ADIFE 2023 set to showcase leading industry speakers

Abu Dhabi: – Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), next week’s Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition (ADIFE) will host an outstanding array of globally renowned speakers.The second edition of the exhibition is being organized by Capital Events, part of ADNEC Group in strategic partnership with ADAFSA from 27-29 November at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Key themes covered by the speakers will include food sustainability, developing food resilience, and food business and investment.  Highlights of Day One of ADIFE will include a panel on ‘Building Sustainable Food Networks: UAE’s Blueprint for Resilient Ecosystems’, which will be opened by an address from Saleh Lootah, Chairman of the UAE Food & Beverage Manufacturing Group. This session will address critical issues such as building a sustainable and resilient food ecosystem, encouraging stakeholder collaboration and synergy, and the role of public-private partnerships in effective development of the food sector. The exhibition’s first day will also see the 'Food Loss Pledge Signing', an initiative through which invited stakeholders, industry leaders, government representatives, and attendees will sign a food loss reduction pledgeDay Two will include a panel on ‘Public-Private Partnership on Improve Competitiveness & Regulatory Affairs’ that will start with a discussion between H.E Dr. Farah Ali Al Zarooni, Assistant Under Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MOIAT), and Dr Suzanne Baaghil, Chairperson of Regulatory Affairs Group in the UAE. This will be followed by further in-depth analysis of the panel’s themes from Dr Nouf Khamis Al Ali, Director of the Health Promotion Department at the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), UAE, Prapti Rai, Head of Quality and Strategic Initiatives at the Barakat Group of Companies, UAE, and Dr Suzanne Baaghil. On the same day, Dr Afra Al Dhaheri and Dr Ahmed Fawaz Atoom, both of ADAFSA, will explore ‘Agriculture Practices and Promotion of Local Consumption’.The final day will showcase a special session on ‘Funding and Investment Opportunities in the Agri-Food Sector’, which will include the results of a study on the food consumption rate in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi by Dr Hanan Afifi, Lead Researcher at ADAFSA, and a presentation on 'Partnership & Investment Office: Promotion of the ADAFSA Investment Opportunities' by Amna Al Sabaa, also of ADAFSA.Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “This year’s Second Edition of the Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition provides a crucial platform for showcasing the best in thought leadership and offering a unique opportunity to explore future trends in the vitally important food industry sector. Drawing on the expertise of leading global speakers, the exhibition is advancing food sustainability in alignment with the National Food Security Strategy's objectives and our wise leadership's vision to maintain the UAE among the world's leading countries in the food security index.”“This exhibition demonstrates ADNEC Group’s ongoing commitment to deliver world-class facilities and services that consistently exceed the expectations of both exhibitors and visitors in line with Abu Dhabi's reputation as the region’s premier destination for business tourism, events and conferences.”Reflecting its status as a leading global forum in its sector, this year's ADIFE will also see the announcement and signing of many contracts and partnerships between government agencies and private sector entities, along with productive meetings between buyers and suppliers operating within the various supply chains. The exhibition will be held in conjunction with the ninth Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition, co-organised by Capital Events, part of ADNEC Group and in partnership with the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation (KIADPAI), which connects buyers and suppliers to explore promising opportunities in this vital and growing sector.ADIFE will further feature a wide range of activities that will shed light on the most important and vital topics related to food production, as well as various hospitality and food services running alongside workshops and global competitions that will highlight innovation and new technology.

Anghami triumphs with 'Sound of Saudi' campaign

Recognized by MENA Effie, a symbol of marketing excellence spanning five decades, this distinction reflects Anghami’s commitment to create effective music initiatives that resonate across the region.Earlier this year, Anghami teamed up with TikTok and the Saudi Music Commission to launch “Sound of Saudi” competition, a fully-digital contest aiming to discover, elevate and boost Saudi musical talents to global recognition. The success of this initiative was made possible through the support of XELEMENT Agency, the award-winning Saudi Arabian advertising agency whose collaboration played a pivotal role in bringing Anghami’s vision to life.The campaign was also shortlisted in the highly competitive categories of “Social Media” and “Media Innovation: Existing Channel, Emerging & New Channels.”Representatives of XELEMENT Agency, Anghami & TikTok MENAMarian Bahader, VP of Marketing at Anghami, commented: “The most gratifying type of work is the one where creative energy can be channeled to help others. Through strategic partnerships with the Saudi Music Commission and TikTok, the competition drew over 32,000 participants and achieved 970.7 million views, reaching 35.8 million users. The whole team at Anghami worked relentlessly around the clock for many months to make this a possibility and I am grateful to each and everyone of them.”“We’ve been privileged to witness a surge of exceptional talents from the Kingdom. The fact that we could create a talent hunt on TikTok allowing so many hidden gems to participate from the comfort of their home and stand a chance to reach their musical goals – was just remarkable. The songs are now accessible to all music lovers on Anghami,” added Kamil Abi Khalil, Head of Production at Anghami.As Anghami continues to score big, the team continues to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation in the ever-evolving landscape of the music and entertainment industry.

Yellow Friday sale kicks off on

The Yellow Friday sale has officially kicked off on in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Running until November 28th, customers can enjoy discounts of up to 90 percent on millions of products, coupled with exclusive bank offers for additional savings.The Yellow Friday Sale this year is set to surpass all previous editions, ensuring a shopping experience that is grander and more extensive than ever before. Included in the offerings are significant reductions in prices, daily flash sales, savings through coupons, and bank deals featuring 0 percent interest installment plans. Noon one members can also benefit from special bank offers with extra savings incentives.Highlights of the Yellow Friday Sale include:Up to 90 percent off across all categories, allowing customers to explore significant discounts on a wide range of products.  ENBD cardholders can enjoy an extra 25 percent off at checkout, enhancing overall savings.  Mashreq noon credit cardholders receive a 10 percent unlimited cash back, exclusively available today.  Noon One members gain access to additional deals and discounts.  Customers can utilize Tabby and Tamara for convenient buy-now, pay-later options, expanding their purchasing capabilities.  Products across all categories are priced at their lowest.  Furniture enthusiasts can seize the opportunity with price crashes, acquiring solid wood beds, dining tables, and armchairs for just 99 AED.  Toys are available starting from just 1 AED, catering to various preferences and budgets.  Festive season preparations include deals on Christmas trees, decor, and gifts.Beyond product-focused deals, extends its offerings:NOON MINUTES:  15-Minute delivery ensures swift delivery to customers' doorsteps.  Free delivery for Noon One members on their orders.  Donuts are available for just 1 AED, satisfying sweet cravings.NOON FOOD:  Offers starting from 1 AED on burgers, shawarmas, and more.  60 percent off popular food brands.  Fast and efficient delivery with no long waits.  Free delivery for Noon One members on their food orders.

Ma’an launches the inaugural edition of the ADSEF at NYU Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an in partnership with startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based startup accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), has launched the inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi Social Entrepreneurship Forum.The Abu Dhabi Social Entrepreneurship Forum highlighted pressing factors of social entrepreneurship on a local and global scale, and the importance of upskilling youth to contribute to the cause, through a series of roundtable discussions and workshops.The event was attended by 150 people including government officials, faculty and students, NGOs, investors, social entrepreneurs, startup founders and more. Panel discussions were held on the topics of healthy lifestyles and youth for climate action, along with a think tank brainstorming session looking to the future, showcasing 12 local and international social enterprises, including 10 alumni from The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an.  This comes as part of a three-year partnership to develop Abu Dhabi as the global centre of social innovation. Ma’an and startAD, powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, joined hands to offer a unique chance for early-stage entrepreneurs to develop their social impact startups and scale into social enterprises through the Ma’an Social Incubator (MSI). Designed to boost innovation and facilitate knowledge sharing, this year’s MSI runs under the theme of sustainability to align with Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 and the upcoming COP28.His Excellency Salem Ali Al Shamsi, Social Incubation and Contracting Executive Director of The Authority of Social Contribution –Ma’an, said: “Today’s forum underlines The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an’s aim to support innovative social enterprises to accelerate the growth and development of a diverse and highly effective Third Sector in Abu Dhabi. Serving as a hub for passionate individuals who understand that entrepreneurship can be a powerful force for good, the forum encouraged knowledge sharing between like-minded people.In line with the Government of Abu Dhabi’s ongoing commitment to sustainable social development, we aspire through the Ma’an Social Incubator to encourage innovation and social entrepreneurship to develop solutions to social, cultural, or environmental challenges and achieving long-term positive impact in our community.”Through collaborations with the Third Sector, government, and private entities, Ma’an has supported various projects in education, health, environment, and social sectors to ultimately amplify a culture of social participation, while aiming to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as a key destination.Managing Director of startAD Ramesh Jagannathan added: “We are delighted to witness the fruits of our collaboration with the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, as we launch the inaugural edition of The Social Entrepreneurship Forum. The event embodies our shared goal of addressing the critical challenges that social entrepreneurship faces, both in our local communities and on a global scale. The need to arm our youth with the essential skills and knowledge to make a meaningful contribution to this mission is of paramount importance. We proudly facilitated connections between investors, student entrepreneurs, and academic institutions, creating a dynamic platform for all to engage and collaborate.“The foundations we have laid during this forum are a testament to our dedication to see social entrepreneurship flourish, and our commitment to empower the youth of today to be the change-makers of tomorrow,” he added.Aiming to bridge the gap between investors, student entrepreneurs, and academic institutions, the forum serves as a platform for diverse stakeholders and UAE-based budding and established social enterprises to collaborate and foster a culture of social innovation.In light of the upcoming COP28 summit, students, entrepreneurs, investors, and government bodies had the unique opportunity to connect and share insights about youth engagement’s vital role around climate action in the Middle East. Topics for discussion included the contribution of the UAE’s social entrepreneurship policies to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.Furthermore, the forum provided university students with opportunities to learn about social entrepreneurship and receive accelerator coaching from industry experts. It also connected social entrepreneurs with angel investors to help provide seed funding for promising business ideas.

Knowledge Summit’s virtual session explores Society 5.0 from social perspective

Dubai, United Arab Emirates:- The Knowledge Summit 2023 organized a virtual session on the third day under the theme ‘Exploring Society 5.0 from a social perspective.’ The session explored the prospects of the human-centered approach in Society 5.0, evaluated different ways to ensure a balance between economic and societal issues, and facilitated cross-border collaborations and exchange of cultural elements and best practices.The session featured Dr. Yildiz Kara, Founder and Managing Director of Society 5.0 Institute; Aya Sadder, Founder and CEO of BOLT Consultancy; and Dr. Fadi Salem, Director of Policy Department at Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government. The session was moderated by Melissa Saoudy, Founder of Why Impact Consulting and Social and Environmental Impact Strategist.During the session, Aya Sadder highlighted the importance of knowledge and innovation in the 5th Industrial Revolution (Industry 5.0) society, emphasizing the need for individuals and communities to access, process, and utilize information innovatively. In addition, she highlighted the necessity to develop new skills and capabilities to seamlessly adopt solutions in Industry 5.0. “Societies demand critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration skills for effective technology use, education and research, and investment for a better future,” she added.Dr. Salem said, “The Society 5.0 is striving to ensure the well-being and prosperity of the community. The human aspect of Industry 5.0 prioritizes people and maintains human values and ethics while balancing economic development and societal issues.”In addition, Dr. Salem stated that enhancing the human aspect of Society 5.0 in the Arab region requires collaboration between governments, businesses, and civil society and entails working together to ensure that technology is used responsibly, taking into consideration human values and ethics. He also pointed out that limited internet access and a lack of awareness about data privacy are the key challenges across sectors, including education, healthcare, and government services in the region.Dr. Salem also highlighted various significant disparities hindering the implementation of the objectives of Society 5.0, such as data shortages and the lack of Arabic language content. “These challenges could be addressed by improving the infrastructure for information and communication technology and mobile applications, as well as increasing collaboration with universities and research centers to increase Arabic content on the internet,” he concluded.In addition, Dr. Yildiz Kara highlighted the rapid technological advancements in Society 5.0, which significantly impact economic development and societal issues while also contributing to unemployment, social inequality, environmental changes, and cybersecurity risks.During the session, Dr. Yildiz underscored that balancing economic development and societal issues in Society 5.0 requires a comprehensive approach that considers economic, social, and environmental factors. It should focus on achieving sustainable development goals, preserving resources and the environment, enhancing social equality by reducing the gap between the rich and the poor, and investing in education and health.

8% in UAE and 15% in KSA believe brands address climate change: Havas

Only 8% of consumers in the UAE and 15% in KSA believe that brands are currently making sufficient efforts to combat climate change, reveals the latest report, 'Joyful Frugality,' published by Havas Middle East. The report focuses on consumer attitudes toward brands and their initiatives in addressing climate change. A larger percentage of respondents in both countries feel that brands are not doing enough.Almost half of the surveyed consumers believe that brands and businesses bear the most responsibility for climate change.More consumers in KSA (41%) than in the UAE (39%) agree with this statement.Frugality and minimalistic futureA significant percentage of consumers believe that brands and companies should contribute to making a frugal and minimalistic future desirable.91% of UAE consumers and 88% of KSA consumers think that brands and companies must play a role in this shift.Both countries exhibit a higher percentage of consumers expressing these views compared to global figures (82%).The "deinfluencer" trend on social media, where content creators challenge materialism and overconsumption, aligns with consumer sentiments against wasteful trends.A majority of consumers believe that large companies are better positioned to make necessary changes to combat climate change.In KSA, 93% believe in this statement, while in the UAE, 89% agree.A significant percentage of consumers in both countries think that the most profitable companies should be the first to pay for the ecological transition.Dany Naaman, CEO of Havas Middle East, underscores the importance of viewing sustainability and mindful consumption as enduring shifts in resource management and corporate responsibility, rather than passing trends.Overall, the report indicates a growing awareness among consumers in the UAE and KSA regarding environmental issues and a desire for brands to take more substantial actions toward sustainability and responsible consumption.

Japanese restaurant “MiSora” opens its doors in Jeddah

A Japanese eatery, “MiSora”, an exciting new contemporary restaurant offering a range of Japanese fusion food, announced its launch of its first branch in the Bride of the Red Sea, Jeddah on Wednesday night, 22nd of November 2023, offering a first look at the elegant restaurant to Jeddah’s elite.Top-notch guests, VIPs, members of the media and social media figures formally inaugurated the restaurant, designed with the precise needs of the cosmopolitan Saudi market in mind to bring a unique, world-class addition to the Kingdom’s ever-evolving dining scene.Situated on Prince Sultan road, Al Rawdah district, MiSora, the fine dining Asian restaurant, focuses on authentic Japanese cuisine, including traditional sashimi and specialty rolls prepared with a regional approach that highlights fresh ingredients amid sophisticated presentations.It also offers 'fresh and innovative ' menu on Japanese sushi and cuisine including crafted salads, dim sum, robata and wok dishes.With its talented Head Chef, Rafiq Abrahams preparing nothing but the best of Japanese dishes using the freshest ingredients, Japanese cuisine lovers and food connoisseurs are guaranteed a remarkable culinary journey at MiSora within its charming ambiance.“Our intention is not just to serve Japanese cuisine, our intention is to immerse our patrons in the Japanese culture. From the kitchen to the table, from the preparation to the presentation, our dishes will exude the traditions of Japan and I am confident that the locals will notice,” states Rafiq Abrahams who has worked under the wing of the respected chef’s in the Middle East, such as Chef Shane McNeill & Colin Clague.According to the Chef, MiSora restaurant is sourcing high quality ingredients from across the world, he commented: “Bringing Asian ingredients to the Middle East is something that will keep Misora patrons coming back for more. Ingredients that will entice the taste buds and create a sense of curiosity is the key to maintaining happy patrons.“I believe that the overall dining experience will be something that will keep locals and especially the young locals coming back for more. There are a few tricks up my sleeve which is just a bit premature to say, all I can say is watch this space,” he adds.About his aim in bringing something different in Jeddah, Rafiq Abrahams said: “My aim is to engage as many senses as possible. It is not just about arousing the eyes and the palate. Patrons need to feel that they are walking into a new world. Those who have been to Japan will have sense of familiarity. We want to foster a warm and inviting atmosphere by training the staff to provide exceptional hospitality whilst patrons feel embraced by the rich cultural tapestry Misora has to offer.”

