Madhur Kakkar, angel investor of Quantl AI, honoured with the 'Icons of the UAE’

Dubai:— Madhur Kakkar, a prominent figure in the financial industry, has been recognised for his outstanding contributions with the prestigious ‘Icons of the UAE’ award. The accolade was presented to him by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, a prominent Indian politician and diplomat, at a distinguished ceremony organised by NKN Media and India Today Group.With an illustrious career spanning over 18 years in the financial sector, Madhur’s journey began in 2006 when the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) recently opened its doors for business. He embarked on a path focused on foreign currency-based complex structures, demonstrating an early aptitude for computational mathematics and risk assessment.At the young age of 23, Kakkar immersed himself in intensive training programs, which fortified his understanding of computational mathematics and equipped him to factor in risk when formulating strategies to generate returns for clients. This experience ignited a perpetual thirst for in-depth product knowledge, allowing him to deconstruct complexities, assess risks, and guide clients with unparalleled expertise.In his last role as the Executive Director at Century Financial, Madhur was pivotal in positioning Century’s platform as a preferred choice for High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs) and family offices. Leveraging his profound understanding of risk, he devised innovative hedging strategies that garnered widespread acclaim and expanded the platform's client base exponentially.Reflecting on his recent accolade, Madhur said: "This recognition is profoundly humbling. It is a source of great joy to be acknowledged for the journey, especially at this particular stage in time when I can feel the wind under my wings as I am looking to soar to newer heights. The sky truly is the limit. I always say if you are going to carry a burden, carry the burden of your dreams.”At the end of his speech, Madhur unveiled Quantl AI, a revolutionary systematic trading platform designed for trading digital assets. He emphasised his objective of identifying automated solutions for trading in the financial markets and highlighted the forward-looking approach at the core of Quantl's offerings.Regarding Quantl, Madhur stated: "Having a forward-looking approach is essential. We intend to provide a solution that encompasses a clean machine-learning model capable of processing terabytes of data within fractions of seconds. This data is meticulously cleansed for all market events, allowing users to test strategies before committing to real capital. Moreover, our library of models can be tailored to individual preferences, incorporating parameters that define personal risk and return expectations. Once deployed, these algorithms seamlessly execute strategies from start to finish, providing clients unmatched efficiency.”Madhur Kakkar was honoured alongside a distinguished group of recipients of the ‘Icons of the UAE’ award. Among them were Paras Shahdadpuri, Chairman of Nikai Group of Companies; Rizwan Sajan, Chairman and Founder of Danube Group; Dr. Dhananjay Datar, Chairman and Managing Director of Adil Trading Company; Naresh Kumar Bhawnani, Group Founder and chairman of Westzone; Dr. Thumbay Moideen, Founder and President of Thumbay Group; Prashant Goenka, Director of Emami; Dr. KP Hussain, Chairman and Managing Director of Fathima Healthcare Group; and Yogesh Mehta, CEO of Petrochem Middle East. These esteemed individuals were recognised for their exceptional contributions and achievements, standing alongside Madhur Kakkar as icons in the UAE.

Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed meets CEO of asset management company BlackRock

His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has met with Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of leading asset management company BlackRock.During the meeting, they discussed opportunities available for global investors and international companies in the UAE. His Highness also highlighted how Abu Dhabi’s business-friendly ecosystem supports companies, particularly within renewable energy and innovative technological solutions, to further accelerate the growth of a knowledge-based economy and drive sustainable economic growth across priority sectors.The meeting also involved discussions on the facilities, incentives, and flexible but robust regulatory framework offered by Abu Dhabi, which are attracting global companies to establish operations in the emirate as a way of expanding their business in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.The meeting was also attended by His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, and Managing Director and Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company; His Excellency Ahmed Jasem Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; and Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company.

Gulf Air expands into China to bolster its Asia-Pacific network

Beijing, China : Gulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier, will be extending its operations into China in January 2024. In line with its calibrated growth strategy to strengthen its global network and connecting Bahrain with key global destinations under the national Economic Recovery Plan of Bahrain, this strategic move also represents a significant step forward for Gulf Air to bolster its Asia-Pacific presence and support connectivity under the One Belt One Road initiative of China. The expansion plans into China were revealed at the Bahrain-China Investment Forum hosted by the Economic Development Board of Bahrain. The Forum was part of a special delegation to the country led by H.E. Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce."We are excited by the opportunity to expand our presence in the Asia-Pacific region with new flights connecting Bahrain and the cities of Guangzhou and Shanghai in China," said Dr. Jeffrey Goh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Air Group Holding. "China is one of the world's fastest-growing economies and a global tourism market. It is key to our strategy of calibrated network growth. These flights will offer greater choice and flexible travel experiences for passengers and create new pipelines for trade, tourism and collaboration, benefitting both nations.”China, known for its strong and vibrant cultural heritage and economic dynamism, is a popular destination for leisure and business travellers. Gulf Air’s introduction of flights to Guangzhou and Shanghai will strengthen the bilateral trade and tourism relations of over 30 years. The schedule has been built to ensure convenient connections between China and destinations served by Gulf Air in the Middle East and Europe, and between these destinations and China. The flights will be operated with Boeing 787 Dreamliner and two cabins of service, a business class cabin featuring one of the most spacious premium seats and an economy class cabin with state-of-the-industry seats.Goh remarked further that, “We are confident these new flights will be appreciated by the international business community and those seeking exciting new leisure destinations and those simply looking to visit friends and family. We are equally confident that customers will enjoy our renowned Arabian hospitality on board.”Gulf Air has been serving the Kingdom of Bahrain and beyond since 1950, steadily growing its operations and network to meet the needs of its diverse customer base.

