHD4- 10/month. The report forecasts 70,000 subscribers by 2029. OSN signed a distribution agreement with Netflix in February 2018 and another with STC in June 2018. OSNtv Connect offers 43 linear channels and access to OSN+.Transmitting in English, Arabic and French, StarzPlay has more than 6,000 hours of Hollywood content as well as 2,000 hours of Arabic content. Discovery+ is available as a branded content block. The report forecasts 129,000 subscribers in Bahrain by 2029, up from 90,000 at end-2023.MBC’s Shahid VIP (BHD3.99/month) provides 10 linear channels as well as 20,000 hours of on-demand content. Shahid has promised original content. Shahid also distributes Fox Plus. Shahid VIP is carried by mobile operators STC and Zain (BHD3/month). The report forecasts 119,000 subscribers by 2029, up from 81,000 at end-2023. Shahid is its AVOD platform.

Dubai Municipality leverages AI robots in testing construction materials

Dubai: Dubai Central Laboratory of Dubai Municipality has the use of robots that employ X-Rays and other latest AI technologies to carry out automated chemical analysis and tests on various types of cement and other construction materials. The cement testing services are linked to a smart platform for laboratory testing services in Dubai Municipality, enabling customers to receive inspection reports quickly through smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices. This technique will improve the quality of the Municipality’s construction testing services as per the best international standards.Hind Mahmoud Ahmed, Acting Director of the Dubai Central Laboratory Department at Dubai Municipality: “The robots utilize X-rays to precisely carry out chemical analysis of construction materials and cement products used, which allows for effectively meeting the requirements of the construction sector in the Emirate of Dubai that is characterized by the superior speed in completing tests with the highest accuracy. The technology shortens the duration of the tests from 4 days to 8 minutes, with a record daily increase in the ratio of samples examined to 650 per cent, compared to the previous pre-application situation. This will accelerate the process of submitting laboratory results to the consulting sector and contractors, ensuring the timely completion of the project stages according to their deadlines. This is part of Dubai Municipality's efforts in adopting digital and competitive business systems, applying pioneering AI technologies, and adopting digital solutions that enhance the quality of services and streamline operation."Eng. Hind emphasized that cement checks are important components of concrete mixtures and the results of their inspection have an impact on the quality and sustainability of buildings, significantly contributing to increasing their life span. She also pointed out that this technology will be used in the future to prepare specialized research studies at Dubai Central Laboratory aimed at the preliminary assessment of various building constructions as well as construction products and materials.

Jaggaer recognized again in 2023 Gartner Hype Cycle for AI

Dubai: JAGGAER, the global leader in Autonomous Commerce, today announced that it has been named for the third year in a row as a Sample Vendor in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2023. The source-to-pay (S2P) technology provider is included in the category of Intelligent Applications."We're incredibly excited to be named by Gartner as a Sample Vendor in this year’s Hype Cycle report. We have invested in our vision of Autonomous Commerce for our customers for the past 10+ years and the artificial intelligence we've woven across our platform is helping procurement teams be more strategic across the end-to-end source-to-pay process and more agile as they adapt to supply chain and market disruptions," said Andy Hovancik, CEO and member of the Board of Directors at JAGGAER. "We believe that our inclusion in this report for the third year in a row, especially given industry advancements in artificial intelligence, is a testament to JAGGAER's strategy to provide intelligent procurement solutions that align buyer needs with supplier capabilities."Gartner states, “Artificial intelligence (AI) is the current competitive play for enterprise applications with many technology providers now enabling AI and machine learning (ML) in their products via inbuilt, added, proxied or custom capabilities. Bringing intelligence into applications enables them to work autonomously across a wider range of scenarios with elevated quality and productivity, and reduced risk. Integrated intelligence can also support decision-making processes alongside transactional processes.”

Apparel Group launches 19 new stores in the most-awaited The Warehouse

Apparel Group is debuting 19 stores for their renowned brands in the prestigious The Warehouse, Kuwait. This expansion falls under Apparel Group ongoing plans to elevate shopping experience by bringing highly sought-after brands to their customers.The new launch features an array of prestigious brands like like Aeropostale, Aldo, Aldo Accessories, Babies & More, Beverly Hills Polo Club, Birkenstock, Cold Stone Creamery, Dune London, Forest Essentials, Havaianas, Tim Hortons, LC Waikiki, Levi’s, R&B, Rituals, Skechers, Steve Madden, The Children’s Place, and Ximi Vogue. These coveted brands offer customers the best shopping as well fulfils their respective fashion needs. Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, expressed his enthusiasm, stating “This is another momentous moment for us. This expansion cements our presence in Kuwait retail landscape. We are exhilarated to bring together an impressive line-up of world-class brands to amplify our customers’ shopping experience. Kuwait is turning into a premier shopping destination. This collective opening underlines our dedication to set new standards in the retail industry. Our commitment is to exceed our customers’ expectations by delivering the best shopping experience.”

