Viridi expands global presence with launch of MENA subsidiary

BUFFALO, New York and AL KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia – Viridi, a developer of innovative battery technology that can be safely installed and operated in nearly any environment or location, is expanding its global presence through the launch of Viridi MENA. This subsidiary, headquartered in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, will work with partners in the region to manufacture and deploy Viridi's unique fail-safe lithium-ion battery energy storage systems throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Eng. Nabelah Al-Tunisi, a distinguished figure in the regional energy industry who is renowned for her previous role as Chief Engineer at Saudi Aramco, will lead Viridi MENA as company president.According to the Middle East Institute, MENA countries are ambitiously aiming to generate between 15% - 50% of their power from renewable energy sources by 2030. To meet the burgeoning energy demand, the region anticipates the installation of an estimated 92 GW of new power generation capacity by 2025, a substantial 27% increase over the 2018 capacity levels. MENA remains well-positioned to harness its competitive advantages, including abundant renewable energy resources, cost-effective procurement options, and readily available financing, to scale up the deployment of energy storage solutions.“Viridi's battery architecture and safety outcomes stand apart from all other solutions currently offered in the energy storage sector,” said Al-Tunisi. “In addition to being one of the safest and most reliable storage technologies available, Viridi’s distributed energy storage systems are affordable, versatile, and scalable, making it the perfect solution for helping the region achieve its renewable energy commitments. I look forward to making a significant contribution to Viridi’s growth and success by helping to bring this solution to the global marketplace.”Al-Tunisi brings with her an impressive career spanning 32 years at Saudi Aramco, one of the world's largest energy conglomerates. Her role as Chief Engineer of Engineering at Saudi Aramco involved providing invaluable guidance and insights into the direction of projects, operations, and strategic planning for the company. Prior to her appointment as Chief Engineer, she served Saudi Aramco as the General Manager of Northern Area Project Management, where she successfully executed multiple mega projects and managed a $40 billion capital program.“Governments throughout the MENA region have set ambitious renewable energy targets, and the expansion of energy storage capacity, characterized by safety and reliability, is the linchpin to achieving this transition,” said Viridi CEO Jon M. Williams. “Nabelah is exceptionally well-suited to guide Viridi through these challenges, and I am confident that her unparalleled expertise and extensive industry relationships make her an asset to our team and to our partners in today’s global marketplace.”

ICubesWire secures influencer marketing partnership with Himalaya

iCubesWire, a leading global Ad Tech Platform with full-fledged Content Production and Influencer Marketing capabilities, has bagged the Influencer Marketing mandate for Himalaya, the multinational wellness and personal care brand. This strategic partnership aims to elevate brand awareness and customer engagement in the booming markets of the Middle Eastern markets.In the thriving markets of the Middle East, Influencer Marketing is experiencing significant growth, with an estimated market value of $1.3 billion. Specifically, in the UAE, the sector is valued at around $80 million. Himalaya Wellness has been a steadfast presence in the UAE since the year 2000, offering a diverse range of products, including Pharmaceuticals, Face Care, Baby Care, Body Care, Men's Care, Hair Care, Oral Care, and Animal Care.The mandate involves iCubesWire leveraging its strategic content production and niche network of influencers and creators to spotlight Himalaya's range of products. The synergy aims to tap into consumer behaviour in these regions, where a growing number of individuals look up to influencers for lifestyle and wellness recommendations.Commenting on the partnership, Sahil Chopra, Founder & CEO, iCubesWire, said, "Himalaya is an iconic brand in the wellness space, and we couldn't be more thrilled to collaborate with the team in the Middle Eastern markets. Combining Himalaya's trusted legacy with our data-driven influencer strategies, we're not merely aiming to participate in the conversation around wellness; we intend to be the thought leaders shaping it in the coming months."

Brendan Ryan on how Nomadic revolutionizes business travel in the Middle East

Nomadic is the flexible, transparent, and multi-faceted business travel solution, launched by Fragomen, the world’s leading provider of immigration services, in the United Arab Emirates, with the aim to mark further expansion of Fragomen’s presence in the Middle East. During the first half of 2022, the number of visitors in the UAE nearly tripled compared to the same period in 2021. This surge underscores the growing demand for short-term immigration solutions, including business visas and other cross-border travel and compliance needs. In an exclusive interview with Adgully, Brendan Ryan, Partner at Fragomen and CEO of Nomadic, sheds light on how Nomadic is simplifying travel in the Middle East and discusses its future goals.Can you provide an overview of how Nomadic's business traveller solutions addresses the specific compliance challenges faced by companies and their travelling workforces in the Middle East region?Nomadic is a user-friendly, secure software platform and mobile app that harnesses the power of innovative technology and the expertise of Fragomen, the world’s largest provider of immigration services. Nomadic was created to address the complexities of short-term immigration compliance in the Middle East. With the region, particularly the UAE, experiencing significant economic growth and an upsurge in business travel, there's an emergent need for efficient short-term immigration programmes. Nomadic makes travel seamless by creating travel profiles, establishing risk tolerance levels, and automating the completion and filing of applications. In 2022, Dubai alone recorded 14.36 million overnight visitors, with projections for 2023 to exceed both of these figures according to an official UAE government report. Our dedicated entity in the UAE oversees the broader Middle East, ensuring that the unique needs of this dynamic landscape are catered to comprehensively.How does Nomadic leverage technology to ensure compliance and seamless travel for business travellers?At Nomadic, we utilise innovative technology to streamline visa applications and create unique traveller profiles, eliminating the need for repetitive data entry and reducing the risk of human errors. Our incorporation robotic process automation (RPA) is central to digitising much of the visa application process, simplifying what can be a complex procedure. However, our commitment goes further. We also focus on ensuring compliance by closely tracking essential dates like visa expirations, entry/exit records, and evolving regulations. This comprehensive approach not only enhances the overall travel experience but also results in time savings, leading to cost efficiencies for businesses.Given the unique dynamics of the Middle East region, what sets Nomadic apart in terms of its approach to short-term immigration compliance compared to other solutions? How receptive is the Middle East region in adopting innovative solutions like Nomadic?Nomadic distinguishes itself in the Middle East through a combination of deep regional expertise, advanced technological capabilities, and a dynamic adaptability to changing regulations. We also leverage Fragomen’s worldwide footprint, which facilitates case processing in over 170 jurisdictions, to ensure that travellers are fully prepared for their journeys and provide an in-depth understanding of local customs and regulations. Moreover, our tech-driven solutions ensure timely and precise compliance, which is crucial in the Middle East's rigorous regulatory environment. We also set the standard by prioritising data security, addressing the region's strong emphasis on privacy.The Middle East's economic resurgence, especially seen in the UAE's travel boom, underscores the need for efficient immigration solutions. The significant expansion of Nomadic in the region underscores the Middle East's enthusiastic adoption of technology-driven, customised solutions for contemporary business travellers.What is your vision for Nomadic's presence and impact in the Middle East over the next two years? Are there any expansion plans or strategies tailored to this region?Our vision for Nomadic's presence and impact in the Middle East over the next two years is to establish ourselves as the leading business travel solution provider in the region, in line with the significant economic and travel growth that the Middle East is currently experiencing. To achieve this, we have developed a well-structured strategy that focuses on the unique needs of the Middle East. This region is renowned for its diverse appeal, forward-thinking immigration policies, and world-class infrastructure, all of which we intend to leverage to our advantage. Recent developments like the UAE Cabinet Resolution 65 of 2022, which has redefined visa categories to accommodate a wider range of individuals, create immense potential for innovative services like Nomadic's compliance assessment and Fragomen's golden visa evaluation. By aligning our offerings with evolving policies and regulations, we aim to provide unparalleled value to businesses and travellers in the Middle East while establishing Nomadic as a trusted partner in this dynamic and growing market.In which industries or sectors do you see Nomadic's technology benefiting the most in the Middle East? What specific compliance challenges do businesses in this region face that Nomadic aims to address?Nomadic's solutions facilitate global expansion, making it easier for companies to enter new markets and seize growth opportunities. In the competitive landscape of the Middle East, where industries like tourism, professional sports, finance, technology, and infrastructure frequently engage in cross-border activities, our technology is a valuable asset for businesses aiming to navigate the complexities of international travel with ease and confidence.Business travellers contend with a multitude of rules and regulations, often varying based on the nature of their activities. Some travellers may require visas, even for transit through airports or land crossings en route to their final destinations. Failure to understand these transit requirements can disrupt travel plans and have a negative impact on business operations.Could you elaborate on how Nomadic's technology ensures the security and privacy of traveller data, especially in the context of the Middle East, where data protection is a growing concern?Our commitment to data security assumes even greater importance when considering the nature of the information involved. The data necessary for immigration applications ranks among the most sensitive and personal in the realm of information technology. In recognition of this, and in conjunction with Fragomen Technologies, we have meticulously integrated rigorous security provisions into our platform, software, processes, and tools. For instance, some of our indispensable protection is achieved through the secure storage of individual traveller histories and the seamless integration of encrypted data via APIs, all the while ensuring transparency and upholding privacy as fundamental principles.How does Nomadic stay updated with the evolving compliance regulations and requirements in the Middle East to ensure its technology remains effective and up-to-date for businesses operating in the region?Nomadic adopts a proactive approach to remain informed about evolving compliance regulations and requirements in the region. We have dedicated knowledge teams based in the Middle East that closely monitor changes in regulations, stay updated on jurisdictional updates, and keep a vigilant eye on shifts in compliance criteria. These teams actively collect and verify information from authoritative sources, engage with relevant government entities, and remain knowledgeable about the latest developments.Moreover, we actively leverage Fragomen's expansive global network and data integration capabilities that facilitate real-time data feeds and automated updates on immigration requirements. This technology enables our platform to promptly reflect any regulatory modifications or newly established compliance prerequisites. We also maintain ongoing engagement with local authorities and industry experts, further enhancing our capacity to anticipate and adapt to evolving regulations.Can you provide examples of success stories or case studies where Nomadic's technology has significantly improved compliance and efficiency for businesses in the Middle East, highlighting the tangible benefits they've experienced?Nomadic has always stood at the forefront of immigration and mobility solutions, making significant strides in enhancing the travel experience for some of the world's most prestigious organisations. One of our most notable regional success stories from 2023 encapsulates our dedication to service excellence and the transformative power of our technological suite. In this instance, Nomadic assisted a global technology company with visa application processing for 500+ attendees for a two-day summit, many of whom could not simply obtain visa-on-arrival or visa-free access to the UAE. At the heart of our approach was our robust technology. Our centralized platform managed cases with unmatched precision, our pre-configured travel advice eliminated generic communication inefficiencies, and our sophisticated assessment tools navigated the unique challenges of each profile. These tools weren't just instrumental for this summit; they've revolutionized the experience for industries requiring swift deployment of their skilled workforce.

