Lenskart strenghtens footprint in UAE

Following a US$50 million (Dh185m) investment commitment into the Middle East, Asia’s biggest eyewear brand Lenskart has experienced a rampant growth and become the fastest growing eyewear brand in the region. Continuing its aggressive expansion, the brand is now celebrating the milestone opening of its 8th retail store at Galleria Mall Abu Dhabi, and recently projected its values of “Do More, Be More” on world's largest and tallest observation wheel, Ain Dubai. Lenskart’s newest outlet adds to existing stores in Dubai Mall, BurJuman, Dalma Mall, Dubai Festival City, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai Hills Mall and Bawadi Mall. The brand’s extensive product range is also available online via the website and the Lenskart App. continue the company’s Omni channel approach and features state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence technology in the form of a 3D Try-On machine integrated with virtual face-mapping that suggests suitable frames to customers from a range of more than 7,000 options. The service is available on Lenskart’s website and app as well, allowing customers to see themselves from multiple angles, making frame selection faster, more effective and fun for the buyers. The innovative stores also feature The Sun Room – a trial room that replicates the outdoors for optimal testing of sunglasses, offering free eye tests for wearers of prescription glasses. Sudhir Syal, Chief Business Officer (Middle East) at Lenskart said: “We are extremely honoured to be associated with such an iconic landmark to commemorate this milestone. At Lenskart, our purpose is to transform the way people see and experience the world. Over the last decade, we have revolutionised the way people perceive and make use of eyewear. Wearing our glasses has enabled our customers to expand their lifestyle without barriers, not just correct their vision. With our foray into the Middle East, we want to bring the same scale of transformation to people’s lives here, especially those who are eager to do more and be more.”“Within our first year of in-country operations, we project that Lenskart will become a market leader in the UAE, with over 15 stores in addition to making rampant strides in the KSA region. Looking ahead, as our rampant growth and expansion continue, we will focus on the launch of our merchandise collections created specifically to cater to the local Emirati population.” Sudhir Syal added.

Analysts dispute Elon Musk's claim about Tesla becoming bigger than Apple

Wall Street analysts have disputed Elon Musk's claim about Tesla Inc. becoming bigger than the combined valuation of Apple Inc. and Saudi Aramco one day, Bloomberg reported today.According to the Bloomberg article, the electric-vehicle maker reported lackluster third-quarter results on Wednesday, with revenue and margins missing estimates even as profit beat. This is the first time the company missed revenue estimates since the third quarter of 2021, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Chief Executive Officer Musk also said demand was a “little harder than it would otherwise be,” due to downturns in China and Europe.The results and the cautious stance on demand prompted multiple analysts to lower their price target on the company on Thursday. The average price target on the company stands at US$293, according to Bloomberg data, over 40 percent higher than the stock’s Thursday close. Tesla shares closed down 6.7 percent at US$207.28.“We remain cautious on valuation, particularly in the context of lofty unit volume growth expectations, and continue to see material downside risk to our December 2023 price target,” JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman wrote in a note.Tesla, which was briefly a part of the trillion-dollar valuation group, currently has a market capitalisation of about US$650 billion. Apple has a US$2.3 trillion value, while Saudi Aramco’s stands at roughly US$2.1 trillion.As the US consumer gets squeezed between high inflation and rapidly rising interest rates, investors are keeping an eye on demand for discretionary items and big-ticket purchases like a car this earnings season. After Tesla earlier this month reported third-quarter deliveries below expectations, analysts and investors have been watching for any signs of cracks in demand.Risks to demand is an especially fraught concern for Tesla because of its rich valuation that is heavily dependent on the company’s future growth potential. Tesla’s stock trades at 49 times its forward earnings, compared to the S&P 500 Index’s 18 times.“Tesla stock is predicated on a growth-valuation framework, for which access to low-cost capital is a key input,” BofA analyst John Murphy wrote in a note to clients, adding that the shares may already be priced fairly, especially considering market volatility.Still, while valuation may be held back in the near term because of global economic turmoil, ongoing supply-chain and logistical problems, and high raw material prices, analysts largely maintained their longer-term bullish outlook for Tesla.“While Tesla is not insulated from a downturn, we believe its growth and margins could be much more resilient than the rest of the industry in a recession globally,” Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner said, even as he lowered the price target on the stock to US$355 from US$390.

Memac Ogilvy veteran returns as agency’s first dedicated UAE CEO

 Integrated marketing agency Memac Ogilvy has appointed Claus Adams as its UAE CEO as the agency pursues ambitious growth plans across its full suite of capabilities. Adams will work alongside and report into the network’s MENA CEO, David Fox.In appointing its first dedicated CEO for the UAE, the agency has upgraded its most senior leadership position from Managing Director, reflecting the scale of the agency’s multi-discipline aspirations into the future.In his role, Adams will lead the realization of Memac Ogilvy’s strategic objectives across five capability areas of public relations, consulting, advertising, healthcare, and experience. Adams will also work to uphold the agency’s integrated model, driving further synergy to most effectively meet the communications needs of Memac Ogilvy’s diverse and region-wide client base. Underpinning the new CEO position is a mandate to continue producing transformative work for brands that successfully marries Memac Ogilvy’s world beating creativity with commercially driven effectiveness.Adams’ appointment marks his return to Memac Ogilvy and the region. In 2008, Adams was tasked with establishing creative commerce brand OgilvyAction (now VMLY&R Commerce) in the Middle East and North Africa, serving as MENA Regional Director until 2013.His more than two decades of broader experience in shaping teams, strategy, and operations towards lasting business growth will be instrumental to the future direction and success of Memac Ogilvy’s UAE presence. Adams previously held the title of EMEA CEO for Geometry and VMLY&R Commerce CEO in Germany. Since 2021, Adams has been a member of the board of the German Advertising Association, representing the leading German agencies in the West.“Claus was the standout choice to lead the charge for Memac Ogilvy in the UAE towards fresh creative thinking for our clients and new partnerships with ambitious global and local brands,” commented David Fox, Memac Ogilvy’s Chief Executive Officer MENA. “He understands the nuance of the region and the UAE market in particular, he’s proven himself as a leader of business growth, and he knows how to create a culture that energizes people to do their best work. This challenge, coupled with Memac Ogilvy’s diverse group of clients, is what drew Claus back to the region to steer our next chapter.”“The opportunity to return to Memac Ogilvy in the UAE in 2022 was too great to resist,” added Adams. “Change is happening all around us in culture and business, and for decades this agency has stood apart for the transformative, award-winning ideas it brings to the brands we all love. I’m thrilled to be joining a team of exceptional talent and valued partners to play my part in creating meaningful work for such an exciting group of clients.”

Female network platform, WILD launches in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Female networking platform WILD, launches in Saudi Arabia with WILD Riyadh, set to kick-off on November 1st from 8:30am onwards at Hyatt Regency, Riyadh Olaya. Trailblazing gender equality in the region, the event is open to the community and created primarily for women in real estate, construction, interiors, architecture, and engineering industries.The agenda will include key topics from an incredible line-up of women, which will cover topics such as Becoming a “WILD” Woman, Knowing When to Quit, Personal Dimensions, Vulnerability, and others. Key spokespersons include the Founder of WILD - Emma Burdett, Senior Associate Finance Lead PWC - Diana Zeineddine, Associate Director ROSHN - Rawan Yassin, Principal Consultant Sustainability - Jacob Mala Alahmadi, and Senior Interior Design Manager JLL - Nura El Ghaib. Following the event, WILD founder will also host a masterclass titled The UNBEATABLE Mind, on how to cultivate a mindset for success.WILD is a movement geared towards gender equality, transforming corporations and individuals through female networks, transformational private 1.1 coaching, group masterminds, and live events.With governmental agendas to build inclusive communities with gender equity at their core, the Saudi event is the first step towards WILD scaling through GCC countries, with the next project set to be launched in Qatar in 2023.

Dubai Airports announces new senior management appointments

Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International (DXB), the world’s busiest international airport, and Dubai World Central (DWC), has announced the appointment of three key roles within the organisation: Omar Binadai as Executive Vice President – Technology and Infrastructure, Essa Al Shamsi as Senior Vice President – Terminal Operations, and Moataz Roushdy as Senior Vice President – Finance.The move reflects Dubai Airports’ commitment to developing and growing its people and to enable the leaders of the future to progress their careers within the organisation. This is indicative of our focus on strong recovery from the pandemic and readiness and planning to capitalise on anticipated future growth opportunities.Omar Binadai, Executive Vice President – Technology and InfrastructureWith the growing impact that technology now has on infrastructure, and the two fast becoming inseparable, Omar has been tasked to lead the transformation of Dubai Airports’ technology solutions and ongoing maintenance and improvements to its critical infrastructure. A technology industry veteran with over two decades of experience in the sector, Omar has delivered verifiable business growth and success over the years and has strengthened relationships with key partners and stakeholdersAs an entity that considers itself to be in the business of hospitality, this role with its focus on customer service and hospitality, is the major point of difference for our competitors. Essa Al Shamsi’s appointment as SVP, Terminal Operations marks the increased importance Dubai Airports places on the delivery of world class customer service and operational efficiency. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, Essa Al Shamsi will play a pivotal role within the team in the transformation of Dubai Airports’ guest experience, reinforce the collaborative approach within the DXB community and build even stronger relationships with service partners. Moataz Roushdy, Senior Vice President – FinanceThere has been a dramatic improvement in Dubai Airports’ financial operations over the past two years enabling the organisation to create a more effective, sustainable business. Following his performance in Dubai Airports’ efforts to mitigate the pandemic’s financial impact, Moataz Roushdy has been promoted to the role of Senior Vice President – Finance, reporting to the Chief Financial Officer. In his new role, Moataz Roushdy will oversee the financial operations, planning and budgeting-related activities, service costing and performance reporting covering the entire finance domain of the organisation. Meshari Al Bannai, Executive Vice President – Human Resources Development at Dubai Airports, said: “Our social contribution forms an important part of our people development strategy and enables local talent to develop their careers at Dubai Airports. These changes represent the ongoing evolution of our business, and better equip us to support our future growth and bolster our efforts to create world-class products and services that exceed our guests’ expectations. These leaders have demonstrated their capabilities with impressive track record of success across our business, and their contribution to our organisation in these new roles will continue to bring value to our stakeholders, team and guests. “The move is a demonstration of our strategy which focusses on developing the talent within to be leaders of the future. It will strengthen our senior management team and augments our ability to provide sustainable operational services to millions of global travellers who value the high benchmarks of quality and excellence we have set, while supporting our longer-term development and planning objectives.” he added.

