From investment banker to agritech leader: Mapping Roman Ulyanov’s journey

Join us for an exclusive interview with Roman Ulyanov, the visionary Founder and Managing Partner of Greeneration, a pioneering horticulture venture based in Dubai. With a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit and a proven track record of success in diverse sectors, Roman has propelled Greeneration to the forefront of sustainable agriculture since its inception in 2023. In this insightful conversation, Roman discusses his journey thus far, the remarkable success of his venture, and the innovative initiatives undertaken during the holy month of Ramadan.Kindly share your entrepreneurial journey. What inspired you to start ‘Greeneration’?More than ten years ago, I started out in the investment field, focusing on venture capital and private equity. I managed investments and provided advice in many sectors. About two years ago, I began angel investing in areas I knew well, like edtech. During this time, I invested in and CourseFactory.Having already established several successful businesses in furniture manufacturing and other fields, I discovered a passion for agriculture. After making a few attempts and encountering challenges in the sector, I decided to merge this interest with my experience in technology. This led me to the concept of vertical farming, reflecting my desire to contribute something tangible to the real sector and specifically to agriculture. As an experienced entrepreneur and investment banker, I had already researched the agriculture sector. I combined this research with my interest in technology, which led me to invest in several projects in different countries. A year ago, I decided to dedicate a significant portion of my time to this, using the experience I had gained from monitoring and strategically managing these operations over the past five years in the sector. I decided to start my own company in vertical farming and food tech. Thus, Greeneration was born.At Greeneration, we're not just farming. We are committed to sustainable development and innovative growth. Our transition to a food hub was a natural step forward, driven by our interest in food science. This change lets us work with amazing people, create new food ideas, and produce great products through teamwork.In short, Greeneration is not just a business for me. It's a mission to make a lasting impact on the future of food. While I still invest as an angel investor, supporting ambitious founders with similar values, my work with Greeneration is what excites me most as we strive to find sustainable and innovative solutions for the global food industry.How does your brand adapt its product offerings and services to align with the unique dietary and cultural preferences during the Ramadan season in the Middle East?As producers of greens, our operations aren't directly impacted by Ramadan restrictions. However, we deeply appreciate and respect the significance of this holy month. We adjust our working hours and cut-off dates to align with the changed opening hours of restaurants during Ramadan. We also collaborate with restaurants to offer fresh, high-quality greens for their special Ramadan menus, which cater to the cultural and dietary preferences of the region. Additionally, my team and I honour the sacred month by distributing small presents. We value this time of unity and reflection and are open to various collaborations during this period. Feel free to reach out to us.With Ramadan being a significant period for food consumption and hospitality, how does your brand prepare to meet the increased demand from restaurants during this time?Acknowledging the significance of Ramadan, we collaborate with restaurants and hospitality businesses to offer a diverse range of premium-quality greens, aligning with the unique dietary preferences and demands of the season. In addition to this, we are developing some novelties and new food concepts to delight the people of Dubai and residents of the UAE during Ramadan. Our goal is to contribute to the culinary experiences during Ramadan by ensuring a seamless supply of fresh, locally grown produce to meet the heightened demand from our valued partners in the food industry. What unique challenges and opportunities have you encountered while operating in the Middle Eastern food industry, particularly in the B2B sector?Operating in the Middle Eastern food industry presents both challenges and opportunities. As we are located in the number one tourist destination and the fourth gastro destination, the diverse culinary preferences of the region offer an exciting platform for us to showcase the versatility and quality of not just our greens, but also our veggies and other products. Such a position opens up immense possibilities for our sector. In the B2B sector, establishing robust partnerships with restaurants and other businesses has been instrumental for our growth.We also face obstacles such as instability, resistance to change, and hesitance to explore new suppliers. Despite these challenges, we maintain confidence in our exceptional quality and believe we're raising the gastronomic scene to a new level. We perceive not only as a hurdle but also as opportunities for growth.While inertia can complicate some processes, we are confident that the positive feedback from our loyal customers will gradually lead us towards success. We aim to be recognised not only as an exceptional supplier of greens but also as a unique food provider, setting new standards in the industry.How do you ensure the quality and freshness of your products, considering the diverse culinary preferences and requirements in the region?At Greeneration, we're all about quality and freshness. Our operations are powered by a sophisticated IT system, inclusive of artificial intelligence (AI). This smart tech allows us to check the quality of our products in real-time, making sure we keep high standards throughout the growing process.We are making major investments in our IT system, enabling us to work with a broad variety of crops. Additionally, this system can be tailored to meet the specific preferences of our regular customers. We use hydroponics and control the growing conditions carefully, so our produce is consistently good all year round. This method doesn't need pesticides or herbicides, and makes sure our greens grow in the best conditions. This meets the diverse food tastes in our region.A key factor in our product's freshness is our just-in-time harvesting. We schedule our deliveries such that the greens are picked and dispatched on the same day. This efficient process, from harvest to plate, takes only a few hours at most.With our advanced IT system, we strive to achieve the service efficiency of leading online retailers like Amazon, while maintaining the quality you'd expect from a Michelin-starred restaurant. Our commitment to speed, quality, and customer personalisation ensures our customers receive the freshest greens, exceeding the diverse food tastes in our region.Could you share any upcoming initiatives or expansions your brand is planning to undertake in the Middle East market?We are actively exploring new food development and concepts beyond being a traditional farm. Our focus is on creating new food products with significant export potential. Once we reach the full capacity of the farm we think to expand this concept within the region while continuing R&D of new foods in the UAE.

Sarah Thomas concludes consulting stint with Abdul Latif Jameel

In a LinkedIn announcement today, Sarah Thomas bids farewell to her consultancy role with the corporate marketing & communications team at Abdul Latif Jameel. With a sense of gratitude and accomplishment, she expressed her profound enjoyment of every moment spent collaborating with the team.Thomas commended the team, lauding them as some of the warmest and brightest individuals she's had the privilege to work with. During her tenure, she delved deep into Abdul Latif Jameel's unwavering dedication to decarbonization and the imperative pursuit of achieving net-zero emissions.As a passionate marketing and communications leader boasting over 16 years of expertise across various sectors including health & wellness, education, fintech, family office, retail, and agency, Thomas emphasized her commitment to crafting unforgettable brand experiences, driving revenue growth, and spearheading dynamic marketing innovations.In her farewell address, Thomas extended her heartfelt appreciation to key figures including Paul Stokes, Lindsay Johnston, Moones Ben Romdhane, Bashar Al Khatib, and Abir Ben Bechir for their invaluable support and collaboration throughout her journey with Abdul Latif Jameel.

Store974 secures Best Product Launch Award at Channel Summit MENA

Store974, Qatar's largest PC Gaming Store, proudly announces its triumph as the recipient of the esteemed Best Product Launch Award at the Channel Summit MENA, held in Abu Dhabi recently. The award-winning launch that propelled Store974 to victory featured the introduction of Sony's newest line of Inzone products, including the Inzone M9 Gaming Monitor, alongside the Inzone H3, H7, and H9 headsets through an in-store tournament and parallel digital campaign. Store974's meticulous planning and execution in unveiling these innovative products captivated audiences, successfully launching the products in a unique and effective manner to its target audience.Channel Summit MENA serves as a premier platform for celebrating groundbreaking achievements in the consumer technology sector across the Middle East and North Africa. Store974's remarkable win at this prestigious event highlights its prowess in product launches and marketing campaigns.Khalifa Al Haroon, CEO of Store974, expressed his appreciation upon receiving the Best Product Launch Award, stating, "This recognition is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our team, as well as the support and trust of our customers. At Store974, we are committed to delivering unparalleled experiences to our customers, and this award motivates us to continue innovating and exceeding expectations. We also like to thank Sony for trusting us in the launch of their amazing Inzone products."This win at the Channel Summit MENA further solidifies Store974’s position as a leader in the gaming and e-commerce landscape for the region, driving innovation and setting new standards for product launches and consumer engagement.

Radio Bahrain's brand transformation wins prestigious recognition

Radio Bahrain, the Island’s first English radio station, recently won another prestigious international award, taking Gold (Distinction) at the 2024 Rebrand 100 Global Awards in New York. This accolade celebrates Radio Bahrain's remarkable brand transformation created in partnership with leading strategic branding consultancy Unisono. The award builds on the three Gold and Bronze awards Radio Bahrain’s new brand has already won at Transform Awards MEA 2023.Rebrand 100 Global Awards are the world’s most respected awards in the field of rebranding, with participation by leading global branding agencies. Rebrand 100 recognised Radio Bahrain’s brand excellence in a highly competitive contest of some of the best rebrands from around the world. Rebrand 100 runs every two years and only selects the top 100 rebrands worldwide. Khalid Mohammed Mattar, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Radio Bahrain Company, said: “Any restructuring of a business requires change at the grass roots level. This achievement honours Radio Bahrain’s new strategy, its innovative visual and literal identity and helps us communicate the station’s new strategic direction. Given the high profile of Radio Bahrain both locally and across the GCC, we needed an expert partner we could trust. With dozens of international awards to date, Unisono was the right choice and the collaboration proved very fruitful – this award is very significant and puts us on the map globally. The work has not only helped us create the right perception with our audiences and partners, it’s empowering our new business strategy.”Liam Farrell, Unisono Creative Director, also commented on the occasion, saying: “We love music and we love clients who love music. Our collaboration with Radio Bahrain was a match made in heaven and we are delighted with all the resulting awards, especially Rebrand 100, it’s a truly global accolade for our work together.”In a close collaboration, Radio Bahrain and Unisono devised a strategic framework aimed at fostering an inspirational brand expression. Central to this transformation was the rise of the brand ethos: Radio Bahrain is about the ‘love of the music’, encapsulating the station's commitment to wrapping music with personality and creating joyful connections with its audience. Embracing the uniqueness of its on-air personalities, Radio Bahrain positioned itself as akin to listening to the hits with a quirky, chatty friend — a distinct proposition for the digital age. A playful, musical, and energetic tone of voice permeates every aspect of Radio Bahrain's activity, culminating in the slogan ‘We Play The Hits’.Radio Bahrain broadcasts 24 hours a day, providing audiences of all ages and backgrounds an eclectic mix of the latest music, local and global news, and entertainment that reaches an audience of 6.5 million listeners.

PRCA MENA announces shortlist for Young PR Lions MENA Competition 2024

PRCA MENA is one step closer to finding the best young PR professionals in the region as the Young PR Lions MENA finalists are announced.Five teams have been shortlisted to win the accolade this year and one of them will be heading to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to take part in the international competition in June, 2024. Each team is made up of two PR professionals aged 30 or under.The shortlisted agency teams are:Atteline – Alina Zuberi and Sanya IjazBPG Group – Iman Dawood and Ruaa YoussefGambit Communications – Alexandra Richards and Sara Al DehniHill and Knowlton – Farah Elshafey and Robyn RebelloSiemens Energy – Amneh Alkhatib and Mina NashwanThe five competing teams have been narrowed down from the sixteen teams that entered the MENA Regional competition, after responding to a brief set by Shamsaha, a non-profit organization based in Bahrain, focusing on women’s empowerment and protection throughout the Middle East, which performed as the ‘client’. Participating agencies had 24 hours to create a campaign.The shortlisted teams will be asked to deliver a five-minute presentation explaining their PR campaign on the 26th of March 2024 online. Following this, there will be a five-minute Q&A session.PRCA Head of EMEA, Monika Fourneaux said:“As we announce the shortlist for this year's PRCA MENA Young Lions competition, we're thrilled to witness the remarkable talent emerging across the Middle East and North Africa. The caliber of entries reflects the creativity, dedication, and ambition of our region's young professionals. Congratulations to all the finalists!”The judging panel for this years’ competition is:Amel Osman, Head of Corporate Communications at Instinctif Partners MENAClaire Micheletti, Founder & Joint Managing Director at Cosmopole ConsultancyImad Lahad, Managing Director at APCO WorldwideLoretta Ahmed, CEO at Houbara CommunicationsLaureline Schwarz, Head of Global Corporate Communication at Al-Futtaim AutomotiveSylvia Marcus, Partnership and Business Development Manager at Shamsaha OrganizationFollowing this, the winning MENA team will be announced on 29th March.The winning team will then compete at the Cannes Lions 2024 Young Lions PR competition against representatives from more than 30 countries, delivering a presentation for a non-profit organisation in 24 hours that will be judged by a selected jury.PRCA MENA is responsible for running the element of the competition from the region to find the country’s brightest and best young PR talent.

Special offers on jood prepaid lines from Orange Jordan during Ramadan

As part of Orange Jordan’s Ramadan campaign, new customers will benefit from special offers on jood prepaid lines represented in discounts on the subscription fees, in addition to doubling the internet bundles on jood net lines.jood Orange application was mainly developed to provide users with the best digital experience through providing them with a wide range of digital services compiled under one umbrella allowing customers to enjoy flexibility and smoothness.The application falls under Orange Jordan’s tireless efforts to put its advanced technologies at the disposal of its customers and enhance its role as a Responsible Digital Leader while prioritizing its customers’ expectations and needs.The Ramadan promotions on jood prepaid lines will allow customers to subscribe to jood 7, 8, or 10 lines for JD 5 including tax. Those who want to subscribe to jood 13 line – 5G will enjoy a 50% discount on the monthly subscription for 3 months, so the price will be JD 6.5 instead of JD 13 (excluding tax).Customers will have an entertaining experience for the first time and exclusively through jood application where they can play to test their knowledge, collecting Tokens points for a chance to win an iPhone 15 and a number of special prizes.The offers include jood net lines as customers will get double the internet bundle to be 300 GB instead of 150 GB for 3 months for JD 10 in the first month (excluding tax).It is worth mentioning that Orange Jordan’s Ramadan campaign, which has become an annual tradition, includes offers and discounts on Internet lines, devices, and accessories available at Orange’s showrooms and the e-shop.