Netflix coolest brand for kids: Study

Netflix is number one in the 100 Coolest Brands for kids and teens in the UK, reveals a study by Beano Brain, the specialist kids and family insights agency. The second edition of Beano Brain’s annual Coolest Brands Report saw the streaming giant overtaking YoutTube, which was on top last year. McDonald's, Nike and new entry Oreo mking up the rest of the Top 5 according to a year-long study including in-depth observational analysis, face-to-face interviews and omnibus with 60,000 7–14 year-olds in the UK and US.In the UK, the BBC dropped twenty-eight places from 43 to 71, and Minecraft dropped twenty-two places to 28, having failed to maintain the buzz outside of its superfans. (Although Minecraft does still rank at 11 for boys). Amazon (15 down from 4), Minecraft (28 down from 6) and Apple (11 down from 8) all drop out of the Top 10 for 2023.After a year of headlines, shortages, queues and endless publicity, one of the most hyped brands of the year, the energy drink PRIME Hydration by KSI and Logan Paul only managed to rank at 82.The agency spent a year talking to kids and teens aged 7 – 14 (Generation Alpha) about their likes and dislikes and observing the brands kids are wearing, chatting about and coveting, before testing their findings with the Beano Brain omnibus panel.And this year kids have brands on their brain, spontaneously talking about more brands than last year, leading the report to double in size from 50 Coolest Brands in 2022 to 100 Coolest Brands in 2023.Helenor Gilmour, Director of Insight, Beano Brain, said: “Netflix reigns supreme as the king of the streaming services. Its ever-changing catalogue means kids feel it’s impossible to tire of the streaming platform. There is something for everyone and every mood and it opens a door for kids to explore the world beyond their doorstep. They can discover captivating content from across the globe and feed their desire for darker themes with shows like the hugely popular Wednesday (pictured) and Stranger Things series, which provided universal thrills for kids and adults alike, with a feel-good side of nostalgia for the latter.”“Netflix is number one at meeting Gen Alpha’s needs from a brand when it comes to having a clear and salient proposition, the ability to create a sense of occasion to share with family and friends and exposure to interesting collaborations and edgy, sometimes dark, content that helps them explore the socio-economic landscapes and shape their opinions within a safe space,” Gilmour said.

Red Sea Global partners with Zain KSA to launch the world’s first zero-carbon 5G

Dubai: Red Sea Global (RSG), the multi-project developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism destinations, The Red Sea and Amaala, and Zain KSA, leading telecom and digital services provider in the Kingdom, have unveiled the world's first zero-carbon 5G network at the Six Senses Southern Dunes resort at The Red Sea.The zero-carbon 5G network, designed exclusively for The Red Sea, is the latest technological innovation at the resort. Designed with both people and planet in mind, the revolutionary 5G network will bring guests the highest speeds for 5G connectivity in the region and be powered by 100% renewable energy from over 760,000 solar panels that Red Sea Global has built to power the entire 28,000km2 destination.“We aspire to be global pioneers of regenerative tourism development, adopting 100% renewable energy at our flagship destination, The Red Sea, and working towards the achievement of a 30% net conservation benefit by 2040. These ambitious goals demand ambitious partners, and our collaboration with Zain KSA transcends telecommunications, extending into sustainability and environmental protection,” said John Pagano, Group CEO at Red Sea Global. "“Zain KSA has demonstrated a deep understanding of our requirements and provided us with the services and solutions necessary to achieve our strategic objectives. Together, we are determined to make a meaningful impact that sets new standards in sustainable development,” Mr. Pagano added.Designed using innovative 3D printing technology, the project will achieve three primary goals: preserving the environment, reducing emissions by utilizing renewable energy, and mitigating visual distortion. The towers have been built to blend harmoniously with The Red Sea’s unique and vibrant landscape. Inspired by the surrounding rock formations, the exterior aesthetic of the towers seamlessly interweaves into the resort’s natural habitat, ensuring minimal visual impact and safeguarding the project's environmental integrity.Eng. Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Deghaither, CEO of Zain KSA, said: " As a leading provider of telecommunications and digital services, we are immensely proud of this achievement that will certainly pave our way to become a pioneering sustainable technology provider. By collaborating with “Red Sea Global”, one of the world’s most visionary developers to sustainable development, we reaffirm our commitment to a shared vision that balances achieving human prosperity with the preservation of nature and its sustainability for future generations, as outlined by Saudi Vision 2030. By prioritizing tech for sustainability through innovation and the development of cutting-edge digital infrastructure, we can effectively turn these values into reality. Within this approach, we are committed to localizing innovation and promoting the use of locally sourced content and have successfully constructed the 5G towers for this project within Saudi Arabia. With these remarkable achievements, we are further bolstering our support for one of our nation's crucial strategic projects, demonstrating our commitment to realizing Saudi Vision 2030’s goals for nationwide digital transformation and sustainability, including the goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and improve the quality of life across the Kingdom.”RSG selects partners with likeminded values, and Zain KSA’s commitment to transitioning the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to net-zero complements RSG’s efforts to keep sustainability and regeneration at the heart of its resorts. The creation of the 5G network aligns with Vision 2030's goals of elevating clean energy reliance, curbing carbon emissions, and safeguarding the environment.Due to open its doors to its first guests later this year, The Red Sea will consist of 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites once completed. The destination will also include luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment, F&B, and leisure facilities.

