ENTERTAINER founder-CEO Donna Benton drives launch of new products for 2024

Dubai founded popular lifestyle and savings app, the ENTERTAINER, has announced the launch of its latest 2024 products in the UAE and once again redefine the way people enjoy their favourite experiences. This development comes on the heels of the return of the Founder, Donna Benton, as CEO leading the charge to take the ENTERTAINER to new heights of success and innovation.What’s new at the ENTERTAINER?Donna’s visionary leadership has paved the way for the return of quality merchants and customer favourites, alongside the addition of new merchants, resulting in a comprehensive selection of over 7,000 Buy One Get One Free offers in Dubai that cater to diverse lifestyles.  Users have a lot to look forward to as the ENTERTAINER has gone back to its roots – focusing on Buy One Get One Free offers across all categories from top dining spots and restaurants to theme parks, water parks, spas, salons, fitness centres, attractions, hotel accommodation and much more.  From this year, the ENTERTAINER has one single Dubai product that features all the offers (hint: to old ENTERTAINER users this means that ‘Fine Dining’ is now included).  Customers can also now add up to 3 family or friends on their account so they can access and enjoy all the amazing offers as well.  The membership has been restored to an annual subscription model which is valid from January till December - allowing for more structure and confidence that your favourite merchants will be there all year long.  Plus, if you buy now, you get immediate access to all offers – so 13 months for the price of 12.Popular merchants (old favourites and new ones) are back!Since Donna’s return to the ENTERTAINER, a lot of old favourite merchants have returned to the app and the team has brought on some fantastic new merchants as well. So, there’s really something for everyone – from Wild Wadi, IMG Worlds of Adventure and the newly-returned Motiongate to everyone’s much-loved 2-for-1 brunch offers at over 120 restaurants in Dubai – including Karma Kafe, Crescendo, Trader Vic's, Rhodes W1 and other popular spots. It's the perfect time to discover exciting things to do in the city, start planning that getaway and share a meal with loved ones, all without hurting your budget.Donna emphasised, “At the heart of our mission is the unwavering dedication to provide our members with exceptional experiences that not only allows them to enjoy life’s luxuries but also ensures that they get the best value for their money by making the previously unaffordable, affordable again. With our new product, users can look forward to an extraordinary lineup of offerings, guaranteeing that their entertainment and lifestyle needs are catered to in the most fulfilling and cost-effective manner.”With the ENTERTAINER’s renewed focus on delivering an unparalleled experience, users can anticipate a redefined journey filled with countless opportunities to enjoy, save, love and repeat.Customers that purchase their product now will get immediate access to 2023 offers giving them 13 months for the price of 12. Get this exclusive offer and enjoy a year full of fun with ENTERTAINER 2024 while doing more of the things you love for less.

Al-Futtaim Automotive transforms the automotive retail experience

Dubai, UAE: To strongly position itself as a frontrunner in the UAE’s fast-expanding ‘experiential economy’, Al-Futtaim Automotive has announced the launch of a one-of-its-kind immersive and interactive virtual showroom.The dynamic new virtual showroom unlocks possibilities to remodel the automotive retail experience. Customers wear a VR headset and are instantly transported into a lifelike, incredibly spacious virtual showroom displaying a variety of models. Through the power of digital, Al-Futtaim Automotive has shown that it’s possible to give customers a large showroom experience, without the need for heavy real-estate investment or operation costs, while keeping the experience edgy and innovative for customers.The game-changing virtual showroom has been developed in collaboration with Verse Estate, a leading Dubai-based VR-technology company producing the most photorealistic, high-impact virtual and metaverse solutions. Al-Futtaim Automotive has named Verse Estate as their ‘Phygital Experience Partner’ with a commitment to driving innovative mobility experiences into the future.Everything customers want in an automotive showroom, made virtually real The immersive, 3D digital environment of the virtual showroom can be experienced through VR-glasses, making it incredibly easy to install the virtual showroom at multiple locations. Inside the virtual showroom, customers immerse in an engagingly real automotive buying experience by surveying the entire virtual space, seeing all the models displayed inside and out, exploring each car’s details and features and even going to the extent of customising the car on display to a certain extent.The immersive platform revolutionises the car shopping experience, by empowering customers to explore, engage and book their car, setting a new standard for interactive e-commerce.Currently, Al-Futtaim Automotive has launched the virtual showroom for BYD, the world’s top-selling New Energy Vehicle (NEV) brand. The innovative new launch is built on the two core pillars of Al-Futtaim Automotive’s business strategy: Customer Centricity and Digitalisation. Commenting on the launch, Katib Belkhodja, Director of Customer Centricity, Al-Futtaim Automotive, said, " As automotive market leaders, we already have a formidable presence with a wide network of showrooms. To add to that, we have launched e-commerce platforms with a seamless end-to-end purchase journey, and developed a strong digital ecosystem that helps us get accurate, personalised insights on what the customer is looking for. The immersive showroom was the next big move and has become an essential piece of our digital ecosystem. Moreover, it’s a tangible illustration of our promise of always keeping customers at the forefront of our business. Now we don’t need to wait for the customers to come to our showroom, but rather we can take the showroom to our customers wherever they are, and this is planned with multiple roadshows with our BYD virtual showroom this year.”Nabil Bouali, Co-Founder, Verse Estate, commented, “The adoption of virtual, immersive and metaverse solutions is no longer confined to tech-sector focused enterprises, and this is clearly demonstrated in the exciting initiative launched from an industry leader like Al-Futtaim Automotive. Developing their BYD Virtual Showroom has been a remarkable journey, and we are proud to create this industry benchmark for other brands to follow. It’s an opportunity to reshape automotive experiences and engage with each and every customer on a new level – and we are honoured to be their Phygital Experience Partner.”Where automotive & tech enthusiasts can experience the virtual showroom UAE citizens can explore the groundbreaking BYD Virtual Showroom installed in the new flagship BYD Showroom & Discovery Center, located at Dubai Festival City, as well as at the Al-Futtaim Stand at COP28 Green Zone (Stand Number 80, Technology & Innovation Hub, Green Zone), from 30 November to 12 December 2023, Expo City Dubai. Al-Futtaim Group has been appointed the Strategic E-Mobility Partner of COP28.By building a new showroom using virtual technology, Al-Futtaim is also taking a step towards minimising the environmental impact seen in traditional brick-and-mortar showrooms, underscoring the Group’s commitment to sustainability across its value chain.As the next chapter of revolutionising the automotive customer experience, Al-Futtaim Automotive plans to launch the virtual showroom online, giving website visitors a chance to immerse themselves in an innovative, highly-engaging showroom journey from the convenience of their desktops.Experiential economy boom led by a strong customer demand & UAE digitalisation agendaWith one of the highest technology adoption rates worldwide, UAE’s customers have a strong affinity for innovative, digital-led experiences from brands. Salesforce’s ‘State of the Connected Customer Report’ 2023 states that 83% of UAE customers say that the experience a brand provides is as important as its products and services. Dubai is heavily vested in the experiential economy with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy aiming to position Dubai among the world’s top 10 metaverse economies. The UAE’s metaverse market is expected to grow exponentially with a cumulative growth rate of 28% per year.Al-Futtaim Automotive’s virtual showroom is well-placed within the city’s dynamic tech & business landscape, and in addressing the growing need for more innovative, immersive experiences from UAE customers. About Al-Futtaim AutomotiveAl-Futtaim Automotive, one of the main five operating divisions within the UAE-based Al-Futtaim Group of companies, is a conglomerate of motoring-related businesses, franchising some of the world’s most-recognized automotive brands and services.Operating in 10 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa and empowered by around 9,000 associates, the UAE-headquartered Group’s services span across distribution of new and used vehicles, manufacturing, leasing, and aftersales.Ranging from passenger cars to SUVs, commercial vehicles, industrial and construction equipment as well as motorbikes and quads, Al-Futtaim Automotive Group offers an integrative customer-centric experience for motorists, fleet operators and contractors alike, and strives to become the leader in tailor-made mobility solutions.

