Raja Trad honoured with the “Life Achievement Award’ at the MENA Digital Awards

Raja Trad, an industry veteran and former Executive Chairman of Publicis Groupe Middle East, was honoured with a Life Achievement Award at the MENA Digital Awards last night. Affectionately called ‘The Gentleman’ by those who knew him, Raja is recognised as one of the pioneering figures who has greatly contributed to the development and growth of the communications industry in the region. Presented in front of a distinguished audience of peers, industry leaders and brands, the Life Achievement Award marks another crowning moment in Raja’s celebrated career. Najla Mazboudi, Founder of MENA Digital Awards said, "Raja Trad stands out as a pioneering figure in the advertising sector of our region, earning the well-deserved moniker, the industry’s ‘Gentleman’. His distinction not only stems from his professional accomplishments but is rooted in his outstanding humility, a resolute commitment to reliability, and a consistent readiness to offer assistance to those in need. His values and contributions epitomize the spirit of the MENA Digital Awards, making us exceptionally proud to bestow this honour upon him this year.”Raja started with Leo Burnett in 1981 and assumed various leadership roles over the next four decades, where he last served as Executive Chairman for Publicis Groupe ME & Turkey. He is credited for transforming the Groupe from a primarily advertising and media-led company to one that is platform-led, data-driven and technology-focused. On accepting this award, Raja commented, “I am truly grateful and honoured to be amongst my peers and dear friends, accepting this Life Achievement Award. This recognition is a tribute to the collective efforts of extraordinary talents, visionary leaders, and trusting clients and partners who have been instrumental in shaping this remarkable journey and the transformation of the communications industry as a whole. I remain optimistic about the future of our industry and am excited to witness the continued evolution and growth yet to come.” Amongst his many accolades, Raja was named Lynx Advertising Person of the Year at Dubai Lynx and was appointed to the board of the Dubai International Chamber Advisory Board and the Dubai Design and Fashion Council by the Dubai Government. He has also been knighted by the National Order of the Cedar in Lebanon. First established in 2014, the MENA Digital Awards is a bespoke awards show whose purpose is to promote digital innovation and media in the MENA region. It is the first awards show to honour the digital efforts of global agencies and global clients in the region. The MENA Digital Awards offers the ideal platform to recognise excellence in the use of digital technologies and media and honour the people and brands behind this progress that takes the communication industry to the future.

SKIN111 ventures into dental care with new facility in DIFC

SKIN111 Medical & Aesthetic Clinic, an award-winning premium chain of aesthetic and wellness centres, is spreading its wings into the realm of advanced dental care with the launch of THE CLINIC SKIN111 in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Transforming an existing facility, the new clinic not only features innovative dental care services but also weaves together the worlds of healthcare and aesthetics. This move seamlessly unites advanced dental care and aesthetics within one distinguished location where professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world gather every day to conduct business and socialise. THE CLINIC is the first in SKIN111’s portfolio to include dental care services and is the first dental care centre in DIFC. It comprises a diverse team of specialists with expertise encompassing a wide spectrum of dental and aesthetic solutions. The new clinic also extends its services to include internal medicine, ensuring truly holistic healthcare for its patients. With multilingual staff, SKIN111's new clinic aims to add a personal touch to patient care, ensuring effective communication, cultural sensitivity, and trust. The clinic uses this focus on human connection to create an inclusive and positive environment that not only enhances the quality of care but also guarantees greater patient satisfaction.Commenting on the launch of the new facility, Ms. Supreet Kaur, Chief Operating Officer of SKIN111 Group, said, “We are pleased to unveil our new clinic, representing a significant step in our ongoing mission to deliver a comprehensive healthcare solution to our valued clientele. Dental health constitutes a fundamental facet of overall well-being, and with this introduction, we eagerly present a unified and holistic approach to both dental and aesthetic care within a single facility.”“The introduction of the latest dental care services at THE CLINIC SKIN111 combines top-tier dental care with the brand’s existing dental services, revolutionising the UAE's aesthetics and wellness landscape. By providing a holistic and comprehensive solution for clients looking to achieve their beauty, dental, and wellness goals with utmost dedication to perfection,” she added.The centre provides various solutions including Philips Zoom whitening, Invisalign, veneers, crowns and bridges, dental implants, dental and cosmetic fillings, orthodontics, oral surgery, root canal treatment, gum treatment, TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) therapy, general and family dentistry, and general hygiene.In addition to the remarkable dental services, the clinic is set to implement SKIN111's specialities in IV vitamin detox drip therapy and aesthetics treatments within the same location. These include procedures such as HIFU, laser hair removal, hydra facial, and injectables such as botox, fillers, skin boosters, and threads. This comprehensive approach underscores their commitment to delivering complete healthcare solutions for beauty, dental, and wellness goals, ensuring clients receive the finest care from the inside out.With the introduction of the comprehensive range of services at the clinic, SKIN111 is adding a new dimension to its exciting portfolio of exceptional wellness and aesthetic solutions. It has introduced an array of advanced technologies and dental packages. Notable offerings include Philips Zoom whitening for AED 990, dental scaling and polishing for AED 250, as well as special packages like receiving Zoom Whitening for free with the purchase of 1ml lip filler or Ultimate IV drip for AED 1950. A comprehensive full-body healthcare assessment is also available for only AED 290, which includes OligoScan vitamin analysis, InBody, and a dental check-up, a remarkable value worth AED 1800.SKIN111 Medical & Aesthetic Clinic is a pioneer healthcare provider in DIFC and leading provider of IV vitamin drips in Dubai, with this new facility boasting the prestigious title of an Invisalign Diamond Apex Provider. The introduction of this new clinic reinforces the brand’s mission to redefine wellness and aesthetics in the UAE, ensuring clients receive exceptional care for their beauty, dental, and wellness needs, all within one trusted location.Founded in 2009, SKIN111 sets itself apart as a premium health, wellness, and aesthetics clinic in the UAE. The clinic puts people first with its numerous invasive and non-invasive cutting-edge treatments that work hand-in-hand with traditional medicine. Specializing in bespoke personalized beauty, anti-ageing, and aesthetic dermatology, SKIN111 also offers innovative preventive medicine solutions, enabling early diagnosis of potential genetic-driven chronic conditions for their patients.