Doha Festival City unveils festival magazine featuring F1 sensation Yuki Tsunoda

Doha Festival City, Qatar's ultimate destination for fashion, dining, and entertainment, unveils its fourth quarter edition of Festival Magazine, now available online. With the F1 sensation, Yuki Tsunoda, gracing its cover, this edition is designed as the season's ultimate guide.The last edition of 2023 is set to fascinate and engage a wide audience, ranging from local aficionados to international tourists, drawing them into a vivid world of fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment. Among the highlights is an exclusive feature on the ALPHATAURI Fall & Winter 2023 collection available at Harvey Nichols.The magazine unfolds over 60 distinct brand stories that cater to every palate such as Lacoste, Guess, Purificacion Garcia, and many others spanning categories from fashion and beauty to home, dining, and entertainment at Angry Birds World and Snow Dunes.This edition also brings exciting news about Doha Festival City is new retailtainment offering. Additionally, they can explore the groundbreaking Virtual Mall, poised to revolutionize digital shopping. Furthermore, readers can look forward to the upcoming show 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' experience, which will be showcased from 22nd to 28th October 2023. Visitors can anticipate trick basketball demonstrations, and a range of engaging activities in a themed kids' zone.The magazine's pages are adorned with enlightening articles that reflect the diverse offerings of Doha Festival City. Dive into the latest fashion arrivals with "New In At Debenhams: Name It, Vero Moda & Jack & Jones", immerse yourself in the world of luxury furniture and design at the "That’s Living Design District", a one-stop destination highlighting cohesive collections from its flagship brand and exquisite pieces from globally renowned partners. Moreover, the magazine heralds the launch of "Tanishq Middle East in Doha at Doha Festival City", marking the brand's illustrious debut in the region. Each article promises readers a journey of discovery, capturing the very essence of what Doha Festival City stands for.Robert Hall, General Manager of Doha Festival City, remarked, "Each edition of the Festival Magazine underscores our dedication to its slogan 'It's My Place, My Choice', by offering unique and unparalleled experiences. Having the F1 star, Yuki Tsunoda, grace our cover in this fourth quarter edition embodies that commitment. We warmly invite everyone to explore our digital magazine, immerse themselves in the magazine's content, and be part of the vibrant conversations this season promises."Doha Festival City continues its endeavor to magnify brand awareness and invigorate its digital platform. With this edition, it beckons fashion enthusiasts, shoppers, gourmets, and entertainment aficionados to immerse themselves in the Festival Magazine and acquaint themselves with the freshest trends and experiences.Festival Magazine stands as a holistic guide, bridging diverse interests from fashion and beauty to home essentials, gastronomy, and leisure. Featuring over 50 elite brands spanning fashion, beauty, skincare, home decor, culinary delights, and recreational activities, this edition illuminates the premium experiences Doha Festival City promises its visitors.Doha Festival City continues to set the benchmark in the digital landscape, consistently pioneering innovative online initiatives that resonate with the evolving demands of today's consumers. By seamlessly integrating state-of-the-art technology with its unparalleled retail and entertainment offerings, Doha Festival City has established itself as the market leader in digital engagement. Whether it's the immersive Virtual Mall experience, the interactive features of the Festival Magazine, or the dynamic content on its digital platforms, Doha Festival City remains at the forefront of digital transformation, always aiming to enhance the customer journey and set new standards in the industry.Over time, Festival Magazine has built a legacy of success, with its prior editions captivating a significant readership. Its prominence is bolstered by strategic in-mall placements, bespoke seating zones, and consistent visibility across print and digital landscapes. Beyond being a source of entertainment and information for its readers, Festival Magazine also functions as an instrumental platform, amplifying the reach of numerous retailers nestled within Doha Festival City.From its inception as a tangible magazine in 2019, Festival Magazine has adeptly transitioned to the digital realm, resonating with contemporary trends and aligning with the dynamic preferences of its audience. Readers eager to explore its contents can journey through, a pivotal digital touchpoint of Doha Festival City.

DGCX Launches GCC’s first Shari’ah-Compliant Silver Spot Contract

The Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (“DGCX”), the largest and most diversified derivatives exchange in the Middle East, has launched the GCC’s first Shari’ah-Compliant Silver Spot Contract (“DSSC”), aimed at providing investors with a reliant and transparent platform for trading the white metal.Having received regulatory approval from the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (“SCA”), the new contract will be available for trading from 27 October 2023. DGCX will also be waiving its fees for the DSSC contract until 31 December 2023.With the launch of DSSC, investors will, for the first time, be able to invest in physical silver through an exchange in the GCC with the benefit of a central counterparty clearing house, mitigating credit risk. By trading through DGCX, investors will also be able to take large positions in silver with no limit restrictions.Against a backdrop of high inflation, the demand for silver continues to grow. According to The Silver Institute, all major silver demand categories achieved record highs in 2022, with total offtake growing by 18% to 1.242 billion ounces (Boz). Furthermore, S&P Global Ratings expects the global Islamic finance sector to grow by 10% in 2023-2024, which will further support demand for Shari’ah compliant securities such as DSSC.Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “The world will see accelerating demand for silver as the precious metal is increasingly used in industries like solar energy and investors maintain their focus on asset diversification.This, combined with the increasing maturity of the global Islamic finance industry, has created the ideal environment for DGCX to launch the region’s first Shari’ah Compliant Silver Spot Contract. Based on our discussions with the market and the success of our Shari’ah Compliant Gold Spot Contract launched in 2018, we expect to see significant interest in DSSC from both traders and investors looking to access silver in a secure and reliable way. We look forward to working closely with our members to continue bringing innovative contracts to the market in the months and years ahead.”The underlying asset of each DSSC contract, which has been Certified by prominent Shari’ah scholars, is a 999.9 purity 900-ounce silver bar of “UAE Good Delivery” specification. Delivery of the contract is made seamlessly through DMCC Tradeflow, a flexible and customised online platform to register possession and ownership of commodities stored in UAE-based facilities, ensuring a seamless end-to-end process.DGCX expects there to be significant interest in its Shari’ah Compliant Silver Spot Contract from a range of market participants, including managers of exchange traded funds (“ETFs”), banks and non-banking financial institutions, as well as commodities traders. DSSC adds to DGCX’s existing portfolio of precious metals contracts, which includes Shari’ah compliant gold spot as well as silver and gold futures.

Advanced Media welcomes UAE’s film students to CINESchool

Advanced Media welcomed a diverse crowd of 50 students handpicked by their instructors from the SAE Institute, Raindance Film School, University of Wollongong, Canadian University in Dubai, Amity University, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, and Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE on October 11 – 13 for the launch of CINESchool. This exclusive edition of its digital cinema community event was curated specifically for university students pursuing a degree in filmmaking and coordinated in collaboration with Prague Film School.Prague Film School (PFS) trains aspiring filmmakers and actors through a praxis-heavy curriculum, involving them in numerous productions showcased in top film festivals. The school's ethos combines European art-house and American independent cinema, attracting diverse talent. The first of its kind in the region, CINESchool, was a memorable learning and networking experience for the film students.Prof. Gary Griffin, the award-winning cinematographer and director with an MFA from Prague’s FAMU Film Academy, conducted the very first workshop on October 11th on “Color and Exposure in the Digital Realm.” The session included a theoretical portion and an interactive one on a practical set in Advanced Media’s showroom. The students also had the opportunity to meet with Johan Hellsten, the revolutionary founder of an effective and ergonomic solution for anyone working with handheld camera setups, Easyrig. Johan greeted all the students enthusiastically and provided a complete background and demo of the Easyrig Minimax STABIL Light Camera Support System.Thomas Krivy, seasoned camera assistant and instructor, joined in teaching the “Operating a Camera and Choosing the Right Lens” workshop on October 12th and guided the students through a hands-on experiment with a variety of lenses. He concluded the technical and theoretical aspect of CINESchool on October 13th with “Lighting and Grip” workshop.Raam Reddy, the renowned Indian film director, writer, and photographer who is also a graduate of Prague Film School, carried the students on his journey of becoming a 2016 Locarno Film Festival Golden Leopard Winner filmmaker in a two-part seminar that covered every aspect of independent filmmaking from understanding film as a medium and finding your voice to budgeting and postproduction. Advanced Media converted a corner of its showroom into a private cinema space and treated students to an exclusive screening of Thithi (2015) with a Q&A with Raam Reddy.Organizing and hosting training workshops and community events that educate and inform is an exceptional feature that set Advanced Media apart in the industry. Most notable of the events is the biannual digital cinema community event. After inaugurating a remarkably successful edition in commemoration of the company’s 20th anniversary in March 2022, Advanced Media will be returning on the 11, 12, 13 of January 2024 with CINETomorrow, an interactive platform covering topics such as future of digital cinema and cinematography, virtual production, and sustainable production practices.

PRCA MENA welcomes BPG Group as its newest member

The Public Relations and Communications Association in the Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA), has today announced BPG Group as its latest corporate member.BPG (formerly Bates PanGulf, a WPP company) has helped brands transform, succeed, and win in a changing world for over four decades. BPG’s ‘digital first, integrated by intent’ positioning and innovative solutions deliver success for an exceptional portfolio of clients across the GCC.Melissa Cannon, International Director at PRCA MENA, said:"We are delighted to welcome BPG Group as the newest member of PRCA MENA family. Their experience and dedication align with our core mission, which is to drive progress in the realm of public relations and communications throughout the MENA region. We look forward to working close on projects and collaborations.Avi Bhojani, Group CEO, BPG said:“We look forward to being a part of PRCA MENA’s vibrant community, and further strengthening our PR capabilities with knowledge building, the free-flowing exchange of ideas and opportunities for collaborations through this platform. Even as the regional PR industry continues to transform in exciting new ways, our shared vision and values will prime us for long-term success.”

Alpha Dhabi Acquires Significant Stake in NTS Amega Global

Alpha Dhabi Holding (ADX: ALPHADHABI), one of the fastest-growing investment holding companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), today announced its acquisition of a 51 percent stake in NTS Amega Global. This acquisition underscores Alpha Dhabi’s unwavering commitment to enhancing its energy portfolio, with a keen focus on the oil field services sector. With this acquisition, NTS Group, renowned for its cutting-edge manufacturing, repair, and rental solutions in the Oil & Gas sector, cements its position as a global frontrunner in the production of drilling, subsea, top-side, and process components. This encompasses the repair of Measuring and Logging While Drilling (MWD/LWD) tools and the rental of specialized Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) drilling equipment. NTS Group’s operations now extend across nine pivotal O&G locations, including the UAE where it is headquartered, Saudi Arabia, Houston-Texas, Canada, Guyana, Norway, Singapore, Midland, and Lafayette. Eng. Hamad Salem Al Ameri, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Alpha Dhabi commented: “This acquisition is a clear reflection of our unwavering commitment to grow and drive value in our energy portfolio. By investing in companies that align seamlessly with our oil field services operations, we remain true to the core principles of our growth strategy. Our collaboration with industry leaders like NTS Group is a strategic move to not only accelerate our growth but also to expand and diversify our presence across various markets and regions.” Established in 2006 in the UAE with the goal of creating a global specialist manufacturing and services company for drilling tools and equipment. In 2019, NTS Group was acquired by a joint venture between TUBACEX, a leader in advanced materials and solutions for a sustainable future, and ADQ. In 2020, NTS Group further solidified its global presence by acquiring Amega West Services LLC from Carpenter Technology Corporation (NYSE: CRS). Jesus Esmoris, Chief Executive Officer of TUBACEX, commented: "Our partnership with Alpha Dhabi in NTS embodies TUBACEX's commitment to superior performance and innovation, particularly in offering sophisticated industrial products and services from a multi-energy perspective. With the backing of Alpha Dhabi, we stand at the threshold of not only setting new benchmarks in the industry but also driving pivotal transitions toward decarbonization, with gas serving as a bridge in this energy transition”. The acquisition comes at a pivotal time for the oilfield services market, which is expected to grow with a CAGR of 5.5% between 2022-2027. According to a recent report, the global oilfield services market size is projected to reach USD 346.45 billion by 2027.  The acquisition will support and bolster NTS’s innovative contracting options, including Global Framework Agreements, Local Repair/Manufacture hubs, and Stock Management Programs, all designed to reduce costs, improve lead times, and increase equipment availability, while maintaining the highest levels of quality and service.