Bain & Company, Microsoft to help clients accelerate and scale AI adoption

New data from Bain and Company explores October retail sales data and the pricing strategies retailers are deploying over the coming weeks. Despite early signs of healthy shopping and a comeback from September’s slump, several retailers held October sales events to jump-start the season. Bain expectations have remained the same with total nominal US retail sales for Bain-defined categories growing just 3.3% year-over-year in October, compared to 6.9% last year.Many retailers are turning to broader and deeper promotions to increase traffic and volumes this season in response to these trends as well as mixed signals from consumers. These promotional strategies—a continuation from last year—are expected to further increase though the end of 2023.Amid pricing volatility, consumers and retailers alike have faced the challenges of higher sticker prices and domestic producers’ selling prices. Now, inflation-weary consumers are slowing their spending. But as shoppers pull back and the rate of price increases slows, retailers’ margins are getting squeezed.“Given a highly promotional holiday season, retailers will need to be creative and brand values aligned with their seasonal promotions, making sure to build in opportunities to tweak strategy as real-time results and competitor actions come in,” said Aaron Cheris, head of Bain & Company’s Americas Retail practice. “Leading retailers are not only applying the right pricing model to the right items in ways that are consistent with their brand value proposition, but will continue to adapt, adjust, and reevaluate throughout and after the holiday season.”

Realme defies market trends to conquer global markets

realme, the world's fastest-growing smartphone brand, has officially announced that its global smartphone shipments have surpassed 200 million units! Since reaching the 100 million sales milestone in 2021, realme has continued to leap forward while growing against all odds, becoming the fifth-fastest brand to achieve the 200 million shipment milestone and officially joining the elite '200 Million Club' in the international arena. Amidst an increasingly competitive market, realme has steadfastly progressed, repeatedly achieving "miracles against the wind."From Red Ocean to Record Highs, realme officially join the elite ‘200M Club’ in the international arenaFrom its emergence in the highly saturated global market of 2018, which featured over 701 smartphone brands and a stable hierarchy of leading brands, realme has been struggling to explore the global market but now steadily established itself. Committed to offering superior experiences for young people worldwide, realme has been among the top ten global sellers for five consecutive years, emerging as a market leader.Driven by product innovation and deep consumer insights, realme has continuously created sales legends. It took just 37 months to amass 100 million users globally, gaining widespread recognition and embarking on the next phase of growth. In 2022, realme introduced a 'Simply Better strategy', focusing on superior resources to deliver lead-forward product experiences. Streamlining its product line, realme focused on the GT and Number series. In 2023, the brand launched its 'Simply Better Strategy', ensuring that each generation of global products features leap-forward technology, positioning realme at the apex of the industry. This strategy, underpinned by design, performance, and experience, is aimed at delivering a leap-forward tech, design, and performance experience to users. realme also continues to invest in R&D, establishing the realme Global Institute of Leap-forward Technology to focus on groundbreaking technologies in four key areas: display, photography, gaming and charging.Despite a shrinking global smartphone market over the past two years, realme has maintained healthy and steady growth even facing the market competition and pressure from external environment. Its leap-forward products have helped establish a strong presence in most global regions, making realme a key player in emerging markets, with a market share from emerging markets (88%) far exceeding other members of the '200 Million Club'.Growing alongside its global young consumers, realme is more capable than ever of providing superior productsSince its inception, realme's mission has been to offer products with robust performance and leap-forwarded design, delivering enjoyable experiences to young people worldwide. Over five years, realme has deeply understood and catered to young people's needs, continuously engaging with and listening to its users, and consistently refining its brand and products. The diverse demands of global users have propelled realme's growth, evolving from a comprehensive product lineup to adhering to a Simply Better strategy. As realme gains value recognition from users, it grows alongside them, achieving mutual success.With the milestone of 200 million global shipments, realme has truly become a mainstream international smartphone brand. The weight and influence of its stance in the international market have increased, empowering it to remain true to its original mission and bring even better products to young people worldwide.In 2024, realme plans to significantly increase its investment in research and development, boosting its technological capabilities with a planned 470% increase in R&D spending. Continuing the mission from the beginning of the year of realme Global Institute of Leap-forward Technology, the brand will focus on breakthroughs in leap-forward technologies, specializing in imaging, gaming, display, and charging. Collaborating with over 33 leading international tech partners, realme aims to develop cutting-edge technologies. The brand will also expand its pool of tech talent, engage in Research & Technology team expansion, with an expected 400% increase in research personnel next year.As realme's founder and CEO, Sky Li, expressed in the brand's fifth-anniversary open letter, the era of "elevator-style" development in the smartphone industry is over. Future steps will be more challenging, but each step brings realme closer to its next destination. As it climbs towards new milestones, realme remains committed to its original vision, continually scaling new heights, listening to its users, and growing with them worldwide, creating more realme miracles together.Anuj Sidharth, Deputy Director, Marketing and Communications MediaTeck expressed his happiness, saying :"Congratulations to realme on achieving this impressive milestone of surpassing 200 million smartphone shipments globally. He added:" This milestone reflects realme's exceptional growth and highlights the strength of our collaboration."