Skyscanner: 50% of UAE travellers to prefer low emissions car

Dubai: Global flight, car hire and hotel price comparison site, Skyscanner has today released new research on car hire travel trends from the GCC region. The study reveals that 79% of UAE travellers are likely to hire a car during their next holiday.* The freedom to travel on your own terms combined with an increasing desire to explore off the beaten path destinations as 98% of UAE travellers are open to travelling to alternative or lesser-known destinations, where public transportation might be limited, has put road trips firmly back in the spotlight for 2023/2024 travel.**With 84% of road trippers citing sustainability as an important factor when hiring a car, the interest in hybrid and electric cars is high. Almost half (41%) of UAE travellers surveyed have hired an electric or hybrid car during a recent holiday, whilst another 50% would consider it.Ayoub El Mamoun, Skyscanner Travel Expert said: “Our latest research shows that despite price being a key consideration for UAE travellers when hiring a car, only a third compare prices from different providers where significant savings can be made. Skyscanner is here to help, searching billions of prices every day from over 1200 providers in one place so that travellers can easily find and compare the best flight, car hire and hotel options to suit their travel needs and budget.“As well as saving on fuel, choosing an electric vehicle (EV) means you’ll also be exempt from low-emission zone charges in some cities, and enjoy free parking, provided they’re plugged in to a charging point. So whether you’re looking to reduce your traveller footprint or just looking for ways to save on your car hire, it’s easy to find cheap EV rentals with Skyscanner. Simply select, and tick Electric & Hybrid options under the ‘Low- Emissions Vehicle’ filter on the Skyscanner car hire search homepage.Skyscanner’s research also revealed the top destinations for road trips with the Middle East (42%), Europe (21%) and Asia (12%) topping the list for preferred road trip holidays amongst UAE travellers. Skyscanner shares three top destinations for road trips:Historical JordanTake a journey through the stunning landscapes of Jordan. Start your road trip in Amman, Jordan’s capital and discover the ancient citadel, an archaeological site dating back to the Neolithic Age. Explore Amman’s historic Roman Theatre and other highlights including Rainbow Street, before leaving the city on the Desert Highway towards Petra. Enjoy time exploring and hiking in Petra before setting off to Wadi Rum for a few days of camping. Next, experience the Dead Sea’s stunning spa resorts for rest and relaxation before heading back to Amman.A week’s rental for a hybrid vehicle in Jordan costs from AED 919 between 1-8 September 2023.La Dolce Vita – the Italian LakesEnjoy La Dolce Vita during a week-long road trip to Milan and Lake Como. Although just a short distance from Milan, Lake Como is designed to be explored at leisure with its twisting lakeside lanes and charming towns set against a backdrop of soaring mountains. Depart Milan and go towards Tremezzina, stopping to admire the beautiful architecture and to enjoy an espresso and a sweet snack or two at a pasticceria enroute. Set off towards Varenna or Lenna, home to the beautiful Villa del Balbianello, where scenes from Casino Royale were filmed, before heading towards Como’s Bellagio for a few days of indulgence.A week’s electric car rental from Milan Airport costs from AED 574 between 1-8 September 2023.Switzerland’s lakeside landscapesEmbark on a captivating road trip from Zurich to Lugano, via Lucerne taking in the majestic beauty of Switzerland’s sweeping landscapes. Starting in Zurich, the journey takes in serene countryside, rolling hills and pristine lakes enroute to Lucerne, which offers a fairytale-like charm, with the Swiss Alps looming in the distance. Spend the evening in stunning Vitznau and rise early for a gentle hike along the lake, or board the historic Vitznau-Rigi railway, a cogwheel train that offers breathtaking views of the mountains below. Rise recharged, ready for a scenic drive from Lucerne to Lugano which traverses the breathtaking Gotthard Pass, where passengers will be treated to awe-inspiring panoramas. Upon arrival in Lugano, stretch your legs and head to the lake and the surrounding parks to enjoy seasonal concerts and festivals.A week’s electric vehicle costs from AED 1,290 from Zurich Airport from 1 – 8 September 2023.Inspired to book? Skyscanner’s Ayoub shares more top hacks finding affordable car hire deals:Look at multiple locations to find the most affordable car hire“Most car hire companies have multiple locations in a destination, and prices can vary wildly between them. You’re more likely to find cheap car hire if you use a broader search – for example, if you choose ‘Muscat from the dropdown instead of ‘Muscat International Airport’. Picking up your car in the city could work out cheaper as you don’t have to worry about airport fees. However, you might find cheaper deals at airports as there are usually more rental companies based there so prices need to be competitive. At the airport, it’s usually cheaper to choose a car rental company based off-site, with a free shuttle to and from the pick-up/drop-off point. When you search for car hire with Skyscanner, look for the ‘pick-up’ filter (when available). This is where you can find options like ‘meet and greet’ or ‘free shuttle’. Just bear in mind that some destinations don’t have this option.”Reserve your car early“Unlike hotels, there are no last-minute deals when it comes to car hire. In fact, waiting until the last minute can often cost more. If you book 24-48 hours before pick-up, it can cost you up to 30% extra.Waiting also gives you less choice. You’ll be stuck with whatever cars they’re left with. So, if all the cheaper cars have already been snapped up, you might have to shell out for an expensive luxury car when all you wanted was a cheap and cheerful three-door Mini. So, for affordable car hire, it pays to book as far in advance as possible to get the best prices and selection”.Ask for an upgradeAsk for an upgrade to a more luxurious vehicle, for no extra cost. A warm smile, friendly demeanour and positive attitude goes a long way to helping secure a higher-grade car.If you’re offered an upgrade for a price, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Look into how much the higher graded vehicle would have cost if you’d booked it directly before you start to negotiate. That way you know if you’re being offered a good deal on car hire, or just being upsold.Some car hire companies reward regular customers and many global rental companies are part of a loyalty network. Check if your preferred airline or banking or credit card provider offers special rates with car hire companies.Discover more ways to save on your next road trip here.??????

