From marketing to gaming: Nindi Dev Sharma's path to leading Stream Shreek

In this interview with Adgully, Nindi Dev Sharma, the Head Of Growth - Gaming & Technology at Stream Shreek, shares insights into her remarkable career journey and the highs and lows she's encountered as a successful woman in the advertising and gaming sectors. Discover her thoughts on women in the industry, the growth of gaming in the MENA region, and the transformative power of AI in gaming. Plus, get a glimpse of the latest trends shaping the Middle East gaming landscape and the exciting future of the industry. Excerpts:Kindly share your career journey? What highs & lows have you encountered professionally, being a successful woman?In my career journey spanning over 15 years, I bring a wealth of experience in business management, marketing strategy, and communications, with a strong focus on the retail, FMCG, and energy sectors. My expertise encompasses areas such as media relations, consumer campaigns, social media, digital strategy, strategic partnerships, internal communications, crisis management, and public affairs. I've had the privilege of occupying key roles at renowned companies such as Megasoft Pvt. Ltd, Accenture, IBM, my career, I've been immersed in the vibrant realm of marketing and advertising, where creativity and strategy come together. Over the years, I've taken on diverse roles, such as devising marketing strategies, introducing brands and products, and establishing brand identities, both within established organizations, agencies, and startups with a wide range of offerings. These experiences have granted me an in-depth insight into the industry's transformation.Highs & Lows:The highlights of my career have included the privilege of working for exceptional companies led by visionary leaders.Looking back on my experiences, the pinnacle of my career as a woman in advertising/marketing has been observing the transformative influence of the campaigns I've been a part of. These initiatives not only defied conventions but also empowered women by spotlighting their strength and liberating from conventional roles. In contrast, my position at Stream Shreek deviates significantly from the traditional agency role. Notably, the gaming realm exhibits a disproportionate ratio of women in leadership positions compared to their male counterparts. Despite this, the current landscape presents an exhilarating opportunity to break new ground and occupy an invigorating space.Reflecting on the less favorable aspects of my journey in marketing/advertising, I view these instances as essential lessons. It became evident that when one finds oneself in an environment where objectives are misaligned, the opportunity for personal growth and success becomes constrained. This has prompted me to approach my choices regarding industry and agency associations with heightened mindfulness, ensuring that alignment is a central criterion for my decision-making.What inspired you to be a part of Stream Shreek, a popular game streamers platform in the MENA region?I am truly appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of the gaming industry. My journey led me to LPSBrands in Dubai, a reputable and well-established branding and digital agency, where I spent over a decade. During my time there, I witnessed the inception of the gaming vertical, now known as STREAM SHREEK. It was during a conversation with Mr. Aasim Shaikh, the Managing Director of the group, that we discussed a collaboration. Without any hesitation, I embraced the role.Being a part of the gaming industry in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is incredibly exciting. It outpaces the combined size of the music and entertainment industries. Major brands are actively seeking ways to engage with this audience, and through our platform, we have created the largest marketplace for Arabic-speaking streamers, all conveniently accessible in one place. We ensure that streamers are fairly compensated for their collaborations and campaigns.Being an expert in business management, marketing management as well as communication, what is your take on women in the industry? Do you feel there is any bias in the industry?I am fortunate to have enjoyed positive interactions collaborating with my male colleagues, counterparts and leaders in the advertising field. I've had the privilege of partnering with remarkable leaders and trailblazers within the industry who have graciously assumed mentorship roles for me. These experiences have profoundly contributed to my professional journey. Our collective dedication to cultivating a more inclusive sector has the potential to cultivate groundbreaking ideas and inspire creativity.Hence, fair share of credit to them.I must emphasize that in the UAE, the government strongly supports women empowerment. To be honest, I haven't observed any gender bias against women in this region. I take pride in making this statement.You have recently joined Stream Shreek, what is your take on the growth of the gaming sector in MENA?My involvement in the gaming industry is an ongoing journey filled with learning and growth. At Stream Shreek we are always striving to progress, aiming to connect our brands with an untapped audience by exploring the world of gaming. Currently, as more mainstream brands begin to venture into this space, we are not only focused on educating the brands about the operational aspects and how they can engage effectively, but we are also dedicated to developing Stream Shreek as the leading marketplace for Arabic-speaking streamers. Our goal is to become a comprehensive gaming strategy agency, providing a one-stop solution for brands. Just as in gaming, it's about fresh ideas, creative narratives, and creating an immersive experience for people. These elements blend seamlessly with advertising. By combining gaming elements, interactive storytelling, and virtual reality, I've been able to design advertisements that capture people's attention in innovative ways. This collaboration across different industries has enhanced my creative work, resulting in ads that stand out from the usual onesWhat would be your advice to women starting in the advertising/gaming sectors? What hardships can they face that men may not encounter?For women embarking on their journey in the industry, I would emphasize the significance of having confidence in your capabilities. Remember that knowledge holds tremendous power. It's perfectly acceptable not to attain perfection immediately; what truly matters is continuously educating oneself and applying that knowledge through market insights. Don't hesitate to voice your opinions, share your concepts, and actively pursue mentorship. Build a circle of colleagues and networks who provide unwavering support, magnify your voice, and foster your advancement. Embrace challenges as chances for personal and professional growth, recognizing that stumbling is part of the process—what truly counts is the determination to press ahead and progress.It's Ok to fall.Gaming is a sector traditionally dominated by men. Being a woman, how did you make your place?I consider myself lucky to have been presented with an opportunity to join Stream Shreek, the gaming division of LPS Brands, in the Middle East. These are genuinely thrilling times.That being said, entering the gaming industry as a woman brings forth a unique set of challenges, considering its historical male-dominated nature. Nevertheless, by actively engaging in gaming communities, advocating for diversity, and showcasing expertise, women have the potential to carve out their own niche. Participating in online forums, sharing insights, and collaborating on projects can play a pivotal role in dismantling obstacles and contributing to a more inclusive gaming landscape.Notably, within both the gaming sphere and specifically in the MENA region, there has been a notable surge in the presence of women in the gaming community. Remarkably, women make up 20% of the gamers within this community. With governmental backing for events like the Dubai Esports Festival and the initiation of various other events, there has been a substantial upswing in these statistics, and this trend is poised for continued growth.How will AI change the dynamics of the gaming industry?AI will change the gaming industry by personalizing experiences, creating realistic characters and content, improving graphics, analyzing player behaviour, enhancing testing and quality assurance, and offering virtual assistants and streaming enhancements. It will make games more engaging and efficient to develop.What are the latest trends you have witnessed in the gaming industry in the Middle East region?The gaming industry in the Middle East is rapidly growing and evolving, with a number of new trends emerging in recent years. These trends are being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing popularity of mobile gaming, the growth of e-sports, and the investment of government and private entities in the region's gaming ecosystem.Here are some of the latest trends I have witnessed in the gaming industry in the Middle East region:• Mobile gaming is the dominant platform. Mobile gaming accounts for the majority of the gaming market in the Middle East, with over 60% of gamers playing on their smartphones or tablets. This is due to the high penetration of smartphones in the region, as well as the growing availability of affordable and high-quality mobile games.• E-sports is gaining popularity. E-sports is a rapidly growing segment of the gaming industry in the Middle East, with millions of viewers and fans across the region. There are now a number of professional esports leagues and tournaments held in the Middle East, and the region has produced some of the world's top e-sports players and teams.• Investment is increasing. Governments and private entities in the Middle East are investing heavily in the gaming industry. This investment is being used to support the development of local game studios, attract foreign game companies to the region, and build esports infrastructure.• The rise of indie games. Indie games are becoming increasingly popular in the Middle East, as gamers are looking for new and innovative gaming experiences. There are a number of talented indie game developers in the region, who are producing high-quality games that are being enjoyed by gamers around the world.• The growth of cloud gaming. Cloud gaming is a new technology that allows gamers to play high-end games without having to purchase expensive gaming hardware. Cloud gaming is still in its early stages of development in the Middle East, but it is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, as the region's internet infrastructure continues to improve.In addition to these trends, I am also witnessing a growing interest in new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the Middle East gaming industry. A number of game developers in the region are experimenting with these technologies, and I believe that VR and AR will play a major role in the future of gaming in the Middle East.Overall, the gaming industry in the Middle East is booming, with a number of exciting trends emerging. I am excited to see how the industry continues to develop in the coming years.What according to you will be the future of gaming in the coming years?  The future of gaming will be more immersive, social, and accessible, thanks to new technologies like VR, AR, cloud gaming, and AI. Indie games will also play a major role, as gamers look for new and innovative gaming experiences.