Iyer Premkumar on why GOZOOP bets big on the middle-east market

In this insightful interview, we delve into the realm of Online Reputation Management (ORM) with Premkumar Iyer, President, HAWK, a GOZOOP Group Company, shedding light on its evolution and significance in the digital landscape. As the face of GOZOOP HAWK, Premkumar walks us through the agency's pivotal role in shaping ORM practices over the years, emphasizing its proactive, strategic, and data-driven approach. GOZOOP Group bets big on the Middle East, having established a strong foothold in the region. "This long-term involvement has enabled us to understand the market's cultural nuances and engage local expertise, particularly in mastering Arabic language nuances," he says. Excerpts:Can you provide an overview of the evolution of Online Reputation Management (ORM) and how GOZOOP HAWK has contributed to its development over the years?Online Reputation Management (ORM) has always been a crucial element in the digital landscape, though it often didn't receive the recognition it deserved. Around 2010-11, ORM was primarily associated with search engine optimization. However, as customer behaviours and platforms evolved, brands had to adapt, prompting agencies to reassess the significance they placed on ORM.This shift occurred in tandem with the increasing internet and social media penetration in our daily lives. Additionally, the changing customer demographics, with Millennials and Generation Z becoming primary target groups for brands, played a significant role. These generations are inherently inclined to share their experiences online, paving the way for the expansion of ORM. It's expected that ORM will continue to grow in importance.GOZOOP HAWK has been a leader in acknowledging the importance and value of ORM. Always challenged the template-based reactive approach towards a more proactive, strategic and data-driven approach. Our capabilities have been a step ahead of everyone and we don’t restrict ourselves to traditional metrics thus making us the most impactful setups that the industry has to offer.ORM has become increasingly important in the global landscape. What are the key differences and challenges in managing online reputation in various regions and how does GOZOOP HAWK address them? Can you share any global perspectives on this?ORM has gained critical importance globally, though its recognition and terminology vary by region. Internationally, many brands don’t specifically identify their activities as ORM. Instead, these practices often fall under the broader category of customer service. Typically, these responsibilities for them are managed by their contact centres or customer service partners.We have clients from India and the Middle East. Leveraging the GOZOOP Group’s decade-long presence in the Middle East, we have established a strong foothold in the region. This long-term involvement has enabled us to understand the market's cultural nuances and engage local expertise, particularly in mastering Arabic language nuances.Addressing cultural and linguistic barriers requires a local presence. Currently, we are actively seeking and exploring partnerships worldwide to overcome these challenges. Our goal is to adapt our ORM strategies effectively to diverse global markets, aligning with local customs and communication styles.Reputation repair and building trust are essential for leading brands. How does GOZOOP HAWK approach crisis management and reputation repair to help these brands regain credibility in the digital age?GOZOOP HAWK is arguably one of the best when it comes to crisis management. Our suite for managing crises is built upon years of experience in Online Reputation Management (ORM) and monitoring for high-octane brands and public enterprises.Our approach involves developing a tailored safety net around brands, incorporating an early warning system. This system is key in timely crisis identification, allowing us to conduct a pre-crisis analysis and then using our proprietary framework we determine the best course of action.We are one of those few ORM-first setups that have its PR team and the largest stringers’ network in the country. This, coupled with our deep Influencer network, position us as exceptionally effective partners in crisis management. We are named GOZOOP HAWK for a reason after all.HAWK has built a strong reputation in the field of Customer Experience (CX). Could you share some of the most noteworthy success stories and case studies where HAWK made a significant impact in improving online customer experiences and loyalty for businesses?For a leading gaming brand in our portfolio, we've been intensely focused on developing the latest technology to streamline operations and enhance customer experience (CX). Over the last six months, our efforts have led to a reduction in actionable volumes. This achievement has not only freed up operational bandwidth which allows us to handle unexpected spikes, but has also realized a 40% cost efficiency for the brand.A key component of our strategy has been the use of AI in process automation and consumer data analysis, which has been instrumental in conserving valuable resources and bandwidth, thus allowing our team more time for customer service operations.A leading OTT app that we manage ORM for launched international content, specifically Korean dramas, dubbed in Hindi. To build excitement for this new offering, we adopted a unique strategy: transforming all conversations on the platform into Korean, including interactions with users. This approach piqued immense curiosity, engaging over 252,000 users who were intrigued by what kind of responses they would receive. The excitement pleasantly increased as users began responding in Korean, creating a lively and interactive atmosphere.This strategy not only sparked anticipation but also fostered a sense of surprise and engagement among the users. It added a dynamic and thrilling aspect to their experience on our social media pages, generating significant buzz and enhancing user interaction with the brand.As a leader in the CX industry, what is GOZOOP HAWK's vision for the future? Could you outline the company's roadmap for solidifying its leadership and staying ahead in this competitive market?GOZOOP HAWK's vision is to become a dominant force in all facets of customer service. To achieve this, we have significantly bolstered our listening and analytics capabilities, anticipating that these areas will drive the next wave of growth within Online Reputation Management (ORM). Coupled with a robust Crisis Management Public Relations team, we are well-positioned to make significant advancements in the industry.Our growth is not limited to domestic markets, but we're gaining traction internationally and are actively expanding our services beyond the subcontinent.To support our ambitious goals, we are actively recruiting at various levels. Plans are underway to establish new operational centers across India.Industry insights are invaluable for businesses looking to enhance their ORM strategies. What trends and emerging practices in ORM and CX do you see shaping the industry, and how is GOZOOP HAWK positioning itself to leverage these trends?The evolution of the ORM and CX industry is poised to be significantly influenced by several emerging trends and practices and GOZOOP HAWK is strategically positioning itself to capitalize on these developments:Integration of ORM with digital strategy and the overall digital marketing strategy, ensuring that all digital efforts are aligned and contribute positively to the brand’s online reputation.Artificial Intelligence is set to revolutionise the customer service sector. While it won't replace human customer service professionals, AI will introduce remarkable efficiencies. Its most significant impact will likely be in data analysis, offering deeper insights and improving decision-making processes. The challenge lies in a brand and an agency daring to experiment with AI's full potential.Integrating Customer Service is a growing need to synchronise traditional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and ORM data. Currently, discrepancies between these datasets can lead to inefficiencies and a disjointed understanding of customer interactions. Bridging this gap is crucial for providing a more cohesive and effective customer service experience.With the recent rise in deep fake videos and images going viral. I feel the industry will need listening tools to take image and video recognition more seriously than what they are right now.It’s also necessary to actively build and manage online communities around the brand, fostering a loyal customer base that can act as brand advocates.HAWK specializes in empowering businesses with actionable insights. Could you elaborate on some of the innovative approaches or tools HAWK uses to gather and analyse data to provide these actionable insights for clients?As a setup we are tool-agnostic in our approach; this also gives us the edge, and when it comes to generating insights we use our own framework called DIVE which blends the digital and social worlds well. We also use the ACAF (Ask, Categorize, Act and Follow-Up) model extensively while processing all the customer service queries.How does GOZOOP HAWK ensure that the solutions it provides are adaptable to the constantly changing digital landscape, given the ever-evolving online platforms and customer behaviour?There is no formula to this honestly. Adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape is a complex challenge, with no one-size-fits-all solution. At GOZOOP HAWK, our adaptability stems from a culture of constant curiosity and innovation that permeates the organisation from the top down. We have successfully cultivated an environment where staying ahead of the curve is a collective pursuit.In essence, our adaptability is a product of our organisational ethos, driven by leadership and embraced by every member of the team. This mindset is what allows GOZOOP HAWK to consistently offer solutions that are attuned to the dynamic nature of the digital world.GOZOOP HAWK's commitment to fostering unwavering customer loyalty is impressive. Can you share some strategies and best practices that HAWK employs to help clients not only acquire new customers but also retain and build long-term relationships with existing ones?Here's my attempt to provide a response with a degree of ambiguity. Brands have to stop looking at ORM as a cost centre, ORM can be a profit centre too. ORM when handled by a skilled and focused team can generate a lot of business avenues for a brand coupled with great retention.Our brands experience a higher generation of organic business through ORM compared to the impact of organic search.