Alteryx: 66% of UAE business leaders have concerns about AI-produced answers

Alteryx, Inc., a leader in AI for enterprise analytics, released findings from independent research revealing the workforce side effects of AI. As business leaders and recruiters across the UAE prepare for an AI-infused labour market transition, many existing roles will evolve and become obsolete, reshaping the skill stack of the future workforce at an accelerated pace. However, the research titled Defining the Enterprise of the Future highlights a disconnect between the skills and traits currently prioritised during the hiring process and the attributes needed to reap AI’s greatest benefits.New roles emerge as organisations prepare for the futureWhile AI may already impact the current workforce, it's critical to stay ahead, develop new skills and prepare for this ever-changing business landscape.60% anticipate the emergence of the Chief AI Officer role will be critical to a more holistic approach to AI strategy that collaborates with business units from IT and compliance to HR and People teams. For context, just over 400 globally have CAIO in their LinkedIn job titles.Software engineers (37%), who develop and create systems, AI applications engineers (32%), responsible for designing and developing AI-powered models, and AI research scientists (31%), who drive innovation through the research and development of AI systems are three of the most urgent hiring priorities cited by business leaders.Comparatively fewer said that they are urgently hiring AI whisperers (23%) and prompt engineers (17%) tasked with communicating with and guiding AI systems. However, the labour market is set to shift again, as 61% expect these roles to be necessary as GenAI transitions from exploration to widescale rollout.The future brings a new look to data and IT teamsAs teams look to the future, the findings provide a snapshot of which roles are set to become obsolete, emerging roles to gravitate toward, and skills required for the evolving era of AI-infused intelligence.Single-language software development (26%), Repetitive coding (24%), database administration (23%), and AI/ML development (19%) are among the technical skill sets that will become obsolete.51% say that their organisation currently operates in a very siloed way, but 48% believe that data teams of the future will need to be decentralised to ensure data is available to teams who need it across the business.65% believe that over the next three years, the advanced tech talent landscape will be characterised by a talent surplus, and 71% say that there will be a surplus of general tech talent through the increasing accessibility and user-friendliness of generative AI technology.Shifting priorities for the tech labour marketWhile the overall consensus is that humanity's importance increases in an AI world as humans will do what AI cannot, findings demonstrate a disconnect in skill focus. Despite the well-documented AI skills gap, where demand has far outstripped supply, many businesses still prioritise recruiting for roles with highly sought-after technical skills.There’s growing recognition for soft skills in collaborating with and questioning the outputs of intelligent systems, so are leaders focused on the wrong recruitment priorities?Only 33% cite building human capacity and preparing for a labour market transition are important considerations for an AI world.While 73% of respondents say it is more important for their employees to be multi-skilled than specialising in a specific area, upskilling priorities still favour hard skills over soft skills.Expertise in AI, software, data analysis and mining, and financial analysis and planning all ranked ahead of the most in-demand soft skills, including data literacy, strategic thinking, digital literacy, and team leadership.60% cite creativity as the top skill humans will supply in a working world shaped by AI, followed by critical thinking (46%), emotion (42%), and morality (39%). Yet only 19% counted critical thinking and 27% counted creativity in the top three in-demand skills.“The rapid rise of AI requires business leaders to build and shape the future workforce now to thrive or risk lagging behind in a future transformed by a seismic shift in the skills needed for the era of intelligence,” said Libby Duane-Adams, Chief Advocacy Officer at Alteryx. “Not all employees need to become data scientists. It’s about championing cultures of creative problem-solving, learning to look at business problems through an analytic lens, and collaborating across all levels to empower employees to use data in everyday roles. Only through continuous investments in data literacy, upskilling and training opportunities will businesses create the professional trajectories where everyone can “speak data” and exploit AI applications for trusted, ethical outcomes.”

Moonbug launches IP-branded linear channel 'Blippi & Friends' in MENA

Moonbug Entertainment, a subsidiary of Candle Media, today announced the launch of its second linear channel, Blippi & Friends, further expanding its reach of some of the most beloved kids’ entertainment shows. The new channel is distributed by Intigral on Jawwy TV and stc tv across the MENA region.Blippi & Friends, the first 24/7 linear channel named after Moonbug’s top-rated live-action pre-school brand, caters to children aged 4-8 years old and includes a daily segment targeted to younger pre-schoolers. The channel’s line-up features a variety of Blippi shows including Blippi Visits, Blippi Draws and the Blippi Game Show, alongside other favourites from franchises such as Meekah, and the feature-length special Big Dino Adventure. The daily segment designed for pre-schoolers, showcases popular shows such as CoComelon, Little Angel, Arpo and many more, encouraging co-viewing amongst siblings.The new channel is designed to integrate seamlessly into the daily routine of family life, offering enriching, engaging, and entertaining content throughout the day. Blippi will also share bespoke messages to promote positive behaviour such as physical activity, learning about new subjects, healthy eating and more. “Following the successful launch of our Moonbug linear channel, which is now available in 83 countries across the globe, we are delighted to announce the launch of the brand new 24/7 Blippi & Friends channel in the Middle East and North Africa,” commented Nicolas Eglau, Managing Director EMEA, APAC & Global Distribution at Moonbug Entertainment. “Designed to enrich families and their daily routines, this channel has been curated with the local market in mind, with Blippi not only sharing bespoke messages but celebrating regional holidays and moments too. The launch of this channel marks our next step in bringing great entertainment to children across the world.”This collaboration aligns with Intigral’s strategic focus on delivering responsible entertainment and instilling foundational values to its youngest audiences. Intigral’s streaming platforms Jawwy TV and stc tv, will be a secure entertainment and educational destination for pre-schoolers, offering educational adventures through Blippi & Friends to broaden children’s horizons and ignite their imagination.Blippi & Friends is now available in the following countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and United Arab Emirates.

Santra partners with MoEngage to elevate customer engagement

MoEngage, a marketing automation and customer engagement platform today announced that Santra, a UAE-based solution provider to home business owners, will use MoEngage’s technology platform to drive personalized real-time customer engagement and increase marketing efficiency. Founded in 2022, Santra is an aggregator of the most talented home chefs in the UAE. With over 30k+ active installs on the app, 33K+ installs on iOS, and 15k+ installs on Android in the past two years, the brand has been able to empower women entrepreneurs and home chefs. Santra will use MoEngage’s capabilities for:Retaining the acquired customers with insightful and personalized engagementSending real-time and relevant communication to customers based on their journey and behavior.“We are not only automating marketing tasks, we are shaping personalized journeys that forge genuine connections. MoEngage serves as the foundational layer in our marketing strategy, empowering us to deeply understand our audience, customize messaging, and execute impactful campaigns seamlessly”, Mustafa Alelayawi, Co-Founder and Managing Director at SantraUsing MoEngage, the Dubai-based brand will automate all campaigns, thus saving significant man-hours. Santra will also start using Journeys (Flows) and WhatsApp for better customer engagement.“Santra is a powerful app enabling entrepreneurs and we are very happy to help them in doing so by providing a superior customer experience,” said Sweta Duseja, Director of Customer Success, Middle East, MoEngage.Santra joins the growing list of 1200+ global companies across 35 countries, such as Azadea Group, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Landmark Group, Apparel Group, Airtel, Ola, Oyo, and Mashreq, that trust MoEngage to deliver a consistent experience across multiple devices and touchpoints. About MoEngageMoEngage is an insights-led customer engagement platform, trusted by more than 1200 global consumer brands such as Commercial Bank of Dubai, Mashreqbank, AMC Theatres, GMG, Azadea, Jazeera Airways, The Entertainer, Batelco, Landmark Group, and Alamar Foods. MoEngage empowers marketers and product owners with insights into customer behavior and the ability to act on those insights to engage customers across the web, mobile, email, social, and messaging channels. Consumer brands across 35 countries use MoEngage to power digital experiences for over 1 billion users every month. With offices in 13 countries, MoEngage is backed by Steadview Capital, Multiples Private Equity, Eight Roads, F-Prime Capital, Matrix Partners, Ventureast, and Helion Ventures.

Dahua Technology solidifies regional presence after JV with ALAT

Dahua Technology Middle East, a leading provider of video-centric AIoT solutions, has announced its strategic collaboration – a new joint venture – with Saudi Arabia tech firm ALAT, further solidifying its commitment to the region's development and growth in the tech space. The partnership comes on the heels of Dahua's recent expansion in the region.The collaboration represents a significant milestone for Dahua Technology as it embarks on manufacturing AIoT products tailored for smart cities and enterprises in Saudi Arabia after its recent expansion in the region, according to Gary Li, Vice President of Dahua MENA and GM of Dahua Saudi Arabia. Anticipating the roll-out of the first product by the end of 2024, the joint venture signals a long-term commitment to enhancing local infrastructure and fostering economic growth, which contributes to realizing the vision of Saudi Arabia 2030. “As a key regional player, we make decisions based on the goals our key markets have. This latest collaboartion of ours is purely driven by Saudi Arabia's grand plans to make its economy diverse, encourage new ideas, and create a brighter future. The government’s focus on smart cities and big projects fits perfectly with what we believe in, and at Dahua, we see it as a great opportunity for us to showcase our expertise in smart video solutions as we work together to make a positive and meaningful as part of Saudi Arabia's push towards a safer, smarter future, All of these objectives constitute key pillars of the Vision 2030 of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ” said Li in an exclusive interview, highlighting why the kingdom is one of Dahua MENA’s most “important markets.Dahua's Saudi Arabia subsidiary will continue to operate independently, ensuring seamless service delivery to clients. The establishment of the joint venture will bolster manufacturing capabilities in the region without compromising daily operations or branding strategies.The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the logistics gate to all GCC and the three continents.Initially, the focus will be on manufacturing CCTV project-based products, with plans to expand into distribution products and other categories in the future. While negotiations regarding brand usage are ongoing, Dahua will remain committed to prioritising its brand presence in the Saudi Arabian market.“The sales model will remain unchanged, ensuring continuity for local distributors, system integrators, and end-users. Clients across the region including our exisiting ones here in KSA and all MENA region can expect enhanced access to cutting-edge AIoT solutions tailored to their specific needs,” added Li. The joint venture's manufacturing facility will streamline local supply chains, accelerating product delivery for projects in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries in the GCC and wider region.Both Dahua Technology and ALAT, a recently formed PIF company, will support with technology enablement, testing labs and demo centres, manufacturing technology products in the region as part of the new joint venture to produce and market solutions for safety and surveillance use that are applicable in Intelligent Cities, as well as Intelligent Buildings and Enterprise Applications.ALAT and Dahua Technology will invest $200 million (Dh734 million) to reach their targets.

Umob partners with CleverTap to deliver personalised customer experiences

CleverTap, the all-in-one engagement platform, announced its selection by Umob, the Netherlands’ premier super-mobility platform; Umob combines all-electric e-mopeds, scooters, bikes, cabs and public transport within one app. Through CleverTap’s cutting-edge offerings, they will be able to harness the power of data-driven insights and personalised engagement. This will enhance user experiences, drive user retention, and optimise their overall business operations. Umob’s innovative approach to sustainable urban mobility has positioned it as a prominent name in the Netherlands market. They have simplified how people navigate cities with a seamless app experience. Umob was looking for a platform to enhance customer engagement and retention strategies, provide data-driven decision-making, personalise experiences, and increase customer lifetime value. CleverTap’s all-in-one platform, which includes advanced analytics, multi-channel communication capabilities, and seamless integration options, will play a pivotal role in helping Umob meet its requirements. With CleverTap, Umob can deliver highly targeted and personalised user experiences, driving increased engagement, loyalty, and lifetime value."As Umob continues on its high-growth trajectory, we must focus on maximising customer lifetime value early on. In a period of rapid expansion, retaining high-quality customers and driving return on investment are paramount to our business sustainability,” said Raymon Pouwels, Co-Founder of Umob. “CleverTap emerged as the ideal fit for us, offering an all-in-one platform that aligns perfectly with our objectives. With CleverTap's suite of cutting-edge offerings, we are confident in our ability to deliver personalised experiences, foster strong customer relationships, and ultimately drive long-term business success."Pravin Laghate, Vice President, Europe, CleverTap, said, “Umob's strides in the mobility-as-a-service space are nothing short of remarkable. This partnership signifies the fusion of two forward-thinking entities aiming to revolutionise the industry. As Umob embarks on a phase of exponential growth, CleverTap's innovative solutions will play a pivotal role in empowering their journey. Together, we envision a future where mobility-as-a-service is redefined, offering unparalleled convenience, maximising the lifetime value of each user.”

The Marketing Society welcomes four marketing pros in its board

The Marketing Society has introduced four successful marketing professionals joining its board, coming from renowned companies including LIGHTBLUE, GVGL Marketing Management, Atlantis Dubai and, LEGO Group. These new talents highlight the Society's dedication to attracting top talent and cultivating an exceptional community of marketers.  The Marketing Society serves as a catalyst for the region’s most intelligent marketers, fostering, expediting, and uniting to succeed in both their professional journeys and their contributions to the industry. With a membership now exceeding 470 individuals in the UAE, the Society functions as a central hub for marketing professionals committed to advancing their skills, shaping the industry's future, and creating positive local and global impacts. The recently appointed board members bring a rich tapestry of diverse expertise to the forefront, amplifying the Society's capability to propel innovation and inspire meaningful transformations in the marketing landscape. Among the newly welcomed board members are:Craig BorthwickCraig Borthwick - Partner, LIGHTBLUE. Craig is an accomplished marketing expert with 18 years of experience on a global scale, including leadership roles within agencies. In his position as Partner at LIGHTBLUE, Craig has not only achieved remarkable results with renowned global brands like MDLBEAST, NEOM, Porsche, PlayStation, and Tom Ford, but also provides strategic consultation on integrating government entities to support broader regional objectives and fostering platforms for emerging talent. Craig's approach prioritizes the comfort of clients, partners, and the agency's talent, even in challenging situations, leading to unprecedented growth, exceptional performance, and a notably positive work culture.   Ebru TuygunEbru Tuygun – Managing Director, GVGL Marketing Management. Ebru is passionate about bringing brands' purposes to life, worldwide. With two decades of leadership experience in renowned consulting companies like Deloitte and Accenture, she has overseen major global projects and earned recognition as one of the Middle East's top CMOs. Ebru's expertise lies in crafting marketing growth strategies, enhancing employer branding, and championing diversity initiatives. Her academic journey includes studying political science and international relations at Bogazici University and completing management and leadership programs at Harvard Business School and Stanford University Executive Education. Actively involved in initiatives promoting women's leadership, Ebru serves as Chairwoman of IWBD's Advisory Board, advocating for inclusivity and delivering speeches on women's leadership in various global forums.  Hanan EissaHanan Eissa – Vice President Marketing & PR, Atlantis Dubai. With over 23 years of hands-on experience in the marketing industry, Hanan oversees brand and performance marketing at Atlantis Dubai, including content creation, communications, media strategy, digital marketing, and customer insights by leading a global team. Notably, Hanan spearheaded the successful launch of Atlantis The Royal, one of 2023’s most talked-about resort openings worldwide and has been behind groundbreaking campaigns like the 10:35 track collaboration with Tiesto and Tate McCrae. Additionally, Hanan has orchestrated strategic marketing collaborations with renowned brands such as Parkwood, Valentino and most recently, managed a successful partnership with Louis Vuitton for Atlantis The Royal first year anniversary.   Ula BieganskaUla Bieganska – Head of Marketing, LEGO MEA. With over 17 years in marketing, Ula began her career at Procter & Gamble in Poland, then moved to Geneva for regional and global roles. A dream offer from LEGO Group took her to Prague, then Denmark, and finally Dubai, to the newly opened office enabling further brand expansion across the Middle East and Africa. Ula thrived on launching new campaigns and building the marketing team in the vibrant, cross-cultural environment, which inspired her to pursue her passion for writing. In August 2023, she fulfilled that dream with the publication of her first fantasy novel, "The Lizard."

