Pet care brand Rory's Apawthecary partners with Waitrose, Spinneys

Dubai: Apawthecary, a homegrown success story in the UAE's pet care industry, has announced its partnership with two prominent retailers, Waitrose and Spinneys, a collaboration set to elevate the accessibility of organic and ethical dog care products in the UAE market.As of July 2023, Spinneys and Waitrose customers can conveniently access Rory's Apawthecary premium organic dog grooming products, including dog shampoo, dog conditioner, ear cleanser, aromatherapy spray, and a delightful assortment of high-quality pet accessories to be rolled out into the retailers this fall, including dog snoods, towels, and blankets. These retail partnerships mark a significant milestone for the local brand, which was recently awarded a place in the 2022 Spinneys Local Business Incubator Program. The esteemed program supports local startups by fast-tracking market entry for innovative ventures such as Rory's Apawthecary. Following the success of this partnership, Rory's Apawthecary plans to introduce new product lines to these retailers later this year. Additionally, the brand is set to expand into Spinneys and Waitrose stores across Oman. Since its inception in 2020, Rory's Apawthecary has swiftly gained recognition for its unwavering commitment to being non-toxic, providing premium pet wellness solutions, and emphasizing natural and holistic approaches. With a strong focus on sustainable and ethical practices, the brand has resonated and formed a deep connection with pet owners across the UAE. Rory's Apawthecary also supports local animal welfare and rescue organizations and actively advocates for fostering and adoption.The brand was established by Abu Dhabi native Robyn Fok, a passionate animal lover and dog owner. While searching for pet products at local pet shops and vets, Fok recognized a significant void in the market; the available options were either foreign brands or products laden with harmful toxic ingredients, posing risks rather than benefits to pets. Determined to make a difference, she named the brand after her beloved late Cocker Spaniel, Rory, and set out to create a line of natural dog wellbeing products, aiming to revolutionize an industry saturated with chemical-infused goods."I am thrilled to be a part of the Spinneys Local Business Incubator Program and to have established this partnership with Waitrose and Spinneys. These are two esteemed retailers known for their high-quality offerings," said Fok, Founder and CEO of Rory's Apawthecary. "This collaboration allows Rory’s Apawthecary to reach a wider audience, ensuring more pet parents and furry companions have access to our premium dog care products.”Now stocked at Spinneys and Waitrose stores nationwide, Rory's Apawthecary products are also available for purchase via the store's online shop, as well as at premium pet lifestyle stores and vets, both online and in stores, across Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including The Pet Shop/ Dubai Pet Food, and in all branches of Modern Veterinary Clinic.

Keel Comms hires human-like AI host for its podcast SustAInability

Duba: Dubai-based ‘Purpose Relations’ agency Keel Comms has hired a bilingual, human-like AI host for its newly launched podcast named SustAInability.The podcast aims to explore ways in which AI can either foster or suppress sustainable development, making it a crucial discussion platform for the future of technology and sustainability.SustAInability is a bite-sized, interview-style audio-visual podcast designed to engage audiences interested in the potential of AI to create positive change. As AI continues to revolutionize written content, Keel Comms anticipates a shift towards greater receptivity for video content, hence the creation of a "tech for good" podcast. With an AI-powered host leading the conversation, the podcast offers a unique perspective on the topic at hand.Since its launch, SustAInability has featured guests from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. These thought leaders bring diverse perspectives and insights into how AI can contribute to or hinder progress in various industries, including energy, agriculture, and transportation.Keel Comms was established with sustainability at the core of its operations, making it the only purpose-driven PR & communications, social media, and content agency in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The company's commitment to promoting sustainable practices and initiatives is evident in its choice to use an AI host for its SustAInability podcast—a move that underscores the importance of embracing technology to drive meaningful change.Baha Hamadi, Founder & Managing Director of Keel Comms, expressed his excitement about the new podcast and its AI host, saying: "At Keel Comms, we're always looking for ways to push the boundaries of what's possible in our industry. With SustAInability, we're not only exploring the potential of AI to drive sustainable development but also demonstrating its capabilities firsthand by using an AI host. We believe this unique approach will captivate audiences and spark important conversations about the future of technology and sustainability."As the world continues to grapple with the urgent need for sustainable growth, the SustAInability podcast offers a timely and essential platform for discussing the role of AI in shaping humanity’s collective future. Through thought-provoking interviews and insightful discussions, the podcast aims to inspire listeners to consider how AI can be harnessed to create a better, more sustainable world for all.

Meta Shapers Web3 & AI Summit to focus on Web3.0 and AI

Dubai: Web3.0 and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are set to come under the spotlight at the upcoming Meta Shapers Web3 & AI Summit later this year, according to Dubai-based technology specialist, Sharad Agarwal.Agarwal, the founder and CEO of Cyber Gear, a leading tech enabler since 1996, confirmed that a global cast of authoritative voice speakers and panellists are secured for the online event on October 4, 2023.“The speaker line-up is plucked from the centre of the metaverse conversation. Each of the 25 presenters and panellists are known to bring real experience, knowledge, thoughts, and concerns to the room.“We will cover a myriad of topics deemed essential to business, economics, and lifestyle from the current headline-grabber, Artificial Intelligence, through to the positive impact of Web3 to enable a just and inclusive future,” he said.Agarwal is considered a leading Web3 commentator having spoken at more than 100 subject-related events, on-line and in-person, over the past 18 months. He is the creator of the Summit. Meanwhile, global business & communications specialist, Susan Furness is onboard as the Summit’s content curator and co-host.Alongside Agarwal, Furness is an active voice in the Web3 conversation facilitating more than 30 panel discussions since early 2022, from gaming, to brand building, through to community building, and economics.Furness confirmed that at least a dozen, critical, headline topics will be tabled throughout the six-hour Summit agenda in addition to two expert panels. She promised a ‘jargon-free dialogue’.Referencing the virtual, global community of more than 2,000 Meta Shapers gathered over the past 18 months, Furness observed: “Meta-Shapers are known to bring a big dose of reality into the immersive conversation.“The Summit’s vibrant Meta Shaper cast is poised to unpick the identified pros, the perceived cons, as well as the real sense of the unknown that seems to be keeping economists, strategists, and Metapreneurs busy,” she said.Furness, the founder of emerging market advisory, Strategic Solutions and an associate at Edgewalkers International added an online audience of more than 1,500 from five continents is expected to attend.“Meta Shapers is a global community of impact entrepreneurs and industry leaders who are shaping the narrative around the metaverse, and early summit registrations are already beating our expectations,” she concluded.

Gartner says worldwide IaaS public cloud services revenue grew 30% in 2022

Dubai: The worldwide infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew 29.7% in 2022, to total $120.3 billion, up from $92.8 billion in 2021, according to Gartner, Inc. Amazon retained the No. 1 position in the IaaS market in 2022, followed by Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and Huawei.“Cloud has been elevated from a technology disruptor to a business disruptor,” said Sid Nag, VP Analyst at Gartner. “IaaS is driving software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) growth as buyers to continue to add more applications to the cloud and modernize existing ones.”“IaaS growth in 2022 was stronger than expected, despite a slight softening in the fourth quarter as customers focused on using their previously committed capacity to its fullest potential,” added Nag. “This is expected to continue until mid-2023 and is a natural outcome of the market’s maturity. We expect an acceleration in 2024, as there is still room for plenty of additional future growth.”In 2022, the top five IaaS providers accounted for over 80% of the market. Amazon continued to lead the worldwide IaaS market with revenue of $48.1 billion and 40% market share Microsoft followed in the No. 2 position with 21.5% share, reaching over $25 billion in IaaS public cloud revenue in 2022. Microsoft’s software-first strategy continued to support its IaaS growth as customers required more cloud capacity to support automation, advanced analytics and digital workplace capabilities.Alibaba Group again held the No. 3 position with 7.7% market share, although with modest 2.4% year over year growth. While Alibaba continued to lead the IaaS market in China, its limited potential for expansion across global markets has slowed growth, driving its recent decision to spin off its Alibaba Cloud business into a separate entity.Google saw the highest growth rate of the top five IaaS vendors, growing 41% in 2022 to reach over $9 billion in revenue. Google’s increased investment in sovereign cloud and expanded sales and marketing partner programs helped to broaden its customer base and drive additional IaaS revenue.Huawei rounded out the top five IaaS vendors with 4.4% market share and $5.2 billion in revenue for 2022. Since its 2020 pivot to an increased focus on cloud, Huawei has been steadily growing its IaaS revenue in China and emerging markets.“Generative AI will continue to drive the cloud market forward, particularly as hyperscalers look to support offerings beyond the existing, democratized generative AI solutions,” said Nag. “As enterprises integrate generative AI into their technology portfolio, new markets and opportunities for cloud hyperscalers will emerge related to sovereignty, ethics, privacy and sustainability.”Gartner clients can read more in “Market Share: IT Services, Worldwide, 2022.”Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference Gartner analysts will provide additional analysis on cloud strategies and infrastructure and operations trends at the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conferences taking place November 20-21 in London, December 6-8 in Las Vegas and December 12-13 in Tokyo. Follow news and updates from these conferences on Twitter using #GartnerIO.

JAGGAER names Eva Skidmore as its new Chief Marketing Officer

Duba: JAGGAER, the global leader in Autonomous Commerce, today announces the appointment of Eva Skidmore as Chief Marketing Officer. Skidmore will oversee global marketing for the organisation and focus on driving customer demand as the company enters a new phase of growth.Eva joins JAGGAER from Salesforce, where she served as CMO Public Sector and Vice President of Field Marketing for Public Sector, Education and Nonprofit – sectors in which JAGGAER also excels. She was responsible for creating growth marketing plans, driving brand awareness, and leading demand generation globally. Prior to her time at Salesforce, she held marketing and channel roles at Socrata, Oracle (RightNow) and Microsoft. JAGGAER CEO Andy Hovancik, said: “We’re thrilled that Eva has taken on this important role as a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Her track record of shaping and driving growth-oriented marketing strategies while building and retaining high-performing teams will be invaluable as we expand JAGGAER’s leadership position in the procurement software market.”“I am excited to join this incredible team and to support JAGGAER’s vision of Autonomous Commerce to address critical issues in procurement and supply chain management,” said Skidmore.“I’m also looking forward to working alongside Andy and the team as we gear up for the REV2023 global conference in Barcelona this fall,” she concluded.Skidmore holds a degree in International Relations from Tufts University and a Master of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Deloitte Digital, Salesforce partner to unleash the power of trusted AI

DubaI:  Salesforce and Deloitte Digital announced a collaboration to provide businesses around the world with the accelerators and strategies they need to deploy trusted AI for CRM. Deloitte Digital will offer its AI services, industry experience, and deep knowledge of data protection regulations to help organizations implement and scale AI Cloud. Together, Salesforce and Deloitte Digital will help clients harness the power of AI for CRM to deliver tailored customer experiences, supercharge company productivity, and safeguard their data. Why it matters: Deploying AI for CRM requires trust and data security. New Salesforce research reveals that 73% of employees perceive generative AI as introducing new security risks, and almost 60% of those intending to use the technology lack knowledge regarding data security measures.  Driving the news: In this collaboration, customers will have access to: Strategies Ready to Deploy AI for CRM: Quantitative, research-backed trust framework to prepare customers to deploy AI for CRM in a way that addresses security, privacy, and compliance requirements from customers and leads to loyalty and brand equity.Industry-Specific AI Use Cases: Deloitte Digital AI readiness labs with dedicated industry-specific immersive experiences to explore the potential of generative AI and accelerate the adoption of the AI Cloud across various sectors, including technology, healthcare, and financial services.Upskilling in AI for CRM Success: The Deloitte AI Academy’s commitment to upskill 10,000 professionals across the globe will include training programs to develop and enhance generative AI for CRM skills, fostering the next generation of talent within the Salesforce ecosystem.Trusted AI for CRM: AI Cloud is built for CRM – supercharging customer experiences and company productivity by bringing together AI, data, analytics, and automation to provide trusted, open, real-time generative AI that is enterprise ready. AI Cloud will enable: Sales reps to quickly auto-generate personalized emails tailored to their customer’s needs.Service teams to auto-generate personalized agent chat replies and case summaries.Marketers to auto-generate personalized content to engage customers and prospects across email, mobile, web, and advertising.Commerce teams to auto-generate insights and recommendations to deliver customized commerce experiences at every step of the buyer’s journey. Developers to auto-generate code, predict potential bugs in code, and suggest fixes.Soundbites: “Today every organization must become an AI-first company to compete, and that can only be done by adopting technologies rooted in trust and transparency. Salesforce’s work with Deloitte Digital will help ensure organizations have the strategies and technologies they need to confidently adopt and deploy AI for CRM, driving personalized customer experiences and immediate business outcomes.” – Clara Shih, CEO of Salesforce AI“For many years, Deloitte has been leading the industry in AI capabilities anchored in trust. With our extended focus and collaboration with Salesforce, we are able to offer our clients the technical experience and industry-specific knowledge to help them design, develop, and deploy AI solutions that optimize CRM processes, enable personalized customer interactions, and generate actionable insights for strategic decision-making.” – Jim Rowan, principal and U.S. leader for Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy & Analytics business