Zenith wins BMW account

Zenith, a leading media agency under Publicis Groupe Middle East, retained their long-term BMW account for the thirteenth consecutive year, following a long multi-agency pitch. The agency will continue Media Planning & Buying across all media and business transformation in the region for BMW brands, including BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad.This win extends beyond the Middle East, as Publicis Groupe’s other media agency Starcom also won the mandate in the APAC region. These wins signify the value of Publicis Groupe’s synergistic capabilities across markets and the compelling strategies that integrate media, data, technology, and consumer-centric solutions to drive sustainable business growth for clients.Commenting on the appointment Dr. Hamid Haqparwar, Managing Director, BMW Group Middle East, said, “Zenith has developed a deep knowledge of our business and audience groups, playing a crucial role in our growth through media. We have the same dedication and principles in our approach to business. Working with Zenith over the years resulted in an impactful partnership for us to build on, and I look forward to what the future holds.”Zenith functioned as BMW's marketing arm, pivoting adeptly to digital during the pandemic. Demonstrating a transformative partnership, the agency used a progressive consultative approach to sustain BMW's industry peak position. Aligned with BMW's ambitious growth goals, Zenith's data-driven ROI methodology delivered effective commercial and client servicing solutions, reaffirming Zenith as their strategic ally.“We are delighted that BMW has once again chosen us as their agency. We have built a fantastic partnership with them over the past thirteen years, helping them on a journey of digital transformation and delivering performance with purpose. We are excited to achieve new milestones together through continuously driving innovation and engagement across their whole portfolio” said Firas El Zein, CEO, Zenith, Middle East.

CheckRewards, an Innovative Cashback App with Machine Learning, launches in MENA

CheckRewards, an innovative cashback service fuelled by cutting-edge machine learning technology, is entering the MENA region. Backed by a $1.2 million investment from the Mitgo Group, CheckRewards is set to redefine the cashback experience for both users and businesses across the Middle East and North Africa.CheckRewards plans to become a leading player in the cashback industry, offering a revolutionary omnichannel platform that seamlessly connects consumers with brands, both online and offline. The company aims at partnering with 50 major FMCG, retail and food brands, including industry giants like Noon, Amazon, Sharaf DG, Samsung, Dyson, Starbucks and H&M.For users, CheckRewards isn't just another cashback app. Instead, it's a smart-shopping companion that assists with overall budget management. The app provides access to exciting promotions, cashback rewards for everyday purchases and receipt scans, as well as robust expenditure tracking to help users keep on top of their finances.For brands, CheckRewards represents an opportunity to engage with customers through an innovative cashback tool, allowing for the quick launch of promotions without the need for complex technical integration. This enables brands to precisely target specific audience segments based on user preferences, ultimately driving an increase in average purchase value, sales volume and customer loyalty.CheckRewards' growth plansThe CheckRewards team has already launched similar projects in Eastern Europe and achieved significant milestones, boasting over 5 million users and 180 million in-app purchases. Following the successful launch of the MVP in the UAE, which demonstrated strong audience interest, the team has made the strategic decision to venture into the MENA market.MENA presents a tremendous opportunity for CheckRewards, as the popularity of cashback services within the region continues to grow. According to a Statista report, in 2021, retail sales in the United Arab Emirates alone were estimated at approximately 74 billion U.S. dollars, with forecasts predicting a substantial increase to 114 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.CheckRewards is committed to building strong partnerships, both globally and within the MENA region. In its first year, the company plans to collaborate with 50 major FMCG, retail and food brands, while also exploring partnerships with local banks to offer users a seamless money withdrawal experience.CheckRewards has already launched Android and iOS apps in the UAE that implement cutting-edge receipt recognition technology. Future expansion plans include finding investment partners to enter Saudi Arabia and other key MENA countries.Investment and support from MitgoMitgo Group, an indispensable partner on CheckRewards' journey, has made a substantial $1.2 million investment into the project. In addition to financial backing, Mitgo Group will provide wide-reaching networking opportunities and regional expertise. This unwavering support reflects both the potential of CheckRewards and Mitgo Group's dedication to fostering innovative tech businesses.Alexander Bachmann, CEO of Mitgo Group:"We recognise the immense potential within CheckRewards and firmly believe in their vision for the MENA market. Artem is an exceptional founder and, when he approached us for investment in the seed round, we didn't hesitate. This strategic collaboration is well-positioned to reshape the cashback landscape in the region, offering unparalleled opportunities for both consumers and businesses. At Mitgo Group, we are committed to supporting the CheckRewards team as they progress in their project and seek further investment to expand into new markets."Artem Ostapenko, CEO of CheckRewards:"We are thrilled to introduce CheckRewards to the MENA region, where the demand for cashback services is on the rise. CheckRewards stands as a unique solution, presenting remarkable advertising opportunities, including geo-targeting and customer preference-based targeting. We are eager to transform the cashback experience for users and foster business growth in this dynamic region. Our plans include securing the next round of investments for expansion into new markets, with a focus on the KSA."