Boopin announces strategic expansion in ME and Asia with new appointments

Boopin, a leading digital media agency founded in 2011, unveils its ambitious strategic restructuring initiative aimed at solidifying its presence in the Middle East and driving expansion across Asia.With headquarters in Dubai and operational offices spanning Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Cairo, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangalore, and Tirana, Boopin has established itself as the fastest-growing local and global digital media agency.The strategic restructuring initiative underscores Boopin's commitment to leveraging the increasing digitalization and opportunities in the Middle East and Asia. The agency aims to capitalize on these trends by appointing key personnel to spearhead its growth over the next five years.Razmik Kalaidjian, renowned for his expertise, assumes the role of Regional Managing Director, overseeing operations in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt. Meanwhile, Zeena Kurd, credited for her instrumental role in driving the agency's social business, steps into the role of General Manager for the UAE.In Saudi Arabia, Reine Hammoud takes charge as the General Manager, tasked with propelling business growth in the Kingdom, while Amir Tawaf assumes the role of General Manager for Boopin Egypt, focusing on unlocking market potential.Shadi Abdulhadi, Boopin's Founder and CEO, expressed enthusiasm about the strategic appointments, stating, "The collective expertise of the team and alignment with our growth goals announce an exciting new chapter as Boopin embarks on a transformative journey of expansion and innovation."Expanding its reach beyond the Middle East, Boopin strategically ventures into markets like Shanghai, Singapore, and India, aiming to diversify its geographical footprint and tap into new opportunities across the evolving digital landscape.The agency's expansion plans include establishing two additional offices in Jakarta and Manila in the second and fourth quarters of 2024, respectively, highlighting its strategic objectives for expansion and presence across key markets.Boopin's strategic restructuring and expansion plans signify a pivotal moment in the agency's journey, reflecting its commitment to emerge as the leading independent digital network in the region and exceed all expectations.

Outsized reveals the skills most in demand in the MENA region in 2024

The need for agility, cost flexibility, and access to critical skills became increasingly important in the 2023 talent landscape. As a result, Outsized, the leading on-demand talent platform in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Africa, has seen a surge of demand for independent skilled talent from enterprises moving to more agile and flexible workforce models. Findings from its third annual Talent-On-Demand 2024 report, based on proprietary data collected from Outsized’s platform, revealed the MENA region as one of the fastest-growing freelance economies, with 142% growth in freelancer registrations from 2022. Leading companies in the MENA, APAC, and Africa are now actively implementing agile workforce models to swiftly adapt to market fluctuations and unforeseen challenges. The MENA region, with a focus on diversifying oil dependency into a knowledge and skills economy, is witnessing a remarkable increase in freelance talent demand, diverging from the global downturn seen in the US and Europe. This surge spans sectors such as IT, banking, finance, real estate, construction, energy, and hospitality, showcasing a vibrant employment arena for skilled professionals.  Summarising thousands of data points, the Talent-On-Demand 2024 report identifies the top skills in demand as evidenced by MENA enterprises that have used Outsized. This market is witnessing a diversified demand in response to an influx of major projects like NEOM in KSA, and open immigration policies from countries like the UAE. Unlike the global trend where technology and data analysis dominate, the MENA region shows a broader scope, including Finance, Risk, and areas like Product and Proposition, Sales, Marketing, and Change Management. In 2024, new macro trends such as Environmental Social Governance and sustainability, data analytics, and procurement are expected to rise in importance, which will further accelerate demand for local and international skilled independent talent. Outsized's report also reveals that the on-demand talent pool in the MENA region boasts the highest average expertise, at 10.1 years, outperforming the larger APAC and Africa regions. The report also highlights that day rates for MENA professionals stand at US$309, ranking third behind Southeast Asia (US$544) and Africa at (US$316).<img src='\ad9164b05a754bfcd0caf71852a3a42d.png' class='content_image'>Azeem Zainulbhai, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Outsized, commented: “In high-growth markets like the MENA, more businesses are recognising the value of agility and specialised expertise that on-demand skilled professionals provide. At Outsized, we've developed the infrastructure to efficiently connect skilled talent with leading organisations and this year saw an increasing number of the region’s companies leverage our platform to access this international talent pool. This change highlights the fading myth that the gig economy is reserved for low-skill or low-value talent, signalling a strategic transition towards a more data-informed and technology-focused business environment. Our commitment through initiatives like the Talent-On-Demand report is to foster a sustainable independent talent market, driven by values that support both businesses and professionals in becoming future-proof.” As the region undergoes rapid modernisation and digital transformation, the shift towards agile work models is essential to capitalise on growing opportunities, yet companies face challenges due to a lack of niche expertise and the limitations of traditional hiring practices. Specifically, the technology sector is experiencing acute capacity and capability gaps, stalling adoption and driving investments in retraining and reskilling. Consulting firms, especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, that struggle with the local scarcity of specialised skills, source talent globally through secondments or new hires to maintain competitiveness. This is where a platform like Outsized comes into the picture.  Leveraging Outsized enables companies to access specialist expertise across various fields through a pool of skilled professionals, to fill and manage workforce capacity swiftly. Unlike other talent platforms, Outsized offers a proprietary feature called Virtual Bench that helps enterprises visualize and have access to an “always-on” talent pool via a dashboard to quickly be able to deploy skilled, pre-vetted, resources ready to integrate into an organisation. Through this feature their clients can have experts join or lead projects in days, not months. Firms can adopt a leaner business model, engaging independent consultants as needed, which minimises idle time and reduces operational costs. Moreover, integrating freelancers brings fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, enhancing creative problem-solving and knowledge transfer. The 'try before you buy' facet also enables firms to evaluate potential permanent hires based on fit and performance. In 2024, companies are anticipated to further progress towards a more holistic approach to agile talent. Employers will not only leverage independents for specific projects but instead see them as a competitive advantage to be used at scale, proactively. Partnering with global talent platforms like Outsized can enable businesses to utilise a flexible workforce model to access and deploy pre-vetted skilled talent, and build variants of virtual benches to create inclusive work environments that harness the full potential of both permanent and independent professionals.To access the full Talent On-Demand 2024 report, visit: To learn more about the services offered by Outsized for companies as well as consultants, visit MethodologyThe talent-on-demand report is based on original research and thousands of proprietary data points from real projects on Outsized’s platform. About OutsizedOutsized is a talent-on-demand platform for top independent professionals, enabling large enterprise clients and consulting firms in Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East to implement flexible workforce models. With local teams based in South Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and India, Outsized is committed to creating a sustainable, win-win ecosystem for clients and talent. For more information, please visit

PubMatic appoints Sadia Akhter as Director, Advertiser Solutions, MENA

PubMatic, an independent technology company delivering digital advertising’s supply chain of the future, has appointed Sadia Akhter as Director, Advertiser Solutions, MENA. Akhter takes the helm as the primary commercial leader overseeing the buy-side clients as PubMatic advances its business in the region. Based in Dubai, Sadia will report directly to PubMatic’s Country Manager, Italy & MENA, Amélie Grenier-Bolay.“We are investing resources to support our clients in MENA further. And as a leader with deep experience in the industry, Akhter will help us consolidate our position in this market,” said Grenier-Bolay, Country Manager, Italy & MENA, PubMatic. “Sadia’s expertise in leading strategic initiatives that drive omnichannel trading and supply path optimization across multiple platforms and screens makes her an excellent candidate to achieve PubMatic’s growth goals in these areas.”Akhter comes to PubMatic with 20 years of experience in media and advertising in various leadership roles in sales, operations and client services. Before joining PubMatic, she held numerous commercial positions, including Co-Founder & MD at Sociallyz, Managing Director at FreakOut MENA, and Regional Managing Director at Addictive Mobility. As a result of significant investment in the region, PubMatic works with several local partners, including Rotana, Sky News Arabia, and Arabyads. Akhter will be responsible for developing these client relationships, besides growing the company’s client base and building innovative solutions that meet the needs of both advertisers and publishers. “Having experienced the evolution of media and advertising throughout my career, I am thrilled to help PubMatic expand our omnichannel offerings to a wider audience of media buyers and advertisers,” said Akhter.“PubMatic’s best-in-class technology, spanning CTV, online video, display, mobile, and new commerce media offering, combined with our dedicated team of experts, will help drive programmatic success. PubMatic has long been one of the biggest players in our industry in the global arena and, following the success of recent launches such as Activate — which puts buyers in control of their media buying strategy while simultaneously driving more revenue to publishers — I’m very much looking forward to growing the business and delivering the best value for our clients,” Akhter added.Commenting on the appointment, Cristian Coccia, Regional Vice President of Southern Europe & MENA at PubMatic, said, “Sadia’s appointment is a significant milestone in PubMatic’s ongoing expansion in the region. We are delighted to welcome Sadia to our EMEA team. Her impressive breadth of experience and industry relationships will be vital in accelerating our continuous growth.”

Pottery Barn launches new home furnishings collaboration with Deepika Padukone

Pottery Barn, a portfolio brand of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM), the world’s largest digital-first, design-led and sustainable home retailer, announced today the launch of a new product collaboration with globally acclaimed actor and style icon, Deepika Padukone.Named as one of the 100 Most Influential People by TIME Magazine, and an internationally acclaimed actor and fashion icon, Deepika Padukone brings her worldly and sophisticated eye for design to her debut home furnishings collection with Pottery Barn. Richly influenced by Indian motifs, Padukone and Pottery Barn came together to create a collection of entertaining and serveware pieces, textiles and decorative accessories inspired by Padukone’s love of vintage designs that she has collected for her own home.The U.S. assortment includes bedding, embroidered pillows, decorative accessories, and hand knotted rugs. The textile designs feature an elevated take on traditional Indian patterns and the color palette consists of soothing neutrals and luxe natural tones. A collection for entertaining including dinnerware and serveware, with textured, floral sculpted details and an earthy aesthetic, will be available exclusively in India, the Middle East, and the Philippines.“I am so proud of my collection with Pottery Barn designed for decorating and entertaining at home,” said design enthusiast and acclaimed actor, Deepika Padukone. “My home has always been a calm refuge and is a space to express myself, create, and entertain. We created a collection that encapsulates this through soft textures, a neutral palette, and intricate details.”Pottery Barn President, Monica Bhargava, shared, “We’re thrilled to launch the Deepika Padukone for Pottery Barn collection internationally. The new collection artfully blends Pottery Barn’s world-renowned quality with Deepika’s iconic style, bringing unique designs to the home for creating a beautiful and inviting space.”“Pottery Barn’s design aesthetic and Deepika’s flair for conceptualizing home spaces makes this collaboration a natural fit. No surprise that the outcome, the Pottery Barn x Deepika Padukone collection is so refreshingly different and effortlessly blends the innate styles of these two iconic brands,” shares Darshan Mehta, President & CEO Reliance Brands Limited. Reliance Brands Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, is a Williams-Sonoma, Inc. franchisee in India.The Deepika Padukone for Pottery Barn collection is available starting March 22nd, online at,, and in 18 global stores.

This Mother's Day, IKEA gets messy for a heartfelt reason

This Mother's Day, Al-Futtaim IKEA partnered with Memac Ogilvy to create a unique campaign celebrating the boundless creativity of children and the love that transcends a tidy home.The campaign, titled "A Priceless Mess," challenged the idea of children's artwork on furniture as something to be erased. Instead, IKEA transformed their stores into vibrant art studios where kids were encouraged to decorate tables, chairs, lamps, and even clocks – turning everyday items into extraordinary gifts for their moms.These personalized creations, adorned with love and imagination, became priceless keepsakes. The campaign aimed to show parents that through the eyes of a mother's love, every scribble becomes a cherished masterpiece."A Priceless Mess" wasn't just about creating unique presents; it was a gentle reminder of the fleeting and precious moments of childhood. It redefined the concept of gift-giving, proving that sometimes the most meaningful presents are the ones made with love, a few scribbles, and a whole lot of heart.

Emirates wins ‘Best Inflight Entertainment Award’

Emirates was crowned the global winner of the ‘Best Inflight Entertainment Award’ in Airline Ratings 2024 Airline Excellence Awards, announced online.Emirates scooped the top award for inflight entertainment from an extensive finalist list of global airlines, due to its whopping 6,500 channels of high quality and acclaimed content, the world’s largest entertainment library in the sky - making it a clear winner for the Best Inflight Entertainment award.Customers enjoying Emirates flights can access a world-class entertainment library of 6,500 channels which includes;  More than 2,000 Hollywood and internationally acclaimed movies including 2024 Academy Award® winning films.  Hundreds of complete TV series and full box sets including the latest shows from leading streaming platforms and media brands such as HBO Max, Discovery+, BBC, Bloomberg Originals and Shahid.  Over 200 documentary movies and popular TV docu-series.  More than 150 Arabic movies and TV shows including a dedicated collection of Emirati movies.  More than 300 Bollywood and South Asian movies and TV shows in 13 languages.  Global cinema in over 50 languages with more than 600 international movies from across Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.  Over 300 movies with ‘Closed Captions’ and 140 movies with ‘Audio Description’, offering accessibility to the visually impaired.  Emirates headphones are provided to customers in all cabin classes, including premium Bowers & Wilkins E1 headphones in First Class, created by the renowned British sound experts exclusively for Emirates, using noise?cancelling technology to block out ambient cabin sounds and deliver the cleanest output.  Specially designed Emirates headphones for kids’ comfort.  Emirates headphones are also compatible with hearing aids when set to the ‘T’ position.  A music library of over 3,500 albums and curated playlists.  5 channels of live TV, including 3 news channels and two channels with live sports coverage.  Over 250 dedicated kids and family channels including dozens of shows for pre-school kids.  Happiness, wellbeing and self-development content including brands such as LinkedIn Learning and Mindvalley.  Podcasts and audiobooks including Emirates World, dedicated to highlighting the destination of Dubai and engaging with global thought leaders.  An inflight airshow capability that allows customers to follow their flight's progress on a moving map, and see the world from 40,000ft through external cameras.  Emirates Skywards members can enjoy free connectivity to Wi-Fi onboard.Emirates continually updates its inflight content every month, adding hundreds of movies, TV shows, podcasts, and music channels each month to its extensive entertainment library and securing exclusive partnerships with the best content providers. Customers can also curate their own ice experience before their flight, simply by browsing and pre-selecting movies or TV shows on the Emirates app, which can then be synchronised to ice the moment they board, maximising the seamless travel experience.Emirates inflight entertainment journey began almost 30 years ago, when it was one of the first airlines to introduce seat-back videos for economy-class passengers. Emirates is also committed to setting industry standards and accessibility for people of determination and was the first airline in the world to introduce Audio Descriptive soundtracks and Closed Captions on movies on an inflight entertainment Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas commented on the award: “Our editors were unanimous in their praise for Emirates ice system as a step above. That early investment in inflight entertainment has paid off for Emirates and just when you think it can’t do it better – it lifts the bar once again.”The Airline Excellence Awards are evaluated by an editorial team with many years of experience, based on a robust criteria including product and safety rating, passengers’ reviews on and Trip Advisor, and overall profitability

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority Unveils "Ramadan in Bahrain" Guide

