Deliverect sees continued growth with impressive H1 results

Dubai: Deliverect, an all-in-one digital solution that seamlessly integrates and consolidates online orders in the global food service industry, has released its H1 report, detailing the company’s ongoing successes during the first half of 2023.In line with its expansions in Q2, Deliverect acquired ChatFood – a powerful tool to support social media orders and payments – bringing the restaurant industry a unified solution that drives social, dine-in QR, direct channel ordering, and online food delivery.Other solutions introduced included Deliverect Social Media Ordering, which leverages Meta business tools to target customers, and Deliverect Order & Pay, a brand-new QR code solution that speeds up table turn times by up to 10 minutes.As it continues to prioritise customer experience, Deliverect has seen over 101 million global online orders successfully processed in the first half of 2023. The impressive six-month performance accounts for over 75 per cent of the total orders managed in 2022, totalling 135 million.Data collected by Deliverect indicated that 22 June was the day with the highest number of orders, with Dubai, Kuwait and Riyadh ranked as the top three for the most delivery orders throughout H1.Burger, Grilled chicken and Shawerma were the most frequently ordered food items, while Shwait Al Khalij in KSA was the most popular restaurant regionally.Commenting on the brand’s success, Naji Haddad, MENA General Manager at Deliverect, said: “During the first six months of this year, we have demonstrated our ongoing commitment to enhancing the global foodservice community through the adoption of innovative solutions and strategic partnerships. From managing a staggering number of orders to extending our business through the region, we have continued to emerge as a leading digital platform.“While the numbers are impressive, our mission is about so much more – it’s about the people we serve and the experiences we create. As we look ahead to the rest of the year, we remain dedicated to making every order count,” he added.

Hilton unveils growth plans at Future Hospitality Summit 2023

Abu Dhabi:  As Future Hospitality Summit 2023 kicks off, Hilton has announced plans to increase its presence in the Middle East by more than 125% in the years ahead.Openings across the region continue, bringing Hilton’s ambitious expansion plans to life. In Qatar, LXR Hotels & Resorts welcomed The Plaza Doha to its portfolio earlier this year, further strengthening Hilton’s luxury presence in the country. In addition, Hilton celebrated the debut of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts on the African continent with the opening of Waldorf Astoria Cairo Heliopolis in September.More openings are expected in the months ahead across a range of brands and countries, including:Waldorf Astoria Doha West BayConrad Bahrain Financial HarbourHilton Riyadh OlayaHilton Cairo Nile MaadiEmbassy Suites by Hilton Dubai Business BayHampton by Hilton Kuwait SalmiyaIn Saudi Arabia, a key development market, multiple new properties were signed in August, including a Conrad Hotels & Resorts property in Riyadh’s Laysen Valley, two hotels in Abha, and a Canopy by Hilton at the Porta Jeddah Development. With these signings, Saudi Arabia has become Hilton’s largest pipeline market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and fourth largest globally.Carlos Khneisser, Vice President, Development, Middle East and Africa, Hilton, said, “Our multi-brand growth strategy continues to show results, with close to 100 hotels – totalling almost 25,000 rooms – set to open in the Middle East in the near future. We are also proud to be managing an active pipeline, with approximately 70 percent of our Middle East projects currently under construction. We look forward to seeing these hotels come to fruition in the years ahead, while continuing to agree new properties.”Hilton will be bringing a major presence to FHS 2023 with multiple leaders confirmed for onstage discussions, including Kevin Jacobs, Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Development; Carlos Khneisser, Vice President, Development, MEA; Amir Lababedi, Managing Director, Development, MENA; Elyza Falzon, Vice President, Architecture, Design & Construction, Middle East & Sub-Saharan Africa; Emma Banks, Vice President, F&B Strategy & Development, EMEA and Tobias Schulz, Senior Director, F&B Business Development, EMEA.

NKN Media to honour Indian entrepreneurs in UAE with 'Icons of the UAE' Awards

NKN Media is hosting an award ceremony to celebrate the success stories of Indian business leaders in the UAE. The ceremony will take placei n Dubai on the 27th of September. India’s leading media house India Today Group is a media partner for this prestigious event.Boasting 16 icons from different industries, the event will be graced by the presence of Honourable Dr Shashi Tharoor, a prominent Indian politician, diplomat, and acclaimed author. He is a luminary known for contributing to human rights, education, and environmental advocacy.Abdul Majid Khan, CEO of NKN Media, expressed his enthusiasm about the event, stating, "The Icons of the UAE Awards is a testament to these entrepreneurs' unyielding spirit and resilience. Their fervour for business and success has created a lasting impact on the community, showing everyone that the sky is the limit. Additionally, we are proud to announce a special award for the rising Emirati Businessman of the Year, which recognises the exceptional contributions of a local entrepreneur."The ceremony will be broadcast on India’s leading news channels namely Aaj Tak and India Today TV. Aiming to celebrate visionary leaders and recognise their remarkable impact on UAE's business landscape and community, viewers can also watch engaging 30-minute episodes highlighting the Icons' inspiring journeys and accomplishments.Renowned actors and influencers, including Vivek Oberoi and Salman Yusuff Khan have shared exclusive video messages with their dedicated fan base, eagerly anticipating their presence at the ceremony. Furthermore, India's leading news anchors from Aaj Tak and India Today TV including Anjana Om Kashyap, Rajdeep Sardesai, Sweta Singh and Nabila Jamal shall make the event memorable.

Saudi Arabia smartphone shipments grow 35% YoY in Q2 2023 on strong Ramadan sale

Saudi Arabia’s smartphone shipments recorded 35% YoY growth in Q2 2023, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor Service. This was the market’s second consecutive quarter of growth, as the macroeconomic environment remained relatively positive largely due to the robust performance of the non-oil sector. Furthermore, there was a noticeable improvement in consumer sentiment compared to 2022, as evidenced by the strong Ramadan sales season this year.Ramadan sales and e-commerce activity up YoYRamadan holds much importance for both consumers and retailers in Saudi Arabia. Lasting 7-8 weeks, the Ramadan sales season is the longest in the country during a given year, with customers spending a significant amount on gifts. During the Ramadan months of 2023, spending activity recorded strong YoY growth. According to the Saudi Central Bank, consumer spending grew 10% YoY in Q2, with the point-of-sale (POS) and e-commerce transactions (MADA cards) also growing 13% and 30% YoY, respectively.During the Ramadan sales season, OEMs and retailers deploy various strategies to attract customers. This year, these included creative marketing campaigns such as Samsung’s ‘Stay Apart, Stay Together This Ramadan’ and HONOR’s ‘Memories Together’. Offers included attractive discounts, some as high as 50%, bundled offers and free accessories. Some e-commerce channels extended the duration of their sales to further benefit from the positive consumer sentiment.Additionally, e-commerce activity continues to rise due to digitalization, substantial promotional activity, easy financing options like ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL), and convenient delivery services across the country. OEMs such as Samsung, Huawei and HONOR and e-commerce platforms like Noon and Jarir Bookstore hosted extended sale events, all contributing to growth.Competitive LandscapeSamsung achieved a 23% YoY growth in shipments during the quarter, benefiting from a stable supply chain and strong festive season performance. The brand saw sustained sales of the cost-effective Galaxy A series, as well as a good show by its new 5G and premium devices.Apple shipments more than doubled YoY owing to consistent demand for the iPhone 14 series, especially the Pro versions. Besides, the brand greatly benefited from the surge in online purchases and financing options provided by BNPL platforms like Tabby and Tamara.Xiaomi grew 17% YoY in Q2 2023, maintaining its third spot. The brand recorded growth in the $100-$149 price band driven by the Redmi 12C. The mid-tier Redmi Note 12 series also performed well.Motorola grew YoY in Q2, driven primarily by its compelling low-to-mid-tier offerings. Motorola has been improving the availability of its new launches in Saudi Arabia, including its latest foldables and the Razr 40 series.HONOR was one of the fastest-growing brands in Q2 2023, steadily improving product availability, channel presence and participation in domestic promotional events. During the Ramadan season, HONOR offered large discounts on its entire portfolio, from the HONOR 70 to the X series, available across all major channels like eXtra, Jarir and Noon.OutlookSaudi Arabia’s smartphone market is expected to record low single-digit growth in 2023. Further, H2 shipments are expected to decline YoY, largely due to Saudi Arabia’s oil production cuts causing a decline in the country’s overall economic activity. Nonetheless, we remain optimistic about the market, as digitalization and 5G networks continue to expand.

BENEFIT Acquires Bahrain Fintech Bay in landmark partnership agreement

Bahrain: BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions services, announces the signing of an agreement to acquire Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB). This agreement seeks to accelerate the sustainable investment in Bahrain’s fintech ecosystem thereby paving the way for a robust, future ready financial services sector.The partnership, brings together Bahrain’s leading fintech market players to develop a more systematic and institutional framework for collaboration across the ecosystem, comes as part of the long-term roadmap and service expansion plan of BENEFIT, which embraces building key alliances and partnerships locally and across borders to further advance the national payment infrastructure to create a cashless society, boosting financial connectivity to the highest international security standards.As an active ecosystem builder which has cemented its standing as an enabler of fintech innovation across the region, BFB was formerly supported by a diverse portfolio of founding partners and entities, incubating over 116 start-ups since its inception. By creating a collective taskforce to drive joint national strategies, synergies, and high-impact initiatives within a fast-growing fintech sector, the newly formed partnership seeks to contribute to ensuring Bahrain keeps pace with key investment trends in an increasingly competitive global playing field.Moving forward, BFB will maintain its commitment to supporting impactful fintech initiatives across the sector by delivering bespoke acceleration framework and innovation labs, future proofing local talent through securing leading international fintech education programs. Moreover, BFB will continue to provide curated corporate advisory services, conducting comprehensive in-depth research and developing data-driven strategies to its fintech partners on a project basis.Abdulwahed AlJanahi, Chief Executive at BENEFIT, revealed, “In line with our strategic plans, this partnership with Bahrain Fintech Bay marks a new chapter in our journey of success, as we aim strongly to contribute to establishing Bahrain as the R&D center of financial knowledge for the region. This step falls directly in line with the national direction of the Central Bank of Bahrain, Bahrain Economic Development Board and Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 that works towards the growth and diversification of the national economy through the development of key sectors, which includes fostering a more innovative financial and fintech ecosystem to further elevate Bahrain’s competitiveness on an international playing field.”Bader Sater, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain FinTech Bay, said, “This is a pivotal moment for us at BFB. In response to ever-changing macroeconomic conditions, where the financial landscape is rapidly evolving, our strategic partnership with BENEFIT will keep us closer to the heart of Bahrain’s fintech ecosystem. This new streamlined operating model charts the path to a more sustainable future, where we plan to build on our existing strengths and successes as we work as a collaborative front to serve Bahrain’s wider fintech ecosystem, taking it to even greater heights.”BENEFIT, which is administered by a Board of Directors that represent the Company’s shareholders, has continually invested in deploying innovative payment solutions across Bahrain as part of its ongoing commitment to consistently upgrade its portfolio of services, which include various innovative services, e.g., BenefitPay, e-Cheque and electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC), to offer streamlined, seamless experiences to its users. The Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau additionally operates under BENEFIT, which acts as the central data warehouse between all banks, financial institutions, and credit providers in Bahrain.

Italian restaurant Signor Sassi opens in Dubai

Signor Sassi, the iconic Italian restaurant brand that has captivated London with its simple yet authentic Italian cuisine and timeless ambiance, has opened its newest location at St. Regis Gardens, Palm Jumeirah. This marks a significant milestone as Signor Sassi extends its legacy to Dubai, continuing its tradition of excellence in Italian dining.Since its inception in London in 1984, Signor Sassi has been celebrated as the "Jewel in the Crown of Italian Restaurants." However, this new establishment in Dubai aims to transcend culinary boundaries, redefining the Signor Sassi experience with its Sassi Style. Here, tradition meets innovation and elegance, while passion infuses every aspect of the journey, embracing the essence of classic Italy with a modern twist.Signor Sassi exudes style and sophistication. Intricate Italian detailing, an acute exploration of space, texture and colour speak to the refined and unmistakably Italian design, which draws inspiration from the luxurious villas surrounding Lake Como.Guests entering the venue are greeted with inevitable, warm Italian hospitality in a reception area that celebrates the elegance of the Art Deco era. As guests move on, past a custom-made wine cellar that flanks the hallway, they arrive at the beautiful, raised bar, decorated in hand-painted vases by local artisans in Sicily. Stepping down into the dining room floor, and the ambiance is reminiscent of the sprawling terraces and gardens that grace the Italian estates of Lake Como, enhanced further by the six grand pillars that separate the space. The palette is juxtaposed with dark woods and pastel tones, featuring details and finishes synonymous with the area, including a dark, emerald, green and white carrara marble, alongside highly polished, dark timbers, reminiscent of the luxury yachts found on the lake.Fettle, the LA/ London boutique interior architecture and design firm, was handpicked to create this masterpiece. They have artfully combined classic Italian design elements with plush furniture embracing pastel tones, think pale pinks and greys, from various eras and styles, mirroring the way Italian villa owners have curated their homes over the years.One of the standout features of Signor Sassi Dubai are its stunning chandeliers, inspired by classic Murano chandeliers traditionally made in Venice. The chairs pay homage to mid-century Italian dining chairs, aligning seamlessly with the Golden Age of Italian design.Lush foliage has been thoughtfully introduced into the interior to soften the space and connect it with the outdoor terrace. At the heart of the restaurant stands a flourishing olive tree flown in from Puglia, a symbol synonymous with Italy. Curved, Tuscan-sun-yellow booths surround it, creating a unique dining-under-the-olive-tree experience for guests.The intimate and carefully designed layout of the restaurant provides an open and inviting atmosphere. The entire restaurant is visible from the bar, and guests can choose to dine comfortably in booths or the enoteca all surrounded by atmospheric greenery.In addition to the spectacular indoor dining experience, Signor Sassi will feature a sprawling terrace with a fountain that will be unveiled soon, ensuring a delightful outdoor dining experience.Signor Sassi is not just about ambiance; it's also about exceptional food and state-of-the-art cocktails. Signor Sassi embraces the essence of Italian cuisine, celebrating its rich history and timeless elegance, where tradition meets innovation and passion is infused into every dish. The meticulously crafted menu is a testament to their commitment to excellence, taking guests on a true gastronomic journey. The kitchen is graced with only the finest and freshest produce, sourced with care to ensure the highest quality ingredients. Their talented chefs – true masters of their craft – skillfully transform these ingredients into culinary masterpieces, leaving diners craving for more. The portions here are generous, with an a la carte menu offering a symphony of flavours to satisfy everyone’s cravings.Unforgettable signature dishes include Lobster "alla catalana," Spaghettini Lobster, Bernardo Salad with Avocado & Lobster, Veal Milanese with Potato Sticks, Lemon Sole "alla Carlo" and Braised Beef Short Ribs with Mash Potatoes. Elsewhere, guests will find premium Crudi such as Caviar, Oysters, and an opulent Royal Seafood Tower. Plus, Antipasti, Insalate (salads), Signor Sassi specials, Dal Pescatore (fish), Dal Macellaio (meat), Zuppe (soups), Pasta and Risotti, and Pizza. The culinary team also caters to vegetarians and pescatarians, ensuring a delightful experience for all discerning palates. And when it comes to desserts, Signor Sassi Dubai truly shines with its spectacular items. Guests can indulge in the exquisite homemade tiramisu or savour the decadent homemade pistachio gelato served with brioche, a Sicilian twist that will transport diners to the heart of Italy.Meanwhile, the cocktail menu features classics like the Signor Negroni, infused with basil and yellow tomatoes, and the Diamond Martini, known for its bitter complexity, all inspired by different regions of Italy. Wine connoisseurs will also be delighted with an extensive wine list showcasing the best of Italian wines, champagnes and beyond.Adding to the vibrant lifestyle element, Signor Sassi will feature a DJ from Thursday to Saturday, enriching the evening dining experience, while occasional live entertainment will surprise and delight guests with an unforgettable Sassi Style experience.