Fintech Robos and Aflatoun International partner for global financial literacy

 Fintech Robos, the Bahrain-based provider of digital solutions for savings & investments and organiser of financial events for the Arab markets, has signed a partnership for global financial literacy advocacy with the Dutch NGO, Aflatoun International.The partnership was announced at the opening of the 3rd Arab Savings & Financial Literacy Conference 2023 in Cairo, by the founder and CEO of Fintech Robos, Ebrahim K. Ebrahim, and Aflatoun’s MENA Programme Manager, Mozna Abumery.The partnership will see the two parties working closely on advocacy and communications for financial education, promotion of curriculum and training materials, conducting research and surveys, and organising specialized workshops and conferences.“We are pleased to see growing partnerships in engaging with stakeholders in the MENA region for financial education and related products, and we will work together to advocate for financial literacy and education. There is no doubt that financial inclusion plays a key role in empowering communities in this connected world" said Ms. Abumery.On his part, Fintech Robos’s CEO said people in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) generally lack the savings culture or personal finance skills that build long-term financial resilience.“It all boils down to a very low level of financial literacy in the region,” said Mr. Ebrahim, adding that the cost-of-living difficulties faced in many parts of the world have emphasised the importance of financial literacy, especially as the gap between the financially resilient and the financially fragile widens”.He pointed out that it is now recognised that poor financial skills have left many households unprepared to face crises and their consequences.Aflatoun International is a global organisation committed to empowering young people through social and financial education. With a focus on social and emotional learning, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, Aflatoun equips children and youth with the skills and knowledge needed to become active global citizens. The Aflatoun programmes, consisting of Aflatot, Aflatoun, Aflateen and Aflayouth curricula, are currently implemented in 116 countries through its 300+ partner organizations. Aflatoun works with non-profits, UN agencies, governments, Central Banks and many worldwide stakeholders to empower children and youth with financial and social education.By 2022, Aflatoun International reached 29.5 million children and young people through the integration of financial and social education into the national curriculum of different countries, and 3.8 million children were reached through the partners’ network.Fintech Robos is a Bahrain-based B2B business focusing on digitizing tools and operations for savings, investments and pensions. The company is building a purpose-driven regional house of digital solutions for life-long savings and investments, both for individual clients (wealth management and Robo Advisory) as well as group savings plans (Thrift Plans). It also runs regular annual financial conferences that promote financial literacy and financial inclusion across the MENA region.

Nando's sponsors Arabian Falcons FC

Nando's, the renowned South African multinational fast casual chain, famous for its Portuguese flame-grilled peri-peri style chicken, is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Arabian Falcons Football Club. The partnership represents a unique opportunity for Nando's to support and empower young, African football players in the United Arab Emirates.Nando's is thrilled to be one of the two main sponsors of the Arabian Falcons Football Club, with the brand's logo proudly adorning the front of the team's jerseys. The collaboration is a testament to Nando's commitment to giving back to the community to change lives and, more specifically, supporting young African professional and semi-professional football players. The sponsorship will see Nando’s providing weekly pre-match meals to the Arabian Falcons team, amounting to a total of 72 meals each week. Additionally, the young African players will be provided the privilege of dining at all Nando's restaurants on a complimentary-basis, fostering a sense of camaraderie within the team.The Arabian Falcons Football Club, a Division 3 team in the 4th tier of the professional football ladder in the UAE, was founded with a clear mission; to work with young, talented African football players in support of their football careers. The club is dedicated to nurturing these talents with the hope of paving the way for them to enter professional European leagues. The Arabian Falcons' mission to offer opportunities and create a platform for aspiring talents, is perfectly with Nando's ethos.The 2024 football season officially kicked off this month, with the first game taking place on October 1st and running until May 14th 2024. The partnership exemplifies Nando's strong desire to be an integral part of the community and support the aspirations of these young athletes.

EmiratesHR rebrands as Yomly as it expands to global markets

EmiratesHR, the leading HR and Payroll software solutions provider, has announced that it is rebranding itself as "Yomly". Founded in 2018, EmiratesHR has been at the forefront of delivering intuitive HR & Payroll solutions to companies across the UAE, GCC and MENA regions. This rebrand will see the dynamic company take on a new identity to bolster its expansion into global markets.The company's journey over the last five years has been exceptional, growing from a small team of 10 to a workforce of over 80 employees including software developers, product designers and implementation professionals from across the globe. Since 2018, EmiratesHR has evolved from a local solution into a global force, catering to multinational companies with thousands of employees spread across 50+ countries. The company’s unwavering commitment to delivering customisable human capital management solutions has led to the platform boasting over 60,000+ users worldwide in 2023.Mark JP Nutter, Chairman and Founder of EmiratesHR, explained the motivation behind the rebrand, "We are all very proud of the journey that we have been on over the last five years of EmiratesHR. However, as we continue to expand our footprint globally, we felt that the EmiratesHR name no longer captures the full extent of our capabilities and global ambition. Yomly represents our goal to reach every corner of the HR & Payroll technology market and to consolidate our position as a leader in delivering innovative HR solutions worldwide."Yomly is a feature-rich, cloud-based SaaS solution offering a variety of HR and Payroll options such as Leave Management, Performance Management, Onboarding/Offboarding, global Payroll and more. The innovative platform allows HR teams to access and manage employee data from anywhere in the world, as well as streamline and optimise HR & payroll operations. The user-friendly system helps eliminate repetitive admin-intensive tasks and allows HR departments to stay on top of employee information in a central location.“The transition from EmiratesHR to Yomly is a testament to the hard work of our talented team and the support of our clients,” says Nicolas Andine, CEO of Yomly. We have seen 40% growth in the size of our in-house team in the last year and 100% growth in our existing client base year on year, including a significant rise in the number of enterprise-level clients with a global workforce. Our growth and expansion into the global HR and Payroll software market, has driven the decision to evolve into the next stage of our development and rebrand to Yomly. This change is part of our vision to become the best HR & Payroll solution for our clients, not only in the GCC and MENA regions but globally. It’s an exciting time for the business, as we continue to push boundaries and provide the best possible HR & Payroll solution.”Jo Reed, Group Director of HR at Al Ghalia and Yomly client since 2020, had this to say about Yomly’s strengths “We are thrilled to have partnered with Yomly to develop & deliver a platform that aligns with the growing needs of our business now and in the future. The Yomly team have worked hand-in-hand with the team at Al Ghalia to deliver a solution that enables a transition away from legacy HR & Payroll software and increases employee engagement.”Yomly was recognised as the "HR Software of the Year" at the Entrepreneur Middle East Tech Innovation Awards 2023 for the second year running, further cementing the company’s status as a market-leading HR & Payroll solution provider.

Abu Dhabi Chamber signs MoU with Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau

The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADDCI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). The MoU aims to enhance cooperation and joint coordination between the two parties to consolidate the standing of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as a global destination and a prestigious hub for hosting local, regional, and international business and investment events.The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Business Events Forum, which was held on 26-27 September. The MoU signing was held in the presence of His Excellency Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, and His Excellency Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, the Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, along with a number of representatives from both sides.The MoU supports the two parties’ mutual strategic objectives for strengthening the leading position of Abu Dhabi as a preferred destination for hosting international events, and a key hub for supporting, developing, and growing businesses in vital sectors. Under the terms of the MoU, the two parties will also coordinate closely to highlight various events and conferences, and exchange knowledge and expertise to drive business events growth.His Excellency Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, said: “The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has been successful in establishing its leading position on the global business tourism landscape. The Emirate has attracted and hosted prominent business events, which culminated in its recognition as the Middle East’s leading destination for association meetings conferred by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) 2022’s ranking.”“This success comes as the result of the efforts of various parties in the public and private sectors, particularly the efforts of our partners at the Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, who aim to consolidate the Emirate’s position as a leading global destination that has the main assets for hosting prestigious business events.”Al Qubaisi added: “The signing of the MoU aligns with the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s efforts to partner with local and federal entities to foster strong investment and commercial relations. We are also committed to supporting various business events, forums, and conferences in the Emirate. This reflects the Chamber’s recognition of the importance of the business tourism sector and global events in enhancing networking opportunities between business communities and investors, building fruitful partnerships and cooperation agreements, and driving sustainable development.”His Excellency Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi said “We take great pride in the signing of this MoU during the Abu Dhabi Business Events Forum, an integral part of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Travel & Tourism Week. Showcasing the power of partnerships, the MoU reaffirms our commitment to fostering innovative and transformative business and investment events, taking the emirate to new heights as a prominent MICE destination.”He added: “MICE events play a pivotal role in driving economic growth, fostering innovation and igniting creativity. By fostering the spirit of collaboration, we are catalysing a rich, diverse and vibrant experience for visitors and residents alike.”The MoU also stipulates that the two parties strengthen their joint efforts to coordinate trade delegation visits, and find effective communication channels to achieve the desired outcomes.

Dubai to host Domain Days 2023 in November

 A key hub for global events is all set to host the much-anticipated Domain Days Dubai, which will open its doors to the public on November 1st, 2023 at the Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.The inaugural 2-day event brings together experts from all over the world to discuss the latest trends in the industry and gain insights into the MENA region.As the premier domain industry event in the MENA region, Domain Days aims to create a platform for domain investors, registrars, registries, monetization, and traffic experts, web 3.0/blockchain domain enthusiasts, hosting/cloud providers, SaaS providers, and industry enthusiasts to connect, collaborate, and stay updated on the latest trends and innovations in the domain industry.Around 38 local and global speakers, 170 professional attendees and 65 companies have confirmed their participation at Domain Days Dubai 2023.The event also includes fireside chats and panel discussions with industry experts to discuss best practices, industry challenges, and emerging trends. The conference includes the newest topics around the industry, mainly the rise of Web 3.0 domains that are gaining traction worldwide and are dupped the future of the internet. Finally, the event focuses on the importance of the MENA region as a new hub for domains & hosting companies.It's all about networking! The conference provides ample opportunities for networking and collaboration. Attendees will be able to meet and connect with professionals from different sectors of the industry, exchange ideas, and forge new partnerships.Andrey Insarov, Founder & CEO Domains, a UK-based company and a key sponsor of the event, said: We are honored to have the opportunity to participate in the Domain Days Dubai 2023.“We are proud to be part of the first conference of such scale in the MENA region that focuses on web development and explores the latest trends in the domain industry. “At Domains, we are dedicated to making the digital space accessible and creating the future of the domain industry, where innovation thrives. To achieve this goal, we not only provide affordable domain names but also support local businesses and communities to grow and flourish on a global scale.” Insarov added.“Participating in Domain Days Dubai 2023 will allow us to foster valuable relationships and exchange insights within the domain community. We are truly grateful for the platform provided by Domain Days to showcase our commitment to the domain industry and our mission to empower individuals and businesses in the digital space. We look forward to future collaborations,” Insarov concluded.Marwan Alzarouni, CEO, Dubai Blockchain Center, noted that he was honored to announce his collaboration with for the inaugural 'Domain Days Dubai 2023'.“The emergence of Web 3.0 doesn't merely signify a transition, but underscores the contrast and additional value it brings to the domain name industry, enriching the Web2 framework.” Alzarouni added.He echoed that this event promises to provide crucial insights, especially for Web 2.0 domain businesses and registrars, highlighting the expansive opportunities that the Web 3.0 paradigm offers. The Dubai Blockchain Center remains dedicated to fostering discussions on these transformative technologies. We are confident that this symposium will play a crucial role in defining the future dynamics of digital domain ownership. I invite you to deepen your understanding and explore the event's offerings at assets herald a new era in finance, with Dubai pioneering this transformative revolution. In this imminent talk, we'll explore recent advancements within the digital asset arena and elucidate how Dubai is carving a path in blockchain innovation," Alzarouni concluded.Munir Badr is Founder and CEO of AEserver, said: "In the backdrop of a rapidly evolving global domain and hosting landscape, we recognized the vital need to anchor and amplify the growth of our local domain, hosting, and cloud community. “Against the backdrop of astounding expansion within the UAE's internet, domain, and web sectors, our vision is to assemble the foremost experts, leading companies, and influential voices not just from our region but across the world. At the heart of our mission is the commitment to creating an unparalleled platform for learning, networking, and unforgettable experiences.“This event is not just about gathering professionals; it's about shaping the future of our industry. The topics we'll explore here are not just important; they're indispensable to the UAE's position as a leader in the domain and hosting arena.” Badr added.“Our company's objective in organizing this event is clear: to foster innovation, facilitate collaboration, and drive growth within the domain, hosting, and cloud sectors in the UAE. We envision this gathering as a catalyst for transforming ideas into action, forging new partnerships, and driving the UAE to the forefront of this dynamic industry. Together, we will sculpt a future where the possibilities are as limitless as the digital landscape itself." Badr concluded.