Cigna Healthcare launches ‘Let’s Talk About...?’ to promote open discussion

Dubai: Cigna Healthcare, the leading global healthcare services company, has launched an initiative to get people talking more openly about diseases and treatment, with the aim of boosting early diagnosis and promoting healthier lifestyle choices.A new monthly online thought-leadership series, ‘Let’s Talk About…?’, will facilitate discussions on health issues that individuals often find challenging to address with loved ones or healthcare professionals. The series, hosted by Cigna Healthcare’s clinical team and experts, aims to empower individuals by confronting fears of diagnosis, treatment, and judgment, encourages proactive health management, and provides accurate information about chronic conditions including cancer, fertility, women's health, weight, obesity, and various non-communicable diseases."At Cigna Healthcare, we are deeply committed to the well-being of the communities we serve. This initiative aligns with our goal of improving the health and vitality of the people across the region." said Jerome Droesch, CEO of Domestic Health and Health Services, International Health, Cigna Healthcare.“We intend to increase awareness, remove barriers and empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health, ultimately fostering healthier and more supportive communities."By focusing on early clinical intervention, treatment options, and their importance, Cigna Healthcare aims to combat the prevalence of diseases like diabetes. The series will also address the impact of physical health  issues on mental well-being, addressing depression, anxiety, and isolation that can arise.It is widely acknowledged that people are living longer but experiencing poorer health. Globally, non-communicable diseases such as cancer and heart disease claim the lives of 41 million individuals each year, and shockingly, 17 million of them die before the age of 70 due to preventable lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, harmful alcohol consumption, and unhealthy diets. Statistics indicate that one in two individuals will develop cancer at some point in their lives.