PRCA MENA opens entries for the MENA Regional Awards 2024

The Public Relations and Communications Association Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA) is pleased to announce that entries for the highly anticipated MENA Regional Awards 2024 are now officially open.The MENA Regional Awards recognise and honour excellence in various categories of communication, including PR campaigns, public affairs, and digital communication, among others. This is a unique opportunity for professionals and organisations to gain recognition for their impactful contributions to the field.Key Dates for MENA Regional Awards 2024:Open for Entry: Monday, 25th September 2023Early Bird Rate Deadline: Tuesday, 31st October 2023Final Deadline: Wednesday, 10th January 2024Judging: Monday, 15th January 2024 - Wednesday, 31st January 2024Shortlist Announcement: Thursday, 8th February 2024Awards night: Thursday, 25th April 2024Head of PRCA EMEA, Monika Fourneaux, said: "These awards showcase the exceptional talent and innovation in the communications industry across the Middle East and North Africa. As we open entries for the 2024 awards, we anticipate another year of celebrating the outstanding work of our members."To learn more about the guidelines for entry, please visit: a list of categories and further details on how to submit your entries, please visit:'t miss your chance to be part of this prestigious event and gain recognition for your achievements in the world of communications. Submit your entries today to showcase your excellence on a regional platform. sees $10mln in Transactions

Procural, the B2B tendering platform in Bahrain, has surpassed $10 million worth of closed and awarded business transactions. This milestone is being hailed as a noteworthy accomplishment for Procural and reflects the platform's commitment to revolutionising the procurement sector in Bahrain while also playing a pivotal role in the Kingdom's digital is an algorithmic and AI-driven B2B procurement platform that connects vendors to buyers in an efficient, data-driven way. The innovative platform has facilitated successful business transactions, and ensured the procurement of the best value suppliers.It is noteworthy that several prominent businesses have adopted the platform exclusively for all their procurement activities, cementing Procural as the go to platform in the Kingdom.CEO and co-founder of Procural, Uzair Usman, expressed his enthusiasm on this achievement. "Crossing the $10 million mark in closed transactions is a testament to our commitment to fostering innovation in the procurement industry, and validation of our business model. Buyers utilizing Procural have realized substantial savings and have optimized their procurement processes. By leveraging the platform's extensive supplier network and innovative sourcing capabilities, buyers have gained access to competitive suppliers, facilitating more favourable pricing and contract terms. We are proud to have been at the forefront of Bahrain's digital transformation in procurement. This strategic advantage has translated into remarkable cost savings, providing businesses with a significant competitive edge. Our platform has not only facilitated valuable business connections but also fueled economic growth."Procural has made significant strides in transforming the procurement landscape in Bahrain by addressing the challenges faced by businesses and suppliers alike. The platform's user-friendly interface and advanced features have made it easier for buyers to connect with suppliers, streamlining the procurement process and ensuring the selection of the most suitable suppliers for each project. This, in turn, has allowed suppliers to expand their business opportunities and reach a broader audience.Bahrain's adoption of digital technologies has been nothing short of remarkable, and Procural has made parallel strides to offer a digital experience in the B2B space. The platform's success is a testament to its ability to bring buyers and suppliers together, creating a win-win situation for both parties. It has also been instrumental in promoting transparency, efficiency, and competitiveness in the procurement process.This achievement is seen as having a significant impact on Bahrain's business ecosystem, particularly benefiting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and startups. This is in line with Bahrain’s Vision 2030 objectives to support entrepreneurship, innovation and improving the market for SMEs. By enabling these businesses to access a wide range of procurement opportunities, the platform has levelled the playing field in the competitive business landscape.

Seven game-changing inventions unveiled in the new Season 15 of Stars Of Science

After three rounds of casting, the seven remaining participants vying to win season 15’s Stars of Science have advanced to the next stage, also known as the ‘Proof of Concept’. This crucial stage will see them push the boundaries of their scientific knowledge, collaborate with industry experts, and demonstrate their scientific ideas to a panel of judges.Stars of Science, Qatar Foundation’s edutainment TV initiative, offers Arab entrepreneurs and innovators a platform to transform their innovations from ideas to tangible solutions with the support of experienced mentors. This season’s participants are employing artificial intelligence to improve health outcomes in both humans and animals.Mohamed Ishag Hassan Gama from Sudan introduced his invention, a smart bone-fracture cast, equipped with different sensors to monitor the healing process, pain, and other biometric signals, while Aly Magdy Mohamed from Egypt presented a multi-purpose smart marine drone lifeguard that can help rescue lives at sea, with its carbon-free model also supporting the biodiversity of marine life.Utilizing artificial intelligence for healthcare diagnostics, Saeed Zahran from Lebanon is looking to develop an electronic nose that detects and predicts an epileptic seizure episode early and notifies the patient beforehand. ?Abdallah Alhaj Sulaiman from Syria, also a Ph.D. candidate at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, found a novel way to mitigate the environmental harm caused by the disposal of whey by dairy companies while producing ethanol. Through his invention, a milk whey fermentation for efficient ethanol production, he aims to demonstrate that fermenting the lactose in whey produces an ethanol-tolerant yeast, which can act as a viable source of energy.For Mohammed Laouacheria and Amir Mattar Jaber Mattar Alenezi, from Algeria and Bahrain respectively, their passion for animal life lies at the heart of their individual projects.Laouacheria has devised a wearable device utilizing auscultation sensors, a microcontroller, and wireless communication tools to monitor bio-signals from cows, thereby safeguarding veterinarians and healthy cattle against exposure to pathogens from sick animals, whileAlenezi has created a falcon training device to help automate the sport while enhancing the falcon’s stamina during training.Mohammed Abbas Albumijdad, a Saudi mechanical engineer, is seeking to revolutionize safety standards for inspection at construction sites with his wall climbing robot, which he intends to work on vertical surfaces to perform safety checks.Filming for Season 15 is taking place at the Stars of Science studios inside Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) – a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), and part of QF’s wider environment of research, development, and innovation – where the program has created a network of local and international partnerships that contribute to its success.Members of the show’s expanding alumni community continue to return as guest jurors and mentors. Sevag Babikian, who secured the third position in Stars of Science Season 8, has been returning to the program as a mentor in mechatronics. He said: “Stars of Science was, for me, a transformative journey. I’m thrilled to be part of this community, and to lend my support and share my experiences, just as I was once guided by those who came before me.”Long-standing Stars of Science host Khaled Al Jumaily has been a part of the show since its inception. Commenting on his own journey, Al Jumaily said: “Being a part of the show from its very beginning to Season 15 fills me with immense pride, satisfaction and responsibility. Witnessing the dedication of this season’s contestants towards scientific excellence is very inspiring, and I am sure that it will continue to positively impact our region and beyond.”

Pelham Communications inaugurates office in Dubai with Rania Habib as Head

Pelham Communications, a UK and US-based communications firm, is reinforcing its Middle East presence by opening a new office in Dubai, following nearly two decades of working with clients in the region.Jasmin Pelham, based in London, will oversee the new office, while Rania Habib has been appointed as Head of the Middle East office. Based in Dubai, Habib brings over 20 years of experience to the role, gained mainly in the journalism and the arts sector. She previously was Assistant Editor of Canvas, a magazine for visual art from the Arab world, and worked for Alserkal, an arts and culture enterprise based in Dubai.Founded in 2004 in London, Pelham Communications is a communications consultancy and agency dedicated to the cultural and creative sectors. The firm works for clients including museums, not-for-profit foundations, galleries, fairs, cultural festivals, and more.Pelham Communications has already worked with a range of clients in the UAE and the wider region. Jasmin Pelham, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Pelham Communications, said: “We are excited to establish our presence at the heart of a dynamic and inspiring region which is spearheading ambitious and thoughtful cultural Projects for its communities, whilst also increasing international understanding of culture from the region.” In the last two decades, Pelham Communications has worked with dozens of organisations, like Dubai’s Ayyam Gallery and Tabari Artspace, Misk Art Institute and Edge of Arabia in Saudi Arabia, Contemporary Istanbul, the 2009 Golden Gates: Contemporary Art from the Middle East exhibition in Paris, and the Iraq and Tunisia pavilions at the Venice Biennale in 2013 and 2017.The firm has also worked on the launch of galleries, including Marfa’ Projects and Letitia Gallery in Beirut and Volte Art Projects in Dubai.Current clients on its roster include Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture & Tourism, the Royal Commission for Riyadh City and the Royal Commission of AlUla in Saudi Arabia, and Efie Gallery in Dubai, among others.

Al Fardan Exchange partners with AML Analytics

Al Fardan Exchange, the leading money transfer and currency exchange firm, has partnered with AML Analytics, the global leader in the testing and validation of sanction screening and transaction monitoring systems.The partnership signifies a notable milestone in Al Fardan Exchange's commitment to ensuring that sanctions systems are functioning as intended, thereby elevating anti-financial crime standards in the market. Al Fardan Exchange seeks to fortify its already robust ethical and sustainable business practices, by implementing comprehensive compliance measures for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).Al Fardan Exchange's adoption of AML Analytics testing is a critical step towards ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of their sanction and PEP screening systems. AML Analytics Regulatory Technology (RegTech) solutions enhance the screening and monitoring systems, which will assist Al Fardan Exchange in complying with regulatory requirements. This will help to minimise the risk of financial crime, Targeted Financial Sanctions and ensure that strong detection systems are in place.“Through this strategic alliance, Al Fardan Exchange is set to invest substantially in state-of-the-art technology and expertise, elevating its operations and services to unprecedented levels of excellence”. Hasan Fardan Al Fardan, CEO of Al Fardan Exchange, stated, "Our partnership with AML Analytics marks a significant milestone in reaffirming our unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of compliance both regionally and globally."“AML Analytics are delighted to have been asked to partner with Al Fardan Exchange to assist with their continued proactive approach to their AML/CFT work. I’m thoroughly looking forward to working closely with Hasan Fardan Al Fardan and his team to help them further the development of their vision and future goals.” Tim Holder, Managing Director Middle East and Africa, AML Analytics.AML Analytics collaborates with regulators, supervisors, and central banks globally, delivering technical expertise and advanced Supervisory Technology (SupTech) to test and validate regulated entities' AML/CFT systems as part of Thematic Reviews. AML Analytics has worked with over 40 regulatory authorities across the globe.

YallaHub partnering with WEE Marketplace to digitalize the industry

Leveraging a shop-in-shop format and making the UAE e-commerce omnichannel, YallaHub's collaboration with WEE will facilitate the sale of goods through both YallaMarket and WEE marketplace. The companies aim to enhance the GCC e-commerce market through their fastest innovative solutions for sales and delivery opening new opportunities for Emirati and foreign suppliers.In 2023, YallaHub raised $6M for MENA expansion into Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The effort underlines the company’s stated mission, which is to provide brands with technologies and infrastructure to scale within the GCC region. Providing comprehensive services ranging from product assortment consultancy, logistics, and customs clearance, to various marketing services, YallaHub enables local businesses to enter the large market of MENA countries.“This collaboration with WEE Marketplace signifies a major step forward in our mission to revolutionize e-commerce through digitalization in the UAE and GCC, making market entry and operations smoother both for customers and businesses. With this partnership we’re able to extend the reach of brands to a wider audience," stated Leo Dovbenko, CEO of Yalla!Hub.Positioned uniquely in the UAE marketplace, WEE is known for its fast delivery services. WEE marketplace, which operates like the American Target Plus model, will now feature goods from YallaHub prominently on their platform. This partnership empowers consumers in Dubai to order goods with delivery within an hour, extending to next-day delivery for the rest of the Emirates. The commingled efforts will enable WEE to continue its tradition of onboarding reliable suppliers and high-quality goods.“WEE Marketplace and YallaHub are absolute leaders of the UAE fast e-commerce market, and this partnership opens new horizons for brands, allowing them to enter at once both platforms. We choose the brands very carefully aiming to give the best products to our customers,” said Anastasia Kim, CEO and co-founder of WEE marketplace.Launched last year, the WEE marketplace is known for good service both for sellers and clients. YallaHub's partnership further enhances this impression by enabling businesses to showcase their high-quality, reliable goods on the WEE marketplace.The e-commerce market in the Emirates has reached $12.8 billion (according to Statista's estimate in 2022), and it is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2027. Express delivery accounts for 5.5% of the total merchandise turnover, which is approximately $700 million. Among express delivery categories, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, flowers, and food products are leading the way.