PureHealth acquires leading Tech Company

 PureHealth, the largest healthcare platform in the Middle East, has acquired 100% of PureCS, a leading cloud and technology services provider, specializing in cyber security, AI information systems, complete end-to-end IT, and digital services. By focusing on speed of digitization, this acquisition will ensure solutions are prepared for tomorrow’s needs, driving technological leadership in line with PureHealth’s commitment to creating a tech-enabled platform and raising standards in healthcare excellence, underpinned by the importance of the role of AI and technology in the healthcare and consumer sector.PureCS has delivered the region’s largest digital health project, the UAE’s national project called Riayati, UAE’s national unified medical records platform, with more than 17 million unique electronic medical records under one exchange. This transformative project improves patient care, streamlines record access, enhances efficiency, and promotes cost-effectiveness, reshaping the UAE's healthcare landscape. PureCS has also delivered several local and federal level technology related projects focusing on complex system integrations, datacenter, cyber security and digital consumer applications.Farhan Malik, Managing Director and Group CEO at PureHealth, said: “We are pleased to announce this acquisition which further strengthens our position as we continue to revolutionize the healthcare industry. With the added capabilities of dedicated tech company within the group, we are committed to raising the standards of healthcare excellence to further enhance patient care not only in the UAE, but globally within our international assets. Against the backdrop of continual digital advancements, it is imperative that we remain at the forefront, harnessing cutting-edge digital-first technologies and cloud-based healthcare solutions that provide positive impacts on the lives of individuals and communities.“We recently launched Pura, the region’s first AI-backed healthcare companion app, and PureNet, a dedicated healthcare cloud providing digital health as a service platform, built on advanced cloud computing technologies. We will capitalize further by developing both initiatives with the cloud engineering expertise that PureCS offers. Our commitment to leveraging technology and advanced AI-based solutions goes hand-in-hand with our mission to ensure the sector’s robustness and preparedness for the future,” continued Malik.PureCS boasts a robust team with 95+ data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning experts, 200+ digital solutions professionals, 250+ infrastructure & cybersecurity personnel, and 100+ enterprise solution experts. This extensive human capability spans data science, AI, ML, digital solutions, cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity, and enterprise solutions, positioning PureCS as a technology powerhouse. The expertise serves as a catalyst for elevating PureHealth's capabilities, fostering innovation, and steering the healthcare ecosystem towards a more secure, efficient, and patient-centric future.Junaid Khan, Chief Technology Officer, PureHealth said, “We are excited to bring PureCS as part of the PureHealth Group. Healthcare companies can often face the challenge of information locked into various different systems, this acquisition will enable us to create a comprehensive health tech platform, with a holistic view of IT system requirements rather than an ecosystem operating in silos. PureHealth has already established the foundation of the future of healthcare, working towards the ‘Hospital in the Cloud’ and we are confident that our technological capabilities will benefit future initiatives, eliminating inefficiencies to further improve operational excellence, where PureHealth works towards the vision of healthcare in the cloud.”

UAE consumer fury as brands fail to deliver seamless digital experiences

Dubai, United Arab Emirates:— Cisco today launched the latest report in its App Attention Index research series, revealing escalating consumer expectations for digital experience and increased pressure on brand owners to optimize application performance and security. The global study, which examined the digital behaviors of more than 15,000 global consumers — including 1,005 in the UAE — also revealed the emergence of a new breed of application user that is more empowered, sophisticated, and demanding in its use of digital services.UAE Consumer Expectations Continue to Soar — but Remain UnmetWhile the use of digital services and applications reached new heights during the pandemic, consumer demand for applications has only continued to increase. As consumers enjoy ever more intuitive and personalized digital experiences, their demands on applications have reached an all-time high, with 71% in the UAE reporting that their expectations for digital experiences are far higher now than they were two years ago (the height of the pandemic), while 74% state they now expect brands to deliver an exceptional digital experience as standard.But the needs of UAE consumers are not being met, with nearly all (97%) respondents experiencing performance issues when using applications over the past 12 months. Today application users in the Emirates have zero tolerance for poor digital performance and when things don’t work as they should, their reactions have become extreme.65% indicate they feel disrespected by brands whose applications don’t meet their expectations.71% are less forgiving of brands when problems occur.80% have stopped using or deleted applications because of performance issues over the last 12 months.Globally, Cisco’s study has found UAE consumers to be the most selective about the applications they use, and the most conscious about the time they spend engaging with digital services. Compared to their global peers, the nation’s consumers think harder before installing new applications, evaluating current providers, and ridding themselves of a sense of ‘application clutter’ by culling applications that fail to meet the grade.77% (compared to global average of 68%) are keen to get rid of application clutter (applications they don’t use enough or value anymore).80% (a whole 18 percentage points higher than global average) are looking to control or limit the number of applications they are using or that they have on their device.64% (globally 54%) have deleted more applications than they have installed over the last 12 months.“It's a critical time for brands — invest in your application experience, or risk losing customers,” said Ronak Desai, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Full-Stack Observability and AppDynamics. “Good performance is no longer enough; consumers expect only the best from their applications, and any single issue could be a reputation and revenue killer. At Cisco, we're well aware of this, and we're committed to helping organizations stay ahead by proactively optimizing their digital experiences and keep their customers happy."The Rise of The Application GenerationThese shifts in behavior and attitudes towards application experience are even more prevalent in a new cohort of application users: ‘The Application Generation.’ Aged 18-34, this group has relied on applications like no generation before, having used them to navigate the pandemic and today, to live and thrive in a hybrid world.In addition to being heavier users of applications across every area of their lives (globally on average consumers under 35 years of age use 41 different applications each month, compared to 30 amongst people aged 35 and above), The Application Generation are far more discerning about the quality of the applications they use, with 77% claiming to be more mindful about the applications they install on their devices and 64% stating that they only want to use the very best applications and digital services. They are constantly evaluating the relevance and value — or otherwise — of the brands they engage with and the digital services they provide.This unique group report being tired of poorly performing applications and frustrating digital experiences. A worrying trend for application owners, The Application Generation are voting with their thumbs — ditching applications that let them down and walking away from brands that don’t meet their digital experience expectations. What’s more, they are not shy about sharing their frustrations. 70% are more likely to tell others or warn people off applications that don’t perform than they were 12 months ago.

Black Friday fever grips the UAE

In the heart of the bustling UAE, where the juxtaposition of tradition and modernity defines the cultural landscape, a shopping phenomenon has taken hold, transcending borders and bringing waves of excitement each year. Yes, the UAE is gearing up for the grand spectacle of Black Friday.Black Friday, known as the biggest shopping day of the year, has become a cultural phenomenon in the UAE, marked by eager shoppers hunting for unbeatable deals on a diverse array of consumer goods. This retail extravaganza promises an unparalleled shopping experience.Retailers are seizing a golden opportunity for revenue growth. As shoppers prepare to indulge in the spirit of giving, Black Friday provides an ideal platform for businesses to showcase their offerings and captivate the attention of a diverse consumer base.Major retailers and manufacturers are enticing the ever-discerning shopper. From high-end luxury brands to local boutiques, the retail landscape transforms into a vibrant tapestry of discounts, promotions, and exclusive deals, inviting residents and tourists alike to partake in a unique shopping experience.As the UAE embraces the convergence of Black Friday and the festive season, it is interesting to uncover the cultural nuances that shape this consumer-driven phenomenon.Black Friday sale period typically offers a golden opportunity for goods retailers and manufacturers to capture revenue growth.The UAE witnessed a 6.9% year on year growth during the Black Friday sale in 2022, says Hakim Amar, T&D Regional Retail Partner Leader, EEMEA, GfK, an NIQ Company.“Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and it's a great time to find deals on all sorts of consumer goods. All the major retailers and manufacturers have a golden opportunity to capture revenue growth considering we will be entering the festive season starting with the Indian festival Diwali. Consumers shall witness that retailers and online stores will offer a large number of discount promotions on several products such as consumer durable home appliances, telecom products, personal tech products, etc..” says Amar. <img src='\8d0630539cb1b6ad70bdb726ef3129b2.png' class='content_image'>According to him, the majority of brands, particularly in the realm of consumer tech goods, are set to roll out corresponding discount promotions. These promotions, in some cases, extend over a span of one to two weeks.“Price reductions are frequently employed as incentives for consumers to opt for models with more features than their typical choices. Retailers strategically organize an entire season, commencing with events like Singles Day and extending through Cyber Monday, featuring compelling deals and well-thought-out price laddering schemes. This meticulous planning is aimed at offering the most attractive deals and discounts on the main Black Friday sale day,” he adds.Customer convenienceAs the anticipation for Black Friday builds to a crescendo, a pressing question emerges: How will companies ensure that customers can conveniently purchase products or unearth the best deals during this much-anticipated promotion? In the bustling world of retail, where the convergence of tradition and modernity defines the consumer experience, the Black Friday extravaganza presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses.During Black Friday sale in the UAE, Epson, for example, has come up with some exciting offers.Customers can benefit from a range of attractive bundle offers and price promotions for products which include a range of Epson printers and projectors, says Frank Oliveira, Consumer Sales Head at Epson Middle East. As Black Friday is a key shopping opportunity ahead of the seasonal holiday period, discounts of up to 30% will be available on selected Epson products in the UAE.Franl adds that Epson aims to ensure having easy access to additional printer inks during the Black Friday promotion in the UAE through their partner retailers such as Noon and Amazon, both online and offline retailers.“While there may not be specific Black Friday promotions or incentives tailored for businesses and educational institutions in the UAE from Epson, the company consistently strives to contribute to these sectors by offering cutting-edge solutions in products such as projectors and printing solutions. Epson remains committed to providing state-of-the-art technology to enhance the efficiency and capabilities of businesses and educational institutions, even outside of promotional events,” says Frank.With the ever-evolving consumer preferences and demands, how are retailers and marketers adapting to meet the demands of consumers during the Black Friday sales season? Black Friday Sale is listed in the global retail calendars, says Hakim Amar.“Simplifying the shopping experience by streamlining the number of items on promotion proves to be a significant advantage for busy shoppers. This approach aids them in effortlessly discovering the high-quality branded items they aspire to acquire during the sale period. The crucial element for success lies in effectively aligning consumer demand with premium products. Achieving this harmony within a transparent and manageable framework of honest offers is poised to guide consumers towards confident purchase decisions this year,” he adds.<img src='\e4ae8d9d38e86e6d75063c21baabe86d.png' class='content_image'>Consumer behaviorAs Black Friday approaches, the ever-evolving landscape of consumer behavior comes under scrutiny, particularly in the realm of online and offline shopping. In this exploration, we seek to uncover the intricacies of consumer buying patterns during the Black Friday extravaganza and shed light on any notable shifts or emerging trends within the dynamic interplay of digital and brick-and-mortar retail.Rather than seeing digital as a one-stop shop, consumers are enjoying an omnichannel shopping experience that blends digital with traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to create a new kind of purchase journey, says Hakim Amar.“Consumers have been favoring an omnichannel shopping experience for large-ticket items and durables for a while already. Any difference between internet usage for price comparison and actual purchases suggests that there is a continuing role for the shopping mall alongside the virtual store. An increase in the incidence of online research, where consumers browse online before going in-store to purchase, further underlines the important balance that exists between the online and offline retail environments,” he adds.Brands strategically craft and execute promotions during Black Friday with the dual purpose of enticing loyal customers and capturing the attention of deal-seeking shoppers. Here's an elaboration on how this is typically achieved:Hakim Amar would suggest all the brands can provide reassurance to consumers as they transition from offline to online which includes:Making the product tangible through virtual product tours, virtual shopping, unboxing videos, and other techniques where human touch is visible,Brands should offer complete transparency on product availability and by letting consumers choose the payment app or brand they trust to pay.Retailers should also ensure there is no friction or extra cost involved in order collections and deliveries.Exclusive offers for loyalty card holders would help retain existing customers and flash sale, limited time offers, additional coupons and bank offers would attract customers seeking the best deals.“As per GfK’s latest Consumer Life Study, we have learned that women Consumers in cSA are ‘traditional’ yet aspiring to ‘play’ an active role in society. 68% of Saudi consumers are watchful about companies’ green motivations as sustainability plays an increased role in purchase decisions,” he says.Saudi women are in anchor roles hence brands need to embrace inclusivity and integrate women’s stories into their brand campaigns and strategies.Targeted strategiesConsidering that the Black Friday sale marks the beginning of the festive season in December, brands can effectively leverage this opportunity to create targeted promotional strategies that resonate with their target audience.“The 'golden quarter' is upon us. From Diwali to Black Friday to Christmas, these upcoming months spell a significant opportunity for brands and retailers in the consumer technology and durables sector to drive volume sales. The crucial first step involves rethinking consumer profiles in light of the current climate and tailoring a promotions strategy accordingly. As Black Friday season approaches, it signals a continued opportunity for brands and retailers to capitalize on the premiumization trend. Offering the right portfolio of products can tap into higher margins during this challenging period,” he says.According to him, brands can harness digital tools to craft an exciting promotions strategy, elevating omnichannel approaches and leveraging next-gen digital tools to build anticipation and demand leading up to key promotional events. “This 'golden quarter' is an unmissable opportunity for every brand and retailer. With well-planned promotions strategies supported by the latest data and insights, decision-makers can use this period to deliver tailored promotions across targeted product mixes, ensuring maximum sales uplift in the process,” he adds.

Ma’an launches the inaugural edition of the ADSEF at NYU Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an in partnership with startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based startup accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), has launched the inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi Social Entrepreneurship Forum.The Abu Dhabi Social Entrepreneurship Forum highlighted pressing factors of social entrepreneurship on a local and global scale, and the importance of upskilling youth to contribute to the cause, through a series of roundtable discussions and workshops.The event was attended by 150 people including government officials, faculty and students, NGOs, investors, social entrepreneurs, startup founders and more. Panel discussions were held on the topics of healthy lifestyles and youth for climate action, along with a think tank brainstorming session looking to the future, showcasing 12 local and international social enterprises, including 10 alumni from The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an.  This comes as part of a three-year partnership to develop Abu Dhabi as the global centre of social innovation. Ma’an and startAD, powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, joined hands to offer a unique chance for early-stage entrepreneurs to develop their social impact startups and scale into social enterprises through the Ma’an Social Incubator (MSI). Designed to boost innovation and facilitate knowledge sharing, this year’s MSI runs under the theme of sustainability to align with Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 and the upcoming COP28.His Excellency Salem Ali Al Shamsi, Social Incubation and Contracting Executive Director of The Authority of Social Contribution –Ma’an, said: “Today’s forum underlines The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an’s aim to support innovative social enterprises to accelerate the growth and development of a diverse and highly effective Third Sector in Abu Dhabi. Serving as a hub for passionate individuals who understand that entrepreneurship can be a powerful force for good, the forum encouraged knowledge sharing between like-minded people.In line with the Government of Abu Dhabi’s ongoing commitment to sustainable social development, we aspire through the Ma’an Social Incubator to encourage innovation and social entrepreneurship to develop solutions to social, cultural, or environmental challenges and achieving long-term positive impact in our community.”Through collaborations with the Third Sector, government, and private entities, Ma’an has supported various projects in education, health, environment, and social sectors to ultimately amplify a culture of social participation, while aiming to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as a key destination.Managing Director of startAD Ramesh Jagannathan added: “We are delighted to witness the fruits of our collaboration with the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, as we launch the inaugural edition of The Social Entrepreneurship Forum. The event embodies our shared goal of addressing the critical challenges that social entrepreneurship faces, both in our local communities and on a global scale. The need to arm our youth with the essential skills and knowledge to make a meaningful contribution to this mission is of paramount importance. We proudly facilitated connections between investors, student entrepreneurs, and academic institutions, creating a dynamic platform for all to engage and collaborate.“The foundations we have laid during this forum are a testament to our dedication to see social entrepreneurship flourish, and our commitment to empower the youth of today to be the change-makers of tomorrow,” he added.Aiming to bridge the gap between investors, student entrepreneurs, and academic institutions, the forum serves as a platform for diverse stakeholders and UAE-based budding and established social enterprises to collaborate and foster a culture of social innovation.In light of the upcoming COP28 summit, students, entrepreneurs, investors, and government bodies had the unique opportunity to connect and share insights about youth engagement’s vital role around climate action in the Middle East. Topics for discussion included the contribution of the UAE’s social entrepreneurship policies to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.Furthermore, the forum provided university students with opportunities to learn about social entrepreneurship and receive accelerator coaching from industry experts. It also connected social entrepreneurs with angel investors to help provide seed funding for promising business ideas.