SABB increases net profit by 26% to SAR 3,483 in Q3 2022

Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, recently honoured four companies for their exceptional trade performance during the May-August 2022 period as part of the organisation’s Exporter of the Month initiative. Bushrana Global Trading Co. was recognised for achieving the highest export value in May, while Majan Food Industries received a certificate for exporting to the highest number of markets in June.Food Specialties was honored as Exporter of the Month (July) for having the highest number of certificates of origin; and CARBOCON DMCC was recognised as a startup company with the highest export value in August.Hassan Al Hashemi, Acting President & CEO of Dubai Chambers presented the company representatives with certificates of recognition and praised them for their exceptional performance. He noted that the Exporter of the Month initiative helps the Chamber to monitor sector trends and identify key areas where exporters and re-exporters are excelling.He added that the initiative goes well beyond recognising top-performing trade companies as it promotes best industry practices and fosters a culture of excellence within the business community. Dubai Chamber of Commerce launched the Exporter of the Month initiative in 2009 under the name Exporter of the Quarter, to recognise the outstanding exporting companies in Dubai. The selection of companies is based on distinct and specific criteria derived from the Chamber’s Certificate of Origin database.

Arthur D. Little appoints Alexander Buirski

Arthur D. Little (ADL) today announced that Alexander Buirski has been appointed as a Partner in the company’s Travel & Transportation practice. He has extensive experience in strategy and transformation leadership across a range of industries in MEA, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, with particular expertise in policy and governance, investment and risk management, economic development, and operations excellence. Alexander will be based in the company’s Dubai office.Prior to joining ADL, Alexander was at Kearney where he led sectorial and institutional transformation programs for key government clients, with a focus on Transport & Logistics, Defence & Security, Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Sector Investment, and Economic Development. From 2013 to 2017, he was Director of Strategy Consulting at Monitor Deloitte, and from 2009 to 2013, he was Co-founder and Partner at Soloren Consulting, a boutique agency focused on the public sector. Alexander has also previously held positions at Deloitte and Accenture. Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Partner, Arthur D. Little Middle East, comments: “Alexander has worked at the highest level in governmental and public sector consulting, leading on major transformational projects encompassing national transport and logistics strategy, defense modernization, and maritime and aviation competitiveness plans. He will be a fantastic asset to the ADL team in MEA as we expand our travel and transportation footprint.”?Alexander Buirski, Partner at ADL, adds: “As governments strive to transform the way their countries run, from modernizing aerospace and defense to managing the electric mobility transition, it’s vital they have access to the best thinking in how to meet these challenges, and can collaborate with experts skilled at turning strategy into reality. I am excited at the prospect of helping ADL’s clients to address these issues by providing that level of expertise.”Alexander has a Master in Applied Finance from the University of Melbourne, Australia, a BSc. (Honors) in Business Administration from the University of Bath, UK, and a BA. in Psychology (Social & Clinical) from Deakin University, Australia.

MBC Group partners with Turkish production companies

MBC Group in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has announced its partnership with Turkish production companies: Medyapim and Ay Yapim.It is a five-year partnership and will see a host of Turkish content shared with MBC Group via “First Look” and volume deal agreements, alongside Arabic-language content being produced for the MENA market.Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group, said: “It’s no secret that Turkish content is extremely popular with MENA audiences – it’s a genre that has been rising in popularity in this region since the early noughties.”Kerem Çatay, CEO of Ay Yapim, said: “Fifteen years ago, MBC Group was home to the first foreign network to broadcast an Ay Yapim series. They were leaders then, and they are leaders now. That’s why I’m so happy to be teaming up with MBC Group to create this new chapter in drama. I know we will do great things together!” Fatih Aksoy, president of Medyapim, said: “We are very happy to announce a new and very exciting cooperation with MBC Group. It is our most sincere wish that this will be a most delightful endeavour for both parties, and also the beginning of a long-standing partnership.”Turkish content produced by Medyapim and Ay Yapim will also appear on Shahid which is a Arabic streaming platform by MBC Group.The “First Look '' is still to be announced titles – all dubbed in Arabic will broadcast in MENA simultaneously with their releasing dates in Turkey.Furthermore, moving to locally produced content, MBC Gathering will work with Medyapim and Ay Yapim to co-create and commission various Arabic-language productions, planned to start shooting in Saudi Arabia.The titles will be revealed after the production begins.

Etihad Airways and Armani/Casa launch world-first luxury partnership

Etihad Airways, in partnership with Armani/Casa, has today announced a new collaboration to deliver an unparalleled premium travel experience, setting an elevated new benchmark for the aviation industry. Launching onboard in December 2022, the partnership creates a unique vision for Etihad’s premium offering, exclusively designed with celebrated designer Giorgio Armani. The Etihad and Armani/Casa collaboration introduces ‘The Constellation Collection’, inspired by the stars. Offering a ‘beyond Business’ experience for Etihad’s guests, the range is embellished with a unique geometric pattern that subtly adorns the collection. The collection includes a new dining service featuring ceramics, glassware, cutlery and serving ware, as well as premium textiles for a completely luxurious inflight experience. Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad, said: “Today we unveil a completely new and elevated way to fly with Etihad Airways—an experience defined by our Emirati heritage yet shaped by a clear vision for our future. Known globally for its Italian luxury and elegance, Armani/Casa is the ideal brand partner to create an unparalleled level of bespoke service and refinement for our guests.” Redefining Business class travelThe dining service features refined silhouettes with elevated contemporary finishes, mixed materials and embossed patterns. The use of multiple textures represents the cultural diversity of the UAE. The colour palette reflects the surroundings of Abu Dhabi; dark green inspired by the region’s date palm trees, aquamarine representing the beauty of the mangroves and slate to symbolise the modernity of the iconic Abu Dhabi skyline. The signature cutlery is elegantly tactile with patterned handles bringing the unmistakable Armani/Casa experience directly to the guest. The collection is designed in line with the airline’s commitment to sustainability. Durable, high-quality material and innovative designs have reduced equipment weight by up to 10%, resulting in less fuel burn and fewer emissions. The premium textiles range brings together one of the world’s most renowned luxury lifestyle brands with premium materials for the ultimate rest. A matching pillowcase and duvet set feature Armani/Casa signature designs to further enhance the Business class turn-down experience. Guests on longer flights will also benefit from the airline’s new innovative memory foam mattress, providing additional comfort to the fully-flat bed in Business. To find out more visit:

Collaboration between Al Hokair Group and IMPS

The recently concluded, Brand Licensing Europe tradeshow witnessed the signing of a license agreement between The Entertainment Industry’s Leader Al Hokair Group for Tourism and Development and International Merchandising, promotion, and services S.A (IMPS) that will see the launch the first Smurfs FECs in Dubai followed by more locations across the Mena region .Smurfs FEC guests will enjoy meeting with the beloved Smurfs characters and they will experience state of the arts and unique games and attractions all Smurfs themed. Mohamed Attia, Al Hokair Group’s General Manager of Entertainment, Philippe Glorieux, IMPS Head of Marketing and Communications, and Fabienne Gilles IMPS Head of Consumer Products., signed the agreement in the presence of several officials from the two companies.“We are excited about this new collaboration with IPMS, which will add a great value to our entertainment portfolio, and it will mark another success story for Al Hokair Group “ said Mr.AttiaIMPS, together with LAFIG Belgium, are the official licensors of the little blue-skinned characters "The Smurfs"? and manage the rights of their world and the other characters created by Pierre Culliford, aka Peyo. Founded in 1984 by Véronique Culliford, Peyo’s daughter, and based in Genval in Belgium.IMPS Counted as one of the prominent organizations, they are involved in offering a wide range of Copyright licensing services, Film productions, Film-makers cartoons, Patent and trade .

Vice Media announces key leadership appointments in Middle East

Vice Media Group, a multi platform media company, and its creative agency Virtue Worldwide, have started to hire senior and professional clients in the Middle East.Tarek Khalil has been elevated to the position of regional managing director of Vice Aravia MEA. Carla Dabis has been hired for the position of commercial director, Vice MEA.Virtue Worldwide which is powered by Vice has appointed Sarah Berro as senior creative director, MEA.Dabis will be focusing on building partnerships at Vice MEA .Tarek Khalil, regional managing director, Vice Arabia, MEA said: “Our strong growth in the Middle East and Africa are driven by our understanding of culture as well as our commitment to champion young voices. Expanding and diversifying our team of talents in the region and amplifying our cultural insights and storytelling capabilities represent a natural progression of our creative momentum in the region. This sets us up for an exciting phase of growth to deliver culturally impactful work for leading brands who want to connect with audiences in a meaningful way, raising the bar on innovation and disrupting the digital landscape.”

Straits Times Editor Warren Fernandez joins Edelman as Asia-Pacific CEO

Edelman has filled its vacant Asia-Pacific CEO role by hiring Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez to oversee regional operations, PRovoke Media can reveal. Fernandez, whose departure from Straits Times was announced last week, will oversee Edelman's 21 offices and 1,300+ employees in the region, reporting to global president and chief operating officer Matthew Harrington.  He replaces Stephen Kehoe, who left Edelman after three years as Asia-Pacific CEO in July. Kehoe's tenure, which came after Jesse Lin's 18-month stint as Edelman Asia-Pacific chief, included considerable restructuring of the firm's senior team in this region, and a return to growth in 2021.  Fernandez joins the PR industry from the English/Malay/Tamil media group in SPH Media, where he was the editor-in-chief. He simultaneously served as the editor of The Straits Times, which he joined as a political reporter in 1990, before going on to serve as news editor, foreign editor and deputy editor. In 2008, Fernandez left to join Royal Dutch Shell as a global manager for its Future Energy project, returning to the paper in 2012 as its top editor. “Warren’s deep understanding of the news and media ecosystem – and his experience transforming a news outlet into an integrated multi-media content platform – will be a tremendous value-add to clients and our own insights and capabilities,” said Harrington. “Additionally, our organization will benefit from Warren’s longstanding professional and academic interest in politics and foreign policy amid today’s dynamic geopolitical landscape.” Fernandez takes charge of an operation that had been led on an interim basis by global vice chairman of corporate affairs Dave Samson since Kehoe's exit. Key senior figures include vice chair Michelle Hutton and more recent appointments such as Greater China president Pully Chau, chief strategy officer Huw Gildon, digital vice chair Jamshed Wadia, Southeast Asia CEO Adrian Warr, Australia CEO Tom Robinson, Singapore chief Julia Wei, Japan president Megan Barstow and Hong Kong head Delicia Tan.  “Asia is one of the most important markets to Edelman’s future,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman. “We have purposely built a communications advisory firm to help Asian companies step onto the global stage, while also supporting other companies as they seek to expand into the diverse markets of Asia. Our ability to help companies navigate the complexities across this vast and dynamic region have never been more critical to businesses and we are the right firm to help them succeed in doing so." “I’m very excited to join a firm that I have admired and worked with, as a client and partner, over the years,” added Fernandez. “Edelman continues to drive the conversation on Trust and shape the future of the communications industry. I believe there is enormous potential to continue to expand upon the vital thought leadership, as well as media, brand and strategic communications advice we provide to our clients."