Heinz unveils Slowmaster 57, the world's first ketchup racetrack

As the world's fastest cars speed around the Yas Marina Circuit at over 200mph for the finale of the F1 season, Heinz® has proved that finishing slowest is a true sign of quality, with a saucier Ketchup Grand Prix of its own.Heinz® introduces the Slowmaster 57, the world's first ketchup racetrack ramp designed to ensure your favorite Heinz® ketchup never breaks the quality and thickness speed limit!Slow and Saucy: Heinz® unveils the Slowmaster 57 - The world’s first ketchup racetrack where speed takes a backseat and true quality finishes last!Inspired by the Heinz factory's famous "quantifier" a machine used at its factories around the world to evaluate the thickness and consistency of every single batch of Heinz Ketchup, Heinz® has developed the world's first ever Slowmaster 57 - a specially designed miniature model device where anyone can put Heinz's famous quality and thickness to the slowness test.The Slowmaster 57 is so simple it's like a game with a uniquely designed ramp built at a gradient of 45 degrees over a 20cm track. Once the race starts the patience race begins with the ketchup flowing down at a speed of not more than 0.028 miles per hour, which is the maximum speed allowed for authentic Heinz Ketchup made from the best, richest, and freshest ingredients."Channelling our inner Hamilton's, Verstappen's and Alonso's we wanted to add a twist and run a race of our own. The Slowmaster 57 lets anyone test how slowly and lusciously our Heinz Ketchup flows, thanks to 100% all-natural ingredients made from real, ripe tomatoes with no artificial thickeners. It's a reminder to everyone that faster isn't always better, and slowness is a sign of true natural quality." said Passant El Ghannam, Head of Marketing at Kraft Heinz MEA.Ketchup connoisseurs can assemble their own Slowmaster 57 ramps to test the slowness of their favourite ketchup, with limited editions available on e-commerce platforms and specialized gaming cafés.

The impact of AI on contact center solutions

In the ever-evolving landscape of customer service, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a transformative force, reshaping the way contact centers operate and interact with customers. As businesses strive to enhance efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and stay ahead of the competition, the adoption of AI in contact center solutions has emerged as a pivotal strategy.Empowering Agents with AI AssistanceOne of the primary ways AI is making waves in contact centers is through the empowerment of customer service agents. AI-powered tools, such as chatbots and virtual assistants, are revolutionizing how agents handle customer inquiries. These technologies are designed to augment human capabilities, providing instant access to relevant information and streamlining routine tasks. Consequently, this allows agents to focus on more complex and emotionally nuanced customer interactions, leading to improved service quality.Enhanced Customer ExperienceAI's impact on contact centers extends beyond agent support to significantly enhance the overall customer experience. Natural Language Processing (NLP) and sentiment analysis capabilities enable AI systems to understand and respond to customer queries with a level of sophistication that rivals human interaction. This not only reduces response times but also ensures that customers feel heard and understood, fostering stronger connections between businesses and their clientele.Predictive Analytics for Proactive Customer ServiceContact centers are leveraging AI-driven predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs and issues before they arise. By analyzing historical data and patterns, AI algorithms can predict potential issues, enabling proactive customer service. This not only prevents problems from escalating but also demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction by addressing concerns before customers are even aware of them.Optimizing Workforce ManagementAI is proving instrumental in optimizing workforce management within contact centers. Through advanced algorithms, AI assists in forecasting call volumes, determining optimal staffing levels, and scheduling breaks to ensure agents are available when needed most. This level of precision enhances operational efficiency, reduces costs, and ensures that customer service levels remain consistently high.Personalization at ScaleThe era of one-size-fits-all customer service is rapidly fading, thanks to AI's ability to deliver personalized experiences at scale. AI analyzes customer data to understand preferences, behaviors, and history, allowing businesses to tailor interactions to individual needs. This not only increases customer satisfaction but also strengthens brand loyalty by demonstrating a deep understanding of each customer's unique requirements.Security and ComplianceAI plays a crucial role in ensuring the security and compliance of contact center operations. Advanced authentication processes, such as voice biometrics and facial recognition, enhance security measures, protecting sensitive customer information. Additionally, AI algorithms help monitor and enforce compliance with regulatory standards, reducing the risk of data breaches and legal issues.Looking Ahead: The Future of AI in Contact CentersAs AI continues to evolve, so too will its impact on contact center solutions. The integration of technologies like machine learning, natural language understanding, and predictive analytics will become even more sophisticated, enabling contact centers to adapt to changing customer expectations and market dynamics.In conclusion, the impact of AI on contact center solutions is profound and multifaceted. From empowering agents to delivering personalized experiences, AI is reshaping the customer service landscape. As businesses recognize the value of these advancements, the adoption of AI in contact centers is set to become not just a competitive advantage but a fundamental necessity for success in the modern business environment.

CNN heads to Dubai for COP28 for dedicated, multi-platform coverage

CNN will bring full coverage of COP28 across TV and Digital with a range of live programming, reporting and features content, as global leaders and industry representatives gather in Dubai for the critical climate summit. In the run up to the summit, CNN will broadcast a series of TV packages titled Road to COP, spotlighting some of the key topics on the agenda this year and analyzing what is at stake. Then, as COP itself kicks off on 30 November Becky Anderson will anchor CNN International’s flagship Middle East program Connect the World with Becky Anderson, live from the Dubai Expo site.Anderson will be joined on the ground by David McKenzie and Eleni Giokos, providing regular updates throughout and bringing their own experience of reporting on the climate crisis around the world.Christopher Lamb, CNN’s Vatican correspondent, will also join the team this year to cover the historic visit of Pope Francis, the first pontiff to attend a COP meeting. CNN Digital will bring daily stories on the latest developments and feature in-depth content on the key issues on a dedicated page at year, CNN’s multi-platform coverage is also complemented by several events and activations on the ground at COP. The team behind As Equals – CNN’s cross-platform series dedicated to reporting on gender inequality – is collaborating with CNN Photos to host a photo exhibition and panel discussion on 4 December.  Moderated by Eliza Anayngwe, Editor of As Equals, the panel will explore how the climate crisis is affecting women and girls in the global south. On 30 November, Eleni Giokos will also moderate a discussion at Goals House ahead of a screening of highlights from Blue Carbon, a documentary co-produced by CNN Films about the coastal ecosystems that are crucial to the fight against climate change. Lastly, CNN’s Call to Earth Day, the network’s annual day of action to raise awareness of environmental issues, will take place on 28 November and serve as a perfect segue into CNN’s COP coverage.