Adjust & Mobmio announce strategic partnership to accelerate mobile industry

Dubai: Mobmio, a mobile performance network, is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Adjust, a leading measurement and analytics company trusted by marketers to measure and grow their apps across mobile, web, CTV, PC & console, and beyond. With the substantial growth in mobile app usage across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) the partnership will bring innovative marketing solutions to the dynamic and diverse mobile market to help accelerate its growth and drive business success for customers.Mobile app development and marketing have been on a steep trajectory of growth, especially within MENA. According to Statista, total app market revenues for 2022 reached US$475.90bn, and they expect to see an annual growth (CAGR 2022-2027) of 8.58%, resulting in a market volume of US$755.50bn by 2027. According to Mobmio's data, the number of mobile sales in MENA grew by 20% in H1 of 2023 YoY, their GMV grew by 18.3%, and over half of all orders in the region are made through mobile phones.In the mobile app growth report 2023 by Adjust, it is stated that travel apps emerged as the winner among all app categories in MENA, with an impressive Growth Score of 42.6. A nice example of this is Wego, one of the top travel apps in the region, which reported a YoY growth of over 157% in February 2023. Shopping apps came in second with a Growth Score of 37.9. Mobile gaming and finance apps tied for third place in MENAT, both scoring 27.9.Adjust has consistently been at the forefront of providing growth marketers with tools and data-driven insights to optimize and maximize their user acquisition (UA) and retention strategies. A partnership with Mobmio, specializing in mobile app UA and CPI/CPL/CPA/Revenue share monetization services, will create a more powerful and efficient ecosystem for businesses seeking to thrive in the ever-evolving mobile landscape."As the mobile measurement landscape continues to evolve, Adjust is leading the way with next-generation measurement and optimization tools that marketers need to grow their apps from early-stage to maturity. Our strategic partnership with Mobmio opens up new possibilities for businesses looking to achieve their growth goals in the MENA region," said Yi?it Atakan, Sr. Partnerships Manager, MENAT at Adjust.Mobmio, known for its mobile performance marketing solutions, is equally excited about the partnership. Launched as a stand-alone business in 2023, Mobmio has already reached out to 500+ million mobile users, generated 50+ million interactions and acquired 15+ million new users for its customers worldwide. By merging its expertise in mobile marketing and Adjust's cutting-edge, cross-channel measurement and analytics capabilities, they aim to provide a comprehensive suite of solutions to businesses looking to tap into the MENA region's immense potential."Mobmio has always focused on delivering performance and monetization solutions that help businesses unlock their full potential in the mobile space. We believe that this partnership with Adjust is the next step in our journey to provide unparalleled mobile performance marketing solutions in the MENA region," stated Aleksandr Kryvosheiev, CEO at Mobmio.

Strategic communication agency Manara Global expands with new hub in Masdar City

Abu Dhabi: Manara Global, a leading strategic communication agency, embarks on its next phase of growth as the agency announces their expansion within the UAE with a new hub located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.Positioned in the heart of this sustainable urban community, the new hub in Masdar City offers an innovative and eco-friendly workspace for the Manara Global team, aligning perfectly with the agency’s commitment to sustainability and innovation.This strategic move not only underscores Manara Global’s commitment to deepening its ties with the Abu Dhabi and UAE government sector but also highlights its momentum in the private sector, following several significant client account wins in the technology sector, such as G42 Cloud. The hub in Masdar City marks a pivotal step in the agency’s wider expansion plans that envision further outreach across the region and internationally.“Our expansion into Abu Dhabi, particularly Masdar City, is a strategic leap in our journey,” stated Teri O’Donnell, Founding Partner and Chair of Manara Global. “With recent wins in the technology sector and our increasing engagement in the Abu Dhabi and UAE government sector, this new location empowers us to serve our clients more effectively while also resonating with our focus on sustainability and our purpose-led values.”Amier Alawadhi, Acting Director of the Masdar City Free Zone welcoming Manara Global said, “I am thrilled to extend a warm welcome to Manara Global as they join our dynamic and thriving business community. Manara Global's decision to establish their presence here is a testament to the appeal of Masdar City as a hub for innovative companies to grow. Our comprehensive ecosystem of over 450 business activities ensures that we provide the necessary infrastructure and support for companies across various sectors. We are excited to see Manara Global leverage the opportunities offered in Masdar City and look forward to witnessing their contribution to our ever-expanding network of businesses.”Since its inception in Dubai in 2019, Manara Global has been working tirelessly with clients across the region. The interest in its services has grown exponentially, not just regionally, but internationally, leading to multiple client engagements outside of the Middle East, such as London Business School.The expansion to Masdar City, Abu Dhabi forms part of the Agency’s strategic plan for growth which also includes the development of further service offerings, partnerships, and new hires to bring further expertise into the Agency. A focus of the Agency’s strategic plan is on innovation which will see a range of technology solutions taken up and a greater focus on the Agency’s Insight and Intelligence team – the Ma’refa (meaning knowledge in Arabic) team – which will be providing comprehensive insights into the region, with a particular focus on the UAE.Robin Gordon-Farleigh, Founding Partner of Manara Global, commented, “As we align with the UAE’s National Year of Sustainability, our presence in Masdar City not only positions us closer to our valuable clients but also underscores our commitment to sustainable practices and innovation. With our Ma’refa team, we have enhanced our capacity to deliver insightful and region-specific intelligence, with a nuanced focus on the UAE. This is a pivotal era for Manara Global, as we embrace cutting-edge technology solutions and strategically position ourselves to lead, innovate, and drive meaningful impact in the field of strategic communications.”Manara Global provides strategic communications advisory to Government and businesses ranging from crisis communications, media relations, through to thought leadership and communication strategy.

Dubai Chambers unveils Dubai Business Forum to shape the future of global trade

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Chambers has announced the launch of the Dubai Business Forum. The prestigious event will be hosted at Madinat Jumeirah from 1–2 November 2023 under the theme ‘Shifting Economic Power: Dubai and the Future of Global Trade.’ The landmark event creates exciting opportunities for Indian companies to leverage Dubai’s strategic location and favourable business environment as a launchpad for their expansion plans in the Middle East and beyond. According to Dubai Chambers’ figures, non-oil bilateral trade between India and the UAE reached a total value of US$ 49.5 billion in 2022, achieving an impressive year-over-year growth of 10.5%. Commenting on the launch of the forum, His Excellency Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, said: “This prestigious event will serve as a catalyst for change by creating an unrivalled platform for networking and dealmaking that will empower business leaders from across the globe. We look forward to hosting insightful sessions that will unlock fresh growth in trade and investments and transform the future of business.” India is the UAE’s second-largest trading partner and was the first country globally to enter into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE, unlocking a host of benefits for cross-border trade and investments. According to Dubai Chamber of Commerce’s data, 22% of total new member registrations during H1 2023 were businesses with Indian owners. Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, provides a comprehensive range of business support services to Indian companies through its representative office in Mumbai, which was launched in 2018 to strengthen bilateral ties and explore new avenues for economic cooperation. Currently, Indian entrepreneurs account for around a third of Dubai’s startup community. Previously known as the Global Business Forum, the Dubai Business Forum will gather visionary Heads of State, government officials, global business leaders, and major international investors to redefine the rules of success. The event is set to bring together leaders from sectors including technology, retail, finance, travel and hospitality, real estate, and healthcare to participate in insightful discussions on transforming business for the future. As part of the event, Dubai Chambers is also unveiling ‘The Deals Hub’ to unlock global trade and investment opportunities. The dedicated dealmaking space will host a full spectrum of agreements including major partnerships, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, large investments and fundraising rounds, government contracts, cross-border trade agreements, and memorandums of understanding.