As part of the festivities in Manama, the Gulf tourism capital for 2024, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) announces the launch of the Ramadan Tourism Guide titled “Ramadan in Bahrain.” The festivities will commence at the Bahrain National Theatre, inviting visitors and tourists from across the globe to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of the season. This guide brings together an exciting array of tourist events, iftar and suhoor offerings, and luxurious accommodation packages, promising visitors an unforgettable experience during the holy month of Ramadan. Live performances, bazaars, seating areas, food, and beverage vendors, and more await participants, promising an enriching cultural experience. Sarah Ahmed Buhiji, CEO of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), highlighted the authority’s commitment to boosting tourism momentum year-round by launching initiatives during Ramadan in collaboration with the private sector. Buhiji underscored the significance of the “Ramadan in Bahrain” guide in serving BTEA’s promotional goals, aiming to showcase Bahrain’s intriguing attractions and diverse tourist landmarks. She emphasized that the Ramadan Guide is replete with numerous offerings in tourism, entertainment, and hospitality, extending a warm welcome to all tourists, whether families or individuals.A plethora of venues and locations across the kingdom will host a myriad of entertaining events during Ramadan, including Marassi Galleria, Al Liwan, The Avenues, Souq Al Baraha, and Seef Mall-Seef District. Visitors will find themselves immersed in a vibrant cultural display, with Gergaoon events at all municipalities ensuring that Ramadan nights are filled with joy and glamorous festivities. Bahrain National Theatre will come alive with the “Manama Nights” event offering an array of entertaining activations, from musical performances to traditional games. Additional events of “Ramadan in Bahrain” include the “Emirates Arabian Horse Global Cup (Bahrain Breeders Show)” at Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federations, “Musagaf Evenings” in Manama Souq, “Roast Camp” at Budaiya Botanical Gardens, “Layali Chill” at Bahrain Bay, and “Ramadan Nights” at District 1 featuring Geragoon and traditional performances. With exclusive offers, 23 luxurious hotels will provide delightful Iftar and Suhoor experiences, catering to the discerning tastes of visitors. These hotels include The Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Raffles Al Areen Palace, Gulf Hotel Bahrain, Jumeirah Gulf of Bahrain, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq, Movenpick, Hilton-Juffair, Intercontinental Regency, The Westin, Downtown Rotana, Le Meridien, Crown Plaza, Wyndham Grand Manama, The Merchant House, The Domain Hotel & Spa, The Grove, Dragon Resort, Fraser Suites Diplomatic Area, Novotel Bahrain Al Dana Resort, Golden Tulip, Majestic Arjaan by Rotana, and Swiss-Belhotel Seef. Visitors from across the globe are invited to participate in the vibrant Ramadan festivities in Bahrain, promising an enriching cultural experience and unforgettable memories.

New and BBC App launch globally

BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, and BBC News has announced the global launch of the all-new and BBC app, transforming the way digital audiences read, watch, and find the BBC’s renowned journalism and storytelling outside of the UK. Available to users worldwide, the new website and app boast an updated design and navigation along with more of the trusted, impartial journalism that consumers rely on the BBC for across the world. The new and BBC app also allow for a more premium and sustainable commercial offering with ad tech enhancements that unlock new opportunities for advertisers.The BBC app, which replaces the International BBC News app, brings together content from across the BBC, for the first time ever. The app mirrors the refreshed experience, offering stories and videos across Business, Innovation, Culture, Travel, Earth and more, alongside News, Sport, and live coverage. The BBC app is available for download today in the App Store for Apple users and for Android devices via Google Play.Tara Maitra, Chief Commercial Officer, BBC Global Media & Streaming, BBC Studios, said: “We are excited to bring the new website and brand-new BBC app to audiences and partners around the globe, following a successful first introduction to consumers in North America,” said “These new digital products deliver an experience as premium as our news and storytelling and offers us the opportunity for future growth as we remain focused on finding new and innovative ways to make BBC content more easily accessible across the globe.”Naja Nielsen, Digital Director for BBC News, said: “We know there is huge appetite for impartial BBC News journalism as we report – without an agenda – on the burning issues of our time. Thanks to our independent journalism, the BBC is the world’s most trusted international news media organisation, reaching more than 400 million people each week. As we expand and develop our global digital newsroom, I am thrilled our new global app and website will provide an excellent experience and much better showcase our world-beating journalism”, which re-launched in North America last December, and the BBC app allow users to engage with the BBC’s content in a more cohesive experience. Some of the changes to the website and app include:New Homepage: The new homepage and home screen now include a mix of the biggest global news stories of the moment plus a selection of timely and relevant features, curated by BBC editors.New Look, Same Trusted News: Visitors looking to dig deeper into what’s happening around the globe can navigate to News to find articles, videos, and live coverage. Those looking for news from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East can find it in the World section under News.New Sections: BBC's arts and entertainment coverage in Culture, technology, health and science in Innovation, and sustainability and environment in Earth. Sport, Business and Travel continue to offer agenda-setting stories from around the world, as well as the thought-provoking features readers have come to love from the BBC.More BBC Videos: New Video section offers an extensive library of BBC videos and multimedia storytelling featuring content ranging from news and sport updates to captivating stories on climate, sustainability, science, health, entertainment, and history.More Live Coverage: New Live section makes it easier to find live news updates and live global sport coverage as they unfold.Up-to-the-Minute Breaking News Alerts: Audiences can sign up to receive the same breaking news notifications they always have.The BBC Direct to your Inbox: Discover our newsletters, including The News Briefing, US Election Unspun, Tech Decoded, Future Earth, The Essential List and the brand-new In HistoryThe new website and app, together, create a streamlined digital ecosystem that makes it easier than ever for audiences worldwide to discover a wider array of BBC content. The consistent, unified layout across web and app results not only in an improved user experience, but the unified, single product suite also allows for more opportunities and flexibility for advertising and sponsorship across both web and app.Advertising partners can now take advantage of more premium high impact ad units that live seamlessly alongside the BBC’s content, making for a more effective consumer journey. Marketers will also benefit from advanced targeting capabilities featuring more sophisticated audience intelligence, segmentation, and attribution that connects campaigns across web and app products, delivering enhanced measurable results for partners.These new digital platforms and features, coupled with research that shows advertising within news can drive business results, together bolster the opportunity for marketers to reach the coveted audience of engaged and informed news consumers. In fact, according to the IAB1, advertising in news creates a halo effect, with consumers more likely to consider making a purchase after being exposed to a brand’s advertisement within their preferred news sources. Findings show that 90% of consumers have either a positive or neutral response to brands that advertise within news, while nearly half of consumers find brands that advertise in the news to be more customer-focused and engaging, more innovative, and relevant to them. The study from the IAB reinforces internal findings into the aggregated performance of advertising on, which show an 80%+ average lift in likelihood to recommend and consideration across key and the BBC app are the latest step in the company’s ongoing digital transformation, and is supported by its investment in North America, which includes an expanded newsroom that facilitates deeper analysis and local expertise of the regional stories affecting the world. Recently, the company also launched the BBC News FAST channel in the U.S. across leading services, more than doubling the channel’s reach in the region. Ranked as the most trusted news broadcaster in the world, the BBC is driven by its public service mission and editorial guidelines and standards for which the organization is known.The development and operation of and the BBC app is driven by BBC Studios Global Media & Streaming division, which leverages the power of the BBC to reach and engage audiences worldwide. GM&S is responsible for the distribution and advertising of BBC News globally outside of the U.K. GM&S is a division of BBC Studios, the BBC Group’s commercial arm that helps to fund innovation, internationally recognized programming, and the organization’s public service mission.

Peter Katusak-Huzsvar joins The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah as GM

The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah has appointed Peter Katusak-Huzsvar as its General Manager, effective immediately. A seasoned professional with an impressive track record in the industry, Peter brings with him a wealth of international hospitality expertise. Taking the helm of this iconic establishment, he is dedicated to crafting unforgettable experiences and further enhancing the renowned legacy of the Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah.Armed with a BSc in Hospitality Administration & Management from Corvinus University Budapest and an MSc in Business Administration & Management from the University of Pécs, Peter boasts an illustrious career that spans more than three decades.After commencing his career in Hungary, Peter has held pivotal roles in renowned hotels across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, culminating in his most recent role as the General Manager of W Dubai – The Palm and W Residences Dubai – The Palm, UAE, a position he assumed in August 2020. Prior to this, he held the role of General Manager at SO/Vienna in Austria, where he steered the property to excellence from January 2018 to July 2020.Peter’s leadership journey is marked by significant roles, including General Manager at W Dubai – Al Habtoor City, UAE, and W Guangzhou, China, while his versatility and unwavering commitment to excellence were notably showcased during his tenure as the General Manager – Task Force at Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, Qatar. Additionally, his noteworthy tenure as the General Manager at W St. Petersburg, Russia, and Director of Operations at W Doha Hotel and Residences, Qatar, underscore his mastery in curating unparalleled experiences within the realm of luxury.Peter’s unwavering commitment to continuous professional development is unmistakable, demonstrated by his participation in seminars and training programs. Standout among these is his completion of the Finance360 for GMs program by eCornell, along with the Heartist Journey – Supertransformer Training, and the Value-Based Leadership Training, underscoring his steadfast dedication to staying abreast of industry best practices.Recognized as the General Manager of the Year – High-End Resort (top 10) by Hotelier Middle East in 2023, Peter was also included in Hotelier Middle East’s General Manager Power 100 List UAE for two consecutive years in 2021 and 2022, attesting to his profound impact in the regional hospitality landscape. Further accolades include the Stephen Garff, Marriott Award of Excellence for Culture and the Debbie Marriott Harrison Leader of the Year Award in 2022 and 2021, respectively. Fluent in Hungarian, German, and English, with proficiency in Italian and Russian, Peter brings a cosmopolitan perspective and linguistic finesse to his role. Serving as the key chair of the Marriott Business Council UAE Market-Driven Initiatives Council since January 2021 and the MBC UAE F&B Council since August 2020, Peter actively contributes to shaping industry initiatives.

Abu Dhabi to get world's first $280 million esports island

True Gamers, a network of esports lounges, has unveiled an ambitious plan for a dedicated esports island in Abu Dhabi. This first-of-its-kind development, valued at $280 million, aims to become a global hub for esports enthusiasts.Key features:Professional Gaming Training Facility: Aspiring esports athletes can hone their skills at a state-of-the-art training facility.TG Arena: This high-tech venue will host major gaming tournaments, attracting players and spectators from around the world.Luxury Esports Hotel: Catering to the esports experience, the hotel will feature innovative touches like a PUBG-inspired parachute check-in.Digital Tower: This business hub will offer workspaces, startup accelerators, high-speed technologies, and animation development studios, fostering innovation within the esports industry.GG (Good Game) Bootcamps: Inspired by American college fraternities, these bootcamps will provide professional gamers with dedicated practice spaces, healthy meals, and top-tier equipment to prepare for major competitions.Children's Esports Camps: Catering to the next generation, the island will feature camps to introduce children to the world of esports in a positive and educational environment.Project Status:True Gamers has committed $280 million to the project and is actively seeking additional investors to secure funding.Discussions with developers are ongoing, with construction expected to begin in the near future.Founded in 2019, True Gamers has established itself as a major player in the esports scene. They currently operate 124 esports lounges across the UAE and Eastern Europe.In 2024, they further expanded their reach with a $45 million investment to open 150 clubs in Saudi Arabia.The proposed esports island in Abu Dhabi signifies True Gamers' ambitious vision for the future of esports, creating a dedicated ecosystem for players, businesses, and fans alike.

Saudi Super Cup 2024, DCT Abu Dhabi tie up with Alike as ticketing partner

Alike, the leading social travel marketplace, has announced the availability of exclusive online match ticket packages for the highly anticipated Saudi Super Cup 2024.The semi-finals and finals of the tournament are to be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from April 8th to 11th, 2024, featuring top Saudi Pro League clubs Al Ittihad, Al Nassr, Al Hilal, and Al Wehda. This highly anticipated event is expected to be headlined by legendary players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, Ruben Neves, Sergej Savic and Aymeric Laporte This exciting event presents a unique opportunity for football fans in the UAE and the wider region to witness world-class footballing action during the Eid holiday period.Alike will be offering an exclusive selection of match tickets with included hotel stay in Abu Dhabi. Fans will be able to upgrade the hotel accommodations as per their choice. The sports packages will cater to diverse preferences, featuring 5-star, 4-star, and 3- star hotels across the city.Alike’s user-friendly online platform will enable guests to effortlessly select their preferred seating options within the stadium, ensuring the perfect vantage point to witness the action. In additional to the hotels pre-included in the ticket package, guests will be able to upgrade their hotel through a diverse range of accommodations across various budget categories, allowing them to find the preferred option that caters to their needs and preferences. Alike offers fast and secure digital access to booked match tickets and hotel booking confirmations, directly through the platform. This all- encompassing proposition enables the football enthusiasts to finalise their entire tournament experience from the comfort of their home, saving valuable time and ensuring a stress-free booking process.“Unique experiences are way more central to our travel plans than ever before and seeing the top football stars during Saudi Super Cup 2024 is the perfect opportunity to pack our bags and be in Abu Dhabi this April,” said Ashish Sidhra, Co-Founder of Alike. “This prestigious tournament brings together world-class football and a chance to experience the vibrant city of Abu Dhabi during this Eid holiday period. Alike’s innovative platform will offer fans a convenient and secure way to book their preferred package and witness this unforgettable event with complete peace of mind.”Ticket sales for the Saudi Super Cup 2024 will go live on Wednesday, March 20th, 2024, exclusively through Alike's online platform. The ticket packages are expected to sell-out fast and fans are encouraged to book their tickets at the earliest to prevent disappointments.

NY VFXWAALA partners with and invests in Goodbye Kansas Studio

NY VFXWAALA, a visual effects (VFX) studio founded by actor Ajay Devgn, has entered into a strategic partnership with Goodbye Kansas Studio (GBK) of Stockholm, Sweden.Key aspects of the partnership:  • Investment and Joint Venture: NY VFXWAALA, through an offshore subsidiary, has acquired a significant stake in GBK, solidifying the collaboration. Additionally, a joint venture studio will be launched in India to leverage combined expertise.  • Combined Expertise: GBK brings a wealth of experience in VFX, animation, and game trailers for major studios like HBO, Netflix, and Ubisoft. NY VFXWAALA boasts an award-winning portfolio of over 300 films.  • Global Reach and Growth: The partnership aims to expand service offerings globally, attracting talent from India and Asia. They will target new markets and capitalize on the growing VFX and gaming content outsourcing trend.  • Enhanced Service Offerings: The combined entity will offer a broader range of services, including 3D scanning, motion capture, and character design. They will also focus on the Indian gaming market and other Asian opportunities.  • Research and Development: A collaborative R&D team will be established to explore new technologies and tools for the VFX industry.Ajay Devgn, Founder and Chairman of NY VFXWAALA, said: "This partnership with GBK allows us to extend our global reach and deliver exceptional services to clients worldwide. We are excited to collaborate with a like-minded partner and contribute to the creative and technological advancements in the industry."Per Anders Wärn, Chairman of the Board, Goodbye Kansas, said: "NY VFXWAALA is a perfect partner, sharing our commitment to talent, technology, and storytelling. This partnership strengthens both our organizations and creates new opportunities for our employees and clients."Stefan Danieli, CEO of Goodbye Kansas: "We welcome NY VFXWAALA as a strategic investor and partner. This collaboration will significantly contribute to our growth and expand our production capabilities, supporting GBK's profitable future."Naveen Paul, Creative Head and Co-founder of NY VFXWAALA, said: "We are thrilled to partner with the GBK team. Together, we aim to raise the bar for quality, expand globally, and offer exceptional service. We invite talented individuals worldwide to join us on this exciting journey."