Dove and Nike team up to launch body positivity sport programme

Dove, the world's largest provider of self-esteem and body confidence education, has teamed up with Nike, the biggest champion of athletes and sports to launch the Body Confident Sport online coaching programme. Body Confident Sport is a first-of-its-kind, scientifically proven set of coaching tools to build body confidence in 11–17-year-old girls.Co-developed by the two brands over the course of two years, in partnership with world-renowned experts, including the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, Body Confident Sport addresses new findings on how the sports environment impacts girls' body confidence and self-esteem.Working in partnership with Dove, Venus Williams, tennis champion and entrepreneur, commented: "In sports, girls often face a tremendous amount of pressure – not just around performance and abilities, but also because of unrealistic expectations around their appearances. I am excited to be working with Dove on this initiative to help nurture girls' self-belief and confidence, foster a positive environment, and shift the conversation from appearance to capability. Our shared goal is to make sports a more inclusive, welcoming space for girls everywhere.""We know that sports offer girls enormous benefits," says Gold Medal Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez. "Coaches and athletes alike have a collective responsibility to create inclusive spaces and positive experiences that give all girls an opportunity to discover the power of sports. Sports fuels confidence, which in turn enables girls to enjoy a lifetime of moving and playing the sports they love. This is why I'm so proud to team up with Nike to support Body Confident Sport."Girls who participate in physical activity, and stay with it through adolescence, are more likely to have higher body confidence and experience benefits throughout their lives. However, NEW research from Dove and Nike reveals 45% of teenage girls globally drop out of sports, at twice the rate of boys, with low body confidence as the biggest driver. When girls reach adolescence, they experience significant changes to their bodies. As girls move and play sports, this can leave them feeling exposed and vulnerable to judgement for what their bodies can and can't do, but also how they look. The Body Confident Sport online coaching tool is proven to reduce self-objectification and increase body-esteem and will be delivered through a global network of organisations in schools and sports clubs. The program builds on Nike's and Dove's longstanding commitments to support girls and aims to reach more than one million young people around the world."Since 2004, Dove has been working to arm the next generation with tools to build body confidence and self-esteem so that no young person is held back. As the world's leading provider of self-esteem and body confidence education for girls, we have a responsibility to support girls wherever their self-esteem is at stake. We are proud to team up with a likeminded brand like Nike to take action towards a more equitable future for girls – on and off the field," says Alessandro Manfredi, Chief Marketing Officer, Dove."Nike believes all kids should have an opportunity to play, and we're focused on expanding play and sports for girls who are moving the least," says Vanessa Garcia-Brito, VP, Chief Social & Community Impact Officer, Nike, Inc.                     "Our partnership with Dove, and unique focus on coaching through body confidence, aims to change that. Together, we're taking action to break barriers by providing coaches with the tools to empower girls with a lifetime of confidence. By shifting the conversation from what their bodies look like to what their bodies can do – so more girls can stay in sports and experience the benefits – we believe we're creating the next generation of female leaders and changemakers who will move the world forward," adds Vanessa.

Film AlUla signs 10 project deal with Greg Silverman’s Stampede Ventures

AlUla, Saudi Arabia: Film AlUla, the Royal Commission for AlUla’s film agency, and global media company Stampede Ventures, under the leadership of founder and CEO Greg Silverman, signed a three-year deal with a projected spend of USD350 million in AlUla. The groundbreaking partnership, finalised at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia today, involves Film AlUla providing rebates and incentives. The deal will see Stampede Ventures bringing ten productions to AlUla over three years and advancing AlUla’s ambitions to hub a world-class film and creative industry.Silverman, the founder and CEO of Stampede Ventures, is an entertainment industry veteran known for his track record at Warner Brothers where he shepherded over 125 films to more than $38 Billion in worldwide box office, most notably Harry Potter, Chris Nolan’s Batman series, Zack Snyder’s 300 and Todd Phillips’ iconic Hangover trilogy, and Joker. He also brought American Sniper, Gravity, The Lego Franchise, The Great Gatsby, Argo, and Mad Max: Fury Road to audiences and countless others over his epic 20 year run at Warner Brothers. His work has resonated around the world but has also promoted the growth of national film industries such as the UK and Australia. His creative and commercial instincts as well as his world-wide network and world-class experience were instrumental to his success at Warner Bros as the President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production. He founded his company Stampede Ventures to create and own IP across film, television and digital and bring a new generation of blockbusters to the screen.The Film AlUla-Stampede partnership is closely aligned to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals to diversify the economy and foster cultural development. With a three-year pipeline of productions, the partnership will play a significant role in growing AlUla from a regional creative hub to a platform for global filmmaking talent.Film AlUla’s use of rebates and incentives will provide opportunities for a new generation of story tellers and filmmakers, creating bridges that enable shared stories and learnings. Film AlUla is known for its inclusive approach to developing the local industry and this partnership will play a role in furthering a vibrant film industry in the region.Amr AlMadani, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Commission for AlUla, said: “Our partnership with Greg Silverman’s Stampede Ventures is a first-of-its-kind in the region and underscores Saudi Arabia’s investment potential as a film and creative hub. Over the past three years, Film AlUla has steadily and sustainably built a film economy that is capable of hosting productions from around the world. We are nearing completion of a 30,000 sq. m studio complex and are upskilling Saudis to assume leading roles in front of and behind the camera. A partnership of this scale will accelerate our growth and increase our global visibility.”Greg Silverman, Chief Executive Officer, Stampede Studios said: “We are thrilled to have this ground-breaking partnership with Film AlUla which will further develop their infrastructure for international productions, creating opportunities for the local economy and people, and add scope and nuance to our slate. Perhaps more importantly, the cultural exchange between U.S. and Saudi filmmakers will make for better films and better understanding, the kind of connection that can only come through extended collaboration in the creation of art.”As the Royal Commission for AlUla’s film division, Film AlUla has been a key player in the development of the film industry in Saudi Arabia. Since 2020, the entity has hosted over 700 days of filming including the action movie Kandahar starring Gerard Butler, the Russo brothers’ drama Cherry starring Tom Holland, and Saudi filmmaker Tawfik Alzaidi’s debut feature Norah, the first Saudi feature film to be shot at AlUla and featuring an all-Saudi cast and over 40% Saudi crew. TV productions filmed in AlUla include the British series Expedition with Steve Backshall and Nat Geo documentaries, along with commercials, promos, photo shoots and short films.In addition to hosting productions, Film AlUla is currently bolstering its on-ground infrastructure, with phase one of a full-service world-class production facility nearing completion. The facility includes a 30,000 square foot soundstage, backlot, production support buildings, workshops, warehouses, recording studio, training and rehearsal space, cafeteria, event space and an iconic administration building. The soundstage will be 14 minutes from the Film AlUla Residence, the purpose-built crew quarters with 300 high-quality, fully furnished accommodation units, film-friendly office space for short and long-term stays and a range of high-end and mid-range accommodation options.Film AlUla is also focusing on talent to accelerate industry growth. This includes the provision of funds for fledgling Saudi and regional filmmakers, skills training hosted by international experts from Creative Media Skills from London’s Pinewood Studios as well as comprehensive mentoring programmes like AlUla Creates, which is designed to nurture creativity and empower future generations in film, the arts and fashion. AlUla Creates is supported by an esteemed group of talent including fashion icons Eva Herzigova and Helena Christensen, Saudi trailblazers Haifaa Al Mansour and Mila Al Zahrani as well as award-winning outfit Vertigo Films.

Democrance expands in Saudi Arabia after closing a funding round led by Wa’ed

Democrance, the global InsurTech firm with a mission to make insurance accessible and affordable for those who need it most, today announced a bold expansion strategy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following the launch of the company’s Riyadh HQ.Supported by investment from Wa’ed Ventures, the Kingdom-based venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco, and long-time partner Global Ventures, the move is designed to support Saudi Arabia’s economic aspirations. Democrance’s Saudi expansion aligns with the principles of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP), a critical part of Saudi Vision 2030 that collaborates with bodies such as the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to enhance the country’s financial sector industry.“The FSDP plays a crucial role in shaping the Kingdom’s FSI sector,” said Hussain Almarhoon, Founding Managing Partner of HALA Ventures and Chairman of the newly created regional HQ, Democrance KSA. “Democrance’s mission to bring insurance to underserved markets and communities makes us an ideal contributor to the program and a key partner in the realization of Vision 2030. Our commitment to the country and the people of Saudi Arabia is absolute and unwavering.”“Achieving financial inclusion is a global mission and one that is incredibly important to spread in the region. Democrance has shown great potential to elevate available insuretech products, and we are excited to partner with them on their journey to diversify and digitize insurance solutions ” said Mazen Alasnag, Head of Venture Growth at Wa’ed Ventures.“Global Ventures partners with entrepreneurs that leverage disruptive technologies to build industry-changing and sustainable businesses,” said Medea Nocentini, Senior Partner, Global Ventures. “Democrance exemplified this when we first decided to invest and has continued to do so two years later on its mission to reshape the frontier market of InsurTech. It is fitting that the company’s next chapter will be written in Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom transforms its FSI sector.”Democrance helps insurers increase their digital sales and access new customer segments. With its B2B white-label SaaS technology platform, insurance products and digital sales channels can be launched in a few weeks, without impacting any legacy IT system. P&C, Life and Health insurance products are currently supported on the platform.“The global insurance sector is in the midst of a dramatic surge in digital transformation,” said Michele Grosso, Co-Founder and CEO of Democrance. “Democrance has emerged as the leading B2B InsurTech firm in Saudi Arabia by aligning with SAMA’s vision and that of broader government efforts on Vision 2030. Some of the largest insurers in Saudi Arabia count themselves among our clients because they have seen the value in our mission to digitize insurance processes and increase the sector’s penetration in all levels of society, from digital millennials to low-income families.”Outside of Saudi Arabia, Democrance is active in 15 other marketsin the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

Brand Lounge launches full-scale operations in Saudi Arabia

 Brand Lounge, a strategy-led brand consultancy, has officially marked its presence in the heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the launch of its Riyadh office.Founded in 2006, Brand Lounge has played a pioneering role in shaping brand narratives in the region. The consultancy is renowned for its proprietary approach to brand development, which helps businesses create and communicate differentiated brands that align with their business goals and maximize value. The consultancy has established itself as a benchmark for brand development firms in the region, delivering excellence with a nuanced understanding of the local market's needs. The launch of Brand Lounge's Riyadh office marks a new chapter in its journey, highlighting its commitment to maximizing value in the dynamic landscape of the Kingdom.The launch event, "Maximizing Vision: Unveiling Brand Lounge in Saudi Arabia," took place at the prestigious Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter on Wednesday, October 18. The occasion brought together influential figures, including C-level executives, senior managers, government officials, entrepreneurs, and valued partners of the consultancy.Themed "Maximizing Vision," the event emphasized the strategic importance of brand development and the private sector's integral role in contributing to the Kingdom's Vision 2030, particularly the goal of achieving a thriving economy.The evening unfolded with captivating keynote speeches, insightful showcases, and an exploration of the distinctive methodologies that have positioned Brand Lounge at the forefront of strategy-led brand development. The consultancy's outstanding work has been recognized with numerous awards, notably the Grand Prix Award for Transform Middle East Africa in May 2023.A highlight of the event was the revelation of details about Brand Lounge's recent acquisition of PeopleMena, resulting in the formation of BLP, the Brand Lounge culture practice. Additionally, Brand Lounge hinted at an upcoming innovative partnership in Saudi Arabia, promising innovative solutions for the Kingdom's people. An official announcement is anticipated in the coming weeks.Commenting on this milestone, Hasan Fadlallah, Founder & CEO of Brand Lounge remarked, "Saudi Arabia has always been a key market for us, and we've been working with Saudi brands since 2007. However, today's launch event symbolizes our renewed commitment to the Kingdom, collaborating with Saudi businesses to usher in a new era of branding excellence.”The launch event underscores Brand Lounge's ongoing commitment to maximizing value, creating differentiated brands for clients, and contributing to the broader strategic vision of the Kingdom.