New study reveals shopping trends in UAE and the wider MENA

Google released a new study conducted by Ipsos that highlights key shopping habits of consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia ahead of this year’s Black Friday shopping season (October to December). The study findings along with internal insights by Google were shared with advertisers and industry experts at Google’s superstore pop-up event held in Dubai earlier this month.According to Google’s internal data, consumers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are amongst the most excitedly searching for Black Friday compared to Brazil, the UK and the US. The Ipsos study explores the key changes in the consumer journey when purchasing during the Black Friday season, below are the key findings:1. Consumers are ready to be inspired and are shopping new brands more than ever before Online searches are driving retail traffic globally. Every day, 15% of Google's searches are new, creating constant opportunities for trends, products, and brands to change the flow of revenues to retailers. According to the study by Ipsos, around 33% of shoppers who plan to participate in the sales season don’t have anything specific in mind to purchase. 60% of surveyed shoppers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia look for new products and brands when browsing online during the sales season. Both good reviews and deals lead people to consider exploring new brand and retailer options for the first time. 2. Consumers increasingly watch videos not only for inspiration but also to support purchase decisions, especially on platforms such as YouTubeAccording to Ipsos, 80% of participating shoppers usually watch a video related to the product they wanted. The study also shows that one-third of surveyed shoppers classify video content as their favorite source of ideas, and two-thirds of them consider video content a way to help them identify what to buy.Speaking of YouTube, shoppers are mostly interested in videos that cover product reviews and rankings, or related to unboxing, or comparing products against other brands. Last year, searches for ‘product reviews’ on YouTube increased by 2.6x year on year.3. Shoppers are set on making the most out of the Black Friday seasonThe shopping cycle in MENA begins at least two months before Singles Day as well as Black Friday and extends up to a month after encompassing the holidays. Individuals are focused on making the most of this sales season and finding the products they want to purchase. The study shows that 55% of respondents begin hunting for products early-on and do not wait for the actual sales dates. The search experience is also changing. In fact, shoppers in MENA are narrowing down their search interest by looking into the latest product offerings, or the limited edition purchases.4. Customers expect the browsing-to-checkout experience to be seamlessRegardless of where they are, consumers are expecting a seamless shopping experience. Around 41% of survey respondents prefer to shop both online and in-store during the shopping season. The survey also shows that 61% of shoppers expect to find the same deals online as they would find in-store. The expectation for a seamless shopping experience extends throughout the purchase journey with search interest for “same day delivery” and “click and collect” growing by 25% year on year. MENA shoppers now care about flexible payment options more than ever before.5. Deals are becoming more important to shoppers, and holiday shopping has already startedMore detailed and timely information is also key, including ratings, current deals, discounts for loyalty program members, and availability – for shipping and pick-up. According to Google’s internal data, online shoppers in MENA search for seasonal deals on Google (e.g. Black Friday / Cyber Monday / Singles Day) more than branded or product queries like seen in the US over the last year.One of the unique themes of the holiday season is self-care, especially during Single’s Day. According to Ipsos, 70% of surveyed shoppers buy products for themselves during Singles’ Day. People are also looking to not only gift themselves but also their loved ones. In fact, 45% of surveyed shoppers are searching for gift ideas during this sales season. Google recently launched new tools dedicated to retailers’ online growth. Performance Max allows retailers to grow online, offline or through omnichannel sales by unlocking all of Google’s ad inventory from a single campaign. The second tool is ‘Grow My Store’, available in Arabic and English, which guides local businesses to improve their digital storefront and optimize online customer experience. Retailers can also find further insights on Think with Google to help optimize their next shopping season.

India TV now available in UAE

India TV, India's highest-watched Hindi News channel has expanded its global footprint by launching itself on E Life- UAE's premium Content Platform from Etisalat. The channel is available on eLife Asiana packages: eLife Asiana, Asiana Lite, Asiana Lite, and Asiana Premium both on IPTV + OTT platforms (IPTV & Switch TV) on Channel no: 549.  After establishing a leadership position in the Indian Tv market, India TV is looking to expand its International & Digital Footprint and this launch in the UAE, is a natural step in that direction. The channel is already available in North America and will be soon launching across major other markets with significant diaspora audiences, to keep them connected with News back home. The channel is looking to innovate with Local Content and launch major shows across local time zones to create better affinity for the brand.People of the Indian diaspora living in the UAE can watch India TV round-the-clock for news coverage on India and the rest of the world, by connecting through eLife. India TV has shows like ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ (on weekends) and ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ (on weekdays) hosted by Rajat Sharma, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of India TV, which is very popular among the masses. With its nationwide network of journalists, India TV has been telecasting round-the-clock news bulletins, current affairs programmes and talk shows for the last 18 years.Ritu Dhawan, Managing Director, India TV, said, “India TV’s aim is to inform and empower global Indians with accurate, in-depth, unfiltered, fact-based journalism without any bias, outrage, or sensationalism and establishing India TV as the best and most trusted place for news. Making India TV available in the UAE is one more step towards our goal. India Tv has appointed NKN Media FZC as its exclusive Ad Sales and Distribution partner in the region. NKN Media will solicit brand partnerships and offer advertising solutions.eLife TV offers a wide variety of services & offerings including 590 + TV channels through premium TV packages from all major TV providers from around the globe. They also have Video-on-Demand and Subscription Video On Demand with over 10,000 hours of content, unmatched experience and an impressive track record with content providers, guaranteeing top-notch content from Major Hollywood Studios, Bollywood and the latest Arabic productions. eLife TV customers enjoy the latest movie titles as we currently have the largest library in the UAE with a choice of more than 600 of the latest & all-time favourite movies from Hollywood, Arabia and Bollywood in HD and 3D.

UAE Ministry of Economy partnership with FOODICS

The UAE Ministry of Economy has announced today a strategic partnership with FOODICS, the leading cloud-based restaurant technology and payments platform in the MENA region, aimed at achieving a strong partnership between the public and private sectors in order to foster SME growth locally and globally.The Ministry and Foodics will together promote mutual exchange and cooperation to support SMEs in the F&B sector with services and products geared to expedite their inception and growth by embracing innovation, adapting new technologies, optimizing corporate strategies and boosting business operations.As part of the agreement, the two entities will collaborate on several initiatives to support SME growth. Some of these activities will include workshops that will enable selected UAE based F&B enterprises to optimize strategies and business operations, improve supply chain management, boost sales and marketing strategies as well as financial performance. Foodics will also offer exclusive rates and benefits of its products and solutions through the Ministry’s Entrepreneurial Nation platform, and will facilitate industry and market insights to catalyze and ease the growth of the sector and its stakeholders.Ahmad Al Zaini, FOODICS CEO, commented, “Fostering the growth of the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem has always been part of our company's DNA, and, today, we are thrilled to be able to extend our efforts to the UAE F&B sector through our collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Economy. I would like to personally thank HE Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri for his inspiring vision and his trust in Foodics, and I look forward to, together, strengthening the UAE’s status as a destination for global business and entrepreneurship in the F&B sector.”FOODICS is officially recognized by the Saudi Central Bank (“SAMA”) as a FinTech company. Since its inception in 2014, Foodics has successfully processed over 6 billion orders through its platform. It also raised a record US$170 million in its series C funding round, boosting its innovation capabilities to better serve business owners.

ADDED reaffirms support of manufacturers

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), in cooperation with the Emirates Development Bank (EDB), the Abu Dhabi Export Office (ADEX), and Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), organised the ‘CEOs Forum for Exporting Manufacturers’ to discuss issues and solutions to increase manufacturers’ exports.ADDED reaffirmed its support of manufacturing sector to drive its efforts to boost the Emirate’s non-oil exports from AED73.5 billion in 2021 to AED178.8bn by 2031 through providing a conducive ecosystem to achieve this 143 percent increase.Improving Abu Dhabi’s trade with global markets in the industrial sector is a key objective of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy (ADIS). The strategy aims to strengthen the Emirate’s position as the region’s most competitive industrial hub by investing AED10 billion across six transformational programmes to more than double the size of Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing sector from AED83.5 billion in 2021 to AED172 billion by 2031. To this end, ADDED is rolling out initiatives to increase access to financing, enhance ease of doing business, and attract foreign direct investment.The Industrial CEO Forum was attended by Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Under-Secretary of ADDED, Sameh Al Qubaisi, Director-General of Economic Affairs at ADDED, Ahmed Mohammed Al-Naqbi, CEO of EDB, Khalil Al Mansoori, Acting Director-General of ADEX, and Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI, CEOs and senior executives of 54 manufacturers, accounted for 62.8 percent of Abu Dhabi industrial exports in 2021.Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Under-Secretary of ADDED, said, “This forum is part of our efforts to achieve the ambitious goals of Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy by working closely with manufacturers, contributing positively to increasing non-oil exports."Despite challenges in global economy, Abu Dhabi non-oil trade during the first half of 2002 grew 12 percent to AED124 billion, and exports rose 26 percent to AED49.5 billion. Also, the industrial sector performance was impressive, 136 new industrial licences had been issued, and our total number of active in-production factories now stands at 866. While these facts paint a bright picture of our economy, we need to work more closely with major players in manufacturing sector and ensure they are well- supported to thrive and play a greater role in achieving strategic objectives."To increase bilateral trade and establish itself as a “gateway to the world”, UAE has signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPAs) with India, Indonesia, Israel, and plans to sign eight more agreements with strategic partners in the near future to increase bilateral trade by AED 40 billion annually.CEPAs will further enhance economic cooperation between the UAE and strategic partners, widen access to markets, and enhance mutual investment opportunities as these agreements stimulate flows and eliminate custom tariffs and other trade and investment barriers.ADDED’s continuous, open dialogue with business leaders led it to launch initiatives that meet businesses’ expectations in facilitating trade and ensuring ease of doing business by reducing costs and requirements, simplifying procedures, and enabling seamless integration of government services.As part of ADDED’s efforts to deliver against Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy, it is focusing on improving the financial ecosystem by increasing access to financing and providing manufacturers with best-in-class infrastructure, platforms, and trade facilitation solutions to reduce time and cost of their exports. In addition, ADDED has launched many initiatives to reduce production cost and open new markets, and new ones are in the pipeline.The Industrial CEO Forum was addressed by senior executives of EDB, ADEX, and ECI to showcase their financial and trade facilitation solutions.