Radio Bahrain launches inaugural Business Club

Radio Bahrain Company introduces Radio Bahrain Business Club, launched with an exclusive 3-day Business Growth Event held at the InterContinental Bahrain on 20-22 November 2023. The event was specifically designed to equip local businesses with new and innovative marketing ideas on how to engage and connect with more customers in 2024.The inaugural Business Growth Event was a resounding success with over 375 businesses from various industry sectors attending. Over the three days, multiple advisory workshops were presented to the participants, highlighting the latest marketing techniques to future-proof their businesses in the ever-changing business environment. The attendees were also introduced to the power of radio and the tangible impact it creates, showcasing the strength of the digital age radio industry.Commenting on the occasion, Omar Khalifa Shaheen, Radio Bahrain Company CEO, said: “We are delighted with the success of our first Business Growth Event where local businesses took advantage of free marketing advice and discovered who Radio Bahrain is and what Radio Bahrain Business Club has to offer, the impact, outcome and the unbeatable benefits it gives to the members. Limited number of Radio Bahrain Business Club memberships were available for the first year, and the demand exceeded our expectations with 90 per cent of the memberships taken before we were half way through the event. We look forward to working with our members for years to come and welcoming new members in future.”The event brought to light the value and growth Radio Bahrain and its services bring to businesses of all sizes, across all industries, and the mileage and reach Radio Bahrain boasts as a leading institution among the regional media. Radio Bahrain Business Club is a concept set to tremendously develop and boost the sales and marketing of all industries, strengthening the dynamics of businesses, ensuring guaranteed reach to their target consumers and retaining them. This includes harnessing the integrated power of broadcast and digital which Radio Bahrain strongly possesses following its digital transformation. Radio Bahrain offers three types of annual membership packages (Silver, Gold and Platinum) for its Business Club members, and a studied and exercised strategy ensuring a great return on investment for all businesses throughout the 12-month agreement. Memberships and services will come into effect from January 2024 – December 2024.The Business Growth Event is set to become an annual occurrence. Businesses that attended the event were given exclusive access to savings of up to 80% on their future marketing campaigns with Radio Bahrain.

Jacqueline Fernandez Receives Prestigious Award; poses with Burak Deniz

Bollywood diva Jacqueline Fernandez added another feather to her cap as she was honored with an award of distinction for her outstanding achievements in the film industry at the seventh edition of The Distinctive International Arab Festivals Awards. The glamorous event, known for celebrating excellence in cinema, recognized Jacqueline's stellar contributions to the world of entertainment.Dressed in an elegant white gown, Jacqueline radiated grace and sophistication as she accepted the prestigious award. Her presence at the awards ceremony not only marked a celebration of her individual achievements but also underscored her status as one of Bollywood's most beloved and accomplished actresses.During the ceremony, Jacqueline was captured striking a pose alongside Turkish actor Burak Deniz, and the duo looked absolutely stunning together. Known for her charismatic performances, Jacqueline is hailed as one of the greatest performers in the industry. Fans and fellow artists alike have showered her with love and congratulations for this latest accolade. Jacqueline's commitment to her craft is evident in the dedication she brings to each project. Whether it's mastering complex dance sequences or delving into the intricacies of a character's personality, she approaches her work with a passion that resonates on screen. Link -, on the work front, Jacqueline Fernandez is gearing up Crakk and Fateh with Sonu Sood, Welcome To The Jungle and her Hollywood debut with Jean Claude Van Damme

eToro gets ADGM approval to operate in the UAE

Abu Dhabi Financial Markets Authority (ADGM), the international financial centre in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and eToro, the global trading and investing platform, are pleased to announce today that eToro has received approval for a Financial Services Permission (FSP) from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM to operate as a broker for securities, derivatives, and cryptoassets in the United Arab Emirates.Yoni Assia, Founder and CEO of eToro, commented: “The approval of our operating licence by ADGM is a key milestone in our continued global expansion. Abu Dhabi is increasingly recognised as a growing fintech hub, and we are excited to become part of this flourishing ecosystem.“With our team in Abu Dhabi led by Jason Hughes, Senior Executive Officer for eToro Middle East and George Naddaf, GCC & MENA Regional Manager, we are looking forward to deepening our relationships in this dynamic market and to helping our UAE clients grow their financial knowledge and wealth as part of a global community of investors.”Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief of Market Development at ADGM, said: “We are delighted to welcome eToro to ADGM. We are confident that ADGM’s dynamic ecosystem and progressive regulations will enable eToro's vision, ADGM is the largest regulated jurisdiction of virtual assets in the MENA region and eToro’s participation will add to its vibrant and trusted ecosystem of virtual asset trading venues, global exchanges and service providers, and reinforce the UAE’s strategic value to global finance.”Founded in 2007, eToro has over 34 million registered users, operates in over 100 countries and is localised in more than 20 languages. With the commitment to give you the tools you need to grow your knowledge and wealth, on eToro, users can view other investors’ portfolios and statistics, and interact with them to exchange ideas and discuss strategies.On eToro, users can hold traditional assets such as equities, currencies or commodities alongside ‘new’ assets such as crypto. eToro also offers its users a choice of how to invest, as users can trade directly themselves, invest in a Smart Portfolios, or copy the investment strategy of other investors on eToro’s platform.