CYBERIA announces first Akamai DDoS scrubbing center in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: CYBERIA, a leading Internet and Information Security Services Provider in the Kingdom today announced that one of its key partners Akamai Technologies, Inc. will be launching a DDOS scrubbing center in Saudi Arabia. According to CYBERIA, this scrubbing center will be the first of its kind in the Kingdom as it is part of a largely distributed platform (Prolexic) dedicated only for DDoS scrubbing. The new scrubbing center is expected to go live by November this year. The Middle East is rising as a significant force in the global economy and is predicted to accelerate its economic growth over the coming years, increasing the risk and scope of perilous cyberthreats. As cyberthreats evolve, and more customers seek “always on” DDoS protection, having an in-country scrubbing center is crucial for eliminating latency and delivering exceptional end-user experiences.Akamai has been actively serving the Kingdom for Content Delivery and Security services for many years through its local Edge nodes – connected to same underlying backbone that powers its edge network today — a massively distributed footprint spanning more than 4,100 edge PoPs across 131 countries.With the escalating threat landscape faced by organizations in Saudi Arabia, the introduction of a new scrubbing center and the empowered Akamai’s DDoS protection platform (Prolexic) will provide enhanced protection for businesses. This is particularly crucial for industries at elevated risk, including banking, financial services and insurance, healthcare, the public sector, large enterprises, group companies, and ecommerce. These measures will contribute to the overall improvement in response time and performance when it comes to mitigating cyberattacks."This new DDOS scrubbing center is another confirmation that the Kingdom has proven itself to be a major global player in Information Technology and Cyber Security with the guidance of the Vision 2030. It will also help maintain the balance between Digital Privacy and Cyber Security" says Jack Diab, Chief Business Development Officer for Cyberia.“In recent years, the economy has witnessed substantial growth, driven by the diversification and emergence of both new startups and established multinational corporations. However, this vibrant business landscape also expands the potential for cyberattacks, underscoring the importance of a localized focus on cybersecurity. Together with our expanding cybersecurity portfolio and the thousands of dedicated security professionals, we affirm our acknowledgment of this key global market. We are dedicated to protecting our customers' data and strengthening our presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” says Jenice Bhatia, Regional Channel Manager at Akamai Technologies.

The third season of Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports UAE begins

Dubai: Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports, the premier university education and esports project, has announced the launch of its third season in the MENA region, which promises to be bigger, better, and more exhilarating than ever before. The previous season of Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports saw participation from more than 1,500 students from over 75 universities across the MENA region. Globally, the competition held more than 100,000 students from 26 countries, making it one of the most prominent intercollegiate esports tournaments worldwide.As of 2023, the MENA region is the world's fastest-growing domestic gaming market, with over 377 million gamers, competing with Europe and America. Globally, there are 3.24 billion gamers. A Statista Global Consumer Survey shows that the UAE has the world's highest percentage of adult gamers, with nine out of ten participating.The country is investing heavily in the gaming sector with the ‘Abu Dhabi Gaming’ initiative, launched last year, striving to develop regional talent and host year-round gaming events. Sponsors to keep growingFor the third consecutive year, Amazon is the main sponsor and namesake of the project. This demonstrates Amazon’s continued support for the growing esports and education sectors.Shahid, the first video-on-demand (VOD) service in the Arab world, powered by MBC Group, has reaffirmed its commitment to this project. In addition to their continued support in KSA, Shahid is expanding its sponsorship to UAE, further fueling the growth of esports in the region.Much more than just an esports competitionAs with the previous season, the third season will include a wide range of educational activities, workshops, and the UNIVERSITY Tour. The tour visits universities across the country, introducing students to the exciting esports ecosystem and providing insights into potential career paths.Moreover, this season continues to provide students with unparalleled opportunities to gain their first professional experiences within esports. From broadcasting to marketing, management, and beyond, participants will have the chance to explore diverse career options and develop valuable skills.“We are excited to kick off our third season with the support of Amazon," said Mario Pérez, CEO of MENATech. "This season promises to be our best yet, with even more universities, participants, and opportunities for students to learn and grow within the esports industry."

MarTech firm Reputation House receives AED600mln worth of potential new partners

DUBAI: Reputation House, one of the world’s leading online reputation management companies based in the USA, today revealed that they firm has received AED600 million ($163 million) worth of potential buyers out of 457 visitors to their booth. 35 companies set up exclusive meetings with Reputation House and discussed collaborations. The martch firm confirmed that four companies have pledged to move forward with the partnerships.With 10 years in the market, Reputation House has helped establish a strong online reputation for more than 1000 international corporations including governments, private entities, non-profits, and individuals. Reputation House is known for its expertise in enhancing and safeguarding online reputation, developing AI software to monitor, analyze and timely respond to mentions on the Internet, such as Reputation House App for large-scale online data analysis and My Reputation App for small businesses and personal use.On the sidelines of the show, a panel titled Creating Dynamic Social Content at Marketing Mania where the Reputation House spokesperson was a panelist, discussed how one can create impactful content that resonates with brands and create an impact on the audience.Mr. Nikita Prokhorov, Executive Director of Reputation House, said: “We are relatively new in the UAE. And we are impressed to see the visitors turn up and the impact of the show. New partnerships at the show boosted our confidence for our expansion in the UAE and wider MENA region. We thank new partners who trusted in our solutions and move forward for collaborations. We thank the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy and Gitex Global who provided an excellent platform to demonstrate our unique services for both government corporations and private entities. At the panel discussions, we learned a lot from UAE experts and shared our US and Hong Kong experiences. The show created a lasting impression on us. Based on our success at the show, we plan to come up in a bigger way with more specialised services next year.”Expand North Start and Marketing Mania in collaboration with Gitex Global, are the largest and specialised startup investors and marketing trade show in the MENA region which gathered international, regional and local companies and experts. The organisers of the show said more than 1800 startups exhibited, while more than 1000 visitors from across 65 countries attended the show.Reputation House, based in the USA, is one of the world’s leading online reputation management agencies with offices in the UAE, Hong Kong, Moldova, and the USA. The agency specializes in detecting issues and fixing online performance: Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM), online mentions monitoring, online reputation analytics, lead generation, deleting information from websites and search engines, and evaluating digital engagement and coverage.