ClearPier acquires UAE-based Media Quest Group for $35mln

ClearPier, one of the world’s leading performance advertising technology companies, is acquiring UAE-based Media Quest Group for $35M. The deal is the latest in Clearpier’s strategic sequence of acquisitions, beginning with its May 2022 acquisition of advertising technology company, PubPlus for $60M, followed by Cygobel for $40M and Hang My Ads, for $35 million, both in Q4 2022.The company has persistently expanded its data- and tech-driven performance marketing capabilities to serve clients globally – and with the MQuest acquisition, it further strengthens its offering in not only North America but also across GCC and Europe. With the addition of MQuest, the company now operates in 17 countries, with more regions onboarding every quarter.“Our vision has remained clear, as has our journey to powerfully serve our clients with the absolute best end-to-end tech driven performance marketing solutions. We’ve done this and will continue to do this through the right unique strategic acquisitions, which, frankly, is ahead of our market. Us being out in front, if not ahead, benefits our clients greatly,” said Sunil Abraham, ClearPier CEO. “At the same time, we are excited to welcome the founders of MQuest in our journey to build a best-in-class performance marketing company for our clients. John Rowe, chairman of MQuest Group, brings years of experience in high-growth businesses including in public companies, such as National World PLC. His knowledge will be critical in working alongside ClearPier founders in defining the governance framework required to continue the aggressive growth of ClearPier in a sustainable manner.”MQuest Group, a pioneering enterprise in the data-centric marketing industry, has built its reputation on the foundation of an innovative customer acquisition engine that bridges the gap between advertisers and consumers exhibiting high purchase intent. Established fewer than three years ago, the company is the brainchild of accomplished industry veterans with diverse backgrounds spanning decades, with expertise in digital media, start-up ventures, and revenue optimization. Their leadership has positioned MQuest Group at the forefront of successful customer acquisition and strategic marketing solutions.“It has been a fantastic achievement by everyone in MQuest Group to develop the business to $40M revenue in fewer than three years,” said John Rowe, MQuest’s UAE-based Chairman. “It’s clear that to accelerate this growth further we need the support that being part of the ClearPier group will bring us, and we are delighted to be joining a business that shares a similar culture and vision of the future as ours.”MQuest will remain an independent company within the ClearPier Group, run by the current MQuest board.

Nardello & Co. continues global expansion with new leadership in EMEA

Nardello & Co., the global investigations firm, announced today the appointment of new leadership to oversee its growing EMEA practice. Corporate intelligence veteran Chris Morgan Jones has joined the firm as Regional Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Sara Shaltony has returned to the firm as Associate Managing Director, Head of Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Morgan Jones will be based in London and Shaltony in Dubai.Morgan Jones’s and Shaltony’s arrival underscores a period of sustained growth for Nardello & Co. that includes launching its Singapore office in July and adding multiple senior hires across its U.S. offices, including former federal prosecutor Wendy Wu in Los Angeles. The firm, which will mark 20 years in business in October, has grown by more than 30 percent in the past three years, with women at the firm comprising 50% of senior leadership roles.Morgan Jones brings more than three decades of experience leading investigations involving complex disputes, fraud, cybersecurity, asset tracing and reputational issues. As head of Nardello & Co.’s EMEA region, Morgan Jones will oversee a team of investigators that includes recent hires Jenna Burton and Daria Plakhova-Freshville, who advise law firms, banks, governments, private equity firms, hedge funds and emerging companies, among others. Morgan Jones is also the author of four acclaimed novels that have been published internationally. He received his B.A., with honors, from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford.Shaltony arrives from a global business intelligence firm, where she led the MENA practice and was head of the Dubai office. Originally from the UAE, she has focused on the MENA region for nearly a decade, advising clients on the reputational and regulatory risks of conducting business in MENA, multi-jurisdictional due diligence issues, asset tracing and other business intelligence matters.Earlier in her career, Shaltony was an analyst at Nardello & Co., where she handled complex, cross-jurisdiction investigations in MENA and Europe. She received her B.A. from Concordia University.“Corporate leaders, financial institutions and governments regard Nardello & Co. as the preeminent advisors for issues that threaten their security, business lines and reputations,” Morgan Jones said. “I am excited to take the helm in EMEA during this period of expansive growth and look forward to helping clients conduct their global business with confidence.”“Chris and Sara’s proven leadership and deep regional expertise position them to lead the charge of our teams in Europe and the Middle East, where we are strategically growing,” said Dan Nardello, Chairman and CEO of Nardello & Co. “As the firm prepares to mark 20 years in business in October, we remain focused on providing the very best talent to service our clients’ needs around the world.”

Hidden Riches: Citi's digital docu-series explores unique lives

Dubai: To augment its presence and market share in the competitive wealth segment, Citi has recently released “Hidden Riches,” a digital docu-series featuring four individuals who live truly rich lives on their own terms. The featured individuals include Samar, a commercial-photographer-turned-social-advocate who now uses his art to draw attention to the issues and voices of the underprivileged, and Dr. Mariam, a visionary doctor who skillfully integrates art with therapy to guide patients on a journey of healing and self-discovery in the Metaverse.As the demand for investment services rises in Asia, Asia Pacific is quickly becoming a key market for Citi’s global wealth ambition, with the UAE being one of the critical wealth centers that the bank is focusing on. While there’s ample wealth to be invested, Citi has discovered that the UAE’s affluent have very different definitions of wealth compared to previous generations. <img src='\8eecf8c29e634fc0d31b7ff4e3b258f4.png' class='content_image'>Given the affluent’s changing views about investing and saving, Citi has sought to attain greater insight into these shifts and how to advertise its products more effectively. With that in mind, the bank has launched Hidden Riches, which is an evolution of the overarching “There’s More to Wealth,” theme that Citigold campaigns are run on. Hidden Riches brings to life real examples of individuals talking about their own definitions of wealth, acknowledging that wealth can indeed transcend material riches. “Through this campaign, we hope to convey the message that we’re here to help our clients grow and protect their wealth, whatever it means to them,” said Ali Hurbas, Head of Data & Analytics, Marketing, and Digital Sales.<img src='\da24e324dc699105867f9d39944ca571.png' class='content_image'>According to Hurbas, authenticity and relatability are important for the target clients of its wealth business. “Affluent individuals are time-pressed and may be unresponsive to marketing messages, so it is essential for us to offer something unique and relatable to capture their attention,” he elaborated. Therefore, the campaign places emphasis on how Citigold goes above and beyond to understand clients’ goals and aspirations to help grow and protect their wealth. “As a first-of-its-kind campaign to launch in the UAE region, it was important for us to ensure that Citi’s wealth management proposition is demonstrated authentically and accurately,” added Hurbas. “Hidden Riches sheds light on how individuals in the UAE are redefining the meaning of wealth and living a life that balances wealth and purpose.” <img src='\3161fe3f466d84857b6ae123e3ffc27c.png' class='content_image'>The campaign has launched on various social and digital channels following an integrated and targeted approach. You can watch the docu-series here- Hidden Riches - Inspiring Success Stories In UAE | Citibank UAE

AVPN Global Conference 2024 - Social Investment Conference will be in Abu Dhabi

AVPN, the largest network of social investors active in Asia, today announced that the 2024 edition of its AVPN Global Conference, themed “One Asia, One Future” will take place in host city Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 23 to 25 April. It will be organised in partnership with Abu Dhabi. The Conference is AVPN’s annual flagship event, and brings together the world’s leading investors, funders, philanthropists, policymakers, and Limited Partners to drive capital towards impact in the region. Each year, a different conference location is selected to ensure AVPN continues to be representative and inclusive of the rich and diverse social impact sector across all of Asia. The event builds on the success of the 2023 edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which saw over 1,300 attendees from more than 40 markets engage in the global discourse, and the launch of various frameworks, papers and initiatives, including a USD 3 million fund focused on youth mental wellbeing. The three-and-a-half-day 2024 Conference in Abu Dhabi will convene more than 1,500 social investors around the world and include various plenaries and sessions featuring a prolific lineup of industry speakers, impact live showcases, workshops, masterclasses, and other activities. Past years’ lineups have included experts from organisations such as BlackRock, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, KKR, Temasek Foundation, and Piramal Foundation.Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO of AVPN said, “Based on current progress, Asia as a region will require another 42 years to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The urgency to scale up investments to address the food, energy, social, and environmental challenges in Asia is at an increasingly critical level. The social investor ecosystem needs to go straight to the heart of our region’s most pressing issues, and the AVPN Global Conference is the leading platform to facilitate meaningful action across the region through the “Continuum of Capital”.

Qatar Airways holidays launches travel packages for Expo 2023 Doha

With the spotlight on Doha as the first city in the Middle East and North Africa to host an A1 International Horticultural Exhibition, Qatar Airways Holidays is thrilled to launch flight-and-hotel packages with complimentary access to Expo 2023 Doha. Travelers can expect to venture into the future of sustainability and innovation, while also enjoying Qatar's year-round sunshine—making it the ideal family getaway. With unbeatable package pricing, transform your Expo 2023 Doha experience into an unforgettable adventure. Expo 2023 Doha, which is expected to attract an estimated 3 million visitors from around the globe, will take place in the picturesque Al Bidda Park, overlooking the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf. The six-month event will run from 2 October 2023 to 28 March 2024 and offer visitors rich experiences, from beautiful gardens and thought-provoking talks, to arts and cuisine. The landmark event promises to provide captivating insights into combating desertification in ways that promise to pique the interest of young and old alike.By choosing an all-inclusive package through Qatar Airways Holidays, travelers will not only secure their flights and accommodations but also gain complimentary access to the immersive world of Expo 2023 Doha. Highlights of these packages are:Return flights, hotel accommodation, and complimentary Expo entry.The chance for Privilege Club members to collect both Avios and Qpoints on these curated packages.Members from select countries have the flexibility to book packages using Cash + Avios.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: "Expo 2023 Doha is set to be a hub of cultural, environmental, and technological marvels. As the Official Strategic Partner, Qatar Airways is committed to facilitating a seamless travel experience for international guests, showcasing Qatar’s signature hospitality."For travelers seeking a premium journey, Qatar Airways Holidays offers a range of packages that go beyond standard options. Whether you prefer the comfort of a 4-star hotel or the opulence of a 5-star resort, the variety of packages have something to suit every preference. Delve into captivating scenery and stimulating dialogues and experience a world of culinary and artistic diversity in Qatar, all without breaking the bank. Reserve your Expo travel package today at and be a part of this transformative global event.