Saudi Entertainment Ventures “SEVEN” announces the largest destination in Aseer

Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Chairman of Aseer Development Authority “ASDA”, witnessed the announcement of SEVEN’s fifth entertainment destination in the Kingdom and the first in the Aseer region.With an investment value of more than SAR 1.3 billion, the entertainment destination is strategically located between the cities of Abha and Khamis Mushait, near Abha International Airport. The development is set on a land size of 64,000 square metres with a built-up area of more than 79,000 square meters.Designed by Gensler, a global architecture, design, and planning firm, the architecture was inspired by the ancient stone buildings of the area to highlight the identity of Aseer. The design aligns with the principles of The Urban Code of Aseer Region which aims to promote excellence in urban planning, design, landscape and architecture, while respecting the identity of the region.Prince Turki said: “Aseer region is witnessing an unprecedented renaissance across different sectors and verticals through the endless support from our leadership. SEVEN’s entertainment destination in Abha is one of the key projects in Aseer which will support our ambition to become a global destination all year round.”Abdullah AlDawood, Chairman, SEVEN, said: “Abha represents another ambitious project in the framework of our efforts to support the entertainment sector across the Kingdom following the objectives and goals of Vision 2030. We are forecasting a GDP contribution of more than SAR 4 billion and over 5 million visitors by 2030. In addition to creating more than hundreds of direct and indirect jobs for the people of Aseer region.He added: “We have been keen, in cooperation with the Aseer Development Authority and under the direct supervision of Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, to ensure that the architectural design of the destination is inspired by the ancient heritage of the region, while providing unique and distinctive entertainment attractions for guests of all age groups, enriching their quality of life. We extend our sincere appreciation to our strategic partners for supporting our efforts to develop the entertainment landscape in the region."SEVEN, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has appointed Modern Building Leaders to undertake the construction works.Olivier Crasson, Chief Executive Officer, Modern Building Leaders, said: "'Modern Building Leaders Co. is honoured to be among the pioneering companies contributing to projects under Vision 2030. We are proud to partner with SEVEN in executing this distinguished project, an iconic entertainment landmark in the region.At MBL, we have dedicated our full effort and extensive expertise to accelerate the project, committing to the highest standards of execution using state-of-the-art technology and machinery in construction. We are fully committed to safety and sustainability measures, ensuring the preservation of the environment and the safety of all workers involved in the project."SEVEN Abha will be home to eight unique attractions which includes a family entertainment centre offering various experiences from arcade games, unique world-class rides to Virtual reality areas. There will be a Discovery Adventures jungle-themed edutainment attraction created in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment, an outdoor jungle-themed attraction that provides exciting educational entertainment experiences; a PLAY-DOH themed entertainment centre that taps into children’s creativity and imagination under license by leading toy and game company Hasbro; and a 12-hole indoor golf adventure area with the latest technology for an immersive gaming experience.Visitors can experience a full range of live entertainment events at the multipurpose venue, indoor e-karting on multi-level tracks, a 10-lane futuristic bowling concept, a 10-screen cinema from AMC and many more fun-filled experiences all under one roof. In addition, SEVEN will bring a wide range of retail and F&B offerings with something to suit everyone. SEVEN has partnered with leading companies in their fields to design the entertainment attractions in Abha including Cundall, Theme 3, Top Notch, Holofice, Thinkwell and Sea Quest.SEVEN is investing more than SAR 50 billion to build 21 entertainment destinations which will provide unique and innovative world-class entertainment experiences and global partnerships from within the sector. The upcoming projects are located in 14 cities across the Kingdom: Riyadh, Kharj, Makkah, Jeddah, Taif, Dammam, Khobar, Al Ahsa, Madinah, Yanbu, Abha, Jizan, Buraidah, and Tabuk.SEVEN, a wholly owned subsidiary of PIF, is mandated to invest in, develop, and operate entertainment destinations and create a sustainable entertainment landscape that caters to the needs of all in Saudi Arabia, in accordance with the highest international standards.

Arab Finance launches 1st version of AI-based GuROW app

The GuROW app is an integrated platform that offers a wide range of investment services. It is available for both IOS and Android users.Commenting on this, Mohammed Radwan, Founder of GuROW and Managing Director of Arab Finance for Information Technology, said: “Launching GuROW aims to create a new generation of youth and assist them in investing in the available investment tools, as well as developing the Egyptian investment market through the latest technological means.”Meanwhile, Fady Kamel, CEO of Dahab Masr, highlighted that this partnership marks a significant and strategic step in a long journey of development between the two companies. Dahab Masr, in collaboration with GuROW, will provide detailed data and reports on gold and its momentary movements to assist investors in making accurate decisions and expand the use of fintech in this investment market over the upcoming period.For his part, Shehab Marzban, Board Member of Optofolio, stressed that Arab Finance, via GuROW, provides an exceptional opportunity to leverage the power of services offered by Optofolio, which serves as an online financial advisor based on the utilization of digital technology and mathematical algorithms in picking out investment portfolios that conform to the customers’ priorities and needs, depending on risk levels, expected returns, and required liquidity.This enables a wide customer base to access various saving and investment options through specialized and licensed firms regulated by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA)."Aligning our vision with the GuROW application, we aim to reach the largest possible number of users and provide them with the best trading experiences in the Egyptian Exchange (EGX). This further strengthens our position as one of the leading brokerage firms in the market," Hassan Gafar, Managing Director of AF Securities, commented.Arab Finance for Information TechnologyLaunched in 2001, Arab Finance prides itself on its long journey in the financial sector. Initially operating as news platform and a securities brokerage firm, the company officially split into two entities in 2020 as part of a mega revamp plan. The two companies are Arab Finance for Information Technology, which is fully owned by Cell Capital B.V, and AF Securities. Through its website ‘’ and the GuROW mobile app, Arab Finance offers its users a diverse range of services.Dahab MasrDahab Masr has swiftly transformed the dynamics of the precious metals market in Egypt, shifting it from a traditional model to a modern digital model that aligns with the global trend of investing in physical gold and the Egyptian culture of utilizing the precious metal.OptofolioThe platform offers a unique blend of customization and artificial intelligence, enabling users to tailor their investment strategies by customizing risk levels and defining financial goals.Optofolio's innovative approach delivers a dynamic and efficient solution for financial institutions seeking to offer unparalleled services to their clients.AF SecuritiesEstablished in 2001, AF Securities, formerly known as Arab Finance Brokerage, emerged as a vibrant news gateway covering various sectors of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX). Pioneering the scene, it was the first online platform to carry out buying and selling transactions in the EGX.In 2020, the company split into two dynamic entities, namely Arab Finance for Information Technology and AF Securities, each dedicated to enhancing the value they deliver.Finally, in 2023, the company reached the pinnacle of innovation with the launch of its revamped AF Securities app and trading platform.