Advanced Media Trading's #IAMTomorrow Campaign Celebrates the Generation

For over two decades, Advanced Media Trading, fondly known as AMT in the industry, has been supporting generations of broadcasters, videographers, photographers, creators, and enthusiasts by offering exceptional services from consultancy, training and sales to installation, repair, and maintenance. Founded in 2002, AMT is presently the largest distributor of professional broadcast, cinema, video and photo equipment and accessories across the Middle East and North Africa.AMT recently launched a new hashtag, #IAMTomorrow, to commemorate the success of two new installments of the CINE series, the region’s only digital cinema community event, and reiterate its commitment to fostering and empowering the talented generation of the Tomorrow. The hashtag was revealed in a campaign video that paid homage to the creative process of a diverse group of young creators from across the media industry in pursuit of goals and dreams that define and shape their tomorrows. The script and cinematography of the reel were executed by yet another young, aspiring, and upcoming DOP, Abderraouf Sebti, who saw this campaign as an opportunity to showcase how AMT fuels these creative dreamers. “As they each interact with the equipment to bring their visions to life, the world around them transforms into a manifestation of their dreams. We follow four different characters across four different platforms to show the scope of their dreams and the reach of AMT,” explains Sebti.The collaborative #IAMTomorrow campaign reel features a group of extremely promising young talent who worked seamlessly as a team over three days at several locations, notably SAE Institute Dubai, Ravenscar Film & Studios, and SkyLight Studio. A photographer, a cinematographer, a singer and audio engineer, and lastly a podcaster are shown one after the other as they flourish in their respective environments and share their accomplishments across social media platforms by expressing that they are in fact the generation of tomorrow using the hashtag. The decision to have Abderraouf Sebti lead this project was in itself another nod to the generation of tomorrow. Sebti is a young creative who operates across multiple media and inspired by all iterations of life and art. “I don’t think there’s something specific that inspires a person to be a creative. I believe that frequent exposure to the right kind of information and experiences nurture and strengthen the process that leads to the production of art. And institutions such as AMT can contribute greatly to that,” he remarks.In addition to introducing the campaign, AMT has also launched a competition that runs until October 31st to award the best three videos submitted using the hashtag #iAMTomorrow with gifts from Sony, Godox and DJI. You can view the video here on Advanced Media’s Instagram account.

Liverpool FC Retail, e-commerce relaunch

Seventy 8 Sports in partnership with Liverpool FC retail is thrilled to announce the highly anticipated relaunch of its Middle East retail store's e-commerce platform. Football fans and Liverpool FC enthusiasts in the Middle East can now experience the excitement of their favorite club's merchandise from the comfort of their homes and phones, as the Liverpool FC Retail Store's e-commerce platform reopens with a host of kits, exclusive merchandise and signed memorabilia.Liverpool FC has always enjoyed an incredible fanbase in the Middle East, and this relaunch aims to enhance the shopping experience for supporters across the region. The refreshed e-commerce platform promises a seamless and immersive shopping experience, bringing fans closer to their beloved club alongside the latest merchandise.Commenting on the relaunch, Craig McKelvie, Founder of Seventy 8 Sports said, "We are excited to continue to bring the Liverpool FC retail experience closer to our fans in the Middle East. The e-commerce relaunch reflects our commitment to providing our supporters with the highest quality products and a seamless shopping experience. We want to ensure they can celebrate their passion for Liverpool FC like never before."To celebrate the relaunch, Liverpool FC is offering 20% off all merchandise for first time customers online and multiple offers throughout November for our loyal shopping fans.

Can Generation X marketers thrive in the age of AI?

Having been a part of the marketing industry for the past 25 years, I've witnessed numerous revolutionary changes. We often joke about the days when we relied on faxes and floppy disks ( to share information.When I began my career, it was difficult to imagine, and I'm certain none of us could have predicted how much the industry would evolve. And yet, here we are. AI is revolutionizing marketing and advertising practices by leveraging AI-driven analytics, personalization, content automation, and programmatic advertising to enhance the customer experience, ultimately driving business growth.When I talk with colleagues from my generation (X) who embarked on their careers around the same time as me, I sense a fear and concern about keeping up and adapting to this new era. However, as someone who always maintains a positive outlook and sees the glass as half full, I firmly believe that with the right mindset and a willingness to learn, not only can we keep pace with the evolution, but we can also leverage AI to our advantage, drawing upon our years of experience and expertise.Understanding the power and workings of AI is crucial if we want to continue navigating the marketing industry effectively.Embracing a more data-driven approach is essential, enabling us to make informed decisions. Although this is not entirely new—analyzing data and gaining insights has always been a part of our work—now we have more intelligent tools to aid us in these endeavours.Instead of viewing AI as a threat to our expertise, we should perceive it as a powerful tool that augments our capabilities. Embracing new technologies will enhance productivity and provide us with more time to focus on strategic thinking.I'm certain you'll agree with me that those of us who have chosen to be a part of this industry are constantly challenged and have always had inquisitive minds. Therefore, acquiring new skills and adapting to changes won't be a daunting task. We understand that continuous learning and upskilling are crucial for staying ahead in the ever-evolving marketing ecosystem.While AI can support and amplify our efforts in creating meaningful and impactful campaigns, it's important to remember that genuine human connection and emotional intelligence will always remain key in our industry. Throughout the years, we've gained tremendous knowledge by studying and analyzing customer behavior. AI can assist us in magnifying these efforts.It's worth noting that what works today may not work tomorrow. Hence, embracing a mindset of experimentation and agility is critical. AI equips us with the necessary tools and platforms for constant experimentation, enabling us to make strategic decisions more quickly.In a way, I believe we are privileged to have started our careers many years ago. We've witnessed groundbreaking changes and now have the opportunity to combine our expertise with the capabilities of AI. Rather than feeling fear and insecurity, let us embrace this new era as valuable contributors.(Asterios Chalkias is an award-winning marketing communications strategist with over 25 years of experience in top-tier international PR firms, advertising agencies, and research organisations. Based in Qatar, his expertise spans diverse industries, including sports, FMCG, automotive, technology, healthcare, and finance. He is renowned for his significant contributions to global sporting events like the FIFA World Cup in Qatar (2022) and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.)