Mashreq appoints Hamda Al Shamali

 Mashreq, one of the leading financial institutions in the UAE and the Middle East, today announced the appointment of Hamda Al Shamali in the newly created role of Chief People and Intellectual Capital Officer.In this role, Hamda will bring her significant human capital and talent development expertise to lead and grow human resources, nurture and develop Mashreq talent, and support culture and engagement enhancement programmes across the organization. She will be responsible for leading key priorities such as DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion), streamlining distributed workforce and hybrid working models, automation of EX journeys and evolving our employees wellbeing discipline into the broader and more comprehensive organizational health approach.Hamda is a seasoned senior Emirati human resources professional with a strong track record spanning more than 20 years of accomplishments with leading local and international organizations.Prior to joining Mashreq, Hamda was the Executive Director, Human Resources at The National Health Insurance Company – Daman, overseeing all aspects of the company's Human Resources function. She also led the Business and Culture project at Daman, being a part of their global HR community which helped steer the company transform their vision, culture, technology and resources. Her experience also includes leading Nationalization and Local Talent across multiple roles in GCC for international banks such as HSBC Bank Middle East and Barclays Plc.Commenting on her appointment, Ahmed Abdelaal, Group Chief Executive Officer, Mashreq, said: “Hamda is a proven leader in building excellence and taking an innovative approach to HR, and her fresh perspective combined with the distinctive strength of Mashreq as a brand makes her uniquely positioned to front our endeavors to support nationalization programmes around the region, attract top talents and world class leaders while fostering a workplace culture that engages and motivates employees to rise every day, which ismission critical for our future growth strategy. I look forward to working closely with Hamda to maintain and enhance our status as one of the best places to work.”Hamda Al Shamali added: “I am delighted to be joining Mashreq at such an exciting time in its growth, as the bank aims to adopt a challenger brand status and seeks to achieve social and economic impact by supporting the aspirations, dreams and needs of every customer.Attracting and retaining the right talent will be an essential part of this strategy. I look forward to capitalizing on my experience in the financial services sector to further nurture human capital and strengthen the bank’s role in providing best in class products and services to its customers.”Hamda holds a Bachelor’s degree of Applied Science in Business Administration from Higher Colleges of Technology Dubai.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi share love of travel with a mystery flight

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the ultra-low fare national airline of the UAE, embarked on its most exciting adventure yet with the airline’s first ever flight from the UAE to an Unknown destination. ‘#GetLostwithWizz’ competition winners boarded a once-in-a-lifetime flight into the vast and expanding Wizz Air Abu Dhabi network for a weekend ‘getting lost’ in a new experience.Adventurous travellers seized the moment and embraced the unexpected in Kutaisi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the third-most populous city in Georgia. Travel bloggers, adventure lovers and prominent influencers discovered the destination upon arrival and explored local landmarks and protected areas of the must-see Imereti region and tasty local gastronomic delights.Watch the full video of the action-packed weekend here – []Michael Berlouis, Managing Director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, said: “Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is committed to providing exciting and unique travel opportunities and the ‘#GetLostwithWizz’ competition showcased the very best of the Wizz way of travel, in one of our unmissable destinations. We chose Kutaisi, a must-see travel destination in our expanding network, to showcase the exciting adventure in the Imereti region. I thank our Georgian partners for their hard-work and support in creating a weekend full of unmissable travel experiences in culturally-rich Kutaisi. We encourage adventurous travellers to take advantage of our ultra-low-fares to experience the very best of Georgian culture and more in the Imereti region.”The diverse itinerary featured a city tour, including world-renowned historic buildings on day one, a visit to a luxury resort and gastronomy masterclasses on day two and a trip to a cave and waterfall on day three to see the outstanding Georgian nature. The competition winners had the opportunity to feed their adrenaline on a zip-line, discover ancient religious and archaeological sites and traverse through luscious natural beauty.Mari Devidze, Executive Director of DMO Imereti, said: “Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is the main contributor for tourism in Kutaisi and is vital for attracting high-end tourists. We are delighted to see our guest’s smiles during the Get Lost trip and we will greatly benefit from the spotlight to generate even-more interest for our culturally-rich region. We look forward to further collaborations with Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and expanding the ever-growing tourist destinations from both Kutaisi and Georgia.”The Imereti Destination Management Organization (DMO), Kutaisi City Hall and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi carefully curated an unmissable programme, creating an immersive weekend whistle-stop tour of the best sights in the region. Rich in ancient history and stunning nature, the action-packed weekend had a diverse itinerary with the amazingly hospitable Imereti people showcasing the best of the provinces cuisine and culture.Irakli Karkashadze, Deputy Mayor of Kutaisi, said: “Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is a strategic partner for the Imereti region and is the largest carrier for handled passengers in Georgia. Get Lost is the biggest trip Georgia has ever hosted and the content is a very big success for Kutaisi with more than 500,000 engagements on social media within two hours of the flight landing. All records have been broken and the whole country is talking about Wizz Air Abu Dhabi as we make Georgia pink. We showcased the best of Georgian culture in an action-packed three days and we thank Wizz Air Abu Dhabi for the trust placed in the Georgian authorities to turn the dreams of a Get Lost campaign real.”A celebration of Georgian music and dancing was held with deafening applause after each performance, a resounding appreciation for the unique cross-cultural experience. Get Lost was open to all UAE residents with competition winners and their partner, receiving free flight tickets, two nights’ accommodation, and travel insurance.Participant Cartia Mazzoni, a nursing entrepreneur from Australia, said: “The Get Lost trip was a fantastic experience and everyone can now see Georgia is a special place for adventurous travellers of all ages to visit, we even had a six month old baby on the trip. The pilot at first announced Baku as the destination, adding to the mystery of the tour, and I am delighted we spent the weekend in Kutaisi as the excellent Georgian hosts made the experience extra special.”Moustada Ahmed Kamel, a blogger from Egypt, said: “Flying into the Unknown was an awesome idea as a content creator and an outstanding experience as no-one knew what to expect. Get Lost bought people of all nationalities and backgrounds together and we all shared special moments, smiling and dancing throughout a beautiful weekend.” Yasmin Zaheer, 64 years of age and from Pakistan, said: “Get Lost was excellent, from start to finish, and Georgia is a great place with delicious food and very hospitable people. The itinerary was full of memorable moments and I am proud to have climbed 800 plus steps in a breath-taking cave. My daughter and I recommend Georgia for people, both young and old, searching for unforgettable and affordable experiences.”Strategically located in the UAE, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi provides ultra-low fare, hassle-free and efficient travel options to Alexandria (Egypt), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Amman (Jordan),Ankara (Turkey), Aqaba (Jordan), Athens (Greece), Baku (Azerbaijan), Belgrade (Serbia), Dammam (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait City (Kuwait), Kutaisi (Georgia), Manama (Bahrain), Male (Maldives), Muscat (Oman), Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan), Salalah (Oman), Santorini (Greece), Samarkand (Uzbekistan), Sarajevo (Bosnia), Sohag (Egypt), Tel-Aviv (Israel), Tirana (Albania) and Yerevan (Armenia) among others.For ultimate peace of mind during this uncertain time, passengers can book tickets with confidence, thanks to WIZZ Flex. With WIZZ Flex, passengers can cancel their flight up to three hours before departure without any fee and receive 100% of the fare immediately reimbursed in airline credit.

BHSI names Pedro Mairos

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) today announced that it has appointed Pedro Mairos as Global Underwriting Officer, Marine. He was previously Head of Marine for the UK & Ireland at BHSI.“Our large global footprint coupled with the substantial growth of our Marine business made now the optimal time to deepen the global leadership of our marine underwriting team worldwide,” said Dean LaPierre, Chief Underwriting Officer, Property & Marine, BHSI. “We are pleased to have such a deep bench of talent across both underwriting and claims to service our marine customers and brokers in local markets around the globe.”Pedro joined BHSI in 2019. He has more than two decades of experience in the global marine market, including Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He will continue to be based in London and can be reached at offers a full range of marine insurance products worldwide, including inland transit, motor truck cargo, warehouse legal liability, builder’s risk, contractor’s equipment, ocean cargo, stock throughputs, project cargo, and marine equipment, including subsea equipment.Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance ( provides commercial property, casualty, healthcare professional liability, executive and professional lines, transactional liability, surety, marine, travel, programs, accident and health, medical stop loss, homeowners, and multinational insurance. The actual and final terms of coverage for all product lines may vary. It underwrites on the paper of Berkshire Hathaway's National Indemnity group of insurance companies, which hold financial strength ratings of A++ from AM Best and AA+ from Standard & Poor's. Based in Boston, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Irvine, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, San Ramon, Seattle, Stevens Point, Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Brussels, Cologne, Dubai, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London, Lyon, Macau, Madrid, Manchester, Melbourne, Munich, Paris, Perth, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, and Zurich.

CowPay appoints Mohamed Abu Khadra as CEO

CowPay, the leading fintech service provider and e-payment enabler, said it had appointed Mohamed Abu Khadra as its new CEO, effective September 1. Abu Khadra succeeded CEO Hussain Al-Manawi, who joined the company’s board.Abu Khadra boasts of a proven track record of successes in the fintech and e-payment industry. He contributed to raising awareness on the key role of fintech services and its applications during his work as a marketing director at Bee Smart Payment Solutions for 10 years.Abu Khadra said: I am pleased and proud to have been selected as new CEO of prominent fintech platform CowPay. And looking forward to achieving the ambitions of the company's board and investors, expanding its foothold, and boosting its market share."He added the Fintech market offers unprecedented opportunities on the back of the Central Bank of Egypt's (CBE) support to the industry’s information infrastructure and legal framework in order to increase penetration of fintech services in our daily lives.In this respect, mobile phone wallet transactions surged by 108% to 212 million transactions in the first half of 2022, recording EGP 250 billion, according to CBE data. CBE said point-of-sale (PoS) transactions reached 110.6 million at a combined value of EGP 108.7 billion. Meanwhile, e-commerce transactions amounted to 60.3 million, totaling EGP 22.3 billion by the end of June 2022.Mohamed Abu El-Naga, Vice Chairman of CowPay, expressed confidence in Abu Khadra and his ability to trigger a quantum leap in the company's business and to build on Al-Manawi's achievements. Currently, CowPay serves more than 500 clients and adopts an ambitious expansion plan to scale up its businesses.Established in 2019 as an Egyptian company, CowPay is a payment facilitator registered at CBE. The company's board members have long-standing experience and in-house expertise in the e-payment and telecommunications sector.   CowPay provides innovative e-payment solutions for companies and individuals to help them transform their payment and collection transactions. The company has a shareholding structure of pioneering Egyptian and regional investors.