WEE revolutionizes e-commerce in Dubai with launch of 45-minute express delivery

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: WEE, a marketplace based in Dubai, announces a new initiative: a 45-minute delivery service. This move is tailored to meet the growing needs of UAE customers for express and efficient delivery. While WEE has already been celebrated for its 1-hour express delivery, this latest advancement cuts the wait time by an additional 15 minutes.However, recognizing the importance of meticulousness and quality, WEE ensures that this rapid delivery doesn't compromise the integrity of products or the shopping experience. Each order is handled with utmost care, emphasizing secure packaging and timely arrivals.For orders placed in the evening, WEE has instituted a next-day delivery system. This guarantees that evening shoppers still benefit from the platform's commitment to swift service, receiving their products promptly the following day.WEE scrutinizes patterns, customer feedback, and technological advancements to optimize their operations, enabling this delivery timeframe.By continuously seeking avenues to improve and innovate, WEE underscores its dedication to leading the e-commerce domain, always placing the needs and desires of its users at the forefront.The e-commerce market in the UAE is worth $12.8 billion (Statista, 2022), with the expected growth of up to $20 billion by 2027. Express delivery constitutes 5.5% of the turnover, which is equal to $700 million. The highest demand for urgent delivery is in such categories as cosmetics, pharmacy products, flowers and food.

Report unveils global impact of invalid traffic on marketing budgets

In an era dominated by automation and artificial intelligence, the prevalence of Invalid Traffic (IVT) is reaching unprecedented levels, posing a significant threat to businesses worldwide. IVT, which includes non-human traffic and fake interactions, has emerged as a marketing black hole, wasting budgets, distorting analytics, and hindering business growth.The recently released Wasted Ad Spend Report 2024 by Lunio, a leading marketing analytics platform, sheds light on the global impact of IVT, particularly in the context of paid media campaigns. The report, based on an analysis of 2.6 billion paid ad clicks and 104 billion impressions from over 60,000 ad accounts over a 12-month period (May 2022 to May 2023), provides a comprehensive overview of the issue.The Scale of the ProblemAccording to the 2023 Imperva Bad Bot Report, nearly half (47.4%) of all internet traffic in 2022 came from bots, representing a 5.1% increase from the previous year. Lunio's report focuses on the proportion of IVT directly affecting marketing performance and business revenue.Impact on BusinessesInvalid traffic isn't just a security concern; it's a financial drain on businesses. With a return on ad spend of 0:1 for invalid clicks, businesses are losing out on revenue opportunities and facing unpredictable revenue forecasts. Lunio's real-time decision engine aims to combat this issue by analyzing the validity of millions of paid ad clicks across major marketing channels.A Collaborative Approach to AnalysisTo provide a comprehensive view, Lunio collaborated with industry leaders, Integral Ad Science (IAS), specializing in programmatic media buying protection, and Scope3, the world's largest database of georeferenced emissions factors, to understand the environmental impact of IVT.MethodologyThe report combines Lunio's data with IAS's insights into programmatic ad verification and Scope3's data on emissions associated with digital advertising. The methodology details are available in their respective reports.Key FindingsThe report highlights that Google, with its proactive stance against IVT, still experiences an average invalid traffic rate of 5.5%, causing significant financial implications, especially for larger enterprise brands.Non-Google channels, lacking the same level of resources for IVT prevention, show higher vulnerability. The report recommends a strategic approach, emphasizing diversified marketing mixes to mitigate wasted ad spend due to IVT.Channel AnalysisThe breakdown of invalid traffic rates across individual ad channels, including Google, Meta, Bing, LinkedIn, TikTok, and others, reveals insights into projected wasted ad spend and lost revenue opportunities.LinkedIn's TroublesLinkedIn emerged as the worst-performing ad channel in terms of IVT, with the platform's authenticity under scrutiny. A 2022 investigation by NPR found fake profiles, AI-generated profile photos, scrapers, and engagement bots contributing to high levels of invalid activity.Empowering MarketersThe goal of Lunio's report is to provide a data-driven understanding of the threat posed by IVT and empower marketers with insights to maximize ad spend efficiency, eliminate sources of fake engagement, and reduce carbon footprints.

Hisense officially unveils Dubai R&D center

Global electronics leader Hisense has officially unveiled its new Research & Development Center in Dubai, a strategic hub focused on the development and localisation of products for consumers in the Gulf region. This underscores the commitment to deliver quality, reliable, region-specific products. The unveiling was part of the China (Shandon)-UAE (Dubai) Economic Exchange Conference, which took place at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the China Innovation Centre in the Chamber’s auxiliary building.The conference was hosted by Mr Chen Fei, Director General of the Department of Commerce of Shandong Province, and attended by their excellencies Mr Li Xuhang, Consul General of China in Dubai, Mr Song Junji, Vice Governor of Shandong Province, and Mr Khaled Al Shamsi, Vice President of Dubai Chambers.Hisense has invested in the new R&D Center in Dubai Media City, with the state-of-the-art first R&D facility in the region.“This R&D core team will focus on new product development, localisation of products based on local consumer preferences as well as local technical training and development to talents, utilising Hisense vast global expertise from Head Quarters. The team will also provide better and timely pre-sales and after-sales technical support, conduct technical and product training for partners, solve technical issues, and improve product quality,” explained Mr Jason Ou, President of Hisense MENA.“This center will draw on our vast experience in the global market and leverage the technical resources, advanced technologies, and standards from products in global and regional markets. We are committed to combining the culture and climatic features of the Middle East and Africa, to create premium products that better meet local demand, smarter, more comfortable, energy-saving, and low-carbon for the entire region.”In customising products for the region, Hisense will harness its market leadership for inverter technology in China's AC market. The brand has pioneered industrial technologies of inverter, energy saving, comfort control, fresh air, and green low carbon.Welcoming the new R&D Center, Mr Song Junji, Vice Governor of Shandong Province said the Hisense investment is a prime example of China’s commitment to serving the region with the highest grade technologically advanced products.“Through this center, consumers throughout the region will benefit from the vast technological expertise of Hisense. This has seen the company participate in the formulation of more than 100 standards in different technological fields. They are equipped with more than 3,000 patents and 2,000 scientific and technological achievements globally and incorporated them into products which meet the regulations of domestic and foreign markets,” he said.Mr Khaled Al Shamsi, Vice President of Dubai Chambers said the Hisense investment underlines the emirate’s standing as the economic and cultural center for the Middle East and Africa.“As with Hisense, well-known global companies in various industries are located in Dubai, establishing the emirate as an important node city of China's ‘Belt and Road’ development strategy and a key connecting hub for Asia, Africa, and Europe,” he said. “The establishment of this advanced R&D Center sends a strong message of support to consumers throughout the region and of commitment to developing our local economies.”Hisense has been making huge inroads into the region’s B2B air-conditioner market with a growing reputation for product efficiency. In the Middle East, it is targeting significant increases in commercial income from the air-conditioning sector by the end of this year by expanding product lines, channels, marketing, after-sales, and team building. Jason Ou says the company’s MENA expansion strategy will be further enhanced by the introduction of new and smart 5S series home appliances.

Time Square Center to host ‘Sustainafest’ for sustainable practices during COP28

The Time Square Center is set to host 'Sustainafest' during COP28, in collaboration with Kate Hardcastle MBE, dedicated to promoting sustainable practices. The event, designed as a comprehensive celebration and educational platform, aligns seamlessly with the UAE National Day festivities.An admirable focus of Sustainafest is on encouraging consumers to 'Buy Smarter, Buy Greener,' spotlighting local businesses making significant strides in sustainability. Kate Hardcastle's emphasis on the pivotal role of consumer purchasing power as a catalyst for change is a crucial point. Noteworthy is the event's approach, providing actionable and authentic advice to seamlessly integrate sustainable choices into everyday life.The inclusion of educational and interactive elements, such as talks, panels, workshops, and activities on up-cycling, herb cultivation, and homemade beauty products, adds a practical dimension to the initiative. Making sustainability both accessible and enjoyable is a strategy that can profoundly inspire people to adopt greener choices.Equally significant is the event's commitment to not only educate but also celebrate UAE businesses actively embracing eco-conscious practices. This dual focus on education and celebration contributes to fostering a positive and supportive atmosphere for sustainability efforts.Nancy Ozbek, the General Manager at Time Square Center, underscores the commitment of local brands and mall tenants to sustainability. By showcasing these pioneers, the event aims to inspire and demonstrate that sustainability is not just a buzzword but an integral part of forward-thinking business practices.As COP28 unfolds with long-term commitments and announcements, events like Sustainafest play a crucial role in reinforcing the idea that individual consumers wield the power to effect real change through their purchasing decisions. This marks a significant step toward building a more sustainable future, aligning well with global efforts towards environmental consciousness.

Snapchat empowers MENA’s creator economy with new financial incentives

Middle East: As the MENA region’s creator economy continues to expand, Snap Inc. is introducing a variety of new programs and features helping creators to build sustainable businesses as well as grow and engage with their audiences.Publishers and established content creators in MENA are already successfully growing their communities on Snapchat. Meanwhile, emerging creators are being discovered and elevated from Snapchat’s creator ecosystem. Total time spent watching content on Spotlight–Snapchat’s entertainment platform for user-generated content–grew more than 200% year-over-year, and Spotlight reached more than 350 million monthly active users on average in Q1 2023. By providing game-changing content and revenue share opportunities, Snapchat is proving to be a real moneymaker for both established and aspiring creators who have learned how to take advantage of its latest features.“Snapchat offers creators at all stages of their career, aspiring and established, a variety of programs, opportunities and tools to help them grow their audiences and build sustainable businesses across Stories, Spotlight, and Discover, making content creation a full-time career. We continue to notice that creators value Snapchat because it provides unique reach, relevance, and revenue and we are excited to continue supporting creators every step of the way and empowering them with the tools they need to unleash their creativity and succeed in leaving a lasting impact on our platform,” said Julie Bogaert, Head of EMEA Talent Partnerships at Snap Inc.The new offerings for creators come at a time when Snapchat’s monthly addressable reach in the MENA region continues to grow, and the platform’s global daily active users (DAUs) increased 12% year-over-year to 406 million as of Q3 2023.“Snapchat is a key aspect in our business and brand because it directly connects the creator to their audience. The Snapchat story ads program is a big motivator for creators to keep using the app and constantly thinking outside the box to create more engaging stories, polls, and Q&As. The revenue stream coming from it is very rewarding and truly has become a main source of income for many creators,” added lifestyle Snap Star, Aliona Shcherba @aliona.ess.New Monetization ProgramsCreators with at least 50,000 followers, 25 million monthly Snap views, and who post at least 10 Stories per month, may now be eligible to join the Stories revenue share program. Snapchat's Stories revenue share program has transformed the creator landscape by seamlessly integrating ads within creators' Stories. The program provides a consistent source of revenue, enabling creators to reinvest in producing exceptional content. Early global adopters of the Stories revenue share program have experienced remarkable success, posting more frequently and witnessing a significant increase in engagement.Snapchat also continues to champion aspiring creators through its Spotlight reward program. Increased rewards are available for those who create top-performing Spotlight Snaps, incentivizing creativity and empowering creators to turn their passion into a lucrative career.“Snapchat maintains a creator’s classy and reputable image, and at the same time is considered a good investment in a creator’s content because it brings a great source of income. It motivates one to build stories from morning until the night with enjoyment, and allows the creator to be their true self without editing and be appreciated from the app for it,” said lifestyle Snap Star, Yazan Abweny @abo.zayan.Public StoriesSnapchat understands the importance of amplifying creators' reach while maintaining its authenticity as a place for genuine connections. To address this, Snapchatters aged 18 or older can now post their own Public Story. By seamlessly switching between sharing content with friends and adding it to their Public Story, for the first time creators can expand their audience and connect with friends all within the same account. Additionally, by saving a Snap to their Public Profile, creators gain access to invaluable content performance insights and Story Replies, allowing them to engage more effectively with their audience.Expanding Creator ContentSnapchat is also bringing creator content to new surfaces across the platform, like Snap Map, making it easier to discover creators across Stories and Spotlight. For instance, creators can now tag locations in their Spotlight Snaps, significantly amplifying their exposure and enabling their videos to appear on place profiles on the Snap Map.Furthermore, Snapchat has introduced the ability for creators to save their favorite Stories to their profile. Snapchatters can then explore these Stories, discovering new creators to follow and diving deeper into Stories from their favorite creators.“As a Snap Star creator, I enjoy engaging with my audience and quoting their replies on my Public Story. This feature has created a unique and vibrant community on Snapchat where I can connect with my audience, answer their questions, and engage in meaningful discussions. I gained more than 70 million Snap views in the past month from the variety of content I share and the direct interactions I have with my audience. This also enhanced the bond between me and my viewers, and allowed me to create content that is more relatable and joyful for my audience.I was also able to benefit from Spotlight, where I post my short form content to a wide and diverse audience. I reached new viewers who may not have discovered my content in the past, gaining more than 10 million views in the past two weeks on my creator account, and a rapid growth of my subscribers. Another appealing aspect is the ability to gain monthly rewards on Spotlight based on factors such as views and other engagement metrics,” added Bader Al Safar @baderalsafar; a content creator who showcases a lot of his diverse talents through his content. From the vibrant world of sneakers and fashion, all the way to his food ASMR eating mukbangs, where he tries the most unusual snacks from around the world.Additional FeaturesThe platform has and will continue to roll out new tools for creators to help them build their presence and express themselves. Creators can now have more control over the replies that appear on their videos with Spotlight Replies, and can react to and re-share Spotlight Snaps with Remix. Other new tools allow creators to add a Linktree to their Public Profile and to add sounds to Lenses.