Salesforce's Sales GPT & Service GPT: Boosting productivity with AI

DUBAI: Salesforce today announced the general availability of Einstein Studio, a new, easy-to-use “bring your own model” (BYOM) solution that enables companies to use their custom AI models to power any sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT application within Salesforce, helping them get more from their AI and data investments. Einstein Studio makes it easy for data science and engineering teams to manage and deploy AI models more efficiently, and at lower cost. Companies can now easily use their proprietary company data from Salesforce Data Cloud to train models from Salesforce’s ecosystem of curated AI models, including Amazon SageMaker from Amazon Web Services(AWS), Google Cloud’s Vertex AI, and other AI services.Einstein Studio trains AI models on proprietary customer data from Data Cloud, the first real-time data platform for CRM. Through this BYOM solution, customers will be able to use their custom AI models alongside turnkey LLMs provided through Einstein GPT, enabling them to deliver comprehensive AI fast.Why it matters: Companies across every industry are rushing to integrate AI as IT leaders anticipate an enormous impact on their business. However, nearly 60% say they are still a year or two away from implementing AI solutions. And according to a Gartner® press release “On average, 54% of AI projects make it from pilot to production.”Einstein Studio trains AI models on proprietary customer data from Data Cloud, the first real-time data platform for CRM. Through this BYOM solution, customers will be able to use their custom AI models alongside turnkey LLMs provided through Einstein GPT, enabling them to deliver comprehensive AI fast.Why it matters: Companies across every industry are rushing to integrate AI as IT leaders anticipate an enormous impact on their business. However, nearly 60% say they are still a year or two away from implementing AI solutions. And according to a Gartner® press release “On average, 54% of AI projects make it from pilot to production.”The solution: Einstein Studio makes it faster and easier to run and deploy enterprise-ready AI across every part of the business, bringing trusted, open, and real-time AI experiences to every application and workflow.How it works: With Einstein Studio, companies can leverage their proprietary, real-time customer data from Data Cloud to train AI models that solve specific business needs. And with Einstein Studio’s BYOM solution, companies can train their preferred AI model with Data Cloud, which connects all customer data from any source, and automatically harmonizes that data into a single customer profile that adapts to each customer’s activity in real time for use across any department.  Einstein Studio makes it faster to train AI models by providing pre-built, zero-ETL integration, which reduces the complexity of moving data between platforms. Einstein Studio allows technical teams to simply “point and click” to access their data in Data Cloud, then build and train their custom AI models for use across Salesforce applications. This process provides current and relevant customer data to inform AI predictions and auto-generate content.Einstein Studio provides a control panel for managing the use of AI models, empowering data scientists and engineers to govern how their data is exposed to AI platforms for training. Einstein Studio’s zero-ETL framework allows companies to power their custom AI models without the need for time-consuming data integration across systems. This means Data Cloud can connect to other AI tools without the extract, transform, and load (ETL) process, saving customers time and money while accelerating AI implementation.The solution: Einstein Studio makes it faster and easier to run and deploy enterprise-ready AI across every part of the business, bringing trusted, open, and real-time AI experiences to every application and workflow.How it works: With Einstein Studio, companies can leverage their proprietary, real-time customer data from Data Cloud to train AI models that solve specific business needs. And with Einstein Studio’s BYOM solution, companies can train their preferred AI model with Data Cloud, which connects all customer data from any source, and automatically harmonizes that data into a single customer profile that adapts to each customer’s activity in real time for use across any department.  Einstein Studio makes it faster to train AI models by providing pre-built, zero-ETL integration, which reduces the complexity of moving data between platforms. Einstein Studio allows technical teams to simply “point and click” to access their data in Data Cloud, then build and train their custom AI models for use across Salesforce applications. This process provides current and relevant customer data to inform AI predictions and auto-generate content.Einstein Studio provides a control panel for managing the use of AI models, empowering data scientists and engineers to govern how their data is exposed to AI platforms for training. Einstein Studio’s zero-ETL framework allows companies to power their custom AI models without the need for time-consuming data integration across systems. This means Data Cloud can connect to other AI tools without the extract, transform, and load (ETL) process, saving customers time and money while accelerating AI implementation.What people are saying: “Companies need quick, ROI-driven AI investments that deliver value through actionable business insights and personalized customer experiences. Einstein Studio offers a faster, easier way to create and implement custom AI models, including a BYOM approach that allows customers to use the most relevant AI models – all while bypassing expensive ETL data pipeline processes. Now, Salesforce customers can harness their own proprietary data to power predictive and generative AI across every part of their organization.” – Rahul Auradkar, EVP & GM, Unified Data Services & Einstein, Salesforce  “Salesforce and Google Cloud share a commitment to helping businesses create real-world value with generative AI. Expanding access to Google’s powerful models for Salesforce customers through Einstein Studio means businesses can train AI models on Salesforce data, and then use the models throughout Salesforce’s business applications. In the future, this will allow customers to more easily deploy Google Cloud’s diverse models to address particular use cases, including Google’s foundation models, highly specialized models developed for specific industries, and a variety of open source models and those from our ecosystem of partners.” – Kevin Ichhpurani, Corporate VP, Global Ecosystem and Channels at Google Cloud“Tens of thousands of customers have tapped Amazon SageMaker to train models with billions of parameters and generate more than a trillion monthly predictions. That is why Amazon SageMaker has become the tool of choice for numerous customers since launching in 2017, but to make the most of their investment in machine learning, customers need access to data, which can be siloed and difficult to use. Working together with Salesforce, we are making it even easier for customers to bring together their Salesforce data with Amazon SageMaker, so they can take advantage of the breadth and depth of SageMaker features to fuel machine learning-powered insights and quickly take action on what they uncover.” – Swami Sivasubramanian, VP of Database, Analytics, and Machine Learning at AWS“Through Salesforce’s Data Cloud and Einstein Studio, customers will now have the ability to bring their own Amazon SageMaker models, providing them greater choice in how they utilize AI and customer data. The democratization of such a capability is key to the success of our clients. Deloitte is excited to be a part of this journey and has developed a series of ‘bring your own models’ that our clients can leverage as part of the Salesforce ecosystem.” – David Geisinger, Global Alliance Lead, Deloitte Digital

WCM-Q discusses legal and ethical issues of generative AI in healthcare

Doha:  The ethical and legal challenges of using generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare were discussed during the latest installment of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s (WCM-Q) Intersection of Law & Medicine series.A panel of expert speakers hosted a webinar to explore the generative AI tools available to healthcare professionals, the legal and ethical risks involved, and the limitations of laws regulating their usage. The event, titled “Automated Healthcare: ChatGPT, Bing, Bard & the Law of Generative AI,” was coordinated and delivered by WCM-Q’s Division of Continuing Professional Development in collaboration with the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).Course directors included Dr. Thurayya Arayssi, professor of clinical medicine and vice dean for academic and curricular affairs at WCM-Q, and Dr. Barry Solaiman, assistant professor of law at HBKU College of Law and adjunct assistant professor of medical ethics in clinical medicine at WCM-Q.Other speakers comprised Dr. Faisal Farooq, director of artificial intelligence, LinkedIn, California; Sara Gerke, assistant professor of law, Penn State Dickinson Law, Carlisle; Jessica Roberts, Leonard H. Childs Chair in Law, director of the Health Law & Policy Institute, professor of law at University of Houston; and David A. Simon, lecturer on law, Harvard Law School; research fellow, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy; Jamie Gray, director of the health sciences library at WCM-Q; Dr. Alaa Abd-alrazaq and Dr. Arfan Ahmed, research associates from WCM-Q’s AI Center for Precision Health.The session was aimed at physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, allied health professionals, students, researchers, and educators.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce seek to address private notary challenges