Samer Mohamad discusses Yasmina: Yango's breakthrough AI Assistant in MENA

In this exclusive interview with Samer Mohamad, Yasmina Regional Director for MENA at Yango, Adgully delves into the remarkable unveiling of Yasmina, Yango's most human-like AI assistant, at GITEX 2023. This cutting-edge technology promises to redefine the AI landscape, offering users an experience like never before. Mohamad sheds light on the intent and innovation behind Yasmina, highlighting the seamless fusion of AI intelligence with cultural nuances. He says that Yango's mission is to not just provide information but enhance the human experience in a profound way. Read more to understand how Yasmina combines cutting-edge technology with a deep understanding of Middle Eastern culture. Excerpts:Can you tell us more about Yango's most human-like AI assistant unveiled at GITEX 2023 and what sets it apart from other AI assistants in the market?What makes Yasmina unique is the intent and the technology behind Yasmina. Our mission at Yango was to merge AI intelligence with cultural awareness.Yasmina's technological foundation consists of natural language understanding, speech recognition, and speech synthesis. To build the speech recognition component of Yasmina, we worked with hundreds of people from Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and more. This wide variety of voices, spanning various ages and genders, empowered Yasmina to recognize diverse speech nuances and dialects.Our intent is to continuously evolve Yasmina, so it becomes a part of the social and cultural environment and contributes to improving the quality of life for people locally.Yasmina helps people make informed decisions, use precious resources like time more wisely and run their homes, offices, and lives better. Lending a helping hand to parents, Yasmina is capable of recognizing if the user is a child and activates age-appropriate content and language for children. In short, Yasmina helps people enjoy a higher quality of life — exactly what we wanted to achieve at Yango.How do you see the Middle East market responding to this new AI assistant, particularly in terms of its "Khaleeji personality"?The Middle East has one of the oldest heritages in the world and the governments and communities have successfully retained their unique identities, cultures and values while making remarkable progress in business and development. The people are very tech-savvy, well aware of the potential of technology and at the same time rooted in their culture and traditions.Yango has invested considerably in understanding the preferences and needs of the people of this region, and we have used all our research and people’s engagement to build the unique personality of Yasmina.The feedback that we received from early adopters was all very positive; people simply loved Yasmina and found the assistant to be funny and human-like. The name for the voice assistant was also carefully selected via popular vote.Yasmina is still learning, so we would like to invite people from the UAE to sign up for public beta testing at We would love to learn more from them about their interaction with Yasmina and make the assistant even more local.Given your role as Yasmina Regional Director for MENA at Yango, what are the specific challenges and opportunities you anticipate when introducing this AI assistant in the Middle East?Our biggest and most significant challenge from the stage of conceptualizing has been to understand how we can add value to the rich and diverse society of the Middle East with our product while staying true to the mission of merging AI intelligence with cultural awareness.We have invested significantly in understanding the countries, rich heritage, and aspirations of the people and using these insights to build our unique offering - the most human-like AI assistant.Another opportunity for us was to go GLOCAL – think global and work local.We involved a large number of regional content professionals who brought local understanding and awareness to us. They perfected thousands of dialogues, which were then used to fine-tune the assistant's model and train Yasmina to speak fluently and naturally.Could you elaborate on how this AI assistant's "intellectual smartness" and "cultural awareness" will enhance user interactions and experiences?What sets Yasmina apart from other assistants is the ability to maintain engaging, fun, and consistent dialogues that feel like you are talking to a real person. Yasmina’s ability to engage in a human-like conversation is based on a proprietary large language model that was thoroughly fine-tuned with the help of hundreds of content professionals, who edited and perfected Yasmina’s dialogues. Yasmina recognizes if the user is male or female, understands the major Arabic dialects, speaks Khaleeji fluently, and will soon be able to both speak and understand English.On a more practical level, Yasmina works as a smart home center: you can ask Yasmina to adjust the room temperature, turn on the vacuum, or dim the lights. More than just an app on your phone, Yasmina can be built into other apps and smart home devices, including smart speakers.In your view, how does this AI assistant change the perception of AI from being a tool for providing information to becoming a valuable addition to our human experience?Yasmina is built as a technology enabler weaving Artificial Intelligence into the lives of people to enhance the quality of their life. For us, Artificial Intelligence is a tool that enriches the human experience in our daily lives, homes, offices, and social and cultural interactions. AI will be much closer to the people, for example, transforming homes into smart homes that can “think” of the likes and preferences of the homeowner; smart assistants helping professionals to manage their busy lives and entertain and educate their kids; and tools to enhance efficiency and convenience.As a licensed Project Management Professional (PMP), how do you plan to manage and oversee the expansion and deployment of this AI assistant across the MENA region? What strategies are you implementing to build relationships between clients and stakeholders in the MENA region, especially in the context of this new AI assistant?Yango is all about Bridging Innovations and Enriching Communities Globally.Our mission is to bring global innovations to local communities, fostering connections and enhancing everyday living experiences. As the Yasmina Regional Director for MENA, I carry the legacy of Yango and our people-first approach in my work.Our strategic decision was to launch Yasmina at GITEX 2023 which attracts MENA stakeholders, and build a stronger presence in the UAE, the most remarkable hub of innovation and technology today.Yango's educational journey is an interesting blend of technical knowledge and business dynamics. How do these experiences contribute to your approach to the regional launch of the human-like AI assistant ?Yango aspires to provide local communities with choice when it comes to deciding which products to use — global or local ones.We will follow our regular route: offer consumers to beta-test our product and then choose the best version of Yasmina together. Add great sound quality and CMF to the mix and you have an advanced AI product that’s also your best buddy at home.We are continuously refining Yasmina and we want to enhance the assistant’s fluency, creativity, and versatility.Can you provide insights into user feedback and initial reactions to the launch of this AI assistant at GITEX 2023, and how Yango plans to iterate and improve based on this feedback?As for any business that creates a new product, our biggest challenge (which is also our biggest opportunity) is to build value for the people of the UAE and the Middle East. Understanding user experiences and feedback is not only vital, but central to our design approach; hence we have opened the first public beta testing of Yasmina for our community across the region at yasmina.yango.comInitial reactions from GITEX visitors were very inspiring. We saw users enjoy their interactions with Yasmina and bring back friends to test the new assistant.But our team is working hard on the beta testing, and we really look forward to shaping the assistant into its best version while revealing it to thousands of early adopters in the region..