BEL Group Selects Catch Communications as PR Partner for Regional Expansion

 Pioneers in the fresh produce sector, Bel Groupe Middle East have appointed Catch Communications to spearhead its PR and comms activity in 2023 leading into 2024 ahead of its regional expansion. With a mission to enhance their brand presence and market position in the GCC, particularly Saudi Arabia (KSA), Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bel Group has joined hands with Catch Communications to support on the comms front, build desired positioning & presence for their varied product segment and associated spokespeople.  Committed to providing high-quality dairy products that enhance the lives of individuals and families living in the GCC, Bel Groupe is a major player in the food industry through portions of dairy, fruit and plant-based products, and one of the world leaders in branded cheeses. Its portfolio of differentiated and internationally recognized brands includes The Laughing Cow, Kiri, Babybel, Boursin, Nurishh, Pom’Potes, and GoGo squeeZ, as well as some 30 local brands.  “We are thrilled to be on boarding Bel Groupe, our team of experts will execute strategic PR initiatives to strengthen Bel Group's market presence, run dynamic social media campaigns, leveraging Chef Heyam's expertise as a brand ambassador, as well as driving brand development and overseeing the content creation and management of select Bel Groupe’s social media platforms.” We are confident that our strategic insights and innovative approach will play a pivotal role in amplifying Bel Groupe’s presence regionally whilst ensuring it remains a household name.” added, Injeel Moti, Managing Director of Catch Communications. Catch Communications is an award winning integrated creative and content-driven communications consultancy that connects brands with consumers and businesses through high-impact, creative and value-added counsel across the MENA region in key practice groups including Consumer, Corporate, Hospitality, Social Impact & Education and Technology.

Emirates Dubai 7s and Dulsco Group announce stellar cricket ambassadors partners

 The Emirates Dubai 7s, and Cricket Presenting Partner Dulsco Group are set to deliver an unforgettable experience this December, with a star-studded roster of cricketing legends and high-profile players who will serve as official ambassadors for the Middle East’s biggest sporting and entertainment event.The esteemed ambassadors include renowned cricketing figures Georgia Elwiss, who is hosting a series of Masterclasses with the Youth in October, Darren Gough, Alex Hartley, Keaton Jennings and Saqib Mahmood. Throughout the Emirates Dubai 7s, they will engage with fans and enthusiasts, participating in exciting, interactive activities such as meet and greet sessions, signing events, exclusive masterclasses with players, insightful Q&A sessions and much more. Mathew Tait, Festival Director of Emirates Dubai 7s said: “Cricket at the Dubai 7s is growing in popularity year-on-year with spectators and players alike, with 32 teams set to compete in our fast-paced 7s version of the game this year. We are excited to be welcoming cricket legends to the festival and have no doubt their skills and experience will raise the profile of the tournament, and the game even further.”David Stockton, CEO of Dulsco Group, said: “Dulsco is thrilled to partner with Emirates Dubai 7s to bring such an outstanding lineup of ambassadors to this iconic sporting event. With our strong commitment to cricket, it's a natural fit for us, and we're proud to have three of our team members actively participating in the tournament. We firmly believe in the unifying, inspiring power of sports within communities, and are eagerly anticipating what will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience for cricket fans of all ages and from all walks of life."The Emirates Dubai 7s is scheduled to take place from Friday, 1 December to 3 December at The Sevens Stadium. For tickets, please visit www.dubairugby7s.comDetails of the Ambassadors Georgia Elwiss is a prominent figure in women's cricket. She is an English cricketer known for her all-round abilities, particularly as a right-handed batter and a right-arm medium-fast bowler. Elwiss has represented England in various formats of the game and has been a valuable member of the national team.A former English cricketer who enjoyed a highly successful international cricket career, Darren Gough is a fast bowler known for his competitive style of play. Gough represented England in both Test and One-Day International (ODI) cricket, earning a reputation as one of England's most talented fast bowlers. After retiring from professional cricket, Gough transitioned into a career as a sports commentator and analyst.Alex Hartley is a high-profile female international cricketer from Lancashire, England. She is primarily a left-arm spin bowler and has represented the England women's cricket team at various levels. As an accomplished athlete, Hartley has become an inspiration to aspiring athletes and sports enthusiasts, especially young women interested in pursuing a career in cricket.Keaton Jennings is a cricketer hailing from Lancashire, England. He is a top-order batsman who has represented England in international cricket. Jennings is known for his accomplished batting technique and has played a significant role in both Lancashire cricket and the England national team.Saqib Mahmood is an exciting and talented English cricketer known for his fast-bowling skills. Mahmood has made a name for himself with his impressive performances in domestic and international cricket. He has been a part of the England cricket setup and is regarded as a promising talent for the future.

OSH Del MAR Opens Outdoor Terrace for An Unparalleled Dining Experience

OSH Del Mar, renowned for its exquisite cuisine and luxurious ambiance, has opened its expanded outdoor dining terrace. Tucked away in the heart of Dubai at The Address Beach Resort, and overlooking the awe-inspiring Ain Dubai, OSH's outdoor area promises a dining experience like no other. Boasting a current terrace capacity of 85, which will soon increase to 97 seats, OSH Del Mar invites guests to indulge in a culinary journey against the backdrop of one of Dubai's most iconic views, Ain Dubai. As guests savor their meals, they are treated to breathtaking, panoramic views of this impressive landmark, providing a captivating spectacle that is second to none. Whether you're sipping handcrafted cocktails at the grand marble bar, enjoying a delicious dinner with friends on the plush chairs, or unwinding with a shisha in one of the comfortable lounge areas, OSH Del Mar offers an array of experiences to cater to your desires. From every vantage point on the terrace, you'll be able to soak in the scenic vistas that showcase the charm and modernity of Dubai. "We are excited to unveil our newly expanded terrace and invite our guests to experience the magic of OSH Del Mar against the backdrop of Dubai's most iconic landmarks. The views from our terrace are simply breathtaking, and when combined with Dubai's cooling weather and the richness of Central Asian flavors, we aim to create memorable moments for our patrons,” says Vitaly Nikiforov, General Manager. OSH Del Mar's terrace expansion is more than just a dining area; it's a feast for the senses, a symphony of flavors, and a visual treat that complements Dubai's breathtaking skyline. "OSH" symbolizes the heart and soul of modern Uzbek cuisine, offering a diverse array of traditional flavors and culinary heritage. Meanwhile, "Del Mar," a Spanish term meaning "From the Sea," signifies the restaurant's emphasis on seafood and fish, delivering a tantalizing combination of land and sea on every plate.  The expanded terrace is set to provide guests with an unparalleled dining experience that combines sumptuous cuisine with awe-inspiring views and the perfect weather to enjoy it. OSH Del Mar looks forward to welcoming both new and returning patrons to its terrace to share in this remarkable experience.  Daily operating hours are from 1:00 pm to 1:00 am. For reservations and more information, please call +971 50 914 4215, visit our website at or follow us on Instagram @OSHDUBAI.