'AI Everything' summit hosts coding ambassador Maya Bridgeman

The AI Everything summit, the world's first government-led AI summit taking place in GITEX global 2022, hosted Maya Bridgeman, one of the young ambassadors for coding chosen by CodersHQ.The young ambassador discussed in two sessions the importance of engaging and educating global youth to diversify Ai industry and ways to overcome challenges to ensure proactivity and continuity in digitisation.The session was organised as part of GITEX Global 2022, the largest global technology gathered to showcase technology and the achievements in AI, held from 10-14 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre, with the participation of international companies showcasing their success stories and the latest technological developments and updates.Maya shared her experience in establishing the Dubai AI Society two years ago that grew into a thriving community of over 1,000 like-minded, driven students across four continents. The community is launching initiatives targeting youth across the globe with different backgrounds, age groups and skill levels to create diversification in industries Artificial intelligence, sharing global ideas, and developing passion. “My goal is to diversify the AI industry to exponentially increase innovation with solutions representative of the entire global population," she said.The 17-year-old talked about the global challenges young people face from different countries around the world and the importance of paving the way for more opportunities to learn about artificial intelligence, working on innovative solutions to make that happen, and increasing the number of coders and AI experts in all countries internationally. "This is the way to enable us as youth, learn the mechanisms of artificial intelligence and unleash our passion in this field.”She noted the growing desire beginners have to learn more about Ai and the importance to embrace fragmented learning to ensure a clear foundation, be proactive to challenges and enter this promising world of futuristic technology, which affects all areas of life, including human, advanced sciences, and sustainability.Maya then shared her experience that built up her personality by conducting workshops for youth at the Expo 2020 Dubai and her position as a youth ambassador to promote artificial intelligence locally.

Bahrain attracts USD98 million worth of Direct Investments in ICT Sector

Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB) attracted USD98 million (BHD37 million) worth of Direct Investments from 14 prominent international companies in its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in the first 3 quarters of 2022. These investments will further economic growth and are expected to create over 770 jobs to help achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Economic Recovery Plan.Through the Economic Recovery Plan, Bahrain launched a 4-year Telecommunications, ICT, and Digital Economy Sector Strategy (2022-2026) earlier this year. The strategy has four main pillars, including the development of the telecommunications infrastructure, supporting the digital economy, enhancing e-governance, and developing digital capacity. The strategy aims at improving the Kingdom’s overall global position in the e-Participation index of the UN eGovernment Survey, establishing a world-class digital infrastructure, and increasing the efficiency of government services through e-transformation.Commenting on the investments, Musab Abdullah, Executive Director of Investment Development – ICT at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “We are pleased to see more and more ICT companies calling Bahrain home for their regional operations. The continuous development in the ICT sector is a strategic priority for the Kingdom. The Kingdom’s highly qualified local talent, best-value operating costs, as well as its strategic location and connectivity to the entire region positions Bahrain as the destination of choice for global ICT companies.”As a result of the government vision to position the Kingdom as a regional leader in ICT, and a regional hub for ICT industries such as gaming and internationally connected data centers, today Bahrain is ranked first in MENA for ICT readiness by the UN.The ICT sector is a major pillar in Bahrain’s economy. The sector generates large numbers of high-value jobs, of which 59% of jobs are held by Bahraini nationals. According to statics released by the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, the ICT sector contributed 6.8% to Bahrain’s real GDP at the end of Q4 2021.       Overall, Bahrain EDB attracted USD921 million (BHD348 million) in direct investment from 66 companies during the first nine months of 2022. The investments are expected to generate over 4,700 jobs over the next three years in key sectors, including financial services, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, and tourism.

LG Ads Solutions Expands EMEA Operations with London Office Opening

Today, LG Ads Solutions announced the official opening of the London office as a part of a broader expansion into the EMEA market. LG brings its proprietary Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology for LG TVs to the region, enabling superior targeting and addressability for connected television (CTV) advertisers.“We believe the time to make a big investment in ad-supported CTV technology for Europe is now. CTV advertising is continuing to grow throughout Europe” said Ed Wale, Vice President of Europe. “Today, more than 8-in-10 households in the EU5 have a connected TV, which reflects a 30% increase from 2020. This ubiquitous access combined with an increased preference for ad-supported CTV has led advertisers to shift their investments to this burgeoning medium”.According to research from CoLab, 60% of UK marketers plan on increasing their advanced TV ad spend over the next year, while 73% plan on doing so in wider European markets. With over 30 million addressable smart TV households across Europe, there is a great opportunity for LG Ads Solutions to help European advertisers reach their target audiences and European OTT publishers better monetize their inventory. Already, some of our clients have seen impactful results from our activations in-market.

UAE’s educational and entertainment family station -360 Radio launched

360 Radio, a station for expatriates and families in the Gulf region with education as thrust area, was launched today (October 12th, 2022) by Mr. Abu Rashid, a renowned Arab Media Personality in the UAE."Radio 360 has started with a good idea as it targets students, families and education alike. As envisioned by the Father of the Nation, Sheikh Zayed, the UAE is a country that pursues an inclusive culture.Abu Rashid wished 360 Radio to be able to move forward with programs that are inclusive of different languages and cultures,". He also praised the new technology being used by 360 Radio during the opening ceremony.“I hope that 360 Radio, as the first educational radio in the UAE, will be a project in support of the educational program and a platform to spread the message of students and teachers, and cordially collaborate with authorities such as the Ministry of Education for various academic and non-academic projects”, he further added.“The cosmopolitanism of the UAE is a beautiful asset and 360 Radio cherishes it. Listening to people who are different enable us to learn new things about the world we live in, which is why the station’s motto is “Listening is a virtue” and 360 Radio facilitates these conversations among the expatriates for whom UAE is their foster land, while remembering their motherland, cultures and languages”, said HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Saqr Al Nuaimi, Vice Chairman of Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and chairman of 360 Radio, during the inaugural ceremony.360 Radio, an online-digital radio, equipped with the latest smart software and technologies, envisages a world in which people listen more and understand each other better through educational and entertainment programs. The bi-lingual station, operating primarily in English and Malayalam, will also be incorporating entertainment and educational programs in Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and other Indian and South Asian languages. In addition, 360 Radio will make its educational programs available as podcasts on the website, while the social media accounts will be presenting current affairs, expatriate news and youth expressions. On the expatriate front, the station intends to produce programs that throw light on Emirati culture and history as well as on the history and lives of migration to the UAE, introduce individuals from different communities whose work in the fields of art, culture, social work, business and innovation is remarkable, alongside giving expression to expatriate youth. As for education, 360 Radio will work as a hub of teachers, students, parents and educational administrators from different schools and colleges in the UAE through talks, debates and workshops, enhancing their subject knowledge, interest and exposure. In addition to programs for the needs and interests of different members of the family, there are also programs meant for family collective listening.“Radios have been a wonderful companion for people both on the long roads and in busy traffic. After Covid, we know how creatively technology can be used in the process of learning and we must make the best of such possibilities. There is a student in every listener and there is a listener in every student who wants to be entertained while learning something new. 360 Radio addresses exactly this aspect”, adds Binju Kochunny, the Program Director of 360 Radio.         The Radio 360 team has arranged many competitions for listeners, especially for students and housewives. Those who are interested can visit the website Listeners may download 360radiouae app on their mobile phones. The mobile app will have many contests and events to increase knowledge and win valuable prizes in the upcoming weeks.

AI judges to give verdicts via chat app, experts claim

 In a session at the forum titled ‘Can We Befriend AI?’, Prof. Youngsook Park, Chair, UN Future Forum, said: “In the future, we will have AI judges to give verdicts via a chat application. People could attend internet courts. Robots can help people to learn, including coding, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, etc.” Defining wealthDubai Future Forum also hosted another panel titled ‘How Do We Define Wealth in the Future?’ involving Dr Susann Roth, Chief of Knowledge Management, Asian Development Bank; Duncan Cass-Beggs, Counsellor for Strategic Foresight, OECD; Joseph Raczynski, Technologist and Futurist, Thomson Reuters; and moderated by Vilas Dhar, President of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation.The panelists agreed that wealth perception would dramatically change in the future, becoming more holistic by covering education, work-life balance, health, safety and life satisfaction as well as financial status.Decolonizing futureAnother session titled ‘Can We Decolonize the Future?’ zeroed in on the importance of developing an inclusive view of the future that challenges cultural definitions and allows us to unlearn pervasive cultural norms.Alisha Bhagat, Futures Lead, Forum for the Future, said: “If you look at problems in isolation, you can’t solve them in a way that is deep and lasting. If you just look at climate change without looking at its impact on health, you will not get to the root of the problem.” Dr. Nnedi Okorafor, Writer, Africanfuturism Productions, joined her on the conversation.Intergenerational fairnessIn another panel, the unique prospects and challenges faced by different generations and the importance for policymakers to ensure intergenerational fairness were discussed. The session was moderated by Joana Lenkova from The LEGO Group.Speaking on the panel, Catarina Tully Managing Director, School of International Futures, said: “There is increasing interest across the globe in intergenerational fairness — the idea that governments and decisionmakers need to start paying closer attention to the impacts of policy decisions on the interests, needs, rights and wellbeing of future generations. The key to understand is how these decisions will impact future generations as inter-generational solidarity is a key aspect to investigate.”