Benefit provides innovative advertising solutions for businesses

Manama: BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service, has announced a partnership with MediaZone, a subsidiary of Gulf Media International Bahrain (GMI), the digital marketing specialist in the Kingdom of Bahrain, to provide marketing and advertising agency services. MediaZone will serve as an intermediary between Benefit and third parties seeking to market their products and services on BENEFIT’s mobile application, BenefitPay.MediaZone was chosen for this initiative as a result of their proven expertise in offering marketing solutions, as well as their ability to ensure the seamless integration of advertisements within the app. The agreement will present innovative advertising spaces for those looking to market their products and/or services through the BenefitPay application. This partnership allows BENEFIT to leverage the full potential of their application and strengthen its overall impact.The collaboration is set to generate fresh opportunities for businesses; allowing them to reach their target audiences in Bahrain and aiding their marketing efforts . With BenefitPay’s increasing popularity and usage, it is an ideal platform to advertise on for companies wanting to boost their visibility and engagement in the Bahraini market. Third parties that join forces with BENEFIT through MediaZone will enjoy smooth, noninvasive integration into the user experience, as well as mass reach and impressions, giving them a competitive edge and increasing brand engagement    .Nezar Maroof, AGM Marketing & Communications at BENEFIT, commented, “We are excited to announce our partnership with MediaZone to broaden BenefitPay's features and bring innovative and impactful advertising solutions to the platform. By leveraging their expertise, this opportunity empowers us to further increase our brand's visibility and reach, while also providing our users with tailored and engaging content. We look forward to this engagement and the prospects it will provide.”Ribal Jureidini, Director of Operation & Sales at MediaZone one, commented, “We are thrilled to be part of this transformative partnership with BENEFIT. This collaboration aligns with our core mission to advance the digital advertising landscape in the Kingdom and enables us to provide strategic advertising spaces on the widely used BenefitPay app. Through this we are empowering Bahraini businesses while also enhancing the user experience with contextually relevant promotions. We are dedicated to the shared vision of digital innovation and this is definitely a significant step towards that goal.” It is worth mentioning that this engagement is part of BENEFIT's ongoing effort to further develop and improve its services in order to offer its users the best possible experience. BenefitPay remains a pioneer in terms of usage with 40 million access monthly and with more than 10 million Fawri transactions, more than 240 million Fawri+ and 468 thousand Fawateer transactions in 2022, beside other services such as petrol station payments, remittance and balance inquiry transactions.

e& launches ‘e& universe’, the first metaverse in the region

Abu Dhabi: e& today announced the launch of ‘e& universe’, the first metaverse in the region that is set to captivate audiences with phenomenal experiences, taking visitors on a virtual journey exploring with unique avatars and exclusive zones, bringing a new reality to connecting and interacting in the metaverse.This extraordinary platform, which aims to give users an exceptional digital experience, made its debut at GITEX last year. This was conceptualised and launched in line with the UAE's Metaverse strategy to position itself as a pioneer in shaping the future of emerging technologies on a global scale.e& universe will host the first Unpacked event in the metaverse for the new Samsung Galaxy series on 26th July at 15:00, where users will be able to pre-order their favourite Galaxy devices in the metaverse and take advantage of the exciting pre-order offers Samsung is rolling out for the new devices, bringing users one step closer to global technology updates and becoming the virtual hub for entertainment and live events.Users can interact, socialise and explore the limitless possibilities of the metaverse thanks to the various zones inside the e& universe, which open up a world of opportunities.Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, etisalat by e&, said: “We are thrilled to bring our revolutionary metaverse, a virtual realm that transcends imagination and brings together various zones of boundless possibilities. This groundbreaking launch will reshape the way we interact, explore and create, offering all our users a truly immersive experience. We want to welcome all our customers to a future of interconnected realities and are pushing the boundaries of digital innovation empowering them to create unforgettable experiences in an ever-evolving metaverse.”Hosted virtually in Arcadia Planitia, a place on Mars considered to be the most suitable for future life, e& universe is a strategic and ambitious tribute to the UAE’s national space strategy and the success of the Hope Probe mission, the first mission led by an Arab country.Developed in partnership with HTC, e& universe serves as the central hub, seamlessly connecting users and providing them with easy navigation throughout the metaverse.Joseph Lin, GM, VIVERSE, said: “e& universe, powered by HTC’s VIVERSE technology, is revolutionising immersive social experiences, taking them to unprecedented heights. These remarkable new features we’ve developed for e& underscore its unwavering commitment to pioneering innovative ways for people to relish content and forge meaningful connections with one another.” e& universe invites users into a vibrant and dynamic digital realm, offering a multitude of exciting areas to explore and enjoy including e& universe Virtual Home, e& universe Shop and e& universe Arena & StadiumWithin the e& universe Virtual Home, users have the opportunity to create and personalise their personal virtual space. It enables users to express their individuality and showcase their distinct identity by decorating their virtual homes with NFTs or digital assets. By adorning it with bespoke decorations that reflect who they are, inviting friends to join them, and engaging in voice and text chats, users can relish shared experiences and nurture social connections in an immersive setting.Users can dive into a captivating atmosphere akin to real-world events at the e& universe Arena & Stadium, with the Arena being the vibrant hub of entertainment while the Stadium is the hub for sporting events. With artist or team/player decorations setting the stage, the lobby creates a festive ambiance. Guests can connect with one another in the VIP box, engaging in voice and text chats while enthusiastically cheering for their favourite stars. The excitement can be instantly captured and shared with friends and family, creating lasting memories of the virtual event.With virtual concerts and live performances, the Arena Zone provides users with an exhilarating and captivating experience that is ideal for enjoying with friends and family. It allows users to indulge in the dynamic music and entertainment world within a stunning setting.Meanwhile, the Stadium Zone provides sports enthusiasts with an interactive and immersive experience. Users can enjoy their favourite sports matches with loved ones, capturing the thrill and energy of the game in a virtual environment.The e& universe opens up exciting possibilities for businesses to host a diverse range of events. From industry conferences that bring together professionals from various sectors to real estate exhibitions featuring the latest development, there are plenty of opportunities to showcase innovative offerings. The e& universe offers a dynamic platform for businesses to engage with their audience and create immersive experiences that transcend physical boundaries.The e& universe shop offers a variety of eye-catching images and exquisite paintings to unique art pieces and home décor that can be converted into NFTs. It is a treasure trove of digital assets and collectibles, allowing users to enhance their virtual experiences within theAdditionally, users can purchase event passes for exclusive concerts and other special events. The NFTs can be used to customise virtual homes and provide access to paid events, adding an exclusive touch to the metaverse experience.e& continues to shape the future of the metaverse, unlocking creativity, enabling social connections, and redefining the possibilities of technology

Telr and FlapKap Partner for Quick Merchant Loans Access

Dubai: Today, Telr, the award-winning online payment gateway, has announced a new collaboration with FlapKap, the leading revenue-based financing platform in the MENA region. The two innovative leaders in the fintech industry have teamed up to introduce a game-changing financing solution for Telr Merchants in UAE. This partnership aims to unlock the growth potential of businesses by providing rapid and efficient funding through the combined power of Telr's secure payment gateway and FlapKap's Revenue-Based Financing program.The collaboration between Telr and FlapKap brings a wide array of benefits to Telr merchants, who, with this collaboration, can expect fast approvals and funds in just 48 hours, ensuring quick access to growth funds without obtaining any equity while being Shariaa compliant. Further, the revenue-based payback structure eliminates the need for collateral, providing flexibility and peace of mind. And, through an insightful provided dashboard, businesses gain valuable tools to manage their funds and track their performance effectively. In addition to these benefits, Merchants will gain exclusive access to a team of experts with international experience to guide them through their journey.Khalil Alami, Founder & CEO of Telr, said: "By joining forces with FlapKap, we are providing a new financing program for our merchants, revolutionizing the way they access financing" Alami added: " SMEs are widely recognized as the driving force behind economic growth in countries worldwide. When we first launched the Telr Finance program during the challenging times of the pandemic, we understood that sufficient funding is key to helping enterprises to thrive. Since then, we have continuously committed to offering merchants diverse funding options, empowering SMEs to overcome financial limitations, enabling them to unlock their true potential and contribute even more significantly to their respective economies."Ahmad Coucha, Founder and CEO FlapKap, said: "UAE is at the heart of SME growth and a key market for FlapKap. We are excited to partner with Telr to bring our innovative fast, flexible, and insightful funding options to all Telr merchants starting today. We are on a mission to empower digitally native businesses to unlock value through effective working capital funding options".Telr goes above and beyond payment processing with its comprehensive one-stop-shop approach. In addition to seamless payment solutions, and financial funds, Telr offers a wide range of business services specifically designed to support e-commerce businesses, which makes it a reliable and efficient partner that online businesses can count on.

Etisalat by e& launches tailored business solutions for startups

Abu Dhabi: etisalat by e& today announced the launch of its new tailored business solutions for startup and micro businesses. The innovative solutions have been specifically designed to provide comprehensive services and support for small businesses based on their unique by e&'s tailored solution packages offer the best solutions that meet the specific needs of various business categories, with customers having the flexibility to customise their plans by adding additional services and add-ons based on their business requirements.The new solution packages currently feature categories: "Starters," "Micro Retailers," "Café & Kiosks," and "Services/Consultancy," each tailored to specific business types and encompassing a range of industries, with a plan to introduce more.As part of the company's commitment to continuous improvement, there are plans to expand the range of solution categories in the future. The expansion will ensure that businesses from diverse industries have access to tailored support and guidance, further enhancing their chances of success in an ever-evolving marketplace.The main plan includes 4G/5G Internet with unlimited data, a 4G/5G router, a UCaaS voice line, and 100 flexi minutes bundled. Additionally, customers can select from a range of add-ons, such as Microsoft 365, a domain name, an eStore, website design and support, two cameras and a network video recorder (hardware only), payments essential, managed signage, payments premium, VAT registration, and filing, among others.Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, Small & Medium Business, etisalat by e&, said: “At etisalat by e&, our mission is to empower, uplift, and support small and micro businesses by providing a bundle of essential services that cater to their unique needs. Through our carefully crafted packages, we strive to significantly impact the SMB community, becoming the driving force behind their growth and profitability.“Our goal is to become the preferred partner for all business solutions, leading the way in digital transformation, where small businesses can expect more than just connectivity; we provide a comprehensive suite of digital tools and services that enable them to grow, achieve success, and excel.”The tailored solutions for small businesses differ significantly from the existing plans and services offered to SMB customers. These solutions combine the primary services required to start and run a business, providing a convenient and holistic package.Mahmoud added: “Each solution package caters to the specific needs of the different business categories. For example, micro retailers require Internet connectivity, landline communication, payment solutions, and an eStore. They also have the option to choose between CCTV payments or web design and support. Moreover, we offer various mobile packages specifically designed for micro retailers to ensure seamless communication on the go.”etisalat by e& remains committed to supporting small businesses, enabling their growth and success by launching tailored propositions that empower business owners with the tools and services they need to thrive in today's competitive market.

Report reveals game-changing potential of industrial metaverse

Dubai: Arthur D. Little (ADL), the world's first management consulting firm, launched its highly anticipated Industrial Metaverse report under the Blue Shift banner. Titled “The Industrial Metaverse: Making the invisible visible to drive sustainable growth”, the report provides valuable insights into the developing concept of the Industrial Metaverse, its potential impact on various sectors, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.ADL predicts that the Industrial Metaverse could lead to double-digit percentage improvements in areas such as supply chain, utilization, and operational costs as well as driving growth and managing sustainability impacts. ADL forecasts an acceleration of the Industrial Metaverse market, with an estimated size of $100-150 billion expected to rise to $400 billion by 2030, potentially exceeding $1 trillion."Despite the current setbacks, the Industrial Metaverse has the potential to transform the way executives leverage digital technologies, elevating them from the operating level to the strategic level," said Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Partner of Arthur D. Little Middle East. "Many businesses in GCC are already some way along the digitalization journey - leveraging the power of digital twins, artificial intelligence, connectivity, and collaboration technologies. Businesses need to make sure they don't miss out on the additional potential that the Industrial Metaverse offers for better-informed strategic decision making for growth, profitability, and especially ensuring safety and sustainability."Unlocking the Potential of the Industrial MetaverseDespite the current sense of disillusionment with the Metaverse, new research by ADL reveals that businesses would be wrong to write it off. The continuing convergence of developing technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, complex systems simulation, data visualization, and connectivity (IoT), have the potential to enable executives to extend the use of digital twins beyond factory level towards strategy simulation for an entire global enterprise.Strategic decision making is increasingly difficult due to increasing complexity, uncertainty, and the challenges of managing sustainability across global supply chains. Through creating connected digital twins of whole industrial systems and supply chains, businesses can rapidly conduct "what-if" simulations for strategic decision-making.Unlike the Consumer Metaverse, progress on the Industrial Metaverse is much less dependent on full immersivity and interoperability, two of the biggest current barriers towards Metaverse adoption.Navigating the Industrial MetaverseIndustry 4.0 technologies have proven to bring significant benefits to companies that have successfully implemented them. According to data from Arthur D. Little's Operational Excellence Database, these benefits are substantial, including reductions in operational capital deployed and supply chain costs ranging from 15% to 30%. Additionally, companies have seen a 30% increase in production capacity utilization and maintenance costs reductions of 10% to 40%. Nevertheless, there are some common challenges towards digitalization, including high upfront investment, difficulties in coordinating the required cross-functional transformation, challenges in data security and management, lack of available skills, and limitations imposed by legacy IT systems.ADL's report sets out a clear model for what the Industrial Metaverse really means in terms of key technologies and functionalities. It provides an extensive overview of current and future applications and use cases and their benefits, from operational optimization and training to technical tools and strategic management solutions. It also provides clear guidance on how companies can overcome the challenges towards full implementation. Key steps include reviewing their digitalization strategy, identifying value-adding opportunities, implementing pilots, and building a partner ecosystem for success."Conventional strategic decision-making is no longer sufficient," emphasized Dr. Albert Meige, Director of Blue Shift at Arthur D. Little. "Companies must harness the potential of the Industrial Metaverse to drive performance improvements, optimize operations, and achieve net-zero growth. Unlike the consumer Metaverse, the Industrial Metaverse does not depend on full immersivity and interoperability, so these barriers are less significant going forward."