Toyota’s carbon neutrality journey in the Middle East: A new chapter

In the midst of an era defined by transformative change, the looming threat of climate change to our planet’s future remains a constant concern. As the global movement toward carbon neutrality gains momentum, the Middle East’s role and responsibilities as a major world energy producer have naturally become a central focus of this discussion. A growing number of Gulf nations have committed to achieving net-zero emissions by around mid-century, with the last few years seeing the advent of multiple carbon-cutting legislations.These efforts to reduce the impact of carbon emissions across the Middle East are driving many companies to reshape their century-old operational paradigms. Amid the automotive industry’s collective efforts toward a carbon-neutral future, Toyota has positioned itself as a driving force for sustainable mobility both globally and within the region.With the Middle Eastern market’s ever-growing demand for electrified vehicles and sustainable solutions, Toyota aims to make significant strides toward its CO2 reduction goals and bolster worldwide electrified vehicle[1] sales. This strategic pursuit aligns with the company’s overarching goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.At the heart of Toyota’s regional efforts is the company’s multi-pathway approach, which considers each region’s unique situations and realities. This strategy considers various factors, such as usage needs, economic circumstances, energy sources, and infrastructure readiness. Through these considerations, Toyota can efficiently and holistically contribute to the carbon neutrality objectives of every country in which it operates through a range of practical solutions.Toyota offers customized solutions for different regions using various vehicle powertrains, including Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs), and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). This approach also includes enhancing the efficiency of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, as evident in the 2021 Land Cruiser 300 series.This multi-pathway approach has been instrumental in achieving widespread regional adoption of Toyota’s electrified vehicles. The company’s journey in the Middle East began in 2010 with the introduction of its first electrified vehicle, the Lexus LS HEV. Building upon this milestone, Toyota continued to make strides in the hybrid electric domain, most notably with the launch of the Toyota Prius in 2016.One remarkable example of this adoption is observable in Dubai, where most taxis now consist of Toyota HEVs. Efforts to boost HEV sales and improve ICE efficiency have also been underway in Saudi Arabia, where Toyota successfully met the country’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, while achieving a 27% increase in average fuel economy from 2016 to 2022.Toyota currently offers a range of over 10 Toyota and Lexus electrified vehicle models, making it the largest lineup of its kind in the region. This HEV selection ranges from compact, reliable, and economical models like the Corolla to mid-sized vehicles like the Camry and SUVs like the Highlander. In addition, customers can choose from other Toyota models, such as the C-HR, Corolla Cross, RAV4, Innova, and Crown. At the same time, Lexus sets new sustainability standards in the luxury segment with HEV variants of the Lexus ES, LS, NX, and RX models.Toyota’s commitment to introducing diverse green mobility technologies in the Middle East is also evident. The Mirai, hydrogen-powered FCEV, represents Toyota’s ambitions for a hydrogen-based society. The region’s potential as a global clean hydrogen producer has attracted attention, with Saudi Arabia targeting the production of 2.9 million tons of hydrogen per year by 2030, the UAE aiming for 1.4 million tons by 2031, and Oman targeting one million tons by 2030.In 2017, Al-Futtaim Motors, Toyota’s distributor in UAE, built the region’s first hydrogen refueling station (HRS), and in 2019, Saudi Aramco and Air Products inaugurated Saudi Arabia’s first station. Introduction of the Mirai not only represent another facet of Toyota’s Middle Eastern carbon neutrality support efforts but also demonstrate its interest in aiding the long-term development of a hydrogen energy industry.Beyond the aforementioned hydrogen production targets, recent progress on this front adds weight to the industry’s promise. In early 2022, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy signed eight agreements to initiate hydrogen mobility pilot projects involving vehicles, buses, trains, and other applications, showcasing Saudi Arabia’s commitment to hydrogen adoption. In UAE, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) plans a high-speed HRS in Masdar City this year, timed with COP28.Oman is also getting its first station through a partnership between Shell Oman and Oman Airports. 15 Mirai vehicles, acquired from Saud Bahwan Automotive, Toyota’s distributor in Oman, will also be provided to Oman Airports for corporate use as per a previous agreement. Set to launch in 2024, the project will contribute to Oman’s Vision 2040 decarbonization and energy transition efforts. Product initiatives aside, Toyota actively engages in regional efforts and initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. One notable endeavor is its participation in FLEET (Fuel Lubricants Efficient Engine Technology), an R&D Consortium launched by the Oil Sustainability Program (OSP) and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. To further FLEET’s vision for improved economic and environmental competitiveness in transportation, Toyota will continue to actively contribute to fuel-cell technology, hydrogen engines, and hydrogen-based e-fuels in its research projects. Toyota believes these initiatives will help unlock the hydrogen potential of the Middle East.With an ever-growing range of products, cutting-edge technologies, and dedicated involvement in local initiatives, Toyota leads the way in creating a greener, more carbon-neutral regional transportation ecosystem. Driven by its multi-pathway approach, Toyota’s dedication to innovation and sustainability positions it at the forefront of shaping an environmentally friendly future of mobility.

Al-Futtaim IKEA drops prices of over 2500+ of its products

Al-Futtaim IKEA has dropped prices on over 30% of its most beloved products without compromising on the quality or design, setting IKEA apart from competition, said a company release. This includes products from different home furnishing categories such as the iconic STRANDMON wing chair for your cosy corner, TROFAST for your child’s toy storage and KALLAX shelving unit to display your favourites to mention a few. This is available across the UAE, Oman, and Qatar.As a brand deeply dedicated to its customers and their way of life, Al-Futtaim IKEA aspires to enhance affordability, ensuring that those previously unable to access IKEA can now afford the wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products.Al-Futtaim IKEA recognises the pressing need to provide relief and elevate the quality of life at home with affordable alternatives as the cost of essential items and commodities continues to rise throughout the region. As customers adapt their lifestyles and shopping behaviours to suit the new market conditions, the Swedish retailer aims to extend its affordability initiative. It firmly believes that creating a functional home should not be considered a luxury for anyone. By dropping its prices, Al-Futtaim IKEA aspires to enable more individuals to access the tools they need to transform their living spaces into comfortable homes.Vinod Jayan, Managing Director of Al-Futtaim IKEA UAE, Egypt, Qatar, and Oman, commented, "Al-Futtaim IKEA has always been committed to enhancing lives at home. Given the prevailing economic circumstances, we remain firm in our mission and are intensifying our efforts to ensure that we contribute to creating a better everyday life for the many people at affordable prices. To support our vision, we have dropped the prices of over 2500+ products across the UAE, Qatar and Oman maintaining our commitment to affordability and quality. As a family-owned business, we recognise our significant role in ensuring that more people can access the products and services they require. We aim to offer a seamless IKEA experience, making our products available to customers at affordable prices.’’Elevating Everyday Living with Our Diverse Home SolutionsAt Al-Futtaim IKEA, customers can find solutions designed to enhance every aspect of home living. From innovative storage and organisation solutions to cosy living room seating, bedroom furniture that promotes relaxation, efficient office storage to boost productivity, and a vast selection of kitchen accessories to elevate culinary experiences. Customers can also discover an extensive range of children's storage solutions that combine functionality with playfulness. With a wide selection spanning these categories and more, Al-Futtaim IKEA is dedicated to making homes not only functional but also inspiring and a delightful place to live in.Customers can discover these and numerous other inspiring solutions by exploring IKEA's latest inspirational handbook, accessible both in-store and digitally via the IKEA website. This handbook is filled with an extensive range of inspiring products, innovative approaches, creative ideas, and practical tips, all designed to assist you in decluttering, reorganising and taking charge of your living space and lifestyle.

Neom taps Jellyfish as its media partner

Jellyfish, a marketing performance company for the platform world, has announced its partnership with Neom, the new urban area planned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Neom, the upcoming urban estate, is designed as a cutting-edge industrial powerhouse and innovation in urban living, with numerous regions and centres including ‘linear smart city- The Line’. The project has been funded by USD 500 billion from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi. Jellyfish has been appointed to drive its performance marketing, including PPC, paid social and programmatic display.As the new advertising company, Jellyfish will help promote the new urban area, which is being built in Saudi’s north-western Tabuk province.This mega project, with a planned area of 26,500km, lies to the north of the Red Sea, east of Egypt and south of Jordan. Neon project, with the deadline of 2025 for its first phase, will include a floating industrial complex, a global trade hub, tourist resorts and homes for more than nine million people. The project has been opened to global, regional and local investors or partners.Shanil Jagatia, MD MENA at Jellyfish, said that he was delighted to win NEOM as an esteemed client following a competitive tendering process and multi-agency pitch.    He said: “As a new breed of marketing performance company we know that success demands a creative, multi-platform mindset and we are here to help progressive, innovative brands thrive by navigating, connecting and harnessing the platforms that drive growth. It would be hard to name a more exciting, ambitious project to be working on.”Eyad Zarea, Global Digital Lead at NEOM, said: “We were impressed with Jellyfish’s agile, collaborative and future-facing approach. It felt like the perfect fit for NEOM, as a place for all people from across the globe to make their mark in creative and innovative ways.” Jellyfish works with a number of clients in the MENA region, such as L’Oréal, Sony, Coty, Emirates, and Majid Al Futtaim.