Luna PR welcomes Global Titans to Board, Launches Non-Executive Director program

Luna PR, a distinguished Web3 public relations agency and consultancy, has introduced its Non-Executive Director (NED) program. This initiative is designed to infuse the organisation with the expertise of accomplished leaders, offering valuable guidance and insight. The initiation of this NED program marks a notable achievement for Luna PR and Luna Media Corporation. Joining the board is Mike Alexander, a prominent figure in global capital markets and web3 innovation with over 25 years of experience. As the Co-Founder and Director of BlockTrust, he drives web3 technology's transformative potential for brand-customer connections and innovative revenue models. Additionally, as the former CEO of Jefferies Asia and CEO of EOS VC/Senior Advisor at, he regulated $4 billion in web3 token sales and led a $1 billion venture capital fund, supporting numerous web3 startups while shaping the finance and tech landscape.Abdulla Al Dhaheri, a Cyber Security Specialist from the Abu Dhabi Crisis & Management Center. Notably, Abdulla has made substantial contributions to these fields, which is reflected in his two patented blockchain inventions. His book, "Into the Future of Technologies," stands as a testament to his extensive knowledge and unwavering passion for technology.Patrick Tsang, Chairman of Tsangs Group, a renowned family office based in Hong Kong, also joins the esteemed board. Patrick is also a qualified solicitor in Hong Kong, England, and Wales and a member of YPO Global One, Monaco Private Label Young Leaders, and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation World Fellowship.David Namdar, General Partner at Coral Capital, and the co-founder of Kupa AI, is an accomplished investor and entrepreneur with over 15 years of international business and financial market experience. Namdar has been involved in strategy and advisory of dozens of firms, and has invested in hundreds of web3 and emerging tech companies. Giovanni Everduin, Head of Strategy & Innovation at Commercial Bank International (CBI). As an alumnus of Harvard Business School, he is responsible for building use cases for the future of banking at CBI, where he managed the implementation of cutting-edge Fintech partnerships, web3, AI and Metaverse strategies that significantly contributed to the Bank's achievement of multiple innovation awards and accolades."We hold our non-executive directors in high regard and acknowledge their substantial contributions to our organization. This program is designed to encourage collaboration and innovation, enabling their expertise to enhance our proficiency in media assistance." says Nikita Sachdev, CEO & Founder of Luna PR.Luna PR aims to transform the blockchain landscape in collaboration with its esteemed NEDs. The partnership is expected to bring tailored strategies, influential networks, and exceptional media assistance, empowering clients to navigate advanced technologies in today's rapidly evolving digital realm.

Solutions+ signs strategic sponsorship agreement with Al Ain Football Club

The official signing ceremony took place in Sheikh Khalifa Stadium on September 21, marking a significant milestone for both organisations.Under the latest partnership, Al Ain Football Club grants Solutions+ exclusive branding rights, reinforcing the company's dedication to enhancing the sports landscape in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.The Solutions+ logo will prominently appear on official kit merchandise, press backdrops, stadium benches and training facilities. Additionally, Solutions+ will have exclusive access to a hospitality box, facilitating networking and relationship-building during home matches.As the capital city continues to gain global recognition for its world-class facilities and events, this collaboration between Solutions+ and Al Ain Football Club aligns seamlessly with Abu Dhabi's forward-looking vision.Earlier this year, Solutions+ also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between its subsidiary, Abu Dhabi Entertainment Company (ADEC) and PRO Events, a subsidiary of Al Ain Club Investment Company (AACIC). The MoU leverages the strengths and resources of both organizations to achieve mutual benefits and contribute to the growth of sports, e-sports, and leisure sectors in the region.Commenting on the signing, Nasir Al Nabhani, the CEO at Solutions+, said: "This partnership marks a significant milestone for Solutions+. It not only reaffirms our dedication to support the community but also paves the way for us to explore other prospects beyond shared services. With a presence in the sports, leisure and entertainment realm, we are steadfast in our commitment to further enhance the Emirate’s burgeoning reputation as a regional sports and entertainment hub."As Al Ain Football Club and Solutions+ unite their efforts, they eagerly anticipate a mutually advantageous partnership that will contribute to the continuous growth and success of Abu Dhabi's sports and entertainment sector. This collaboration underscores the unwavering dedication of both entities to excellence and community engagement.

GGTech hires new CPO and Head of Global Sales to boost international expansion

GGTech Entertainment, an international company dedicated to theorganisation and management of products related to entertainment, technology, gaming and esports,announces the addition of two new members to strengthen its global expansion.In this region, MENATech (a company by GGTech) develops Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports, the projectthat combines education and esports, in which more than 100,000 students in 25 countries take part. Inthe UAE, more than 850 players from over 40 universities participated in the project during the lastseason. Approximately 60% of the region's inhabitants identify as avid gamers, according to the BostonConsulting Group, which underscores the Middle East's significant potential for the gaming industry.New CPO for global expansionEduardo García Riaño has been appointed as Chief Product Officer to lead the global expansion of thegroup's product areas into new territories.García Riaño, who holds an MEng in Aerospace Engineering and an MRes in Economics andManagement of Innovation, joins from technology giant Amazon, where he was Global Head ofSponsorships in esports and gaming. He was responsible for developing the company's global strategy inmore than 17 countries across 4 continents.In García Riaño’s words: “I am privileged to have the opportunity to join GGTech as Chief Product Officer.Thanks to its excellent team, GGTech is now one of the companies with the best global projection in theesports & gaming segment. I deeply identify with the company's business approach, values, and futureobjectives."GGTech has become a company that makes a difference through constant innovation. I want toemphasise our passion for developing disruptive projects in the leisure, entertainment, and educationsectors, using cutting-edge technologies and creating interactive environments that inspire andempower people”, said García Riaño Other business development appointmentThe second hire is Cristina Carranza as new Head of Global Sales, with the aim of strengthening thegroup';s expansion and opening up new markets, with a particular focus on the United States. GGTechhas signed an agreement to promote Riot Games university esports competitions in the US.The company's growth and expansion into new territories in the world of esports and gaming in recentmonths has led GGTech's management to boost its global business development strategy. Following hertime at Amazon and Twitch, Cristina Carranza joins the international team headed by Eduardo GarcíaRiaño.On her appointment, Cristina said: "I have been working with GGTech for more than four years and Iadmire its business strategy, the great human quality of their team and their vision for the company. Thismakes it a world leader in the entertainment, gaming and esports industry. I am proud to be part of thisproject and to develop the global sales and business strategy."

Get that ‘CAN’T WAIT TO WINTER’ feeling in Abu Dhabi

Experience Abu Dhabi, the destination brand of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) today launched ‘Can’t Wait to Winter’, a global campaign packed promising an unforgettable experience with back-to-back events, that caters to all interests - combined with the perfect weather. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a sports fan, a food connoisseur, an adrenaline seeker, or a music lover, Abu Dhabi has curated a winter line up that will leave you eagerly anticipating the winter season. Get ready to embrace the irresistible ‘Can’t Wait to Winter’ feeling. ‘Can’t Wait to Winter’ features Indian superstar Ranveer Singh, Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei, and the Gulf region’s legendary comedic duo Dawood Hussein and Hasan Al Ballam sharing their packed itineraries bursting with culture, adventure, relaxation, culinary delights and shopping in Abu Dhabi.Abu Dhabi Calendar’s exhilarating schedule brims during the winter season, with the return of the NBA Abu Dhabi Games, Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, UFC Showdown Week as well as the Hyperound K-Fest music festival, concerts from pop artist Robbie Williams and singer Arijit Singh and theatrical performances Hamilton and Disney on Ice.This winter promises excitement for both thrill seekers and families alike, with a variety of adrenaline-filled days to enjoy with desert dune bashing, quad biking, and indoor adventure hubs; CLYMB, Circuit X and Adrenark, Snow Abu Dhabi and the newly opened SeaWorld Abu Dhabi.Those looking for inspiration can immerse themselves in art and culture at the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi, explore Emirati heritage at Qasr Al Hosn and House of Artisans or discover the spirit of Abu Dhabi at Qasr Al Watan where knowledge and tradition converge.Tranquillity and relaxation seekers can unwind at Saadiyat Beach Club or on one of Abu Dhabi’s many pristine beaches. Enjoy sunrise kayaking through the mangroves or a bit more serenity with a private retreat to Nurai Island.

Global Village Season 28 VIP Packs on sale this Saturday

Global Village’s Season 28 VIP Packs will officially go on sale this Saturday, September 30 at 10 am. Available exclusively online from the Virgin Megastore Tickets website, each pack gives guests access to a host of benefits and experiences, containing everything needed to enjoy Global Village all season long.In response to the huge demand for pre-booking reservation that took place last week, interested guests are advised to prepare in advance by registering through the website VIP Packs will be available on sale at AED 7,000 and Platinum Packs can be purchased for AED 2,950. Gold Packs cost 2,250 AED and Silver Packs are priced at AED 1,750. Additionally, to celebrate the launch of Season 28, Global Village has hidden a golden cheque worth AED 28,000 in one of the VIP Packs.Global Village re-opens its gates on October 18, 2023, and guests can expect further announcements about Season 28 in the coming weeks.Season 28 VIP Pack highlights:VIP entry ticketsVIP parking sticker and privilegesVIP Wonder Pass cards giving access to attractions including Ripley’s Believe it or Not! ®, the Cyber City stunt show and Carnaval® funfairComplimentary or discounted access to a range of premium Global Village experiencesSpecial offers and privileges to a variety of entertainment attractions across DubaiDiamond Pack holders receive vouchers for in-park taxi transportation, car wash and porter services

SentinelOne elevates Meriam El Ouazzani to Regional Sales Director for the META

SentinelOne, an autonomous cybersecurity platform company, announced the elevation of Meriam El Ouazzani as the Regional Sales Director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) region.Prior to her appointment as Regional Sales Director, she was Regional Channel Manager for the META region at SentinelOne. El Ouazzani was instrumental in driving SentinelOne’s continued growth and success across the channel industry, having built strong relationships with partners, distributors, and resellers.In her new role as Regional Sales Director, El Ouazzani will be responsible for overseeing SentinelOne’s operations, strategies, and initiatives within the region, including sales, marketing, and customer relations. This entails building and leading high-performing teams, setting strategic goals, identifying novel market opportunities, and adapting to industry trends to ensure SentinelOne maintains its competitiveness and agility.Commenting on her elevation, El Ouazzani said, “I am humbled to be appointed as the Regional Sales Director for the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa markets at SentinelOne. I look forward to driving the company's overall success through a blend of strategic leadership, operational excellence, and the cultivation of a collaborative, diverse and innovative environment. This new journey represents a significant milestone in my professional life, and I’m excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for women in cybersecurity.”El Ouazzani is poised to bring fresh perspectives and strategic insights to her new role, building upon the strong foundation established during her time as Regional Channel Manager.“The dynamic nature of channel management has prepared me to adapt to changing market conditions, customer preferences, and emerging technologies. My experience across META has resulted in a deep understanding of regional market dynamics, competitor landscape, and industry trends. This has helped me effectively manage and nurture customer relationships, and over the years, I have gained valuable insights into various customer needs and pain points. I will leverage this knowledge to tailor solutions that align precisely with customer requirements, delivering value and building long-lasting relationships,” concluded El Ouazzani.El Ouazzani brings over 17 years of industry experience in product sales, security sales management and channel/partner management at VMware, Cisco, and HP. By streamlining workflows, implementing best practices, and leveraging technology to drive productivity across the organization, El Ouazzani aims to further establish SentinelOne as a trusted cybersecurity vendor in the region.

Kapture CX appoints Chandrakanth PS as AVP Sales-Middle East

 Kapture CX, the SaaS-based Customer Experience platform, has appointed Chandrakanth PS as AVP Sales-Middle East. Chandrakanth brings with him an impressive wealth of experience, totaling an outstanding 10 years in international sales leadership. With over a decade of experience as an international sales leader, Chandrakanth has honed a formidable skill set that includes in-depth knowledge of local business norms, etiquette, and laws—a vital asset for navigating international markets effectively. Throughout his illustrious career, Chandrakanth has demonstrated his prowess in managing the entire sales cycle, utilizing tools such as SalesForce, and providing invaluable coaching and mentoring to sales teams. He has made remarkable strides in B2B sales, solution selling, and strategic account development. Chandrakanth has not only contributed significantly to SAAS sales but has also excelled in account management and portfolio expansion. His exceptional skills in business planning, reporting, and customer relationship management have earned him recognition as an award-winning sales professional.Commenting on his appointment, Sheshgiri Kamath, CEO & Co-founder, Kapture CX, said, “Vikas and I are excited to welcome Chandrakanth to the Kapture team. We've been growing well in the Middle east market and bringing Chandra on board will accelerate this journey significantly for us. He's a rockstar and has built out some great relationships over the course of his career. His expertise building and accelerating new geography expansion is a step in the right direction as we look to scale our solutions globally. We truly believe Chandra can help us drive leadership market share amongst enterprises in customer experience across the Middle east market.”Chandrakanth holds an MBA in Finance & Marketing from Kaplan University in Singapore. Before joining the Kapture CX, Chandrakanth made significant contributions as the Associate Director of Sales at Locus, where he played a pivotal role in achieving their goals.Commenting on the same, Chandrakanth PS, AVP Sales-Middle East, said, "I am focussed in the Middle East region, including Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Kenya. The Middle East is a vibrant and dynamic business landscape, with a strong emphasis on delivering exceptional customer service. Kapture CX's track record of helping over 1000+ businesses globally, coupled with their proven ability to drive significant improvements in team productivity, overall customer satisfaction, and operational cost reduction, makes them an ideal partner for businesses in the Middle East seeking to elevate their customer experience.By joining forces with Kapture CX, I am confident that we can support businesses in the Middle East to establish a strong foothold in the market and deliver exceptional customer experiences.”