Holiday Inn and Staybridge Dubai Business Bay welcome a new executive team

IHG Hotels & Resorts is excited to announce the imminent arrival of the Holiday Inn Hotel, set to open its doors this December in the vibrant Business Bay district. Leading the way is General Manager Bruno Hivon, at the helm of a dedicated young and dynamic team fully committed to bringing their vision to life—transforming this hotel into a thriving establishment nestled in the heart of the city.Bruno Hivon, General ManagerBoasting over 29 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Hivon has taken on the role of Cluster General Manager for the Holiday Inn & Staybridge Suite Dubai Business Bay in the United Arab Emirates. In addition to overseeing all operations and implementing strategic commercial plans to enhance its market position, Hivon is spearheading the launch of a cluster of hotels comprising over 400 rooms and four enticing food and beverage outlets in the vibrant heart of Dubai.Hivon's vision includes the integration of various sustainable initiatives, such as the installation of solar panels to harness renewable energy, the implementation of a desalination plant to provide in-house drinking water, and the utilisation of recycled paper for all in-house collaterals. Moreover, he has taken significant steps to reduce the hotel's carbon footprint by introducing energy-saving lighting solutions.His journey started in Dubai with Habtoor Hospitality, where he spent nearly five years holding pivotal roles as General Manager and Executive Assistant Manager. During this period, Bruno played a crucial role in the successful openings and management of various properties, establishing a strong foundation for his future endeavours. Subsequently, he joined Emirates Holidays, where he dedicated years to shaping the travel and tourism landscape in the city.Hivon then ventured to Qatar, where he assumed the roles of General Manager for Crowne Plaza Doha the Business Park and Holiday Inn Doha the Business Park, from February 2018 to February 2020. These properties, offering a combined total of 685 rooms, unique dining concepts, and extensive event space, thrived under his leadership.Commenting on his appointment, Hivon said, “I am honoured to be taking on the role of Cluster General Manager of Holiday Inn Dubai Business Bay and Staybridge Suites Dubai Business Bay. I am extremely excited to be a part of this dedicated team and look forward to providing our guests with elevated experiences and unrivalled service right in the heart of the city. As we embark on this journey, we remain dedicated to sustainability and to upholding environmentally friendly practices, in line with our larger vision of responsible tourism.”Hivon's unwavering dedication to hospitality excellence and strategic leadership throughout his career, along with his consideration for his team’s well-being, has not only solidified his esteemed reputation in the industry but also embodied his commitment to maintaining a collaborative and supportive work environment.Shadab Amin, Director of Sales and MarketingWorking alongside Bruno Hivon as Director of Sales and Marketing is Shadab Amin. Throughout his extensive career, Amin has demonstrated exceptional expertise in sales and marketing within the hospitality industry. Currently serving in his role at Holiday Inn Dubai Business Bay, he is responsible for leading the commercial team with a smart approach, aiming to achieve goals such as managing budgets, as well as developing and executing strategic sales and marketing plans to optimise revenue. Additionally, he is dedicated to efficiently allocating resources towards the hotel’s pre-opening budget Shadab’s keen market insight allows him to adjust strategies in response to changing market conditions and maintain strong relationships with industry influencers and partners. His role also involves overseeing advertising and promotional activities while upholding IHG Brand standards. His career has encompassed various roles, including Director of Sales, Assistant Director of Sales, and Senior Business Development Manager at prominent hotels and resorts in locations like Singapore, the Maldives, and Oman, demonstrating his versatile and accomplished career track record.Arjun Singh, Executive ChefWith over a decade of experience, Arjun Singh is a profoundly creative and self-motivated chef who possesses exceptional expertise in hotel operations, demonstrating strong management, leadership, and communication skills. From roles as a Senior Sous Chef at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront, Jr. Sous Chef at Fire Lake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, and Chef de partie at various renowned establishments, Singh has consistently delivered high-quality dishes, managed kitchen operations, and resolved challenges efficiently. His career journey reflects an unwavering commitment to culinary excellence, innovative problem-solving, and effective leadership in the dynamic realm of hospitality and hotel operations. Arjun’s expertise also extends to cooking techniques with open fire, where he masterfully harnesses the flames to create exceptional dishes. Arjun will oversee day-to-day activities and implement dynamic F&B strategies to maximise revenue, while ensuring that an exceptional level of guest service is always maintained. Arjun specializes in American and Mexican cuisine, offering modern interpretations. His core strengths include skills such as kitchen and restaurant design, menu engineering and implementation, people development and performance management, planning and budgeting, the development of new F&B concepts, environmentally friendly and sustainable menus, and product feasibility studies and market research.With over 15 years of experience in F&B operations and hotel management, Matthew Wakeford is a seasoned hospitality professional known for his expertise in creating diverse menus, crafting innovative cocktails, and optimising beverage operations. He has an impressive track record of successful pre-openings, including the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai. Currently serving as the F&B Manager at Holiday Inn Dubai Business Bay Hotel, Wakeford leads the food and beverage operations, contributing his extensive experience to enhance the hotel's dining offerings and guest experiences. His role encompasses menu development, training and supervising staff and fostering a culture of exceptional service. Matthew's leadership plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the hotel's F&B department thrives and aligns with the brand's standards of excellence.The hotel’s vision will also be overseen by key team members to ensure smooth and successful property operations. With over 21 years of experience in the industry, Ziad Khuzouz serves as the Director of Finance & Business Support. In this role, he is responsible for implementing strategic plans and budget programmes, as well as maximising profits and cash management, among other responsibilities. Shirley M will be leading all things human resources as Director of Human Resources, including talent acquisition, budgeting, staff accommodation, and internal communications. When it comes to Room Division, Mira Maher will oversee all operations as Room Division Manager. In her role, she leads various hotel departments, creates a welcoming environment, and manages day-to-day functions. Finally, Perla Carreon will serve as Housekeeping Manager, where she will head housekeeping and laundry facilities, ensuring a secure and pleasant environment for all guests.

Victoria Webb appointed as new Managing Director of Incubeta MENA

Victoria Webb has been appointed as the new Managing Director of Incubeta, MENA region. Backed by over 18 years of experience in both traditional and digital media marketing, Victoria’s elevation to this leadership role is testament to her skill, dedication, and outstanding contributions to the agency since she joined in 2017.Having started as the Client Services Director for the SSA region, Victoria had an immediate impact on the company and swiftly climbed the ranks, most recently holding the title of Regional Growth and Innovation Director at Incubeta MENA since 2022. Her tenure at the company boasts several notable achievements, such as spearheading growth in the SSA market while retaining tier 1 clients, driving regional expansion by leading winning pitches across the MENA region, and solidifying our key regional partnerships including with TikTok and Google.In her new role as Managing Director, Victoria is committed to enhancing Incubeta’s position as the leading digital solutions partner in the MENA region, with a focus on delivering tangible business benefits to clients and partners through seamlessly integrated marketing strategies. This will be accomplished by increasing investment in four critical areas: innovation, talent, client relationships, and partnerships. Incubeta’s strategy also involves diversifying its current service offerings to align with market demand and emerging technologies, with a particular focus on leveraging Incubeta’s Cloud solution.“I’m deeply honored to be stepping into the role of Managing Director for Incubeta MENA,” commented Victoria Webb, Managing Director, Incubeta MENA. “Over the years, I’ve been privileged to witness and contribute to our dynamic growth and evolution, and I am incredibly excited to be leading our team as we strive to further innovation, nurture new talent and foster stronger, long-lasting client relationships that will shape the digital landscape of the MENA region.”Neal Patel, the outgoing MD, has been Managing Director and Partner of Bruce Clay since 2017 and saw it through its acquisition by Incubeta in 2022. Under his leadership the company grew exponentially, with the workforce expanding from 5 to over 120 members of staff, and attracted some of the most well-known brands in the world including Johnson and Johnson, McDonald’s and Saudi based destination, AlUla. He will be leaving to focus on other entrepreneurial ventures in the fields of AI, Edtech, Cloud based marketing and creative technology.“We’ve already seen a great deal of success in the MENA region, and I am certain that this will continue and grow under Victoria’s leadership,” added Lars Lehne, Global CEO, Incubeta. “She has had a significant impact on the company ever since she joined and was the perfect candidate for this position. I am also incredibly grateful to Neal for his hard work, passion and commitment to the business, and I’m pleased that he will stay close to the business in a senior advisory capacity”

BeIN SPORTS celebrates double victory at MENA Digital Awards

beIN SPORTS, the leading sports broadcaster in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), received two prestigious trophies at the annual MENA Digital Awards in Dubai on 20 October. The company clinched top honours in two categories: ‘Best Use of Cross Platform Digital Content’ and ‘Best Use of Social Media’, solidifying its position as a digital trailblazer in the MENA region.The MENA Digital Awards is a premier event that celebrates the most innovative and effective campaigns across the region. beIN’s outstanding achievements in two highly competitive categories underscore its dedication to creativity, innovation, and engagement in the ever-evolving digital landscape.In the category of Best Use of Cross Digital Platform, beIN showcased its prowess in crafting immersive and impactful digital content that resonated with a diverse audience across various platforms during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM. The campaign not only demonstrated beIN’s creative vision, but also highlighted its ability to connect with viewers across different platforms.In the Best Use of Social Media category, beIN similarly proved its mastery in leveraging its social channels to engage, inform, and inspire audiences during the month-long football tournament – the first held in the Arab World. The winning campaign demonstrated an unparalleled understanding of social media dynamics, resulting in heightened brand visibility and engagement on beIN SPORTS’ social channels across various platforms.Faisal Al-Raisi, beIN’s Director of Digital for the MENA region, said: “We are thrilled to receive these prestigious awards, which reflect the hard work, dedication, and innovation of our entire team. This achievement is a testament to our commitment to delivering exceptional content and engaging with our audience effectively through our digital channels. As the company continues to innovate and push the boundaries of digital engagement, we look forward to raising the bar even higher in the coming years.”beIN’s success at the MENA Digital Awards not only demonstrates the broadcaster’s commitment to excellence, but also reinforces its position as an industry leader.

Memac Ogilvy welcomes new Executive Creative Director

Memac Ogilvy has bolstered its strategic creative offering with the appointment of Steve de Lange as its new Executive Creative Director in the UAE. De Lange joins the global network with a mandate of evolving and accelerating its creative vision and output across the UAE.“The Memac Ogilvy legacy in the region has been built upon bold ideas delivered through modern, integrated solutions. With two decades of outstanding work behind him, we know Steve will bring his people-first, big-idea approach to help us continue growing that legacy,” said Ghassan Maraqa, MENA CEO, Memac Ogilvy. “Under Steve’s leadership, we will continue uniting our diverse businesses under one consolidated creative vision to maximize our effectiveness for clients—helping to deliver modern solutions to modern business problems,” Maraqa added. De Lange has spent 15 years of his career in the MENA region, working at renowned agencies and winning countless global awards. He has collaborated with some of the biggest domestic and international entities, including Saudi Tourism Authority, Unilever, Spotify, Coca-Cola, among others. He joins Memac Ogilvy as the company continues its leadership transition, working under newly appointed MENA CEO, Ghassan Maraqa, who will be joined by new MENA Group President, Jon Marchant, with a focus on delivering big, bold, culture-shifting ideas for the biggest brands in the region."It’s a huge honor to join the Memac Ogilvy team, an agency whose storied history is a testament to its commitment to big ideas, innovation and craft,” said Steve de Lange. “I very much look forward to building on their proud tradition of creative excellence as we work alongside our clients and partners to write what promises to be an epic new chapter.”