AI has exceeded executives' expectations: Bain & Company

 Seventy-five percent of the more than 570 executives recently surveyed by Bain & Company said AI has already met or exceeded their expectations. According to Bain’s fourth annual Global Technology Report released today, the current generation of AI tools and models could help companies speed up 20% of worker tasks without loss in quality.While the ease of access to large language model (LLM) application programming interfaces (APIs) has made it relatively easy to demonstrate new AI-powered products, Bain’s survey found that 89% of software companies are already using AI to differentiate their products—15 percentage points higher than other sectors. Early adopters of AI are already seeing results and productivity gains as companies explore new ways to use AI for their businesses, Bain found.“Innovation is happening quickly, and we are still in early days,” said David Crawford, global head of Bain’s Technology practice. “Three out of four software companies we surveyed believe that early movers will have a sustained advantage that will not level off. Software leaders expect the technology to generate significant opportunities to increase topline growth and customer retention. Our research shows that, in this fast-moving environment, companies that take a wait-and-see approach in terms of AI are at risk of being left behind.”Oliver Bittner, partner and head of Enterprise Technology & Digital practice at Bain & Company Middle East, said: “With AI transforming nearly every industry worldwide, the Middle East is making significant investments, particularly at a time when the region is accelerating rapidly. These innovative technologies, if employed correctly, can not only change the way we work and live but also present challenges that could disrupt industries in the future. This highlights the need for careful planning to ensure the AI is being utilized effectively.”Software companies also need to address how the adoption of generative AI by their customersand competitors can impact their core business. Many customer concerns around data protection and access, personally identifiable information, audit trails, prompt grounding with proprietary data, and integration with other machine learning (ML) and automation technologies are served in platform layers, beyond the LLM. The report highlighted that this is the area that software companies can differentiate themselves, leveraging established positions in customer architectures.Generative AI talent implicationsAs customers introduce AI into their own processes, job roles are expected to change. Engineering and sales and marketing are among the functions most likely to benefit from AI over the next 18 months. Companies will need more engineering talent for AI and ML, particularly with experience building or integrating LLMs.Generative AI will change the way companies market and sell their products and services as it enables significant automation across every step of the customer life cycle. In particular, demand and lead generation, digital self-service sales, customer success, and other support activities all have the potential to benefit from the types of automation that generative AI enables.When it comes to investor appetite, Bain’s report showed that most investors agree that AI will have a significant effect on the tech sector. In fact, investors’ enthusiasm for AI is high, with AI and ML investments leading venture growth in the first half of 2023. However, most investors think that the evolution of the competitive landscape remains to be seen.To avoid disruption risks, investors must consider both disruption potential and structural barriers in the market. They must also consider whether or not companies own proprietary data could enrich generative AI applications.“Top funds are not waiting to see how generative AI changes this space. They are biasing toward action to capitalize on the potential of their incumbent software assets,” said Crawford.Investor perspectives: A buyers’ market is coming for tech assetsInvestor sentiment on the broader tech sector, on the other hand, has been lackluster since the third quarter of 2022. With deal volumes and exit values down, a growing backlog of deals, including more than $700 billion of tech assets purchased between 2018 and 2021, has led to longer hold times of tech portfolio companies.In 2023, nearly half of tech portfolio companies have been held for more than four years, and for the first time since 2012, more than 40% of tech portfolio companies are being held for more than four years. This backlog of long-held portfolio assets is growing more quickly than the record level of dry powder that is holding steady, which will create a buyer’s market when activity picks up.Investors reward tech companies differently based on a company’s context and point in the life cycle, according to Bain. Some investors are attracted to young, disruptive companies based on their growth potential. As companies and their markets mature, investors expect a mix of growth and returns. Mature companies with a proven track record in stable markets can expect slower growth while their investors are closely focused on profitability.To maximize value, investor relations strategies of tech companies should change over time as markets mature. Understanding the role between market maturity, investor expectations, and sources of total shareholder returns are essential to deliver shareholder value at every step of the journey.Post-globalization: Tech manufacturers diversify supply chains and R&D locationsIn another chapter of the tech report, Bain predicts that the global footprint of the technology value chain is likely to look very different, a decade from now. Macroeconomic shocks in the last few years have prompted tech manufacturers to build resilience into their supply chains, primarily by expanding their geographic footprints to new locations in Asia, Europe, and North America, creating more flexibility within their talent pools. This initially led companies to align their supply chains processes, but now these businesses are safeguarding critical business aspects and are getting closer to end markets through diversifying R&D, talent, and innovation hubs.Some of the other topics discussed in this year’s report include AI and cybersecurity, digital innovation, and intelligent edge.Brahaim Laaidi, a partner at Bain & Company Middle East, said: “At a time where technology is constantly at our fingertips, Bain & Company’s latest annual Global Technology Report shows the impact of these innovative tools on our daily lives and how they are shaping our business practices. There is no doubt that technology will continue to advance, and we can anticipate the introduction of new technologies in the near future. Therefore, it is important for businesses to not only stay one step ahead and be prepared to embrace these tools but also understand how they will impact their day-to-day operations.”

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

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

Saudi businesses anticipate low levels of security threats next year

Large companies in Saudi Arabia expect low levels of security threats next year and to increase their usage of cutting-edge technology, cementing the country’s position as one of the best countries in the region to do business.That’s according to the first-ever World Security Report published by G4S. 1,775 Chief Security Officers (CSOs) in 30 countries at large, global companies with total revenue of more than $20 trillion, took part in the research. 235 CSOs were surveyed in the Middle East from UAE, KSA, Egypt, and Jordan.On external security threats, CSOs expect to have the lowest regional rates for intrusion and competitor sabotage at 11% and 13% respectively. Fewer CSOs say fraud and theft of company physical property are genuine external threats for the coming year than the regional and global averages at 17% and 16%.Last year, Saudi Arabia experienced lower levels of external threats relating to vandalism, trespass and Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attacks compared with the global average.Companies also experienced the least number of security incidents involving violent criminals across the Middle East last year at 19% whereas the regional average was 26%. They had fewer incidents involving petty criminals too at 22% compared with the global average at 36%.More than a quarter, at 27%, of CSOs surveyed said they experienced no security-impacting hazards last year - economic unrest, social unrest, climate change etc - compared with the global average of 14%.Next year, Saudi Arabia plans to increase its use of cutting-edge and emerging technology - defined as Artificial Intelligence, facial recognition and machine learning - from 22% to 40%.In particular, it appears to be embracing the use of AI. Saudi Arabia is the second highest country in the region behind Jordan to say it will adopt AI-powered surveillance and monitoring systems at 46%. More than two-thirds, at 67%, say that AI is augmenting the capabilities of security professionals compared with a global average of 50%. Additionally, more than a third (38%) say the use of AI is not challenging at all compared with the global average of 11%.Saudi Arabia is also the second highest country in the region to expect to use biometrics and facial recognition technology behind the UAE at 49% over the next five years. Similarly, at 44%, more companies in Saudi than any other country in the region plan to use Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices.Mahmoud Mudhaffar, Managing Director for G4S in KSA, said:“The government’s measures to stamp down on cybercrime, along with its substantial investments in advanced technologies and digital upskilling in the context of Saudi Vision 2030 make the country an attractive hub for businesses.“The World Security Report further demonstrates that Saudi Arabia offers a stable environment for businesses to thrive given the lower levels of external threats anticipated over the coming year in relation to the rest of the region.“However, companies will always need some form of security to protect their assets and people. This report also underlines that Saudi Arabia is ahead of the curve in its use of technology to help do that.”Mel Brooks, Regional CEO for G4S Africa & Middle East, said:“Many countries in the Middle East are undergoing an economic transformation as their governments move away from oil and push to make their economies some of the biggest in the World.”“This report highlights the favourable operating conditions for businesses in the Middle East, with the security outlook looking better than elsewhere against many measures.”

UAE companies to face some of the lowest security threats in the region

Large companies in the UAE expect to face some of the lowest regional rates of internal and external security threats next year, confirming the country’s status as one of the safest countries in the Middle East and the World to do business.That’s according to the first-ever World Security Report published by G4S. 1,775 Chief Security Officers (CSOs) in 30 countries at large, global companies with total revenue of more than $20 trillion, took part in the research. 235 CSOs were surveyed in the Middle East from UAE, KSA, Egypt, and Jordan.On internal threats, CSOs expect to face the fewest number of sabotage incidents in the region at 13%. In contrast, the global and regional average is 22%. They also predict facing the lowest number of violence against other employees and industrial espionage cases in the region.Regarding external threats, CSOs expect to face the fewest vandalism incidents across the region next year at 13%. Additionally, CSOs anticipate regional lows for theft of intellectual property and company physical property, both at 15%.However, more companies in the UAE than any other country in the region, at 46%, said climate change will be a security-impacting hazard over the next year. In response to this, perhaps, 44% say the adoption of new technology is being driven by making their business more sustainable, which is also higher than anywhere else in the region.UAE-based companies look set to be at the forefront of technology innovation in their security operations across the region, and already use more cutting-edge or advanced technology than any other country in the Middle East at 43%. Additionally, they appear to be using this well, with 65% strongly agreeing that technology is improving the overall effectiveness of their security operations. The global average is 56%.Over the next five years, more companies in the UAE than any other in the region at 52% say they will use biometrics and facial recognition technology. The same is true for smart cities and smart buildings technology.The UAE is the second highest country in the world behind the USA to say it will use autonomous cars and transportation technology over the next five years in their security operations at 43%.Mohamed Kamal, Regional Managing Director for G4S in the Middle East, said:“The UAE has a fantastic reputation for business competitiveness and the World Security Report only confirms this.”“The low levels of external and internal security threats anticipated in the coming year are testament to the steps taken by the UAE government to clamp down on issues relating to cyber attacks and intellectual property theft. This research suggests companies are taking a similar level of vigilance.”“The planned use of a wide range of new technologies also puts the UAE in a good position to meet future challenges.”Mel Brooks, Regional CEO for G4S Africa & Middle East, said:“Many countries in the Middle East are undergoing an economic transformation as their governments move away from oil and push to make their economies some of the biggest in the World.”“This report highlights the favourable operating conditions for businesses in the Middle East, with the security outlook looking better than elsewhere against many measures.”