Haltia.AI unveils the most private personal AI assistant in the world

 Today marks an industry-defining moment as Haltia.AI emerges from stealth to announce its AI assistant, currently in a limited beta program shared exclusively with investors. This unveiling, set against the visionary backdrop of uncompromising privacy and ethics, promises a new standard for what personal technology could and should be. It merges unparalleled security with ethical responsibility and delivers an exceptional user experience.Arto Bendiken, CTO and co-founder states "In the crowded marketplace of smart assistants, we've created a premium experience that isn't just smart, but 'insightful.' Haltia.AI is more than an app; it's a masterpiece of engineering and privacy, akin to a Swiss watch in your pocket." Filling a gap in the market for state-of-the-art personal AI assistants, Haltia.AI is an all-in-one app-based solution. It’s designed for anyone looking to save precious hours in their day, from corporate executives and high net worth individuals to working mothers juggling the demands of family and career. Halford (“Hal”) and Tiana (“Tia”), the default avatars, go above and beyond standard AI capabilities, offering utility that ranges from basic tasks to complicated, predictive functionalities. Uniquely tailored to augment the iOS user experience, Haltia.AI will seamlessly integrate with Apple products and offer the best user experience on the newly unveiled iPhone 15, with plans for Android compatibility on the horizon.Elevating everyday tasks into effortless experiences, these AI assistants can read and respond to emails, capture new knowledge, conduct in-depth research, draft speeches and content, manage calendars, and even offer critical feedback on documents—all through natural voice interactions.  “In an era when technology is often under scrutiny for ethical and privacy concerns, we have engineered Halford and Tiana as fortresses of data security and privacy, ensuring that your data never escapes your personal devices and your ultimate control, thereby making cloud data leaks categorically impossible,” says Arto, elaborating on the product's ethical foundation and advanced security protocols.  "The essence of Haltia.AI is the gift of time. As lifelong companions, Halford and Tiana evolve alongside you, unlocking new features over time," says Talal Thabet, CEO and co-founder. "For anyone who's ever felt there aren't enough hours in the day, I invite you to discover how Haltia.AI can free up your time. Join our waiting list and be among the pioneering few to experience it globally.""As we approach the launch of our Series A funding, we're on the lookout for investors who resonate with our vision—those who grasp the immense potential of Haltia.AI and share our excitement about its capacity to empower humanity to truly live the life they've imagined," adds Talal.The anticipated premium client release for Haltia.AI is set for Q1 of 2024. Halford and Tiana will undergo regular updates, enhancing features and capabilities that are set to transform the interactions of clients with the technology. Operating on a subscription-based model complemented by in-app purchases, Haltia.AI is tailored to cater to both individual and corporate clientele. The pricing structure has been meticulously designed to engage the company's initial goal of 1 million premium clients. Moreover, these premium members will be paired with dedicated relationship managers, ensuring a guided and enriched experience throughout their journey with Haltia.AI.Behind Haltia.AI is a team of tech savants and ethical warriors, a diverse cohort of talent combining years of experience in both tech and business ethics, AI and security. The team is united in its quest to elevate digital experiences while ensuring privacy and ethical considerations are at the forefront. Arto concludes, "This is just the beginning. We're building a legacy, not merely a product, and we are excited for the next phase."

Dubai Eye 103.8's off script show partners with DP World Tour for Golf Content

Golfing fans are set to enjoy more comprehensive coverage of the sport, thanks to a collaboration between the DP World Tour and Dubai Eye 103.8, the UAE’s number 1 talk radio station.The partnership will run until February 2024, and see them invest in the development of LIVE radio content, a brand-new podcast series and social media coverage that will take listeners behind the scenes of golf’s global tour.It will give listeners the chance to hear from top golfers, building up to LIVE on course coverage from Jumeirah Golf Estates for the flagship season finale in the Race to Dubai, the DP World Tour Championship, in November.Off Script is hosted by Robbie Greenfield, Sonal Rupani and Chris McHardy. It airs on Dubai Eye 103.8 FM from 5:00PM-8:00PM Monday-Friday, each week across the UAE.Whether it is dissecting the outcome of the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome, debating who will win the coveted Race to Dubai title, or getting insights on the future of golf with the Tour’s leadership team – Off Script will have fans across the region covered.In addition to the radio show, Robbie Greenfield and former DP World Tour player Zane Scotland will be hosting a brand-new podcast series dedicated to golf called ‘The First Tee’.The first episode of the podcast released on Tuesday September 19, features an interview with newly crowned BMW PGA Champion New Zealand's Ryan Fox. Upcoming episodes feature conversations with the likes of Italian professional golfer Guido Migliozzi and English golfer on the G4D Tour, Kipp Popert.Speaking about the collaboration Tom Phillips, Head of Middle East at the DP World Tour, said: “Off Script is known for topical talk, big name guests and a strong dose of humour, so we look forward to getting fans inside the game with fun and fascinating interviews and debates with some of the biggest names in golf.”

Zayed University, Takalam partner for AI-enabled mental health solutions

Zayed University, a renowned leader in education and research excellence, has announced a new strategic partnership with Takalam, an award-winning UAE-based mental well-being platform at the forefront of mental health technology and AI innovation.Both Zayed University and Takalam envision a future where the innovative solutions born from this collaboration will transform mental health care on a global scale, making it more accessible and effective to everyone. By delving deep into the realm of artificial intelligence in the mental health landscape, this partnership aspires to create a ripple effect of positive change, breaking down barriers, and fostering well-being for all.This partnership underscores the commitment of both parties to contribute significantly to the national economic, social, and cultural progress of the United Arab Emirates. Together, they aim to chart new territories in mental health care, leveraging the power of AI, and advancing the country's position as a hub for innovation and education.The collaborative project will produce predictive screening software tools tailored to individuals dealing with mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety.These tools are set to provide early intervention for mental health issues, thus potentially benefiting countless individuals within the UAE community and beyond.What makes this partnership even more meaningful is that Khawla Hammad, the Founder and CEO of Takalam, is an esteemed alumna of Zayed University. She serves as a shining example of the university's mission to give back to the community after graduation. Her journey from student to entrepreneur and her dedication to improving mental health services exemplify the transformative power of education.Professor Michael Allen, Acting Vice-President of Zayed University, stated: "Our partnership with Takalam represents a fusion of expertise, innovation, and a shared commitment to a brighter, healthier future. By developing predictive screening software tools tailored for those struggling with mental health challenges, Zayed University and Takalam aim to create a new era of proactive mental health care that can positively impact the lives of countless people, including our students."Khawla Hammad said: "We are excited to join forces with Zayed University in this endeavor. By combining our expertise, we have the potential to revolutionize the way mental health support is delivered by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, ultimately improving the lives of millions. We believe that by combining ZU's educational excellence with Takalam's expertise in AI and mental health, we can push the boundaries of what is possible in this field, to provide more accurate and timely insights to individuals and healthcare providers."Zayed University and Takalam are embarking on an impactful journey, one that has the potential to reshape the future of mental health care and education, both nationally and globally. Together, they are poised to bring innovative solutions to the forefront, making well-being and education accessible and effective for all.

Alpha Dhabi's Metito stake acquisition bolsters global water scarcity efforts

Alpha Dhabi Holding (ADX: ALPHADHABI), an investment holding company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Metito Holdings Ltd., a global leader in the water and wastewater industry. Pending regulatory approvals, this pivotal transaction marks Alpha Dhabi’s strategic entry into the water and wastewater domain. The acquisition not only underscores the company’s commitment to diversifying its portfolio but also bolsters Metito’s mission to broaden smart water solutions across the MENA region and beyond, aligning with the UN sustainability goals.The acquisition sees Alpha Dhabi purchasing the majority stake from selling shareholders Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Gulf Capital, showcasing Alpha Dhabi’s unwavering confidence in Metito’s expertise and future potential. The Ghandour family, Metito’s founding shareholders, will retain their leadership roles, ensuring the company’s foundational principles of impact, sustainability, and innovation remain intact.Eng. Hamad Salem Al Ameri, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Alpha Dhabi, commented: “With nearly half the world’s population projected to face water scarcity by 2025, the need for sustainable water solutions has never been more critical. Our partnership with Metito is a decisive step towards addressing this pressing challenge. Together, we are committed to pioneering solutions that not only cater to immediate needs but also ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. This collaboration is more than a strategic business move; it’s a testament to Alpha Dhabi’s dedication to driving impactful change in the water sector and our broader vision of sustainable growth and global impact.Talal Ghandour, co-CEO of Metito, remarked: “Alpha Dhabi’s investment in Metito underscores the importance of our mission and the value we bring to the table. Together, we aim to address the pressing water challenges, especially in the MENA region, which is the most water-stressed region globally. With Metito’s extensive experience across 50 countries and our dedication to innovation and technology, this partnership will bolster our capabilities, allowing us to further our mission and bring sustainable water solutions to regions that need it the most.”Rami Ghandour, co-CEO of Metito, added: “This partnership is set to unlock vast synergies and to unleash boundless potential. We are poised to make significant contributions to sustainable solutions, especially as the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and COP28 gain traction. Together, our combined expertise and resources position us to drive sustainable growth and shareholder value in the global water sector.”By 2025, an estimated 3.5 billion people could be living in water-scarce regions. The MENA region, home to 7% of the world’s population but just 1% of its freshwater resources, is the most water-stressed globally. A staggering 83% of its population, approximately 500 million people across 25 countries, are using over 80% of their renewable water supply. The World Bank projects that by 2050, water scarcity could cost the MENA region between 6% and 14% of its GDP. These alarming statistics underscore the urgent need for innovative solutions and impact investments in the water sector.In line with the upcoming COP28 in the UAE, Alpha Dhabi has also established Alpha Dhabi Climate Capital, focusing on climate-conscious investments, with Metito as a cornerstone of this initiative.With the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and the imminent COP28, both Alpha Dhabi and Metito are geared to make substantial contributions to discussions and initiatives centered on sustainable, technology-driven solutions. This partnership is a testament to their shared vision of a brighter, more sustainable future for the UAE and the global community at large.

Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry partners with three local banks

Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) has signed three agreements with a group of leading banks. The move comes as part of the ADCCI’s commitment to supporting economic growth in Abu Dhabi and enhancing the investment climate by collaborating with various local and international entities.ADCCI signed agreements with the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Al Maryah Community Bank, and Wio Bank, during an official ceremony, which was held at ADCCI’s building and attended by His Excellency Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, CEO of ADCCI; Dr Amer Al Ameri, Head of Private Banking at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank; Mohammed Wassim Khayata, CEO of Al Maryah Community Bank, and Jamal Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer at Wio Bank.The agreements aim to facilitate the access of ADCCI’s members, entrepreneurs, and investors in the UAE and overseas unique and comprehensive banking services in the UAE and Abu Dhabi. They also aim to introduce members and investors to a range of services, promotional packages, and financing assistance programmes, and educate them about the necessary procedures to leverage these valuable services, to drive the growth of their business.His Excellency Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Chairman of ADCCI, said: “We, at the Abu Dhabi Chamber, are committed to fostering stronger collaborations with various public and private sector entities across diverse fields to achieve mutual goals, enhance the competitiveness of the business community, and drive economic development. We are aware of the role of the banking sector as a vital instrument to attract foreign investments and a fundamental pillar for enhancing the business environment and improving its diversity and competitiveness.“Today, we are proud to sign MoUs with the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Al Maryah Community Bank, and Wio Bank. These MoUs will play a key role in advancing the business community in thee and activating its effective role. They will also provide opportunities for enterprises of all types and sizes to contribute to shaping the national economic landscape. This comes in line with our wise leadership’s vision to elevate the leading position of the emirate of Abu Dhabi at the local and global levels.”His Excellency Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, CEO of ADCCI, said: “This step solidifies the chamber's commitment to building partnerships with both local and international partners. This is one of the most prominent factors for driving economic development and supporting prosperity in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.“The Abu Dhabi Chamber realises that banking assistance programmes and services play a pivotal role in supporting businesses and projects, attracting investments, and driving economic diversification. The banking sector serves as a key player in driving the growth of the business community and enhancing economic stability. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of these collaborations, and their support to our efforts by providing innovative solutions and the necessary facilitations to make Abu Dhabi the first choice in the Middle East and North Africa region for doing business by 2025.”Under the terms of the agreement between ADCCI and the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the two parties aim to introduce the chamber’s members to the bank’s services targeted at investors, and drive more participation in ADCCI events and initiatives. The two entities will support the growth of investment in the private sector and provide the required advice and information to investors and the Chamber’s visiting delegations.Dr Amer Al Ameri, Head of Private Banking at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, said: “The signing of the MoU is a strategic step that comes as part of the bank’s plan to contribute to the growth of the economic sector in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Through our ongoing partnership with the Abu Dhabi Chamber, we reaffirm our commitment to developing a dynamic business ecosystem that bolsters the growth of our financial and economic sectors.“We look forward to leveraging our joint efforts to benefit our valued customers and stakeholders and ensure their easy access to the Chamber’s rich resources and opportunities. The Bank puts a major focus on channelling these efforts towards serving our customers and partners in a manner that meets their requirements and aspirations.”The agreement between ADCCI and Al Maryah Community Bank aims to facilitate the processes of managing and financing projects for members of the Abu Dhabi Chamber. Al Maryah Community Bank will provide investors with innovative banking services to develop their projects and manage their finances effectively and safely, including bank account opening services. The bank will also provide other services including online and mobile banking, savings and current accounts, Wages Protection System (WPS), overdrafts, loans, and trade finance, among others.Mohammed Wassim Khayata, CEO of Al Maryah Community Bank, said: “We are very proud to partner with the Abu Dhabi Chamber to serve and develop the Emirati community, particularly local entities in Abu Dhabi. At Al Maryah Community Bank, our mission centres on enabling entrepreneurs to reach their full potential and support them with their banking and investment requirements through providing a range of smart, innovative, efficient and digital financial solutions.“Our joint efforts reflect our commitment to promoting the development of local enterprises in Abu Dhabi. We are confident that our seamless, simple and integrated digital banking solutions will pave the way for the growth and success of businesses in Abu Dhabi and the UAE community.”Under the terms of the agreement between ADCCI and Wio Bank, chamber members will benefit from a distinguished package of banking services and benefits delivered through the integrated financial platform of its kind in the region. The two parties will collaborate to host exhibitions, conferences and workshops that focus on topics of interest to both sides. They will also organise initiatives and projects focused on fostering entrepreneurship and further improving the investment climate within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.Jamal Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer at Wio Bank, said: “We reaffirm our commitment to this solid partnership with the Abu Dhabi Chamber, which will support us to provide unparalleled banking services to the thriving business community in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. In line with Wio Bank’s mission, we aim to empower emerging businesses by providing them with access to a comprehensive range of banking services. We support entrepreneurs in their daily operational activities and empower them to achieve their ambitions of expanding their businesses by reducing transaction costs and benefitting from a comprehensive package of competitive banking services.”Through the signed agreements ADCCI will introduce its members and partners to the distinguished service packages and banking solutions provided by the banks. This will support them in developing their businesses and enhancing their commercial and investment activities, contributing to driving sustainable economic development in Abu Dhabi.