Saudi Sports for All Federation launches fitness campaign

 The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has launched a brand campaign under the hashtag #MoveYourWorld. This campaign aims to inspire all societal groups in Saudi Arabia to engage in physical activity both indoors and outdoors, under all kinds of climatic conditions, to sustain, encourage and raise physical activity levels. SFA strives to accomplish the goals of the awareness campaign which runs through August 8th, by using digital methods, platforms, and billboards that reach the various sectors of society. Subsequently, to raise and capture the public’s awareness of the value of exercise, the campaign collaborated with numerous influential individuals and groups to encourage people to follow its social media accounts, and share content under the hashtag #MoveYourWorld. All of which is supported by the campaign’s main video, and spreading motivational phrases that aid in raising community awareness of the importance of exercising.This campaign falls under the Saudi Sports for All Federation’s vision toward creating an active and healthy community in line with achieving the Saudi Vision 2030. In addition to reflecting SFA’s dedication to improving the physical fitness of society by developing initiatives that promote physical activities that are suitable for various conditions.The Saudi Sports for All Federation is working on numerous awareness campaigns to reach all facets of society, including the #MoveYourWorld campaign within the community sports system, to achieve a more healthy and energetic life, where contemporary virtual reality technologies are employed to offer appropriate alternatives to physical activity, to increase participation rate and social interaction in various conditions and atmospheres on a regular basis. As well as increasing the percentage of physical activity levels among the various social groups to make them more receptive to engaging with the objectives of community sports. The SFA encourages the community to move through experiencing an exciting digital experience that takes the user around the museum of extinct mobility. In addition to a series of weekly challenges on the SFA mobile application.The Saudi Sports for All Federation works together with several specialized agencies in the public and private sectors. This helps to contribute to the success of the initiatives and awareness campaigns it launches.

QIB becomes the official sponsor of Al Rayyan Sports club

Doha, Qatar: Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and Al Rayyan Sports Club (SC) have officially entered a three-season sponsorship agreement. As part of this partnership, the jerseys of Al Rayyan Club's first football team will feature QIB's logo for the next three seasons.This partnership is a result of the immense popularity of the Al Rayyan team, making it the 17th sponsor for the season. The team boasts the largest fan base in Qatar.At the 'Plan 76' launch ceremony, Al Rayyan Club announced the signing of 15 sponsors and introduced a strategic alliance with the global company 'DHL'.QIB is the first Islamic bank in Qatar and the second-largest bank in the country. The bank’s services cover various customer segments, meeting all their financial needs, including individuals, large corporations, Small & Medium Enterprises, and government institutions. The Bank is adopting a growth strategy focused on strengthening its position and role as a leading bank in customer service and strong engagement with the local community. QIB’s efforts have been focused on digitizing the banking experience through a customer-centric approach, providing innovative services and features for each customer segment to create a seamless experience in a timely manner.QIB holds a profound commitment to the community, with a special emphasis on the support of sports, recognizing football as the world's foremost sport in uniting people and instilling positive values. The Bank understands the pivotal role sports play in community building and youth development, thus consistently supports various sporting events and initiatives. This sponsorship underscores QIB's recognition of football's unique power to inspire youth, encourage teamwork, and foster a sense of community spirit.Commenting on the sponsorship agreement, Mashaal Abdulaziz Al Derham, Assistant General Manager, Head of Corporate Communications & Quality Assurance at QIB, stated: "We are pleased to be the official sponsor of Al Rayyan Sports Club for the upcoming three sporting seasons. We extend our best wishes to the club as they advance to the next level. The Bank reaffirms its strong commitment to social responsibility and its efforts to give back to society by providing continuous support. QIB remains dedicated to partnering with and supporting local sports organizations, events, and clubs as part of our broader mission to support Qatar's sports industry, contribute to its social and economic development, and uphold the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.""Furthermore, QIB's sponsorship is an extension of its ongoing efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle among its community members. The bank actively encourages participation in sports as a means to cultivate wellness, resilience, and a balanced way of life. This is especially pertinent in today’s fast-paced world, where health and well-being have taken center stage. Our initiatives aim to inspire individuals to take an active role in their physical health, which, in turn, contributes to positive mental and social well-being," Al Derham concluded.Eng. Mohammed Al Atwan, General Supervisor of Al Rayyan Sports Club, expressed his delight upon signing a sponsorship agreement with QIB, Qatar’s largest private sector bank. He commended the bank's choice to support Al Rayyan Club and expressed hope for a long-lasting collaboration. He also encouraged other prominent companies in the country to follow the bank’s example in sponsoring sports clubs in Qatar.He added, "This marks the 17th agreement for Al Rayyan Club this season, a remarkable number, with the club successfully securing sponsorships from 17 companies within a single season. This highlights the club's ability to gain the trust of both national and international firms, along with its extensive fan base. Throughout this season, Al Rayyan Club has emerged as a focal point for numerous national and international companies, and these agreements are a testament to the remarkable efforts undertaken by the Public Relations and Marketing Department at Al Rayyan Club in the preceding stage."He also stated, “This agreement will significantly contribute to the team's progress in the coming seasons and will benefit both parties."

Integrated Gas Company unveils its brand identity

Muscat – Integrated Gas Company SAOC (IGC), a state-owned company, unveiled its new brand identity as the cornerstone of the Government of Oman in managing the gas value chain as well as leading Oman towards energy sustainability and net-zero ambitions. IGC is mandated to manage allocations, assets, rights and obligations as well as purchase, sale, transportation, import, and export of natural gas and its related products. This new identity, unveiled by the Board of Directors of the Company is a significant milestone marking a new era in the Sultanate’s energy landscape, emphasising collaboration, efficiency, and sustainability.As IGC is associated as an aggregator for identifying potential opportunities to derive maximum value and create impactful outcomes, its brand identity is founded on the core idea of collaboration and value creation and serves as a testament to Oman's rich heritage and its progressive vision for the future.The new identity predominantly symbolizes IGC's commitment to fostering ambitious relationships and honouring the country's legacy while embracing a modern, dynamic future aligned with Oman Vision 2040.Musallam Qatan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of IGC said, "In unveiling our new brand, we embark on a transformative journey that symbolizes a profound evolution of our company's essence. We believe in a future where innovation knows no bounds, and inclusivity is our guiding light. Our brand launch is a testament to our unwavering commitment to progress, diversity, and excellence." Speaking on the occasion, Sultan Al Burtumani, Chief Executive Officer - said, "We are thrilled to unveil Integrated Gas Company's distinctive brand identity, which symbolizes not only our commitment to collaboration, efficiency, and delivering sustainable energy but also our deep respect for Oman's rich heritage. As we embark on this transformative journey, our brand stands as a beacon of unity, echoing the values that Oman holds dear – respect, harmony, and progress. With this dynamic identity, we embrace our responsibility to drive Oman's energy transition, ushering in a future that is not only environmentally sustainable but also economically vibrant”.An integral element of the identity, the logo is a modern interpretation of the word "Oman”. It embodies the nation's deep-rooted values of respect, alliance, and unity. IGC aims to enhance collaboration, create efficiencies, and boost economic results within the gas sector.