The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh welcomes Mazen Allam as new General Manager

Riyadh: The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh is proud to announce the appointment of Mr. Mazen Allam as its new General Manager, effective September 2023. Mr. Allam brings a distinguished career in luxury hospitality and a rich understanding of the Saudi Arabian market to his new role, making him a valuable addition to the hotel's leadership team.Mr. Allam's journey in the industry began at Le Meridien Jeddah in 2002, where he started at the Front Desk and swiftly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming Assistant Director of Sales in 2009, thanks to his exceptional commercial acumen.In 2011, Mr. Allam joined the Rosewood Jeddah, where he played a pivotal role in elevating the property into one of Jeddah's foremost luxury destinations. He started as the Director of Sales & Marketing, consistently demonstrating exceptional leadership. This culminated in his appointment as General Manager in 2018, where he continued to excel. His remarkable achievements led to a regional role as Managing Director in 2021, overseeing new development deals across the Kingdom.A graduate of Prince Sultan College in Jeddah with a degree in Hotels & Tourism Management, Mr. Allam's extensive experience and track record of success make him a valuable addition to The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, further solidifying its position as a leading luxury destination in Saudi Arabia.Commenting on his new appointment, Mazen Allam said "I am deeply honored to assume leadership at The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, a symbol of unparalleled luxury, and to continue my journey as part of the esteemed Marriott International brand. I eagerly anticipate collaborating with our exceptional team to perpetuate Marriott's legacy of delivering awe-inspiring service, unforgettable dining experiences, and an unwavering commitment to perfection. Through our dedication to our team members, I am confident that we will attain new heights for The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, aspiring to set new standards of excellence in the luxury and premium-select segments."

Rewards 3.0: Unlocking the future of loyalty & rewards

Dubai: At the recent DTW, TM Forum’s flagship conference, Related unveiled Rewards 3.0, a breakthrough solution that is offered to simplify, amplify and monetise the ever-evolving loyalty & rewards ecosystem by harnessing the power of Web 3.0 and the metaverse. The product was showcased as part of a one-in-all solution in collaboration with industry leaders, including Netcracker Technology, Juniper Networks, Amazon Web Services (AWS), QONOQ, and notable telecom champions STC, Zain, du, NTT and SLT Mobitel.From its early beginnings as a GCC-based entity to its meteoric rise on the international stage, Related’s story is a compelling narrative of innovation and visionary leadership at the heart of its journey has been an unshakable commitment to be at the vanguard of technological advancements in the customer experience, Loyalty and Rewards programs.Rabih Farhat, founder and managing partner at Related, said: “I’ve always believed that innovation thrives at the intersection of vision and technology. With the burgeoning metaverse and Web 3.0 landscape, especially in regions like the UAE and the broader GCC, the future of customer engagement is being redefined. At Related, we’re not just observing this shift; we’re actively driving it. Our Reward 3.0 solution is a testament to our commitment to pioneering and harnessing technological advancements to elevate brand and customer interactions in this new digital age.”According to a recent report by PwC Middle East, the metaverse’s transformative potential cannot be overstated: by 2024, The entire metaverse valuation is expected to inch close to a whopping $800 billion worldwide, with GCC countries at the forefront. Cities like NEOM in Saudi Arabia are integrating metaverse components into their developmental blueprints, and the UAE is establishing the Middle East’s inaugural metaverse incubator, paving the path towards a metaverse-driven economic surge in the region. By 2030, the metaverse could contribute a staggering $15 billion to GCC economies.As part of its award-winning submission at DTW, Related and its esteemed partners built a one-in-all solution showcasing how mobile operators can play a greater role in the metaverse and sit at the core of the monetisation game in the new world of WEB 3.0/metaverse.With a reputation for boosting customer engagement by 35%, increasing brand loyalty by over 15%, and achieving a 92% customer satisfaction score, Related’s focus has always been on creating moments of happiness across consumer’s journey with the brand. It has also been instrumental in redefining loyalty programmes and customer engagement across the GCC and the Middle East.

iCubesWire Bags Influencer Marketing Mandate for Dabur in the MENA region

iCubesWire, a global Audience Ad Tech Platform with full-fledged Content Production and Influencer Marketing capabilities,has secured the influencer marketing mandate for Dabur, one of the world's leading FMCG brands.In the fast-paced markets of the Middle East, Influencer Marketing is growing rapidly, matching the region's estimated market value of $1.3 billion. Dabur, a prominent Indian brand, has been broadening its product portfolio,focusing intensively on its operations in the Middle East. Dabur offers a wide range of products in the Middle East, including Oral Care, Hair Care, Skin Care, and more, reflecting its adaptability to the regional market demands.Under this mandate, iCubesWire will craft specialized content and spearhead strategic influencer marketing campaigns, focusing specifically on the MENA region and other emerging markets by leveraging its unique network of influencers. The influencer marketing campaigns for Dabur will concentrate on hair care and skin care categories.Commenting on this partnership, Mr. Sahil Chopra, Founder & CEO, iCubesWire, said, "We are truly honored to collaborate with an esteemed brand like Dabur. In an age where brand narratives can often get lost amidst digital noise, we aim to harness the trust Dabur has built over a century and amplify it using our cutting-edge influencer and content production strategies. As we move forward, we are committed to delivering campaigns that resonate and create lasting impressions in the targeted markets."Mr. Pravin Kumar, Head of Digital & ecommerce at Dabur, said,"At Dabur, we have always been at the forefront of innovation and consumer engagement. Partnering with iCubesWire ensures that we extend this ethos into the realm of influencer marketing. We are hopeful and confident that this collaboration will not only help us penetrate deeper into our target markets but also build authentic and enduring relationships with our consumers. Our primary objective remains to craft genuine narratives around our products and foster trust."

Tribal Credit reveals strategic expansion in Saudi Arabia

 Tribal Credit, a Silicon Valley fintech company dedicated to empowering emerging markets’ SMEs, announced its strategic expansion in Saudi Arabia, aligning with Saudi Vision 2030 to promote financial access, SME competitiveness, and GDP growth and diversification.The company sees Saudi Arabia as central to its global success and it would be using this milestone to accelerate growth globally. Additionally, Tribal aims to enhance mutual benefit from the current developments and advancements in the Kingdom to create more jobs and investment opportunities. Working with several industry-leading investors like SoftBank, QED Investors, BECO Capital, Endure Capital, Stellar Development Foundation, and Coinbase Ventures, Tribal Credit provides innovative financial solutions to companies at various stages of their development.Tribal Credit has affirmed its commitment to contribute to the achievement of the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, led by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers. The company seeks to contribute to the enhancement of the Kingdom's position as a leading destination in fintech by providing comprehensive financial solutions for companies in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. This is aimed at bridging the financing gap for small and medium-sized enterprises. Tribal Credit designs specialized financing solutions for these companies, enabling them to achieve market excellence in both the domestic and global markets, thereby creating more job opportunities in the Kingdom.Saudi Arabia, A Central Player in Tribal Credit’s Global Strategy"We're not just expanding to Saudi; it's at the heart of our global success," said Amr Shady, CEO of Tribal Credit. "We are harnessing the momentum of Saudi Vision 2030, the thriving IPO market and our internal readiness to strengthen our presence in the Kingdom and use it as a springboard for global expansion. We plan to IPO in the Kingdom in the next 3 years to accelerate our growth globally.Duane Good, COO of Tribal Credit, said "Saudi Arabia is pivotal to Tribal Credit's global success and growth strategy. Saudi Arabia is a market with immense potential. It has a robust economy, and its Vision 2030 is perfectly aligned with our mission to empower SMEs."Synergizing with Saudi Vision 2030Tribal Credit's expansion into Saudi Arabia will bolster this vision by addressing the financial needs of SMEs, a sector crucial for economic growth and diversification. Tribal Credit offers financial solutions which are specially designed to fulfill the needs of such companies and enable them to excel locally and globally. Through supporting SMEs to receive the required financing, Tribal Credit will contribute to the increase of working opportunities in the Kingdom.Financial Access EnablerEmerging market SMEs face a staggering $1.5 trillion financing gap and a $300 billion cross-border payments market, limiting their access to quality financial services. Tribal Credit aims to bridge this financing gap by providing tailored financial solutions in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, thereby expanding access to funding for SMEs and aligning with Vision 2030's financial initiatives.Competitiveness BoosterTribal Credit will equip Saudi SMEs with advanced tools and insights, enabling them to excel in both local and international markets. This move reflects the objectives of Vision 2030 by fostering competitiveness and innovation in the SME sector.Diversification ChampionBy focusing on key industries, Tribal Credit will bolster economic diversification, reducing reliance on oil and resonating with Vision 2030's diversification goals. This contribution will lead to a more resilient and sustainable economy in the Kingdom.Harnessing International ExperienceTribal Credit brings its global track record, winning formula, and technology to Saudi Arabia as a springboard for innovation and expansion. This international experience will catalyze innovation and propel SME growth in the Kingdom and across the globe.