Google and TikTok explore partnership to enhance search traffic, discovery

Google and TikTok are considering a new partnership that would involve incorporating Google search features, and potentially even search results, into TikTok's search functionality. This potential collaboration comes in response to TikTok's growing popularity among younger users, positioning it as a favoured search engine. For Google, this partnership represents an opportunity to expand its market share.Google has faced scrutiny regarding its dominance in web search, primarily through distribution agreements with companies like Apple and Samsung. TikTok, on the other hand, could benefit from improved content discovery, as Google indexes more of its content and displays more TikTok-related results in search. This could also impact Google's short-video platform, YouTube Shorts, but given TikTok's immense popularity, it could be a win-win for both platforms.It's important to note that these are speculations until an official agreement is reached and announced. Nevertheless, this partnership holds intrigue for digital marketers, particularly with TikTok's emergence as a search companion.A video posted by app researcher Radu Oncescu reveals that some TikTok users are now seeing a new prompt in their search results within the app. This prompt encourages users to expand their search on Google. While it resembles a custom advertising unit, TikTok clarified that it is not an advertisement.According to a Business Insider report, a TikTok spokesperson confirmed that the company is experimenting with third-party integrations within the TikTok app, including a trial with Google. This feature is being tested globally in various markets and is not an advertising unit. Google, however, did not provide further details or comment on any financial arrangements between the two companies as part of this partnership.In summary, this custom integration with Google is designed to enhance user experience by providing more context and enabling greater discovery within the TikTok app.

Advanced Media to launch Arabic edition of CINESeason in Riyadh

Advanced Media has announced the launch of the Arabic edition of CINESeason in Riyadh. This two-day event, designed to empower aspiring filmmakers and content creators, will take place on October 6th and 7th, 2023, setting the stage for an immersive learning experience in cinematic filmmaking and digital cinema technology.In 2020, Advanced Media Trading introduced CINE, a biannual digital cinema community event that quickly became a focal point for filmmakers, enthusiasts, and industry experts in the GCC and beyond. CINE has since been an invaluable space for professionals and cinephiles to come together, discuss the latest technologies, trends, and solutions in digital cinema, and showcase their skills and creations.Building on its reputation as the leading distributor of video, photo, broadcast, and cinema equipment, Advanced Media is furthering its commitment to the development and education of the media and film community. The launch of the Arabic edition of CINESeason underscores the company's dedication to organizing training workshops, seminars, and community events that inform and familiarize consumers with new equipment and cutting-edge technological advances.CINESeason, set to be held at a prestigious venue in Riyadh, is a comprehensive two-day event that brings together the best and brightest in the world of digital cinema. Participants will have the unique opportunity to engage with industry experts, share their knowledge, and explore the latest developments in digital cinema, broadcast, and video. This event will serve as a prelude to the 4th edition of the Riyadh Season, making it an essential part of the city's cultural calendar.The event's workshops are carefully curated to cater to a wide range of interests and skill levels. Covering topics such as video acquisition, lighting for film and TV drama, workflow, and post-production, the workshops offer a hands-on and interactive learning experience. Participants will have access to top-of-the-line equipment from renowned brands like RED, Sony Professional Solutions, Zeiss, Angenieux, Astera light, DJI, Tokina, and more, all within specially designed sets that enhance the learning experience.Workshop highlights include:  "Video Acquisition for Cinema" and "Understanding Your Optics: Shooting in 8K and Beyond" conducted by Mr. Fouad Aoun, a cinematography expert with over a decade of experience.  "Workflow and Post," taught by Mr. Mostafa Salah, a seasoned professional with a decade of experience in media and editing.  "Lighting for Film & TV Drama" by the renowned Egyptian Director of Photography, Ayman Abou el Makarem, offering invaluable insights into creating cinematic visuals, enhancing storytelling, and staying versatile and adaptable.Ultimately, all four workshops will provide participants with a platform to showcase their creativity. Collaborating on projects guided by experienced instructors, attendees will have the chance to put their newfound skills into practice, create compelling content, and present their work to their peers and industry professionals.Advanced Media's CINESeason workshops aim to empower participants to excel in their craft and take their filmmaking skills to new heights. By offering a comprehensive program that covers various aspects of cinematic filmmaking, providing hands-on experience with cutting-edge equipment, and fostering a collaborative and supportive environment, CINESeason is set to be an event like no other in the world of digital cinema.

Namshi and Adidas commence #YouthOfTheFuture campaign for Saudi National Day

Namshi, an online retailer and Adidas, have launched a new campaign, “#YouthOfTheFuture,” to celebrate Saudi National Day, which was on 23 September. This digital campaign encourages Saudi youth to share a photo or video of adidas in Saudi Arabia on any social media platform for a chance to win SR1,000 Namshi credits, which can be spent on adidas products only.The photos or videos can be of any adidas product shot in the region. Namshi is a homegrown brand with deep roots in the kingdom. Areej Al-Babtain, Project Manager at Namshi, shared: “We’re proud to partner with adidas to celebrate local style, honoring the rich culture, heritage and unique identity that define Saudi Arabia this National Day.”Participants must tag @namshi, @adidas and #youthofthefuture in their posts, which will be reposted by Namshi on its social media channels.

Jordan Source launches new digital publication for the ICT sector, JoSourceIT

Amman: Jordan Source, a program operating under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, recently launched its latest resource for information and insights into Jordan’s ICT sector, with the unveiling of a groundbreaking new digital publication. Through JoSourceIT, industry stakeholders and potential investors will receive an in-depth look at the latest developments happening across Jordan’s tech scene—with a particular focus on Jordan Source’s partners in the IT outsourcing (ITO), business process outsourcing (BPO), and gaming industries.In each issue of JoSourceIT, viewers will find a comprehensive array of multimedia content designed to help them stay abreast of the latest ICT sector news, trends, and updates. In addition to providing viewers with news about Jordan Source’s most recent activities and achievements, JoSourceIT offers a platform for Jordan Source’s partners—from private-sector businesses to international diplomatic missions—to share their latest updates.Each issue of JoSourceIT also puts a spotlight on Jordanian tech talents—both at home and abroad—and showcases companies and business leaders who have found success among Jordan’s IT outsourcing and business process outsourcing landscape. The publication also features in-depth reporting on key trends related to IT outsourcing, business process outsourcing, the gaming sector, and the tech world in general.With JoSourceIT, everyone from C-level executives to young ICT graduates are able to gain knowledge, information, and insights that will help them make the most of the Kingdom’s myriad opportunities for outsourcing, investment, employment, and entrepreneurship.Commenting on the launch of JoSourceIT, the Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, His Excellency Ahmad Hanandeh, said, “Since its inception, the Jordan Source program has sought to put a global spotlight on Jordan’s incredible potential as an IT and business process outsourcing destination. At the same time, the program has also worked to create unity, cohesion, and cooperation across the ICT sector, and to create a tight-knit community of ITO, BPO, and gaming-industry players. With the launch of JoSourceIT, we are making major strides on all these fronts—helping further catapult Jordan onto the global ICT stage while simultaneously providing a comprehensive resource for local industry stakeholders. We look forward to sharing JoSourceIT with our international network of partners, and to continuing to put the Kingdom on the map as a premier destination for growth opportunities.”The inaugural issue of JoSourceIT is aptly titled “The Global Tech Takeover Issue,” and highlights how Jordanian tech talent and opportunities have become an international talking point across the global ICT sector.

Beltone unveils the rebranding of BelCash to seven

Cairo: Beltone Financial Holding (“Beltone”), one of the fastest growing institutions, announces the strategic rebranding of its consumer finance subsidiary, from BelCash, to seven. This move reinforces Beltone's position as a leading consumer finance powerhouse, offering innovative fintech payment solutions that bridge the gap between financial capability and aspiration.????seven, formerly known as BelCash, aims to be the easiest, fastest, and most reliable financing tool for individuals across sectors such as education, healthcare, travel, electronics, home finishing, furniture, and automotive. seven allows customers to make purchases and repay them over periods of 6 to 60 months. Reaching an impressive portfolio of EGP1.3 billion in less than 5 months after the rebranding is a strong testament to the company’s success.Magd Darwish, Chief Executive Officer of seven, expressed immense pride in the remarkable achievements accomplished during such a short period of time. He emphasized that seven stands out in the market by offering a diverse range of products and services. With an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, seven not only offers a diverse range of products but also goes above and beyond by actively supporting individuals during pivotal moments in their lives. Whether it's crucial milestones like education, healthcare, or home finishing, seven stands as your trusted partner in investment, ensuring your success."In addition to its distinctive offerings and commitment to customer satisfaction, seven has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan across various regions in Egypt, including Greater Cairo, Alexandria, the Delta region, Upper Egypt, and the Red Sea. This exemplifies seven’s dedication to reaching a wider audience and making its innovative products accessible throughout the country.The rebranding of BelCash to seven is part of Beltone Financial Holding's broader efforts to expand its Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFIs) platforms. This platform encompasses private equity, direct investment, leasing, factoring, venture capital, and microfinance. Beltone aims to provide comprehensive and disruptive financial solutions that meet the evolving needs of the market while supporting economic growth and development.

Dubizzle Egypt hits new records by reaching 29mln users and one million listings

dubizzle Egypt, the online classifieds platform, achieved a huge success by reaching 29 million users during 2023, also the platform has received more than one million listings from May to August after rebranding from OLX to Dubizzle Egypt.The company showed that these strong results assured the regional strength of the famous UAE platform, in addition to providing many advantages that ensure a seamless experience for both buyers and sellers, and also the wide range of all the products to cater to all clients’ needs.The platform proved that technological development will achieve a major transformation in the field of classified ads in the Egyptian market, as they constantly develop its capabilities to keep pace with the regional technological developments and also through prioritizing the clients’ needs to reach their satisfaction.The platform added that these results reflect its success in implementing the ambitious strategy which was applied since starting operations in the Egyptian market, and also gain more clients' trust in the platform, as dubizzle always aims to increase its users base by offering new opportunities everyday.

Jaane Jaan: Kareena Kapoor's matured act elevates an average thriller

Lights, Camera, Review! Adgully launches film review column SCREENXX REVIEW. Adgully is thrilled to announce the launch of our brand-new film review column 'SCREENXX REVIEW' by none other than Sumeet Nadkarni. By day, he's a Chartered Accountant, but by passion, he's a self-styled film critic. Sumeet is no stranger to the world of cinema; he's been captivating audiences with his insights for years. Sumeet's film-related articles have appeared in leading publications. He brings a fresh and unique perspective to the world of Indian cinema with his unbiased film reviews. Stay tuned for a cinematic journey like no other, right here on Adgully.Lady Drishyam. These two words would sum up the latest crime thriller from Sujoy Ghosh, which is being publicised as Kareena Kapoor's OTT debut. Whateva!! Jaane Jaan is basically an adaptation of The Devotion of Suspect X, a popular novel made in to a Hollywood movie earlier as well as wonderfully Indianised by Jeethu Joseph and the late Nishikant Kamat as Drishyam (2015). The plot premise plus the alibi offered by the suspect are identical here though Sujoy Ghosh begins and ends his movie on a totally different note. And mind you, I found the climax quite abrupt and disappointing.The lovely Kareena Kapoor is obviously the centre of attraction here - for her next door neighbour cum mathematics teacher (Jaideep Ahlawat) as well as the investigating cop (Vijay Varma) cross-examining her in a murder case. The victim is supposedly Kareena's ex-husband, who was a dirty cop indulging in shady deals from hawala to dance bars.Like Ghosh's earlier films, the characters are well etched and deliciously quirky!! Jaideep Ahlawat is outstanding as the socially awkward Maths genius who sees logic as well as magic in numbers. Vijay Varma playing the tough cop, pitches in a competent act. In one scene, he finds it difficult to resist Kareena's charm and sorta self admonishes himself. Haha!!Ultimately, Jaane Jaan belongs to Kareena Kapoor, who is the "jaan" of this otherwise average flick. Her looks, body language, eye contact and dialogue delivery are just perfect. Watch her in the scene where she sees her ex-hubby for first time or later, when she grooves to the iconic Lata Mangeshkar song from which the movie title is borrowed. This is indeed Kareena 2.0. Yup, she's come a long way from playing Poo and hamming to glory in films like Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon and Khushi (both 2003). This lady has matured beautifully, knows how to act now and most importantly, means business. Lady Drishyam, actually!! Ratings on some key aspects* :1. Acting : 5/52. Direction : 3/53. Music : 3.5/54. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 2/55. Cinematography : 3/56. Editing : 2.5/57. Costume Design : 3.5/58. Special Effects and VFX : NA9. Action : NA10. Production Quality : 3/5 #SNRating for #JaaneJaan : 2 & 1/2 stars out of 5. - Sumeet Nadkarni. * - 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. #JaaneJaan #CrimeThriller #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #KareenaKapoor #JaideepAhlawat #VijayVarma #SujoyGhosh #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/ Watchable3 & 1/2 stars = Definitely worth a theatrical watch4 stars = Very good5 stars = Masterpiece/ Outstanding.