Strategies in flux: AppsFlyer's Paul Wright explores mobile advertising dynamics

In this exclusive interview with Paul Wright, General Manager of Western Europe and MENAT at AppsFlyer, we delve into the intricacies of mobile advertising in the face of Google and Meta's dominance in Android non-gaming and remarketing. Wright advocates for diversifying ad campaigns beyond the top two giants, emphasizing the potential of other quality media sources. As we explore the role of Chinese media sources like Xiaomi, vivo, and oppo on a global scale, Wright highlights their strength in driving both volume and quality. Amid economic downturn challenges, changing media source rankings, and the evolving iOS ecosystem, Wright provides insights into building and maintaining strong client relationships through media diversification.“For marketers, selecting the best media partners is particularly important on iOS because of its high-quality audience. However, privacy-driven fragmentation in measurement has only created more uncertainty, increasing the need for accurate performance rankings for the platform,” he says.The conversation concludes by addressing the shifts in rankings for Android gaming and remarketing categories, emphasizing AppsFlyer's neutral stance in advising clients and the importance of actionable insights backed by data. Excerpts:With the dominance of Google and Meta in Android non-gaming and remarketing, how would you recommend diversifying and optimizing ad campaigns to achieve better results for AppsFlyer clients?While it's true that Google and Meta dominate the non-gaming and remarketing segments on Android, this shouldn’t mean marketers should rule out other quality media sources. As highlighted in our report, there are many others that can offer good ROI, so I would definitely recommend looking beyond just the top two. I would also advise expanding to other channels to drive mobile app growth. For example, this year we have seen Connected TV start to show promising results (although it should be noted that at this time, user acquisition and remarketing are not yet supported).How do you see the role of Chinese media sources like Xiaomi, vivo, and oppo in the global market, and how should AppsFlyer position itself to leverage their scaling abilities?At present, we can mainly see that their strength lies in driving scale (volume) as these devices are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, and especially in developing markets, thanks to their relative cost-effectiveness. This is evidenced in the fact that Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo are ranked 4th, 5th and 7th, respectively, globally in non-gaming. It is worth noting too that Xiaomi in particular shows great quality among life and culture apps in the Middle East as well, where it is ranked 3rd in the power ranking for this segment. So it isn’t just about volume, but also quality, as we see high power rankings for these media sources for life and culture apps in other regions like Southeast Asia and Latin America.For marketers, it's important to recognise that these media sources have high preload installs potential as apps can be preinstalled on these devices by the manufacturer. These installs are given the highest priority in attribution. This means that if a user engages with other campaigns before opening the app for the first time, the preload campaign is still awarded the attribution. In line with this, other engagements are regarded as assisted installs.Can you elaborate on the significance of Apple Search Ads functioning independently of SKAN and deterministically attributing users regardless of ATT consent? How might this impact the future landscape of mobile advertising attribution?This means that for users attributed to ASA, you have the full range of features and measurements provided by the lifetime value (LTV) attribution model — just like in present day Android, or pre iOS 14.5 iPhones. This media source has full data granularity giving it a significant edge over its competitors.How would you build and maintain strong relationships with key clients in light of the challenges posed by the economic downturn and changes in media source rankings?My advice to marketers is to prioritise media diversification. As the world continues to bounce back following bouts of economic uncertainty, marketers and media owners cannot afford to make the wrong decisions — especially when it comes to media source budget allocation. Only four of the top 20 media source players saw budget increases this year; costs of media continue to fluctuate; and channels like CTV are leading ecosystem players to quickly adapt and think outside of the box to reach consumers.For marketers, selecting the best media partners is particularly important on iOS because of its high-quality audience. However, privacy-driven fragmentation in measurement has only created more uncertainty, increasing the need for accurate performance rankings for the platform.Given the shift in rankings for Android gaming and remarketing categories, how would you collaborate with clients to tailor strategies that align with their specific goals and market dynamics?At AppsFlyer, we are agnostic to media sources and maintain a neutral stance when advising clients. Our expertise lies in empowering them to measure the impact of their campaigns and then backed by data, they are enabled to tailor their collateral and choice of network to maximise effectiveness and outcomes.Ultimately, marketers must recognise that whilst the index provides the industry with valuable insights and direction, this is only half the equation. AppsFlyer’s products and solutions are what enables these Performance Index insights to become actionable.Furthermore, as the players in the advertising landscape and ecosystem continue to shuffle and evolve, it highlights the need for advertisers to ensure they are working with mobile measurement partners (MMPs) who hold the broadest and most advanced integrations with these partners.AppsFlyer has been releasing the Performance Index since 2015. How would you ensure that the company stays ahead of industry trends and continues to innovate in the rapidly evolving mobile advertising landscape?We are committed to our customers and the industry which is why we expend significant efforts and resources in continuously monitoring the market and conducting and sharing highly informative research. This enables us to stay ahead of market dynamics. Combined with the fact that we are extremely receptive to customer feedback, this translates to a market-leading ability to evolve our solutions in line with the directions in which our industry is heading. We also collaborate with top media sources and industry leaders to maximize the value to our customers and help advance our industry as a whole.

Hypermedia unveils new website offering immersive experience

Hypermedia has unveiled a new website, underscoring its dedication to delivering a distinctive and immersive Out-of-Home (OOH) media experience. The website, aptly titled 'Creators of Impact,' serves as a virtual gateway, guiding visitors through Hypermedia's OOH media assets showcased in prominent locations across Dubai.A standout feature of the website is its interactive 3D city, seamlessly incorporating Hypermedia's OOH media assets into Dubai's urban landscape. This cutting-edge platform enables users to explore and interact with Hypermedia's presence in key locations such as the Dubai Metro, Expo City, Nakheel's Palm Jumeirah, communities, the Z-Gallery – Art of Media network on Sheikh Zayed Road, and the expansive retail media network within malls and hypermarkets.Ghada El-Kari, W Group CMO, underscores the website's significance as a milestone for Hypermedia and the wider W Group family. Positioned as a beacon, the platform aims to disseminate media expertise throughout the region, leveraging digital transformation, intelligent solutions, and real-time data analytics. The overarching objective is to revolutionize Out-of-Home media experiences not only in the UAE but also beyond its borders.The website embodies Hypermedia's mission to transcend conventional screens and media platforms, aspiring to transform OOH into an unforgettable and innovative encounter. It reinforces the company's commitment to crafting a digital engagement that resonates with visitors, providing them with a seamless and memorable exploration of Hypermedia's media offerings. This initiative aligns with the broader industry trend of leveraging technology and digital platforms to elevate and redefine traditional advertising experiences.

Fenty and Puma to unveil fresh line of shoes

Fenty and Puma are set to unveil a fresh line of shoes and other products as part of their renewed collaboration. Under Rihanna's creative direction, this partnership promises a distinctive and influential touch. The Avanti, a fusion of Puma's King soccer shoe and Easy Rider running shoe, emerges as a captivating and stylish addition to the collection.Rihanna's aspiration to infuse street fashion with iconic elements from Puma's archives, drawing inspiration from the legendary Pelé and the iconic Avanti shoe, adds a layer of significance and nostalgia to the project. Building on the success of their previous collaboration, which significantly boosted Puma's sales over its four-year span, the anticipation is palpable for the continuation of this creative alliance, hinting at the potential for more groundbreaking and iconic designs in the years ahead.Maria Valdes, Chief Product Officer at PUMA, expressed her excitement about the collaboration, stating, “It’s been such an exciting start to our partnership. We spent time together opening up the PUMA archive and identifying the right product that spoke to Rihanna. The Avanti is a PUMA classic with a unique and iconic point of view on terrace. I’m very happy to see this project come to life and even more excited for what the coming years have in store for us together.”Furthermore, the collaboration is marked by a deliberate effort to explore Puma's archive, ensuring that the selected products align with Rihanna's creative vision. This approach underscores a thoughtful and collaborative endeavor to introduce unique and meaningful products to the market.Devotees of Fenty and Puma can anticipate the release of new products and eagerly await the unfolding chapters of this multi-year partnership, brimming with potential for innovation and iconic designs.

UPP launches new brand identity ‘E7 Group’

United Printing & Publishing Sole Proprietorship LLC (UPP) has announced the reveal of its new brand identity ‘E7 Group’ (E7), representing a significant chapter in the company’s journey to become an industrial champion in Abu Dhabi, with leading security systems and sustainable packaging capabilities.The name E7 combines ‘Emirates’ and ‘7’ – E7 is inspired by the UAE’s unity and future-facing strategy, conveying the company’s ambition to deliver best-in-class customer services and products.The new brand identity follows the recently completed business combination between ADC Acquisition Corporation PJSC (ADC) (SPAC) and UPP in the region’s first Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) merger. As a result of the transaction, AED 1.1bn of cash was transferred to the company, which will be used to significantly accelerate E7 Group’s growth strategy focusing on the secure systems and sustainable packaging sectors.The combined business began trading on ADX on November 9 under the ticker symbol ‘ADC’. Following the launch of the E7 Group brand identity, the company will trade on ADX under the new ticker symbol 'E7' starting 23 November 2023.“Our new corporate identity reaffirms our aspiration to become a leading national industrial champion. Through the years, UPP has built a reputation for operational excellence, trustworthiness and an unwavering dedication to providing our clients with the highest standards of delivery and service. As we transition to E7, we carry forward these values, preparing to embark on an exciting new chapter of innovation and growth as a listed company,” said Ali Saif Ali Abdulla Alnuaimi, Chief Executive Officer of E7 Group.E7 comprises of four key subsidiaries:E7 Security, a market leading provider of total security solutions that serves the banking, government, telecom, retail, hospitality and transport sectors;E7 Packaging, offering sustainable packaging services;E7 Printing, one of the largest commercial printing providers in the region focused on the education sector; andTawzea by E7, a comprehensive logistics and fulfilment services business.E7 builds on UPP’s legacy of utilizing best-in-class technology to create customized solutions for customers across Abu Dhabi, the region, and beyond.