Global startups awarded in Dubai for innovation and sustainability

Select startups from around the world that drive innovation in sustainability and bring positive change in the world were recognized and celebrated through VerdExim Sustainability Awards in Dubai recently.“The vision is to create a global community of sustainability leaders, driving positive environmental and social impact through innovation,” Mr. Salah Ibrahim Al Nasser, Chairman, CEO, Exim Finance said while presenting the awards.In overall 160 startups, 34 projects were shortlisted for the awards through a stringent selection process and unique methodology by an expert panel, and three promising startups – Equinox from the Netherlands in the Renewable Energy category, Harcourt Agri Farm from Kenya in the Agritech category and Concept Loop from Pakistan in the Recycling category – were presented the Awards at the glittering ceremony in Dubai.Her Excellency Dr. Mariam Mohamed Fatima Matar MD Phd, Founder & Chairperson of UAE Genetic Diseases Association (UAEGDA) handed over the Awards to the winners.Equinox was awarded as the Grand WinnerA special recognition was awarded to Ali Humaid Ali Alloghani Al-Ali from UAE for being the youngest innovator.The VerdExim Sustainability Awards are instituted by Exim Finance, a Dubai-based finance facilitation company, for empowering future leaders in green innovation and to recognize companies and organizations that are catalysts for change by accelerating the transition to a sustainable world, he added.The selection was made from startups that employ MVPs (minimum value products), that align with sustainability goals, addressing critical environmental and societal challenges. The awards are given in three categories: Diversity, Innovation and Opportunity. Eligible industries are Renewable Energy, Food Security, Recycling, Agritech, Manufacturing, and Biotechnology.Leading Mr. Anshul Dawani, Managing Partner at Exim Finance has highlighted the Exim Forest confidently announced that engagement to tree planting with each individual is something really sustainable in generations to come which will be the legacy of VerdExim and Exim Finance to be connected with the future partners.

Stirring success: Qadreya Al Awadhi's journey from stocks to Bumblebee Food

At just 16 years old, Qadreya Al Awadhi embarked on her journey into the world of stock investing, guided by her father's wisdom. Recognizing the accessibility and potential for lucrative returns in the stock market, she utilized her earnings of 150K AED to sow the seeds of her entrepreneurial dreams. Now, after more than a decade later, Qadreya stands as a testament to perseverance and innovation, having cultivated her initial investment into the flourishing enterprise known as Bumblebee. Specializing in ready-made frozen meal plans tailored for infants and toddlers, her company has not only garnered commercial success but has also earned the esteemed recognition of the United Nations Women'sQadreya's vision for Bumblebee was inspired by her desire to provide nutritious and delectable meals, fostering a healthy and sustainable relationship with food for the youngest members of society.Hailing from Dubai, Qadreya pursued her academic career in finance at Zayed University before obtaining a Master's degree in International Business from The University of Wollongong. Despite her entrepreneurial pursuits, she also maintains a full-time position at one of the world's largest financial institutions, showcasing her dedication and versatility. Acknowledging her lack of experience in the food and beverage industry, Qadreya pursued culinary education to grasp the fundamental principles of nutrition, ensuring informed decision-making in meal composition. Additionally, she enlisted the expertise of Yasmin Haddad, a seasoned pediatric nutritionist and chef to curate menus tailored to meet the nutritional needs of growing children.In this interview with Adgully Middle East, Qadreya Al Awadhi, the founder of Bumblebee Food, delves into the innovative marketing strategies adopted by brands during the Holy month of Ramadan, underscoring her commitment to continuous growth and adaptation in the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship.How are the brands in the Middle East tailoring their marketing strategies/campaigns to resonate with the cultural nuances and significance of Ramadan?Numerous brands utilize social media as a key component of their marketing strategy. For instance, some highlight families coming together for iftar and using their products. To provide further context, certain food and beverage retailers incorporate dishes featuring dates and employ Islamic-themed packaging, while restaurants may offer iftar and suhoor buffets. Furniture retailers would offer decorations with crescents, lights, Arabic calligraphy, and such. Events hosted during the month usually have a segment focusing on Ramadan’s importance and impact.  Can you discuss specific examples of how you are incorporating traditional elements of Ramadan into your exclusive collections or marketing campaigns?As a kids’ food business, we are focused on the health of children during this month. Many mothers, especially working mothers, do not have the time to cook multiple meals when they are fasting so this is when Bumblebee helps. With Bumblebee, the meals are packed with nutrition that your child needs, and it only takes minutes to prepare. Of course, we also incorporate some dates into our dishes as well such as date pudding, date brownies and date cookies. Our marketing campaign specifically targets easing the mealtime preparation burden for mothers during this month. In what ways are brands leveraging social media influencers and digital platforms to connect with consumers during Ramadan, while maintaining authenticity and respect for the occasion?Brands use social media influencers to advertise their products and host Suhoor Nights where the venue is usually a majlis. The influencers usually wear traditional dresses and post content promoting the brand to their followers. This allows brands to continue their marketing efforts while still respecting the religious month.  What challenges do brands face in balancing commercial objectives with the need to honour the spiritual and cultural aspects of Ramadan, and how are they navigating these challenges?It is important to remember that Ramadan is a religious month where concepts such as donations, helping the needy, and strengthening spiritual and family bonds all encouraged. Brands could incorporate donations and help the needy as part of their CSR activities. Some brands focus too much on the aesthetics of Ramadan rather than making an impactful change. For instance, brands could donate food to the needy, join the government’s philanthropic campaigns, or even allocate a certain percentage of sales to charities that align with their own company objectives.

Starcom ME ranks #1 MENA Agency in the WARC Media 100

Starcom ME, a leading media agency under Publicis Groupe ME, has topped the charts in the WARC Media 100 as the #1 media agency in MENA. No other media agency in the region has featured in this prestigious list, underscoring the level of commitment and work it takes to earn a rank on this list. The WARC Media 100 is a ranking of the world’s most awarded campaigns and companies for media. It tracks the results of media award shows around the world, and acts as a benchmark for media excellence, allowing agencies and brands to compare their performance with that of their peers.Commenting on this feat, Tony Wazen, CEO of Publicis Media ME said, “Coming out as #1 in the WARC Media 100 is the culmination of a tremendously successful year for Starcom ME. To be included amongst the world’s best is a feat unmatched by any other media agency in MENA, and this only strengthens our resolve to push the limits of media excellence and innovation across all our media agency brands.”Ramez Zeineddine, CEO of Starcom ME added, “We’re immensely proud to continue our record of industry leadership in the WARC Media 100. Having our work consistently recognised by the industry is collectively owed to the brilliant work of our talents, and the ambition of our clients. We look forward to continuing this path of excellence throughout the year.” In the past year, Starcom ME’s performance has been recognised with a string of accolades including #1 Media Agency of the Year at Dubai Lynx and Media Agency of the Decade at Athar Saudi Festival of Creativity – both in 2023.

RTS Group partners with Marriott International for Dubai Hotel

RTS Investments Group has announced a partnership with Marriott International to operate its Business Bay Hotel in Dubai. The hotel will undergo a rebranding and join the prestigious Renaissance Hotels portfolio as the Renaissance Business Bay Hotel, Dubai. The transition is expected to be completed in Q2 2024, with the hotel remaining fully operational throughout the process."We are thrilled to bring the Renaissance Hotels brand to our property in Dubai's vibrant Business Bay district," said Andrea Strim, General Manager of the Business Bay Hotel on behalf of RTS Investments Group. "The Renaissance brand is known for its sophisticated experience and focus on cultural exploration, which perfectly aligns with our vision for the hotel. This partnership with Marriott International allows us to continue delivering exceptional hospitality with a renewed focus on bespoke experiences for our guests."Following the rebranding, the hotel will cater to curious travelers seeking a deeper connection with the city. The Renaissance philosophy emphasizes providing guests with unique and enriching local experiences, seamlessly linking them to the heart of the Business Bay neighborhood. The redesigned hotel will embody the brand's commitment to discovery and curated design."We are delighted to welcome the Renaissance Business Bay Hotel, Dubai to our portfolio," said Sandeep Walia, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East, Marriott International. "Business Bay is a rapidly growing commercial and residential hub, and this new hotel strengthens our presence within the district. We look forward to working with RTS Investments Group to introduce the Renaissance brand's design, engaging service, and signature rituals to the neighborhood."RTS Investments Group also extends its sincere gratitude to Millennium and Copthorne Middle East Holdings Limited for their valuable collaboration and support in operating the hotel. The existing partnership with Millennium continues for their second property in Barsha Heights, which will remain under the Millennium brand umbrella.

Interactive CTV campaigns drive higher engagement for advertisers: Innovid

Advertisers leveraging the biggest screen in the house are seeing interactive CTV campaigns achieve engagement rates 4.6x higher than mobile video and 10.3x higher than desktop video. When compared to standard pre-roll, interactive CTV video formats, inclusive of choice- and non-choice-based ads, also generate more than 600% lift in engagement. These insights are according to a new CTV insights report released today by Innovid (NYSE:CTV), an independent software platform for the creation, delivery, measurement, and optimization of advertising across connected TV (CTV), linear, and digital.Innovid has an unparalleled, unbiased view of the CTV universe. Every day, Innovid processes approximately 1.3 billion video impressions and collects more than 6 billion data points.In “The CTV Advertising Insights Report 2024: Your Data-Driven Source for CTV Performance Trends,” Innovid analyzed nearly 380 billion global video ad impressions served on its platform in 2023. The report provides a holistic view of video advertising and the ways in which marketers are adapting media, creative, and measurement strategies for streaming. Key findings reflect an industry speeding toward a 100% digital TV future, including: CTV growth continues to surge: CTV accounted for 53% of video impressions – up 12% compared to the year prior. Additionally, the average CTV campaign reach in 2023 more than doubled compared to two years prior. Frequency is rising, but it’s a double-edged sword: The average frequency delivered has increased by almost 80% – up from 4.08 to 7.40 – over the past two years. While it’s important for marketers to have their ads viewed multiple times for awareness, recall, and engagement, it’s also critical to find the right balance before hitting the point of oversaturation. Viewers spend time with advanced creatives: Audiences expect relevant, 1:1 content – even with ad experiences – and it shows with the amount of time they spend with advanced creatives. Interactive ads had an average of 92 additional seconds of time earned vs. standard pre-roll video. Dynamic ads, those personalized to the viewer, generated more than 38 seconds of additional time earned.    “Advertisers are realizing the true power behind the measurable, impactful, and innovative ad experiences that only CTV can provide,” said Dani Cushion, CMO, Innovid. “As TV rapidly shifts to a 100% digital future, the time is now for advertisers to optimize every aspect of their campaigns for streaming. The opportunities for reach, engagement, and ROI are unparalleled.”

Talabat UAE enables users to donate to Mothers’ Endowment campaign via app

Talabat UAE, the region’s leading platform for everyday deliveries, announced its support of the Mothers’ Endowment campaign, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to honor mothers by establishing a AED 1 billion endowment fund to support the education of millions around the world.talabat enables its app users to donate starting from AED 10, AED 50, AED 100, AED 300 or AED 500 towards the campaign, supporting its efforts to empower underprivileged individuals by providing education and training to help improve their quality of life and stability.Donation to the Mothers’ Endowment campaign can be done by downloading the talabat app from Google Play store, Apple’s App Store or Huawei’s AppGallery, and typing “Mothers’ Endowment” in the search bar. Alternatively, those wishing to contribute can click the “Give Back” button on the app’s main page, then choose “Mothers’ Endowment”.Organized by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan, the campaign allows contributors to make donations in their mothers’ names to honor them, highlighting the role of mothers in supporting their children’s education. The campaign also establishes the values of honoring parents, kindness, compassion and solidarity, while solidifying the UAE’s humanitarian role.Simonida Subotic, Vice President and Managing Director, talabat UAE said: “We are proud to contribute to the success of this inspiring initiative dedicated to mothers. Our participation strengthens the ongoing partnership with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, now in its third year.”“Supporting the Mothers’ Endowment campaign reflects talabat’s commitment to social responsibility and advancing the UAE’s humanitarian initiatives,” she added.

Aramex delivers a call to peace with Ramadan video campaign

Aramex, a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, has launched a special video campaign for Ramadan centered around an undelivered parcel destined for Gaza. This campaign highlights a message of peace and togetherness as part of Aramex’s commitment to promoting global harmony.Focused on the word Salam or peace in Arabic, the campaign video depicts a parcel that is being sent by a Palestinian citizen living abroad to his family back home in Gaza, which is held back in a storage room midway through its journey, until either a ceasefire or peace agreement is in place, or the borders are opened up and parcels can be delivered to Gaza.The moving film is directed at people from all over the world who wish for peace in the world, and ends with a call to action to send a message of peace via the website On this dedicated site, people can record a short video message and say the word ‘Salam’ – in solidarity with the campaign’s theme of promoting peace and harmony in Gaza and around the world.Commenting on the initiative, Mike Rich, Group CMO at Aramex, said: "We were struck by a poignant question: What do you do when you cannot deliver a parcel to places like Gaza, especially in the holy month of Ramadan? The answer that resonated deeply was 'Salam' or 'Peace'—a message that transcends borders and speaks to the heart, provides reassurance to all communities, and holds out hope for the future. At the center of our complex and ever-growing operations at Aramex is our pursuit of Delivering Good and helping communities. Social responsibility has always been a vital part of our strategic focus, and we are proud to launch this campaign and demonstrate the power of one word—peace—that can truly make a difference to our collective future. This is a campaign that is very close to our hearts and driven by Aramex’s mission to deliver a better future to all communities, and I am confident that this will resonate in the hearts and minds of people across geographies."The Ramadan video campaign underpins Aramex's keenness to leverage its market-leading reach and goodwill within the region and beyond to support local and global efforts in promoting messages of peace.

ACUD sponsors Egypt Capital Football Cup

Cairo: ACUD announced the sponsorship of Capital Cup tournament first edition, which will be held at Egypt’s International Olympic City Stadium in the New Administrative Capital. The International Football Federation (FIFA) has also announced the inclusion of this tournament in its international events series. The tournament's events are scheduled to take place from 22nd to 26th of March, following its announcement as part of the trials conducted by FIFA to develop global football. This was announced in an official statement issued by FIFA through its website and official social media pages.Engineer Khaled Abbas, Chairman and Managing Director of Administrative Capital for Urban Development, stated: “The importance of the tournament, and its role in enhancing Egypt’s sport scene spotlight on emerging New Administrative Capital on a global scale.  He emphasized the pride in supporting diverse community initiatives spanning sports, culture, and education, recognizing them as crucial pillars of development”.Eng. Abbas added, "We are committed to provide all available resources to ensure the success of the tournament, and forward to see remarkable performances from all teams.In addition, Eng. Abbas confirmed that the Croatian national team would arrive to Cairo on March 21st to participate in the tournament, confirming that the matches would be live on FIFA's official channels.Eng. Abbas emphasized the significant responsibility of ACUD to highlight the sports development in the New Administrative Capital and opening ceremony that matches the exceptional tournament, he pointed out that the support of the tournament comes within the framework of ACUD’s commitment to enhancing social responsibility. He expressed his hope that this tournament would contribute healthy spirit during this important football tournament.Noteworthy, the tournament is consisted of four matches, the Egyptian national team will start against New Zealand on the 22nd of March and the second match will be according the winner or the loser of the other match against the Egyptian national team .