Dubai: Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, recently hosted two workshops focused on identifying and overcoming the challenges faced by private notary offices in Dubai. The sessions came as part of the chamber’s drive to engage with private sector companies and involve them in policymaking and advocacy efforts, with the goal of further strengthening the business environment in the emirate.Representatives from private notary companies in Dubai participated in the workshops, sharing insights and ideas for simplifying the notarisation process and advancing the profession to support Dubai’s dynamic business community.Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, commented: "Dubai is home to businesses and individuals from around the world, creating constant demand for notary services to legally authenticate documents and transactions. The emirate has achieved a prominent global ranking for the quality of its notary services. We remain committed to enhancing cooperation with the private sector to discuss the current notary system in Dubai and taking proactive steps to enhance the services of private notary offices in line with the emirate's forward-thinking strategy.”Lootah added: “Through our efforts, we aim to enable business leaders and investors to obtain legal certification services in a smooth and effective manner that will further boost confidence in the emirate’s exceptional business environment.”Participants emphasised the importance of using smart means for capturing data that allow transactions to be completed with greater accuracy and reduce the risk of human error. In addition, attendees discussed the potential benefits of issuing notary public-certified documents in multiple languages to strengthen confidence in their accuracy and contribute to enhancing Dubai's global investment competitiveness.The participants also explored ways to simplify procedures and provide support to young notaries by simplifying licensing procedures for graduates who wish to enter the profession.Dubai Chamber of Commerce plays a pivotal role in facilitating dialogue between the government and private sector, leading efforts to safeguard the interests of the business community, proposing legislative and regulatory reforms, and creating a favourable investment environment in Dubai. The chamber also organises seminars and workshops on a regular basis to highlight the main business trends and laws affecting the private sector in the emirate.

Samsung's Galaxy Open Market at Dubai Mall celebrates third week

Dubai: The Samsung Galaxy Open Market at the Dubai Mall continues to garner consumer interest in its third week. Under the theme ‘Join the Flip Side’, the store showcases Samsung’s latest Galaxy devices, including the revolutionary Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5, Galaxy Tab S9 Series, and Galaxy Watch6 Series.Among key attractions is a series of daily and weekly competitions where guests can win exciting prizes. The competitions are taking place inside various themed experiential zones to highlight key features of the latest Samsung devices.The FlexStudio Competition encourages users to experience Flex Mode in the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5. To facilitate the competition, Samsung Gulf has set up a selfie experiential zone with various angles of Galaxy Z Flip5. Visitors can try out diverse angles of the Galaxy Z Flip5 selfie. The best/most creative images each week will win a Samsung voucher.Samsung has also invited expert instructors to run a series of daily Photography Masterclasses, allowing participants to learn all the tips and tricks on the Galaxy Z Flip5 camera. Learning about Flex Mode makes transitioning from a regular to a flip phone easier and more fun. Judges choose the best image for weekly prizes.Gaming enthusiasts are also well-catered for, a gaming zone houses various Tab S9 and Galaxy Fold5 gaming kits, including a Mini Arcade, a Z Fold5 Controller and a Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. Guests can compete against each other in popular games such as Genshin Impact, Asphalt 9, Defense Derby and Harry Potter: Magic Awakened.Meanwhile, the Flip Your Beats freestyle rap/singing challenge moves to the qualifying rounds on August 18. Flip Your Beats aims to showcase local talent among local artists and rappers from the region. The competition is all about how uniquely the singer/rapper can either alter an existing song or create a new song to highlight the new Flip Phone. The Ultimate Showdown (finale) will be held on August 20. The mega winner from this challenge will receive a Galaxy Z Flip5, the runners-up a Watch6, while the 2nd runners-up will take home a Buds2 Pro. All shortlisted participants will receive an exclusive Galaxy Pack.Dubai residents and visitors alike can still visit the pop-up until August 28, conveniently located at the Star Atrium at The Dubai Mall (Lower Ground Floor).