Atos and Dynatrace expand partnership to Middle East

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Atos, a global leader in digital transformation announced an expansion of its strategic partnership with Dynatrace, the leader in unified observability and security, to deliver advanced digital performance management solutions to customers in the Middle East (ME) region. Combining strengths in digital transformation, innovation and sustainability, both companies aim to create customer value by providing capabilities that deliver autonomous operations for digital experiences as the region accelerates its economic diversification agenda.Atos is a trusted advisor in vertical markets for managed infrastructure services, digital workplace and professional services. Cementing its market leadership, recently the company was positioned as a Leader by Gartner in its 2023 Magic Quadrant for Outsourced Digital Workplace Services (ODWS) for the seventh consecutive year.In addition, Atos holds Dynatrace partner certifications covering AIOps, Intelligent Observability, and ITSM/ITOM, easing the process to develop integrated digital applications that prioritize performance, round-the-clock availability, and customer-employee experience. Focusing on the partnership with Dynatrace, Atos’ deep knowledge in cloud computing, provision of decarbonization solutions, and a strong network can be aptly leveraged to meet end-to-end customers' demands in the ME region and maximize joint customer outreach.Emphasizing on the value this partnership brings to the region, Marc Veelenturf , CEO for Middle East and Turkiye at Atos said “We believe technology should be purpose-built and our extensive partnership with Dynatrace has put these words into action globally. We want to replicate our global success within the Middle East region. This region has the promise and potential of being at the forefront of propelling digitization to new heights. Dynatrace’s AI-powered observability capabilities can empower organizations to digitize their end-to-end IT landscape, right from applications and infrastructure to their customer journeys. Our partnership with Dynatrace bridges regional customer needs with the right solutions for desired outcomes through easy accessibility, so that milestone developments can be achieved effortlessly.”Extending the longstanding partnership between Atos and Dynatrace creates an opportunity for organizations to invest in solutions that can build and sustain market and customer relevance. The comprehensiveness of the Dynatrace® Platform can simplify IT complexities and create an agile environment that increases operational competency, ultimately elevating contribution to their respective national digitization agendas and meeting evolving customer needs.Hani Hannoun, Regional Director, at Dynatrace said, “We are excited for the next chapter in our partnership with Atos and are looking forward to being instrumental in shaping the business landscape of the Middle East  region together. We have a strong presence in the region, and now is the right time to grow stronger and demonstrate our capabilities and expertise as a trusted advisor to our customers as they advance in their digitization efforts.”

Astra Tech partners with Lifeform to empower Web3 digital identity solutions

Dubai, UAE – Astra Tech (Astra), MENA’s leading consumer technology holding group based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced its partnership with Lifeform, the leading Web3 decentralized digital identity solution provider, to integrate Lifeform Cartoon into Botim as a mini program. This collaboration aims to redefine and personalize communication, empowering users with effortless control over their digital identities.Building on this success, Astra Tech and Lifeform have plans to elevate their partnership even further. In the future, the Lifeform Cartoon will be integrated into Botim, allowing users to create, mint, and collect unique AI-generated Lifeform avatar NFTs. These avatars will transcend their role as personalized identifiers, introducing an exciting new realm of investment and collectibles. Powered by NFT technology, each avatar will possess an unparalleled level of irreplaceability and uniqueness, making every user's digital identity truly one-of-a-kind.Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Founder of Astra Tech and CEO of Botim, said:"We are thrilled to join forces with Lifeform. Together, we are poised to transform communication and digital identity management, empowering our users like never before. This partnership signifies our commitment to innovation and delivering exceptional value to our community. As Astra Tech and Lifeform embark on this exciting journey, the future of communication and digital identity is set to be redefinedBrian Hirsh, CEOat Lifeform said:“Visual DID (Decentralised Identifier) is not only the hub of Web3, but also an effective path for Web2 to Web3, which will enable users to easily enjoy various applications in Web3. Lifeform and Astra Tech believe that this cooperation can quickly expand the Web3 user group and promote the development of the multi-metaverse by making full use of the portfolio of crypto assets and combining the advantages of BOTIM as the main entrance to the Web3 world.”By harnessing the power of AI and blockchain technology, Astra Tech and Lifeform are confident that this collaboration will not only deliver a novel and personalized communication platform, but also establish a profound connection between users' digital identities and their virtual personas. This integration promises to provide a richer and more engaging communication experience, captivating the community and unlocking unprecedented value for users.

Anton Sizemin appointed as Commercial Director of WEE Marketplace in the UAE

Dubai: WEE Marketplace, the fastest non-grocery marketplace in UAE, is pleased to announce the appointment of Anton Sizemin as its new Commercial Director. In his new role, Anton will oversee vendor and supplier interactions at WEE and be responsible for attracting sellers to the marketplace and fostering their business growth within the platform.Anton brings a wealth of experience to WEE, having previously held the Head of Customer Acquisition and Development position at SberMegaMarket (one of the biggest marketplaces in Russia), where he developed and successfully implemented the company's B2B growth strategy. Under Anton's leadership, the active seller base demonstrated consistent exponential growth, attracting major national companies and establishing SberMegaMarket as one of the e-commerce leaders in Russia.Before his assignment at SberMegaMarket, Anton was the Executive Director at Darix LLC, responsible for launching new products and expanding the brand into international markets. He has also held positions at Home Credit and Finance Bank and Sun InBev.

Blue Apple Advertising to lead Snow Abu Dhabi launch campaign

Abu Dhabi: Blue Apple Advertising, a renowned marketing agency, has secured the prestigious creative communication project for the highly anticipated launch of Snow Abu Dhabi, an indoor snow park located in Reem Mall, Abu Dhabi.In this endeavor, Blue Apple will assume the responsibility of introducing and promoting the brand through a comprehensive digital, social media, radio, outdoor, and other strategic branding touchpoints.The success of winning this launch project can be attributed to an extensive multi-agency pitch process.Philippa Kevan, the Marketing Head of Snow Abu Dhabi, expressed her delight in welcoming Blue Apple Advertising as their creative partner for the brand launch. She emphasized the park's mission to revolutionize family entertainment by offering unparalleled and distinctive experiences.Leveraging Blue Apple's robust creative and strategic capabilities, the aim is to establish Snow Abu Dhabi as the preferred entertainment destination in the city, captivating the hearts of all enthusiastic entertainment seekers.Vishhal JN Anand, the Founder & CEO of Blue Apple Advertising, expressed excitement about partnering with Snow Abu Dhabi, an esteemed member of the Majid Al Futtaim Group operating in a captivating domain.Their objective is to position Snow Abu Dhabi as an entirely novel and exclusive experience, setting it apart from any other offerings in the capital.Drawing on Blue Apple's extensive experience in storytelling, the goal is to craft unique and differentiated marketing campaigns that truly distinguish the brand.Snow Abu Dhabi, the latest addition to Majid Al Futtaim's portfolio of winter-themed parks, will embody an Enchanted Forest theme, creating an enchanting frost-covered world where storytelling is seamlessly integrated into the design.Visitors will be enthralled by captivating attractions such as the Polar Express Train, Flight of the Snowy Owl, Crystal Carousel, Snowflake Garden, and Enchanted Tree, among others.Notably, Snow Abu Dhabi will offer year-round activities like sledging, carousels, zorbing, and zip-lining, ensuring a continuous flow of entertainment for all ages.To cater to visitors' needs, the park will feature three enticing food and beverage outlets, as well as a souvenir store offering Snow Abu Dhabi memorabilia, allowing guests to cherish their unforgettable experiences at the park.

Porsche extends Formula E commitment

Riyadh, Dubai, Stuttgart, London:– Porsche and Formula E yesterday announced the sports car manufacturer has extended its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship through Season 12 in 2025/2026.Porsche entered Formula E in 2019 with an initial five-year commitment until the end of the forthcoming Season 10 which will conclude in July 2024.The announcement confirms TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team will continue to compete in the premier all-electric motorsport world championship through the GEN3 era racing the Porsche 99X Electric car. The GEN3 is the third generation of Formula E race car which debuted this season and is the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built.Porsche also confirmed it will continue to play an active role in shaping the successful future of Formula E and is already involved in the design of the fourth generation of race car which will enter the championship from Season 13.This season has been the most successful for TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team since it entered Formula E. Pascal Wehrlein and António Félix da Costa have won four of the 14 races to date – three and one victory respectively.For the first time this season, Porsche is supporting a customer team, Avalanche Andretti Formula E, with driver Jake Dennis currently leading the Drivers’ World Championship going into the final two races in London this Saturday and Sunday. Britain’s Dennis has secured two wins and nine podiums to date in the Porsche 99X Electric and starts as the favourite for the title in his home races. Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development, Porsche AG, said:"With our entry into Formula E, we have opened a new chapter in all-electric motorsport. We remain convinced that our presence and successes in Formula E will lay the foundation for future mobility solutions. It provides the most competitive environment to accelerate the development of high-performance vehicles with a focus on environmental friendliness and energy efficiency. We look forward to playing an active role in shaping the successful future of Formula E and thereby giving electric mobility even more impetus on a global scale."Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport, said:"We want to bring innovative technologies and more sustainability to motorsport and be at the forefront of new developments. Formula E plays a major role in this. The competition in this series is at an exceptionally high level and enables us to provide important impetus for future production models. With high-class and exciting races, it inspires people around the globe for electromobility. We will be happy to continue to contribute to this in the future."Alejandro Agag, Founder and Chairman, Formula E, said:“Porsche has been a valued and influential team since joining Formula E and we are excited that this will continue. The championship is enabling Porsche to accelerate development of the innovative EV technologies we see in their road cars, while the team is an active member of the group driving development of the next generation of Formula E car to arrive in Season 13.”Jeff Dodds, CEO, Formula E, said:“Porsche’s commitment to racing in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will undoubtedly maintain the quality of sporting competition and entertainment at the highest level in the coming seasons. Porsche’s presence on the grid racing against other iconic racing automakers is what makes Formula E the most competitive grid in motorsport.”The 2023 Hankook London E-Prix double-header this Saturday and Sunday is the climax of Season 9 in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.Jake Dennis, driving for Porsche customer team, Avalanche Andretti Formula E team, has a 24-point advantage over Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) going into the season finale on home soil and a circuit where he has won twice.Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) is 44 points back in third, while TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver Pascal Wehrlein is 49 points behind Dennis. However, as the two previous races in Rome proved, anything can happen in Formula E and all four drivers at the top will be competing for the world title and a place on the podium.

Audio advertising top priority for advertisers, agencies: Survey

A significant 66 per cent of buyers have intentions to increase their investments in audio within the next year, says a the Europe Digital Audio Advertising Report 2023, unveiled by GroupM Nexus, the media investment group of WPP, in partnership with IAB Europe.The study involved 549 advertisers, agencies, and publishers across 29 European markets, with data collected through a survey conducted by GroupM Nexus, utilizing the national IAB network, between May and June 2023.An impressive 47 per cent of the surveyed advertisers and agencies rated audio advertising their top choice. Three main drivers for audio ad spend were identified by buyers: the channel's capacity to enhance broader media plans (65 per cent), increase brand awareness (55 per cent), and target specific audiences (48 per cent). The report also found diversification in investment across various audio channels and ad formats. The majority of buyers directed their spending towards streaming (59 per cent), podcasts (59 per cent), or online radio (57 per cent).Marketers have a positive outlook on digital audio advertising. Specifically, 66 per cent of buyers plan to invest more in this sector over the next 12 months, with nearly a quarter (24 per cent) expecting an increase of between 11 per cent and 30 per cent in their spend. These forecasts indicate a high level of confidence in digital audio as an effective channel for reaching target audiences.Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist at IAB Europe, highlights that digital audio has outpaced all other advertising channels in Europe from 2018 to 2022 in terms of compound annual growth rate. The pandemic acted as a catalyst for digital audio's growth, especially for podcasts, due to increased consumption. Furthermore, enhancements like improved measurement, simplified buying, and automation have contributed to the advancement of the market. The focus of the advertising industry on attention, quality of reach, and brand safety positions digital audio as an attractive investment channel for advertisers and a powerful platform for publishers to exploit context. The projection is that the European digital audio market, which reached €772 million in ad spend in 2022, will surpass €1 billion by 2025.Surveyed marketers ranked incremental reach (46 per cent), innovative activation like dynamic creative ads optimization (DCO) (43 per cent), and targeting efficiencies (42 per cent) as the top three drivers for digital audio spend. These factors are expected to play a significant role in attracting further investment in the next 18-24 months. Interestingly, 76 per cent of advertisers and agencies plan to increase their audio ad spend during this time period. Smart speaker interactive ads are considered the most significant opportunity for increasing digital audio budgets in the future, followed by dynamic audio ads. Cross-channel insights and activation technology, along with advanced contextual targeting, are also seen as significant opportunities to unlock digital audio growth. The capabilities to capture audience attention, drive consumer action, and execute informed cross-channel campaigns are vital for securing higher ad spend.Audio ads are expected to connect with audiences primarily on mobile devices, according to seven in ten marketers surveyed, followed by desktops and laptops (48 per cent), and tablets (44 per cent). Mobile's prevalence as a key audio device presents a valuable opportunity for marketers to engage with audiences throughout the day. The survey respondents also believe that audio ads can reach audiences via Connected TV, game consoles, and standalone radio devices, highlighting the extensive reach of audio.Harry Harcus, GroupM Nexus EMEA, emphasized the tremendous potential in the audio channel, with buyers and publishers anticipating notable growth in the near future. Audio, being a medium that reaches highly engaged audiences at moments when visual counterparts may not, can complement broader plans for buyers and enhance media offerings for publishers. Advancing the technologies that enable audio advertising can unlock cross-channel optimization and performance, making audio inventory even more appealing and driving revenue for publishers.