Hyundai MEA unveils all-electric IONIQ line, outlines ambitious sustainable road

Hyundai Motor Middle East and Africa Headquarters announced its plans for sustainability and electric mobility, through a media event characterized by being held in a “Net Zero” venue which is the SEE Institute in the Sustainable City in Dubai, in the presence of large media audience from several countries from the Middle East and Africa.During the event, HMC presented the future of electric mobility vision of the company, through the IONIQ sub brand, which represents the Hyundai electric car range.Showcased during the event, were the battery electric vehicles IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 models, both were unveiled for the first time in the Middle east, both are considered among the most award-winning electric cars in the world.On this occasion, Bryan Park, Head of Hyundai Motor Company Middle East and Africa Headquarters, said: “Progress for humanity is the message guiding Hyundai Motor Company’s future vision, through the electric IONIQ lineup, where we develop pioneering technologies to achieve sustainability within a framework of humanity. Today, we are proud to launch our sustainable strategy and our confident direction towards electric mobility, which is consistent with aspirations & the ambitious plans of countries in the Middle East region to begin the transition towards emissions-free mobility.”The event included a driving experience for media guests, during which they were able to drive fully electric IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 cars.The All New IONIQ 5Design & SustainabilityIONIQ 5’s progressive design language drew inspiration from Hyundai’s ‘45’ EV concept, which debuted at 2019 International Motor Show Germany. Guided by Hyundai’s ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design identity, ‘45’ featured a monocoque-style body and a futuristic interior designed for electrification and autonomous technologies. IONIQ 5 follows suit but goes one step further, offering a bridge to the future of electric mobility that is technologically advanced, eco-friendly and plugged into today’s customers’ needs.Exterior featuring unique proportions and the longest wheelbase in the segmentIONIQ 5’s unique exterior design is characterised by clean and sharp lines, creating a sleek and sophisticated look. The BEV’s precisely modelled surfaces and shapes give it an angular, almost geometric appearance. In addition, Hyundai’s designers integrated cutting-edge Parametric Pixel lights on the front and rear. This unique design element signifies Hyundai’s intent to fundamentally reinvent electric mobility with an EV-specific design that will carry over to future IONIQ models. IONIQ 5’s crossover body type achieves unique proportions and short overhangs due to its elongated wheelbase. Measuring 4,635-mm long, 1,890-mm wide and 1,605-mm tall on a 3,000-mm wheelbase, IONIQ 5 offers D-segment-like space in a midsize CUV. Spacious, customizable interior is a home away from homeIONIQ 5 sets itself apart from other midsize CUVs, especially those with internal combustion engines and conventional steer-by-wire systems, because the E-GMP enables a flat floor where the model’s batteries are stored, allowing for innovative interior design and extra legroom.IONIQ 5’s 3,000-mm wheelbase, offers spaciousness of a large passenger car in a midsize CUV. The long wheelbase allowed Hyundai designers to apply a ‘Living Space’ theme to the interior, rather than a conventional car design theme.The Universal Island moveable console complements the simple center fascia with gear selector located behind the steering wheel. The sliding console allows passengers to not only enjoy more flexibility, but also freely enter and exit the cabin on either side when parked in a narrow spot. Second-row passengers also can enjoy center console features, such as cup holders, a 15 W fast wireless phone charger and USB ports. Universal Island truly redefines the center console, offering greater functionality than a static storage box.The vision roof of IONIQ 5 provides the interior with a greater sense of openness as IONIQ 5’s ceiling consists of one large glass panel without any support materials.IONIQ 5 provides 531 liters of trunk space, which increases up to almost 1,600 liters when the second-row seats are fully folded. For added versatility, the second-row seats can slide forward up to 135 mm and also be folded in a 6:4 ratio. Meanwhile, customers can enjoy additional storage space with a front trunk that offers as much as 57 liters of capacity , which is particularly useful for longer journeys, when extra luggage is carried. Adjacent to the digital gauge cluster is a metal insert that can accommodate a multi-purpose tray holder. IONIQ 5’s infotainment system is the first to integrate a new design theme called Jong-e Graphic User Interface (GUI) that offers various interior ambience settings, such as soft, delicate and exuberant.Customers can stay warm during the winter months by taking advantage of the heated steering wheel and heated front seat functions. Customers can choose from three interior color options. The base pack includes Obsidian Black and Dark Pebble Gray/Dove Gray, while the optional color pack offers Dark Teal/Dove Gray . Sustainable, eco-friendly EV features accommodate lifestyles without limitsIONIQ 5’s demonstration of environmental responsibility doesn’t stop with electrification. Sustainability is at the center of IONIQ’s brand vision, which can be found throughout IONIQ 5 in eco-friendly materials and nature-inspired colors. Many of its interior touchpoints — seats, headliner, door trim, floor and armrest — use eco-friendly, sustainably sourced materials, such as recycled PET bottles, plant-based (bio PET) yarns and natural wool yarns, eco-processed leather with plant-based extracts, and bio paint with plant extracts.IONIQ 5 can also be equipped with an eco-friendly solar roof, which supports the vehicle’s electric power source by collecting energy and transferring it to the battery pack, improving efficiency. The solar roof can prevent battery discharge while providing an additional driving range. Performance IONIQ 5 is available with a range of power electric (PE) configurations to fit the mobility needs of every customer, with no compromises on performance. At the top of the electric motor lineup is an all-wheel drive (AWD) option paired with the 72.6-kWh battery, producing a combined power output of 225-kWh and 605 Nm of torque. This PE configuration can go from 0 km/h to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds. When AWD option is paired with the 58-kWh battery, this dual-motor layout can go from 0 km/h to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds.The single-motor layout with a rear motor offers 350 Nm of torque and two-wheel drive (2WD). When paired with the 72.6-kWh battery , this PE can accelerate from 0 km/h to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds. When paired with the 58-kWh battery, it can accelerate from 0 km/h to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds.In addition, IONIQ 5 can tow a trailer with a capacity up to 1,600 kg.FeaturesWith Remote Charging, IONIQ 5 drivers can start and stop charging with the push of a button on their smartphone app. During colder months, Remote Climate Control allows users to schedule pre-heating of IONIQ 5 while it is connected to an external power source. Not only does this ensure comfort for occupants during the drive, but it also saves battery power that would otherwise be needed to heat the vehicle on the road.IONIQ 5’s Dynamic Voice Recognition system accepts simple voice commands to conveniently control cabin A/C, radio, hatch opening/closing, heated steering wheel, heated/cooled seats and other functions. The system can also assist with various points of interest (POI), weather status and stock market data updates.IONIQ 5 also features a premium Bose sound system. Its eight speakers, including a subwoofer, are strategically placed throughout the vehicle for a high-quality listening experience.Head-Up Display with AR technologyFor the first time in Hyundai, IONIQ 5 features an Augmented Reality Head-Up Display (AR HUD), essentially turning the windshield into a display screen. Drivers can choose to use AR technology to project relevant information, such as navigation, advanced safety and the car’s surroundings, to their line of sight across the windshield. This allows drivers to process information quickly while keeping their attention on the road ahead. Driver assistance system ensures highest levels of safety and convenienceIONIQ 5’s Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) makes highway driving more convenient. Using front view camera, radar sensors, and navigation data, HDA 2 works to control the vehicle speed and following distance, while keeping the vehicle centered in its lane. It can also assist the driver when changing a lane.Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) can detect a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist and can help avoid a collision with any one of them. It includes Junction Turning, Junction Crossing and/or Lane-Changing Oncoming. FCA with Junction Turning activates the brakes if it detects oncoming traffic when the driver is turning left at an intersection. FCA with Junction Crossing senses vehicles approaching from the side when the driver is going straight through an intersection. FCA with Lane-Change Oncoming makes switching lanes safer. If FCA senses an approaching car that has crossed the center line when the driver is changing lines, it automatically assists with avoidance steering, if there is no danger of secondary accidents. If a potential secondary accident is detected, FCA will only produce a warning.Other semi-autonomous driving features include Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), which adjusts vehicle speed to match the speed limit, and High Beam Assist (HBA), which automatically turns high beams on and off to avoid blinding oncoming drivers.IONIQ 5 has several driver attention-related functions to ensure safety at all times by detecting if the driver is drowsy or distracted. Driver Attention Warning (DAW) displays the driver’s attention level and provides a warning when signs of driver inattentiveness are detected. DAW sounds a warning if the vehicle remains stopped for a long period of time (such as at a traffic signal) and the driver doesn’t react quickly enough when the vehicle ahead starts moving.Several functions work in tandem to help avoid collisions in a variety of driving situations. Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) helps avoid collisions at the rear side of the vehicle by using radar to detect other vehicles and applies differential braking, when necessary. BCA is particularly useful in situations such as changing lanes or exiting from parallel parking. Another function, Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM), uses a camera to show the driver views to the left and the right of the vehicle on the cluster screen if the driver indicates to change lanes. IONIQ 5 also assures the safety of backseat passengers with Safe Exit Assist (SEA), which helps keep the rear doors closed by maintaining the electronic child lock when there is oncoming traffic.A variety of parking assistance features make parking in a variety of circumstances easier than before. Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) allows the driver to remotely park or exit a parking spot from outside the vehicle. This feature works for both parallel and perpendicular parking and can be activated via a button on the vehicle’s smart key. Surround View Monitor (SVM) uses an array of strategically located cameras to give the driver a 360-degree view of the area surrounding the vehicle, making it easier to park in tight spaces. Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA) works to help avoid collisions while backing up. If an obstacle is detected via the rear-view camera or rear ultrasonic sensors, PCA will display a warning and, if necessary, apply the brakes. Similarly, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) can display and sound a warning, or apply the brakes, when a car approaches from the left or right side and the driver does not stop.IONIQ 6 Electrified StreamlinerHyundai Motor Company launched the IONIQ 6 Electrified Streamliner as the new model in the brand’s IONIQ all-electric lineup brand, the electrified streamliner’s array of advanced technologies, personalized space and features and extended range redefine the boundaries of electric mobility. IONIQ 6 delivers an estimated all-electric range of over 610 km , according to Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) standard, as well as ultra-fast, 400-V/800-V multi-charging capability made possible by Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). It also has what may be Hyundai’s most aerodynamic styling to date and an array of empowering features, such as Dual Color Ambient Lighting, Speed Sync Lighting, EV Performance Tune-up and Electric Active Sound Design (e-ASD), enhancing the electric mobility experience.Personalized interior space engineered to be easy to live with The electrified streamliner takes advantage of E-GMP to provide an extremely long, 2,950-mm wheelbase, supported by a choice of 20-inch or 18-inch wheels. With an impressive overall length of 4,855 mm, IONIQ 6’s 1,880-mm width and 1,495-mm height give it a distinctively sleek and stylish appearance amidst a sea of lookalike EVs. IONIQ 6’s interior is particularly developed to serve as a comfy and personalized hideaway. The Dual Color Ambient Lighting allows a driver to customize the look and feel of the interior cabin by selecting from a spectrum of 64 colors and six pre-selected themes . The Speed Sync Lighting mode adds emotion to the driving experience by changing the brightness of the interior lighting in the first row based on the vehicle’s speed.The optional Relaxation Comfort Seats in the first row promote leisure by simply adjusting the seat angle. In addition, all of its seats are specifically-manufactured for all-electric models, and they are approximately 30 percent thinner than those in other conventional models, providing more space for passengers. There are four type-C and one type-A USB ports available to improve customer convenience.IONIQ 6’s personalized driving experience is further enhanced by the EV Performance Tune-up system, which allows the driver to freely adjust steering effort, motor power, accelerator pedal sensitivity and driveline mode. Drivers can create a variety of different combinations with just a few button clicks to meet their individual needs. IONIQ 6 features e-ASD, a technology that makes EVs more exciting and people-friendly. The optimum, spaceship-like sound is added to the cabin, and the sound texture changes based on the vehicle’s driving status. Delivering ample power and energy to spare IONIQ 6 is available with a range of drive motors and battery packs to fit the needs of every customer. The long-range 77.4-kWh battery can be mated with two electric motor layouts, either rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD). The top-of-the-line dual motor setup is an AWD option producing a combined power output of 239 kW and 605 Nm of torque. This PE configuration can go from 0 km/h to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds.IONIQ 6 boasts an impressive energy consumption rate. The energy consumption of the 53-kWh standard battery with 18-inch tire and RWD motor option is estimated to be under 14 kWh/100 km, according to WLTP. This makes IONIQ 6 one of the most energy-efficient vehicles in the market. IONIQ 6’s E-GMP architecture can support both 400-V and 800-V charging infrastructures, with 800-V charging as standard; it can accommodate 400-V charging without the need for additional components or adapters. With a 350-kW charger, IONIQ 6 can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 18 minutes. IONIQ 6, like IONIQ 5 before it, provides an innovative vehicle-to-load (V2L) function that allows customers to charge any electric devices — ideal for powering necessities during a power outage, camping or outdoor projects. V2L is enabled using an available accessory adaptor and goes into the outside charging port. In addition to the outside power outlet, there is a second outlet underneath the back row seat for charging laptops, phones and other devices. Empowering technology and purposeful featuresIONIQ 6’s modular touchscreen dashboard integrates a 12-inch full-touch infotainment display and 12-inch digital cluster that houses advanced technologies for an enhanced digital user experience that can be customized to meet their needs. IONIQ 6’s infotainment system provides real-time travel radius mapping based on the current state of charge. The system’s connected car services also help search and plan the best route to include a charging station along the way. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto look great on this widescreen display. Bluetooth multi-connection support is available, so two devices can be paired at the same time — one for phone calls and one for music streaming. The premium Bose sound system’s eight speakers, including a subwoofer, are strategically placed throughout the vehicle for a high-quality listening experience. The navigation system comes with Bluelink® Infotainment/Map updates. Advanced driver assistance systems ensure high levels of safetyIONIQ 6 is equipped with the next level of Hyundai SmartSense, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, ensuring safety and convenience on the road. Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) helps to maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway and helps to center the vehicle in the lane while driving, even though a curve. In case the vehicle on the side is driving very close, it assists to adjust the vehicle's path, not to be in danger. If driving above a certain speed, holding the steering wheel, and operating the turn signal switch automatically changes the lane in the indicated direction.Smart Cruise Control (SCC) helps to maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and drive at a speed set by the driver by reflecting the learned driving style of the driver. When SCC is inactive, the function learns the driver's driving style. When SCC is activated, the function stops learning and drives automatically by mimicking the learned driving style. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) helps to avoid collisions with objects in front of the vehicle while driving. If a preceding vehicle suddenly slows, or if a forward-collision risk is detected, such as a stopped vehicle or a pedestrian, it provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision remains, it can assist with emergency braking. While driving, if there is a risk of collision with a cyclist ahead, or with an oncoming vehicle while turning at an intersection, it can help assist with emergency braking. IONIQ 6 has several driver attention-related functions. Driver Attention Warning (DAW) analyzes the driver's attention while driving and warns when necessary. It provides a warning when signs of driver inattentiveness are detected, and recommends a rest if needed. During a stop, the driver is alerted if the leading vehicle departs. Several functions work in tandem to help avoid collisions in a variety of driving situations. Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) helps avoid collisions at the rear side of the vehicle when changing lanes. When operating the turn signal to change lanes, if there is a risk of collision detected with a rear-side vehicle, it can provide a warning. If exiting a parallel parking spot and there is a risk of collision detected with a rear-side vehicle, it can assist with emergency braking. Another function, Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM), displays video of the blind-spot view for a safe lane change. When operating the turn signal switch, it displays video of the blind-spot view for the direction indicated. IONIQ 6 also assures the safety of backseat passengers with Safe Exit Warning (SEW), which provides a warning when a vehicle is approaching from the rear-side while getting out of the vehicle. When the occupant opens the door to exit the vehicle after a stop, if an approaching vehicle from the rear side is detected, it provides a warning.A variety of Parking Convenience features make parking in a variety of circumstances easier than before. Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 (RSPA 2) helps remotely park by Remote Parking. or it helps remotely exit a parking spot from outside the vehicle by Remote Operation. This feature works for parallel, perpendicular, and even diagonal parking. Surround View Monitor (SVM) displays video of the situation around the vehicle for safe parking. Forward/Side/Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA) helps avoid collisions with pedestrians and objects around the vehicle while parking or exiting. If there is a risk of collision with pedestrians or objects while parking and exiting, it provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, it automatically assists with emergency braking. Similarly, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) helps avoid collisions with oncoming vehicles on the left or right side of the vehicle while reversing. If there is a risk of collision with an oncoming vehicle on the left or right side while reversing, it provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, it automatically assists with emergency braking. OTA Software Update IONIQ 6 is Hyundai brand’s first model to offer the Over-the-Air (OTA) Software Update feature for various controllers. This technology allows drivers to upgrade the vehicle’s controllers for electric devices, autonomous driving, battery, and more, to provide a safer and more convenient driving experience. Drivers can also update maps and media software with the OTA function.

COFE joins forces with De’Longhi and JAZEAN to elevate coffee experience

COFE, the MENA’s leading online coffee marketplace, announces its trilateral partnership with Abdulwahed Co., the sole agent of De’Longhi brand, and JAZEAN, a brand by Saudi Coffee Company, integrating the brilliance of premium Italian coffee machines with the richness of top-tier Saudi coffee beans. The partnership between the three brands marks a significant leap forward in improving the coffee ecommerce segment and home-brewing experience. COFE, together with the two other giant industry titans will help in the advancement of the regional coffee industry as a whole, paving the way for a new era of quality and innovation.  With the platform’s steady month-over-month (MoM) growth of 26% in the home-brewing sector, the platform is poised to maintain its devoted commitment to the thriving ecommerce sector. This strategic three-way alliance intends to promote the Saudi Coffee Company locally produced beans by boosting its homebrewing sector, businesses, and hotel experiences using De'Longhi's cutting-edge machines. This partnership is poised to introduce the complex flavors of Saudi coffee to a worldwide audience. Commenting on the partnership, Ali Al Ebrahim, Founder & CEO of COFE App, said, "Our unwavering aim is to deliver creative solutions that respond to the changing needs of coffee lovers, transforming the COFE Market into a haven of ease and creativity for individuals who are enthusiastic about home-brewing. We are constantly bustling in hope for providing an even greater range of coffee-related products and services by expanding our offers in KSA. With this collaboration, we are set to accelerate our expansion in the Kingdom while also ensuring that we constantly provide outstanding value to our loyal users.    COFE earlier signed an agreement with Saudi Coffee Company, to become their premium online coffee marketplace in late 2022, aimed at propelling the Saudi coffee industry into the digital era and consequently empowering local producers to connect with end users with greater ease and convenience. COFE and JAZEAN, by Saudi Coffee Company, further strengthened their ties through the trilateral agreement, leveraging their steadfast commitment to fostering the Kingdom’s local coffee sector and embracing digital innovation. This strategic alliance is expected to push Saudi coffee beans onto the global arena, enthralling coffee lovers all over the world.  Commenting on the three-party partnership, Mohammed Zainy, Marketing Director of Saudi Coffee Company, said, “The synergy between a premium Italian brand, De'Longhi's, customer base that recognizes great coffee, and COFE's established presence in Saudi Arabia opens the door to presenting the world to local coffee's deep complexity, a hidden gem ready to be revealed to the world.” On the other hand, De’Longhi, a global brand, offers consumers innovative products with a unique combination of style and performance, signed its recent collaboration with both JAZEAN and COFE through Abdulwahed, the largest multi-brand distributor and retailer of smart lifestyle products in the KSA, especially known for offering high-end coffee machines and accessories.  Mohammad Abdulwahed, the commercial Director at Ahmed Abdulwahed: “We believe combining Delonghi machines strength in coffee making with COFE Market’s reach and Saudi Coffee Company’s homegrown coffee beans makes for the perfect brew. This partnership combines advanced coffee machines, market reach, and local coffee expertise, aligning seamlessly with Saudi Arabia's rich national coffee heritage with the aim of supporting local coffee farmers and production. We represent innovation, vast outreach, and persistent passion, all devoted to supporting Saudi Arabia's flourishing coffee community.” COFE app users have shown continued support on the KSA’s home-brewing and entire coffee sector. Caffeine home-brewing has grown in popularity in the GCC region as well, which accounts for USD 74.1 million in 2020 and is expected to be worth USD 131.8 million by 2028. On the other hand, by 2023, the eCommerce market in Saudi for coffee machines is expected to grow to USD 2.8 million, making up 1.9% of the country's overall eCommerce market for small appliances. By 2027, the market volume is anticipated to reach USD 5.3 million due to the anticipated compound yearly growth rate for the following four years (CAGR 2023-2027) of 17.5%.

Qatar Airways selects SITA to transform network infrastructure

SITA Secure SD-WAN will enhance connectivity, security, and operational efficiency across Qatar Airways' international offices and destinations DOHA – 22 November 2023 – Qatar Airways has partnered with SITA to transform the airline's global network infrastructure with state-of-the-art secure access service edge (SASE) solutions that boost connectivity, operational efficiency, and security.As part of the transformation SITA will deploy its Secure SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network), SITA Connect Go, which offers agile, scalable, and secure access to airline systems and applications by connecting infrastructure outstations and airports, to Qatar Airways’ hybrid cloud infrastructure, and to the airline’s partner systems.Qatar Airways is among the first airlines globally to adopt SITA's Secure SD-WAN solution. SITA Connect Go is a new Secure SD-WAN solution designed specifically for the air transport industry. The solution was developed in partnership with Versa Networks, the recognized secure access service edge (SASE) leader. It offers a software-based solution that allows multiple airlines, ground handlers, and tenants to digitally transform at their own pace.By leveraging SITA’s network solution, Qatar Airways will achieve significant strategic benefits. These include:•   Cost optimization resulting from faster connectivity and streamlined operations•   Higher capacity bandwidth with multiple connection types managed centrally with holistic network performance visibility•   SD-WAN gateways will provide compatibility ensuring a smooth transition to the new network architecture and the flexibility to innovate with new digital products and services that improve the passenger experience Mr. A.T. Srinivasan, Qatar Airways Group CIO, said: "Qatar Airways is always looking for innovative technology solutions that will enable the group to optimize day-to-day network operations with increased speed, reliability, security, and flexibility thereby enabling best-in-class connectivity across key operations. We are committed to continually improving operations and the passenger experience and procure systems that will serve as a solid foundation for future innovation."Hani El Asaad, President, Middle East & Africa, SITA, said: "We are delighted to collaborate with Qatar Airways, an industry leader renowned for its commitment to innovation and excellence. Data and connectivity remain the backbone of our industry, and ensuring fast, secure, and reliable connections are crucial for optimizing airline operations and improving the passenger experience. This partnership marks a significant milestone in the evolution of air travel technology, exemplifying our dedication to transforming travel and transport through cutting-edge solutions."

Riyadh hosts 9th edition of the International Coffee and Chocolate Exhibition

Riyadh: The International Coffee and Chocolate Exhibition, the largest gathering of entrepreneurs, specialists and those interested in the industry in the Middle East, announced its 9th edition to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.The premier trade show for the coffee and chocolate industry stakeholders will feature over 100 activities. It will be held from December 5 to 9, 2023 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center.Among those confirmed to attend include The Saudi Specialty Coffee Association, which will host some of the activities that will be organized during the event. Top local and international companies are also expected to attend.Exhibition highlightsThe 9th exhibition’s schedule of events includes competitions and tournaments, most notably the Saudi Barista Championship, which is accredited within the World Barista Championship. It will also include the Saudi World Brewers Cup, which will be held for the first time in Saudi Arabia with global accreditation.In addition, an awards program is being organized to encourage innovation and the growth of institutions specialized in the field of coffee and chocolate manufacturing. “The Middle East Coffee and Chocolate Awards” will be awarded to the most successful coffee and chocolate establishments in the region, and is aimed at supporting the development of the local economy as well as the growth of non-oil export revenues.The exhibition will also be holding several workshops and discussions on global trends in the coffee and chocolate industry. One of the most important highlights of the exhibition will be “The Middle East Coffee Conference (MECO)”, which is one of the largest conferences dedicated to the coffee industry. It will bring together international speakers and includes major topics such as the future of coffee cultivation. The conference will delve into other relevant topics such as the different types of coffee and advanced techniques in roasting and preparing them, among others.Investment opportunitiesThe International Coffee and Chocolate Exhibition will welcome a group of entrepreneurs interested in investing in the field of coffee and chocolate at the local and international levels. The event also seeks to provide a platform for communicating with major participating companies and thousands of interested individuals to learn more about the opportunities in this sector. Several sessions will address investment opportunities in the coffee and chocolate industry and the challenges facing this sector in light of climate change. Others will focus on the latest technological advances being used today in the coffee and chocolate industry.Unique and exclusive benefitsThe exhibition will showcase some of the most prominent products in the industry, including coffee and chocolate machines, equipment and accessories, coffee roasting and chocolate raw materials, franchise opportunities in the fields of coffee and chocolate, printing and packaging equipment factories and coffee and chocolate supplies. A variety of coffee and chocolate merchants, suppliers, and exporters will also participate in the event.Large turnoutLast year, the exhibition witnessed a large turnout of visitors, exceeding 220,000 visitors over five days. More than 400 local and international entities from more than 40 countries participated in the exhibition. The exhibition’s large turnout reflects the prestigious reputation and remarkable distinction it has achieved in recent years, making the exhibition one of the most important trade exhibitions hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.The event is the largest exhibition specializing in coffee and chocolate in the Middle East region. It is recognized by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) as an international exhibition that follows set specifications and standards and is accredited by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).