Multiply Group Announces 337% YoY Increase in Net Profit

Abu Dhabi: Multiply Group (ADX: MULTIPLY), a leading Abu Dhabi-based investment holding firm, today announced a net profit excluding fair value changes of AED 331 million for Q3 2023. This marks a significant 337% increase from AED 76 million reported in the same quarter of 2022. In Q3, 2023, the Group’s net profit, including fair value changes in investments, stands at AED 145.77 million. The Group's Q3 2023 revenue of AED 351.8 million is a 23.82% YoY growth driven by the organic growth across its 4 core verticals (+9% YoY) and the consolidation of Media 247 and LVL effective 1 July 2023. The gross profit margin rose to 50.1%, reflecting an improvement of 128 basis points from Q3 2022. This growth was bolstered by dividend income amounting to AED 194.37 million from the Group’s public portfolio and an increased share of profit to reflect the change in the functional currency of the Turkish JV Kalyon from Turkish Lira to USD.In the first nine months of 2023, the Group’s year to date net profit excluding fair value changes rose to AED 811.17 million, a 199% YoY growth. Multiply Group remains poised to capitalize on emerging value-accretive acquisition opportunities worldwide, spanning its operating verticals and investment arm. The Group boats a robust cash position of AED 1.65 billion, favourable debt-to-equity and debt-to-assets ratios, and access to over AED 4 billion in financing capacity. With its dual investment arms, Multiply and Multiply+, the Group continues to demonstrate its financial prowess, targeting lucrative opportunities across a spectrum of asset classes. Multiply’s current investment verticals encompass Mobility, Energy and Utilities, Media and Communications, and Beauty and Wellness. Meanwhile, Multiply+ remains sector-agnostic, aiming for double-digit returns across asset classes. Under Multiply+, the public market portfolio is currently valued at AED 33.28 billion, compared to an initial investment of AED 15.43 billion.On the sustainability front, Sustainalytics, a global leader in environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating and research, has rated Multiply Group’s risk level at 15.8. This commendable rating places the Group in the “Low Risk” category, positioning it among the top 10% of companies in the Diversified Financials sector. This is a testament to our commitment to sustainability. Q3 2023 Group Highlights:Key InvestmentsMultiply Group successfully acquired a 55% majority stake in Media 247, a leading UAE outdoor advertising firm, at an investment of AED 225 million. Media 247, known for its extensive portfolio of over 45 exclusive outdoor premium hoardings, unipoles, and 3D structures across Dubai’s most prominent locations, solidifies Multiply Group’s position in the media vertical. In H1 2023, Media 247 overachieved both revenue and profitability targets, highlighting its strong financial capabilities. In a move to bolster its footprint in the wellness domain, MG Wellness Holding LLC, the wellness-centric subsidiary of Multiply Group, secured a 49.38% equity interest in LVL Technology Holding in August. LVL Technology Holding is renowned for its LVL Wellbeing platform, which offers a comprehensive suite of individual, team, and corporate well-being solutions, championing a balanced work-life dynamic. This strategic investment is poised to amplify operations and bolster regional expansion. Furthermore, the integration of HealthierU into the LVL Wellbeing platform has created a holistic offering, positing it as the region’s premier source for preventative health and wellbeing services for its clientele.Under Multiply+ arm, Multiply Group invested AED 367 million for a minority stake in EIG’s Breakwater Energy which owns 25% interest in Repsol E&P, a North American-based gas-weighted exploration and production company. Through this acquisition, Multiply+ taps into a highly profitable and cash generative, diversified global upstream portfolio offering a highly attractive dividend profile.Subsidiary MilestonesEmirates Driving Company (EDC) registered a 14.15% net profit increase YoY driven by favourable revenue mix and higher interest income versus last year. In line with the expansion strategy into new markets, EDC’s board approved the investment in the Consultants Driving School in KSA by signing a convertible notes agreement with a total value of SAR 10 million. Further details to be disclosed subject to financial and legal approvals. Furthermore, the company achieved the ISO 31000 certificate for its risk management system and the company hosted the 11th National Dialogue for Climate Ambition in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE). Omorfia Group, Multiply Group’s Wellness & Beauty vertical, reported a 22.18% net profit growth YoY driven by gross margin expansion on favourable revenue mix and a spike in interest income. The company expanded its flagship brand, Tips & Toes, by inaugurating two new branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. With a network of 40 branches across the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Tips & Toes is positioned as the region’s largest and most successful salon and spa chain. Additionally, Bedashing Beauty Lounge, with its 23 branches, was celebrated as the UAE’s favourite beauty salon in the FACT Spa & Wellness Awards 2023, continuing its expansion and enhancing its comprehensive beauty services across the country.Pal Cooling Holding (PCH), a leader in the UAE’s district cooling industry, reported a flat YoY profit growth as the double-digit growth in revenue on new connections was countered by higher finance costs and additional expenses related to the commissioning of the first phase of Tamouh  district cooling plant’s expansion (additional capacity of 5,000 RT). During the quarter, PCH successfully connected the new Nord Anglia School in Reem Island, with a 1,250 RT cooling load requirement, to its Tamouh district cooling plant. With the impending second phase due for completion this year, the plant’s total installed capacity will reach 75,000 RT. Moreover, PCH’s upcoming Danat district cooling plant will feature a design capacity of 37,500 RT, elevating PCH’s total design capacity to a staggering 257,000 RT, with an installed capacity of 183,000 RT, across its seven plants. Viola Communications, a fully-integrated marketing and communications solutions provider, reported a 84% net profit growth YoY led by significant increase in agency services revenues and higher occupancy of Out-Of-Home (OOH) media assets. The company marked its presence among the top 100 event organizers and agencies in 2023 on the prestigious Eventex index, becoming the only UAE agency to earn this distinction. The agency cinched five awards for its campaign for Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development’s Abu Dhabi Moments, an integrated initiative designed to help foster a sense of belonging amongst communities. Furthermore, Viola Communications secured nominations for the MENA Digital Awards in the “Best Integrated Digital Campaign” and “Best Use of Social Media” categories. In a strategic partnership with Atlantis Dubai, LVL Wellbeing is set to offer guests an immersive wellness experience. Whether guests seek relaxation, workouts, or sound healing, they can now access exclusive content through in-room TVs and the state-of-the-art digital wellbeing studio at Atlantis Dubai’s AWAKEN Spa. This initiative complements the AWAKEN Wellness programme, marking a first for Dubai's hospitality sector.Corporate Social ResponsibilityAs part of its "Cleaning up the Oceans" initiative, Multiply Group made a significant environmental impact by extracting 30,000 pounds of plastic waste from the world’s oceans during the Year of Sustainability. This initiative not only supports the global ocean and coastline clean-up efforts but also aligns with the objectives of the upcoming COP28 environmental summit. In partnership with US-based 4ocean, the Group is ambitiously targeting the offset of more than 100,000 pounds of plastic waste by the close of 2023. Multiply Group concluded the final phase of its comprehensive corporate wellness program, spanning six months. This initiative has been instrumental in mitigating chronic diseases among high-risk employees within the Group. The program’s holistic approach included personalised nutritional sessions, doctor consultations, fitness challenges, biometric screenings, blood tests, and a series of well-being webinars, ensuring the overall health and well-being of its workforce.In a bid to foster knowledge and literacy, Multiply Group undertook a significant book collection drive. Thanks to the generous contributions from its employees, a substantial collection of books was donated to one of the UAE's authorised cultural foundations, furthering the cause of education and reading.Earlier this year, Multiply Group extended its support to the Logos Hope ship mission during its stopover at the Abu Dhabi port. Recognised as the world's largest floating book fair, the Logos Hope mission embodies the noble cause of disseminating knowledge, providing assistance, and instilling hope globally.