LG Electronics and DMCC collaborate for Almas Tower video wall digitalization

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – LG Electronics (LG) recently completed the installation of its state-of-the-art video walls at the Almas Tower in Dubai. The milestone collaboration between LG and DMCC is a testament towards LG's commitment to transforming the digital signage landscape while enhancing visitor experience at the skyscraper.The video walls installed at Almas Tower boast LG's industry-leading 55'' 500 nits FHD 0.44mm Even Bezel Video Wall and the 49'' 500 nits FHD Slim Bezel Video Wall, both which deliver stunning picture quality, vibrant colors, and exceptional contrast ratios. Both models come with razor-thin bezels and a seamless design, offering visitors an uninterrupted and captivating viewing experience which enable it to be the right platform for displaying information and videos all-day.The displays come with both high and wide viewing angles, while also offering high performance and scalability for all-round viewing. The larger 55” model comes with smart calibration options and a non-glare panel with an intuitive menu structure. The 49” model on the other hand, comes with easy color and white balance adjustments and an intuitive interface for a better user experience."LG is excited to collaborate with DMCC and to contribute to its growing reputation as a local hub for innovation and sophistication. Our video walls will create new visual experience to users and visitors alike, further driving the evolution of Almas Tower’s digital signage for a more lasting visual impression," said Jinyong Jang, Team Leader – Information Display, LG Gulf. "Our solutions are more than just standard displays, they are attuned with our smart software, which remove any limitations during and post installation, making it a must-have addition for offices and buildings that require similar services."Located on its own artificial island in the centre of the Jumeirah Lake Towers Free Zone, Almas Towers is one of the tallest skyscraper constructed Taisei Corporation of Japan and Arabian Construction Co. (ACC) also marking it as one of the tallest skyscrapers in Dubai. The tower is also home to the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the developer of the tower who was the first to move in.For more information about LG's advanced display solutions and its collaboration with DMCC, please visit:

Minor Hotels announces Sarah Hammond as director of sales & marketing

Dubai: Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of 530 hotels and resorts in 56 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Indian Ocean, announces the appointment of Sarah Hammond as Director of Sales & Marketing at Anantara Mina al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort beginning July 2023.Sarah brings more than two decades of experience working with luxury hotels in the UAE, Indian Ocean, and properties around the world. She is a highly motivated and skilled leader with a proven track record in driving results through strategy, dedication, and communication at the highest level of the hospitality industry.A British national, Sarah began her career with Kuoni Travel Group in 1998 before being recruited as a Sales Manager for Sandals & Beaches Resorts in 2000. She joined the Kerzner International in 2002 and, after gaining experience as a successful Sales Manager with One & Only Resorts and Four Seasons, Sarah was appointed Director of Sales FIT at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai. She moved to Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts as Associate Director of Leisure Sales in 2018 and, in 2020, was appointed Director of Sales & Marketing for Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives. She joins Minor Hotels after two years as Director of Sales at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in Dubai.As Director of Sales & Marketing for Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort, which is scheduled to launch in Q4 this year, Sarah will bring her extensive experience, expertise, and natural flair for sales and marketing to ensure the success of the new resort which will bring Maldivian-style overwater villas and tranquil elegance to the coast of the Arabian Gulf.David Garner, Vice President Commercial, Middle East, and Africa commented, “We are delighted to welcome a director of Sarah Hammond’s undoubted calibre and well-deserved reputation to our team at Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort. This new property is set to redefine eco-luxury in Ras Al Khaimah and Sarah will be an integral member of the team which will help generate and maintain its industry-leading success.”Sarah adds, “I am thrilled to be joining the pre-opening team at Anantara Mina al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort, it is such an exciting time to be opening a new luxury property, particularly in the stunning surroundings of Mina Al Arab. This much-anticipated resort will bring a wonderful new aspect to the destination and I am really looking forward to sharing updates with our key partners very soon.”Sarah will be responsible for creating, driving, and overseeing all sales and marketing strategies to promote and position Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort as a leading luxury resort within the region. She will lead a dedicated team to build successful relationships and an exceptional brand image with customers and partners, while creating outstanding awareness of the resort in key global markets.

Mindshare strengthens MENA operations with key leadership appointments in KSA

Mindshare, the global media agency network that is part of WPP, has appointed two industry veterans to regional leadership positions in MENA.Darine El Kaissi has been appointed as the Managing Director for Mindshare Saudi Arabia and Donnacha Kinsella has been appointed to the agency’s client leadership team to bring senior international client management capabilities to the Kingdom.The appointments are part of the agency’s aim to strengthen its KSA operations.Darine El Kaissi brings more than 19 years of advertising industry experience to the Mindshare team, including roles at regional creative agencies and C-level relationships with private and public-sector companies in the Kingdom as well as global and regional brands in telecom, government, FMCG and the financial sector.She has worked with brands and media such as The Red Sea Project, the Public Investment Fund, NEOM, Zain, Mobily, Asharq News and Asharq Business.Donnacha Kinsella brings global experience from Ireland and the United States in addition to seven years working in MENA to his new role.His experience spans diverse client verticals including CPG, automotive and tech, most recently with programmatic digital advertising leader Teads as CPG Industry Lead for the MEA.Mark Heap, Mindshare EMEA CEO, said: “These appointments underline Mindshare’s commitment to the region and our belief in the excellent opportunities for growth in the Kingdom.The depth and breadth of expertise and insight that Darine and Donnacha add will ensure we have dedicated, globally experienced leaders to work continuously with our clients and our own teams in Riyadh and around the world to help elevate our clients relationship and output to truly world class levels.”Earlier this year, Mindshare made several C-level appointments including the appointment of Lamiya Boumlaki as the CEO of Mindshare MENA and Faris Sibai as the Chief Growth Officer MENA.

Six Senses Southern Dunes appoints Sherif Marei as Director of Sales & Marketing

 Six Senses Southern Dunes, the first property set to open in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project, will open its doors in late 2023 with Sherif Marei as Director of Sales & Marketing.With a career spanning 17 years in the luxury hospitality sector, Marei’s career started with the Accor Group, working at a number of renowned properties including Fairmont Heliopolis and Fairmont Nile City. His extensive expertise in luxury hotel inaugurations includes high-profile launches such as The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah, and most recently the Banyan Tree AlUla. His notable honors include the globally recognized Director of Sales of the Year and Fairmont Masters, in addition to the Fairmont President Circle Awards, the brand’s top accolade in sales.Expressing his enthusiasm for his new role, Marei said, “I am thrilled to join the Six Senses Southern Dunes team. The company’s ethos and values align perfectly with my own. As pioneers in sustainability and wellness, we define our brand by these principles. It isn’t simply what we do, it embodies who we are. The unique location and distinctive holistic approach to every element and experience offered to our guests at Six Senses Southern Dunes make my role in promoting the resort a true privilege.”Located along the historic incense trade route against the backdrop of desert plains and the Hijaz Mountains, Six Senses Southern Dunes, will set new standards in sustainability and desert hospitality as it takes guests on a journey into seldom-experienced nature, wildlife, and culture. The resort will be open all year round welcoming both adventure-seekers looking to experience the uniqueness of the Saudi Arabian desert and pleasure-seekers who want to relax in the tranquility and serenity of the Alnesai dunes.

Marthesh Nagendra promoted to Director of Sales, NETGEAR India

NETGEAR, a leading global provider of networking products and solutions, has promoted Marthesh Nagendra to the position of Sales Director for India, MENA, and SAARC Region. This promotion comes as recognition of Nagendra's exceptional leadership and remarkable contributions to the company over the past years. With vast experience in the IT-Networking Industry, he has exceptional leadership skills and a proven track record that will drive NETGEAR's growth trajectory in his new role.  Marthesh joined NETGEAR in 2006, embarking on a transformative journey with the company. Through his unwavering dedication and visionary approach, he played a pivotal role in propelling NETGEAR into one of the region's leading brands, achieving unprecedented growth. His commitment to excellence and unparalleled expertise in the channel domain has consistently earned him recognition placing him among the top Channel Leaders by prestigious IT publications.  In his new role as the Sales Director, Marthesh Nagendra will lead a pivotal role in driving the company's success through a comprehensive range of strategies. Leveraging his extensive experience and expertise, he will be responsible for leading the team in conducting meticulous market research and analysis to identify emerging trends and opportunities in the MENA region. By defining target audiences and buyer personas, Nagendra has the ability to ensure precise product positioning and tailored marketing approaches. Among other key responsibilities in this new role, Nagendra will also endeavour in formulating competitive pricing strategies to maximise revenue without compromising customer value. The constant pursuit of improvement is ingrained in his approach as he encourages testing and iteration to optimise strategies continually. Understanding the significance of exceptional customer support and service, he would ensure customer satisfaction is prioritised. Besides this, Nagendra will be diligently monitoring and measuring the performance of the geography to achieve exceptional business outcomes. Marthesh Nagendra, Sales Director, NETGEAR India, MENA & SAARC, said "I am deeply honoured and excited to take on the new role of Sales Director for NETGEAR in India, MENA, and SAARC. Throughout my journey with NETGEAR, I have witnessed the remarkable potential of our products and solutions, and I am committed to driving further growth and success in these dynamic regions. I look forward to working closely with our talented team and valued partners to continue delivering innovative networking solutions that empower businesses and individuals".As a dynamic and visionary leader, Marthesh Nagendra has consistently built and nurtured ‘High-Performance Teams’ that have consistently surpassed their business objectives year after year. His ability to mentor and empower his team members has been a driving force behind NETGEAR's continued success. Furthermore, Nagendra's global outlook and his regular interactions with senior executives from diverse cultures have allowed him to bring a unique perspective to the company's operations and strategic initiatives.

Prakash Jain appointed as Group CFO for Buzzworks, Innovations Group

Buzzworks, India and Innovations Group, UAE have announced the appointment of Prakash Jain as their Group Chief Financial Officer. Both the organisations are prominent leaders in human resource and recruitment services and with this strategic appointment, Prakash will play a pivotal role in driving the financial excellence and growth across the organisations.Prakash brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in Investor Relations, Corporate Development, and Financial Transformation. Prior to joining the brands, he served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at ekincare and has also held key positions at organizations such as BlackBuck, Brillio Technologies & SLK Group. With over two decades of professional experience, Prakash sets out to be a catalyst for driving business transformation.As the brand takes the next big leap in its positioning in India and globally, Prakash will spearhead the company's financial planning and investment strategies. Additionally, he will be instrumental in fostering synergies between both the organizations. V C Karthic, Founder of Buzzworks, India, said: “Buzzworks and Innovations group are glad to welcome Prakash Jain as the  group CFO. Both organizations are at an inflection point of growth, profitability and expansion across verticals and geographies. Prakash brings not just a wealth of experience to the table, but also the competence, commitment and clarity to elevate finance to the function of a driver of business, from being an enabler.”Ravi Jethwani, Innovations Group CEO, commented: “We are happy to onboard Prakash Jain as the joint Group CFO and with his appointment, we’re one step closer to setting up the strategic team that will propel both organizations towards a winning partnership. Prakash will be instrumental in driving synergies between both organisations and executing strategic opportunities identified by the business “An alumnus of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Prakash also holds a Bachelor's degree with Honors in Commerce from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.Commenting on his appointment Prakash Jain said, “Both the companies have a strong track record of excellence and innovation, and I am excited to be part of this growth journey. I will be leveraging my expertise to drive financial strategies that will support their continued growth and success in the industry."The leadership at Buzzworks and Innovations Group welcomes Prakash  and is confident that his appointment as the Group Chief Financial Officer will significantly contribute to the strategic financial management and elevate the companies to even greater heights.