Boosting PR campaign performance with artificial intelligence

Despite the mounting concerns surrounding the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the field of public relations, AI applications have ushered in a host of benefits for PR experts. The industry is urged to embrace the ongoing AI revolution, empowering PR professionals to master the tools and software at their disposal, according to a statement by PR consultancy firm W7Worldwide.W7Worldwide, a prominent homegrown marketing communication agency based in Saudi Arabia, has published a report titled "The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Public Relations Industry." This comprehensive report delves into the influence of AI on public relations, its advantages, the challenges it presents, and how PR professionals can leverage AI applications to contribute to the realization of Vision 2030 goals within the digital economy. (You can access the full report here: report highlights AI's potential to contribute a staggering $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. In the context of the Saudi economy, the infusion of AI is projected to add $135 billion to the national treasury by 2030, as per global consultancy firm PwC.The report elucidates that AI has conferred significant benefits upon the public relations industry. It empowers professionals to analyze vast datasets, identifying trends and patterns that enhance their understanding of target audiences. This data-driven insight, in turn, facilitates the optimization of social media campaigns, identification of potential influencers, measurement of PR effectiveness, and prediction of forthcoming market and business trends.Beyond this, AI chatbots and virtual assistants, like "ChatGPT," enhance user experiences by handling a spectrum of tasks, from responding to customer inquiries and scheduling appointments to even conducting interviews. This delegation of routine tasks liberates PR professionals to concentrate on higher-level responsibilities, such as strategy development and media outreach.Content Creation: The report underscores AI's role in crafting PR content and refining its delivery to specific audiences, guided by data on customer preferences, purchasing behaviors, interests, and optimal communication channels and timings. AI-powered writing tools excel in producing press releases, posts, blogs, and other written content with remarkable accuracy. However, it is essential to note that these tools, while invaluable in specific scenarios, have yet to attain the sophistication required to replace human writers entirely.Challenges and Concerns: The report addresses challenges and mounting apprehensions regarding AI's impact on the PR industry. These include concerns about job displacement due to automation, the generation of misleading or fraudulent content necessitating rigorous fact-checking, and ethical considerations in AI application, particularly concerning data privacy and bias.The report underscores the adaptability of the PR industry, which has previously navigated the digital revolution. PR professionals have demonstrated their ability to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape and can replicate this success with AI. This involves staying informed about the latest AI technologies and applications, understanding their functioning, and harnessing them to enhance their business and maintain industry leadership.W7Worldwide advises PR professionals to acquire new skills, enabling them to effectively utilize AI-powered tools and software while addressing potential challenges. It further encourages vigilance in monitoring emerging industry trends, especially in the continuously evolving PR domain."

UAE's metaverse pioneer Everdome launches SPACES (MaaS)

Dubai based metaverse project Everdome unveiled SPACES - the debut release of their new Metaverse-as-a-Service product line, which aims to make the metaverse more accessible for all.Although, according to a recent report by McKinsey, almost 60 percent of consumers using today’s early version of the metaverse are excited about transitioning everyday activities to it, and 95 percent of business leaders are expecting the metaverse to have a positive impact on their industry within five to ten years, the metaverse remains confusing for many business and consumer users, with greater barriers to entry and understanding than widely used web2 applications.Everdome seeks to change this with their new SPACES application, which will deliver easy-to-use, customizable and engaging metaverse pop-up spaces that can be created in a matter of minutes.SPACES will allow users without deep technical knowledge to quickly produce metaverse experiences which can last for days, weeks or even a matter of hours as a metaverse pop-up space.This product release follows closely behind Everdome’s Mars Landing experience release, which represented the completion of their alpha layer-one of their immersive metaverse destination, taking users from a virtual Hatta Spaceport through to a digital imagining of a future Martian civilization. The Everdome team combines the power of Unreal Engine 5 with blockchain technology, wrapping them together to create easy to use metaverse templates that enable users to showcase images, video, streaming and more to invited guests - who can then react and socialize using avatars in a three-dimensional, immersive and interactive environment.Created as a stand-alone application from their hyper-realistic Mars metaverse environment, SPACES addresses the ongoing challenge of accessibility in metaverse development, allowing a wider audience to take their first steps into the web3 world.Everdome CEO Jeremy Lopez is spearheading this drive to improve metaverse engagement to a wider audience, stating:‘’The metaverse is really just getting started. However, we need to provide people with a simple jumping in point so they can really get a taste of the possibilities and differences between the web2 and web3 experiences.’’ Releasing first in Alpha for their community of landholders inside their Everdome experience, their SPACES release forms just part of Everdome’s wider Metaverse-as-a-Service product line, encompassing both easy to use metaverse templates and custom developments for brands and businesses, which will be gradually released over Q3 2023 and Q1 2024.Lopez adds: ‘’Metaverse-as-a-service is an arena that is very exciting and with huge growth potential - to make sure the metaverse is usable by more people, quickly - focusing on tooling & products knocking down barriers to entry.’’Much as SaaS became a standard for web2 development, Everdome believes that Metaverse-as-a-Service will become a similar standard for web3, providing on demand, value for money subscription based access to easy metaverse development for individuals, brands and businesses of all sizes.