Democrance expands footprint in Saudi Arabia

Democrance, the global InsurTech firm with a mission to make insurance accessible and affordable for those who need it most, today announced a bold expansion strategy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following the launch of the company’s Riyadh HQ.Supported by investment from Wa’ed Ventures, the Kingdom-based venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco, and long-time partner Global Ventures, the move is designed to support Saudi Arabia’s economic aspirations. Democrance’s Saudi expansion aligns with the principles of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP), a critical part of Saudi Vision 2030 that collaborates with bodies such as the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to enhance the country’s financial sector industry.“The FSDP plays a crucial role in shaping the Kingdom’s FSI sector,” said Hussain Almarhoon, Founding Managing Partner of HALA Ventures and Chairman of the newly created regional HQ, Democrance KSA. “Democrance’s mission to bring insurance to underserved markets and communities makes us an ideal contributor to the program and a key partner in the realization of Vision 2030. Our commitment to the country and the people of Saudi Arabia is absolute and unwavering.”“Achieving financial inclusion is a global mission and one that is incredibly important to spread in the region. Democrance has shown great potential to elevate available insuretech products, and we are excited to partner with them on their journey to diversify and digitize insurance solutions ” said Mazen Alasnag, Head of Venture Growth at Wa’ed Ventures.“Global Ventures partners with entrepreneurs that leverage disruptive technologies to build industry-changing and sustainable businesses,” said Medea Nocentini, Senior Partner, Global Ventures. “Democrance exemplified this when we first decided to invest and has continued to do so two years later on its mission to reshape the frontier market of InsurTech. It is fitting that the company’s next chapter will be written in Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom transforms its FSI sector.”Democrance helps insurers increase their digital sales and access new customer segments. With its B2B white-label SaaS technology platform, insurance products and digital sales channels can be launched in a few weeks, without impacting any legacy IT system. P&C, Life and Health insurance products are currently supported on the platform.“The global insurance sector is in the midst of a dramatic surge in digital transformation,” said Michele Grosso, Co-Founder and CEO of Democrance. “Democrance has emerged as the leading B2B InsurTech firm in Saudi Arabia by aligning with SAMA’s vision and that of broader government efforts on Vision 2030. Some of the largest insurers in Saudi Arabia count themselves among our clients because they have seen the value in our mission to digitize insurance processes and increase the sector’s penetration in all levels of society, from digital millennials to low-income families.”Outside of Saudi Arabia, Democrance is active in 15 other markets in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

Veeam announces new security capabilities and malware detection

Dubai, UAE: Veeam Software, the leader in Data Protection and Ransomware Recovery, today announced the New Veeam Data Platform 23H2 update, including the New Veeam Backup & Replication v12.1 release, during the global VeeamON Resiliency Summit. Built on the principles of Data Security, Data Recovery and Data Freedom, the Veeam Data Platform 23H2 update includes more advanced data security, malware detection, automated recovery, and hybrid cloud capabilities to keep businesses running even in the face of increasing ransomware and cyberattacks.“Cybercriminals are getting smarter and are specifically targeting backups,” said Danny Allan, CTO at Veeam. “The Veeam 2023 Ransomware Trends report shows that 93% of ransomware attacks target backups – with 75% of those attacks being at least partially successful. Threat actors are targeting backups because organizations are more likely to pay the ransom if hackers are successful in deleting or encrypting backup data. IT and Cybersecurity experts alike know that a critical component of a cyber-resiliency strategy must be a trusted, clean backup that you can access at any time, from anywhere. Our new Veeam Data Platform 23H2 Update enables radical resilience – to not just bounce back from an outage or data loss, but to bounce forward. By providing the shortest gap between incident and recovery, our customers can keep their business running, growing and moving ahead.”As the #1 provider worldwide in the Data Replication & Protection software market, Veeam continues to demonstrate innovation in data protection and ransomware recovery, delivering innovative solutions that address the evolving needs of modern businesses. Veeam Data Platform 23H2 updates include new security and ransomware protection functionalities for Veeam Backup & Replication, Veeam ONE and Veeam Recovery Orchestrator.This new release delivers more advanced data security, malware detection, automated recovery, and hybrid cloud capabilities across the entire hybrid-cloud environment. Veeam Backup & Replication v12.1, the foundation of the Veeam Data Platform, now further reduces incident response time with proactive threat hunting for backups, integration SIEM platforms, YARA rules for ransomware pattern detection and guides to help customers implement NIST cybersecurity best practices. Organizations of all sizes can now achieve the radical resilience that can only come from complete confidence in protection, response and recovery.Many of the new cyber security features and enhancements in the Veeam Data Platform 23H2 Update are designed to help all organizations prepare and plan for security incidents by uniting IT and security teams with the technology to confront, contain and conquer ransomware. These new cyber security features and enhancements include:Detect and identify cyberthreats: AI-powered and built-in Malware Detection performs low-impact inline entropy and file extension analysis during backup for immediate detection. Let your SIEM tool report infections directly into Veeam Incident API, which marks existing restore points as infected or triggers out-of-band backups in response.Respond and recover faster from ransomware: Perform point-in-time recovery to the moment before infection with I/O Anomaly Visualizer, which ensures the lowest possible data loss thanks to Veeam’s continuous data protection (CDP). Avoid reinfection with YARA content analysis and automate clean recovery by using malware-free restore points.Secure and compliant protection for data: Highlight threats, identify risks and measure the security score of your environment in the new Veeam Threat Center; Ensure recovery success with automated scans with the Security & Compliance Analyzer; Prevent accidental or malicious deletion or encryption of backups by employing expanded immutability support. This includes “four-eyes” backup protection, and immutable backups.During the VeeamON Resiliency Summit keynote, Allan highlighted new Veeam product releases for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud that are coming next month, and also teased the upcoming Kasten K10 6.5 launch. Fueling its history of innovation, Veeam recently announced BaaS for Microsoft 365 and Azure, and a new release for Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 is also planned for early 2024.New Veeam Cyber Secure ProgramThe New Veeam Cyber Secure Program combines Veeam’s purpose-built technology with a team of experts to help customers protect and recover from ransomware. Available in early 2024, the program gives customers peace of mind that Veeam is implemented to the highest security standards and the assurance that they’re ready for a cyber incident. The Cyber Secure Program includes incident recovery services like advanced onboarding, design and implementation assistance, and quarterly health checks. During a cyber incident, customers have access to a dedicated Support Account Manager and Ransomware ResponseTeam with 30-minute service level agreements (SLAs). Also included in the Veeam Cyber Secure Program is the Veeam Ransomware Recovery Warranty that covers up to $5 million USD in data recovery expense reimbursement. Veeam Cyber Secure Program means that you’re ready for the next cyber-attack, and can rest easy knowing your backups are clean, reliable, and ready for fast recovery. More information on the program is available at: New Veeam Data Platform 23H2 update will be released later this year. For more information, visit is now open for the 10th annual VeeamON event, taking place June 3 through June 5, 2024 at the Diplomat Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Register now for a limited-time 10-year anniversary rate: Quote“Keeping up with the pace of cyber-threat evolution is no easy feat for IT Operations or security teams today. As technologies and attack methods continuously evolve, remaining a step ahead is more difficult than ever before. Veeam is remaining true to its disaster recovery roots while helping customers to increase their cyber-resiliency, specifically helping in a couple of areas that we hear from customers are critical - reducing downtime and reducing data loss. Additionally, capabilities like the Threat Center and the Security and Compliance Analyzer will help organizations to move towards the 'SecOps' ,collaboration that has grown to be necessary." - Krista Macomber, Senior Analyst at The Futurum Group.

Tyler Perry Forms Creative Partnership with Netflix

Tyler Perry and Netflix have formed a creative partnership that will have Perry write, direct and produce feature films under a multi-year first-look deal.  Perry’s upcoming films with Netflix include Six Triple Eight starring an ensemble cast led by Kerry Washington about the inspiring true story of the the first and only Women’s Army Corp unit of color to be stationed overseas during World War 2, and Mea Culpa starring Kelly Rowland about a criminal defense attorney who takes on the case of an artist who may or may not have murdered his girlfriend. Perry’s previous films with Netflix include A Jazzman’s Blues, a sweeping tale of forbidden love that made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, A Madea Homecoming, the 12th installment of the billion dollar Madea franchise, and the thriller A Fall from Grace.

From celebrity recognition to sonic branding - Kantar’s AI cracks the code

Kantar, the world's leading marketing insights and analytics company, today announces a broad expansion of its AI capabilities within its brand strategy and creative development portfolio. Combining Kantar’s expertise in advanced analytics with the most meaningful data, a new generation of features use AI to generate accurate insights to ensure creative effectiveness and strategic brand building at scale.Link subscriptions allow advertisers to test ads at scaleLink subscriptions allow advertisers to stretch their ad testing budgets further to cover more ads by dynamically combining survey-based and AI-based creative testing into a tailored package. In today's digital-first media landscape, where advertisers create many content variations across multiple ad platforms, the ability to test more assets means more insights and better effectiveness. Combining survey and AI testing also means that advertisers get the best of both worlds, the depth of insights from real people along with scale and speed thanks to AI. Link AI, Kantar’s artificial intelligence-based tool for testing digital and TV advertising, delivers many of the same established, validated measures available via the LINK+ survey testing approach, so advertisers are assured of consistent metrics, with both AI and survey tests using a common language.Advertisers switching to a Link subscription will benefit from using Kantar’s “always on” testing platform and being able to test a far greater proportion of campaign assets with the same budget, compared to using survey testing only.Celebrity recognition capability comes to Link AI ad testingLink AI has added celebrity recognition to its roster of AI-enabled features. This allows advertisers to evaluate the effect of featuring public figures in their ads. The AI model identifies the celebrity or public figure in an ad using facial recognition and assesses how influential they are. It also determines the expression on the celebrity’s face and the star’s connection to the brand by analysing mentions of the brand and individual online. Analysis of celebrity-fronted campaigns in Kantar’s Link ad testing database finds that the better the celebrity “fit”, the more likely the campaign will deliver brand equity and sales lift – an invaluable measure for marketers to ensure ROI. Predictive eye-tracking allows advertisers to understand what is grabbing attentionPredictive eye-tracking shows which details of an ad are likely to draw viewers’ attention, enabling advertisers to create more engaging content. It will become available on Link AI and LINK+ from 31 October. Built upon a training database of real eye-tracking tests, predictive eye-tracking delivers a second-by-second heatmap showing which elements are predicted to catch the eye – a valuable addition to marketers’ arsenals as they look to capture and retain consumers' attention.Kantar clients with a Link subscription will benefit from both celebrity recognition and predictive eye-tracking as standard. Within LINK+ studies, predictive eye-tracking combined with facial coding strengthens assessment of emotional response to ads. Link AI and LINK+ are both available on Kantar Marketplace.   Predictive eye-tracking in LINK+ and Link AI: The more attention predicted, the warmer the colour BrandDigital uses ‘big data’ to put brands on the front foot against disruptionKantar has built BrandDigital to provide brand managers with customisable insights they need to stay ahead of emerging competitive threats. It uses proprietary AI to interrogate 8.5 billion Google searches by 4.3 billion digital consumers across all categories, languages and countries. Providing brand owners with visibility of everything consumers are searching for, in their own words, BrandDigital identifies consumer trends, potential disruptors and market shifts, and uncovers rich regional nuances.    The BrandDigital self-serve dashboard brings structure to ‘big data’ to put brands on the front footBrandDigital expands the topics of research into related areas, to extend brands’ line of sight to the next disruption. The AI toolkit collects and organises unstructured search data into topics or themes and applies advanced analytics to understand brand interest or salience, share and growth - arming brand experts with meaningful data to help clients take their growth strategies further, faster. BrandDigital provides a much-expanded view of the market, benefiting brand owners from both Kantar’s expert knowledge and leading-edge technology, with findings delivered via a self-serve dashboard containing four years of historical data. NeedScope AI for Music decodes the winning formula for sonic brandingKantar’s NeedScope framework is globally famous across the marketing world for revealing the emotive needs in a category to inform brands’ positioning strategies. With the launch of NeedScope AI for Music, Kantar is now able to apply that famed NeedScope methodology to sound. The new NeedScope AI Decoder uses machine learning to understand the emotion in auditory assets. This guides brands in developing their portfolio of sonic assets (sounds, music, jingles, and others) that are strongly associated with the brand, building recognition and memorability. Successful sonic branding involves creating a unique and memorable brand identity through the innovative use of sound. By aligning music and sound tonality with a brand's messaging and identity, NeedScope AI for Music enables brands to create immersive and engaging experiences that resonate with users and reinforce brand messaging powerfully and effectively.   Kantar’s NeedScope framework identifies brand positioning territories based on emotionCommenting, Ted Prince, Chief Product Officer, Kantar, said: “Our innovation in AI is opening new frontiers in the collection, interpretation and application of human data. It enables the deepest understanding of how people everywhere think and act – and allows us to generate brand-defining insights at ever greater speed and scale. When combined with our industry-leading advantages in data and brand expertise, our application of AI unlocks profound new possibilities to shape the future of brands. Our industry has an excellent reputation for technological innovation, and at Kantar we are committed to leading the disruption. We are constantly evolving our portfolio to put place the power of AI into our clients’ hands, giving them the most meaningful data to power their strategic thinking.”