Landor & Fitch rebrands as “Landor”

Landor & Fitch today shares a refreshed brand expression. The rebrand is the culmination of a five-year strategy that has seen the WPP company’s consulting, design and experience offer expand dramatically.In recent years, Landor has welcomed sonic branding leaders amp, workspace and architectural design experts BDG, and award-winning motion design specialists ManvsMachine into its ever-expanding family. In parallel, the business has bolstered its consulting capabilities with a rapidly growing Brand Performance practice, broadened its retail experience offer in a 2020 merger with Fitch, and continued to build out its brand-led employee experience offer.“Over the last five years, our business has evolved, and our offer has expanded significantly. We’ve welcomed world-class specialists in sonic, motion and workspace design, and today, most importantly, we have come together as one team with a shared culture. United in our drive to make a positive difference” said Jane Geraghty, Group Global CEO.The brand's new ultramarine identity is inspired by the transformative power of water and pays tribute to origins of the business, which was founded by Walter Landor on a ferry boat in San Francisco harbour.“Our new brand charts an ambitious course for our future. We use our new brand colour, the ultramarine blue, to signal the redefining of the brand and design category” said Teemu Suviala, Global Chief Creative Officer. “Our design and expression capabilities are now unparalleled. For our own brand, we tapped into brilliant creative minds from around our network, just as we would do for our clients, to create a brand that comes to life in every facet - from visual and verbal to sonic and motion.”

Etisalat by e& and DCT Abu Dhabi launch Arena Esports

UAE: etisalat by e& and the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) unveiled a ground-breaking strategic partnership aimed at reshaping the Esports landscape in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by launching 'Arena Esports', a digital gaming initiative that will become a cornerstone for the regional gaming matrix.Designed to be a catalyst in the transformation of Esports, Arena Esports embodies etisalat by e& and DCT Abu Dhabi's shared ambition to spearhead Esports leagues in the MENA region, nurture emerging gaming talent and elevate local events to international gaming benchmarks. The new collaboration will leverage the unique strengths of both entities to create a sustainable and innovative Esports space. With a focus on the UAE, the venture aims to establish and oversee Arena Esports leagues and associated tournaments over the next five years.Arena Esports, a 360-degree gaming platform, will cater to all types of players, from beginners to seasoned professionals. Players can immerse themselves in exciting tournaments, earn monthly points, access unique events, engage with community servers and have exclusive interactions with gaming influencers.HE Adnan Al Awadi, Support Services Executive Director at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: "Our alliance with etisalat by e& is a testament to our commitment to growing the creative industries, of which gaming and Esports is a key pillar. This synergy aims to boost the gaming ecosystem in the UAE and the MENA region, and we are eager to see the positive impact.”Arena Esports promises a gaming odyssey with minimal latency, compelling challenges and exclusive digital content that guarantees uninterrupted gameplay. With the gaming market expected to reach $5 billion by 2025, it is worth noting that the UAE has the highest percentage of adult gamers in the world, with nine out of ten adults playing video games.Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, etisalat by e& said: "At etisalat by e&, we recognise the unlimited potential of this fast-growing sector, which has more than 377 million subscribers in the MENA region. In our journey of technological transformation we aim to exceed our customers' expectations. Our partnership with DCT Abu Dhabi reinforces our commitment to the gaming community and promises an unprecedented transformation in the sector.“By integrating cutting-edge cloud and AI technologies, etisalat by e& is committed to the growing Esports industry and realising its vision of superior offerings and services.”Gaming enthusiasts are invited to immerse themselves in the world of Arena Esports by signing up for a free membership or subscribing to enjoy premium benefits. Log on to to connect your game account, create teams and take part in exclusive events.

FF announces Middle East Strategy launch and unveiling of FF 91 2.0 at Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: California-based global intelligent electric mobility ecosystem company, Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc, announced its Middle East Strategy Launch press conference in Abu Dhabi to reveal plans for introducing the FF brand and products in the region. The event, set for November 23 at 4:30 P.M. Gulf Standard Time at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, will be led by Matthias Aydt, Global CEO of FF, and will showcase the groundbreaking strategy, emphasizing FF's commitment to innovation in the electric mobility sector. The highlight will be the unveiling of the world's first AI-Hypercar in the Middle East, including an exclusive edition concept tailored for the local market. The conference anticipates a distinguished audience, including members of the royal family, government officials, local media representatives, and FF partners.This Middle East strategy launch marks a significant beginning for FF's entry into the region, featuring the unveiling of a special edition FF 91 2.0 vehicle specifically designed for Middle East users. Additionally, FF will host a product showcase at the Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit from November 23 to November 26.

Khaleeji Bank signs partnership agreement with Naseej

Manama, the Kingdom of Bahrain: Khaleeji Bank, one of the leading Islamic banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain, has recently announced a partnership contract with Naseej, a leading Bahraini real estate development company. The contract will offer citizens exclusive benefits when purchasing residential units in recently developed projects by Naseej, such as "Basateen" in Busaiteen, "Canal View" on Dilmunia Island, and "Nasayem Arad" in Arad.Under this agreement, Khaleeji Bank's clients will have access to financing with a tenor of up to 25 years, as well as a grace period of up to 6 months when purchasing a residential unit in one of the aforementioned projects. They will also be eligible to win cash prizes of up to BD 1,000 and exclusive offers from select retail brands. Additionally, clients will benefit from opening a "Salary Account” which provides unique benefits, such as an expected profit rate of up to 4% of their salary’s value, no minimum balance, and a chance to win on of 5 cash prizes worth BD 1,000 each in monthly exclusive raffles for Salary Account Holders.The "Basateen" project is considered a pioneer in the Muharraq Governorate, providing high-quality, sophisticated, and distinctive residential villas. The project offers typical residential models in design, construction, finishing, and decor, making them the ideal choice for families looking for luxury housing with a variety of features and amenities that meet the needs of every home and family housing. This project consists of 23 villas built on a total area of approximately 5,000 square metres. The villas range from 180 to 457 square metres in size, with three- and four-bedroom options available.The "Canal View" project offers 246 luxury apartments for sale or rent with full ownership, which include a variety of different units like studio, as well as one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom options. The units provide stunning views of the canal and the main fountain on Dilmunia Island, making it an ideal choice for families seeking a quiet and safe environment on a private island, allowing them a very modern lifestyle with amenities that meet their daily needs.Finally, the "Nasayem Arad" project stands out for its strategic location overlooking Arad Bay, offering 136 residential plots and 98 residential villas. The land’s plot ranges from 301 to 544 square metres, with many of them overlooking the waterfront adjacent to Arad Fort and Arad Bay. Furthermore, the project is within walking distance from Seef Mall Muharraq, as well as other shops and restaurants.On this occasion, Ms. Ameera Ahmed Al Abbasi, Head of the Retail Banking at Khaleeji Bank, stated “We are delighted to announce our cooperation with Naseej, the leading Bahraini real-estate development company. Through this partnership, we aim to provide exclusive offers to citizens wishing to buy their dream homes in projects recently developed by Naseej, including Basateen, Canal View, and Nasayem Arad. Clients applying for this offer will benefit from unique and exceptional advantages that ensure them the convenience of owning a high-end residential unit in one of the most prestigious projects developed by Naseej.”Ms. Al Abbasi further added “I would like to extend this invitation to citizens and our valued clients to take advantage of these offers, which we have allocated to be the ideal choice for obtaining high-end residential units, while also ensuring an exceptional experience in all stages of application, thanks to our qualified team.”For his part, Mr. Mohammed Al Shaikh, Head of Investments at Naseej, stated “We are proud to collaborate with a leading financial institution in the Kingdom to offer exclusive financing solutions for citizens who wish to own property in our projects. These projects include villas, apartments, and residential plots, which provide unique housing solutions that fulfil the needs of Bahraini citizens. Basateen, Canal View, and Nasayem Arad are well-known for their strategic locations and high-quality specifications, be it for their exceptional designs or structural standards.”Mr. Al Shaikh further added: “The financial solutions offered by Khaleeji Bank present an ideal option for owning property in our prestigious projects. These projects have been attracting a growing number of customers, thanks to their exceptional features.”

Knowledge Summit 2023 discusses significance of enhancing cybersecurity

Dubai, UAE - On the sidelines of the eighth edition of the ‘Knowledge Summit,' a panel discussion titled ‘Shielding the future: Cybersecurity imperatives in the 5th industrial revolution’ stressed the current cybersecurity landscape, AI-driven threats, as well as essential defenses and tools necessary to counter cyber-attacks.The speakers of the sessions were Kawther Haciane, Security Leader for Gulf, Levant, and Pakistan, IBM; Sebastian Madden, Chief Corporate Development Officer, PGI, and Middle East Lead, CREST; and Salwa Alessa, Director of Information Security and Quality Governance, DETASAD. The session was moderated by Maliha Rashid, Managing Director and Security Lead, Accenture Middle East.Salwa Alessa underscored the need for organizations and individuals to possess enhanced cyber resilience, highlighting that the Middle East is the second-most targeted region globally for cyberattacks. She further highlighted the significance of channeling collective efforts to counter these threats.Alessa further emphasized the importance of ensuring that all employees in companies receive cybersecurity training to effectively combat and prevent cyber-attacks. She also highlighted the pivotal role of collaborations between governmental entities, several companies, academic institutions, and other stakeholders to build a unified defense in cybersecurity.For his part, Sebastian Madden underlined the need for providing continuous cybersecurity training for all professionals, highlighting the need to possess the necessary skills to combat cyber threats. He also elaborated on the importance of communication, collaboration, writing, documentation, and leadership skills in combating cyber threats, pointing out that there is a significant need for a secure space for information exchange and sharing experiences.Madden further shed light on some cybersecurity initiatives in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, all of which aim to enhance cyber resilience in the Arabian Gulf region. He highlighted the necessity of keeping pace with various cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies and the need to enhance relevant skills.Kawther Haciane illuminated the central role of human interaction in enhancing cybersecurity. She underscored enhancing supply chain resilience, as a threat impacting a specific company could affect all other interconnected institutions.Haciane explained that the increasing volume of data presents significant security challenges, necessitating the integration of modern technologies like AI and machine learning into cybersecurity strategies, with human intervention being the primary defense.Haciane also emphasized concentrating on time in cybersecurity management, especially given the rapid changes in today’s technology.The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) is organizing the eighth edition of the ‘Knowledge Summit’ in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the theme ‘Knowledge Cities and the Fifth Industrial Revolution.’ The summit is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Center between November 21 and 22, with virtual sessions continuing on November 23, 2023. The summit features a broad participation of experts, leaders, government officials, and specialists from various fields worldwide.

Air services provider sees 30% surge in demand for unaccompanied minor services

dnata continues to enhance its offering to provide a smooth and memorable experience to young travellers across their airport journey. With an expert team, comprehensive trainings and a specially designed lounge, the global air and travel services provider is setting new standards for the well-being and comfort of unaccompanied minors amid a whopping 30% surge in demand.Jaffar Dawood, dnata’s Senior Vice President, Airport Operations UAE and MEA, said: "We take the responsibility of looking after young flyers very seriously. Our mission is to ensure a seamless and enjoyable airport experience, removing the stress from their journey and creating lasting memories in our exclusive lounge. We are proud to have earned the trust of thousands of parents with our safe and reliable services, and will continue to take initiatives to further enhance our offering."Highly-trained teamdnata spares no effort in the comprehensive training of its 200-strong team. Its dedicated agents are well-versed in the art of ensuring that unaccompanied minors, aged between five and 12 years old, feel safe and comfortable throughout their airport journey. This entails adeptly selecting appropriate conversation topics and providing informative guidance for a smooth and expected experience for young passengers.Agents are meticulous in ensuring that all personal documents are correct, right from the identification of the guardian handing over or collecting the minor, to the seamless handover to the cabin crew.Exclusive loungednata also operates an exclusive, dedicated unaccompanied minor lounge at Dubai International’s (DXB) Terminal 1. The facility provides a safe, comfortable and entertaining space for young travellers to relax and play before their flights.It operates round the clock and is equipped with entertainment screens and an array of toys to keep young guests occupied. The lounge staff works closely with airline colleagues to ensure unaccompanied minors are in safe hands and arrive at their gate on time.30% surge in demanddnata extends its exceptional services to over 145 airline partners at Dubai’s two airports, Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC). In this year alone, dnata’s highly-trained agents have assisted over 6,000 unaccompanied minors from check-in to boarding at DXB and DWC. These figures are set to soar even higher, with a staggering 30% year on year increase anticipated over 2022 numbers.Customers are advised to contact their airlines for further information on the services.dnata is a leading global air and travel services provider. Established in 1959, the company offers quality and safe ground handling, cargo, travel, catering and retail services in over 30 countries across six continents. In the financial year 2022-23, dnata’s customer-oriented teams handled over 710,000 aircraft turns, moved over 2.7 million tonnes of cargo, uplifted 111.4 million meals, and recorded a total transaction value (TTV) of travel services of US$ 1.9 billion.

Businessman wins $1mln in Dubai duty free promotion

An Indian businessman from Sharjah has been added to the ever-growing list of Indian winners of US$1 million when the draw for the latest Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire promotion was held today at Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport.Mr. Thakappan Chettiyar Ramakrishnan, a 65-year-old Indian national based in Sharjah won a US$1 million in Millennium Millionaire Series 441, with ticket number 2130, which he purchased online on 6th November.A regular participant in the Dubai Duty Free promotion for four years now, Mr. Ramakrishnan is a father of two and ran his own company in Sharjah.“Thank you so much for this timely win, you’re the best Dubai Duty Free!”, he said.Mr. Ramakrishnan is the 220th Indian national to have won US$1 million in the Millennium Millionaire promotion since in 1999 and Indian nationals are the biggest buyers of the tickets.Today's draw was conducted by Dubai Duty Free Chief Operating Officer, Ramesh Cidambi, Sinead El Sibai, SVP – Marketing, Michael Schmidt, SVP – Retail, Sharon Beecham, SVP – Purchasing and Zayed Al Shebli, SVP – Loss Prevention & Corporate Security.