Twice as nice to Kuala Lumpur as Etihad airways announces double daily flights

Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways is meeting customer demand by boosting flights between Abu Dhabi and Malaysia’s vibrant capital Kuala Lumpur. A second daily flight starts on 15 January 2024, providing guests with 14 flights per week between both cities.“With our convenient departures from Abu Dhabi, our second Kuala Lumpur flights will optimise timings for UAE residents wishing to have a break in Malaysia,” said Arik De, Chief Revenue Officer at Etihad Airways.“Moreover, the new daytime and night-time flights from Kuala Lumpur allow travellers reaching Abu Dhabi more options to explore what the city has to offer in terms of business and pleasure. It further reaffirms our commitment to bringing more guests to enjoy Abu Dhabi, as well as connecting to our growing global network.”Kuala Lumpur, the dazzling capital city of Malaysia, is renowned for its captivating skyline dominated by the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. The city offers a rich blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures, resulting in a diverse culinary scene, vibrant markets, and a plethora of cultural attractions.Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi continues to allure travellers with its enthralling array of attractions, ranging from the architectural masterpiece Louvre Abu Dhabi to adrenaline-filled adventures at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.Both daily frequencies will be operated on a state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, and in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity.<img src='\93e8dbc43db6a53855b8a9c7a9ea6616.png' class='content_image'>The combined double-daily flights will see Etihad offer 425,000 seats annually between Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur, representing a year-on-year capacity increase of 75%.The additional frequency will also increase the total annual cargo capacity, opening more business opportunities and supporting the growth of bilateral trade.The move means customers will enjoy even more choice and connectivity this winter between Abu Dhabi and Southeast Asia as Etihad offers up to 77 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur (14 weekly flights), Bangkok (14), Phuket (14), Manila (14), Jakarta (14), and Singapore (7).The announcement comes after the airline unveiled an ambitious network overhaul, positioning it for sustainable expansion while improving Abu Dhabi’s links to global markets and amplifying the capital’s tourism industry. Etihad’s new winter schedule includes new destinations, increased flight frequencies and even more convenient departure times.Tickets are now on sale on and the airline's mobile app.

LuLu Group expands into poland with logistics hub

LuLu Group, the UAE's prominent retail conglomerate, is expanding its footprint in Europe with the establishment of a logistics hub in Poland. The company has recently entered into agreements with both the Polish Investment and Trade Agency and Olsztyn Mazury Airport to materialize this strategic initiative. This move follows closely on the heels of LuLu Group's inauguration of a sourcing, food processing, and export hub in Italy.In this new venture in Poland, the retail giant is slated to create a facility at Olsztyn Mazury Airport that will be responsible for handling fresh products, including meat, berries, apples, cheese, and various packaged foods, destined for markets in the Middle East, North Africa, the Far East, and India. This forthcoming facility will serve as the company's inaugural logistics center in Central and Eastern Europe.Notably, it will augment the presence of local Polish products on LuLu's supermarket shelves and foster enhanced collaboration between Polish producers, suppliers, and contractors in the UAE. The investment is poised to generate fresh opportunities for local Polish producers, as stated by Pawel Kurtasz, Chairman of the Management Board of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.A company statement emphasized that "the logistics center in Poland will play a pivotal role in advancing LuLu Group International's business in Central and Eastern Europe." This latest investment underscores the company's continued expansion, further solidifying its position as a major player in the global retail market.

Prime Video to introduce ads

Beginning next year, Amazon's Prime Video streaming service will incorporate limited advertisements. Ads in Prime Video content will be introduced in the US, UK, Germany and Canada in early 2024, followed by France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia later in the year, said the company. Amazon said the idea is to provide an ad experience with significantly fewer interruptions compared to traditional linear TV and other streaming platforms.Crucially, this transformation will not result in any changes to the current pricing structure of Prime membership for customers. "We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers. No action is required for Prime members. We’re not making changes in 2024 to the current price of Prime membership," said the company.Amazon is working on introducing a new ad-free option, and the pricing details for this option will be shared at a later date. Amazon will ensure that its Prime members are well-informed about these developments and will provide ample time and guidance on how to opt for the ad-free option, should they prefer it.Since its launch in 2007, Amazon Prime has consistently evolved, offering an expanding list of benefits to its members. Live event content such as sports will continue to include advertising.

Najla Al Midfa wins Arabian Business Arab Woman Award for Entrepreneurship

Sharjah:  In a glittering ceremony held at the Jumeirah Mina A'Salam Hotel in Dubai, the Arabian Business Arab Woman Awards 2023 recognised and celebrated exceptional women who have made significant contributions to various fields. Among the distinguished winners, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), received the coveted Arabian Business Arab Woman Award for Entrepreneurship.This prestigious accolade is a testament to Al Midfa's relentless dedication to fostering entrepreneurship in the Arab world and her true commitment to empowering founders and innovators.Najla Al Midfa: Pioneering entrepreneurship in the Arab worldNajla Al Midfa's passion for entrepreneurship has helped to transcend Sheraa to new heights, empowering aspiring entrepreneurs not just in the UAE but across the Arab region and the world. Through various initiatives, Sheraa has emerged as a thriving ecosystem that nurtures and supports budding business founders, providing them with the tools and resources needed to transform their dreams into reality.Al Midfa's commitment to entrepreneurship is deeply ingrained in her philosophy. She understands that the road to success for startups is often fraught with challenges, and Sheraa’s tireless efforts have alleviated many of these obstacles. During her tenure at the entrepreneurial hub, Sheraa has evolved into a powerhouse of innovation, fostering an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish.Commenting on the award, Najla Al Midfa eloquently shared, “It is often said that every great dream commences with a dreamer standing atop the shoulders of giants. I humbly dedicate this award to two such giants, visionaries who have paved the way for us on this remarkable journey. H.H Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah, who envisioned the emirate not merely as an Arab city, but as a global beacon for human advancement and progress. And H.E. Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, the chairperson of Sheraa, whose unyielding commitment to nurturing the next generation of changemakers knows no bounds.”The Sheraa CEO gave homage to her team saying, “The incredible team at Sheraa embodies the essence of this vision, thanks to their relentless drive that every idea finds its purpose, every challenge morphs into an opportunity, and every enraptured dream inches closer to reality. And lastly, a tribute to the entrepreneurs we have had the honour of working with. You invigorate us every single day with your determination to push the boundaries of what is possible. Your ventures echo the realisation of the vision that guides us at Sheraa, reiterating that with collective effort, the sky is not the limit but the beginning.”Sheraa: The Catalyst for EntrepreneurshipThe Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center has become synonymous with entrepreneurial success under Najla Al Midfa's stewardship. Sheraa's multifaceted approach to supporting startups encompasses access to funding, mentorship, training, and a thriving community.One of the centre's standout achievements is its role in attracting founders and innovators to Sharjah and the UAE. By providing a nurturing environment and crucial resources, Sheraa has significantly contributed to positioning the emirate as a global hub for entrepreneurship.

Flint Culture MENA announces a strategic partnership with Shared Planet

Flint Culture MENA has announced an exclusive partnership with Shared Planet to offer a unique blend of environmental and cultural strategic communications expertise for the Middle East market.The two agencies came together to bring their unique blend of environmental and cultural expertise to the Middle East market – a region where sustainable tourism, green living, sustainable design, cultural heritage and ecological restoration programmes are growing substantially. This unusual partnership between boutique agencies will deliver a powerful combination of highly specialised capabilities.The Flint Culture/Shared Planet partnership is designed to serve a diverse range of clients, including governmental bodies, corporations, NGOs, and academic institutions. These organisations stand to benefit from Flint Culture’s strategic communications expertise, and Shared Planet’s research-led stakeholder engagement capabilities in a range of complex environmental and social topics. Building on Shared Planet’s extensive experience and expertise in shaping social and environmental policy across the GCC region, the partnership also aims to develop innovative strategic communications solutions in the environmental and social space, particularly in critical areas such as afforestation/greening, ecological restoration, waste management and circular economy, water usage, gender diversity, and social equity.The partnership uniquely positions Flint Culture and Shared Planet to fill a critical gap in the market by offering a research-led, integrated approach to navigating complex issues and intricate stakeholder matrices. This synergy will provide our clients across both public and private sectors in the Middle East with a holistic solution for enhancing brand reputation and fostering meaningful relationships with key stakeholders.

Adidas Originals unveils new brand platform celebrating the Trefoil legacy

Adidas Originals has introduced a new global brand platform with the slogan "We Gave the World an Original. You Gave Us a Thousand Back." This marks a significant moment for the brand in 2023 as it pays tribute to its iconic symbol, the Trefoil, which has represented Adidas for the past 50 years.Adidas has maintained its enduring presence in various domains, spanning sports, skateboarding, music, and fashion. Now, the Trefoil embarks on a fresh chapter, highlighted by a trio of films directed by three innovative creators, along with a selection of triptych still images. These visuals focus on three timeless personas from Adidas' rich history: the Superstar, the Gazelle, and the Samba.Each film and set of images sheds light on a different footwear silhouette, weaving together the Trefoil's historical narrative with the manner in which these iconic styles, initially rooted in sports, have been embraced, reimagined, and integrated into culture.For the Superstar segment, the accomplished director and founder of LoveSong production studio, Daniel Wolfe, lends his creative vision.The Gazelle,which transitioned from sports arenas to global skate parks, is portrayed by the self-taught moving image maker, Will Dohrn. Dohrn's storyline follows a young protagonist navigating different eras while donning archival Adidas attire, meeting pro-skate duo Mike Arnold and Miles Silvas along the way.Completing this trio is the Samba, originally renowned in the world of soccer. Its low-profile silhouette and gum sole have become symbols of rebellion against prevailing trends worldwide. The celebrated visual artist, Justyna Obasi, captures the mythical journey of the Samba through time and space, commencing with the nimble footwork of young soccer players and concluding in the diverse cultural scenes that have adopted the shoe as their own.Each film is complemented by a series of triptych still images photographed by Chadwick Tyler. Some sets feature partners, collaborators, and friends of the Adidas brand who have contributed to narrating the global story of the Trefoil. This illustrious list includes Zinedine Zidane, Jenna Ortega, Pusha T, Anitta, Hoyeon Jung, David Beckham, Jennie, and Stormzy.

Etihad Airways earns third consecutive five-star rating at APEX awards

Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national airline, has been rated as a Five-Star Global Airline by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) for the third consecutive year. The rating recognises the airline’s excellence and was announced on 20 September at the APEX Awards Ceremony in Long Beach, California.The APEX Five Star Airline Awards were created based on neutral, third-party passenger feedback and insights gathered in partnership with TripIt® from Concur®, the world’s highest-rated travel-organising app. For the 2024 Awards, nearly one million flights were rated by passengers across more than 600 airlines from around the world using a five-star scale. The awards are independently certified by a professional external auditing company.Commenting on the recognition from APEX, Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad, said: “Our guests are at the heart of all we do, and we are immensely proud to retain our Five-Star rating for the third year in a row, thanks to their ratings and feedback. We strive to deliver world-class service for our guests, inspired by the traditional Emirati hospitality of our home in Abu Dhabi, and we will continue to push the boundaries of the industry even higher.”The recognition comes as Etihad prepares to launch three new destinations, with flights to Dusseldorf launching on 28 September, Copenhagen on 29 September and Osaka on 1 October. Additionally, Etihad’s network expansion has included increasing flight frequencies across a number of routes across Europe and Asia making travel even more convenient.Etihad’s award-winning guest experience offers the highest standards of service and hospitality regardless of the cabin, whether a guest chooses to fly in The Residence, Etihad’s unique three-room suite on the Airbus A380, or in First, Business or Economy cabins across the fleet.In Business class, guests will experience Etihad’s collaboration with Armani/Casa which features a range of dining and glassware designed with celebrated designer Giorgio Armani. The collection also offers luxurious bedding with a jointly branded blanket, pillow and bolster cushion that unfolds into a mattress topper for Etihad’s fully flat bed.Recently awarded as Best Economy Class in the Business Traveller Middle East Awards, Etihad Economy’s superior in-flight cuisine is served on unique dining equipment which was designed with sustainability and an elevated guest experience as core priorities. The dining equipment is fully reusable to reduce waste and is produced using a fully-closed loop recycling system which creates a circular economy. The dining ware is embossed with Etihad’s signature style further elevating the guest experience.

TikTok introduces measurement solution for advertisers

TikTok has launched Attribution Analytics, a new tool to help advertisers better understand campaign performance and user insight. It is a first-party measurement solution that analyses the full customer journey on the social platform, from awareness to action, providing insights into how users make purchases.TikTok has confirmed that it is planning to release a number of additional features for Attribution Analytics in the coming months, and support other campaign types to give advertisers transparency into their ad impact. The first feature that is announced as part of the initial launch is the Performance Comparison. This is a measurement tool that shows conversions over different timeframes, helping advertisers find the right attribution strategy for their business. Performance Comparison data will show the number of conversions that happen after seeing or clicking an ad, and how long it takes for these conversions to happen.In its blog post announcing the new tool, TikTok highlights the unconventional customer journey on the platform . It mentions, “The immersive nature of TikTok content means users often see and take inspiration from ads but don’t want to disrupt their browsing experience. Instead, they continue their browsing on TikTok and resume their purchase journey later."It also revealed that according to a post-purchase survey, 79 per cent of conversions that users credited to TikTok were missing from last-click models data.