BankDhofar paves the way for a customer-centric digital future

Muscat:  BankDhofar is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting spend campaign, aimed at promoting the use of debit cards at Point of Sale (POS) & Online transactions. This campaign is aligned with Vision 2040, by encouraging customers towards digital payments.Participating in the campaign is straightforward. Customers are invited to accumulate a minimum cumulative value of OMR 100 in local or international transactions using their debit cards. For every OMR 100 spent, they earn a chance to get OMR 100 back through an entry into a raffle draw. The more they spend using their debit cards at POS or online transactions, the greater their chances of winning.The monthly draw for the cashback prize is scheduled for the 5th of each month, covering the previous month's successful purchase transactions. The lucky winner, chosen through a random draw, will receive a remarkable 100% cashback, equivalent to the minimum transaction value. There will be 250 winners during the campaign period.The campaign, scheduled to run from October to December 2023, is designed to encourage our valued debit cardholders to transition from cash to debit card payments for their day-to-day purchases.Bilal Faiz Muhammad Al Raiisi, AGM - Cards & Bancassurance said, “This customer centric campaign is aimed to enhance the financial lives of our customers by urging them to adopt a debit card-based lifestyle aimed at financial wellness. As a token of appreciation for their trust and loyalty, we offer them the opportunity to win OMR 100 in cash, credited directly to their account. We believe it will not only encourage the use of debit cards for daily purchases but also reward our cardholders for their loyalty”.Apart from numerous benefits for a Debit Card, they help customers manage their finances, by promoting responsible spending and they provide secure transactions with features like PINs, EMV chips, and real-time notifications, reducing the risk of fraud and ensuring peace of mind.BankDhofar invites its customers to participate in this campaign and embrace the convenience and rewards of debit card usage. By making this shift, customers can transform their financial experience and enjoy the many benefits it brings.

CTM360 showcases industry leadership at GovWare 2023 in Singapore

Singapore: CTM360, a prominent leader in External Attack Surface Management, Digital Risk Protection, and takedowns, is thrilled to share the success of its participation in GovWare 2023, Asia's premier cybersecurity event. The event took place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore from October 17 to October 19, 2023. This marked CTM360's 10th international event this year, aligning with the key slogan of "Cybersecurity from Bahrain to the World."GovWare 2023 attracted over 10,000 attendees, including global experts and industry practitioners. This event served as a crucial platform for discussing pressing challenges, sharing industry best practices, and exploring transformative opportunities that shape the future of cybersecurity.The theme for GovWare 2023 was "Fostering Trust Through Collaboration in the New Digital Reality." In keeping with this theme, CTM360 presented its comprehensive, consolidated platform designed to empower end-users to enhance cyber resilience and counter cyber threats.CTM360's platform harnesses the power of Big Data to provide end-users with comprehensive cybersecurity oversight. This turn-key, SaaS-based technology platform offers real-time insights into cyber risks, threats, and compliance issues affecting an organization's external security posture. With its advanced analytics and monitoring capabilities, CTM360's platform revolutionizes security beyond the firewall.During GovWare 2023, CTM360's CEO, Mirza Asrar Baig, took the stage on October 19 to present "The Regulatory Revolution: Real-Time Visibility in Today's Digital Age." On the same day, Mr. Baig also participated in a panel discussion titled "CISOs' Cyber Visibility Concerns Today." Attendees had the opportunity to gain valuable insights from an industry leader with firsthand experience in shaping the future of cybersecurity technologies beyond the firewall. They also witnessed the CTM360 platform in action through live demonstrations.

Time Out Market Dubai welcomes three exciting new concessionaires

Dubai: Time Out Market Dubai, the food and cultural market bringing the best of the city together under one roof, announces three new concessions, Odeon, Onda by Alici, and Little Jun’s serving delightful French, Italian, and Asian cuisines at the Market this week.Odeon, founded by Chef Thomas and Morgan Duhamel, alongside Michelin-star Chef Yannick Alleno, will deliver a delectable modern French cuisine, deeply rooted in a savoir-faire. From a bounty of mouth-watering pâtisseries, specialty breads and viennoiseries, to delicatessen dishes including Beef Carpaccio, Smoked Salmon Tsar Loin, Croque Monsieur. Guests can also enjoy Parisian desserts like Vanilla Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Mousse, and Thin Apple Tart.Alici will bring the Amalfi Coast to the Market, translating Southern Italian seafood cooking beautifully through Onda by Alici. Head Chef Domenico Santagada brings menu items ranging from Tartare di tonno rosso (hand cut bluefin Tuna tartare) Gamberi alla diavol (pan-seared shrimp) to Spaghetti “Chitarra” ai frutti di mare (homemade seafood spaghetti). Guests will get to taste authentic Southern Italian cuisine at Time Out Market Dubai without needing to book a flight.Little Jun’s has been created exclusively for Time Out Market Dubai, where Founder Chef Kelvin Cheung showcases third-culture cuisine that is a true reflection of his multicultural upbringing. Chef Kelvin, one of the region's pioneers and proponents of Third Culture Food, incorporates his Chinese heritage with his culinary journey across the US and Canada. Little Jun’s will serve flavourful dishes such as Bang Bang Cauliflower, Korean Fried Chicken Wings, and Jun’s Style Subway Sandwich. As a sweet treat, guests can also choose to have a slice from the cake of the day.Cities are home to ever evolving food scenes – and Dubai is no exception with its exciting chefs and restaurateurs. As Time Out Market Dubai celebrates the best home-grown talents, these new concessions were curated to reflect the incredible diversity and quality this city has to offer, and to give guests a real taste of this dynamic and vibrant culinary landscape.

UAE leads GCC in employee crypto withdrawals

 Deel, a global HR platform driving the evolution of remote work has unveiled new research revealing the UAE is the frontrunner regarding employee cryptocurrency withdrawals within the GCC. The new findings are in line with the UAE's forward-looking approach to embracing innovation in the financial sector and creating regulatory frameworks that enable users to embrace new technologies with confidence.The research highlights a growing level of adoption among individuals, who are now using cryptocurrencies as a viable medium for receiving employer payments. Conducting an extensive survey, Deel engaged with over 1600 employees and over 700 organizations in the UAE to gather valuable insights.Within the GCC landscape, the UAE is currently leading the way (87%), with Saudi Arabia (8%) and Qatar (4.8%) following behind. Exploring the Deel data beyond the UAE, Egypt places itself in the spotlight by a substantial margin, witnessing over 25,000 employee withdrawals using crypto in the last 12 months. Tracking Egypt's trajectory, the roster of pioneering nations also includes Morocco, and Lebanon, each carving its path towards cryptocurrency adoption.Notably, Ethereum (ETH) claims the top spot as the preferred cryptocurrency for withdrawals, commanding 51.2%. The US Dollar backed stablecoin USDC follows suit at 24.5%, while Bitcoin (BTC) controls 20.2% of the landscape. Solana (SOL) and Dash wrap up the top five most used cryptocurrencies with 2.5% and 1.6%, respectively, contributing to the crypto withdrawals landscape.Tarek Salam, Head of Expansion from Deel, said: "The Deel research provides an interesting window on the latest trends within the employment sector. It is truly great to witness the rapid surge in cryptocurrency adoption within the UAE and the wider region. The regulators have played a commendable role in encouraging greater participation in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and it’s a trend that we will be watching with interest as adoption continues to grow.”In the ever-evolving landscape of global finance, the UAE has embraced employee cryptocurrency withdrawals. As the UAE sets the pace, other nations in the Middle East and North Africa are reflecting the rise and growing acceptance of crypto. Ethereum's prominence as the preferred cryptocurrency and the diverse utilization of other digital assets represents the dynamic nature of the elvolving financial landscape for both employers and employees who are adding cryptocurrencies to the payroll.

Vodafone Oman achieves regulatory records management milestone

Vodafone Oman has set a new industry benchmark by becoming the first telecommunications service provider in the country to adopt regulatory compliance with its Records Management Manual and Retention Schedules, in collaboration with the National Records and Archives Authority (NRAA).By adopting the latest digital documents management technologies and solutions, Vodafone Oman aims to strengthen its operational efficiency, enhance transparency and optimise its internal processes. By partnering with the NRAA, Vodafone Oman is reaffirming its commitment to upholding industry standards and best practices in regulatory compliance in line with the Archives and Records Law issued by Royal Decree No. 60/2007 and its amendments under Royal Decree 52/2022.Bader Al Zidi, CEO, Vodafone Oman, said: “From our very conception, Vodafone Oman has been determined to lead the way in the industry and dedicate ourselves to exceptional services while upholding the highest standards of compliance, data security and customer trust. We are proud to see our strategic efforts with the NRAA come to fruition after a year of careful and meticulous work from our team and we look forward to a long-standing partnership. We are extremely grateful for their invaluable expertise and guidance in developing this pioneering manual which further underlines our commitment to excellence.”As the telecommunications industry continues to evolve in the Sultanate, Vodafone Oman continues to set new standards for its peers and the nation in line with Oman Vision 2040 goals. The newly adopted Records Management Manual establishing a comprehensive framework for ensuring the control, storage, retrieval and archiving of critical documents in line with relevant regulations, promoting responsible information management practices throughout the telecommunications sector.

Etihad enhances Scandinavian connectivity in strategic codeshare deal with SAS

Etihad Airways and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) have signed a strategic codeshare agreement, so customers of both airlines will enjoy enhanced connectivity to destinations across each other’s networks.  Guests can book on a single ticket and only have to check in once at the start of their flight, with their baggage checked through to their end destination.  Arik De, Etihad’s Chief Revenue Officer said: “Our strategic bilateral agreement with SAS, coming after the start of our flights to Copenhagen, allows more seamless travel for our guests from Northern Europe to enjoy Abu Dhabi, and to connect with our growing global network, including our expanding destinations in the Indian Sub-Continent, East Asia, Middle East, and Africa.  “The tie-in gives our guests one-stop access across Scandinavia to destinations including Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Gothenburg, Bergen and Aarhus.  “This agreement is just the latest in our mission to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s cultural and economic growth by welcoming more guests to our home enjoying enhanced travel benefits and greater treasured experiences.”  SAS Executive, Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Paul Verhagen, said: “We are happy for the opportunity to introduce a new codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways.  “This partnership expands the choices available to SAS customers for journeys to Abu Dhabi and beyond, with connections to India, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and more. We will continue to enhance international connectivity and remain committed to our promise of providing seamless travel experiences to our customers." This agreement strengthens Etihad’s relationship with SAS, including partnering with SAS in the Etihad Guest frequent flyer programme. Etihad Guest members will earn miles when they fly with SAS and vice versa for EuroBonus members, and this facility is now being extended to all flights across both airline networks.  The codeshare is set to come into full service at the end of December 2023, when customers can book across Etihad’s sales channels including and travel agents for travel from January.