MERED wins ‘New Market Entry’ at Construction Innovation Awards 2023

MERED, the reputed international real estate developer, has announced its coveted win for the New Market Entry category at the Construction Innovation Awards 2023. The awards ceremony held at Sofitel Dubai The Palm, MERED received recognition for its impactful entry into the UAE market with the aim of pushing the boundaries in the design and engineering of high-end destinations, and for its cohesive strategic direction aligned with the government's goals for the country's development. The company brings together industry expertise from around the world to craft exceptional lifestyles that enrich and prosper customers while remaining relevant for today and tomorrow. Inspired by the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, MERED masterfully designs and develops unique destinations that become an integral part of customers' lives. The brand is backed by a global portfolio and strategic real estate partners known for their dedication and expertise in creating cities' landmarks. Their approach merges innovative design with contemporary urban trends, ensuring unmatched quality and elevated living standards within well-located developments. MERED works closely with world-class architects, contractors, and service providers, bringing its ambitious vision to life. In 2023, Dubai's upscale property market continued to shine, generating nearly $850 million (AED3.1 billion) in H1 through the sale of approximately 335 luxury properties by July. Anticipated growth in prime residential property prices is set to soar between 6% and 7.9% for the latter part of 2023, marking the world's fastest-growing rate. Furthermore, the market saw a significant 40% year-on-year increase in Q3 2023, reaching AED97.5 billion in sales. In H1 2023, apartment sales surged by 63% compared to the previous year, indicating the success of MERED's forward-thinking luxury real estate strategy. Starting the UAE chapter in Dubai, MERED announced its first project in Dubai Internet City, an ultra-high-end residential project that is set to become a landmark visible from across Dubai. Located in a key area connected to hotspots like Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina, the project showcases top-notch architecture and world-class amenities that spotlight the company's visionary approach to destination building. With architecture crafted by Pininfarina, a reputed name in architectural design across the world, the project blends technology and aesthetics, presenting a development that will leave its mark on Dubai’s urban scene.  For its flagship project, MERED has teamed up with Mirage, a consultancy known for projects such as the Address Grand Creek Hotel and Bluewaters Island. The combination of Mirage's deep-rooted local expertise and MERED's international experience promises a residential project that stands out in terms of high-end finishing and offers a carefully curated range of world-class amenities tailored to the needs of its residents.  "Dubai is a city renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit, visionary leadership, and highly attractive real-estate landscape, making it an opportune time for MERED to enter the UAE market. We are incredibly proud to have been awarded the New Market Entry award," said Ramil Guliev, CEO of MERED. "It is a testament to our team's hard work and dedication. We are honored to be recognized in anticipation of the world-class projects we are developing in this dynamic city. "

ManageEngine adds next generation antivirus capability

ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation, today announced the addition of the next-generation antivirus (NGAV) capability in its unified endpoint management (UEM) solution, Endpoint Central, positioning it as an endpoint protection platform (EPP).In today's cyber environment, an NGAV is crucial to address the loopholes left undetected by traditional antivirus solutions. Endpoint Central's NGAV leverages a deep learning model implemented with neural networks in combination with behavioural detection to detect both known and unknown threats, including those with previously unseen attack patterns. It offers edge-AI-based, real-time protection and offline capabilities by carrying out monitoring, analyses and remediation workflows locally on the device."Endpoints have been one of the most utilised threat vectors by cybercriminals for quite some time now," said Mathivanan Venkatachalam, vice president of ManageEngine. "Over the last decade, we have been consistently adding endpoint security capabilities like vulnerability assessment and remediation, browser security, endpoint privilege management, data leakage prevention and anti-ransomware, helping organizations minimize the attack surface. With the release of the NGAV capability, we are adding AI-based malware protection to Endpoint Central, rounding it off as an EPP, thereby providing customers with a holistic cyberdefence approach."Benefits of Endpoint Central's NGAV Endpoint Central uses a single, lightweight agent for its wide range of high-stakes capabilities like device life cycle management, remote troubleshooting, user experience management and endpoint security.Apart from reducing organizations' IT footprints, this unified approach offers:A wide scope for remediation policies: Security teams can apply necessary patches, quarantine affected devices from the internet and intranet, force login credential resets, revert devices to their IT-approved baseline versions and remove vulnerable applications. Seamless incident investigation: Built-in remote troubleshooting and system management capabilities offer instant and thorough incident investigation of quarantined devices.Feedback loops for bolstering the security posture: Security policies can be continuously updated based on threats detected by the NGAV engine, constantly enhancing the cybersecurity posture.   ManageEngine has been in the IT management market for over 20 years and has built a strong foundation of IT management and security capabilities from the ground up. The NGAV addition to Endpoint Central is a move to strengthen endpoint security within the company's comprehensive portfolio of cybersecurity solutions.“We aim to offer an AI-powered, unified, end-to-end platform for the digital enterprise in which cyber resilience is of paramount importance," added Venkatachalam. "The platform will enable customers to devise and implement a comprehensive security strategy by building workflows across multiple ManageEngine security offerings, automating threat detection, threat responses and incident investigation.”

HALA appoints ex-Revolut CTO Saleem Arshad to drive ambitious global vision

Saudi Arabia's burgeoning fintech powerhouse is signaling its unwavering commitment to revolutionize its field’s landscape. Its latest activity on this trajectory is appointing Saleem Arshad as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Saleem, who brings over two decades of technology and innovation experience, will be pivotal in driving HALA's global expansion efforts, focusing on the UK and European markets.The day, marked a significant milestone for HALA as it welcomed Saleem Arshad into its leadership fold. With a distinguished career that spans the fintech spectrum, Saleem is poised to guide HALA into a new era of technological innovation and global prominence.HALA has set its sights on expanding its fintech footprint beyond Saudi Arabia. This decision to tap into international markets aligns with the company's vision of becoming a global financial force. Under Saleem's expert stewardship, HALA aims to strengthen its infrastructure and technology capabilities, ensuring it remains at the forefront of industry trends and customer expectations.Saleem Arshad's impressive career path is a testament to his dedication to innovation and growth within the fintech sector. Notably, he served as the Chief Technology Officer at Revolut, a UK-based super-app, where he played a crucial role in spearheading the company's expansion into the Indian market. Before this, he successfully built and launched the greenfield fintech venture W1TTY, demonstrating his penchant for groundbreaking projects. Saleem has also lent his expertise to established institutions such as HSBC, Barclays, and British Petroleum.The newly appointed CTO of HALA shared his excitement about joining the organization, stating, "I am looking forward to working closely with the senior management team to strengthen the business's technology capabilities further. Together, we will redefine industry standards and position HALA as the go-to financial institution for SMEs globally."In an era of technological disruption and evolving customer expectations, HALA's hiring of Saleem Arshad as CTO underscores its determined commitment to reshaping the fintech landscape. As HALA embarks on its journey to conquer international markets, Saleem's expertise and vision are set to play a pivotal role in making this ambitious global expansion a resounding success. With Saleem at the helm of HALA's technological innovation, this fintech trailblazer's future looks exceptionally bright as it endeavours to deliver cutting-edge solutions to customers worldwide.