ETML strengthens its MENA portfolio with Lenskart’s Digital Mandate in the ME

ETML, a leading Growth Advertising & Analytics Company has bagged the digital mandate for Lenskart, India’s largest optical brand. With this partnership, ETML adds yet another partnership in the MENA region and would be responsible for handling Lenskart’s performance marketing endeavours in the Middle East, with an aim to serve its larger business objectives. Lenskart, an omnichannel eyewear retailer, is India’s largest optical brand that uses technology and supply chain automation to directly sell glasses and contact lenses to consumers. With 2000+ physical, out of which 500+ are in the international markets, the brand is all set to deepen its penetration in India and scale its presence in the international markets. Commenting on the partnership, Raghav Kansal, Founder & CEO of ETML, said, "We are proud to announce our partnership with Lenskart in the Middle East. With our strong expertise in delivering business growth in the international markets, I am confident that we would be able to deliver immense value to the brand by keeping a strong focus on data & analytics.”Adding on to this, Aina Garg, Managing Director-Middle East, Lenskart, said, "We are excited for our partnership with ETML which will help us achieve our marketing objectives, and truly accelerate our business growth in the Middle East. Having an experienced partner like ETML would help us in leveraging the potential of performance marketing in order to meet the desired business outcome.”

ARTE showroom, production facility opens its doors in Dubai Production City

ARTE, a culinary destination dedicated to redefining the dessert experience, has announced the grand opening of its state-of-the-art showroom and production facility in Dubai Production City. This welcoming establishment promises to redefine the world of desserts, sweets, and culinary innovation, led by the exceptional talent of Chef Kuzma.Situated on the ground floor of the Galadari Building, ARTE's facility is poised to revolutionize the dessert experience, offering an unprecedented array of confections in an enchanting setting where artistry and gastronomy converge. With its blend of minimalism and modern playfulness, the interior design creates an inviting atmosphere, making it a sanctuary for art enthusiasts, coffee aficionados, and cake connoisseurs."At ARTE, we view dessert as not just a sweet ending but as an art form. Our mission is to craft desserts that captivate the eye and leave an indelible taste memory. Each creation tells a story, and we invite you to come and be a part of this delectable journey," shares Chef Kuzma, the creative genius behind ARTE's culinary wonders.Chef Kuzma's cakes are true masterpieces, often mistaken for real-life objects due to their astonishing realism. However, it's not just visual appeal that sets ARTE apart; it's the exceptional taste that surpasses all expectations. The cake fillings are so exquisite that each slice delivers a burst of dessert heaven.ARTE also offers an equally remarkable pastry section, featuring Chef Kuzma's unique recipe that infuses each ingredient with a tantalizing crispiness and freshness, evident in every delectable bite. Whether you yearn for classic pastries or innovative creations, ARTE promises to exceed your expectations.Experience a new era of dessert artistry and culinary excellence at ARTE's Showroom and Production Facility in Dubai Production City. Celebrate the fusion of aesthetics and gastronomy, where Chef Kuzma's creations tantalize the senses, leaving guests yearning for more.ARTE's Production City facility is fully equipped to cater to a wide range of events, including weddings, anniversaries, corporate gatherings, themed parties, birthdays, galas, private dinners, art exhibitions, gallery openings, and much more.

Dubai Chambers launches new Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award

Dubai Chambers has launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award in its new reimagined form, which introduces a series of enhancements to the award model, evaluation mechanisms, and award categories. Established under the umbrella of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, the award represents the highest level of recognition for the contributions of organisations to the sustainable development of Dubai’s dynamic business community.Organised under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the new award was launched during a special ceremony today at Dubai Chambers' headquarters with the participation of His Excellency Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, and Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, in the presence of leading figures from the local business community.The new award is the result of the merger of two of Dubai's most prominent awards for business excellence; the previous edition of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, and the Dubai Quality Award. The initiative comes as part of Dubai Chambers' drive to elevate standards throughout the business landscape.The award features four new categories including the Outstanding Business Award presented by Dubai Chambers, the Family Business Award presented by Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the Global Expansion Award presented by Dubai International Chamber, and the Digital Innovation Award presented by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.The award has undergone a comprehensive restructuring to reflect the needs of the business community, in line with Dubai's vision and the goals of the D33 economic agenda. Entries will be accepted from companies operating across diverse sectors starting from 2 October 2023. The award is open to Dubai-based businesses, as well as international companies who have their headquarters in Dubai.H.E. Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, commented: "With the business landscape continuously evolving, the restructuring of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award reflects the aspirations of the Dubai business community in the modern era. The evaluation criteria are now closely aligned with Dubai Chambers’ strategic priorities and are aimed at promoting a commitment to achieving a culture of excellence.”His Excellency continued: “We have completely redesigned the award, while also maintaining its primary objective of establishing a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience to help participating organisations become leaders in their fields. This creates an important tool to support the sustainability of companies and recognises performance, accelerates growth, and improves brand reputation, ultimately enhancing their competitiveness and position in the market by encouraging the adoption of international best practices.”The award seeks to improve business strategies, processes, and overall performance, and comes as part of Dubai Chambers' drive to promote a culture of creativity and innovation within the local business community. The new model is based on extensive research and reflects the latest methodologies by focusing on processes and results in key areas as tangible measures of business success.The evaluation process examines areas including leadership, strategy, workforce management, ESG, and digital transformation, in addition to financial performance. Participating companies must achieve a minimum number of points from the award assessors across a detailed range of criteria in order to secure a place among the finalists in each category.The winners of each award category will be honoured during a grand ceremony to be held during the second quarter of 2024 in the presence of participating companies and distinguished representatives from the private sector.Dubai Chambers' adoption of a framework for business excellence is designed to encourage companies to continuously improve their performance throughout the evaluation process. All applicants will receive an extensive evaluation report on their submissions, and winners will also be encouraged to share their best practices with other companies throughout the business community.The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award was originally launched in 2005 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to recognise the efforts of organisations that supported sustainable economic development in the UAE.

Deliverect sees continued growth with impressive H1 results

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

MG Motor with Havas Middle East set to redefine the automotive experience in KSA

Launching its latest Out of Home (OOH) campaign, MG Motors, along with Havas Middle East, aims to bridge the gap between its consumers and management and reinforce its brand presence in the KSA region.MG Motor, a renowned British automotive brand is set to revolutionise the Saudi market, aiming to provide an unparalleled 360-degree customer service experience. The brand can easily boast of having more than 100,000 vehicles on the streets of Saudi Arabia. In a bold move, the Managing Director of MG Motor- Middle East, Tom Lee, took to social media to publicly address the concerns of customers in the Kingdom and shared his direct contact number, in an effort to have the public reach out to him directly.This hands-on approach provided a platform for customers to voice their concerns and instilled confidence that every situation, feedback, and query for the brand, received personal attention with immediate solutions provided directly by MG Motor’s senior management. The initiative was complemented by an out-of-home takeover where the WhatsApp number was prominently advertised across three major cities in the Kingdom: Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. Critical cases that emerged through the MD's WhatsApp channel were promptly identified and resolved with immediate effect. The team assisted individual car owners, addressing concerns promptly and directly, demonstrating a high level of dedication to customer satisfaction.Tom Lee, during the PR launch, said: “Customer satisfaction remains at the forefront of our business. With a deep understanding of our Saudi customers, their preferences, and aspirations, we are driven by a passion for excellence, as we embark on this journey further to refine our services and products in the Kingdom.”The initiative also involved the introduction of new Social Media handles and the creation of market-specific content, designed to resonate with local tastes and preferences. Under the slogan "Driven by your passion", and a renewed focus on customer-centricity, MG Motor is poised to redefine the automotive experience in Saudi Arabia.<div class="video-container"><iframe src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

Batelco opens three standalone telecom digital shops to serve customers 24/7

Batelco, part of the Beyon Group, has unveiled new standalone Digital Shops at three key locations around the Kingdom of Bahrain. Designed with the customer in mind, the Digital Shops give access to Batelco services around the clock to suit customers’ busy lifestyles, enabling them to complete transactions conveniently in just a few minutes.The Digital Shops give access to a wide range of Batelco services, including the ability to instantly register and activate a new Postpaid or Prepaid line and receive a new SIM card, as well as subscribe to Home Fiber Broadband services with just a few easy steps. Customers can also complete package upgrades, SIM/eSIM replacement, and check device availability. Everyday popular transactions are also part of the Digital Shop capabilities, such as paying bills and refilling vouchers. General Manager Consumer Division Aseel Mattar said, “We are proud that Batelco is the first in the Kingdom to launch these standalone telecom digital shops, an exciting milestone in line with our commitment to innovation and customer-centricity.”“With the rapid advancement of technology and the growing demand for digital interaction, Batelco recognizes the need for accessible telecom services. The launch of these state-of-the-art digital shops aims to elevate the customer’s digital experience by ensuring our customers can access Batelco’s services at their convenience, with no time constraints.”“By leveraging cutting-edge technology and advanced user experience design, Batelco is creating a seamless and immersive retail experience that aims to exceed customer expectations. We look forward to delighting our customers and setting new industry standards," Mrs. Mattar added.Batelco’s Digital Shops are located in Al Alawi Complex Carpark, In & Out Petrol station in Hidd, and The Station in Janabiyah, all operating 24/7.