du and Dubai RTA present Digital Twin as the gateway to metaverse

du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), has partnered with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) for fixed, ICT, special projects and long-term technical support. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Mohammed Yousef Al Mudharreb, CEO, Corporate Technology Support Services Sector, RTA and Fahad Al Hassawi, Chief Executive Officer at du at GITEX Global 2022. As part of the agreement, du will collaborate with RTA to enhance its fixed and mobile services and deliver the Digital Twin solution in Dubai Metro and additional mixed reality technologies.Under the theme ‘Powering governments, Shaping The Emirates Reality’, du has brought an innovative showcase to GITEX 2022 featuring next-generation technologies such as 5G, IoT, AI, metaverse and robotics. du and RTA’s Digital Twin solution leverages innovative telecommunications, IoT and extended reality technologies to demonstrate a next-generation approach to digital twinning in the age of the metaverse.RTA and du will empower a fully embedded fixed mobile telecommunications system across Dubai’s transportation network with the initial phase of the project focusing on Dubai Metro. The data-rich digital twin is capable of supplying network operators with real-time analysis, predictive insights and maintenance information at the point of need for all key assets in Dubai’s transport network.By utilising bespoke sensor equipment, the Digital Twin will detect faults, allow data to be read from any asset in the cloud and analyze in real-time. Physical assets such as escalators, screen doors and point machines can be monitored using the sensors connected directly to the private 5G network where faults and predicted data anomalies are detected in real-time using AI.Speaking about the agreement, Mohammed Yousef Al Mudharreb, CEO, Corporate Technology Support Services Sector, RTA said, "The role of digital technologies is undergoing an accelerated transformation, from being a driver of efficiency to an enabler of innovation and positive transformation. Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority is looking forward to further promoting innovation and improving communication techniques to make urban futurism a reality. We are pleased to collaborate with du in this distinguished partnership that allows us to introduce innovations to refine commuter journeys and offer unparalleled opportunities for value creation in Dubai’s public transport sector.”Fahad Al Hassawi, Chief Executive Officer at du said: “du’s long-standing partnership with RTA prioritizes digital transformation initiatives given the potential for a significantly higher value to be created for the UAE. Our Digital Twin solution is more than a gateway to the metaverse, it also brings important social and environmental benefits by harnessing technology to improve the efficiency of public transport and help to reduce energy consumption and emissions.”Application of Digital Twin technology was restricted to date, however, du’s 5G Private Mobile Network by its low latency and high speeds has helped enable this reality in the UAE. du will also leverage its 5G network to connect self-driving taxis as part of a partnership project with GM Cruise, implement digital twin technology in RTA warehouses and trains as well as offer data centre and cloud services. This will allow RTA to deliver a first-class, hassle-free experience shortly.

Citi appoints Head of Markets for Middle East, Egypt, and Pakistan

Citi is pleased to announce that Kamal Benkabbou has been appointed Head of Markets for Middle East, Egypt, and Pakistan (MEEP) effective immediately.Kamal will build on solid foundations in MEEP to drive and implement a fully integrated growth strategy for Markets in the region. He will develop and execute a client-centric strategy delivering Citi’s Global Product offering into the region while developing and leveraging Citi’s local infrastructure and capabilities. He will be a key partner to regional leadership teams and product heads in Markets with a focus on identifying and delivering synergies and efficiency gains within Markets and with broader Institutional Client platform. Kamal will also be responsible for providing overall oversight of the Risks arising from Markets activities across the MEEP region.Kamal has been Head of Financial Institution Sales and Solutions (FISS) for the MENA region since 2019. He has been responsible for delivering significant growth in revenues in the region across Markets products. He also successfully led our efforts to instil a strong sales management discipline and foster a client centric culture.Kamal joined Citi in 2011 to develop our MENA Investor Sales franchise. Prior to Citi, he worked at Barclays Capital in London in a similar role. Kamal will continue leading the FISS effort in the region until a replacement is appointed. He will remain based in Dubai.

The Lives of Dubai Bling’s Social Circle Revealed in the Official Trailer

Teasing opulence, opportunities and outrageous outbursts, Netflix releases the trailer for new Arabic docu-soap, Dubai Bling. Big personalities and even bigger dramas follow the ambitious, successful and brutally honest social circle as they work hard and play harder in the City of Bling.Dubai is one of the most innovative and trendsetting cities in the world, and where every member of the social circle found success building empires, chasing their dreams and grabbing every chance that the land of wealth and opportunity had to offer. Now, get a closer look at their extravagant lifestyles, from wearing ball gowns at lunch and driving supercars to exploring the desert on camelback. The trailer reveals some of the alliances and the tensions. Will Zeina manage to keep the social circle together? Can Lojain Omran’s calm presence offer stability when the drama intensifies? How does Kris Fade’s fast-approaching wedding to Brianna Ramirez test their relationship? Will the brutal honesty of Ebraheem Al Samadi set off a chain of events that no one saw coming? Can open communication bring DJ Bliss and Danya Mohammed even closer? Will Farhana reach new heights in her career? Will outspoken Lojain Adadah find the fresh start she’s looking for? And, the biggest question of all: do bigger personalities really instigate bigger drama? You'll have to tune in to Dubai Bling to find out.All this and more is teased in the trailer. One thing is guaranteed, you’ll never have a dull moment with the vibrant, in-your-face cast of Dubai Bling as they reveal all in the city of dreams!Dubai Bling is produced by Different Productions and premieres on October 27th, exclusively on Netflix

Top KSA and UAE trends emerging in 2023

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Poly shares the upcoming smart KSA and UAE trends for 2023.Trend 1: The advent of the smart city will boost smart workingSmart working, aka hybrid working, is equally popular among employees and employers because it boosts productivity. Almost 70% of the UAE firms believe that failing to address their hybrid work procedures and strategies will result in employee turnover and an inability to recruit new talent.We are moving a step further as a world and seeing the conversations around smart cities start at the same time. The linear city "The Line" in Saudi Arabia has been proposed with the objective of facilitating a perfect work-life balance for its residents.The same trend is getting quite prevailing in the UAE. Arising from the Emirati government's vision for 2021, one of the most important priorities is to establish a sustainable environment and infrastructure that achieves the goals of the future.The first smart city to be launched in the UAE goes back a decade ago. Masdar City is the first smart and sustainable city in the region. This progressive city benefits from a blend of advanced technologies and methods from the architecture of the city to the utilization of solar energy to depend on sustainable and renewable resources.We are entering an era of smart living where smart working will become non-negotiable. This requires smart working methods and tools to empower this change.Bob Aoun, Sales Director at Poly, says, “The entire KSA is a progressive region. We no longer have an excuse to not believe in hybrid working or smart working. For example, 33% of companies are seeing productivity gains from hybrid working in excess of 50% within the UAE itself.” Trend 2: Work smart, not hardSmart working has put the power in the employees’ hands, and autonomous decision-making is on the rise as more people are adopting hybrid working patterns. However, the lack of sufficient resources for hybrid work enablement, such as technology, policies, and manager training, ultimately disempowers employees. Only 51% of organizations globally have taken steps to prevent people from feeling like they need to be always on. Weakened organizational culture leaves the workforce demotivated and unwilling to go the extra mile – ‘quiet quitting’.Companies should provide employees not only with flexibility in working conditions but also armor them with the technology and communicate how to utilize the technology to their advantage. Technology should equalize hybrid working experience no matter where the job is done from, rather than causing overwork and burnout.Bob Aoun, Sales Director at Poly, says, “Don’t just give employees the technology and let them figure it out. It is extremely important to communicate to employees regarding the company culture, rules of engagement, and especially training managers who are responsible for people management. 10% of UAE organizations have seen employee burnout, and 13% have seen a reduction in employee engagement because everyone worked from a different location.” Trend 3: Factories’ automationAs the KSA works to establish several smart cities, there is a tendency within the kingdom toward factory automation. The main objective is to benefit from AI technologies and smart innovations, reduce costs, and raise efficiency.In the near future, around 4000 factories all over the KSA will be largely dependent on automated machines and smart technologies. This is part of the recently launched ‘The Future Factories Program, initiated by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.The Saudi government aims to utilize the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to achieve considerable progress in its production sector, through the blend of various innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, robots, 3D printing, and the internet of things to establish a strong economy based on the latest technologies and innovations.In the UAE, the government announced in October 2021 the plan to harness the technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The purpose of this plan, The Projects of the 50, is to raise productivity and deliver more innovative products using automated systems during the coming fifty years in an initiative that is unprecedented in the region.   These automated systems that will be managing functions in several factories would enable employees to have more flexibility in their working hours and pattern. According to the new Poly study, Recruit, Retain and Grow, 88% of UAE companies believe that employees should be allowed to request flexible working hours from day one. Furthermore, Over half (56%) of all organizations, and 69% of UAE-based organizations, believe that if they don’t address their hybrid work processes and plans, they’ll start to lose staff and be unable to attract new talent.Bob Aoun, Sales Director at Poly, says, “The operation of factories and various production facilities which relies on AI- technologies became a vital element in the success of the production in any given sector. This move is crucial to increase profit and maintain growth and sustainability.” The three new trends in KSA and the UAE reflect the future vision of the country to have a progressive lifestyle from all aspects. The transformation towards relying on cutting-edge technologies has become crucial for the advancement of any country. However, the provision of the required tools and devices plays a significant role in this regard.

Dubai Internet City to welcome Intel’s first AI software R&D centre in GCC

 Dubai Internet City, a global business and technology hub and member of TECOM Group PJSC, announced today, as part of its participation in 2022 GITEX Global, that it will house Intel’s newest artificial intelligence (AI) software R&D centre.The first of its kind in the GCC, the centre will help to advance the capabilities of Intel’s leading AI software solutions.In alignment with the Middle East region’s digital transformation strategy, Intel and the centre will closely collaborate with the respective AI, software business and academic ecosystems in Dubai and connect with the wider region to allow the company to pursue strategic partnerships, boosting digital adoption and 4th Industrial Revolution technologies, whilst building a robust knowledge-sharing platform on the latest AI trends, technologies and solutions.On behalf of Dubai Internet City, Ammar Al Malik, Executive Vice President Commercial Leasing at TECOM Group PJSC, commented, “Dubai’s integrated business ecosystem and favourable economic climate have attracted the world’s largest companies whose innovations and insights have strengthened digital transformation not only in our Emirate, but also the wider region. Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence are defining the future of all sectors, from manufacturing to education, and establishing a robust tech ecosystem to navigate this emerging and ever-evolving space gives Dubai a competitive edge beneficial to businesses, talent and economic growth alike.“For more than 20 years, Dubai Internet City has been integral to this ambition, fostering a dynamic community of global MNEs, SMEs and start-ups in one location. We are delighted that an industry leader like Intel is inaugurating an AI software R&D Center in our community, cementing Dubai’s position as a tech hub. Their addition reflects the enduring confidence of the world’s largest technology companies in Dubai as the place to do business and innovate.”Taha Khalifa, Intel Corporation, Middle East General Manager, said, “As a global technology leader, and long-time trusted technology advisor in the Middle East region, Intel is pleased to expand its footprint in the UAE through the AI software R&D centre. The launch of the centre not only represents a milestone in Intel’s strategy to accelerate and align with digital transformation and economic diversification objectives but is also a strong opportunity to collaborate across the region’s talented and growing technology ecosystem to help drive further AI innovation to fuel global solutions for many segments including healthcare, transportation and public safety.”Intel will use its regional and global experience to support cutting edge, latest AI products and services for Intel’s AI portfolio. The centre will work closely with the academic community to build a strong talent pool for future products and technologies, benefiting from Dubai Internet City’s proximity to Dubai Knowledge Park and association with Dubai International Academic City.Intel will also relocate AI experts from various global offices to bring international tech talent and skills into the community.Dubai Internet City has been the cornerstone of UAE’s economic diversification and digital transformation strategy for more than 20 years. Home to Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs, the business district also includes 15 customer-operated innovation centres that are developing specialised technological solutions for the region and enhancing global innovations to better meet the needs of local governments and businesses.