HRH Crown Prince announces Esports World Cup

 His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, has announced the launch of the Esports World Cup, which will be held annually in Riyadh starting summer 2024. The largest global event of its kind, the competition will provide a platform that supports the gaming and esports sector and enhances the Kingdom’s position as a hub for international esports and sports competitions. HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also announced the establishment of the Esports World Cup Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to drive a new era of collaboration between esports stakeholders and to enhance the sector’s sustainability. The announcement came during “The New Global Sport Conference”, which was hosted by the Kingdom and welcomed senior officials and global leaders in the sports, gaming, and esports sectors.HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated, “The Esports World Cup is the natural next step in Saudi Arabia’s journey to become the premier global hub for gaming and esports, offering an unmatched esports experience that pushes the boundaries of the industry. The competition will enhance our progress towards realizing the Vision 2030 objectives of diversifying the economy, growing the tourism sector, creating new jobs in various industries, and providing world-class entertainment for citizens, residents, and visitors alike.”The launch of the Esports World Cup reflects the Kingdom’s continuous efforts to sustain and grow the esports sector, as well as its ambitions to expand the entertainment and sports industries at home and abroad. The tournament also builds on the gaming passion seen in Saudi’s youth-majority population, and on homegrown esports successes such as the first and second editions of GAMERS8. The tournament will help accelerate the realization of the National Gaming and Esports Strategy. The strategy aims to increase the sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP by more than SAR 50 billion by 2030 and create 39,000 new job opportunities.The Esports World Cup will provide an enabling environment for the growth and sustainability of players, clubs, and the sector overall. The tournament will include the most popular games in the world across all genres and have the largest prize pool in esports history. The tournament will feature a unique cross game competition format that will reward and incentivize clubs that take on the challenge to become the ultimate Esports World Cup Champion and support the growth and sustainability of all eSports clubs. The tournament will be complemented with a diversified set of activities and events that will draw visitors and tourists to the capital transforming it into a gaming capital. In fact, the indoor tournament is also planned as a key attraction to help bolster Saudi tourism during the summer. This opportunity is significant since Saudi experiences an average 16% drop-in hotel occupancy rates, an 18% decrease in tourism spending, a 13% drop in restaurant & cafe spending, and a 9% drop in consumer purchasing power during the summer.The Esports World Cup Foundation will reveal addition details about the event early in the coming year.

Tasawar by Snap Inc.: A first-of-its-kind AR exhibition redefining Saudi fashion

Snapchat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Saudi Fashion Commission, is thrilled to announce TASAWAR, an avant-garde augmented reality (AR) exhibition that pushes the boundaries of fashion and creativity through technology. Taking place during Riyadh Fashion Week, TASAWAR will run from October 21 to 24 at the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, welcoming local partners, Snap Stars, fashion aficionados, as well as the general public to experience as the worlds of fashion and technology collide. The event will showcase collections from five renowned Saudi designers including Hekayat, Hindamme, ArAm, Abadia, and KAF by KAF. TASAWAR, which means "imagine" in Arabic, takes the imagination of every visitor on a journey that enriches the senses. A world where the beauty of fashion design meets the power of AR technology in a series of captivating experiences and activations. The exhibition will deliver an immersive guest-journey featuring designer showrooms, virtual runways, dress try-ons, headpiece selfie lenses, and more. These experiences will come to life through Snapchat's camera and innovative AR technology, aiming to enhance the real world, not replace it with virtual reality. Striving to educate and inspire designers from Saudi and across the region, the event will host expert keynote and panel discussions led by TASAWAR's content partner, Chalhoub Group, a leader in luxury retail and innovative solutions, covering topics such as “A Thriving Fashion Landscape in KSA”, “The Future of Fashion in KSA” and “Fusing Creativity and Technology: The Future of Design”.Snapchatters will also be able to celebrate the inaugural edition of Riyadh Fashion Week with an immersive 3D Bitmoji lens that embodies the very essence of the fashion runway. Fashion aficionados will be able to stride confidently onto the Riyadh Fashion Week runway in the most personalized experience by leveraging their very own Bitomji, allowing them to be the main star of the show.Noha Kattan, Deputy Minister of National Partnerships and Development at the Ministry of Culture said, “The Ministry of Culture is dedicated to enhancing collaboration between the public and private sectors in addition to driving cultural exchange. The TASAWARexhibition, which is considered a key outcome of our strong partnership with Snap Inc., marks a significant stride forward in enhancing the national cultural scene and propelling the fashion industry into new horizons by integrating it with the world of technology.” She continued,“The Ministry of Culture will move ahead with its efforts to provide a nurturing environment for Saudi talents, support them in building their distinctive businesses and brands as well as equip them with innovations that will allow them to reach global audiences while also highlighting the depth of our culture and its unique attributes.”“Snapchat, deeply ingrained in the daily lives of Saudis, boasts over 22 million monthly users who use the platform to easily and authentically connect with those who matter most to them. This responsibility drives us to give back to the community and actively support the flourishing local talent, the dynamic creative scene, as well as the booming business ecosystem. This is precisely what we are achieving through TASAWAR, we're empowering the next generation of Saudi designers and brands that are leading the way in the digital transformation at play in Saudi Arabia by leveraging our AR technology and our ecosystem of local partners and creators,” said Abdulla Alhammadi, Regional Business Lead at Snap Inc. With over 85 percent of users in KSA interacting with lenses everyday, Snapchat's mission is to unlock previously unimaginable creative possibilities through AR, and help make the fashion industry even more personal, accessible and convenient. TASAWAR comes as part of a partnership between Snapchat and the Ministry of Culture to promote the inaugural edition of Riyadh Fashion Week globally. With its innovative approach, TASAWAR promises to be a must-visit exhibition that showcases the limitless possibilities of AR in the industry, changing the way people experience fashion and beauty.

Sobha Realty renews sponsorship agreement with Al Nasr Club

Sobha Realty, a leading real estate developer in Dubai, renewed its sponsorship agreement with Al Nasr Club for its first football team, in line with its efforts to support the sports sector in Dubai and worldwide.The agreement was signed during a meeting held at Al Nasr Club’s headquarters, in the presence of H.E Mansoor Al Fallasi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al Nasr Club Investment, Mr. Saad Abdulla Alhammadi, Vice Chairman of Al Nasr Club Investment Co, Noura Aljasmi, member of the Board of Directors of Al Nasr Club Investment and Francis Alfred, Managing Director of Sobha Realty.As part of the partnership, the first team’s players will wear jerseys embellished with Sobha Realty’s logo during all the club’s season-long matches.During the meeting, H.E. Mansoor Al Fallasi, expressed his delight on continuing the sponsorship agreement with Sobha Realty. In addition, H.E. Al Fallasi highlighted the long-standing role of the company in promoting sports, which is reflected through the extension of the sponsorship agreement with the club’s first team.  “We share a common vision with Sobha Realty, especially in terms of our ambitions and passion for innovation and success. It is our delight to renew our partnership with a renowned company, which has delivered positive outcomes at various levels in the past year. We look forward to achieving more milestones in the coming years,” H.E. Al Fallasi said.Francis Alfred, Managing Director of Sobha Realty, said: “We are excited to renew our partnership with Al Nasr Club’s first football team. This move serves as a testament to our shared goals, commitment and accomplishments, which define our partnership with this prestigious club.With the renewal of the sponsorship agreement, we are further fortifying our relationship with Al Nasr Club for yet another season, an association that is based on mutual respect and a common desire for achieving excellence.”“The extension further signifies our unwavering commitment to supporting the Al Nasr Club, as they continue to inspire fans and achieve new milestones. We are excited to commence a new season of exciting victories, strong collaboration and ongoing success of Sobha Realty and Al Nasr Club,” he added.

French sustainable cosmetics take center stage at Beautyworld Middle East 2023

In Dubai from October 30th to November 1st , the global beauty industry will gather at Beautyworld Middle East 2023, the largest trade show in the industry dedicated to wellness, perfumes, and cosmetics in the Middle East. This major meeting place for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and industry experts offers an ideal platform for showcasing the industry’s latest trends, innovations, products, and services.For the 27th edition of the show, Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, is organizing the French Pavilion with 100+ businesses. This highly anticipated participation is an opportunity for visitors to discover French sustainability and cutting-edge innovations in the beauty industry.Located in hall 3, the French Buzz Zone, will serve as a hub for innovation, spotlighting seven French businesses selected for the quality of their products. This corner, dedicated to innovation aims to reflect the dynamism of the French cosmetics industry.The latest developments in the industryThe continuously changing beauty industry is leading the way in shaping various significant trends that are revolutionizing the field. Presently, consumers prioritize the adoption of natural, clean beauty products that are made with the finest natural ingredients, all while being free from harmful substances. This commitment to purity and sustainability aligns with the fundamental principles deeply cherished by French cosmetics companies.Axel Baroux, French Trade & Invest Commissioner stressed:” French cosmetics brands have long been dedicated to infusing their products with natural goodness, aligning seamlessly with the global drive towards positive impact and a steadfast commitment to the principles of sustainability and environmental responsibility.”Personalization is also a significant trend, with skincare tailored to individual needs. Sustainability and ethics are at the forefront, with growing demand for environmentally friendly products and responsible production practices. The beauty industry is also committed to being more inclusive, offering a more diverse range of skin tones and representing a wider variety of people. From another perspective, technology is playing a growing role, with innovations such as smart beauty devices.France’s position as a world leaderUndoubtedly, France holds a pivotal position in the cosmetics industry, notably due to its substantial impact on beauty trends. France has consistently been celebrated for its proficiency in cosmetics and beauty items. Its top-tier products have gained a distinguished global reputation, owing to their groundbreaking characteristics and sophisticated formulations, developed in specialized cosmetics research laboratories. Furthermore, young companies draw advantages from the prestige of well-established luxury brands, which have cultivated genuine renown around “Made in France”, a hallmark of quality and prestige.These factors have contributed to a 2.5% growth in the French cosmetics industry compared to 2021 and have enabled it to uphold a substantial market share of 22% in the United Arab Emirates.An opportunity to accelerate the growth of Business France Marketplace in facilitating dynamic partnerships between middle eastern and French entities exhibitors.Business France Cosmetics Marketplace aims to bolster French enterprises across a dedicated platform offering early exposure before an exhibition fostering connections and business. With the rise of e-commerce in global trade preferred by 70% to 80% of BtoB decision makers according to McKinsey and currently representing more than 25% of B2B trade—Business France invests in e-export solutions. Embracing e-commerce doesn't replace traditional export channels but supplements them, enabling more exporters and increasing the visibility of "Made in France" products. Business France's Marketplace democratizes e-commerce, providing free access for French companies to digitize their product catalog, aiming to make French SMEs visible internationally. French exhibitors from Business France Pavilion can be contacted directly through the platform here : the 2023 edition of Beautyworld Middle East, Yves Rocher, the renowned beauty company in France and abroad, is the official partner of the French Pavilion at the show. A pioneer of botanical cosmetics, Yves Rocher is committed to sustainability, offering eco-friendly beauty products. This partnership underscores the shared commitment to natural goodness, sustainability, and positive impact in the cosmetics industry, promoting the best of eco-friendly beauty.