UAE Pro League and EWEC Join Forces for Sustainable Football

The UAE Pro League today announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company), a leading company in the integrated planning, purchasing and supply of water and electricity across the UAE, to bolster sustainability practices and decarbonise electricity consumption through the wider adoption of Clean Energy Certificates (CECs) across UAE Pro League competitions.The MoU was signed at EWEC’s headquarters by Abdullah Naser Al Jneibi, Chairman of the UAE Pro League and Hamad Al Hammadi, Chairman of EWEC. Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Executive Director, Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth, ADNOC, and representatives from the three organisations also attended.Abdulla Naser Al Jneibi, Chairman of UAE Pro League, said: “The UAE Pro League is keenly aware of the key role this partnership will have in promoting sustainable practices and raising awareness amongst clubs and fans regarding the critical need to address climate change. This is a key part of our broader commitment to support UAE initiatives that help to create a better future for us all. With 2023 being championed as the UAE Year of Sustainability, it is only natural that we take substantial action to ensure that we operate responsibly to the environment and future generations.”Hamad Al Hammadi, Chairman of EWEC, said: “This partnership provides EWEC with a unique opportunity to further accelerate the country’s energy transition and to decarbonise professional football activities, in line with the UAE’s sustainability agenda. With a shared commitment to efficiency and sustainability, we're setting a new standard for excellence, both on and off the field. Having signed this agreement, the first of its kind in the Middle East, we look forward to collaborating with the UAE Pro League, while continuing to advance partnerships with like-minded stakeholders.”The UAE Pro League is developing an environmental sustainability strategy setting out plans to deliver climate action and manage resources sustainably in collaboration with partners and stakeholders. It continues to explore initiatives to minimise its competitions' impact on the environment and is evaluating committing to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Race to Zero campaign, which aims to achieve a healthy, resilient zero-carbon recovery that unlocks inclusive and sustainable growth.Musabbeh Al Kaabi, ADNOC Executive Director, Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth, said: “As the title sponsor of the Pro League, we welcome the partnership between the UAE Pro League and EWEC, which will advance the UAE’s decarbonisation efforts and support its Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative. ADNOC is committed to accelerating the decarbonisation of today’s energy system while investing in the clean energies of the future, and we are keen to partner with others on our journey to a lower-carbon future.”CECs, issued by the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), empower businesses in Abu Dhabi to verify their clean energy consumption claims and reduce their carbon footprint. Issued by the DoE in 1 MWh units, CECs are tradable digital certificates which comply with the International REC Standard (I-REC) and prove ownership of the environmental and economic benefits derived from clean energy consumption. EWEC is one of the key parties enabling the implementation of Abu Dhabi’s CECs scheme, acting as the Single Registrant and Auction Operator.

ALMA brings traditional Mexican flavours to Abu Dhabi

Building on the growing demand for Latin American cuisine in the UAE’s capital, ALMA is the latest restaurant concept to launch at Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance and diversify its food and beverage offering. The poolside eatery provides authentic, Mexican comfort food tailored for a relaxing resort environment.Spanish for ‘soul’, ALMA replaces Las Brisas at the Oriental Pool with an elevated look and feel. The outdoor venue has been designed to seamlessly connect with nature through a neutral colour scheme, wooden and bamboo materials, and potted cactus – all set against breath-taking views of the Arabian Gulf.The menu has been inspired by traditional Mexican dishes using modern techniques. Guests can savour delicious tacos, tostadas and ceviches for a light bite by the pool, share a main dish such as lamb barbacoa, or indulge in a refined selection of desserts. Resided by Chef de Cuisine Paola Lopez Arenas, every creation is produced from scratch, sourcing local and organic ingredients where possible, alongside a thoughtful selection of vegan and gluten-free dishes.Comfortable seating and shading provide a respite from the sun, in addition to an extensive beverage menu. This focuses predominantly on Latin American spirits and flavours such as tamarind, hibiscus and horchata to encourage an open and interactive atmosphere.ALMA is open as of 1 November 2023 from 9.00am to 7.00pm, with extended hours until 10.00pm on weekends. Diners do not need a day pass and can enter via the Oriental Wing entrance for leisurely lunches by the pool.

Baseball United conducts historic draft for new Dubai-based professional league

Dubai-based Baseball United announced today the official results of the league’s first-ever Player Draft. Eighty players were selected, with twenty picks for each of the league’s founding franchises – the Mumbai Cobras, the Karachi Monarchs, and the league’s two UAE-based franchises, the Wolves and Falcons. The inaugural Draft was dominated by former Major League Baseball (MLB) players, with 91% of the first four rounds and 45% of the overall Draft selections having played at the MLB level. Selections included former New York Yankees stars Robinson Cano and Didi Gregorius – both drafted by the Wolves – and three-time World Series Champion, Pablo Sandoval, drafted by the Falcons. Four-time MLB All-Star, Bartolo Colon, and four-time Gold Glove winner, Andrelton Simmons, were also among the top picks. Of the 80 total players drafted, 56 were originally drafted by MLB teams, with others playing in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB), the Mexican League (LMB), the Dominican Republic Professional Baseball League (LIDOM), and other high-level international leagues.Houston, Texas (USA) native, Karan Patel, was drafted first overall by the Mumbai Cobras. Patel was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the seventh round of the 2019 MLB Draft, making him the first player of Indian descent drafted to MLB. His father is from Mumbai.“Each milestone is important when you’re building something from nothing,” said Kash Shaikh, Chairman, CEO, and Majority Owner, Baseball United. “But yesterday’s Draft is our biggest thus far. Putting players on teams makes everything much more real for everyone involved. We now have 80 high-caliber, professional baseball players to help build the foundation of this league. There’s a lot of diversity in this group, from age and experience to skillset and nationality. We have All-Stars, former top draft picks, and a mix of veterans and younger guys to help carry the game across the world. I’m very happy for all our players, and very grateful to John Miedreich, Eddie Diaz, and our entire baseball operations team for bringing this group together.”Baseball United’s drafted players come from 25 countries, including 36 from the United States, eight from the Dominican Republic, four from Curacao, and three each from Canada, Italy, and Venezuela. Forty-four of the drafted players team with six prospects from the Indian Subcontinent and GCC region are to compete in Baseball United’s All-Star Showcase next month in Dubai. The Showcase will feature two teams playing a two-game series on November 24th and 25th at Dubai International Stadium. Tickets are on sale now via Baseball United’s website or through the league’s ticket partner, Platinumlist.