W7Worldwide report: PR key to sustainability and ease climate impact

Jeddah: Amid the growing threat of climate change, W7Worldwide — Saudi Arabia’s leading homegrown marketing consulting agency — recently published an insight report titled “The PR Role in Climate Crisis” to press home the urgency of the situation.According the report, the world is grappling with an imminent crisis of climate change. “We are already witnessing increased floods, droughts, intense rains, and a visible surge in frequent and severe heat waves,” it says.The consequences are colossal and the climate change crisis stands as one of the most threatening and severe challenges plaguing the planetSeverity of the CrisisData and statistics concerning the consequences of climate change highlight the severity of the situation and emphasize the importance of collective action.The W7Worldwide report observed that 90% of natural disasters are connected to weather and climate conditions. This is beside the global economy, which is projected to incur approximately $178 trillion in losses in the next five decades due to climate change.Moreover, climate change is pushing 26 million individuals worldwide into poverty and placing 41 million people on the brink of starvation. Additionally, estimates from international banks suggest that around 140 million individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia will be compelled to migrate within their own regions by 2050 as a result of climate change.Communicating messages is essentialThe current situation and alarming facts have emphasized the importance of effective communication like never before. Whether it is for business or environmental conservation, communicating messages has become crucial.British naturalist David Attenborough said, "Saving the planet now requires effective communication," emphasizing the essential role of communications specialists and public relations companies in this crisis.The United Nations made it a salient point in its Sustainable Development Goals, urging the people to take the lead in climate change communication urgently and address its impacts.Climate change is occurring at a faster pace than anticipated, with the average global temperature rising by approximately 1.1 degrees Celsius since 1880. While this increase may seem insignificant, it has the potential to disrupt the world's climate patterns.SurveyThe report cites a survey conducted by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) in 2022, the findings of which revealed the increasing importance of PR in addressing climate change.The survey indicated that 81% of respondents anticipated a rise in the significance of climate change in their work over the next two years.Additionally, 90% of those surveyed believed that the responsibility of tackling climate change falls on the PR profession. PR professionals also expressed that managing clients in climate action represents a major obligation for them.IPRA views these survey results as a call to affirm the role of public relations in making a global impact during this crisis. The situation necessitates the development of a range of intricate and adaptable skills among communication practitioners to effectively communicate sustainability messages, bridge the expanding skill gap in the public relations industry, and impart these skills to others.Raising AwarenessRising to the occasion, W7worldwide has often linked effective communication to educating and inspiring the public to reduce the crisis. In 2022, it developed a comprehensive communication guide, "7 Communication Strategies for Recovery from Covid-19 in the post-COP26 climate change conference" guide assists companies in formulating communication strategies that prioritize environmental concerns within their social responsibility frameworks.

UM MENAT empowers female-owned SME businesses on global Impact Day

Dubai: – On Thursday, UM, a global media agency network of IPG Mediabrands, launched its sixth global Impact Day, “Building a Better Future.” Together, employees across 50+ countries, 100+ markets and 120+ offices united and gave back to their local communities.In the spirit of creating meaningful change and driving economic growth, the UM MENAT team organized an initiative close to their hearts, focusing on empowering SMEs and supporting female entrepreneurs. This initiative is part of UM MENAT's broader, long-term commitment to elevating the potential of the regional business community, particularly female entrepreneurs.UM partnered with Female Fusion, the UAE’s largest professional network for women looking to build, grow and scale their businesses, to connect with female-owned companies who require marketing support which otherwise would not be possible due to budget constraints of SMEs. Over 90 UMers split into teams and took up an exciting challenge: developing seven marketing strategies for seven businesses in just 90 minutes. The team demonstrated their excellence across various industries by offering new thinking and marketing approaches to companies including a swim school, dental practice, production house, events company, natural honey retailer and an interior design brand. Each team presented their strategies to a jury and the best work was awarded recognition for going over and beyond the requirements of a detailed marketing framework. To end the day, the teams gave their strategies and marketing plans with the seven entrepreneurs to take on board and execute at will. These strategies will serve as valuable roadmaps, guiding the entrepreneurs towards success and growth in their respective industries.“Female start-ups in MENA receive a mere 1.2% of all VC funding. We are very grateful to be able support a network like Female Fusion to truly give value and impact others on Impact,” commented Maria Poulton, MD at UM UAE. “Female empowerment is close to my heart and at UM we are very passionate about sharing our knowledge with those who may not be able to access the expertise of a large media and advertising organization. We continuously investigate ways we can be more of a support function for the local community of business owners, especially women and elevating them to their full potential.”UM MENAT extends its appreciation to the Female Fusion Network for their collaboration and TikTok for sharing invaluable insights with female entrepreneurs on leveraging the digital platform for their businesses.UM Global created this annual day of service in 2016 under UM’s corporate social responsibility unit, Better World, which demonstrates the agency’s commitment to its core values of community and care. Andrea Suarez, Global CEO of UM, commented on the global efforts of the agency, “From picking up litter on beaches and parks in the US to providing essentials for those with disabilities in South Korea to feeding unhoused people in Greece, our community’s micro-actions will drive macro results that build a better tomorrow, today.”Through initiatives like these, UM MENAT not only fosters a culture of giving back but also reinforces its commitment to supporting SMEs, empowering female entrepreneurs, and creating a more inclusive and prosperous business ecosystem.

Motivate Media launches multi-media production facility

Dubai: Motivate Media Group has launched Motivate Studio, the cutting-edge multi-media production facility offering podcasting, photography, and filming resources, all under one roof. The new studio, aimed at empowering and backing creators across diverse media formats, has opened for business at the prestigious Media One Tower in Media City. The podcast studio boasts state-of-the-art technology, complementing Motivate’s second studio that provides a comprehensive 360-degree suite of services. In today's world, podcasting has emerged as a powerful means of storytelling, knowledge dissemination, and global audience engagement. Motivate podcast studio enables podcasters to capture and deliver their compelling stories, interviews, and discussions.The all-inclusive studios cater to every facet of modern content production, covering photography, videography, podcasting, and broadcasting. With a focus on pushing boundaries and revolutionizing media content creation, Motivate Studio aspires to become a thriving hub for creative expression.Acknowledging the potential technical challenges podcasters may encounter, Motivate has assembled a team of friendly and knowledgeable studio assistants. They'll be on hand to guide you through setup, troubleshoot any issues, and share valuable tips to enhance your recording experience.The production service includes both final polished cuts and raw content, upon request. From skillfully editing out any hesitations to perfecting sound balance, the studio ensures your podcast episodes sound nothing less than professional.Motivate Studio aims to foster a collaborative environment where creators can connect, exchange ideas, and support one another. Alongside the studios, you'll find comfortable and inspiring communal areas, designed to facilitate interaction with fellow podcasters and build a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals.

Saudi consumers conscious of cyber risks: Cisco survey

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — Cisco’s latest Broadband Survey has revealed that internet users in Saudi Arabia are conscious of cyber risks, with only 3% of respondents not taking any measure to protect the security of their home connection.The survey of more than 21,000 people in 12 countries, including 2,000 respondents from KSA, looked at how consumers use their broadband connectivity.In Saudi Arabia, 91% of total survey respondents ranked broadband as critical national infrastructure; while 68% of respondents rely on their home Internet to work from home or run a business.Security is a Priority as More Move Online The emergence of hybrid work and the ever-increasing blur between the professional and personal lives of employees brings new risks into the home. Despite most consumers using their broadband for tasks like banking and work, passwords are still the most popular way (52%) for survey respondents in KSA to protect home networks and devices, while only 28% have switched on their router’s firewall.Commenting on the findings of the survey, Salman Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia, said: “Our survey has confirmed that consumers in Saudi Arabia are increasingly prioritizing cybersecurity when using their broadband service, and this is aligned with the results of our previous study that revealed that 73% of consumers in KSA worry about cybercriminals hacking their devices. Today, with the prevalence of hybrid work models and the evolution and complexity of cyber-attacks, usage of sophisticated means for protection like multi-factor authentication (MFA), is more important than ever.”While speed is still the main priority among those planning to upgrade their broadband in the next year (selected by 40%), security is now a close second, ranked by 38% of consumers as a top priority when choosing their broadband package. The survey has shown that consumers in KSA feel secure while using the cloud, with more than three-quarters (76%) of internet users believing that using the cloud is secure and only 6% stating that they do not feel the cloud is secure.Last month, Cisco announced plans to establish a data centre for cloud-delivered security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to help customers protect their users, infrastructure, and investments against threat actors. The announcement is part of Cisco’s continued effort to empower organizations locally and in the region with flexible security services and data protection for devices, remote users, and distributed locations.

Mitgo launches Mitgame gaming partner network with MENA expansion

Mitgo, a global IT/MarTech company, launches Mitgame, a specialised one-stop partner network and user acquisition platform for games and online gaming services that has MENA in its sights for expansion. The first six months of 2023 saw Mitgame partners help gaming projects in MENA increase their purchase GMV by 86% YoY.Released as a stand-alone business in 2023, Mitgame grew out of the online gaming segment of performance network Admitad, a Mitgo company.In the last 12 months, online gaming revenues across Admitad’s partner network grew by more than 50%, with the US, MENA and Germany as the most significant markets. Seeing rapid growth, it was decided to launch Mitgame as a separate business entity with a separate business model focussing exclusively on the online gaming market.Primarily targeting client, browser and console games, the network already has more than 200,000 publishers, 100+ game brands as clients, and has attracted more than 500,000 active players for its partners in the first half of 2023 alone. Current Mitgame partnerships include Epic Games, Perfect World, Plarium, MY.GAMES, Wargaming, Gaijin, Nexters, Innogames, Upjers and other top-notch brands. The company also has a track record of successful cooperation with such industry leaders as PlayStation, Xbox and Riot Games.Publishers working with Mitgame, as well as Admitad partners, can take advantage of accelerated payouts via Instant Payout Pro. Thanks to this, they are able to withdraw rewards just one day after the target action made by their audience (install, purchase or registration in the game).Expansion plans in the already lucrative MENA marketMENA will be one of the key markets for this new business. In the first half of 2023, the number of player acquisitions and purchases generated for browser games in MENA increased by 64%. During the same period, the number of MENA publishers looking to attract new players to console games rose by 24%. These two segments will be among the main targets for Mitgame’s future growth, along with the fast-growing mobile games market.Affiliate marketing not only helps to attract players and increase downloads and installs - it also helps to increase the amount of purchases of both the game itself and in-game content.In a year’s time, Mitgame plans to have built partnerships with a further 400 gaming brands, 20% of which will be from MENA. It also plans to start collaborating with more than 5,000 new publishers, 30% of which will be from MENA.“Mitgame has evolved into a very gaming-focussed business. Being part of Mitgo will allow Mitgame to benefit from all the services and partner networking opportunities the company offers. This is part of our core strategy - to broaden and diversify the business into successful, global market segments.” - Alexander Bachmann, CEO and Founder, Mitgo.Mitgo plans to invest more than $9 million USD into the further development of Mitgame by 2025, with plans for Mitgame to become a global market leader.

The family office unveils its new Fintech lab

The Family Office, the leading wealth manager in the GCC, is delighted to announce the launch of its new Fintech Lab at its Bahrain headquarters, further solidifying the company’s commitment to delivering unmatched digital investment products and experiences for its clients.Driven by an unwavering pursuit of innovation, The Family Office has consistently pushed the limits of excellence in wealth management. The launch of the Fintech Lab represents a significant milestone in the company's ongoing mission to provide investors with cutting-edge solutions and elevate their overall financial journey.With the rapid advancements in technology and the evolving needs of investors, The Family Office recognizes the importance of staying at the forefront of digital transformation. The Fintech Lab serves as a dedicated space where experts, visionaries, and emerging talents collaborate to conceptualize, develop, and implement groundbreaking fintech solutions. By fostering a culture of experimentation, creativity, and continuous learning, the Fintech Lab will drive the creation of innovative digital products that empower investors to make informed financial decisions with ease and convenience. Through a combination of advanced technologies, data-driven insights, and user-centric design, The Family Office aims to revolutionize the way wealth management services are delivered."We are pleased to unveil our Fintech Lab as a testament to our unwavering dedication to our clients," said Abdulmohsin Al Omran, Founder and CEO at The Family Office. "By embracing the possibilities offered by fintech, we are poised to redefine the digital landscape of wealth management and provide our clients with unparalleled experiences that cater to their unique needs."The Fintech Lab will also constitute a hub for collaboration with industry-leading experts, fintech startups, and academic institutions. This collaborative approach will enable The Family Office to leverage diverse perspectives and harness the full potential of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning.With its new Fintech Lab, The Family Office is set to unveil groundbreaking digital products and services, solidifying its position as a trusted partner in wealth management and driving industry innovation.

e& enterprise and Tap Payments partner for unified digital payments

Abu Dhabi, UAE: e& enterprise and Tap Payments today announced a strategic partnership aimed at revolutionising the digital payments landscape.The collaboration combines the strengths and expertise of both organisations to create an extensive payment acceptance ecosystem with unique features tailored to regional markets.The strategic alliance between e& enterprise and Tap Payments empowers businesses of all sizes to optimise their payment processes and expand their digital capabilities across the region, fostering growth and success in the ever-evolving digital economy.The partnership utilises Tap's extensive network of merchants and financial institutions and e& enterprise’s advanced digital payment platforms and technologies to deliver pioneering solutions that provide numerous advantages for businesses. These include diverse payment options, seamless integration, enhanced security, and an improved customer experience.Alberto Araque, CEO, e& enterprise IoT & AI, said: "Our partnership with Tap Payments signifies a remarkable milestone in redefining the digital payments landscape. By combining our strengths and expertise, we empower businesses to thrive in the digital era, offering a secure and comprehensive payment acceptance ecosystem. This collaboration revolutionises business transactions, enhancing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction."Ahmad Alwazzan, EVP and Managing Director of Tap Payments in the UAE, said: "By teaming up with e& enterprise, we will revolutionise how businesses accept payments by providing an extensive range of digital payment instruments tailored to regional markets. This partnership equips businesses with the tools and capabilities to adapt to the rapidly changing payment landscape and deliver enhanced customer experiences."Through e& enterprise' services, businesses gain access to Tap's regional digital payment instruments which encompasses a wide range of payment options tailored to each market's preferences. The seamless integration between the platforms streamlines payment operations and boosts overall efficiency, allowing businesses to focus on their core operations and growth strategies. Additionally, the partnership prioritises robust security measures, utilising state-of-the-art fraud detection and prevention tools to ensure secure transactions and protect sensitive customer data.As part of this strategic alliance, e& enterprise’s flagship Payment Gateway, "EPG", will be enhanced to provide businesses with a secure and unified payment solution. The platform will also offer a comprehensive range of value-added services, including dynamic currency conversion, acceptance of loyalty points, and customisable features, providing businesses with a competitive edge.With the global digital payments market experiencing rapid growth, Tap Payments and e& enterprise are committed to leading the charge in the region, empowering businesses, accelerating financial inclusion, and contributing to the ongoing digital transformation in the payment industry through their partnership.