Majeed Al Abduljabbar appointed as the CEO of SRERC

Riyadh: The Board of Directors of the Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC), wholly owned by the PIF and headed by His Excellency the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, Mr. Majed bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, announced today that Mr. Majeed Al Abduljabbar will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2024 to succeed former CEO, Mr. Fabrice Susini after obtaining clearance from Saudi Central Bank.Al Abduljabbar is considered one of the leading executives within the Kingdom based on his extensive professional career of 26 years within the public and private sector of the financial and banking industry.The company’s Board of Directors expressed their gratitude to the former CEO, Mr. Fabrice Susini, for his extensive efforts over the years in strengthening the company’s position in the real estate finance sector in the Kingdom. He also supported the development of a management team that possesses the best international practices in this field, and contributed to the company’s achievements during his tenure.It is noteworthy that the new CEO of SRC, Majeed Al Abduljabbar, held various positions during his career; most notably, he was serving as the Director of Risks at the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), and as a senior advisor to the Chairman of the Board for the Capital Market Authority, during which he worked on a number of initiatives within the Authority’s plan and strategy in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.Al Abduljabbar was also part of the team that supervised Aramco’s public offering in the Saudi market. He also represented the Kingdom in several committees at the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).His professional journey included working in the banking sector for more than 15 years with local banks, including the treasury department at HSBC Bank in London, Samba, and Arab National Bank, also he contributed to establishing the Department of Innovative Investment Solutions at SABB (now SAB).The Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) was established in 2017 with the aim of helping transform the local housing market. SRC obtained a license from the Saudi Central Bank to operate in real estate refinancing through the secondary market.

Action-Packed 'Ganapath' Fails to Light Up the Screen

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse than Heropanti 2 (2022), TIger Shroff unleashes this futuristic action drama, which sadly gets nothing right!! Neither the supposed 2070 era with its awful VFX and unimaginative landscape nor the WWE style action sequences which get plain monotonous after a point. Indeed, Ganapath turns out to be a torturous outing at the end of its two hours fifteen minutes runtime. Tiger Shroff, the sole reason I went in for the near empty morning show at Mahim's Citylight Cinema, is repeating himself in every movie. No doubt, he is sincere, he dances good, he kicks hard but all his films since Baaghi 3 (2020) haven't worked at the box office. It's a clear indication that the dude needs to reinvent himself fast. Being a Jaggu Dada fan, my best wishes always with his cub!! As for Ganapath, the dystopian world it attempts to create, where the rich oppress the poor and the common thread of WWE kinda matches between them, generates zero connect with the audience. The love angle also fails badly as there is hardly any chemistry between Tiger and Kriti here, though they always made a great pair right since their Heropanti (2014) days. The director is to be blamed!! Vikas Bahl has had a mixed filmography so far. For every Queen (2013) and Super 30 (2019), he has followed up with a disappointing Shaandaar (2015) and Goodbye (2022). With Ganapath, the director touches an abysmal low failing in every department from its music to VFX to action. Worse, he wastes the God of Bollywood Amitabh Bachchan in a totally thankless role making you cry sacrilege!! The focus in Ganapath is purely on the free style wrestling bouts, which were comparably far better executed in Bollywood from Main Intaquam Loonga (1982) and Boxer (1984) right until the Salman Khan starrer Sultan (2016). In fact, the film's second half appears like a WWE tournament playing in a loop. Phew!! Undoubtedly, Ganapath would qualify as one of the worst I have endured this year. Let's see if Bollywood offers us a bigger bomb. After all, we still have two more months to go!! Ratings on some key aspects* : 1. Acting : 2/5 2. Direction : 1/53. Music : 1.5/5 4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 1/55. Cinematography : 2/56. Editing : 3/5 7. Costume Design : 2/58. Special Effects and VFX : 1/59. Action : 1.5/510. Production Quality : 1.5/5 #SNRating for #Ganapath : 1 star out of 5. - Sumeet Nadkarni Liked the review? Click on the link below and like the #SNRatings page to subscribe to honest and unbiased reviews of all latest movies : You can also follow us on Twitter handle : @sumu76in * - The overall film rating is not a simple average of all ratings on key aspects but a weighted average of the ratings where some crucial aspects (like direction, acting, story and screenplay etc) are assigned more weightage than others. #Ganapath #ActionDrama #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #TigerShroff #KritiSanon #VikasBahl #AmitabhBachchan #BollywoodReview #Filmreview #TheatricalRelease #OTTRelease #Netflix #SNRatings #SNRatings barometer:1 star = Poor1 & 1/2 star = Below average/ Avoidable2 stars = Average2 & 1/2 stars = Above average/ Risk it3 stars = Good enough/ Endurable3 & 1/2 stars = Definitely worth a watch4 stars = Very good5 stars = Masterpiece/ Outstanding. 2023 SNRatings.