Monroe Capital Taps Waleed Noor for ME Leadership, Eyes Abu Dhabi Office

Monroe Capital LLC (“Monroe”) today announced it has expanded its platform to the Middle East with the appointment of Waleed Noor as Managing Director and Head of Middle East Distribution. Monroe is in the process of opening an office in Abu Dhabi. Mr. Noor will be based in Abu Dhabi and be responsible for representing Monroe throughout the region.Prior to Monroe, Mr. Noor was a Managing Director, Head of Structured Solutions Sales (MEA Region) at Commerzbank AG, where he was responsible for sales and distribution of credit solutions, secured funding, origination and distribution of Emerging and Developed Market credit risk. Mr. Noor has more than 15 years of experience in alternative investments and fixed income. Prior to Commerzbank AG, he was a Director, Cross Asset Sales (MENA Region) at Credit Agricole CIB where he was responsible for institutional sales of investment products and hedging solutions. He also held positions at Goldman Sachs (MENA Region), Credit Agricole CIB (MENA Region), and Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh. Mr. Noor earned his M.A., Risk Management with Honours from Nottingham University Business School, UK, and his B.A. in Finance with Honours from Durham University, UK.“We are very excited to add Waleed to the Monroe Capital team. We look forward to our continued strategic growth and expansion in the Middle East,” said Ted Koenig, Chairman and CEO of Monroe Capital. “Over the last few years, we have seen more interest and appreciation of the Monroe platform and the private credit asset class from Middle East investors. We have a tremendous opportunity to expand our footprint in this region.”

LG advances B2B ventures with cutting-edge Lighthouse Factory expertise

LG Electronics (LG) is expanding its B2B business area and making significant strides into the global smart factory market by capitalizing on its expertise in constructing and operating intelligent autonomous factories.Earlier this year, LG established the Smart Factory Business Division within its Production engineering Research Institute (PRI) and initiated the commercialization of its intangible assets, including smart factory construction technology and operational solutions. These innovations will be highlighted at MODEX 2024, the premier supply chain experience trade show, held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.LG’s smart factory business not only delivers production automation solutions but also incorporates AI-driven production planning, operations and the Digital Twin solution. The company aims to enhance customers’ manufacturing competitiveness by offering optimal solutions across all stages, from factory planning and design to construction and operation. Additionally, continuous improvement consulting services for factory upgrades will be available.Aligned with LG’s vision of achieving a revenue of KRW 100 trillion by 2030, with the B2B sector targeting revenue exceeding KRW 40 trillion, the smart factory business serves as a cornerstone for LG’s B2B expansion. This endeavor is part of LG’s strategic focus on three key areas for future growth: accelerating non-hardware business models, expanding B2B businesses and developing new business domains.Experienced in various aspects of the smart factory business, LG boasts extensive manufacturing expertise across diverse sectors such as home appliances, air solutions, TVs, vehicle components and robotics. What’s more, the company provides cutting-edge equipment and communication technologies, including big data-enabled integrated monitoring systems and predictive quality evaluation systems.In addition to its manufacturing prowess, LG has secured essential digital technologies for building automated processes, including AI, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has also developed an intelligent production system where deep learning-enabled robots execute tasks guided by the company’s Digital Twin solution. This solution simulates actual machinery, equipment and logistics systems in a virtual environment, facilitating smooth integration and optimization of manufacturing processes.These accomplishments have earned LG recognition for possessing world-class smart factory technology, encompassing hardware, software and automation solutions. Notably, the LG Smart Park in Changwon and the Tennessee factory in the USA were selected as Lighthouse Factories by the World Economic Forum.With these capabilities, LG strengthens collaboration with various partners to expand the smart factory ecosystem. Following the signing of an MOU with LS ELECTRIC for the “Establishment of Smart Factory Business Cooperation System and Mutual Benefit Enhancement,” LG is forming unions with numerous global partners to advance smart factory technology through cloud and data analysis.“In light of LG’s robust portfolio of smart factory solutions, we are committed to partnering with customers throughout their manufacturing journey by delivering optimal solutions across all stages, from planning and design to construction and operation,” stated Song Shi-yong, head of LG Electronics’ Smart Factory Business Division. He further elaborated on plans to introduce a Total Factory Offering System, which will provide a comprehensive solution in collaboration with LG and its global partners.

Homzmart partners with MoEngage to engage with Customers

Cairo-based online furniture marketplace Homzmart has partnered with MoEngage, a marketing automation and customer engagement platform, to drive engagement at the right time and place for the right customers.Founded in 2020, the E-commerce platform sells home furniture, home décor, lighting, and home supplies through a visualized community. It will leverage various capabilities of MoEngage, like segmentation, analytics, and omnichannel communication orchestration. With MoEngage, the brand plans to overcome challenges like manual efforts, creating onboarding and cart abandonment journeys. Most importantly, they will use MoEngage to build journeys for “anonymous to known users”.“Our partnership with MoEngage is a significant step forward in achieving our customer-centric vision," says Karim Ahmed, Group CMO at Homzmart. "By leveraging MoEngage's powerful engagement platform, we'll gain deeper customer insights and deliver the personalized experiences our customers are expecting.”Additionally, for real-time customer engagement and 1:1 personalization, the brand plans to leverage the website personalization capabilities of MoEngage. Furthermore, to reduce its manual efforts, Homzmart will explore the AI capabilities of MoEngage for deep segmentation and personalization.Overall, from this partnership, the online furniture brand plans to uplift its metrics like user engagement, customer lifetime value and increase in RoI. The online furniture brand explored and compared various vendors, but they chose MoEngage as the platform based on the depth of segmentation, transparency, and flexibility of the platform.Another factor that helped them narrow down the list was the local expertise that MoEngage inherited and an understanding of regional nuances and challenges.“We are excited to partner with one of the leading players in the online furniture and home decor space. Homzmart has remained laser-focused on customer engagement with personalization and we are happy to assist them in this steadfast endeavor to unlock the next phase of engagement with insights-led personalization,” said Kunal Badiani, Regional VP Sales at MoEngage.Homzmart joins the growing list of 1500+ global companies across 35 countries, such as Azadea Group, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Landmark Group, Sympl, Apparel Group, Airtel, Ola, Nexta, Oyo, Orcas, and Mashreq, that trust MoEngage to deliver a consistent experience across multiple devices and touchpoints.

GoDaddy honors Saudi Arabian Mothers' entrepreneurial spirit this Mother's Day

As Mother's Day approaches, GoDaddy, the largest services platform for entrepreneurs, is shining a spotlight on the remarkable resilience and achievements of women and mother entrepreneurs – mompreneurs, in the Kingdom. Through its commitment to providing essential tools and support, GoDaddy aims to empower mothers in business to succeed in the ever-evolving online landscape.Recent data from GoDaddy's 2024 Global Entrepreneurship Survey reveals a surge in mompreneurs in Saudi Arabia, with 69% of entrepreneurs many of whom proudly carry the title of Mompreneurs, reporting that they have embraced the entrepreneurial journey, with a further overwhelming 98% attesting that "life is better after becoming an entrepreneur."Selina Bieber, Vice President for International Markets at GoDaddy, expressed, "Mothers bring their own unique perspective and skill set to entrepreneurship. By focusing on harnessing digital tools, GoDaddy aims to equip mompreneurs with tools resources for their online journey.” She added, “While GoDaddy celebrates the resilience and accomplishments of mompreneurs, we want to help ensure they have the resources to flourish and empower them to grow their businesses successfully."In addition, according to GoDaddy's 2024 Global Entrepreneurship Survey, 59% of respondents identified marketing their business online as one of the biggest obstacles during their early entrepreneurial journey, reflecting challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. Here are five tips to help you take your business online as a mompreneur:Elevate Your Online Presence with a Domain Name:Invest in a distinctive and memorable domain name for your business. Utilize services like GoDaddy’s domain services to secure a personalized web address. Owning your digital space is important for brand recognition and business credibility.Be the Face of Your Brand on Social Media:Take charge of your online presence by actively engaging with your audience on social media platforms. Share your journey, celebrate achievements, and showcase the human side of your business.Build Your Website with User-Friendly Tools:Empower yourself by creating and managing your website using user-friendly tools. Explore platforms like GoDaddy’s website builder to easily design and update your site, showcasing your products and services, without the need for extensive technical knowledge.Support and Collaborate with Fellow Mompreneurs:Foster a sense of community by connecting with and supporting other mompreneurs. Collaborate on projects, share insights, and cross-promote each other's businesses.Professionalize Your Communication with Custom Email:Elevate your business communication by setting up a professional, custom email address through services like GoDaddy’s personalized email. A personalized email enhances your professional image and your brand's credibility.Harness the Power of AI for Content Creation:Embrace the efficiency of AI-powered content creation using tools like GoDaddy's AI prompt library. Generate engaging and relevant content for your website, social media, and marketing materials by leveraging artificial intelligence tools to help streamline content creation processes.On this Mother's Day, GoDaddy reaffirms its commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs, providing essential tools, expert guidance, and unwavering support to help them achieve their business milestones and turn their visions into reality.

NVIDIA digital human technologies bring AI characters to life

NVIDIA announced today that leading AI application developers across a wide range of industries are using NVIDIA digital human technologies to create lifelike avatars for commercial applications and dynamic game characters. The results are on display at GTC, the global AI conference held this week in San Jose, California, and can be seen in technology demonstrations from Hippocratic AI, Inworld AI, UneeQ and more.NVIDIA Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) for speech and animation, NVIDIA NeMo for language, and NVIDIA RTX for ray-traced rendering are the building blocks that enable developers to create digital humans capable of AI-powered natural language interactions, making conversations more realistic and engaging.“NVIDIA offers developers a world-class set of AI-powered technologies for digital human creation,” said John Spitzer, vice president of developer and performance technologies at NVIDIA. “These technologies may power the complex animations and conversational speech required to make digital interactions feel real.”World-Class Digital Human TechnologiesThe digital human technologies suite includes language, speech, animation and graphics powered by AI:? NVIDIA ACE — technologies that help developers bring digital humans to life with facial animation powered by NVIDIA Audio2Face and speech powered by NVIDIA Riva automatic speech recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech (TTS). ACE microservices are flexible in allowing models to run across cloudand PC depending on the local GPU capabilities to help ensure the user receives the best experience.? NVIDIA NeMo — an end-to-end platform that enables developers to deliver enterprise-ready generative AI models with precise data curation, cutting-edge customization, retrieval-augmented generation and accelerated performance.? NVIDIA RTX — a collection of rendering technologies, such as RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI) and DLSS 3.5, that enable real-time path tracing in games and applications.Building Blocks for Digital Humans and Virtual AssistantsTo showcase the new capabilities of its digital human technologies, NVIDIA worked across industries with leading developers, such as Hippocratic AI, Inworld AI and UneeQ, on a series of new demonstrations.Hippocratic AI has created a safety-focused, LLM-powered, task-specific Healthcare Agent. The agent calls patients on the phone, follows up on care coordination tasks, delivers preoperative instructions, performs post-discharge management and much more. For GTC, NVIDIA collaborated with Hippocratic AI to extend its solution to use NVIDIA ACE microservices, NVIDIA Audio2Face along with NVIDIA Animation graph and NVIDIA Omniverse Streamer Client to show the potential of a generative AI healthcare agent avatar.“Our digital assistants provide helpful, timely and accurate information to patients worldwide,” said Munjal Shah, cofounder and CEO of Hippocratic AI. “NVIDIA ACE technologies bring them to life with cutting-edge visuals and realistic animations that help better connect to patients.”UneeQ is an autonomous digital human platform specialized in creating AI-powered avatars for customer service and interactive applications. Its digital humans represent brands online, communicating with customers in real time to give them confidence in their purchases. UneeQ integrated the NVIDIA Audio2Face microservice into its platform and combined it with Synanim ML to create highly realistic avatars for a better customer experience and engagement.“UneeQ combines NVIDIA animation AI with our own Synanim ML synthetic animation technology to deliver real-time digital human interactions that are emotionally responsive and deliver dynamic experiences powered by conversational AI,” said Danny Tomsett, founder and CEO of UneeQ.Bringing Dynamic Non-Playable Characters to GamesNVIDIA ACE is a suite of technologies designed to bring game characters to life. Covert Protocol is a new technology demonstration, created by Inworld AI in partnership with NVIDIA, that pushes the boundary of what character interactions in games can be. Inworld’s AI engine has integrated NVIDIA Riva for accurate speech-to-text and NVIDIA Audio2Face to deliver lifelike facial performances.Inworld’s AI engine takes a multimodal approach to the performance of non-playable characters (NPCs), bringing together cognition, perception and behavior systems for an immersive narrative with stunning RTX-rendered characters set in a beautifully crafted environment.“The combination of NVIDIA ACE microservices and the Inworld Engine enables developers to create digital characters that can drive dynamic narratives, opening new possibilities for how gamers can decipher, deduce and play,” said Kylan Gibbs, CEO of Inworld AI.Game publishers worldwide are evaluating how NVIDIA ACE can improve the gaming experience.Developers Across Healthcare, Gaming, Financial Services, Media & Entertainment and Retail Embrace ACETop game and digital human developers are pioneering ways ACE and generative AI technologies can be used to transform interactions between players and NPCs in games and applications.Developers and platforms embracing ACE include Convai, Cyber Agent, Data Monsters, Deloitte, Hippocratic AI, IGOODI, Inworld AI, Media.Monks, miHoYo, NetEase Games, Perfect World, Openstream, OurPalm, Quantiphi, Rakuten Securities, Slalom, SoftServe, Tencent, Top Health Tech, Ubisoft, UneeQ and Unions Avatars.More information on NVIDIA ACE is available at Platform developers can incorporate the full suite of digital human technologies or individual microservices into their product offerings.Developers can start their journey on NVIDIA ACE by applying for the early access program to get in-development AI models. To explore available models, developers can evaluate and access NVIDIA NIM, a set of easy-to-use microservices designed to accelerate the deployment of generative AI, for Riva and Audio2Face on today.