Hypermedia enters a media partnership with Reem Mall

Hypermedia, the leading tech company in the digital-out-of-home (DOOH) industry in the region, has secured the exclusive out-of-home (OOH) Media Rights for Reem Mall, a world-renowned shopping destination. As of May 1, 2023, the partnership agreement designates Hypermedia with the task of installing, maintaining, and managing Reem Mall's complete media network.After achieving a milestone in unlocking the power of smart technologies with data analytics in the retail environment, Hypermedia- subsidiary of W Group, will be providing unique measurable impact indoors by providing consumer insights to advertisers!Hypermedia will be rolling out one of the largest digital networks ever seen in UAE Malls, with more than 200 digital signages and promotional spaces in Reem Mall. Not only is Hypermedia reinforcing its status as a leader in the UAE's OOH advertising landscape, but it's cementing its position as a regional leader in retail media and OOH digital transformation, expanding on the premise that the ability to offer real-time targeting and audience measurement is a breakthrough to indoor communication, and a game-changer globally to our industry."We are thrilled to secure this strategic partnership with Reem Mall. This milestone achievement underscores Hypermedia's commitment to growth and innovation in the DOOH landscape. By integrating our advanced digital media network with Reem Mall's cutting-edge facilities, we are keen on delivering unparalleled DOOH advertising experiences that will captivate consumers and redefine the shopping journey. This collaboration marks an exciting chapter for Hypermedia and reaffirms our position as a leading player in this industry," said W Group Chairman and CEO Habib Wehbi.Bruce von Kaufmann, Mall Director of Reem Mall, expressed his excitement about this transformative partnership, stating, "We are delighted to announce our partnership with Hypermedia for the deployment of an extraordinary digital network within Reem Mall. With over 200 state-of-the-art digital signs strategically placed throughout the Mall, we are set to create one of the largest and most immersive digital networks ever seen in UAE Malls. Through our collaboration with Hypermedia, we will seamlessly integrate captivating digital displays into our visitor journey, allowing brands and retailers to connect with our diverse audience in compelling ways."Reem Mall's ecosystem seamlessly connects retailers with customers, enabling innovative promotions and personalized deals for every shopper. By integrating audience measurement and analytics with Hypermedia, both are delivering customized recommendations and deals that cater to the unique preferences of each customer. As an illustration, Hypermedia's AI-enabled software, which integrates seamlessly with any Digital Signage CMS platform in Reem Mall, and the 24×7 data analytics services primed to deliver real-time audience insights will bring about more personalized messaging, making room for optimization, efficiency, and more accurate marketing strategies, leading to endless marketing measurable opportunities!This collaboration is set to create a new benchmark for DOOH advertising in the UAE, providing an enhanced and immersive shopping experience. First of their kind in the region and spearheaded by Hypermedia, these analytics tools will provide credible, real-time reporting on metrics, such as audience traffic, impressions, qualified views, and view times to validate ad performance and identify which ads are performing best. By pooling their expertise and resources, these two parties are taking media suppliers-brands-consumers liaisons to unparalleled heights and revolutionizing the digital journey for millions of visitors and shoppers to Reem Mall.Hypermedia is a boundary-pushing, innovation frontrunner in the OOH and In-store Retail Media space, and by being awarded Reem Mall's exclusive partnership for outdoor media rights, it is bridging the gap of campaign effectiveness in this day and age, through real-time audience data. With extensive industry experience and a forward-thinking approach, it's poised to create impactful and engaging DOOH advertising experiences within the captivating environment of Reem Mall.

FranGlobal joins forces with Arab Franchise Expo as market entry specialists

FranGlobal, Asia’s leading franchising solutions firm, is partnering with Arab Franchise Expo to be held between 21st and 22nd September 2023 at the iconic Queen Elizabeth II in Dubai. The event will foresee around 100-Plus Franchise Brands from 25 Countries and more than 20 Educational Seminars on Tap at Arab Franchise Expo 2023.FranGlobal has a reputation for working with various top global corporations helping them to enter and expand in Asia and Gulf countries. For the upcoming expo, FranGlobal announces their plans to take around a hundred UAE homegrown brands and start-ups and take them global.Gaurav Marya, Franchising mentor and Founder of FranGlobal, commented on their expansion and plans in the UAE. “We are rigorously working to bring several deserving brands to the UAE market, the country is a hub for innovation, and progress. Every business that enters the market rightfully has nothing but wins. At FranGlobal, we recognize the iconic and dynamic brands that are homegrown and starting from this country and we want to help them to global and for the world to see the massive growth of Arab brands and the potential brands from the Middle East possess.”Mr Marya also elaborated on their bold financial strategy. With aims to further empower the UAE’s innovation hub with a winning streak, they are dedicared to elevating homegrown icons onto the global stage.“We are looking to drive business investments of around USD 100 million and have a portfolio of the top global brands ready to jump into the thriving market in Dubai.” He added.Some of their top upcoming clients that are present at the Expo include, USA’s popular Atomic wings, Crunch Fitness which is also from the US and known for their training programs, Miller’s Famous Sandwiches, London Slush, Chai Garam, Dr. Alka’s Clinic, and Athos Health Spaces amongst many others. The event will feature more than 100 franchise brands – from emerging, franchise newcomers to medium-size companies and large, well-established franchisors – all segments of franchising that FranGlobal specializes in. The company’s objectives revolve around being a devoted strategist, growth enabler and implementation adviser to its existing and potential clients, enabling them to enter and conquer new markets.Appreciated by their esteemed patrons for their top-notch services like Franchise consultations and solutions, Market entry consulting, Partner identification and recruitment, Concept research and alignment and strategic investment services amongst more, FranGlobal has worked across major industries like consumer services, health and wellness, food and beverage, retail and education.With over two decades of experience taking brands to and from Asia to the world, the firm is associated envisions enabling start-ups to compete more effectively by providing market understanding, operation expansion and growth programs.

42 Abu Dhabi hosts coding hackathon in collaboration with Al Hathboor

42 Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital’s innovative and disruptive coding school that provides a unique peer-to-peer, gamified learning methodology, held a hackathon titled “AI See a Solution: Computer Vision Hackathon 2023” from 13-14 September. The hackathon was held in collaboration with Al Hathboor, a cutting-edge solutions provider dedicated to spearheading technological advancements for businesses and governments.This two-day hackathon aimed to foster innovation and creativity among students by challenging them to harness the power of coding to solve real-world problems using AI. The event kicked off with a workshop on the first day, focusing on Computer Vision using Python Frameworks, Python Libraries, Open-source Models, and Datasets. Through the workshop, students gained valuable insights and skills essential for the hackathon, ensuring they are equipped to tackle the challenge ahead.The team who won first place, including Ahmed Salem, Ghaiath Abdoush, Shatha Jadallah and Nousheen Ali, developed 'Sawt AlRu’ya,' an application which utilizes cutting-edge computer vision and AI technology to analyze live video streams, convert them into real-time textual descriptions, and seamlessly translate them into spoken words using a Large Language Model (LLM). By providing immediate audio feedback, 'Sawt AlRu’ya' empowers individuals with visual impairments to interact with their surroundings, effectively enhancing their daily lives and fostering inclusivity.The second-place champions, including Avazbek Rashidov, Timur Mazitov, Zubaydullo Abdirakhmonov, and Nauman Munir, developed "Visulaw", a tool which empowers users to capture photos of objects and instantly receive location-specific information about relevant fines and laws associated with those objects. This web application enhances user awareness and compliance with local regulations, fostering safer and more informed interactions with everyday objects.Marcos Muller Habig, Acting CEO of 42 Abu Dhabi, said: "We were thrilled to host the hackathon in collaboration with Al Hathboor, which served as an opportunity for our students to showcase their talents and unleash their creativity. The hackathon empowered 42 Abu Dhabi’s students to leverage their coding skills to develop advanced technologies which can drive meaningful change within the community. This cements our leading position as a talent incubator that is upskilling a new generation of coders who are equipped to accelerate the Emirate’s digital transformation and make a positive impact on society."Raj Sandhu, General Manager of Al Hathboor, said: "We at Al Hathboor are proud to collaborate with 42 Abu Dhabi in spearheading technological advancements through coding and practical sciences. AHB is pleased to be part of the very first Computer Vision hackathon in collaboration with 42 Abu Dhabi. We extend our appreciation to the participants and 42 Abu Dhabi Faculty’s unwavering support, and we look forward to future collaboration opportunities."42 Abu Dhabi is an innovative and disruptive coding school, launched in 2020 as an initiative of ADEK, to drive Abu Dhabi’s ongoing development through multi-faceted investments in business, innovation, and people.

India’s budget carrier Akasa Air to begin Middle Eastern flights

Akasa Air, a budget-friendly Indian airline, has secured authorisation to operate international flights. According to the reports, the airline will commence international routes in December, with initial destinations centred on the Middle Eastern nations.However, the airline awaits the allocation of traffic rights by the government and subsequent approval from the relevant countries. These traffic rights are typically granted bilaterally by governments to airlines of their respective nations."Akasa Air (M/S SNV Aviation Pvt ltd.) had sought approval for designation as a scheduled international carrier and subsequently requested to allocate traffic rights. The proposal was examined in consultation with DGCA. It has been decided, with the approval of competent authority, to allow Akasa Air (M/s SNV Aviation Pvt ltd.) to mount international operations subject to their continued compliance with the AIC 10 of 2022 dated 19.04.22," read the letter issued by S.P.R Tripathi, Under Secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation. "Further, as per DGCA, Akasa Air can apply for international scheduled air transport services. However, it is also informed that based on the traffic rights to be allocated to Akasa Air( M/s SNV Aviation Pvt Ltd.) by this ministry, the scrutiny of country-specific preparedness will be carried out by DGCA as per CAR Section-3, Part-II before permitting Akasa Air (M/s SNV Aviation Pvt ltd.) to operate scheduled international operations," the letter added

Dany Azzi appointed as ECD at The Network Communication Group

Dany Azzi has assumed the role of Executive Creative Director (ECD) and has also been appointed as a new board member at The Network. Communication Group. Dany is a senior creative leader with more than two decades of experience in the Middle East and GCC with leading multinational networks such as FP7McCann, DDB, Memac Ogilvy and Drive Dentsu.In his previous role, Dany Azzi served as the Executive Creative Director at FP7 McCann Riyadh. His diverse expertise spans across numerous industries and iconic brands, including Ford Motors, Samsung, Spotify, Mobily, STC, Jawwy, Uber, Henkel, Pepsico, Al Rajhi Bank, Al Safi Danone, and Aramco, among others. Under his leadership, these campaigns have garnered regional and global recognition, earning multiple industry awards and accolades.The Network Communication Group Chairman Roger Sahyoun said: ”Dany’s appointment further represents our commitment to the transformation and the growth of both AGA ADK and The NETWORK Communication Group, and solidifies our regional leadership to reach a position of creative excellence that is engrained in our DNA. Dany and I both share the same vision on the need to foster talent, embrace transformation, and develop a culture that is integrated, collaborative, innovative and most importantly always on--a vision to become the go-to destination for creativity, whether it’s for brands, talents or students.“Dany said: “I am thrilled to join AGA ADK and The Network Communication Group and would like to thank Mr. Roger for the trust and the opportunity. The Network Communication Group, with its legacy as a leading independent communication network that has a regional footprint with a global reach, offers me a unique opportunity to embark on a promising journey, to create brave ideas and to deliver meaningful work for a diversified portfolio of clients.”

Rupert Murdoch steps down, Lachlan to lead Fox, News Corp

Rupert Murdoch will step down from his roles as chairman of both Fox and News Corp, paving the way for his son, Lachlan Murdoch, to assume leadership at both companies. In a staff memo, the 92-year-old Murdoch cited the opportune moment for him to embrace "different roles" in the organisations. Murdoch will transition to the position of Chairman Emeritus for both firms in mid-November, after having launched Fox News in 1996. Today, Fox is the most-watched TV news channel in the US.  The transition is significant as it comes a year ahead of the US presidential election, in which the right-wing Fox News wields major influence. The network will be hosting multiple debates featuring Republican contenders for the 2024 White House candidacy.Lachlan Murdoch, aged 52, is Rupert Murdoch's son from his second marriage to Anna Maria dePeyster. The veteran media tycoon has been married four times, fathering six children, with the question of succession mainly revolving around his second, third, and fourth children: Elisabeth, Lachlan, and James. Lachlan, who in the past had emerged as the heir apparent in the late 1990's, had to leave the business in 2005 after differences of opinion with Fox News ex boss Roger Ailes. Lachlan returned to the News Corp board in 2014, holding important positions since then.James Murdoch, known for his more progressive viewpoints, left the media empire three years ago, citing what he called some disagreements "over certain editorial content" and other concerns about the company's direction. Elisabeth, aged 55, occupied different high-ranking roles within the business, but started her own TV company, Shine, responsible for producing popular shows such as The Biggest Loser, MasterChef, etc.The leadership transition arrives amid a turbulent year for Fox, marked by a significant settlement of $787.5 million with Dominion, a voting machine company, over its coverage of the 2020 presidential election.

UAE Government awards Yahsat AED 18.7 billion satellite contract

Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PJSC (“Yahsat” or the “Group”), the UAE’s flagship satellite solutions provider listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (”ADX”, under symbol: YAHSAT, ISIN: AEA007501017) announced today that its government services arm, Yahsat Government Solutions (“YGS”), has received from the UAE Government (the “Government”), an Authorization to Proceed (“ATP”) to provide satellite capacity and managed services for 17 years. This mandate, valued at AED 18.7 billion (USD 5.1 billion), combines related operations, maintenance and technology management services of ground segment satellite systems and terminals currently provided under a separate contract.The mandate will replace two current agreements, the Capacity Services Agreement (“CSA”) and the Managed Services Mandate (“MSM”), which come to an end in November and December 2026, respectively. Under the new mandate Yahsat will provide the Government with secure and reliable satellite capacity and related managed services using the Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 satellites, currently in orbit, and supplement this by two new satellites, Al Yah 4 (“AY4”) and Al Yah 5 (“AY5”) which are expected to be launched in 2027 and 2028, respectively.The mandate reinforces Yahsat’s long-standing and unique relationship with the Government, dating back almost two decades since the company’s inception, highlighting its critical role as the preferred and trusted partner to the Government for the supply of secure satellite capacity and solutions. It also significantly increases the Group’s contracted future revenues to AED 25.7 billion (USD 7.0 billion), over 16 times its 2022 annual revenues, extending backlog well beyond 2040 and providing security and visibility over its future cash flows. Yahsat signed an Authorisation-to-Proceed with Airbus (“Airbus ATP”) in June 2023 for the construction of AY4 and AY5. This preserves the programme schedule and enables certain activities to commence, such as system requirements review, design work and procurement activities for long-lead items. The AY4 and AY5 procurement, including spacecraft, ground segment infrastructure, launch and insurance, will be funded by Yahsat’s own resources as well as other potential funding options which are currently under review. In addition, the award includes an advance payment from the Government of USD 1 billion to be received in 2024.Commenting on this key milestone, Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Chairman of Yahsat, said: “We are honoured to secure the continued trust of the UAE Government to provide critical, secure communication services for a further 17 years beyond 2026. This award is a testament to our long-standing relationship with the Government and the quality of service that we provide as we continue to strive to consistently exceed customer expectations. By complementing our existing fleet with Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 next generation satellites, we will be able to serve the government with new cutting-edge solutions that are not currently possible. The performance of the new satellites is expected to significantly surpass current industry capabilities including capacity, coverage and flexibility allowing us to offer a wide range of next generation applications to our end user. We are excited by this new journey and look forward to serving our customer with true operational excellence.”From his side, Ali Al Hashemi, Group Chief Executive Officer at Yahsat, said: “We are delighted to receive this mandate, which allows us to continue to provide capacity and related services to the UAE Government beyond 2026 using our current satellite fleet, and beyond 2040 on two new satellites, which are already under construction. This is a new chapter in Yahsat’s momentous journey serving the satellite communications requirements for the UAE Government.The AED 18.7 billion [USD 5.1 billion] mandate positions Yahsat for sustainable future growth, alongside other ambitious projects in the pipeline. Our financial position has never been stronger and we now enjoy a contracted revenue backlog of AED 25.7 billion [USD 7.0 billion] or over 16 times annual revenues based on backlog figures at the end of the second quarter. Representing one of the largest backlog multiples and strongest balance sheets in the industry, we remain optimistic about providing a broader, more diverse and cutting-edge solutions portfolio to both the government and our customers.”