Realistic simulations of the future inspire people to build a brighter tomorrow

A huge volume of realistic simulations of the future are needed to give people agency to contribute to building a better world for the next generation, according to experts speaking today at the Dubai Future Forum.During a panel session titled ‘Why Experiencing the Future Will Save Humanity’, Brendan McGetrick, Creative Director at the Museum of the Future, where the Forum is taking place, said: “[Experiences of potential future scenarios] establish that the future is something we create together, and you can contribute to that, and in fact we need you to contribute.”The session explored how creating realistic experiential futures, like those seen in the Museum of the Future, can inspire and empower people to reimagine and build the future.The Museum of the Future offers the unique opportunity for visitors to experience a potential future. Travelling to the year 2071, visitors interact with technologies such as virtual and augmented reality and are immersed in interactive experiences that challenge them to ask questions about the future of humans, cities, societies, and life on Earth – and whether we can become an interplanetary species.McGetrick told delegates: “Many of the interactions and environments we have created at the Museum of the Future must be completed by the visitor. They are incomplete until you interact with them, and you make a commitment. The defining theme of all of them is that a better future is possible with your help. Experiences of the future put people in a position to have a stake and to make a decision. You force that urgency and agency on people.”Dr. Stuart Candy, Director, Situation Lab at Carnegie Mellon, commented: “As a global community, we need to continue to institutionalize foresight. The Dubai Future Forum is significant because it is at the intersection of cultural and institutional strategies. Approaches for institutionalizing foresight are much needed – alongside those of acculturation.”Also on the panel was Dr. Jake Dunagan Research Director, Institute for the Future. He urged fellow futurists to design experiential futures “to generate authentic, meaningful reactions”. “The human mind is a prediction engine,” he said. “Experiences test our top-down mental maps of the world and allow us to update those maps to better fit a changing reality.”The Dubai Future Forum, running from 11-12 October, is the world’s largest global gathering of futurists. It is hosting more than 400 international participants including technology experts, scientists, innovators, and specialists in various high-skilled fields to exchange knowledge and create a global platform on which to discuss and debate the future.

The Middle East & North Africa is getting it Disney Store

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The Walt Disney Company Middle East and Alshaya Group have announced the opening of the Middle East’s very first standalone Disney Store. Spanning over 800sqm, the store is set to open its doors this November at The Avenues in Kuwait, bringing a magical experience to the Middle East, beyond your imagination.John Hadden, Alshaya Group CEO, said: “We are incredibly proud to be bringing the region’s first standalone Disney Store to Kuwait, our home market. It’s an honour to be a part of the Disney story in the region, and we know that our customers and their families will be as excited as we are ahead of the magical opening in November.”Sonal Patel, Director - TPC MENA & Shop-in-Shop, SAMENA, commented: “We’re beyond excited to announce our very first standalone Disney Store in the Middle East. Many of our guests have a special connection with The Disney Store – whether they visited one on holiday, or had one in their hometown. The stores bring back special memories for many, and we’re so pleased to be working with The Alshaya Group to share that connection with fans in Kuwait and across the Middle East. We cannot wait to open our doors to the first-ever Disney Store in the region!”The store has something for Disney fans of all ages, with lines exclusive to the Middle East, as well as a wide-range of products from your favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters and movies. This includes costumes and accessories, toys and plushes, home décor and collectables, as well as apparel for both children and adults which you can try on in one of the beautifully character-themed fitting rooms!And the fun doesn’t stop there. The store will also feature a brand new design for the very first time. Don’t miss 3D sculptures of your favorite characters, like Simba from The Lion King and Elsa from Frozen, as well as beautifully created wall murals, designed especially for this store. Every detail will transport you to the wonderful world of Disney don’t forget to look out for the hidden Mickeys!Stay tuned for an array of fun surprises, special guests, and Disney magic to mark the occasion. Until then, Disney friends across the region can visit over 30 Disney Store shop-in-shops across Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE. Located inside Alshaya-owned Debenhams and Mothercare stores, there’s a little magic for everyone across the Middle East.

UAEU participates in GITEX Technology Week 2022

The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) participated in the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority's (TDRA) pavilion at GITEX GLOBAL 2022, which is currently underway at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 10th to 14th October.The UAEU students, researchers and a number of faculty members presented seven innovative projects to enable the digital future.The UAE University participation this year comes amid a large local and international presence, as the exhibition is hosting more than 4,500 companies from around the world, which are showcasing the latest developments in modern digital technology.Dr. Saed Saleh Al Rabaee from the College of Information Technology at the university, said the students and faculty members at the university presented innovative digital projects, as the exhibition provides an opportunity for students and researchers to showcase their latest applications, systems and technical projects, as well as their research projects, to keep pace with the latest technology requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and promote the concepts of community participation.The UAE University presented 7 innovative projects in various fields of information technology and smart applications that aim to improve the well-being of UAE residents, and support government agencies and business communities in the country through UAEU researchers and students research projects and smart applications.

CPX Holding and Huawei to collaborate in strengthening the cybersecurity

CPX Holding, a UAE-based leading provider of digital-first cybersecurity solutions and services, and Huawei have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore and deliver strategic projects that support UAE's advancement as a top trusted digital hub for the region.The memorandum was signed by Khaled Al Melhi, CEO of CPX, and Jerry Liu, CEO of Huawei UAE, at GITEX GLOBAL 2022 in the presence of executives from both companies.In particular, CPX and Huawei have expressed a mutual commitment to the sustainable development of the UAE's cybersecurity ecosystem. The two parties will thus work together to exchange knowledge on industry trends, design end-to-end cybersecurity platforms and solutions, and add value to the country's existing cybersecurity projects. By leveraging resources from both inside and outside the UAE, the parties will ultimately be able to assist public and private-sector organizations in ensuring compliance with stringent cybersecurity standards while accelerating their cyber maturity.Khaled Al Melhi, CEO of CPX, said: "The GCC region, particularly the UAE, has become a hub for digital innovation. In alignment with our mission to empower organizations with cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions and services, our collaboration with Huawei aims to support government and private sectors to maintain their competitive edge and thrive in an increasingly digital economy."Jerry Liu, CEO of Huawei UAE noted: "Huawei believes cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and collaboration between ICT industry stakeholders to build unified and transparent security standards is key to safer cyberspace. Therefore, we value partnerships like this with CPX, which support the government's efforts to position the UAE as a trusted digital oasis." The MoU comes as governments and businesses in the UAE rapidly adopt new technologies while also being exposed to new and more sophisticated cyber threats. Mitigating these unprecedented security risks has thus become a C-suite priority across all sectors as they strive to do more than rely on reactive cybersecurity strategies.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy announces events planned for GITEX Global 2022

 Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy will host a series of high-level events, meetings and activities as a strategic partner at North Star Dubai, the largest startup event in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, organised as part of GITEX Global 2022.With the Chamber’s support, record participation is expected at North Star Dubai 2022, with exhibition capacity increasing by 30% to accommodate more than 1,000 exhibitors from 60 countries, along with over 600 investors, in a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.Visitors to the Chamber’s North Star Dubai stand will get the chance to learn all about Dubai’s digital and entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as the Chamber’s various programmes, initiatives and services that it offers digital startups.VR and metaverse experiencesVisitors can immerse themselves in the metaverse using VR technology at the Chamber’s stand and apply for the Future of the Digital Economy: Business in the Metaverse Academy, which has recently been opened to digital startups from around the world.The first-of-its-kind specialised training program will equip digital startups with practical knowledge and tools they need to build in the metaverse and leverage Web3 to their benefit.High-level networking and business meetingsThe Chamber will host several high-level events bringing together unicorns and more than 100 major investors from around the world that will familiarise them with Dubai’s digital economy and competitive advantages, public and private sector stakeholders in the emirate. The events will be attended by His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.On the final day of GITEX Global 2022, Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy will announce a new major initiative designed to attract and high-potential ideas in future-focused industries that will create a huge economic and social impact globally.In addition, the Chamber will host panel discussions on the sidelines of North Star, joined by tech industry leaders from the UAE and abroad to share knowledge and discuss market challenges and opportunities. Representatives from Dubai Chambers’ offices in India, China, Ethiopia, and Azerbaijan will also play an active role at GITEX Global 2022, as they facilitate business meetings between 20 visiting delegates and their UAE counterparts, which include Dubai-based government entities, leading businesses and investors.Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, will be present at the Dubai Government stand at GITEX Global 2022, where it will showcase the 50 electronic services that it currently offers to businesses, as well as new innovative digital projects that aim to enhance economic competitiveness and improve ease of doing business in Dubai. Khalid Al Jarwan, Executive Director of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, highlighted the Chamber’s commitment to unify and maximise its efforts to develop Dubai’s digital economy and cement emirate’s position as a leading technology and innovation hub.“The Chamber’s participation at GITEX GLOBAL and its strategic partnership with North Star Dubai Our strategic partnership with North Star Dubai will enhance and expand our efforts to attract promising digital startups to Dubai and advance the emirate’s digital economy ecosystem,” he said.New market insightsDubai Chamber of Digital Economy has released a new report in collaboration with Entrepreneur Middle East magazine titled Roadmap to Reinforcing Dubai’s Position as the World Capital of the Digital Economy, which sheds lights on the emirate’s digital economy ecosystem and business and financing opportunities emerging in the market for startups and scaleups. Created a practical guide for international startups and investors, the report also outlines new strategies incorporating AI, blockchain, Web3 and the metaverse, which aim to accelerate the sector’s growth in the future.