Emirates wishes customers a happy Holi

Emirates will be celebrating the most colourful festival in the world, wishing customers a happy Holi onboard select flights to India with refreshing Thandai drinks and sweet Holi treats.Emirates’ customers travelling to and from seven destinations in India – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai, will enjoy the much-loved Indian sweet Kesar Gujiya, alongside their meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The deep-fried dumpling stuffed with solidified milk and dried fruits will be served in a specially designed box, reminiscent of the colourful festival of Holi. First and Business Class customers will be warmly welcomed with cold Thandai – a festive drink made from milk and nuts, flavoured with fragrant saffron and rose petals.Customers can get into the holiday spirit with hundreds of classic Bollywood movies in the world-class ice entertainment library with up to 260 Indian movies including new titles, classic Bollywood and regional Indian movies. Movies include box office hits like Pathaan, The Great Indian Family, Gaslight and many more. There is also a special collection of Yash Raj Films, Bollywood’s ‘father of romance.’ Customers can also enjoy music videos from Yash Raj in Indian TV, plus over 30 albums and playlists of Indian music, including a special music video compilation called Holi Hai!Emirates' celebration of Holi underscores the airline's enduring connection with India, spanning 37 years of shared history and cultural affinity. Serving nine destinations in India with 170 weekly flights, Emirates connects millions of customers travelling to India from Dubai and from across its global network each year.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi offers a 20% flash sale on tickets this Ramadan

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the ultra-low-fare national airline of the UAE, is celebrating Ramadan with an unmissable promotion on selected routes for travel lovers looking to discover must-see destinations. The flash promotion is applicable for bookings made on 20 March, with travel dates to destinations, including vibrant cities and natural paradises across its ever-expanding network, available until 30 June 2024*.The selected routes are now available on and the WIZZ mobile app, both accessible in Arabic. With Wizz Air, ultra-low-fares are just a few clicks away!The second largest airline in Abu Dhabi is allowing travellers to book a well-deserved vacation to discover hidden gems, savour delicious dishes from nearby spots and explore the history of charming neighbourhoods. The exciting promotion during the busy travel period offers travellers affordable, hassle-free travel opportunities and incredible value for money.Johan Eidhagen, Managing Director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, said: “As the flagbearer for ultra-low-cost travel in the region, we are delighted to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan with an extraordinary promotion that enables an exhilarating adventure for all ages. We are committed to spontaneous travel during the busy travel period and beyond as we continue to foster connectivity and create unmissable travel experiences. We strongly encourage all adventurous travellers to secure their bookings early to enjoy the lowest fares to a plethora of incredible destinations. We look forward to welcoming you on board our aircraft soon.”Passengers can book tickets with confidence, thanks to WIZZ Flex. With WIZZ Flex, passengers can change their flight up to three hours before departure without any fee and receive 100% of the fare immediately reimbursed in airline credit.Strategically located in the UAE, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi provides ultra-low-fares and efficient travel options to Alexandria (Egypt), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Amman (Jordan), Ankara (Turkey), Aqaba (Jordan), Athens (Greece), Baku (Azerbaijan), Belgrade (Serbia), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Cairo (Egypt) and Dammam (Saudi Arabia). As well as routes to Kuwait City (Kuwait), Kutaisi (Georgia), Larnaca (Cyprus), Male (Maldives), Madinah (Saudi Arabia), Muscat (Oman), Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan), Salalah (Oman), Santorini (Greece), Samarkand (Uzbekistan), Sarajevo (Bosnia), Sohag (Egypt), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Turkistan (Kazakhstan), Tirana (Albania) and Yerevan (Armenia) among others.*One-way price, including administration fee. One carry-on bag (max: 40x30x20cm) is included. Trolley bag and each piece of checked-in baggage is subject to additional fees. The price applies only to bookings made on and the WIZZ mobile app. Number of seats at indicated prices are limited.

Sunny Yang on how TCL blends Ramadan spirit with marketing magic

In this interview with Adgully Middle East, Sunny Yang, General Manager for Middle East and Africa at TCL, discusses how the company tailors its marketing strategies for electronic appliances to resonate with the unique cultural and religious significance of Ramadan in the Middle East. Excerpts from the interview:How does TCL leverage the unique cultural and religious significance of Ramadan in the Middle East to tailor its marketing strategies for electronic appliances?Our marketing campaigns are specifically tailored to the region with a focus on Ramadan. Given that Ramadan is synonymous with generosity, we actively engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to contribute to the well-being of the country and its people. Many of our past campaigns have featured significant giveaways, emphasizing our commitment to giving back to consumers, the community, and the nation.Can you share specific examples of successful marketing campaigns or initiatives TCL has executed during the Ramadan seasons in the Middle East? How do you think these campaigns will resonate with the local audience?It has been our standard approach to craft campaigns specifically for Ramadan, aligning with the sentiments of the local audience, which also happens to be our target demographic. We have previously executed successful Ramadan campaigns, including a Ramadan makeover where a fortunate consumer received a complete TCL home upgrade with electronics and appliances, a well-received Ramadan TVC that garnered excellent results across the region, and a CSR initiative involving Ramadan community fridges.What consumer insights or market research does TCL rely on to inform its Ramadan marketing strategies for electronic appliances in the Middle East?TCL consistently utilizes independent survey firms such as GFK to obtain market insights and understand consumer demand trends. Additionally, we collaborate with our business partners to stay updated on the latest consumer behaviours and preferences, ensuring that our Ramadan marketing and promotions are effectively aligned.How does TCL adapt its product offerings or promotional activities to align with the purchasing behaviour and preferences of consumers during Ramadan in the Middle East?We align our product offerings with both consumer demand and our company strategy by gathering feedback from our business partners. This ensures that our product selection remains in tune with market needs and our overall objectives.In a competitive market landscape, what differentiation strategies does TCL employ to stand out and capture consumer attention during Ramadan in the Middle East?Our standout approach involves aggressive promotional offers, both online and offline, coupled with a strong emphasis on showcasing the latest technological product features such as QLED, Mini LED, local dimming, and Gaming TVs. This strategy distinguishes us from other competitors in the market.With the rise of digital and social media platforms, how does TCL integrate online channels into its Ramadan marketing efforts for electronic appliances in the Middle East? Can you elaborate on any successful digital marketing initiatives?As we solidify our presence in this region, digital and social media play a crucial role. Our emphasis on Ramadan campaigns has consistently leaned towards these channels. The primary goal of our Ramadan TVC was to enhance the digital and social outreach specifically targeting the local audience.Last year, for the TCL Ramadan Makeover, we extensively promoted it on our social media platforms through boosted posts, resulting in a tenfold increase in audience reach on our social channels.This year, our Ramadan e-commerce campaign stands as a significant event, given that consumers are actively seeking to upgrade their appliances and electronics during this season. TCL actively participates in these campaigns, offering its products and engaging with consumers to meet their needs and expectations.

GO Sport and Baked collaborate for a thrilling multi-category brand campaign

In a bid to ignite the spirit of adventure and inspire individuals to push their limits, GO Sport has joined forces with Baked to unveil a groundbreaking multi-category brand campaign across GO Sport’s primary international markets.The collaboration capitalizes on the strengths of both entities, crafting a campaign aimed at fostering a ‘go further’ mindset among consumers. Emphasizing the pivotal role of sports in modern life, the campaign champions the essence of athleticism and fitness in everyday routines.By tapping into various categories, the campaign aspires to resonate with a diverse audience, encouraging them to excel in different facets of life encompassing sports, fitness, and personal growth. From running to training, team sports to swimming, the campaign encompasses a spectrum of activities, ensuring there's something for everyone regardless of their background or preferences.Filmed across picturesque locales in Dubai, the campaign captures the essence of the city's vibrant fitness culture. Through a cinematic experience, viewers are immersed in the mindset and dedication of athletes, inspiring them to embark on their own journeys of self-improvement. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>As the campaign unfolds, it aims to ignite a spark of motivation in individuals worldwide, urging them to embrace the challenge, push boundaries, and go further in their pursuit of excellence. With GO Sport and Baked at the helm, the journey promises to be nothing short of exhilarating.Kirsten Pugsley, Head of Marketing at GO Sport, expressed her excitement about the international launch of the brand campaign, marking a significant milestone in GO Sport's journey. She emphasized the campaign's alignment with the brand's ethos of empowering individuals to strive for greatness in their pursuits.The creative endeavor was brought to life by the collaborative efforts of Baked, under the strategic leadership of Dan Bulman. Production was helmed by Kill Club, with Molly Bolton serving as producer, and Knockout Production overseeing service production in Dubai.

LLMs increasingly used to create chatbots: Snowflake study

Dubai: Large language models (LLMs) are increasingly being used to create chatbots, according to Data Cloud company Snowflake. As generative AI continues to revolutionize the industry, chatbots have grown from being approximately 18 percent of the total LLM apps available, to now encompassing 46 percent as of May 2023 — and that metric is only climbing. In addition, after surveying Streamlit’s developer community, it was found that nearly 65 percent of respondents noted that their LLM projects were for work purposes, signaling a shift in the importance of harnessing generative AI to improve workforce productivity, efficiency, and insights.These results are based on usage data from more than 9,000 Snowflake customers, and summarized in Snowflake’s new "Data Trends 2024" report. The report focuses on how global enterprise business and technology leaders are leveraging resources such as AI to build their data foundation and transform future business operations. The new data shows a shift from LLM applications with text-based input (2023: 82%, 2024: 54%) to chatbots with iterative text input, offering the ability to have a natural conversation."Conversational apps are on the rise, because that’s the way humans are programmed to interact. And now it is even easier to interact conversationally with an application,” explains Jennifer Belissent, Principal Data Strategist at Snowflake. “‘We expect to see this trend continue as it becomes easier to build and deploy conversational LLM applications, particularly knowing that the underlying data remains well governed and protected. With that peace of mind, these new interactive and highly versatile chatbots will meet both business needs and user expectations."Over 33,000 LLM Applications in Nine MonthsThe report also shows that 20,076 developers from Snowflake's Streamlit community of developers have built over 33,143 LLM apps in the past nine months. When it comes to developing AI projects, Python is the programming language of choice due to its ease of use, active community of developers, and vast ecosystem of libraries and frameworks. In Snowpark, which enables developers to build apps quickly and cost-effectively, the use of Python grew significantly faster than that of Java and Scala (in the past year)— Python grew by 571 percent, Scala by 387 percent, and Java by 131 percent. With Python, developers can work faster, accelerating prototyping and experimentation—and therefore overall learnings as developer teams make early forays into cutting-edge AI projects.In terms of where application development is taking place, the trend is towards programming LLM applications directly on the platform on which the data is also managed. This is indicated by a 311 percent increase in Snowflake Native Apps – which enables the development of apps directly on Snowflake’s platform – between July 2023 and January 2024. Developing applications on a single data platform eliminates the need to export data copies to third-party technologies, helping develop and deploy applications faster, while reducing operational maintenance costs.Data Governance in Companies is Growing in ImportanceWith the adoption of AI, companies are increasing analysis and processing of their unstructured data. This is enabling companies to discover untapped data sources, making a modern approach to data governance more crucial than ever to protect sensitive and private data. The report found that enterprises have increased the processing of unstructured data by 123 percent in the past year. IDC estimates that up to 90 percent of the world's data is unstructured video, images, and documents. Clean data gives language models a head start, so unlocking this untapped 90 percent opens up a number of business benefits.“Data governance is not about locking down data, but ultimately about unlocking the value of data,” said Belissent. “We break governance into three pillars: knowing data, securing data and using data to deliver that value. Our customers are using new features to tag and classify data so that the appropriate access and usage policies can be applied. The use of all data governance functions has increased by 70 to 100 percent. As a result, the number of queries of protected objects has increased by 142 percent. When the data is protected, it can be used securely. That delivers peace of mind.”"Taken individually, each of these trends is a single data point that shows how organizations across the globe are dealing with different challenges. When considered together, they tell a larger story about how CIOs, CTOs, and CDOs are modernizing their organizations, tackling AI experiments, and solving data problems — all necessary steps to take advantage of the opportunities presented by advanced AI," says Belissent. "The important thing to understand is that the era of generative AI does not require a fundamental change in data strategy. It does, however, require accelerated execution of that strategy. It requires breaking down data silos even faster and opening up access to data sources, wherever they may be in the company or across a broader data ecosystem."

Netflix Announces New Sports Series 'Receiver'

Receiver to be Produced by NFL Films, Omaha Productions and 2PM Productions, the Team Behind Hit Series QuarterbackToday, Netflix announced its newest sports series that follows pass catchers during the NFL 2023-24 season: Davante Adams (Las Vegas Raiders), Justin Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings), George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers), Deebo Samuel (San Francisco 49ers), and Amon-Ra St. Brown (Detroit Lions).Logline: It’s been said that there’s no more difficult position in the NFL than the quarterback. But throwing the pass is only half the story. Receiver follows five of the NFL’s best pass catchers throughout the 2023 season on and off the field: Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Amon-Ra St. Brown.Receiver is set to premiere in Summer 2024 as a continuation of Netflix’s partnership with the NFL that first began with Quarterback, which hit the Netflix Global Top 10 for three weeks.Production Company: NFL Films, Omaha Productions and 2PM ProductionsFormat: 8 x 45 minute episodesExecutive Producers: Peyton Manning and Jamie Horowitz for Omaha Productions; Ross Ketover, Pat Kelleher and Keith Cossrow for NFL Films; Patrick Mahomes and Jacquelyn Dahl from 2PM Productions. “The natural progression is from a pass to a catch, so we’re excited to dive into the Receiver world after the success of our Quarterback series,” said Gabe Spitzer, Vice President, Nonfiction Sports, Netflix. “NFL Films, Omaha Productions and 2PM Productions have delivered again in finding unique and dynamic athletes who will further highlight the drama of this sport on and off the field.” “We were thrilled last summer to see audiences all over the world diving into the lives of NFL quarterbacks,” said Joe Zucco, NFL Films Supervising Producer. “We believe the extraordinary skills, dedication and passion of the NFL’s great wide receivers – and one tight end – will make a perfect follow-up.”“We are excited to be working again with Netflix and NFL Films to give fans unprecedented access to what it’s like to play receiver at the highest level,” said Peyton Manning. “As we did with Quarterback, we look forward to telling the stories of five incredible receivers, each with their unique personality, skillset, and motivation for what drives them to be the best.” Netflix is the premier home for great sports stories as these series join Netflix's lineup of sports programming, including recent releases like Quarterback, Formula 1: Drive To Survive, Full Swing, NASCAR: Full Speed, Untold, Tour de France: Unchained, Under Pressure: The U.S. Women’s World Cup Team, Six Nations: Full Contact and more. Netflix has partnered with sports leagues including Formula 1, National Football League (NFL), the PGA TOUR, Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Women's Tennis Association (WTA), Fédération internationale de football association (FIFA), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and more.