81% Emirati talents at 2023 Sheraa's Startup Dojo Youth Incubation Program

Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa –, has launched the 2023 edition of the Startup Dojo, the summer incubation program designed to empower young entrepreneurs. The eight-week intensive training and mentorship program takes place every summer to enable young talent to develop their entrepreneurial solutions and gain real-world experience of starting and running their own businesses.In 2023, Sharjah was ranked within the Top 5 Emerging MENA Ecosystems in Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER). Last year, Sheraa’s startups saw a 26% increase in funds raised, totalling $161 million and have generated revenue of $247 million. This year, Startup Dojo has seen strong participation from Emirati youth who make up 81% of attendees at this prestigious program. The participation demographic for this edition is reflective of Sharjah’s vibrant ecosystem and its myriad entrepreneurial opportunities in a variety of sectors.Startup Dojo 2023 will benefit a 50-participant cohort from various UAE universities who represent 15 diverse teams, each with a unique idea that has immense entrepreneurial potential. Sheraa has included groups that exhibited excellence in their previously held Sheraa Sustainability Hackathon 2023 and at the Sheraa Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) 2022 in order to ensure the continuance of their entrepreneurial journeys, which is a key objective for the entity.Najla Al Midfaa, CEO of Sheraa, commented, “Like any formative life skill, entrepreneurship is seen to reap wonderful results when taught early. This incubation program is one of Sheraa’s leading youth-focused platforms, where their creativity, passion and impact-driving attitude are encouraged and honed to a point where they feel confident about entering the competitive world of entrepreneurship”.“Each year, we see students coming up with new ideas, demanding new knowledge and skill sets, and expecting bespoke training reflective of fast-changing global trends and market demands. In this sense, Startup Dojo needs to serve the youth as a dynamic mentoring platform that fulfils their aspirations while also teaching them the core and unchanging fundamentals of entrepreneurship,” she added.Diversity and inclusion at the heart of the programThe incubation program fosters diversity and inclusivity with a balanced participant representation of participants. Among the 15 participating teams, 38 percent are from the American University of Sharjah (AUS), 31 percent hail from the University of Sharjah (UoS), and the remaining 31 percent represent other universities in the UAE.Moreover, the program further upholds gender equality, with a 50:50 male-female participant ratio.After learning how to build and market business ideas with the support of other innovators, industry mentors and successful entrepreneurs, the top three teams will receive benefits including commercial licences and grants that will serve as a stepping stone for venture building activities.Sheraa’s mission is to maximise human potential, empower entrepreneurial talent, and foster a nurturing startup ecosystem that draws the world towards Sharjah.

G42 and Cerebras Unite for World's Largest AI Training Supercomputer Network

Dubai: The UAE-based technology holding group, has partnered with Cerebras Systems, a pioneer in accelerating generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), to launch Condor Galaxy, a network of nine interconnected supercomputers, offering a new approach to AI compute that aims to significantly reduce AI model training time. The launch revolutionises AI and helps to address global concerns, including energy and sustainability, supporting Abu Dhabi’s climate effort and digital transformation initiatives.The first AI supercomputer on this network, Condor Galaxy 1 (CG-1), has 4 exaFLOPs and 54 million cores. Cerebras and G42 are planning to deploy two more such supercomputers, CG-2 and CG-3, in the US in early 2024. With a planned capacity of 36 exaFLOPs in total, this unprecedented supercomputing network will revolutionise the advancement of AI globally.Talal Alkaissi, CEO of G42 Cloud, a subsidiary of G42, said: “Collaborating with Cerebras to rapidly deliver the world’s fastest AI training supercomputer and laying the foundation for interconnecting a constellation of these supercomputers across the world has been enormously exciting. This partnership brings together Cerebras’ extraordinary compute capabilities, together with G42’s multi-industry AI expertise. G42 and Cerebras’ shared vision is that Condor Galaxy will be used to address society’s most pressing challenges across healthcare, energy, climate action and more.”Located in Santa Clara, California, CG-1 links 64 Cerebras CS-2 systems together into a single, easy-to-use AI supercomputer, with an AI training capacity of 4 exaFLOPs. Cerebras and G42 offer CG-1 as a cloud service, allowing customers to enjoy the performance of an AI supercomputer without having to manage or distribute models over physical systems.CG-1 is the first time Cerebras has partnered not only to build a dedicated AI supercomputer but also to manage and operate it. CG-1 is designed to enable G42 and its cloud customers to train large, ground-breaking models quickly and easily, thereby accelerating innovation. The Cerebras-G42 strategic partnership has already advanced state-of-the-art AI models in Arabic bilingual chat, healthcare and climate studies. Andrew Feldman, CEO of Cerebras Systems, said: “Delivering 4 exaFLOPs of AI compute at FP 16, CG-1 dramatically reduces AI training timelines while eliminating the pain of distributed compute. Many cloud companies have announced massive GPU clusters that cost billions of dollars to build, but that are extremely difficult to use. Distributing a single model over thousands of tiny GPUs takes months of time from dozens of people with rare expertise. CG-1 eliminates this challenge. Setting up a generative AI model takes minutes, not months and can be done by a single person. CG-1 is the first of three 4 exaFLOP AI supercomputers to be deployed across the US over the next year, together with G42, we plan to expand this deployment and stand up a staggering 36 exaFLOPs of efficient, purpose-built AI compute.”A leading AI and cloud computing company based in Abu Dhabi, G42 is driving large-scale digital transformation initiatives globally. The UAE was the first nation to appoint a Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, followed by various key investments by the emirate, including the establishment of G42 research partner, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the first post-graduate university in the world focused entirely on AI.Training large models requires vast amounts of compute, datasets, and specialised AI expertise. The partnership between G42 and Cerebras delivers on all three elements. With the Condor Galaxy supercomputing network, the two companies are democratising AI, enabling simple and easy access to the industry’s leading AI compute. G42’s work with diverse datasets across healthcare, energy and climate studies will enable users of the systems to train new cutting-edge foundational models. Cerebras and G42 bring together a team of hardware engineers, data engineers, AI scientists, and industry specialists to deliver a full-service AI offering to solve customers’ problems. This combination will produce ground-breaking results and turbo charge hundreds of AI projects globally.Forrest Norrod, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Data Centre Solutions Business Group of AMD, said: “AMD is committed to accelerating AI with cutting edge high-performance computing processors and adaptive computing products as well as through collaborations with innovative companies like Cerebras that share our vision of pervasive AI. Driven by more than 70,000 AMD EPYC processor cores, Cerebras’ Condor Galaxy 1 will make accessible vast computational resources for researchers and enterprises as they push AI forward.”CG-1 offers native support for training with long sequence lengths, up to 50,000 tokens out of the box, without any special software libraries. Programing CG-1 is done entirely without complex distributed programming languages, meaning even the largest models can be run without weeks or months spent distributing work over thousands of GPUs.Located at Colovore, a high-performance colocation facility in Santa Clara, California, CG-1 is operated by Cerebras. Each Cerebras CS-2 system is designed, packaged, manufactured, tested, and integrated in the US; Cerebras is the only AI hardware company to package processors and manufacture AI systems in the US.CG-1 is the first of three 4 exaFLOP AI supercomputers (CG-1, CG-2, and CG-3), built and located in the US by Cerebras and G42. The three AI supercomputers will be interconnected in a 12 exaFLOP, 162 million core distributed AI supercomputer consisting of 192 Cerebras CS-2s and fed by more than 218,000 high performance AMD EPYC CPU cores. G42 and Cerebras plan to bring online six additional Condor Galaxy supercomputers in 2024, bringing the total compute power to 36 exaFLOPs.

Dubai seeks to unlock a new phase of high-powered growth for its family business

Dubai: In Dubai’s awe-inspiring economic growth story, family businesses stand tall as architects of growth, innovation and value creation. Generating over 40% of the emirate’s GDP, the sector represents Dubai's indomitable spirit of enterprise.Now, as the emirate seeks to unlock a new phase of high-powered growth for its economy, the government is introducing a spate of initiatives designed to future-proof family businesses and bolster their competitiveness and growth capabilities in a rapidly evolving global environment. Over the last year, Dubai has introduced new legislative and support measures aimed at helping them navigate the challenges and opportunities brought by a global economy in transition.Backbone of the economyFamily businesses are the mainstay of the UAE’s economy. A staggering 90 per cent of private companies in the country are family-owned, according to a report of the UAE Ministry of Economy.They are also major employers, with more than 70 per cent of the private sector workforce earning their livelihoods from them.Family businesses have also been at the forefront of Dubai’s economic diversification, with a significant presence in a diverse range of vital sectors including real estate and construction, retail and wholesale trade, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, education and technology.A global family business hubDubai’s strategic geographical location and growing status as one of the world’s most hyper-connected cities make it an ideal global base for family businesses seeking to tap high-growth markets.With its business friendly environment and pro-growth infrastructure, Dubai offers one of the most nurturing ecosystems for family businesses. Furthermore, its high levels of safety, world-class healthcare and education, and unbeatable leisure and lifestyle offerings make it an attractive location for family-owned enterprises.With the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, outlining ambitious economic targets over the next decade, the outlook for family businesses in the emirate is exceptionally promising. The swift expansion of financial wealth in the UAE, which is projected to surge at a compound annual rate of 6.7% to reach $1 trillion in 2026, up from $700 billion in 2021, will spur significant growth in the family business sector.However, to achieve new levels of growth and thrive for generations to come, the sector needs to address several issues brought by an evolving economy including digitisation, cultural issues, governance and succession planning. A series of initiatives launched recently by Dubai seek to empower family businesses to lay the groundwork for sustained prosperity.Raising family business capabilitiesEarlier this year, Dubai Chambers announced the launch of the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses to educate family-owned firms on leadership transition, succession planning and growth. Forming part of a comprehensive plan approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Dubai Council’s fifth meeting, the new Centre aims to support the growth of family firms through diverse initiatives that include a centre for settling family business-related disputes.In the second week of this month, the Centre introduced a new set of governance guidelines designed to assist family-owned companies in establishing effective governance frameworks that can facilitate a smooth succession process and ensure the continuity of family businesses. Based on the local adaptation of international best practices, the guidelines offer detailed advice on developing a family constitution together with practical tips, tools and insights to support business-owning families in establishing effective governance structures.His Excellency Abdulaziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, one of the institutions at the forefront of helping family-owned businesses explore new frontiers of growth, commented: “Dubai’s visionary leaders have established the emirate as a leading global hub for business and investments, and remain committed to creating the ideal conditions for family-owned businesses to thrive. The significant contribution of family businesses to the emirate’s economy underlines their key role as an engine for economic growth. This impact will be further enhanced through legislation designed to develop a favourable business ecosystem, together with specialised training aimed at helping family businesses to overcome challenges, elevate governance standards, and ensure a smooth transition of leadership between generations."He added, "We at Dubai Chambers are committed to supporting the success of family businesses by representing their interests, enhancing their competitiveness, and advancing the capabilities of the next generation of leaders. The Dubai Centre for Family Businesses forms an essential part of our strategy to ensure a business environment that drives the growth and sustainability of family businesses in the emirate."The Centre has also launched a series of programmes to raise the global competitiveness of local family businesses including the Dubai Family Businesses Leadership Programme, developed in partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development; the Next Generation Training Programme; the Governance Series; and the Advisors’ Certification Programme. The programmes are aimed at preparing new leaders, educating family members on vital issues, raising awareness of governance, developing certified advisors, and fostering the growth and success of family businesses.A new international centre for family businessesIn March this year, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, launched the DIFC Family Wealth Centre, the first in the world to create such a unique offering. The DIFC Family Wealth Centre offer advisory and concierge services, certification, advisor accreditation, and education. Additionally, the Centre supports with outreach and high-end networking, conducting research and issuing publications, as well as offering assistance with dispute resolution.The DIFC Family Wealth Centre brings together global family-owned businesses and ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) to help preserve and grow the sector. By providing a range of support services, the Centre is set to not only accelerate the growth of local family businesses but also attract family businesses and UHNWIs from across the world. At a time when an estimated AED3.67 trillion in assets will be transferred to the next generation in the Middle East over the next decade, the initiative is set to play an instrumental role in delivering Dubai’s commitment to supporting family businesses.DIFC is continuously innovating and advancing its ecosystem to help families manage their wealth including implementation of new legislative and regulatory measures to attract family businesses to Dubai. One such key framework is the DIFC Family Arrangements Regulations, specifically tailored to foster a conducive environment for family businesses anddrive transparency, accountability and stability, and offer the highest levels of protection and support.His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said: “By harnessing DIFC's wealth of experience and expertise, family businesses in Dubai can take their growth and succession planning to the next level. We understand the critical role family businesses play in the global economy, and the DIFC Family Wealth Centre’s end-to-end service offering is designed to empower them to thrive, innovate, and preserve their legacies for generations to come.”DIFC’s new initiatives add to the series of legislative reforms that Dubai and the UAE have introduced over the past decade to promote the smooth transfer of wealth and ownership of family-owned assets and businesses, which include the issuance of trust and foundation legislation, and the implementation of clear inheritance procedures for non-Muslims.Over the coming years, many experts believe that Dubai’s increasingly attractive value proposition for global businesses is set to accelerate a significant migration of family businesses from other popular hubs like the US, UK, Luxembourg, Switzerland, France, Italy, Singapore and Hong Kong to the emirate. With visionary strategies, unmatched infrastructure, and an environment that nourishes growth, Dubai could well emerge as the epicentre of a profound global shift in the family-owned wealth landscape.SHARE NO