Mazen Mroueh joins Publicis Media Middle East as Head of Performance Product

Publicis Media Middle East, the media vertical of Publicis Groupe Middle East, has appointed Mazen Mroueh as Head of Performance Product and Operations. Mazen’s role will be pivotal in fostering innovation, driving operational transformation, and elevating the Groupe’s media offering to new heights in line with the refreshed approach to performance. Mazen will report to Elie Milan, who was recently appointed Chief Performance Officer for Publicis Media Middle East. Mazen is a digital native who brings close to 15 years of experience in leadership roles overseeing performance marketing, digital media planning, adtech/martech, product marketing, measurement, and transformation for both agency and client-side across the Middle East, Europe and Asia. His early career started with Publicis Media more than a decade ago with a focus on performance marketing, and he is re-joining from his last role with Techcombank, a leading financial institution in Vietnam, where he served as an Advisor on integrated marketing, measurement and digital transformation. “I’m thrilled to welcome Mazen back to Publicis Media Middle East at this crucial stage of growth and innovation. His addition to the team will accelerate the Groupe’s digital leadership agenda, rooted in helping clients address their business challenges and transformation ambitions”, said Tony Wazen, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis Media Middle East. Commenting on the appointment Elie Milan, Chief Performance Officer, Publicis Media Middle East said “As a true performance media heavyweight, his global experience and intricate knowledge of every aspect of our industry will serve as a driving force, propelling our business and our talent to surpass the ordinary and set new growth benchmarks for our clients and partners across the region”. Mazen boasts an impressive list of accolades, in 2015, he was recognised as one of the top 10 most engaged marketers in the UAE, and in 2020, he earned a place on the ‘Future 50 Drum’s List’ as one of the top 50 global marketers. He has served as a jury member for prestigious media and advertising awards including WARC, MMA Smarties and Campaign Asia, and he has been an active member of industry committees globally including Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM).“I am overjoyed to return to Publicis Media Middle East and the wider Groupe. It’s a homecoming that fills me with deep personal satisfaction and professional excitement. What sets Publicis Groupe Middle East apart is its unwavering commitment to innovation, a culture that fosters creativity and adaptability, and a bold vision under the dynamic leadership of Bassel Kakish. I am thrilled to work alongside Elie Milan, Tony Wazen and the talented team here, helping shape the next chapter in this agency’s remarkable story,” said Mazen Mroueh.

Genesis to appear as presenting partner of the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games

Genesis, a leading luxury automotive brand known for its distinctive designs, has announced its role as Presenting Partner for the prestigious Riyadh 2023 World Combat Group (WCG) tournament. From Oct. 20 to 30, Saudi Arabia will see Riyadh become the hub of international combat competition as it hosts the inaugural edition of the World Combat Games in the Middle East.As part of its participation in the event, Genesis will be offering a fleet of 100 Genesis vehicles for attendees travelling in from around the world, and will also be showcasing its latest luxury models.Over 1,500 male and female athletes from 120 countries will be competing in the 11-day tournament, with the 16 combat categories spanning the likes of Arm Wrestling, Boxing, Fencing, Ju-Jitsu, Karati, Sumo, and Taekwondo, among others.Commenting on Genesis’ partnership with WCG, Omar Al Zubaidi, Chief Executive Officer, Genesis Middle East & Africa, said: “At Genesis, we are committed to excellence in every aspect. We are proud to partner with the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games and share this vision of exceptional achievement. This partnership represents our dedication to supporting initiatives that celebrate talent, sportsmanship, and the pursuit of greatness in the Kingdom.”Karim Younis, Chief Marketing Officer of the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games, added: “We are delighted to welcome Genesis as an official sponsor of the tournament, further elevating the stature of this international gathering. This partnership will enrich our guest experience and contribute to the success of one of Saudi Arabia’s most significant sporting events.”Genesis remains dedicated to bringing automotive excellence to the region, prioritising collaborations with key industry players to drive accessibility and visibility of its world-class products.?

Think Equal Workshop of gender equality by Weber Shandwick and Marketing Socity

Ensuring enough flexibility to manage work around life is considered one of the most important actions for organizations that are serious about nurturing an environment where more women leaders can rise to fulfil their potential. This was one of the key findings at a mixed-gender event by The Marketing Society and Weber Shandwick, an Official Partner of Think Equal, the initiative which aims to accelerate gender equality in leadership across the marcomms industry in the MENA region.A diverse panel that represented perspectives from brands, agencies, marcomms, human resources, talent development and operations, shared views around inclusive leadership styles, challenges, real-world observations, and opportunities. Monica Hernandez Alarcon, Director of Human Resources, General Motors Africa & Middle East, Tracy Faulkner, Group Chief Communications and External Relations Officer, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and Ziad Hasbani, Regional CEO of Weber Shandwick MENAT, joined the panel moderated by Mariaan Valero, Head of Marketing and Content at Weber Shandwick MENAT.Following the discussion, attendees at the event identified over a dozen actions that can help to support the acceleration of women in leadership. They then collectively ranked these actions into the top recommended actions for organizations and individuals.For organizations, the top recommendation was ensuring flexibility to manage work around life, an operational approach that is especially significant to support working women, though all employees can benefit from this. The second most impactful suggested action was to implement personal branding sessions, followed by training for professional development.For individuals, both men and women, the leading recommendation was to show up with authenticity. This reflects insights shared by the panel about the importance of individualism, and recognition of the fact that each leader also brings their own personality and experiences to a role. In second place, was to mentor and coach others, whether extending business acumen in a specific industry, or enhancing soft skills to get the best out of people. The top three actions were rounded out with a call for being empathetic to different lived experiences.“The extent to which women can achieve their career ambitions depends not only on them, but also on the organizations they join, and the support they receive there. As such, we must remain open-minded about things we can do today – as organizations, colleagues, individuals, and partners – to ensure we’re playing our part in the creation of a positive environment where women have an equal opportunity to thrive and grow into the roles where they can make a difference,” said Ziad Hasbani, Regional CEO of Weber Shandwick MENAT.Alasdair Hall-Jones, Global Director of The Marketing Society, opened the event and Noura Al Sarraj, Deputy MD Abu Dhabi, Weber Shandwick shared an inspiring welcome highlighted by her experiences of growth and development. Hayley Hilton, social media coach and host of the Social Sauce podcast, led an exercise to optimize both their female and male energies.

Viridi expands global presence with launch of MENA subsidiary

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

ICubesWire secures influencer marketing partnership with Himalaya

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

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

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

Doha Festival City unveils festival magazine featuring F1 sensation Yuki Tsunoda

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

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

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

Advanced Media welcomes UAE’s film students to CINESchool

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

PRCA MENA welcomes BPG Group as its newest member

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

Alpha Dhabi Acquires Significant Stake in NTS Amega Global

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

Fintech Robos and Aflatoun International partner for global financial literacy

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

Nando's sponsors Arabian Falcons FC

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

EmiratesHR rebrands as Yomly as it expands to global markets

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

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

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

Dubai to host Domain Days 2023 in November

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

Dove and Nike team up to launch body positivity sport programme

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

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

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

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

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

Brand Lounge launches full-scale operations in Saudi Arabia

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

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

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