How Cloudflare identifies top exploited phishing methods

DUBAI, UAE: Cloudflare, Inc. (NYSE: NET), the security, performance, and reliability company helping to build a better Internet, today released its inaugural 2023 Phishing Threats Report. The findings highlight that phishing remains the most dominant and fastest growing Internet crime, largely due to the ubiquity of email and the ceaseless issue of human error that is preyed upon by today’s threat actors.While business email compromise (BEC) losses have topped $50 billion, corporate organizations are not the only victims that attackers are after. The real implications of phishing go beyond Fortune 500’s and global companies, extending to small and local organizations as well as the public sector. For instance, in this year’s report, Cloudflare observed more email threats targeting political organizations. In the three months leading up to the 2022 US midterm elections, Cloudflare’s email security service prevented around 150,000 phishing emails from making their way to campaign officials.Regardless of an organization's size, industry or sector, the report revealed that threat actors who leverage phishing campaigns have two major objectives. First and foremost, the goal is to achieve authenticity and legitimacy in the eyes of the victim. Second, is to persuade victims to engage or click. These objectives are underscored by the key findings of the report, including:Malicious links were the #1 threat category, comprising 35.6% of detected threatsIdentity deception threats are on the rise — increasing YoY from 10.3% to 14.2% (39.6 million) of total detectionsAttackers posed as more than 1,000 different organizations in over 1 billion brand impersonation attempts. The majority of the time (51.7%), they impersonated one of 20 well-known brandsThe most impersonated brand happens to be one of the most trusted software companies: Microsoft. Other top companies impersonated included Google, Salesforce,, and moreOne-third (30%) of detected threats featured newly registered domains — the #2 threat categoryEmail authentication doesn’t stop threats. The vast majority (89%) of unwanted messages “passed” SPF, DKIM, or DMARC authentication checks“Phishing is an epidemic that has permeated into the farthest corners of the Internet, preying on trust and victimizing everyone from CEOs to government officials to the everyday consumer,” said Matthew Prince, CEO at Cloudflare. “Email messages and malicious links are nefarious partners in crime when it comes to the most common form of Internet threats. Organizations of all sizes need a Zero Trust solution that encompasses email security - when this is neglected, they are leaving themselves exposed to the largest vector in today's threat landscape.”Report Methodology: The report is a culmination of data intelligence and security trends gathered from the 112 billion threats that Cloudflare’s global network blocks daily. Cloudflare evaluated a sample of more than 279 million email threat indicators, 250 million malicious messages, over 1 billion instances of brand impersonation (note that it is possible for one email to have multiple instances of brand impersonations), and other data points gathered from approximately 13 billion emails processed between May 2022 to May 2023. Additionally, this report is informed by a Cloudflare-commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting. Between January 2023 and February 2023, Forrester Consulting surveyed 316 security decision-makers across North America, EMEA, and APAC about the state of phishing.

MBC Media partners with Jahez for Roshn league broadcasting

Dubai: MBC Media Solutions, the advertising representative entrusteThe ceremonial signing took place the other day. The signatories were Ziyad Alomair, holding the designation of Commercial Director at MMS, and Mishal Al Mashari, who serves as the Executive Vice President of Jahez. The event was graced by the esteemed presence of Ahmed Al Sahhaf, CEO of MMS, Hamad Al Bakr, Commercial CEO of Jahez, and select representatives from Jahez, MMS, SSC, and Good Vibes.d with the promotional aspects of the Saudi Sports Company, has partnered with Jahez International Company to sponsor the television broadcasting of the Roshn Saudi league's forthcoming sports season, scheduled for 2023-2024.This collaboration is in line with Jahez's strategy of actively participating in the Kingdom's sports seasons while capitalizing on the specialized offerings as well as expertise provided by MMS and SSC in the realm of sports-centric content.[1:34 PM, 8/16/2023] Firos Sir: Under the tenets of this agreement, Jahez will sponsor the TV broadcasting rights of the Roshn Saudi League, an event set to kick off on August 11 of the current calendar year.Furthermore, this alignment closely corresponds with Saudi's aspirations to position sports and entertainment as pivotal components within the framework of the kingdom's Vision 2030.MMS CEO Ahmed Al Sahhaf said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with distinguished partners like Jahez. We seek, through our expertise, to promote mutual growth and achieve our partners objectives during the highly anticipated Roshn Saudi League 2023-2024. Hamad Al Bakr, Commercial CEO of Jahez, said: “This partnership represents a unique opportunity to expand and diversify our services on one of the most significant sports and media platforms in the Kingdom. Through our collaboration with MMS, we look forward to engaging with sports enthusiasts, especially SSC channel viewers, during this highly anticipated sports season. This upcoming league will see some of the biggest and best international football stars compete with one another and this represents a genuine opportunity for brands to reach a larger audience locally, regionally, and globally through SSC’s network of channels and the innovative solutions we offer.”