Breaking ground: Ravi Gupta unveils Safexpay's GCC journey and aspirations

In an exclusive interview, Ravi Gupta, Founder and CEO of Safexpay, provides insights into the strategic decision to expand into the GCC region, with a particular focus on Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman. As the digital payments landscape in the GCC experiences robust growth, Gupta sheds light on Safexpay's commitment to offering tailored payment solutions, collaborating with key industry players, and investing significantly in the region. With an ambitious growth projection and innovative technologies like facial recognition-based payments, Safexpay aims to redefine the fintech landscape in the GCC and beyond. Excerpts:Can you elaborate on Safexpay's decision to expand into the GCC region, specifically targeting Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman?Safexpay's strategic decision to expand into the GCC region, specifically targeting Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman, stems from the robust growth observed in the digital payments sector within the region. With the digital payments market in the GCC poised to reach a total transaction value of US$106.30 billion in 2023, and an anticipated annual growth rate of 12.09% from 2023 to 2027, there is a burgeoning demand for comprehensive payment solutions. Notably, the digital commerce segment is projected to lead with a total transaction value of US$61.74 billion in 2023. This presents a significant opportunity for Safexpay to actively participate in the dynamic digital payments and fintech landscape, aligning with the region's governmental initiatives and the substantial drive towards digitization.How does Safexpay plan to tailor its payment solutions to meet the unique needs of businesses and consumers in the GCC countries?Safexpay stands out in the GCC market by specializing in tailored payment solutions, uniquely addressing the needs of businesses and consumers. While others focus on payments, Safexpay excels in solving fintech and banking challenges, offering customized platforms that align precisely with client needs. This commitment to customization positions Safexpay as a distinctive and valuable player in the market.Could you provide more details about the specific payment solutions Safexpay is offering in these GCC countries, such as White Labelled Payment aggregation and Facial Recognition-Based Payments?The White Label Payment Aggregation platform offered by Safexpay serves as a comprehensive portal with a consolidated dashboard. It encompasses various features, including multiple payment plugins, diverse payment modes, payment links, e-invoicing, analytics, and notifications. The platform is designed for advanced customization to cater to the specific needs of businesses in the GCC countries. In addition to the White Label Payment Aggregation, Safexpay introduces a Facial Recognition-Based Payments platform. This innovative solution is aligned with the global shift towards contactless payments. It enables seamless checkouts through facial recognition technology, ushering in a new era where users no longer need to remember passwords or carry physical cards. The emphasis on identity verification through facial recognition enhances security and convenience in the payment process.The partnerships with organisations like Magnati, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and Dubai Chamber of Commerce are crucial for your expansion. How do these partnerships facilitate your operations in the GCC region?Partnerships with organizations like Magnati, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and Dubai Chamber of Commerce play a pivotal role in Safexpay's expansion in the GCC region. The collaboration with Magnati, for instance, has already resulted in the successful implementation of the White Label Payment Aggregation platform and the delivery of an extensive suite of payment solutions with multiple value-added services.Safexpay's strategic approach involves fostering an ecosystem-led platform partnership methodology. By partnering with key players in the GCC region, the company aims to create a comprehensive ecosystem where Safexpay adds significant value and establishes strategic collaborations to deliver advanced payment and solution-based platforms. The focus is on core automation and digitization of existing processes, offering a range of solutions from payment services and digital merchant onboarding to cutting-edge technologies such as facial recognition-based payments and engagement in the metaverse. These partnerships are instrumental in positioning Safexpay as a key player in driving the automation and digitization agenda within the GCC business landscape.Safexpay is committing a significant investment of approximately 10 million USD in the GCC region. What are the key areas or initiatives that this investment will support?This investment will primarily support key initiatives in the areas of awareness, market expansion, and the establishment of dedicated sales and product teams within the GCC regions. Recognizing the importance of government support and collaboration with banks and fintechs, Safexpay aims to strengthen its position by actively contributing to the region's digitization journey. The investment underscores Safexpay's commitment to fostering growth and innovation in the digital payments and fintech landscape of the GCC.Your growth projection of 80-100% annually by 2025 is ambitious. What strategies and factors do you believe will contribute to achieving this growth in the GCC market?Safexpay's ambitious growth projection of 80-100% annually by 2025 is underpinned by a comprehensive three-pronged strategy. First and foremost, the company aims to build market awareness by showcasing the unique features of its white-label solutions, emphasizing their high level of customization. Secondly, Safexpay is committed to collaborating with key ecosystem players in the GCC region, forming strategic partnerships to deliver tailored solutions and fostering a demand for white-label market development. Lastly, Safexpay plans to facilitate market expansion across various sectors and regions. This involves not only offering its current suite of services but also expanding its range to meet the specific needs of diverse markets and sectors within the GCC region. This multifaceted approach positions Safexpay to effectively navigate the dynamic landscape and capitalize on emerging opportunities for growth.How do you see the contactless payment landscape evolving in the GCC region, and how is Safexpay positioning itself to be a key player in this space?We anticipate a significant evolution in the contactless payment landscape in the GCC region, driven by the imperative for secure and convenient solutions post-COVID. To position itself as a key player, Safexpay has introduced innovative technologies, including facial recognition-based payments and metaverse payments. These advancements cater to the growing demand for fast and secure contactless payment methods. We envision a future where facial recognition seamlessly extends beyond unlocking devices to simplify payment processes. The integration of metaverse payments reflects the company's commitment to pioneering novel and user-friendly solutions in the GCC's dynamic payment landscape.You mentioned a focus on on-boarding around 5000 merchants in the next 2-3 years. Can you share your strategy for merchant acquisition and how you plan to serve their unique needs in the GCC markets?Safexpay's strategy for merchant acquisition in the GCC markets centers around its role as a B2B2C player, specializing in tailored solutions for banks and fintechs. The company plans to extend similar customized solutions to multiple banks and fintech partners across the GCC, facilitating merchant onboarding through these entities. The focus is on providing solutions like Digital Merchant Onboarding with Value-Added Services (VAS) and Software as a Service (SAAS) to ensure a seamless onboarding experience. Safexpay has dedicated teams for merchant integration and support, aiming to streamline and enhance the onboarding process for merchants in the region.Safexpay aims to become the preferred payment service provider for customised fintech solutions. What sets Safexpay apart from competitors in the GCC market?What sets us apart includes our white-label and custom payment aggregation platform, seamlessly adaptable to any fintech or banking partner. Our offerings extend beyond payments, providing a comprehensive suite of services and solutions. With in-house development capabilities and a proven track record in India, we bring a wealth of experience to the GCC region. Moreover, Safexpay stands out by consolidating multiple partnerships, whether in payment modes, banking collaborations, or e-commerce plugins, into a unified portal, offering a streamlined and comprehensive view of services.The expansion plan in the GCC region is a significant step. Could you outline any plans for further expansion into neighboring markets after establishing a foothold in the GCC?Certainly, beyond the GCC region, Safexpay envisions expanding its footprint into neighboring markets. The company is keen on fostering partnerships for payment platforms and services in countries like Sri Lanka, recognizing the substantial scope for digitization. Leveraging India's expertise, Safexpay aims to contribute to the growth of its neighboring nations. The overarching goal is to be a catalyst for positive change, acting as an enabler for these nations to progress by leveraging Safexpay's advanced technological infrastructure.How does Safexpay intend to contribute to the fintech and techfin space by offering innovative solutions in the GCC region and beyond?Leveraging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence for metaverse and facial recognition-based payments, coupled with data analytics, the company aims to introduce secure and streamlined financial solutions tailored to the unique needs of the GCC countries. These innovations not only enhance traditional financial services but also pave the way for financial inclusion, digital payments, and personalized banking experiences, including easier e-commerce checkout services. Safexpay envisions a future where individuals and businesses in the GCC region can seamlessly access, manage, and optimize their financial activities, contributing to the region's economic growth and technological advancement on a global scale.What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in the GCC market, and how is Safexpay prepared to address them?In the GCC market, we see a significant opportunity in customization, including platform adaptability and multilingual adoption. By offering features such as Arabic checkout pages and customizable templates, the company aims to collaborate with key players and turn these opportunities into success stories. Additionally, Safexpay views existing players in the GCC markets as a chance to identify and address unmet needs or underserved solutions, paving the way for further innovation and growth in the region. Through strategic partnerships and a focus on meeting specific market demands, Safexpay is well-positioned to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the dynamic GCC landscape.

Dove teams up with animated influencer Lennnie for mental health campaign

Dove has collaborated with the animated social media influencer Lennnie for a mental health initiative on both Instagram and TikTok.Lennnie, an animated character, addresses topics related to mental health, positive self-talk, and overcoming obstacles with a soothing voice and musical expressions.The push is part of the Dove Self-Esteem Project, aimed at addressing the negative effects of social media-driven comparison resonates well with the contemporary challenges posed by digital connectivity. Capitalizing on Lennnie's popularity, coupled with endorsements from celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Jennifer Aniston, positions Dove to reach a wide audience and contribute positively to mental health awareness. Notably, Lennnie has amassed over 4 million followers on TikTok and Instagram and has garnered support from high-profile figures like Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Jennifer Aniston.The campaign's central focus on instilling confidence and spreading messages of love and positivity is both timely and crucial. Dove's commendable consistency in efforts to assist the younger generation in cultivating a positive relationship with their appearance, thereby alleviating appearance-related anxiety, is praiseworthy.Employing animated characters as social media influencers is a savvy move to connect with the digitally savvy younger demographic and effectively convey messages of encouragement and self-empowerment. The collaboration with the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of West England further enhances the credibility of Dove's initiatives.In summary, this campaign appears well-crafted to fulfill its objective of promoting mental health and positive self-esteem, skillfully combining elements of popular culture with academic expertise in its approach.

Philippines Business Council launches TRIBE to empower creativity

The Philippines Business Council in Dubai and Northern Emirates has introduced TRIBE, a positive initiative aimed at fostering collaboration and support among Filipino creatives and communication professionals. According to the Philippines Business Council (PBC), TRIBE is a creative hub empowering artists, writers, communicators, photographers, and other professionals within the Filipino community. Here are key points summarizing TRIBE's objectives:1. Purpose of TRIBE:TRIBE serves as a hub for creativity, collaboration, and communication, with the goal of empowering Filipino artists, writers, communicators, photographers, and other creative professionals.2. Professional Focus:TRIBE not only nurtures creative ideas but also addresses the professional needs of the Filipino community, demonstrating a commitment to supporting career growth and development.3. Leadership and Structure:TRIBE is led by a core team of six members, headed by Bethoven Filomeno, a faculty member at Westford University College. The team includes industry professionals such as Mherck Dela Cruz, Krishna Dela Paz, and Melchor Dante Santos, along with Philippine Business Council board members Allan Michael Bautista and Bobbie Carela.4. Philippine Business Council Involvement:TRIBE operates as a sub-committee of the Philippine Business Council Dubai and Northern Emirates, highlighting collaborative efforts within the broader business community.5. Activities and Events:TRIBE plans to organize various activities and events, such as panel discussions, workshops, and talks, showcasing a commitment to continuous learning and networking opportunities.6. Online Presence:TRIBE will launch a website to facilitate networking among its members and provide a platform for sharing their work. This online presence aims to connect individuals and companies within the creative and communication industry.7. Visibility and Promotion:TRIBE aims to enhance the visibility of its members to clients and employers, potentially opening up new opportunities for individuals within the creative and communication fields.Overall, TRIBE is a comprehensive initiative that not only focuses on the creative aspects but also recognizes the professional needs of Filipino creatives and communication professionals in Dubai and Northern Emirates.

Kaspersky reveals top fraudulent schemes scammers run during Black Friday

As Black Friday approaches, Kaspersky has released a new report revealing the latest shopping-related cyber threats. The findings expose more than 13 million e-shop-related phishing attacks in 2023, with scammers mimicking popular marketplaces, luxury brands, and gadget stores.According to the company’s experts, scams and phishing are favored tactics for fraudsters seeking profit. In the first ten months of 2023, Kaspersky identified 30,803,840 phishing attacks targeting online shopping, payment systems, and banking institutions, with e-commerce platforms used as a lure in 43.5% of total attacks (13,390,142 attacks).Since October, a notable threefold increase in domains using the words "Black Friday" has been observed. Websites in these domains range from nonexistent stores to convincing replicas of real online outlets. Kaspersky consistently identifies numerous fake stores offering clothing, appliances, and gadgets since the beginning of fall. The most prevalent schemes center on creating fraudulent stores where individuals pay for products which they never receive.Another scheme involves linking a card to allegedly pay for goods, allowing scammers to gradually withdraw money and empty victims’ accounts. For instance, a deceptive website mimics a well-known shopping platform, enticing users with an offer to acquire an €800 gift card for €1.95. As the promised gift card is typically nonexistent, users lose money to the scammers behind this fraudulent setup.Example of shopping phishing pageKaspersky’s experts also revealed fraudsters targeted potential victims with scams using big brand industry leaders such as eBay, Walmart, Alibaba, and local platforms like Mercado Libre in 240,000 phishing attacks. The allure of greater theft prompts scammers to impersonate luxury brands.Scammers also target tech enthusiasts by mimicking Apple products and services around Black Friday. Kaspersky products have detected 2.8 million of such phishing attacks from January to October 2023. Gamers find themselves ensnared by console scams, promising purchases but ultimately leaving them out of pocket.“Online shopping, particularly during peak events like Black Friday, is a prime target for deceptive schemes. Fraudsters intensify their activities, capitalizing on the surge in online traffic and shoppers’ desire for deals. It’s crucial to be discerning and adopt secure online practices, protecting yourself against potential threats while enjoying the benefits of the digital marketplace,” comments Olga Svistunova, security expert at Kaspersky.To learn more about shopping threat landscape in 2023, visit enjoy the best that Black Friday has to offer this year, be sure to follow a few safety recommendations:Do not trust any links or attachments received by mail; double-check the sender before opening anything.    Double-check e-shop websites before filling out any information: is the URL correct? Are there any spelling errors or design bugs?Protect all the devices you use for online shopping with a reliable security solution. Kaspersky Premium is protecting its’ users from various range of shopping scams.If you want to buy something from an unknown company, check reviews before making any decision.Despite taking as many precautions as possible, you probably won’t know something is amiss until you see your bank or credit card statement. So, if you’re still getting paper statements, don’t wait until they hit your mailbox. Log in online to see if all of the charges look legitimate – if not, contact your bank or credit card company immediately to fix the situation.

MENA start-up Dooda Solutions receives $100,000 grant from PepsiCo

Dubai, UAE – PepsiCo has announced Lebanon-based start-up Dooda Solutions as the winner of the second iteration of its Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition, in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and Food Tech Valley (FTV). Dooda Solutions was selected from over 180 applicants, following a rigorous multi-stage selection process and six-months of mentorship, and will receive a $100,000 grant, along with a host of other benefits, to scale their sustainable agricultural solution and grow their business.Dooda Solutions, a woman-led earthworm farm, specializes in producing premium-grade vermicompost (organic fertilizers) at commercial scale. Its nutrient-rich vermicompost restores soil health by improving its structure, increasing nutrient availability, and enhancing microbial activity. In the program’s final stages, the team demonstrated a truly innovative and scalable solution with a commitment to pushing the boundaries of sustainable agriculture innovations.The winner was announced at the closing ceremony held at Museum of the Future, following pitches and a product showcase by each start-up. The event drew participation from His Excellency Eng. Mohammed Mousa Alameeri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and L?th Carlson, Executive Director of Museum of the Future. The expert judging panel comprised His Royal Highness Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Founder and CEO of KBW Ventures; Sheikh Dr. Majid Al Qassimi, Founder & Partner of Soma Mater Management Consultancies; Wael Ismail, Vice President for Corporate Affairs at PepsiCo Africa, Middle East and South Asia; Alanoud Al Hashmi, CEO of SDG GLOBAL & Futurist; and George Shenouda, Africa Lead, Development and Investment at Masdar.The program this year focused on sustainable agriculture in line with PepsiCo’s sustainability strategy, pep+ (PepsiCo Positive). The AgriTech industry in MENA has attracted around $250 million in funding in 2022, instilling confidence in regional start-ups and their innovation potential for sustainable agriculture. The Greenhouse Accelerator Program has created new growth opportunities in this space, helping the startup ecosystem flourish.“At the heart of our nation’s priorities lies the commitment to food security and sustainable agriculture. As we prepare to host the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, Conference of the Parties (COP28), later this month, we recognize the significance of addressing global challenges through innovation and collaboration. We are prioritizing the acceleration of efforts to achieve the objectives of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 through partnerships and solutions that bring a paradigm shift in the agricultural sector and food systems. One such initiative is the Greenhouse Accelerator Program as it provides a stage for entrepreneurs and startups to shed light on their pioneering solutions, driving the cause of sustainability, while fostering innovation. I commend all participants for bringing forth their innovative solutions, and PepsiCo, Food Tech Valley, and all partners involved for their dedication to this initiative. I’m confident that together, we will enhance the resilience and sustainability of the food sector – paving the way for a more sustainable future for all,” said His Excellency Eng. Mohammed Mousa Alameeri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector – Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.“Building on the success of the first edition of our MENA Greenhouse Accelerator, this year marked a significant step towards accelerating progress in sustainable agriculture in the region. As part of our commitments to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 and become net water positive by 2030, we are actively facilitating innovation to drive tangible change at scale. At PepsiCo, we are dedicated to supporting innovators and entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of sustainable solutions. By providing them with a wealth of resources and offering them a platform to showcase their solutions on global stages, such as at COP28, we want to help them thrive. We’re excited about Dooda Solution’s potential to transform the regional agriculture sector and look forward to creating more opportunities for other promising startups that will have a lasting positive impact on society,” said Aamer Sheikh, CEO at PepsiCo Middle East.“It is a huge honour to be recognized by PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition. This journey has been transformative, providing our business with invaluable insights, mentorship, and tools to refine and scale our sustainable agriculture solution. The program’s extensive reach and network have helped us connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, potential partners, and investors who share our vision for sustainable agriculture, not only accelerating our growth but also reinforcing our commitment to driving sustainable change in the MENA region. We are excited about the journey ahead and remain committed to scaling our operations effectively to provide sustainable solutions to all,” said Nada Ghanem, Founder and Managing Director at Dooda Solutions.All start-ups that participated in the program received an initial grant of $20,000 and one-on-one mentorship from PepsiCo and external partners over a six month span, who guided them on everything from research and development to business models, marketing, and fundraising. In addition, six companies selected from both cohorts of the Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition will be featured in a dedicated showcase at COP28 in Dubai. The move will expand the growing businesses opportunities for growth and strengthen the program’s legacy.For more information on the Greenhouse Accelerator Program, please visit Greenhouse Accelerator Program and follow PepsiCo Middle East on LinkedIn.