Acronis unveils AI-powered cyber protection software for consumers

Acronis, a global cyber protection company, has launched Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office (formerly Acronis True Image). The innovative software offers a comprehensive suite of features that seamlessly integrate secure backup, and AI-based security making it the ultimate must-have solution for individuals, families, home office users, and small businesses.An alarming 41% of individuals rarely or never back up their data while 61% report a preference for an integrated solution. The need for robust, less complex, and all-encompassing backup and cyber protection has never been greater in an increasingly interconnected world. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is designed to conquer the evolving landscape of cyber threats by integrating Acronis' cutting-edge cyber protection and secure backup solutions. By combining AI-powered defense mechanisms, robust data backup, remote management tools, and mobile device protection, Acronis sets the standard for holistic cyber protection. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is the only complete active-security solution that addresses cyber protection needs within a single, easy-to-use, and modern platform.“With the advancements of AI, cybercriminals and their tactics are evolving,” said Gaidar Magdanurov, President at Acronis. "Today, even those with limited tech expertise can impact a large number of individuals through the use of complex phishing and social engineering attacks. Protecting data, applications, and systems requires a complete cyber protection solution – integrated with security and data backup. We are excited to announce our latest update of Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, bringing better performance and stronger security to protect individuals’ data, devices, and home offices."Key features and benefits of Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office include: ? AI-Based Cybersecurity Enhancement: Innovative AI capabilities proactively identify and neutralize potential threats, while providing an added layer of security against cyberattacks including automated recovery from ransomware attacks. Enable the two-factor authentication (2FA) functionality to maximize your security. ? Backup and Cloning: Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office offers robust secure backup and cloning features. Users can safeguard their critical data and systems with reliable backup that ensures quick recovery in case of data loss or cyber-attacks. ? Remote Management: Users are empowered with remote management tools to monitor and manage their cybersecurity measures from anywhere in the world. This added convenience and flexibility allow for a swift response to any emerging threats.? Mobile App and Backup: While mobile device manufacturers offer some storage options, it's usually platform-specific, and multi-device families may have a mix of operating systems. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office features storage capabilities for any operating system and advanced encryption to keep mobile contacts, calendars, photos, files, and data safe. The solution also offers the Acronis mobile app to safeguard mobile device data. The feature seamlessly functions across devices so access data is accessible from anywhere through the app or the web interface.Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay

GGTech's gaming revolution: Alberto Martin on GGTech's gaming & e-sports mission

In the exhilarating realm of e-sports and gaming, GGTech Entertainment Group has emerged as a formidable global force. Their mission: to unite the worlds of video games and e-sports with society, creating distinctive entertainment and educational ventures. In this conversation with Adgully, Alberto Martin, Chief Revenue Officer of GGTech, delves into how GGTech fosters values like integration, sportsmanship, teamwork, and personal growth through gaming. Moreover, he unveils the innovative ways GGTech leverages gaming for learning and skill development, their grassroots initiatives, and the future of e-sports. Excerpts:Can you provide an overview of GGTech Entertainment Group and its mission in bridging the world of video games and e-sports with society?GGTech Entertainment is a global enterprise with a presence in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, and North Africa. Specializing in the fusion of leisure, esports, and cutting-edge technology, our mission is to create distinctive entertainment and educational ventures. With an emphasis on technological innovation and interactive spaces, we deliver a plethora of tech solutions that aim to advance societal growth and offer users a premium, tailor-made gaming experience.How do you believe video games and e-sports can promote values such as integration, sportsmanship, teamwork, and personal growth, and how does GGTech actively encourage these values?Video games and e-sports inherently promote integration by uniting players globally irrespective of background or geography. They emphasize sportsmanship as players engage in competitive settings, following rules and respecting opponents. Team-based games foster teamwork, requiring players to communicate and strategize collectively. Moreover, the iterative nature of gaming facilitates personal growth, as players constantly learn from mistakes and improve. GGTech actively champions these values by developing games and environments that stress collaborative play, organising tournaments with a spirit of fair competition, and creating platforms where diverse players converge, learn, and grow together, ensuring a holistic gaming experience for all.GGTech emphasizes the connection between entertainment and learning. Could you share some examples of how your organisation leverages gaming and e-sports to motivate learning and skill development?GGTech Entertainment is at the forefront of merging entertainment with education, using gaming and e-sports as catalysts for learning and skill development. Our footprint in collegiate e-sports is extensive, encompassing over 100,000 students from more than 1,500 universities across 25 countries on four continents. In the UAE alone, GGTech's Amazon UNIVERSITY e-sports saw participation from over 850 players from 40 universities. This global competition, beyond fostering competitive spirit, emphasizes real-world learning. Students are exposed to workshops presented by seasoned professionals and get the opportunity to gain their first professional experience in the industry focusing on diverse areas from broadcasting to marketing. The educational impact is further evident in the MENA region, where over 3,500 students from 90 universities, forming 300 teams, actively participate in these competitions. Furthermore, the innovative UNIVERSITY Tour in the UAE was introduced, simulating competitive environments across various campuses, allowing more students to experience e-sports firsthand. Through these initiatives, we not only celebrate gaming excellence but also champion academic commitment, real-world career development, and skills like strategic thinking and teamwork. With the gaming industry in the MENA region projected to reach $5bn by 2025, this emphasis on integrating gaming with education is both timely and impactful.What initiatives or programmes does GGTech have in place to engage with and support aspiring gamers and e-sports enthusiasts, particularly at the grassroots level?GGTech has placed a keen emphasis on fostering talent and supporting grassroots initiatives within the gaming and e-sports community. Some of our initiatives are:Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports: This competition has made significant strides in the UAE and the MENA region, captivating thousands of players by blending the competitive spirit of video games with educational undertakings. Spanning over 25 countries, this initiative has influenced over 100,000 students from more than 1,500 universities. Beyond just competition, it paves the way for students to delve into the e-sports industry, offering them first professional experiences. They gain insights into roles such as broadcasters, commentators, producers, and social media managers, setting the stage for their career advancement. Complementing this, the UNIVERSITY Tour initiative brings the thrill of competition directly to campuses, simulating competitive environments to offer students a genuine taste of e-sports participation.TFT RISING LEGENDS & TFT CHAMPIONSHIP: The official competition of Teamfight Tactics (an individual strategy game from Riot Games) in the EMEA region and the TFT Championship is the global competition for the same game. It is one of the fastest-growing games in recent years, and GGTech organises both of these international competitions.Collegiate Esports: GGTech has facilitated competitions such as the College League of Legends (CLoL) and College VALORANT (CVAL) in collaboration with Riot e-sports in the USA.Support & Mentoring for College Clubs: Beyond just organizing competitions, we have a program in place to mentor college clubs, providing them with the resources and guidance they need to develop and flourish.Collaborations with Major Brands: With partnerships, such as the one with gaming computer HP OMEN in the UAE, GGTech ensures that participants have access to the latest gaming technologies, enhancing their gaming experience and competitive edge.Live e-sports Events: Hosting live events, like the Amazon UNIVERSITY e-sports Masters (AUEM) MENA Series Finals, GGTech provides a platform for players to showcase their skills on a grand stage in front of a live audience.Community Building: By organising tournaments and leagues, we are creating a network of like-minded enthusiasts, fostering respect, teamwork, and strategic thinking.JUNIOR Esports: In Spain, GGTech organises JUNIOR Esports, a competition similar to UNIVERSITY Esports, but for high school students.GAMERGY: GGTech's most important on-site event that includes entertaining and educational activities for the whole family. It takes place in Madrid, Buenos Aires, and Mexico, and is considered one of the most important Spanish-speaking events in the sector. The last edition in Mexico, held in August, was attended by more than 75,000 people.CIRCUITO TORMENTA: Riot Games' main amateur competition in Spain, also developed by GGTech. This competition is where many players and teams make the jump to the professional leagues.e-sports has grown significantly in recent years. How does GGTech view the future of esports, and what role do you see your company playing in its continued development and expansion?e-sports has witnessed exponential growth, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The global gaming market is set to rise from US$281 billion in 2023 to $665 billion by 2030. With the MENA region emerging as a major gaming hub, boasting 377 million gamers and countries like KSA and the UAE displaying engagement rates rivalling Europe and America, GGTech is at the forefront of this evolution with its various programmes and initiatives.With the surge in gaming revenues in the UAE, driven by its youth-centric population, the industry has morphed into a communal and interactive experience. Evolutions like virtual reality, the metaverse, and increased mobile gaming accentuate this trend. GGTech plays a pivotal role in this landscape with our involvement in the Amazon UNIVERSITY e-sports competition empowers students globally, offering insights into the industry's multifaceted business segments.The rise of the metaverse and the integration of technologies like AR and VR in gaming also underline the UAE's advancement in the e-sports realm, attracting global talent. In fact, GGTech is actively working to integrate blockchain technology into our competitive platforms, like Qualy. As e-sports and gaming evolve, GGTech envisions itself championing innovation and driving the sector towards new horizons.In what ways does GGTech foster diversity and inclusivity within the gaming and e-sports communities, and why do you consider this important?As the gaming landscape in the MENA region undergoes rapid transformation, there's a notable surge in the participation of female players. Recent data highlights this trend, with nearly 64% of online adult males and 58% of online females in the Emirates involved in digital gaming. Surprisingly, in KSA, the numbers are even closer with 68% online male gamers and a slightly higher 69% online female gamers. The forecast projects that female gamers in MENA could outnumber male gamers. This evolution is attributed to the rising engagement of previously overlooked groups, including women and Gen X.GGTech's initiatives, like Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports, reflect this change, actively encouraging women's participation and ensuring they're recognized and celebrated for their talents. In the UK's UNIVERSITY e-sports competition, for example, tournaments are held specifically for women, to promote inclusion, as they are often overlooked or displaced within the e-sports ecosystem. The future of the gaming industry hinges on such inclusive practices, and with women already showcasing their skills both in playing and streaming, our efforts emphasize that the industry's growth and sustainability are intertwined with its commitment to gender inclusivity.What partnerships or collaborations has GGTech engaged in to further its mission, and how have these alliances contributed to your organization's success and impact?GGTech, from all its products, has links with some of the most important brands in the world: Amazon, Twitch, Microsoft, Intel, McDonald's, Disney, Red Bull, Samsung, and Adidas, among many others. This demonstrates the trust it has earned over the years, consolidating itself as one of the most important companies on a global level, and with sustained growth year after year.This trust is also earned by the world's leading game developers, who trust GGTech to develop some of their most important events. This is reflected in the relationship with Riot Games, Ubisoft, Epic Games, Supercell, and Activision, among other publishers.These strategic collaborations with industry forerunners have been instrumental to our organisation's triumph. They empower us to present unique opportunities, integrate progressive technologies, and ensure our vanguard position in the e-sports sphere, crafting inclusive, captivating, and technologically advanced platforms for gamers everywhere.Could you share some success stories or memorable moments that highlight the positive impact GGTech has had on individuals or communities through its e-sports and gaming initiatives?Over the years, GGTech's initiatives have successfully engaged vast numbers of passionate gamers and enthusiasts. GGTech accompanies the growth of e-sports on a global level, becoming one of the most influential companies in the sector over the years. The trust of global companies, the growth of its workforce, and its international expansion demonstrate that GGTech is a company that works towards providing children, adolescents, and adults with unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences.