Bumblebee: Qadreya Al Awadhi champions nutrient-rich baby meals

They say necessity is the mother of all inventions. And Bumblebee was birthed from this very concept. Emirati female-founder, Qadreya Al Awadhi babysat her friend’s son and realized the lack of healthy or nutritious meals available in the region.The 27-year-old Emirati Founder and CEO identified this gap in the market and was determined to help mothers provide a healthy alternative for their babies. Qadreya founded Bumblebee in 2022, as a homegrown business of ready-made frozen meal plans for babies and toddlers.With the rise in awareness of nutritional and safety aspects of baby foods, the home-grown brand also aims to reduce the rates of obesity which results from bad eating habits at an early age. Keeping in mind the importance of serving nutritious food in line with dietary requirements for babies, Bumblebee packs are developed while being rich in flavour without any added salt and sugar or preservatives. All the brand’s ingredients are sourced locally, and the source of protein are hormone-free and grass fed.“I created Bumblebee after I realized the improper food habits consumed by young children. Providing your little ones with the right nutrition and diet can start them on the road to eating right and staying healthy at the outset of their lives and is the best gift you could give them as responsible parents,” states Qadreya.All Bumblebee food is cooked from scratch, and the range offers new flavours and textures with meals to cater for every child’s needs.Discover some of Bumblebee Food’s best-selling products that include Berry Blast; Veggie Mix; Meatballs and Sauce; and Spinach Pancakes. The brand's latest addition, the Immunity-Boost and Iron Man Pack are deliciously crafted to provide the optimal nourishment for your babies.“Bumblebee’s mission is to ensure a child develops a healthy and sustainable relationship with food. Our aim is to find effective ways to address obesity among children; and to be an instrument in supporting the National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031,” adds Qadreya.With the use of fresh, organically sourced ingredients, the products can stay in the freezer for two months

JCDeaux launches high-tech ad screens at Oman airports

Outdoor advertising company JCDecaux Oman has launched its high-tech digital screens at Muscat International Airport and Salalah Airport. Both are parts of OAMC (Oman Airports Management Company).These enormous103-inch premium quality screens, with high performance and cutting-edge design, are located in the baggage reclaim areas of the airports. The new HD landscape format screens have been strategically placed along the passenger journey, to stand out in a highly targeted advertising space.The screens aim to capture the attention of passengers from all segments throughout the day, including first-class, business and economy travelers on both domestic and international flights.These state-of-the-art screens represent the company’s advancing journey to promote diverse advertising solutions and reaffirming its commitment to innovation in advertising. Backed by advancing technologies, these screens deliver seamless displays of high-quality content, offering advertisers a unique platform to promote their brands.  JCDecaux, also known for its commitment to sustainable development, has used green energy sources for the electrical consumption of these screens. This eco-friendly approach aligns with Oman’s efforts towards carbon neutrality, underscoring the company’s responsible advertising campaigns that resonate with the aspirations of society.JCDecaux Oman Managing Director Bechir Chehab shared his happiness about the strategic partnership with Oman Airport, as it provides a unique passenger experience that combines technology, digital solutions, and sustainability. David Bourg, CEO at JCDecaux Middle East, says: “The installation of this new network of high-definition digital screens at Muscat International Airport and Salalah Airport marks a significant step forward in enhancing the outdoor advertising landscape in Oman. In addition, this new advertising solution strengthens our digital footprint in the Middle East with now 500 digital screens across the airports in the region. Our track record of enhancing the passenger experience in the world’s leading airports, as well as our extensive global and regional client base, will ensure the success of our partnership with OAMC”.With the launch of this new screen at the airport, JCDecaux Oman looks forward to embarking on a new era of working with advertisers to provide a unique experience for passengers at Muscat International Airport.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce receives a total of 75 mediation cases during H1 2023

Dubai: Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has revealed that it received a total of 75 mediation cases during H1 2023. Mutually agreeable settlements were achieved in 35 of these cases, representing a success rate of 46.7% and highlighting mediation as one of the most effective means of settling trade disputes quickly and amicably.The combined value of mediation cases received during the first half of 2023 reached AED 42.3 million. The 35 cases that were resolved had a total value of AED 20.8 million, underlining the importance of the chamber’s mediation services to its members and the private sector in the emirate.Mediation offers a range of advantages including flexibility, speed, efficiency and confidentiality, as well as helping the parties involved to save time, effort, and money. The service also enables trade relations to continue between the conflicting parties and ensures they maintain full control over the process.The mediation cases received by the chamber in H1 2023 originated across multiple industries, with the food sector accounting for 28% of total cases. This was followed by construction at 22% and shipping services at 15%.Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, commented: “Dubai Chambers remains committed to protecting the interests of the private sector and the emirate’s dynamic business community. Our mediation services represent an essential tool that enhances the competitiveness of the local business environment and the ability of companies to overcome a wide range of challenges. The business community's use of these services reflects the level of awareness on the importance of settling disputes amicably to serve the interests of all parties.”Lootah added that Dubai Chamber of Commerce has proven expertise in assisting private sector companies in resolving their commercial disputes across diverse industries while maintaining their trading relationships to protect their interests and investments. He highlighted the chamber’s virtual mediation service, which saves time and effort for all the parties involved and supports Dubai's digital transformation vision to serve customers more effectively and with greater efficiency.Independent mediators play an impartial role and ensure that conflicting parties are assisted in identifying the issues at the heart of their disputes. Once the facts have been established, the mediator works to build bridges of communication and achieve a mutually agreeable settlement that protects the interests of both parties.As representatives of Dubai Chamber of Commerce, mediators are not authorised to adjudicate disputes. Their role is to serve as facilitators who bring the parties together, helping them reach an agreement and resolve their dispute without costly and time-consuming legal action.Dubai Chamber of Commerce offers a range of discounts on mediation services to members and non-members, with a 10% discount available upon submission of two to four mediation applications and 20% discount applied for those who submit five or more applications.