Experts Rethink the enterprise in the Era of Rapid Digitalisation: Gitex Global

The 43rd edition of GITEX GLOBAL took place from October 16-20, 2023, the blockbuster tech showpiece once again reaching full capacity at the Dubai World Trade Centre as it hosted more than 6,000 exhibitors. GITEX GLOBAL and Expand North Star (which took place at Dubai Harbour, from October 15-20) comprised a combined 41 halls spanning 2.7 million sq. ft of exhibition space, a 40% growth year-on-year with 1,800 startups across both shows. The events converged the best minds and most visionary companies to scrutinise, challenge, define, and empower the digital agendas of the world.Data Centres, the Lifeblood of the Digital EraA report released during GITEX GLOBAL 2023 by Khazna Data Centres explored the growing demand for data centres due to the increasing importance of digitalisation for business success.The report found that 89% of business leaders believe digitalisation will be critical to business success, triggering a reassessment of data center requirements. Consequently, 45% of large and extra-large organizations reported that they are looking to expand their IT footprint to achieve greater flexibility, while around 36% aspire for greater levels of digital innovation, and approximately 36% hope to improve their customer experience.Hassan Alnaqbi, CEO of Khazna Data Centers, noted that the digital revolution has underlined the central role of digital strategies. He added that as the demand for robust digital infrastructure continues to grow, data centers are emerging as an essential cornerstone.New Data Exchange Platform to Streamline Data-Driven DecisionsModern enterprises and government institutions rely on data for decision-making. However, they face data challenges such as data silos, privacy issues, and cross-border data exchanges. To overcome these challenges, Mercedes-Benz has launched Acentrik, a data exchange platform that enables secure and compliant data ecosystem building. Mercedes-Benz announced at GITEX GLOBAL that Acentrik is now available in the UAE after success in the EU and APAC markets.Acentrik offers various opportunities for collaboration, data transfer, and monetisation, among different entities. Its unique feature is its compute-to-data approach with edge computing capabilities. This allows secure and private computation of data without moving the raw data. Acentrik brings algorithms to the data instead of the other way around.According to Jochen Kaiser, Head of Data Ecosystems at Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Acentrik heralds a new future for data sharing and ecosystems. He said that access is essential for organisations' data-driven decisions and strategies.Laying the Building Blocks for the City of the FutureGITEX GLOBAL hosted an exciting discussion on the digital city of the future, during which experts calculated what the world and cities would look like in 2050. They asserted that the 'city of the future' would be an interconnected matrix of information, data, and technology that will continue to revolutionize how we live, work, and play.While opportunities abound, they also cautioned about the challenges inherent in building a smart city. Technical obstacles can be overcome with the right technology. However, getting people on board necessitates educating and dramatically shifting the public's attitudes about emerging technology. Given the rapid pace of technological advancements, it's crucial to stay informed about the current state of technology and its future direction, to meet specific needs effectively, they opined.Experts on the panel included David Tan, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, JTC Corporation, Singapore; Anas Naim, Managing Director, Middle East & Turkey, Orange; Daniel Diez, Chief Transformation Officer, Magic Leap, USA; Dr. Muneer Zuhdi, CTO Enterprise MEA, Nokia; Petr Hlavacek, Deputy Mayor, City of Prague, Czech Republic; and Roberto Frongia, Director of Strategy and Operations, TONOMUS Compute, Saudi Arabia.Cybercrime Leaves a Trail of Corporate CarnageGlobal cybercrime damage could rise to $10.5 Trillion annually by 2025. Driving this dangerous trend are the increasing sophistication and scale of cyberattacks, growing reliance on digital technology, and lack of cybersecurity awareness and education. Behind these statistics is a global trail of devastation for individuals, businesses, and governments.Leading public and private CISOs discussed the global nature of cybercrime and the critical need for transnational efforts. They included Ali Abdulla Hassan, Chief of Information Technology, Bahrain; Celia Mantshiyane, Chief Information Security Officer, South Africa; Robin Lennon Bylenga, VP, Information Security Awareness, Education and Communications Lead, DWS Group, United Kingdom; Sanusi Drammeh, Director of Cybersecurity, Gambia; and Solomon Soka, Director General, Information Network Security Administration, Ethiopia.Cyberspace is borderless, so is cybercrime. While each country must adopt its own cyber defence mechanisms based on local conditions, collaboration with local and global communities is paramount. The panellists highlighted the need for cyber diplomacy based on bilateral agreements to share threat intelligence, wherein an incident identified in one country is shared across all. They also recommended continent-wide and even global security operation centres (SOCs), which can go a long way in securing the world and humanity.

Fusion5 selected by ADIB Bank as its media agency

Fusion5, a diversified media solutions agency, has been selected by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) to be its mainstream media services partner. This partnership between ADIB and Fusion5 is sure to be a momentous milestone in the bank’s commitment to enhancing its brand standing and strengthening its presence in the highly competitive financial services sector. With the partnership, the two companies will work closely together to develop and execute a comprehensive mainstream media strategy that aligns with the bank’s core business objectives.This partnership will play a significant role in driving ADIB’s growth and reaching a wider audience in the UAE and beyond.Inas Abou Salem, Global Head of Marketing Communications & Branding at ADIB, said that the company is looking forward to its partnership with Fusion 5 to expand and grow in the UAE market as well as globally.Johnny Khazzoum, Managing Partner at Fusion5, said: “We are honored to have been chosen by ADIB as a key partner in their drive for growth."

Emirates SkyCargo launches direct host-to-host connection with Kuehne+Nagel

Providing direct access to its market-leading products and services and extensive global network, Emirates SkyCargo is now available on Kuehne+Nagel’s internal booking engine. This milestone marks the first time Emirates SkyCargo has made its services available via a freight forwarders owned portal, a strategy that further elevates the airline’s world-class customer service experience. Through this direct host-to-host connection, Emirates SkyCargo streamlines the booking journey for Kuehne+Nagel agents, providing access to the airline’s schedules, rates and available capacity in real-time. The connection first launched in Switzerland and Austria and will open up to users in select countries across Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania by the end of the year. Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates SkyCargo, said: "This partnership is a testament to our long-standing digitalisation strategy, which aims to enhance our customer experience, streamline operations and drive greater efficiencies. By creating direct pathways for customers such as Kuehne+Nagel to connect with Emirates SkyCargo, we can optimize the booking process and reinforce our relationships across the logistics ecosystem."Initially, the service will be available for general cargo, with the possibility of adding other Emirates SkyCargo’s class-leading product solutions in the near future.