Automechanika Dubai Awards attracts a record number of entries

The Automechanika Dubai Awards has returned for its third edition, celebrating and honouring the creme de la creme of the region’s automotive aftermarket and service industry.Held on the second morning of the three-day Automechanika Dubai, the Middle East and Africa’s largest international trade exhibition for the automotive aftermarket industry, from October 2-4 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), this year’s awards have attracted a record-breaking 399 entries across ten awards.Now narrowed down to 30 finalists by an esteemed panel of regional and international senior industry judges, this year’s event also includes several new categories, including a special recognition award to be announced during the award ceremony with the exhibition on the morning of October 3.As the MENA region’s first-ever platform to recognise the people and organisations creating significant impact within the automotive sector, the 2023 awards celebrate service providers, people, digitalisation, products, and leaders making a difference in the industry.Mahmut Gazi Bilikozen, Portfolio Director at Automechanika Dubai organisers Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said, “Our awards this year very much reflect the changing nature of the industry - for the first time we are featuring an award for the digitalisation project of the year, as well as the digital product of the year."“Our new Start-up of the Year category also throws a spotlight on all the innovation we’ve seen in the sector in recent times, and interest has once again grown in our ground-breaking ‘Women in Automotive’ category.”Finalists for the Women in Automotive Aftermarket category are Mary Munyao, YNA Kenya; Nisreen Akhter, Star Composed Chemicals MFG LLC; and Shubhra Srivastava, GaragePlug Inc.For the new Digitalization Project of the Year category, the judges narrowed the entries to three finalists: GaragePlug Inc., Autobia and Arabian Automobiles Company. The Start-Up of the Year award puts Autobia, AutoSmart Technology and Ennoventure up against each other.The companies in the final three for the Digital Product of the Year accolade are AutoSmart Audit by Autosmart Technology, Encrypto by Ennoventure and Frondesk Digital Platform by Frondesk Technology and Solutions.An international line-up of finalists representing Germany, Italy, France, Spain, the UAE, and Australia will compete in the Product of the Year category. Brembo Beyond Geenance Kit, Encrypto by Ennoventure; GS27’s eco-certified care line ‘PURE’; the GuniWheel by Martech Corporation, SSL HD lighting by Hella, and UniClutch by Clutch Industries.Elsewhere, Al Shirawi Enterpises LLC, Munich Motor Works and Arabian Automobiles Company - Aweer, Royal Swiss Auto, Eurodiesel Services, and Orient Motors LLC have been shortlisted across the Bodyshop of the Year, Workshop of the Year - Passenger Cars, and Service Provider of the Year - Commercial Vehicles categories.Rounding out the awards, Performansion and D Luxe Car Care have been shortlisted in the widely anticipated Customization Specialist of the Year category. The Automechanika Dubai Awards 2023 are sponsored by Bridgestone Middle East and Africa. Jacques Fourie, Vice President and Managing Director, said, “Bridgestone is deeply honoured to partner with the Automechanika Dubai Awards 2023. In collaboration with the esteemed Automechanika Dubai platform, our goal is to foster diverse opportunities for individuals and organisations to thrive."“These awards serve as a testament to the hard work, dedication, and ingenuity of all participants. We recognise that success in this industry is not attained in isolation; it arises from collaboration, the pursuit of excellence, and the unwavering quest for improvement."“As Bridgestone, we eagerly anticipate continuing our journey of innovation and excellence, hand in hand with the dynamic automotive community. Together, we will address challenges and seize opportunities in a rapidly evolving landscape. We remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing the automotive industry to new horizons."Highlighting a recent report from market research analysts, Technavio suggests the region’s automotive market will accelerate at a CAGR of 6.74% between 2021 and 2026. “There is much to celebrate in our industry as the sector continues to go from strength to strength,” added Bilikozen.The landmark 20th edition of Automechanika Dubai is set to attract over 1,912 exhibitors from 61 nations, showcasing a diverse range of innovative products, services and technologies to a global audience of thousands.This year’s judges’ panel comprises:Graham Threlfall, Global Key Account Manager - Vehicle Refinishes, AkzoNobelAbdulla Rashed Obaid AlDahail Almheiri, Strategies and Organizational Excellence Office Manager, Dubai Government WorkshopNasir Saif Sultan AlSeeri, Head of VIP Vehicles Maintenance Section, Dubai Government WorkshopDr. Nima Mehrdadi, Vice President Aftermarket Middle East, Africa, CA & India, Managing Director, Hella Middle EastAlan Whaley, Founder and Chairman, AMENA ProfessionalVishal Pandey, Partner, Automotive & Mobility Practice, Glasgow Research & ConsultingMichel Malik, CEO, BodyShop News InternationalZuhri Yusof, Automotive Industry ExpertTufan Baysal, Director, Middle East/Africa/Eurasia Aftermarket EMEA, Niterra

YouTube unveils AI-powered tools for enhanced creative expression in MENA

YouTube has unveiled a suite of upcoming AI-powered capabilities that will help both new and established creators and artists globally including across the Middle East and North Africa to create, edit, and share content in bold new ways. These AI-powered tools, introduced at Made On YouTube, will help unlock powerful new forms of creative expression, take the friction out of the creative process, and allow YouTube creators to reach more viewers.Showcasing the limitless potential AI can bring to creators, artists and the creative industry, today’s key announcements include:  The introduction of Dream Screen, a new generative AI feature to unlock creative expression on Shorts: YouTube will introduce Dream Screen, a new experimental feature that allows creators to add AI-generated video or image backgrounds to their Shorts simply by typing an idea into a prompt for creators. With Dream Screen, creators will be able to generate new, fantastic settings for their Shorts that are only limited by bounds of their imagination.    Since launching Shorts in 2020, Shorts has now climbed to over 70B daily views globally from over 2B logged-in users every month.  YouTube is bringing Aloud, an AI-powered dubbing tool, into YouTube so creators easily reach audiences well beyond their primary language.    Available to select creators, the feature is currently being tested in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.  Next year, YouTube Studio will tap generative AI to spark video ideas and draft outlines to help creators brainstorm. These insights are personalized for each channel and based on what audiences are already watching and interested in.    YouTube has been testing early versions of AI-powered tools in YouTube Studio with creators, and more than 70 percent of those surveyed said it’s helped them develop and test ideas for videos.Tarek Amin, Director of YouTube in the Middle East and North Africa, said: “We’re committed to helping creators across the region to thrive on YouTube by helping them to take their creativity to new levels through these AI powered tools which were designed with content creators and their needs in mind”.YouTube CEO Neal Mohan said: “At YouTube, we want to make it easier for everyone to create. Building on our long track record of innovation and our strong expertise in AI, we believe these updates will enable creators to push the boundaries of creative expression -- by making the difficult things simple and impossible dreams possible. Today’s announcements are part of YouTube’s continued commitment to putting the creative power into the hands of billions of people. This is the start of a new era of creativity, and we can’t wait to see what our incredible community of creators and artists do next.”

Arsenal and Sobha Realty announce new partnership

Arsenal has announced a new global partnership with Dubai-based luxury real estate developer, Sobha Realty, during a signing ceremony that took place at the Sobha Hartland Events Hall in Dubai.Ravi Menon, Co-chairman of Sobha Realty, Francis Alfred, Managing Director of Sobha Realty and Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer of Arsenal F.C, were joined by Arsenal legend Sol Campbell to sign the multi-year agreement that will see Sobha Realty become the club’s Official Global Real Estate Partner.As part of this partnership, Sobha Realty’s presence will be at all men’s and women’s domestic games played at Emirates Stadium. It will also see Arsenal and Sobha Realty collaborate on initiatives to develop the sport industry in Dubai and beyond. This includes hosting football experiences, including youth football clinics, tournaments, and seminars.The luxury developer will also gain naming rights to The WM Club – a premium match-day hospitality suite at Emirates Stadium – which will now be known as ‘The WM Club, Presented by Sobha Realty.’Arsenal and Sobha Realty look forward to collaborating on projects to demonstrate their collective pursuit of progress over the coming years.Juliet Slot said, “I am delighted to be in Dubai to sign this agreement and officially announce our new partnership with Sobha Realty. It is important that our partners share our vision, and Sobha Realty’s strong heritage in the region and its unwavering commitment to always moving forward match our own ambitions as a club."This is our first Official Global Real Estate Partner, a further sign of our commercial strength, and ability to continue attracting new partners from a diverse field of industries and backgrounds. We look forward to working with Sobha Realty in the years ahead and supporting its growth as a brand across the world.” Ravi Menon stated, "Sobha Realty is delighted to be embarking on this exciting journey as Arsenal Official Global Real Estate Partner. Our collaboration with the globally recognised football institution is a coming together of shared values of both organizations as the‘ art of the detail’ meets the ‘art of football’."It demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the highest standards, driving sustainable economic growth, and access to international markets and talent. Having reached a significant milestone with this collaboration, we look forward to a successful and lasting future with Arsenal.”Francis Alfred said, “It is a momentous occasion for Sobha Realty to join hands with The Arsenal as their Official Global Real Estate Partner. Our collaboration is a crucial step towards promoting excellence and growth in both, real estate and sport."We have seen a heightened interest in Dubai Real Estate from UK consumers and with this partnership with Arsenal, we look forward to strengthening our brand in the UK & surrounding markets. We are very excited for this partnership and we hope to reach new heights and present a promising opportunity for Dubai's talented football community.”To celebrate the partnership, a 1000-strong drone show will light up the sky above Jumeirah Beach Residences in Dubai this evening (Friday, September 15). The 15-minute performance will showcase the rich heritage of Arsenal and both brands’ shared values.

BackLite Media partners with Place Exchange for programmatic OOH buying

Dubai-based digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising company BackLite Media has announced a partnership with Place Exchange, the SSP for programmatic out-of-home (OOH) media, to accelerate the programmatic transformation of DOOH in the UAE and increase opportunities for DOOH to be included in omnichannel marketing strategies.BackLite Media offers premium DOOH media opportunities across a diverse array of settings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, ranging from bustling highways like Sheikh Zayed Road to upscale malls and destinations. This expansive coverage across the UAE ensures that BackLite Media effectively reaches individuals throughout their daily journeys and at key destinations. The integration with Place Exchange enables advertisers to seamlessly tap into this extensive inventory through their DSPs with a variety of programmatic buying options, including open auction, programmatic guaranteed and private marketplace deals.Sean Gadsby, Head of Programmatic at BackLite Media, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with Place Exchange, highlighting the potential to unlock new revenue streams and attract interest from global buyers. "Place Exchange is a prominent name in the industry, and we're eagerly anticipating the prospects this partnership brings on a global level. The collaboration with Place Exchange will empower our clients with unparalleled programmatic capabilities and a seamless workflow to incorporate BackLite Media in omnichannel purchases."“There is growing demand by local and global advertisers for DOOH inventory in this market,” said Nick Bennett, SVP of Partnerships at Place Exchange. “Through this integration with BackLite Media, they can now deliver high-impact OOH messaging to audiences throughout the UAE with scale, automation, and flexibility like never before.”The BackLite Media and Place Exchange integration heralds a new chapter in programmatic OOH media evolution in the UAE. This collaboration will enable advertisers to seamlessly leverage BackLite Media's comprehensive DOOH inventory while capitalizing on the benefits of programmatic buying and streamlined workflow integration. As the partnership gains momentum, it stands poised to contribute to the continued evolution of programmatic advertising in the UAE market.

Housing Bank enters the Metaverse

Housing Bank has announced the launch of its virtual bank in the Metaverse, making it the first bank in the Kingdom to enter this virtual world. It is also one of the pioneering banks in the region to adopt this cutting-edge technology. It will be available on two popular Metaverse platforms, namely the Decentraland platform and the Spatial platform.By establishing its presence on the Metaverse, Housing Bank demonstrates its commitment to staying at the forefront of adopting advanced technologies, as this investment in digital transformation is a key component of its strategy. With this launch, the bank is taking a significant step in its technical endeavors to incorporate technology in the banking industry and improve its customer relationship management.Through this pioneering initiative, the bank aims to reach a new generation of customers and provide them with a unique opportunity to enter the world of the Metaverse. This allows them to discover the first virtual bank in Jordan, marking a significant step towards the future, offering customers an opportunity to experience innovative technology that enables seamless communication and interaction that caters to their aspirations and interests, which is provided with ease and comfort from anywhere and at any time.Additionally, Housing Bank is collaborating with Innoarea, which specializes in developing virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, to get launched in the Metaverse. The company is part of the BMB Group, which is one of the most prominent information and communications technology services and consulting companies in the Middle East.Housing Bank, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, continues to be a role model in the banking industry, achieving yet another significant milestone as it continues to lead the way in digital transformation by making significant progress in the field of technological development and digital services, in addition to launching numerous sophisticated and advanced services that keep up with the rapid changes brought about by the digital age.