DIC strengthens global presence with launch of Vietnam

Dubai: Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has inaugurated a new international representative office in Vietnam. Located in Ho Chi Minh City, the office further strengthens the chamber’s presence in Southeast Asia following recent openings in Indonesia and Singapore and is aimed at boosting bilateral trade and investment between Dubai and Vietnam.The official launch ceremony was held recently with the participation of H.E. Dr. Bader Abdullah Al Matrooshi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the UAE to Vietnam, and Salem Al Shamsi, Vice President of Global Markets, Dubai Chambers.The opening brings the total number of Dubai International Chamber representative offices to 22 across the Middle East, Africa, Eurasia, China, India, and Latin America. The office will support and guide Dubai-based companies seeking to expand into Vietnam throughout every stage of their international expansion, as well as creating new mechanisms to attract FDI from Vietnam to Dubai by promoting the emirate as a preferred business hub and gateway to access emerging markets.Commenting on the launch, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “The inauguration of our new office in Ho Chi Minh City underlines the importance of Dubai’s well-established relationship with Vietnam. We are pleased to take this strategic step that further strengthens the ties between our vibrant business communities. We look forward to building on our shared commitment to innovation to increase bilateral trade in line with the ambitions of the Dubai Global initiative, which seeks to attract inward investment to Dubai and supports the emirate’s drive to boost non-oil foreign trade to AED 2 trillion by 2026.”H.E. Dr. Bader Abdullah Al Matrooshi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the UAE to Vietnam, said: “The opening of Dubai International Chamber’s new representative office in Vietnam is one of several important steps taken by the UAE to further strengthen the partnership between the two countries. The launch follows recent initiatives including talks on establishing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and the holding of an economic forum between the two countries in June this year. Trade figures between the two countries and other key indicators reveal promising opportunities for growth in trade and investments between our countries, and the Dubai International Chamber office will effectively contribute to achieving this goal.”The opening of the new office comes as part of the ‘Dubai Global’ initiative launched by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, which seeks to establish a powerful network of 50 international representative offices for Dubai around the world by 2030. The initiative aims to attract foreign companies, SMEs, investors, and international talent to Dubai by showcasing the emirate’s competitive advantages, sharing investment intelligence, and strengthening engagement with key international stakeholders.According to Dubai Customs statistics, the value of non-oil bilateral trade between Dubai and Vietnam reached an impressive AED 28.3 billion (US$ 7.7 billion) during 2022, reflecting the depth of joint trade ties between the two markets. As of 31 May 2023, a total of 170 Vietnamese companies were registered as members of Dubai Chamber of Commerce, 22 of which joined between January and May this year. The launch of the new Ho Chi Minh City office is set to play a key role in boosting this momentum by attracting more Vietnamese companies to Dubai.Last year, notable exports and re-exports from Dubai to Vietnam included tobacco (US$ 92 million), animal fodder (US$ 38 million), and aluminium (US$ 33 million), as well as perfumes and cosmetics, machinery, plastics, iron and steel, mineral fuels and bitumen, and medical instruments.Dubai’s main imported products from Vietnam included electronics (US$ 5.15 billion), footwear (US$ 564 million), and machinery (US$ 375 million), together with knitted articles, inorganic chemicals, apparel, fruits and nuts, coffee, tea and spices, furniture, and leather articles.The chamber has identified several areas that demonstrate high potential for growth in exports from Vietnam to Dubai, including coffee, tropical fruits, furniture, and cashew nuts. Opportunities also exist to increase imports to Vietnam from Dubai in areas such as meat, beverages, coffee, spices, perfume, and cosmetics.Promising sectors for investment in Vietnam include agribusiness, construction, ecotourism, food processing, and renewable energy.

Astra Tech and JW Group join forces

Dubai:  Astra Tech (Astra), the leading consumer technology holding group in the MENA region, is proud to announce its joint venture with JW Holdings, a bouquet of business lines including home appliances, electronics, automotive, glassware, packaging,  agriculture, retail, e-commerce, sports and foundation, and the parent company of Ruba Digital (RD). The collaboration will innovatively integrate RD within the Botim ultra app’s e-store, allowing users in UAE to purchase a wide range of consumer durables to be delivered in Pakistan through RD’s extensive retail chain network of 150+ outlets, spanning across 130 cities.  In addition to providing a seamless, cross-border electronic shopping experience through the ultra app, Pakistani expats based in the UAE will benefit from Shariah-compliant financing options up to 12 installments, offering added convenience and financial ease.  This strategic partnership is a significant milestone for Astra Tech, reflecting its commitment to harnessing technology and strategic alliances to cater to diverse customer needs. It also brings RD's extensive presence in the Pakistani market to offer reliability and trust for the ultra app users, as they deliver purchased items to friends or family in Pakistan. Speaking on the joint venture, Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Founder of Astra Tech and CEO of Botim, said: “Our partnership with JW Holdings marks another step in our mission to simplify people’s everyday lives through digital sovereignty. The integration of RD into the Botim e-store enables us to make advanced solutions accessible to Pakistani expats in the UAE, making the process of purchasing and delivering items to friends and family based in Pakistan easy. By ensuring a seamless user experience and introducing Shariah-compliant financing options, we remain steadfast in our commitment to enhancing the lives of our users and meeting their diverse needs, while offering a range of inclusive financial services.”Muhammad Javed Afridi, Chief Executive Officer of JW Holdings, commented: “JW Holdings group is glad to announce the breakthrough of its new venture with esteemed International Partner Astra Tech. With unwavering focus on innovation and Customer satisfaction, JW Holdings through its retail channel RD, will revolutionize the way of shopping Consumer Durables for its consumers living in UAE.He added: “Through their Botim app, Pakistani expats could easily connect with their loved ones living far beyond the borders but always nearer to their heart. Shopping through the Botim stores while sitting in UAE, with the deliveries bound in Pakistan for their families, will be a unique and unprecedented experience for users who could easily opt either for Cash settlement or for Shariah-Compliant installment financing plans.”Botim users outside of the UAE can still purchase consumer electronics from RD through the ultra app to have them delivered in Pakistan, however, Shariah-Compliant installment financing plans are currently only available to users in the UAE. Together, Astra Tech and JW Holdings are unveiling new avenues of innovation for Pakistani expats in the UAE, who make up 12.69% of the country’s population according to Global Media Insights, bridging the gap and making cross-border shopping convenient, accessible, and financially feasible, with plans to launch in other countries.

Coca-Cola and Riot Games launch Coca-Cola Ultimate Zero Sugar in UAE

Dubai: Coca-Cola® has launched a new limited-edition flavor from Coca-Cola® Creations in collaboration with Riot Games, the publisher and developer of League of Legends. Coca-Cola® Ultimate Zero Sugar will celebrate every player’s journey - whether it's their first time on the Rift or on the Finals stage at Worlds in pursuit of the Summoner's Cup.Coca-Cola® Ultimate Zero Sugar is the first collaboration with a gaming company on a Coca-Cola® flavor, bringing together teams from Riot Games and Coca-Cola® to co-create a flavor that will give players an exhilarating taste as they queue up for a game. Accompanying the product’s release, in-game and digital experiences will bring the excitement of the Coca-Cola® Ultimate Zero Sugar collaboration to players across the globe.  "We are very happy to bring this unique partnership to the UAE. League of Legends has a dedicated following in the UAE and across the region and through this collaboration, we look forward to elevating the gaming experience even further. Plus, we have a cool, new beverage that we’re confident our gamers will enjoy while they discover new in-game experiences and missions,” said Tarun Sabhlok, Marketing Director, Middle East at The Coca-Cola Company.To bring a flavor of this unique gaming experience, Coca-Cola® had planned an exciting activation at Virgin Megastores across the UAE where gamers could come and experience League of Legends first-hand along with the new Coca-Cola® Ultimate Zero Sugar. These immersive gaming activations aimed to bring gaming fans together. The activations took place at Mall of Emirates on 22 June and at Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi on 30 June.“We’re excited for players to taste the new flavor, a unique and bespoke collaboration with Coca-Cola, a globally recognized brand loved by millions,” said David Mulhall, Head of Business Development and Partnerships at Riot Games. “They share many of the player-focused values we have at Riot, and we are honored to be the first gaming collaboration for Coca-Cola Creations.” League of Legends players can also unlock limited edition Ultimate emotes in-game through a series of missions. Players will be transported to the Coca-Cola® Creations Hub, the home for unique Coca-Cola® Creations digital experiences, by scanning the QR code on a Coca-Cola® Ultimate Zero Sugar bottle or can.Coca-Cola® Ultimate Zero Sugar fuses the two iconic brands with striking packaging design that features black and various shades of gold. The familiar Coca-Cola® Creations logo is also complemented by a bespoke ‘Ultimate’ crest and energized with a magical blue Hextech glow. The design showcases a unique expression of the recognizable Coca-Cola® Spencerian Script font, inspired by the Nexus Crystals in League of Legends.Coca-Cola® Ultimate Zero Sugar is available across key retail outlets in the UAE for a limited period.Join the conversation using #CocaColaUltimate #CocaColaCreations

Admiral expands its global footprint in the Middle East with new partners

UAE: Admiral has recently expanded its Global Footprint across Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia, by partnering with few of the strongest distributors in various countries.Admiral Appliances and Electronics FZE, a 100% subsidiary of Admiral Corporation of America based out of Dubai, UAE is a well-known American brand that operates across the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, and South Asia with an exhaustive and impressive range in categories like Air-Conditioners, LED TVs, Major Appliances, Built ins and Small Appliances.Admiral recently celebrated its success by hosting a Grand Event with its Regional Partners & UAE Retailers, Dealers, Online & Re – Export Partners and signed New Partnerships with few of the top distributors in the region. Admiral is one of the fastest growing American Appliances and Electronics brands in the region. It demonstrated over 150 consumer appliance products that are currently retailed across all the leading outlets like Extra, Sharaf DG, Amazon, Noon and many more.Admiral intends to enter one of the biggest markets in the world – India, by Q4’23. Admiral products will be available in the Indian market with one of the top online players.Vishal Saxena, Chief Executive Officer, Admiral Appliances and Electronics said, “We are excited to expand in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asian markets after spending considerable time studying and adapting to the specific needs of our customers. We are currently operating in 23 countries of MEA and South Asia and by end of 2023, we will operate in more than 30 countries of MEA and South Asia. We are aggressively expanding to serve our consumers. We see a gap in the market that can be filled by Admiral.”“All our channel partners were extremely impressed with our product portfolio, which is a testimony of Admiral’s commitment to its consumers. Admiral products are being retailed amongst all the top Retailers, Dealers and IR Channel Partners and Online Players. Our consumers are spoilt for choices with Admiral.”Admiral’s range has attractive features like Active Fresh, Smart Technology, Energy Saving, Smart Inverter, Turbo Cooling and Reliability that transforms “Human Experience”. Admiral has recently introduced unique products such as the Laundry Centre and 100 cm Gas cooker from Turkey. At the recently held Grand Event, Admiral unveiled its unique and exclusive product “The Laundry Center” that has no comparison in the market with 2 Drums - 5kg Washer at the top and 10 / 7Kg Washer & Dryer at the bottom.Admiral has one of the biggest Consumer Electronics and Appliances range, with products that fit the requirements of both Domestic and Commercial customers. Admiral Group also operates in verticals like Mobility (Electric Commercial Vehicles) and Energy (Charging solutions of Electric Vehicles).