Etisalat by e& announces Microsoft Direct Routing Integration

Abu Dhabi: etisalat by e& introduced Microsoft Direct Routing, signifying its continued commitment to providing unparalleled voice communications solutions for businesses supported by Microsoft.The digital landscape is rapidly transforming, with companies requiring more seamless, integrated solutions. With the introduction of Microsoft Direct Routing, etisalat by e& is poised to address the ever- evolving needs of businesses, offering them streamlined communication capabilities and enhanced efficiency.Microsoft Direct Routing, backed by etisalat by e&'s robust infrastructure and expertise in cloud communications, provides businesses with a unified communication platform that integrates telephony service seamlessly with Microsoft Teams. This solution allows companies to adapt to the dynamic business environment, hybrid working, fostering collaboration, increasing productivity, and driving digital transformation.With a hosted connectivity model, customers can replace their traditional CAPEX spending on third party hardware with a subscription model, reduce their deployment time, and benefit from unmatched reliability and security end-to-end. etisalat by e& is a leading solution provider in the UAE with an advanced and innovative cloud communication offering.Oscar Garcia, Senior Vice President Business Marketing of etisalat by e&, said: "Our collaboration with Microsoft and the introduction of Direct Routing is a testament to our unwavering commitment to delivering top-tier digital solutions. By integrating such innovative technologies, we're enhancing business communication and contributing to the broader digital evolution, embodying our ethos of continuous innovation."Yvonne Chebib, Global Partner Solutions Lead, Microsoft UAE, said: "We are thrilled to partner with etisalat by e& to bring Microsoft Direct Routing to businesses. This collaboration represents our shared commitment to providing innovative and seamless communication solutions that drive digital transformation and empower companies to thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape."etisalat by e&'s introduction of Microsoft Direct Routing highlights its dedication to pioneering digital transformation for businesses. This strategic move reaffirms etisalat by e&'s position as a leader in the digital sphere, always striving to offer its clientele the best in communication solutions. As the digital age advances, etisalat by e& continues to be at the forefront, empowering businesses with tools that foster growth, collaboration, and success.

Citi announces the appointment of Carmen Haddad as Vice Chair

Citi is pleased to announce the appointment of Carmen Haddad as Vice Chair, Middle East Wealth and Banking. Carmen will transition her role as Citi Country Officer (CCO) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to Fahad Aldeweesh, CEO Citigroup Saudi Arabia by end of the year. Carmen is one of Citi’s most senior bankers in the Middle East with over 3 decades of banking experience and has played a significant role in the building of Citi’s formidable franchise in the region. Having joined the firm in 2000, Carmen held various roles in Citi Private Bank including family office head of one of Citi’s main shareholders, added CCO of Citi’s franchise in Qatar 2013-17 and CCO of KSA since 2017. Carmen played an instrumental role in paving the way for Citi’s re-entry in the Kingdom, growing the business, and elevating the profile of the Citi franchise in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia.In her new role, Carmen will focus on providing senior level dialogue and coverage of key Sovereign/Government and private banking clients; acquire and deepen business with institutional and private bank prospects and spearhead the Middle East Family Offices initiative for Banking and Wealth. This is in addition to her current involvement in key Institutional relationships in the region, including SWF and other Public sector clients. Leveraging upon the strong consistent relationships Carmen has built over the years she will, in an advisory capacity, also continue to play a key role in expanding Citi’s presence in KSA.Carmen will report to Manolo Falcó in Citi’s recently announced Client organisation.

Julius Baer announces appointment of Kunal Sumaya as Market Head Global NRI

Dubai: Julius Baer has promoted Kunal Sumaya to Market Head Global NRI (Non-Resident Indians), effective 1 January 2024. He will continue to be based in Singapore.In his new role, he will cover NRI markets across Singapore, Dubai and Zurich. He will report to Rahul Malhotra who will assume the role as Member of the Executive Board, Julius Baer Group Ltd and Head Emerging Markets from 1 January 2024.Kunal is currently the Group Head Global India and Japan Singapore. During his 13-year tenure at Julius Baer, Kunal has significantly contributed to the expansion of our Global India & Developed markets businesses from our main hubs in Singapore and Dubai. His deep strategic insight and exceptional ability to engage at all levels are vital assets as he assumes his new global leadership role, driving the Bank’s ambitious growth objectives.Commenting on his new role, Kunal said, “I am eager to drive growth, mentor talent, and enhance our footprint in key NRI markets. Our path has been extraordinary, marked by substantial team efforts in Singapore, Dubai and Zurich. I am delighted to lead in these regions, aligning our global NRI teams under a unified strategy to strengthen the India connectivity corridor.”“Kunal’s elevation underscores our unwavering commitment to nurturing talent, advancing our growth agenda, and focusing on sustained success in crucial regions. This is pivotal for our expansive global India corridor, catering to NRI.” added Rahul Malhotra, Head Global India & Developed Markets, Julius Baer.

Spinneys partners with Al-Hokair Group to open second Saudi store in Riyadh

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Following a landmark partnership deal between Spinneys Dubai and The Al-Hokair Group to establish the Spinneys brand in Saudi Arabia, a second Spinneys store is set to open in the country’s prime business and lifestyle destination, the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), Riyadh.The second Spinneys store in Riyadh will span 1087 sqm and is slated for an opening in Q4 2024. In addition to the high quality of services and products that Spinneys’ customers have come to expect, the KAFD location will feature a complete deli offering for both cold and hot items, along with an in-store bakery that will serve freshly baked pastries and a patisserie menu.Set in the heart of the Saudi capital Riyadh, KAFD features 1.6 million square meters of state-of-the-art office space, world-class facilities and iconic luxury residences, designed to transform the way urban communities live, work, and play. A 22-kilometer drive from King Khalid Airport, KAFD is a key driver of Riyadh’s economic ambitions and is the largest LEED certified mixed-use financial district in the world. It is owned and managed by the King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC).The Al-Hokair Group, founded in Saudi Arabia in 1975, is primarily involved in entertainment centers, hospitality, and retail. Sami Alhokair, CEO of Abdulmohsen Al Hokair Holding Group commented on the partnership with Spinneys, stating, "Thanks to Spinneys' brand power and differentiated offerings, its growth potential in Saudi Arabia is immense. With preparations underway for a second store, we are committed to working with an established name like Spinneys to continue diversifying the sectors within which we operate."Spinneys Dubai CEO Sunil Kumar shared his enthusiasm for the expansion: “Our second Spinneys store in Riyadh is a sign of our commitment to the Kingdom, with plans to open stores in more cities in the coming years. We have ambitions to expand our geographical footprint within the Middle East, and this is one of the first few steps towards that goal”.Commenting on this latest addition to the KAFD retail scene, Gautam Sashittal, CEO of King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC), said: “Consumer preferences and food purchasing habits have changed with time, and the demand for healthy living has really driven our partnership with Spinneys. We see this with rising consumer spending in the Kingdom, having reached approximately 390 billion SAR in the first quarter of 2023. Our aim with signing on exemplary brands like Spinneys only serves to amplify the world-class experience we hope to offer the district’s residents and visitors.”KAFD has adopted the ‘10-minute city’ concept, which aims to create a walkable urban environment in which all necessary amenities are within 10 minutes of home and work. Today, KAFD’s many mixed-use buildings, combining office and residential, as well as shops, restaurants and entertainment options, are all located within a 10-minute walk of each other.Within this vibrant and holistic environment, the new Spinneys store will offer office-going professionals the option to shop from its deli for their on-the-go meals. The district’s residents will also be able to take advantage of the comprehensive grocery offering with high-quality products sourced from across the world.Currently, within the UAE and Oman, Spinneys is known for its superior offering of fresh produce, made possible by the company’s sourcing strategy, with owned purchasing offices worldwide and direct relationships with farmers and growers. More recently, the group has applied this buying strategy to its broader grocery offering, giving customers an abundance of exclusive products within the food-to-go, frozen, and grocery categories.Spinneys has also successfully partnered with local farmers through initiatives like the Spinneys Farmers’ Club, with the broader goal of assisting with the UAE’s national food security strategy. Similar initiatives can be expected in Saudi Arabia as the group establishes itself within the market.The partnership between The Al-Hokair Group and Spinneys was launched on 2nd March 2022 with the signing of a multi-year agreement. Scoping plans are now underway, and the locations of further stores are expected to be announced in the coming months.

BKN301 partners with CWallet to empower digital payments in MENA Region

BKN301 Group, a Fintech company offering Innovative Payments and Banking-as-a-Service solutions with a focus on high-growth markets especially in the MENA area, continues its development strategy, fostering its growth in the Middle East, especially in Qatar, where it opened a new branch last July, that will help the company better serve the Arabic Gulf.As part of this growth and as a result of the interest of fast growing countries in innovative payments and financial solutions, BKN301 signed a partnership with CWallet, an award winning Fintech startup, with Payment Service Provider (PSP) licensed from Qatar Central Bank committed in providing financial freedom and inclusion to a growing number of customers. Thanks to this agreement BKN301 provides CWallet with a state-of-the-art platform that will improve the customer experience, increase security and respond to the everchanging needs of people.CWallet's core business is focused on the development of remittance platforms, enabling digital cross-border money transfers and thanks to the partnership with BKN301, the company takes a significant leap forward in the products it offers to its clients, that will be able to monitor, manage and collect their payments, using an innovative gateway, seamlessly integrating with the solutions offered by CWallet.In particular, CWallet will integrate 301pay, the BKN301’s payment gateway available in white-label mode, designed to facilitate not only e-commerce development but also mobile payments in physical stores. With this new integration into CWallet, the advantages for affiliated Qatari merchants are heightened. On one hand, they will have access to manage transactions and have a complete view of business performance thanks to statistics showing real-time collections, payments, refunds and aggregated data on sales volumes. On the other hand, they can receive payments not only through e-commerce but also through physical in-store transactions via the CWallet App, enabling customers to use their wallet for daily expenses and purchases.This completes CWallet's value proposition to its users, expanding its reach not only in remittance payments but also in facilitating payments through a digital wallet at affiliated merchants via the CWallet App.According to the latest report by the Qatar Central Bank, the Fintech sector is expected to bring many tangible benefits to the population and to the economy, as the industry is set to grow by 40 to 50 times the current size by 2027. Qatar is living a strong expansion of its digital payments market, thanks to a great interest in innovative banking services, the total value of digital transactions in the country will grow at a CAGR of 12.4% over the next 4 years, reaching $10.47 billion in 2027 (1).Stiven Muccioli, Founder & CEO of BKN301, says: "This partnership with CWallet represents a new important step in our expansion in Qatar and a testament to the power and adaptability of our modular solutions. Our mission has always been to break down barriers and accelerate the spread of digital payments and innovative financial solutions in high growth markets. A goal that we share with CWallet, committed in providing financial freedom and inclusion, and that together we can reach by bringing new and innovative solutions that can have a real impact on the lives and well-being of the population”.Michael Javier, Founder and CEO of CWallet, says: “We have found in BKN301 a strategic partner able to provide what we were looking for: a cutting-edge solution that could improve the experience we offer, always guaranteeing the greatest security and ease of use on both ends, to clients and merchants. Thanks to this partnership and to the wide range of opportunities that it will bring to us, we are committed in improving the financial well-being and inclusion of many people, allowing users to borrow, save, earn, and invest for their future”.Jordan A. Fabbri, Country Leader BKN301 Qatar, says: “Together with CWallet, we are shaping the future of payment services in Qatar. Through our strategic partnership, we’re unlocking doors to advanced payment solutions, bringing a wave of innovation and international convenience”.

Kwai appoints Advert on Click as its advertising agent for the MENA region

Joyo Technology Pte. Ltd, the owner and operator of the Kwai short-video sharing App, has revealed a contract agreement with ‘Advert on Click’ to manage the promotion and sale of the ad spaces on the Kwai app in the Middle East and North Africa.Under the agreement, ‘Advert on Click’ will Kwai’s media sales to advertisers who want to reach over19 million users in the MENA region.Commenting on the agreement, Fahed Aldeeb, CEO of Advert on Click, said: "Kwai App has witnessed remarkable growth in the number of new users in the MENA region, in addition to a significant increase in the volume of Arabic content pumped by content creators from various Arab countries in different fields.""The Kwai App offers advertisers opportunities of significant impact on users in terms of the timing of display of ads or the ads broadcasting process within the user-targeted content. It also enhances interaction between users and advertisers in a manner that enables advertisers to achieve a greatest return during their advertising campaign on the Kwai App with reasonable cost," Aldeeb added."Advert on Click will market the advertising spaces offered by Kwai App to its network of advertisers on the platform and through its partnerships with other advertising agencies operating in the MENA region and beyond, with the aim of reaching the largest number of advertisers from different sectors and fields."According to a report released by Statista, in 2021, global spending on social media advertising amounted to nearly $116 billion, with this figure is expected to double to exceed $262 billion by 2028.In 2020, global social media advertising spending per user was $28.30, out of which $22.4 per user was spent on mobile social media advertising, with expectations that mobile advertising spending will rise to more than $33 per user by 2025.

Arabian Automobiles renews partnership with Shabab Al Ahli for the fourth year

Arabian Automobiles, the flagship company of the AWRostamani Group and the exclusive dealer for Nissan in Dubai, Sharjah, and the Northern Emirates, has announced its continued partnership with Shabab Al Ahli in its fourth consecutive year for the 2023-2024 season. Shabab Al Ahli’s remarkable title victory in the previous season, has set the stage for an exciting journey ahead.To mark the occasion, a signing ceremony under the victorious slogan “We are the champions,” which set the stage for an exciting year ahead, took place in the presence of club representatives, including H.E. Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman; Khaled Abdel Wahid Al Rostamani, the Chairman and CEO of AW Rostamani Group; the Board Members of Shabab Al Ahli Club, H.E Major General Talal Ahmed Al Shanqiti and H.E Hesham Al Qassim, and Michel Ayat CEO of Arabian Automobiles.Also in attendance were Dr. Khalid Al Zahed - Managing Director - Shabab Al Ahli Club and Majed Sultan – the Executive Director of Team Games Sector; Salah Yamout, COO of Nissan of Arabian Automobiles Company and Hussam Baghdadi, Senior Director of Arabian Automobiles Company.At its core, the partnership with Shabab Al Ahli resonates with the vision of the Dubai government to position the emirate as a leading global sports destination. It is also a testament to Arabian Automobiles’ commitment to actively support various national initiatives and organizations, with a particular focus on youth and sports.