E-commerce consolidates pandemic gains, enters high-growth stage in MENA

E-commerce in the MENA region has settled into a stable, high-growth era, with increased opportunities for e-commerce players. Data from leading global payment solutions provider’s report: Digital Transformation in MENA 2022, proves that the e-commerce trends accelerated by the pandemic are here to stay. The report surveyed over 15,500 shoppers across the Middle East and North Africa.Ecommerce penetration continues to mature and deepenIn the past 3 years ecommerce has grown faster in the MENA region than anywhere else in the world, with an estimated 209 million consumers transitioning to online shopping during the height of the pandemic. Now, with the pandemic’s lockdowns now behind us, the number of ecommerce shoppers in MENA only continues to grow. According to the report, 91% of respondents said they regularly shop online, up from 87% in 2021. Further, more than half (52%) of MENA residents said they shopped more frequently this year, up from 47% in 2021. On a more local level, looking at the GCC, we see that 9% of consumers are spending money online at least once per day, which is a 50% increase in the past 12 months.These positive trends are set to continue, with 88% of respondents across MENA saying they will increase their online purchases over the next year.In parallel, as the regional economy thrives, and the pandemic recedes, we see an increase in consumers spending money online within categories such as travel and tourism, events and entertainment, however, with a total of 45% prepared food remains the number one category customers spend their money online on.Digital Payments SurgeConsumer appetite for digital payments continues to rise, maintaining 2021 trends. The report shows that 70% of consumers across MENA prefer to use a digital payment method - up from 60% in 2021 and 40% in 2020, representing a 75% increase in 24 months. The figure is even higher in the GCC region, which has a much higher digital penetration, with 80% of GCC consumers now favoring digital payment methods.These results mirror the sharp rise in payment apps and digital wallets in the region, where 82% of consumers in MENA report using some form of fintech app in 2022, up from 76% in 2021. In fact, across the entire region we see a continued uptick in the adoption of digital wallets as the go-to payment method with a 6 percentage point increase in 24 months. In particular countries such as Egypt, Qatar and Saudi have seen a near doubling in the popularity of digital wallets. Conversely, the use of Cash on Delivery (CoD) has declined precipitously in MENA, with a nearly 40% drop in the past 24 months.Sophisticated Consumer BaseThe increased sophistication of the regional e-commerce landscape is seen in the continued appeal of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options and sCommerce (social commerce). Nearly half of consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia used BNPL this year. Across MENA, 39% of consumers have used a BNPL option in 2022, up from 24% of consumers in 2021, representing 64% YoY growth. A further 28% of consumers who have not used BNPL hope to use it in the next 12 months, meaning as many as 67% of consumers in MENA may use the method in 2023. Perhaps even more strikingly, is to see that the penetration of BNPL is higher in MENA compared with the US and Europe.With the ever-increasing average time people spend on social media per day, it is not surprising that a fifth of consumers in MENA say they now frequently shop via social media channels (sCommerce), representing a 43% growth in the past 24 months. Meanwhile, the appetite for social commerce has more than double in KSA and the UAE.Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, Vice President for MENA at, said: "The report validates our conclusions from last year – that the region's eCommerce and digital payment ecosystem is growing rapidly. The combination of a digitally savvy population and a mature retail sector will ensure these gains are sustained in the long run. Additionally, the growing trust in online payments by regional shoppers means the digital transformation of the region's retail sector is well underway. This is underlined by the emergence of Web3 as a key component of the online experience, with shoppers showing a significant appetite for transacting on-chain, and a desire both to be paid and to pay in digital currencies."As seen in the report, fintech and digital payments adoption continues to soar across the region. Merchants are racing to keep up and as they do so, they continue to innovate and diversify the consumer offering. Consumers, of course, are quick to respond and the competitive landscape sharpens as the benchmark for consumer expectations continues to climb. To read the report in detail and know more about, please visit this link.

Senior appointments reflect Gensler Middle East’s regional growth Trajectory

Gensler, the global architecture, design and planning firm, has appointed three directors to its Middle East office. Thomas Williams, AIA, LEED® AP and Arthi Balasubramanian, B.Arch. (Hons), PG Dip, COA, have been appointed as Studio Directors and Stephanie Kinnick AIA, LEED AP® BD+C is the newly appointed Operations Director. All hires will have a Middle East-wide remit.These appointments act as a significant growth marker for Gensler Middle East, headed by Tim Martin as the Managing Director. With Gensler’s worldwide revenue for fiscal year 2021, reaching $1.235 billion, and the Middle East being an impressive contributor, the region is a focus market for the global giant. Currently Gensler, founded in 1965, has 50 locations across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Americas with three in the Middle East. The firm serves more than 3,300 active clients in almost every industry.Commenting on the appointments, Managing Director of Gensler Middle East, Tim Martin said: “The Gensler Middle East office has seen huge success over the past two years, and as a result, exponential growth across client base, revenue and staff. With giga projects and two new offices under our belts, we are delighted to be welcoming a continued high caliber of talent to the Gensler family to aid us in our commitment to the design industry. Guided by determined optimism, we believe the power of design can spark positive change and create a future that promotes equity, resilience and wellbeing for everyone.”Thomas Williams is an architect licensed in the State of Hawaii, U.S.A. with more than 25 years’ experience across; global hospitality leadership, design leadership in master planning, ultra-luxury resorts and high-rise urban mixed-use. His project experience spans; resorts, urban hotels, boutique properties, residential developments, entertainment venues and culture and art complexes.With large scale projects such as; Park Hyatt & Andaz Porto Island Dubai, U.A.E. 1,150 keys, Van Don Resort Complex, Hanoi, Vietnam 2,400 keys, Ritz Carlton Bora Bora, Bora Bora Island, French Polynesia 300 keys, Four Season Resort, French Polynesia 125 keys, Raffles Resort, Bora Bora Island, French Polynesia 250 keys, amongst many others, Thomas’s primary role is leading and directing design across Gensler’s Lifestyle II studio, covering; hospitality, residential and retail, while working with Gensler’s global production team. His professional expertise extends beyond the conceptual realm to technical working drawings and direct client management. As a result of a rich background in architecture, hospitality management and graphic design, he is able to bring a unique professional view to projects and design solutions for his clients.With over 15 years’ experience in architectural practice, Arthi studied Architecture at Anna University, Chennai, India, before moving to the UK to obtain her Post Graduate degree at the University of Sheffield. Arthi has worked for a number of well-known architectural studios in the UK, leading several award-winning projects during that time. Shortly after moving to the UAE, Arthi worked as Lead Design Manager for the Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture’s, complex masterplan and modernization of the Cultural Foundation Building at Qasr Al Hosn. In her previous role she was responsible for overseeing the design and delivery of all regional projects, developing strategy and leading business development. Her passion is design and renovation of cultural building, especially projects that bridge local heritage with contemporary architecture.Stephanie Kinnick is an architect with over 25 years’ experience and a diverse portfolio of work globally, ranging from academic to commercial, arenas to single family residences, civic and transportation to hospitality and retail. Being based in the MENA region for more than ten years, she has had the opportunity to see a cross-section of projects come to life, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Yas Bay, and Jubail Island Town Center. With a strong foundation in design and a keenness for strategic leadership, Stephanie excels as a driven team leader. She is currently the 2022 President of AIA Middle East and in her current role, she will manage the day-to-day operations of Gensler’s Middle East offices, covering all aspects of business, resourcing, finance, marketing, business development and team development.Unique among design firms, Gensler Middle East’s integrated network serves a cross-section of the global economy through the following practice areas: Community Aviation Cities & Urban Design Education Lifestyle Brand Design Culture & Museums Digital Experience Design Hospitality Mixed Use & Retail Centers Sports Work PlaceConsulting & Real Estate Services Consumer Goods Developer Energy Financial Services Foundations, Associations & Organizations, Government & Defense

2023, a year of work opportunities for UAE professionals, the Middle East’s #1 job site, has recently conducted a new survey with YouGov, market research company, to uncover the career and personal aspirations of MENA professionals, and to tackle their general perceptions and attitudes towards their jobs and overall work environment. The survey entitled ‘Career Aspirations in the MENA’ has revealed that over 8 in 10 of UAE professionals (86%) have a positive outlook towards the upcoming year.No Limits for Career AmbitionsIn the UAE, 67% reported setting future professional goals for themselves, which included finding a new job (66%), learning new skills (46%) and getting a higher salary (44%).With career development in mind, over 7 in 10 respondents (72%) believe they deserve to work in a higher-level position, and almost half the respondents (45%) are willing to move to another department or area of expertise to develop their skillsets and further their professional careers.In addition, 37% of UAE respondents state they are willing to move into a different industry altogether to broaden their professional expertise.What Drives the Ideal JobThe top three factors that were seen as important in an ideal job for UAE professionals were salary and benefits (69%), opportunities for career growth (42%) and job security (33%).Interestingly, respondents are much more likely to prefer being an employee (52%) rather than owning a business (22%).The reported reasons for seeking employment in the UAE are marked by the desire to consistently learn and gain experience, as indicated by 69% of respondents. This was followed by making money (58%), feeling useful to society (48%) and being financially independent (42%).Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at says: “MENA professionals have faced challenges in forging their future as the region emerges from the shadows of the pandemic. It is therefore heartening to see that the majority of survey respondents are optimistic about the future and determined to achieve their dreams. The latest Career Aspirations survey covers aspects such as attitudes towards current job, career aspirations and barriers to career growth.”Motivation Levels at WorkWhen it came to motivation levels in the workplace, nearly 7 in 10 respondents (67%) reported feeling motivated at work. Possibly connected to motivation at work, the prevalence of mentors and role models featured highly in the findings, with 5 in 10 respondents (50%) reporting that they have either a mentor or role model in their careers.Though respondents revealed a positive indication of their motivation in the workplace, 57% reported that higher salaries and perks/benefits would increase motivation at work, this is followed by better work-life balance (45%) and promotion to the next level (37%).Future Personal Ambitions Overwhelmingly, the top personal goal for next year was reported to be saving more money, according to nearly 7 in 10 respondents (68%). Other goals include buying property (40%), spending more time with family (35%) and exercising more (33%).Zafar Shah, Research Director at YouGov says: “The latest Career Aspirations survey represents radically altered attitudes and career aspirations of professionals in the MENA region. It is absolutely critical that MENA employers are primed for this shift by being knowledgeable of employee aspirations to further enhance the hiring and job seeking processes.”Data for the ‘Career Aspirations in the MENA’ survey was collected online from August 3 to September 5, 2022. The results are based on a sample of 2,068 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Sudan among others.