BingX announces strategic sponsorship for Dubai Future Blockchain Summit 2023

BingX, a global leading cryptocurrency exchange, proudly announces its strategic sponsorship of the upcoming Future Blockchain Summit, a cutting-edge event set to revolutionize the world of Web 3.0, Blockchain, Crypto, NFT, Metaverse, and Gaming. The summit is scheduled to take place from October 15th to 18th, at Dubai Harbour, promising an immersive experience like no other.As the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region's most immersive large-scale blockchain event, Future Blockchain Summit is poised to be a game-changer, with a fresh and empowering concept aimed at emboldening disruptors, empowering change-makers, and inspiring innovators across various tech domains. Over the course of four dynamic days, industry leaders, enthusiasts, and visionaries will converge to engage in an array of activities and opportunities. Attendees will have the chance to showcase their potential and expand networks through countless connections and interactions, gain valuable insights from a thought-provoking agenda.BingX officially announced its strategic expansion in MENA region in this June, which aligns with its commitment to connect with users from diverse backgrounds and promote cryptocurrency adoption. Later in August, the introduction of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) trading services for a range of MENA and Turkish fiat currencies further exemplified its dedication to enhancing accessibility and convenience. BingX's journey in the MENA region has just begun, and it looks forward to continuing to foster the crypto ecosystem in this dynamic and promising market.Nicholas Lo, Head of Business Development, together with Abdulla Hesham Khalifa, MENA Head of Community , and Markose.C, MENA Brand Representative for BingX, will be among the distinguished speakers at this prestigious event. They will contribute their insights and expertise, sharing their vision for the future of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and the broader tech landscape. And Nicholas will provide an in-depth analysis of how centralized exchanges play a pivotal role in fostering the expansion of Web3 within the MENA region."In recent years, the MENA region has witnessed remarkable growth in its Web3 and crypto user base, and BingX has been proud to be part of this transformative journey. We see tremendous potential for Web3 technologies in MENA, and our sponsorship of the Future Blockchain Summit reaffirms our commitment to fostering innovation and driving the prosperity of Web3 in this dynamic region. We look forward to joining hands with visionaries, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs at the summit to explore new horizons and unlock the full potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in MENA." Nicholas added.The MENA region has evolved into a hub for Web3 technology, driven by factors including a substantial and youthful population, pervasive mobile and internet adoption, rapid digitalization, a burgeoning fascination with cryptocurrencies and blockchain, and a robust entrepreneurship. This integration of elements has created a fertile environment for the advancement of Web3 technologies. Meanwhile, Dubai is emerging as a prominent crypto center, supported by its strategic geographical positioning, regulatory receptivity, ample resources, and dynamic entrepreneurial vibes. With BingX's sponsorship and support, Future Blockchain Summit 2023 in Dubai is expected to elevate this to new heights.

New Balance appoints Saudi cultural icon Amy Roko as brand ambassador

Global sportswear brand New Balance has announced its collaboration with the Saudi cultural icon, Amy Roko, as its new brand ambassador. In joining New Balance, Amy will work closely with New Balance to foster the engagement of women and empower them through various initiatives.New Balance recognizes Amy Roko as a prominent figure leading change in the region as she fearlessly challenges societal rules and norms. Through her influential presence on various digital platforms, she has initiated thought-provoking conversations on important topics, such as gender equality, self-expression, and breaking stereotypes.With her unique sense of humor, authenticity, and relatability, Amy has connected with women from all backgrounds, empowering them to embrace their individuality and break societal expectations. By freely discussing sensitive issues and advocating for inclusivity, she has created a safe space for dialogue and has become a role model for countless women seeking inspiration and the confidence to pursue their dreams. Through her visionary outlook and determination, Amy will represent the region's consumers who crave change and embrace a futuristic perspective as she perfectly aligns with New Balance's ethos of fearless independence. She embodies the brand's spirit and will serve as a compelling ambassador, encouraging women to express themselves authentically and confidently.In her role as New Balance's ambassador, Amy will be the face of various local campaigns, with a particular focus on showcasing some of the brand's classic kicks such as the 550 and 530. Through these campaigns, Amy aims to amplify New Balance's message of self-expression, encouraging women to break barriers, redefine standards, and embrace their unique style.The partnership between New Balance and Amy Roko represents a powerful union that seeks to revolutionize the sportswear industry by challenging the norms and inspiring women to embrace their potential. Together, they aim to create a future where women are celebrated, empowered, and given the platform to drive change.

Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence expands protection from fake mobile app

Kaspersky updated its Digital Footprint Intelligence service delivering improved protection for companies from fake accounts on social networks, as well as from fake apps on mobile marketplaces. In the last year alone, more than 500 million attempts at accessing fraudulent websites were discovered by Kaspersky researchers. These malicious activities allow cybercriminals to collect sensitive data and also to attack victims by using trusted brands. To protect your brand’s reputation from possible impersonation attacks, companies need to pay close attention to the safety of their business especially in online public spaces such as websites, social networks and marketplaces. Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence is a threat intelligence service that provides organizations with insights into their digital footprint, allowing them to identify potential security risks and vulnerabilities. The updated solution can now monitor, detect and takedown fake accounts on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter as well as fake applications in AppStore and Google Play.Cybercriminals impersonate companies by imitating or attempting to steal their profiles on social networks and mobile marketplaces as an alternative way of targeting their users. They can sell counterfeit goods or act as a customer support representative and try to lure users into revealing sensitive data or visiting malicious websites. Executives present an attractive target as well, and impersonating these individuals can help to spread disinformation and advanced phishing campaigns. By monitoring public online sources and providing companies with detailed information about possible malicious activities, Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence helps businesses identify and remove these threats before they negatively impact their users, brand and as a result – revenue. Earlier this year, the service was improved by adding real time alerts for Targeted Phishing, which helps to track the appearance of phishing websites targeting brand company names, online services and trademarks.“Empowered with the Takedown Service, Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence provides businesses with greater opportunities to protect their brands. Together with other products from Kaspersky Threat Intelligence portfolio, this service combines all our experience to help organizations improve their security posture by providing actionable intelligence on potential threats and vulnerabilities,” comments Yulia Novikova, Head of Digital Footprint Intelligence at Kaspersky.

Writers reach breakthrough deal with Hollywood studios

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has has reached a breakthrough labour agreement with major studios in Hollywood, marking the potential resolution of one of the two strikes that have effectively halted most film and television production for nearly five months.This three-year contract agreement, following five days of intense negotiations between WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents studios, streaming services, and producers, is yet to receive approval from the guild's board and members before the strike can be officially declared over.Representing 11,500 film and television writers, the WGA hailed this deal as "exceptional," highlighting the "meaningful gains and protections for writers" it contains. They attributed this success to the unwavering support of WGA members and the solidarity of fellow unions who joined them on the picket lines for more than 146 days.As of now, there has been no immediate response from the AMPTP. It's important to note that while the WGA settlement represents a significant development, it doesn't signify an immediate return to work for Hollywood, as the SAG-AFTRA actors union's strike is ongoing.The strike started on May 2 when WGA members walked off the job due to a deadlock in negotiations, primarily centered around issues such as compensation, minimum staffing of writers' rooms, the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI), and the distribution of residuals for writers of popular streaming shows, among other concerns.The writers are asking to rein in the role of AI. The strike sent so many scripted shows and other productions in a state of uncertainty, including the next seasons of Netflix’s Stranger Things. Even the Emmy Awards were also postponed to January.Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger termed in the demands of the striking writers and actors as “just not realistic." Later he retracted the statement saying he has “deep respect” for creative professionals.

Deliverect sees continued growth with impressive H1 results

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

Hilton unveils growth plans at Future Hospitality Summit 2023

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

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

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

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

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

BENEFIT Acquires Bahrain Fintech Bay in landmark partnership agreement

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

Italian restaurant Signor Sassi opens in Dubai

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

PRCA MENA opens entries for the MENA Regional Awards 2024

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

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

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

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

Pelham Communications inaugurates office in Dubai with Rania Habib as Head

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

Al Fardan Exchange partners with AML Analytics

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

YallaHub partnering with WEE Marketplace to digitalize the industry

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

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

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

Solutions+ signs strategic sponsorship agreement with Al Ain Football Club

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

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

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

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

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

Global Village Season 28 VIP Packs on sale this Saturday

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

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

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

Kapture CX appoints Chandrakanth PS as AVP Sales-Middle East

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

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

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