Havas acquires digital marketing agency Pivotroots

Havas has announced the acquisition of PivotRoots, one of India and UAE’s leading digital marketing and communications agencies. The network’s latest acquisition comes at a time when Havas Media India is experiencing a period of impressive growth and represents Havas’ commitment to positioning the network for expansion in these key markets.  Launched in 2016 by co-founders Shibu Shivanandan, Hetal Khalsa, Dhruvi Joshi, and Yogesh Khanchandani, PivotRoots is one of the fastest-growing marketing and communications agencies, providing cutting-edge solutions to clients across a wide range of industries in India and the UAE. PivotRoots has worked with brands like Amazon Prime Video, Swiggy, Hindustan Unilever, Disney, Bisleri, Medlife, Urban Company, among others.?Being a fully integrated agency, PivotRoots is a leading provider of solutions in brand and performance marketing, UI/UX, digital content creation, and marketing technology through its recently launched division PivotConsult.  The acquisition will allow Havas Media India to tap into PivotRoots’ deep understanding of the Indian and MENA markets and enhance its capabilities in the rapidly growing digital advertising space. By combining PivotRoots' local expertise with the group's global resources, PivotRoots will be able to deliver best-in-class digital marketing solutions at scale.  The addition of PivotRoots strengthens HMGI’s powerful roster of agencies and specialized divisions which includes?media networks Havas Media and Arena Media; specialist brands Havas Market, Havas Programmatic Hub, Havas Analytics, Socialyse, and Havas Media Tribes; and the recently launched global offering, Havas Play. PivotRoots’ state-of-art digital capabilities, supplemented with?Havas Media's meaningful?media experiences (Mx)?approach will allow HMGI to offer a unique?audience-first data-driven solution to the clients. This acquisition not only bolsters Havas' position in the industry but also demonstrates the company's commitment to staying ahead of the competition by investing in cutting-edge technologies and innovative strategies.  "We are thrilled to welcome PivotRoots to the Havas family," said?Yannick Bolloré, Chairman of Vivendi, and Chairman & CEO of Havas. “The acquisition is part of our broader strategy to expand our presence in lighthouse markets around the world. With a global network that spans over 100 countries, Havas is well-positioned to help clients reach audiences wherever they are.”  Bolloré?elaborated, "We see tremendous potential in India, and we are committed to investing in actions and efforts that help us actualize and leverage this potential meaningfully. This acquisition will further strengthen not only Havas Media India's and Havas India’s position in the country where PivotRoots primarily operates, which is one of the fastest-growing digital advertising markets in the world, but also add a specialized edge to Havas Media Network, and to Havas as a whole.”  Shibu Shivanandan, Founder and Managing Director, PivotRoots, said, "We are excited to be part of Havas Media India. We share a common vision for the future of advertising, and by combining our expertise and talent we can deliver better solutions, services, and results to our clients. We are proud of what we have achieved at PivotRoots in India and MENA so far, and we look forward to the next chapter in our journey."  "I'm delighted to welcome Shibu and the PivotRoots team to the Havas Family”, said, Rana Barua, CEO, Havas India. He further added, “This acquisition comes at an extremely interesting time for Havas India, which has undergone a complete transformation in recent years and has seen unprecedented growth and success. The addition of PivotRoots and their capabilities, advanced analytics and technology, and a new perspective on creativity and innovation distinguishes Havas Media India in the industry in meeting the evolving needs of its clients and succeeding in an increasingly competitive and extremely dynamic market.”

FIFA Women's World Cup matches stream live on TOD in MENA

Doha: All FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 matches stream live on TOD for the MENA region with users able to access on-the-go viewing, match highlights, and interactive timelines. For more information on streaming the matches please visit www.tod.tvThe FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 is set to make history as Morocco, the first Arab team to compete in the prestigious tournament, takes on formidable Germany in a Group H showdown. The match will kick-off on 24 July at 11:30 Doha time, at Melbourne’s iconic Rectangular Stadium.Germany, the FIFA Women's World Cup champions in 2003 and 2007, are strong favorites in Group H. Despite its heartbreaking loss in the UEFA Euro 2019 final, Germany remains a powerhouse in women's football with an exceptionally talented and experienced squad.The Atlas Lionesses’ remarkable journey to the Women's World Cup has captured the hearts of football enthusiasts in the Arab world marking a historic moment for women's football in the region. The team’s recent achievement of reaching last year’s finals of the Women's AFCON though narrowly missing out on the title against South Africa, highlights its determination and rising international potential.Under the leadership of Captain Ghizlane Chebbak, and the talented Rosella Ayane, Morocco has been meticulously preparing to face the world's best. Ranked 72nd in the FIFA world rankings, the second lowest of any team in the tournament, Morocco is coached by the accomplished Reynald Pedros, a two-time UEFA Women's Champions League winner with Lyon.“With the spotlight firmly fixed on the German and Moroccan national teams, football enthusiasts from the region eagerly look forward to this historic face-off, as it symbolizes the rising prominence of women's football in the Arab world,” said John Paul Mckerlie, VP Marketing and Sales at TOD.

Gemeria enters the Middle East market with a branch in Dubai

Gemeria on the grand opening of its wholesale branch for bulk buyers and salon partners in Dubai. This expansion represents a significant milestone for the company and showcases Gemeria's dedication to delivering premium quality hair extensions globally. Its focus on eco-friendly practices and ethically sourced natural human hair has positioned it as a pioneer in sustainability within the hair extensions industry.With a strong customer base of over 1,00,000 satisfied customers in India, Gemeria now aims to bring its exceptional hair extensions to the international market. The acquisition of a trade license for its Dubai branch demonstrates Gemeria's commitment to expanding globally while maintaining its core values of using 100% natural hair and promoting sustainability. This move solidifies its reputation as a trusted leader in the hair extension industry, catering to a diverse and global customer base.The wholesale branch offers a diverse range of high-quality products, including human hair extensions, clip-in extensions, ponytail extensions, and colored hair extensions for bulk buyers and salon partners. With a strong focus on customer satisfaction and meticulous attention to detail, it is poised to revolutionize the hair extension industry in the Middle East.Gemeria recognizes the importance of offering customers a physical space to explore and experience the beauty and versatility of its products firsthand. The decision to open a branch in Dubai was influenced by the growing demand for luxurious and top-notch hair extensions in the region."We are excited to introduce our premium hair extensions in Dubai, catering to the fashion-forward Middle Eastern market. With our exceptional products and commitment to customer satisfaction, It will be the go-to destination for hair extensions in Dubai and beyond," said Mani Tyagi, Co-Founder of Gemeria.Gemeria's innovative hair extensions and wigs, such as the half-head wig engineered by Gemeria, showcase the company's commitment to providing high-quality products that set them apart from competitors. The company has established a wide network of authorities and associations, particularly from South Indian temples, who provide pure, raw, virgin hair. This hair is then carefully classified based on its characteristics and undergoes an extensive and detailed cleaning and conditioning process before being used by clients.

Sheraa unlocks entrepreneurial potential within AI industry

Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) recently hosted a highly engaging and informative workshop on entrepreneurship as part of the UAE’s Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office’s ‘AI SUMMER CAMP 5.0’. Titled, ‘Building Blocks of Entrepreneurship: A workshop from ideation to implementation,’ the empowering session covered a range of topics related to entrepreneurship and was held at the Sheraa headquarters within the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park.The workshop, led by Sheraa’s team of experienced entrepreneurs and mentors, gave 25 eager participants an exclusive opportunity to learn about the different stages of the entrepreneurial journey, the skills and resources they need to succeed, and the potential of the emerging AI industry. Open to all aspiring entrepreneurs, the 4-hour jam-packed session demonstrated the various ways Sheraa is committed to helping entrepreneurs capitalise on this opportunity.Empowering entrepreneurs with essential skills and toolsDuring the workshop, participants were introduced to key tools and concepts that are crucial for entrepreneurial success. The ‘Business Blueprint Canvas’ was discussed as a strategic planning tool, enabling those attending to visualise and organise their business ideas and strategies. The workshop additionally focused on crafting an impactful ‘Elevator Pitch’, teaching participants how to effectively communicate their concepts in a concise and compelling manner.To enhance pitching skills further, an interactive session was held titled ‘Pitch This’, which allowed those participating to practise and receive feedback on their ideas. Another important topic covered was ‘Journey Mapping’, with a specific emphasis on identifying pain points rather than jumping to solutions. By understanding the customer journey and these points, participants were equipped with the knowledge to develop solutions that address real world needs. Supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystemCommenting on the positive response to the workshop, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said, “AI has the potential to transform industries, and we intend to help the ecosystem we have established in Sharjah to lead the way in this field. Our partnership with the UAE AI Camp has equipped participants with a road-map to success, providing the knowledge and skills they need to develop and launch impactful AI-powered businesses.”Expanding on the role that Sheraa plays in the entrepreneurial landscape, Najla Al Midfa stated, “At Sheraa we firmly believe that entrepreneurship is essential for economic growth and innovation, and we are committed to providing support and guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs on every step of their journey.”

Kuwait bans cryptocurrency to combat money laundering

Kuwait has declared a ban on cryptocurrency for payments or investments, aimed at thwarting money laundering activities.The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of the country has introduced a set of regulations that impose an "absolute ban" on the usage of digital currencies in the context of making payments. These regulations go as far as declaring all virtual assets as illegal. Furthermore, the CMA has also disallowed digital asset mining and disavowed crypto as a decentralized form of currency. Businesses are prohibited from offering any services related to cryptocurrencies.However, it is crucial to note that this prohibition does not apply to securities regulated by the Central Bank of Kuwait or other securities and financial instruments overseen by the Capital Markets Authority, as explicitly stated in the circular.The Central Bank of Kuwait, together with the Capital Markets Authority, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Insurance Regulatory Unit, have issued circulars pertaining to the supervision of virtual assets used as a means of payment or recognized as decentralized currency in Kuwait. They have emphasized on abstaining from engaging in transactions that involve virtual currency as a payment method within the boundaries of this prohibition, as reported by Al-Jarida daily.These circulars are aligned with the recommendations set forth by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, aiming to enforce the implementation of Recommendation No 15 of the international requirements issued by FATF. As a consequence, dealing with virtual assets as an investment tool is strictly prohibited.Moreover, it is of utmost importance to refrain from providing any services related to virtual assets to customers, issuing licenses to individuals or entities for offering virtual asset services as a business, either for personal gain or on behalf of others. Notably, no such licenses have been granted previously. The circulars also extend the ban to encompass all virtual currency mining activities.The CMA stresses that the ban aligns with the guidelines put forth by the Financial Action Task Force on crypto assets and is a direct result of the study conducted by the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

UAE news organisations slow in AI adoption: Research

While the global news media world is being disrupted by Artificial Intelligence (AI) led by bigtime players, news organisations in the UAE have been slow in the use and adoption of AI in newsrooms, according to a paper authored by three university researchers.The findings suggest that while the UAE as a nation is adopting AI rapidly, news organizations are still experimenting with AI at a slow pace, at a time when the world is transitioning from digital journalism to ‘algorithmic journalism’, driven by AI.Algorithmic journalism refers to news articles generated by computer algorithms – the automated gathering, production, and publishing of news based on programmed algorithms.The paper was authored by Sabir Haque, an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK), Norita Ahmad, a Professor of Information Systems and Analytics at the American University of Sharjah and Mohammed Ibahrine, a Professor of Mass Communication at the American University of Sharjah.Primary data for the paper were collected through in-depth online interviews with 11 participants, including journalists, editors, digital managers and executives, and technologists of news organizations in the UAE.According to the paper, a majority of the interviewees agreed that most news organizations in the UAE were in early stages of AI adoption; they have just started the AI transformation processes by experimenting with this new technology and engaging employees with the needed talents to implement it. However, not all news organizations have a clear and coherent AI strategy.Based on the responses, impeding factors included editors’ traditional approach to transitioning into new technologies, many of whom are content with beginner-level AI systems in the newsrooms. One interviewee admitted that transition to disruptive technology would take longer because the senior leaders are only interested in integrating AI into limited aspects of the workflow, and some leaders lack an AI mind-set.Another participant said while the will to implement new technology is present, most news organizations do not have the resources to adopt something so disruptive. As a result, by the time they encounter the new technologies, new tools have surfaced.Most interviewees involved with B2B publishers, in contrast to those working for legacy news organizations, were, however, enthusiastic about AI adoption. According to the paper, the B2B AI strategies are driven by the younger newsreaders, the new target audiences on digital platforms, social media, and mobile devices.The authors suggest that UAE news organisations need to switch to an AI-driven newsroom, where technologists, journalists, entrepreneurs, and innovators meet to automate and generate quality news content based on an AI strategy. They cite the example of Asharq News, a 24/7 Arabic multiplatform news service, which reaches across the Arab world and beyond through a dedicated television channel and multiple digital platforms, powered by an AI system of content curation and IP technology. This system includes virtualized and on-premises content, utilizing cloud-based applications, and a hybrid architecture for content aggregation, production, and distribution.The authors point out that adoption of AI in newsroom will help news organisation to keep pace with disruptive developments, and also empower journalists by streamlining media workflows, automating mundane tasks, facilitating data crunching, identifying media trends and insights, eliminating fake news, and generating outputs.