Sony Group Becomes Founding Partner of Esports World Cup

The Esports World Cup Foundation ("EWCF") and Sony Group Corporation ("Sony") have signed a multi-year partnership agreement to collaborate on initiatives for the Esports World Cup. The collaboration leverages Sony's acclaimed gaming products and entertainment expertise alongside the EWC's vision to unite the global gaming and esports communities across the most popular games, and underscores a shared ambition to broaden the appeal of gaming and esports to players and fans worldwide. The inaugural Esports World Cup 2024 is slated to take place this summer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.As part of this agreement, Sony Pictures Entertainment will create a behind-the-scenes documentary series showcasing the players and games of the Esports World Cup. Sony, together with Sony Interactive Entertainment, will also look to exploring additional opportunities to support promising creators and talent in the region. Sony Music Entertainment will produce the music Anthem of the Esports World Cup 2024."Sony is the perfect partner for the Esports World Cup," said Ralf Reichert, CEO, Esports World Cup Foundation. "Our goal is to establish a global platform for esports and gaming that sets new standards for live esports events. Sony's experience in creating stunning visuals, engaging music, compelling storytelling, and state-of-the-art technology will be a game-changer for the Esports World Cup. The EWC aims to take esports to the next level, and we are thrilled to count on Sony's world class expertise in this endeavor.""We're excited to make the Esports World Cup more fun and engaging for fans globally by harnessing the creativity and technology from across our diverse businesses." said Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Deputy President and CSO, Sony Group Corporation. "Sony has been enhancing the esports experience especially with Sony Interactive Entertainment's initiatives such as PlayStation Tournaments and the annual EVO fighting game series. We look forward to further catering to this growing, global community of players and fans with the Esports World Cup."With the Esports World Cup, EWCF has created an unprecedented celebration of competitive gaming and esports fandom. This summer, top esports organizations will face off in Riyadh, to compete in a unique cross-game structure for the largest prize pool in esports history. Recently, the EWC has announced the addition of ten popular titles - Dota 2, Counter-Strike 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Honor of Kings, PUBG, PUBG Mobile, Overwatch, Free Fire, Rocket League, Fortnite and Rainbow Six Siege - as participating games. More games will be announced soon.

Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports to host exciting lineup of gaming & esports events

During the holy month of Ramadan, Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports, the leading esports competition for university students, will be hosting a series of engaging activities to foster community connections and allow students to interact with influencers and content creators while enjoying their favourite games. In its commitment to expanding participation, Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports welcomed participants from 10 new universities in the UAE, reflecting its commitment to inclusivity and broadening the talent pool within the esports community. The tournaments saw remarkable growth with over 120+ teams registering in the UAE and a total of 1,433 from the UAE participating, a 45% growth from the last season. This initiative is part of a global effort, with AUE impacting over 100,000 students across 26 countries and 2,600 universities. GGTech's engagement further amplifies this reach, boasting over 600,000 registered participants across various competitions. Layali Ramadan with Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports"Layali Ramadan" will bring special nights to Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports channels once a week throughout Ramadan. This innovative concept will feature multiple streamers playing together, showcasing popular games such as League of Legends, VALORANT, Among Us, and Pummel Party. Audiences can expect lively gameplay commentary and interaction with streamers and fellow viewers via chat.Ramadan CUP TournamentThe Ramadan CUP Tournament will unite students from four countries in the MENA region, focusing on games like TFT and Clash Royale. This tournament not only connects students with global gaming activities but also provides an opportunity to engage with influencers and showcase their skills on a broader platform.Fawazer Ramadan"Fawazer Ramadan" introduces an interactive online event, "Share your Clip and Let the World Guess Your Rank," during the holy month of Ramadan. Participants are invited to submit short gameplay clips from popular titles such as League of Legends or VALORANT. These clips will be showcased on dedicated platforms or social media channels, allowing viewers worldwide to guess the player's rank based on their gameplay skills and strategies."With the esports industry projected to reach $1.6 billion in turnover by 2024, we're excited to bring together students from diverse backgrounds to commemorate the holy month of Ramadan, fostering a promising gaming community," said Mario Pérez, CEO at MENA Tech, the project’s organiser. "These activities aim to create memorable experiences and foster connections among students, influencers, and gaming enthusiasts alike."AUE and MENA Tech have recognised the burgeoning potential within the UAE's gaming and esports market. Despite global trends, the MENA region's gaming revenue saw a 6% increase in 2022, reaching $6.8 billion. This growth is largely attributed to the Middle East's youthful demographic, with the UAE standing out for its gaming enthusiasm: 90% of adults are gamers, the highest percentage worldwide, and 23% game for more than 11 hours each week. Initiatives like Abu Dhabi's ADGaming bolster this boom, with the city already being home to over 70 game developers and esports teams, and poised for further expansion.For more information on Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports and its Ramadan activities, please visit UNIVERSITY Esports is made possible thanks to the support of top-level publishers and brands such as Riot Games and Shahid.

LG makes strategic investment in bear robotics

 LG Electronics (LG) is making a strategic investment move to expedite the advancement of its capabilities in service robotics, a key new business area of the company.LG has executed a stock purchase agreement to acquire a stake in Bear Robotics, a prominent Silicon Valley-based startup specializing in AI-driven autonomous service robots, through an investment of USD 60 million.Rather than seeking short-term returns, this strategic investment is aimed at bolstering LG’s portfolio for long-term growth. Upon closing the stock purchase, the company will hold the largest portion of shares in Bear Robotics on a single-shareholder basis.At CES 2024, LG’s CEO William Cho had discussed such potential equity investments, stating, “In the service robotics market, we’re focusing primarily on areas such as delivery and logistics. However, we are carefully considering future directions, keeping open the possibility of equity investments or mergers and acquisitions.”Founded in 2017 under the leadership of CEO John Ha, a former Senior Software Engineer and Technical Lead at Google, Bear Robotics has gained recognition for its AI-powered indoor delivery robots catering to markets in the United States, South Korea and Japan. The company boasts a team of skilled engineers, including its co-founder and CTO, with backgrounds in prominent tech companies. Notably, Bear Robotics is drawing attention for its expertise in platformizing service robotics software, robot fleet management technology and cloud-based control solutions.Leading the Shift to Software-defined Robotics and Enhancing Synergy in Robot BusinessLG is preparing for a transition towards Software-defined Robotics (SDR), a shift from hardware to software emphasis, similar to what has been observed in the mobility industry. In anticipation of future growth, the company is committed to developing scalable service robots on an open architecture software platform so that it may cater to a variety of environments, recognizing the critical importance of standardizing AI-based autonomous robot platforms. With this understanding, LG views this strategic investment as a pivotal opportunity to propel its robot business capabilities.With years of experience in the robot business, LG has accumulated expertise in deploying robot solutions across various commercial spaces such as airports, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, retail stores, museums, smart warehouses and golf courses. LG operates a facility dedicated to the production of service robots at the LG Future Park in Gumi and boasts world-class capabilities in management of quality, supply chain and customer services.By combining Bear Robotics’ world-class R&D talents and software platform expertise with its own strengths, LG aims to spearhead efforts in standardizing robot platforms to significantly reduce market-entry costs, thereby enhancing operational efficiency and fostering synergies. “Just as Android revolutionized the smartphone era, standardized open platforms are essential for the activation of the robot market,” remarked Bear Robotics CEO John Ha.Charting a Course for Future Growth in the Service Robotics MarketIn recent years, LG has strategically reallocated resources towards high-growth sectors for the future, aligning with market dynamics and the strategic significance of its business models. The investment in Bear Robotics epitomizes LG’s dedication in accelerating the advancement of its service robot sector, a pivotal component of its future growth strategy.LG has been nurturing its robot business as one of its future core pillars. From the deployment of guide robots at Incheon International Airport in 2017, it has progressively introduced tailored solutions for diverse commercial settings, encompassing delivery and disinfection functionalities. Since the preceding year, LG has actively pursued expansion into international markets including the United States, Japan and Southeast Asia.The service robotics market is expected to experience rapid growth, propelled by the rapid advancement of technologies such as AI and communication. On a global scale, the market is anticipated to grow from 36.2 billion USD in 2021 to 103.3 billion USD by 2026.Last year, LG unveiled its Future Vision 2030, outlining its goal of evolving into a Smart Life Solution Company that can seamlessly connect and expand customer experiences across various domains, including home, commercial, mobility and virtual spaces. Aligned with this vision, LG aims to achieve the ‘Triple Seven’ goal: an average growth rate and operating profit of seven percent or more, alongside an enterprise value translating into an EBITDA ratio of seven.“As the service robot market enters a period of growth, this equity investment will significantly contribute to securing a ‘Winning Competitive-edge’ for the company,” emphasized Lee Sam-soo, Chief Strategy Officer of LG Electronics. “From a mid- to long-term perspective, we will seek to develop our robot business into a new growth engine, exploring various opportunities through the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as Embodied AI and robotic manipulation.”

UAE emerges as AI leader in the Middle East: IBM study

New research from IBM paints a picture of the UAE leading the way in AI adoption across the Middle East. Two major studies - the 2023 Global AI Adoption Index and a consumer study on AI in retail - highlight the UAE's proactive approach to integrating AI into business operations and the growing demand for AI-powered experiences from consumers.The IBM Global AI Adoption Index reveals impressive statistics when it comes to AI adoption in the UAE:65% Faster Rollout: 65% of IT professionals in the UAE report an accelerated implementation of AI in the past two years.42% Active Deployment: The UAE boasts the highest rate of active AI deployment (42%) among companies surveyed, showcasing a commitment to integrating AI into core processes.Strategic Investment: Research and development, alongside workforce upskilling, are priority investments for UAE businesses aiming to sustain AI growth and innovation.Comprehensive Strategies: 34% of UAE companies already have a comprehensive AI strategy in place, with another 30% actively developing one.These findings point towards the UAE's strong leadership in AI adoption within the Middle East region.Consumers Crave AI-Powered Retail Experiences:IBM's separate study on AI in retail reveals a shift in consumer behavior across the Middle East and Africa (MEA):  Dissatisfaction with In-Store Shopping: Only 3% of MEA consumers are satisfied with their current in-store shopping experience.  Mobile Integration: 75% of MEA consumers use mobile applications while shopping, highlighting a desire for a tech-enabled in-store experience.  Openness to AI: 9 in 10 MEA consumers haven't yet used AI for shopping, but are interested in its potential to enhance their experience.  Demand for AI-powered Features: 75% of MEA respondents express interest in AI applications and virtual assistants for shopping.This growing consumer demand for AI-powered experiences underscores the need for retailers to integrate AI technologies and innovate their offerings to meet evolving customer expectations.These studies position the UAE as a forerunner in the region's AI adoption, both from a business and consumer perspective. With businesses embracing AI for efficiency and innovation, and consumers demanding AI-powered experiences, the UAE is poised to be a leader in the future of AI-driven advancements.

BeIN SPORTS to stream UEFA Women’s Champions League on free-to-air

BeIN SPORTS, the leading sports broadcaster in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has announced that it will be broadcasting all remaining matches of this season’s ongoing UEFA Women’s Champions League 2024™ (UWCL) on its free-to-air beIN SPORTS channel, as well as its official YouTube channel across MENA, as part of its beINSPIRED initiative.beINSPIRED is a global beIN initiative launched in 2019 that gives a bigger platform to under-represented sports and talent, with a particular focus on women in sport, and is the driving force behind the broadcaster’s vast and well-rounded bouquet of women’s sports rights across its 24 MENA markets and beyond.The announcement marks a fourth successive year that beIN is providing free-to-air coverage of the UWCL. With nearly two million viewers tuning in to watch Barcelona win last year’s UWCL final, the increase in interest and popularity of the women’s game across the region is clear. The quarterfinals are scheduled to get underway on 19 March when Ajax host Chelsea and Benfica welcome Lyon, before reigning champions Barcelona travel to Brann and PSG go to Hacken 24 hours later.beIN holds one of the largest portfolios of women’s sports rights in global broadcasting, with Formula 1 ACADEMY, the female-only single-seater racing championship founded by Formula 1, being the latest top tier women’s sports acquisition. beIN also holds the rights to UEFA Women’s EURO and FIFA Women’s World Cup.Additionally, over the coming months, beIN will also champion women’s sports and its top talents competing at this summer’s long-awaited Paris 2024 Olympic Games, AFC Women’s Under-20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2024™, FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024™, FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup Dominican Republic™, three remaining Grand Slam tennis tournaments as well as the Billie Jean King Cup, on top of year-round live coverage of the Premier Padel Tour.

Joseph Karam appointed GM of International Media at The MediaVantage

The MediaVantage has announced the appointment of Joseph Karam as the General Manager of International Media.Bringing a wealth of experience to his new role, Karam is poised to lead media projects and drive strategic growth initiatives at The MediaVantage. With over 15 years of extensive experience garnered from leading agencies such as Magna Global and Mindshare, Karam boasts a stellar track record of working with global clients including Two Four 54, Atlantis the Palm, and Gulf Air.Notably, Karam's recent role in Bahrain overseeing operations for Mindshare underscores his commitment to the region and his adeptness in navigating diverse markets.Regarding the appointment, Manoj Khimji, Managing Director of The MediaVantage, expressed enthusiasm, stating: "We are thrilled to welcome Joseph Karam to The MediaVantage family. Joseph’s considerable expertise and track record of accomplishments make him an ideal candidate to oversee our international media offering. Joseph will play an important role in propelling our growth and delivering great results to our clients."Excited about his new role, Joseph Karam said: "I am very happy to be back in Dubai and thrilled to start this new chapter with The MediaVantage. While I have left the familiar agency life, I am finding myself more than ever involved and connected across the wider spectrum of agencies across the GCC. Having the opportunity to collaborate with our partners and clients to rightly position the Middle East on the global map mirrors a great desire TMV has for excellence and success."

Jumeirah Beach Hotel welcomes Rene Egle as General Manager

Jumeirah Beach Hotel has appointed Rene Egle as the new General Manager. Bringing with him almost four decades of luxury hospitality and hotel operations experience, his appointment commencing 1 April 2024, is set to further strengthen the property’s commitment to excellence, at a time when the Jumeirah brand is evolving as part of its Mission 2030 strategy.In his new role, Rene will lead the property and apply his background of working at some of the world’s best-known hospitality brands in key global markets, to ensure Jumeirah Beach Hotel continues to provide exceptional experiences for its guests.His career highlights include more than 20 years at Shangri-La spanning numerous countries including China, Indonesia, UAE, Maldives, Mauritius, the Philippines, and Oman. During his extensive career, Rene also held leadership positions at Kempinski and Swissotel (A Raffles International Hotel) in Europe, China and South-East Asia.With strong commercial skills that balance the drive for revenue maximisation and expense management, Rene has a strong history of running successful international high-end hotel operations whilst creating unique and innovative guest experiences.Rene holds a Business Degree from the Business School of Vormbruck Freiburg, Germany. Passionate about digital marketing trends with a proven track record of creating innovative content driven campaigns, Rene is also a Graduate of the Google Squared Digital Marketing & Leadership Program 2018. He is an avid writer and published Author including 'Hotel Untold Stories I' and 'Hotel Untold Stories II Food & Beverage Private and Confidential.'Thomas Meier, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Jumeirah Group said: “We extend a warm welcome to Rene as General Manager at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, our flagship property in Dubai. His vast global experience working with luxury hospitality brands across the world will be invaluable in supporting Jumeirah towards our Mission 2030 goals of elevating the luxury experience in key markets across the region.”Rene Egle said: “It is an honour to join the iconic Jumeirah Beach Hotel as General Manager and I look forward to bringing my global expertise to the role. This appointment represents a remarkable opportunity to contribute to the legacy of one of Jumeirah's most prestigious resorts. As the Jumeirah brand continues to evolve, I am committed to delivering exceptional experiences to our guests.”