Dubai Internet City and Korea National IT Industry Promotion Agency Sign MoU

Dubai Internet City, the region’s leading technology hub and part of TECOM Group PJSC, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA), backed by the Government of South Korea, to foster innovation and entrepreneurship efforts that bolster the growth of the global technology sector.A high-level Korean delegation toured the vibrant technology district on the side lines of the MoU signing. Ammar Al Malik, Executive Vice President – Commercial at TECOM Group signed the memorandum on behalf of Dubai Internet City with Sung-Wook Hur, President of NIPA. The UAE and Korea are key trading partners with bilateral non-oil trade totalling $3 billion during the first half of 2023. The UAE is Korea’s second-largest Arab trade partner and recently concluded talks with Korea for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) deal. In January 2023, the UAE also announced plans to invest $30 billion in various South Korean sectors and industries to expand economic cooperation over the next few years.Under the terms of the MoU, NIPA will provide industry data and insights that enhance collaboration and facilitate the participation of Korean technology companies and professionals in Dubai Internet City’s ecosystem.Commenting on the partnership on behalf of Dubai Internet City, Ammar Al Malik, Executive Vice President – Commercial at TECOM Group, said: “We are delighted to embark on this strategic memorandum with NIPA that marks a significant step towards fostering innovation, supporting entrepreneurship, and strengthening the global technology landscape. The agreement underscores our ecosystem’s alignment with the goals of Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’ to enable globally impactful innovation from Dubai. The strengths and resources offered by Dubai Internet City and TECOM Group will undoubtedly create lasting impact and drive growth for Korean technology companies not just in Dubai or the region, but around the world."The MoU with NIPA underscores Dubai Internet City’s commitment to advancing technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship through joint initiatives that have a positive impact on the global scale. The agreement was signed at GITEX Global 2023, the world’s largest technology event that Dubai Internet City is Innovation Partner for, which runs until 20 October at Dubai World Trade Centre.Dubai Internet City is the region’s largest tech hub and has led Dubai’s digital transformation strategy for over two decades, serving as a platform for global tech brands, start-ups, and innovators to work, connect, and innovate. The district is home to more than 3,000 customers, including Fortune 500s and SMEs such as Google, 3M, Microsoft, and Careem, in addition to over 29,000 professionals and entrepreneurs. Dubai Internet City is part of TECOM Group’s portfolio of business districts that includes Dubai Design District (d3), Dubai Science Park, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, and Dubai Industrial City.

X to launch two new premium subscriptions

Elon Musk has announced that two new tiers of X Premium, earlier known as Twitter, subscriptions will be commencing soon. This announcement was made by the X owner via a tweet on the platform. The two tiers will be differentiated by advertisements. One of the options will cost less but will not have a reduction in ads, while the other will be more expensive and will block all ads. The exact costs of each tier are yet to be confirmed.This announcement comes as no surprise, since Musk has already started charging a few countries for basic access. This can be due to the fact that the ad revenue of X had fallen by 59%, and the company has been eagerly exploring new ways to generate revenue. Earlier this week, the company started charging new users $1 in New Zealand and the Philippines. Users who don’t opt to subscribe and wish to use it for free will only be able to read the content. Non-subscribers will not be able to interact with the tweets or write their own. They will only be able to watch and read content and follow users.The platform has been in the news and gone through its ups and downs since Musk’s takeover last year in October.X is not the only platform that’s shifting to different paid models, with most players now moving from a growth-based strategy to a more profitable strategy.Earlier in the year, Meta also rolled out a subscription model for its blue ticks on its platforms. Netflix also indicated a hike in prices for its ad-free model and opted to create a free advertising-based video-on-demand model for its users.

Zero Carbon Ventures closes US $5mln seed investment

Zero Carbon, a company dedicated to bringing carbon-reducing technologies to the Middle East and North Africa region, has announced the closing of its seed investment round. This coincides with the appointment of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mana bin Khalifa Al Maktoum as strategic investor and chairman of the board of directors.This dual role not only underscores His Highness’ commitment to supporting Zero Carbon’s mission to deliver innovative decarbonization projects, but also sets the stage for the company's intensified drive towards global sustainability execution at scale.Martin Reynolds, CEO of Zero Carbon said: "We're thrilled to welcome His Highness Sheikh Ahmed not only as an investor but also as our chairman. His involvement is more than an endorsement; it's a powerful union of vision and purpose. Our ambition has always been to enact tangible change. Our fully established and experienced senior management team, with His Highness by our side, is incredibly well-positioned to drive our sustainability initiatives even further."His Highness Sheikh Ahmed remarked on his new role, stating: "I initially met Martin and the Zero Carbon team in April this year, and fell in love with their vision. The world now needs people like them to actually get to work on the delivery of these kinds of projects. I hired Zero Carbon to begin work on decarbonizing my own Dubai real estate portfolio. I see immense potential in Zero Carbon, and I am eager to guide and do my part in this pivotal journey towards Net-Zero."Since its inception in 2022, Zero Carbon has achieved significant progress in advancing sustainability initiatives. With a seasoned team of more than 20 business leaders, engineers, scientists and program managers, the company is uniquely positioned to deliver on significant sustainability projects and to help large-scale organizations and industries to execute tangible emission reductions through technological innovation. Zero Carbon stands firm in its quest to reduce emissions and galvanize others to turn words into action for a cleaner, more sustainable world.This investment and appointment mark just the beginning for Zero Carbon. With the highly anticipated COP28 in Dubai Expo City less than three months away, the company is gearing up to be at the forefront of sustainability dialogues and actions on the global stage.

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

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

StickyGinger launches PUMA and Warehouse Gym partnership

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

Liminal Unveils Comprehensive Rebrand to Elevate Digital Asset Custody Services

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

Cannes Lions switch to Luxury & Lifestyle in place of Mobile

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

ADMO Lifestyle Holding expands global lifestyle portfolio with Em Sherif

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

ADMO Lifestyle Holding Expands Global Lifestyle Portfolio

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

Sharjah Government explores Web 3.0, metaverse technologies

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

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

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

Carat enters partnership with Oktopus Group to expand presence in Pakistan

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

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

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

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

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

Kazakhstani entrepreneurs secure contracts for food supply & IT services

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

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

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

InvoiceMate partners with the DFINITY Foundation

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

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

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

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

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