Accenture Song to Drive Content Production Transformation for Accor

Accenture has been appointed by global hospitality group Accor to support its content production capability, driving scale and establishing consistency in local and global marketing communications across its hotel brands, tailored to guests’ evolving needs.Accenture Song, Accenture’s tech-powered creative group, created the ‘Content Atelier’, a new data-driven content supply chain model that aims to create personalized, flexible, efficient and high-quality marketing and communications content across every customer touchpoint, whilst reducing costs.Spanning both physical and digital communications, the ‘Content Atelier’ will be available to all Accor marketing professionals worldwide, enabling content production management from the initial brief to performance measurement and content optimization. The service has been developed with leading design principles and utilizes Accenture’s SynOps platform for marketing and content operations, whilst being integrated into Accor’s infrastructure.Against a backdrop of changing guest expectations and global macroeconomic shifts, the ‘Content Atelier’ uses a data-led approach to enable Accor brand marketers to focus on their most important activities, whilst aiming to increase the effectiveness of its digital marketing programs, drive more traffic to its branded website, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.Technological innovation is key to the design of the service, with generative AI part of the strategic content production roadmap. In support of Accor’s commitment to shape the future of travel, sustainability sits at the core of all content production activities through brand and marketing strategy to marketing content activation.Stéphanie Jaffré, SVP Digital Marketing & eCommerce, Premium, Midscale & Economy Brands at Accor, said: "Accor is committed to extending hospitality and inspiring new opportunities and experiences for our guests. So, it is crucial we have the right framework in place to reach our guests in the right way at the right time on the right channels, to inspire and support their travel needs and desires. Consumer attention is not agnostic, it spreads across multiple digital channels and we need be able to communicate with our guests on all relevant platforms, particularly at the research and inspiration stage of the customer journey. Hospitality is all about connecting with people and through our new digital content strategy we can better connect with, inspire and serve our guests.”Martial Viudes, managing director, Accenture Song, said: “Together with Accor, we have redesigned the experience for Accor marketing professionals, aiming to optimize efficiency on a global level and ensure locally relevant, ultra-personalized experiences for its guests. We are proud to support Accor in creating a new generation of content production, harnessing our deep industry, creative and technical expertise. The development of the ‘Content Atelier’ serves each brand within the group according to their marketing ambitions, delivering bespoke and creative points of delight worldwide.”Accenture Song, which has been working with Accor's marketing and content teams for almost four years, is already producing the Group’s content in multiple countries in Europe.

TikTok, Emirates Nature-WWF team up to empower climate action

Dubai: - TikTok, the leading digital platform, and Emirates Nature-WWF, the renowned environmental NGO, have joined forces to launch "Nature Diaries," an exclusive video series aimed at democratizing climate action and fostering climate literacy. This collaborative effort seeks to inspire and educate viewers, especially the youth, fostering a deeper understanding of conservation and climate challenges.Ahead of the COP28 climate summit, the Nature Diaries series - exclusively produced for TikTok - marks a significant step in encouraging collective climate action. By seamlessly integrating innovative content and the educational outreach aspects that the platform is famed for, the series will present viewers with concrete steps for actionable change, simplify complex environmental concepts and dismantle misinformation.The Nature Diaries series will be exclusively available on the Emirates Nature-WWF TikTok account and promoted under the #LearnOnTikTok and #ClimateAction hashtags in the run-up to COP28, to deliver an immersive experience that combines education, adventure and climate volunteerism.At its heart, Nature Diaries focuses on making climate-related content as accessible, engaging and relatable as possible. The series spotlights Emirates Nature-WWF’s conservation scientists, offering first-hand glimpses into their conservation work on the ground in the UAE, and how they involve the community to participate in driving impact via the Leaders of Change program made up of 4000+ active volunteers. These include their championing of conservation efforts at various sites across the UAE, especially the lesser-explored and unique projects across the country touching on themes of rural farming, surviving in the wild, nature-based solutions and more.Each episode, infused with captivating storytelling and expert insights, equips viewers with authoritative resources to combat climate conspiracies and debunk myths. Through captivating narratives, it encourages you to embrace a sense of shared responsibility and contribute to collective sustainability steps. This will be made possible by exploring a range of fascinating and diverse themes, including the cultural importance of bees and desert flora/fauna identification, to understanding carbon capture through mangroves and survival skills training, such as finding water.Ian Gill, Global Head of Sustainability at TikTok, said: “With its utility as a platform that is committed to transforming climate anxiety into empowerment, TikTok has evolved into a platform for climate advocates and experts to help our communities become informed and engaged. Through the Nature Diaries series, we aim to engage and inspire viewers by providing them with credible information, deepening their understanding of environmental challenges and encouraging truly meaningful, actionable efforts.“This collaboration with Emirates Nature-WWF also recognizes the commitment of the TikTok creator community, especially the youth, in advocating for sustainability and driving climate action.Rasna Al Khamis, Chief Marketing Officer at Emirates Nature-WWF commented, "At Emirates Nature-WWF, tackling nature's greatest challenges and fostering climate literacy in the community is at the core of our mission. Through the Nature Diaries series, a collaborative endeavor with TikTok, we hope to engage and inspire audiences — especially the youth — by harnessing the platform's power of storytelling. The idea is to ignite passion and action among viewers to work proactively in addressing the solutions we need in place to protect the one planet we call home".TikTok and Emirates Nature-WWF invite viewers to enjoy Nature Diaries for an experience that inspires hope and climate action over anxiety. Amidst the global climate challenge, viewers can be inspired to transform awareness into impactful steps to work towards a sustainable future, helping to make a positive difference for our planet.

Khushalii Kumar Shines, But Starfish Flounders

Based on Bina Nayak's book Starfish Pickle, this two hours long movie turns out to be a royal bore. Beware guys as it can genuinely lull even insomniacs in to a deep snore...sorry to say but Starfish goes astray despite quite a few positives up its sleeve. Like the exotic locales of Malta and Sicily (Italy) which are beautifully captured here! The underwater sequences are also wonderfully shot which reminded me of one more Bollywood biggie called Blue (2009). Unfortunately just like Blue, Starfish rests on a wafer thin plot which just doesn't go anywhere. After all, how many times can you watch the voluptuous Khushalii Kumar drinking like a fish, doing drugs and partying hard like there's no tomorrow. Glug glug!! Khushalii Kumar was impressive in last years Dhokha Round D Corner and in Starfish too, she displays adequate acting chops coupled with her abundant sex appeal quite effectively. Kudos to that!! I was actually expecting some hot chemistry between the macho Milind Soman and Khushalii but just as they come close to kiss, the director shifts focus away from them. Oooff, that's sacrilege!! As for those two (supposed) hunky heroes who get lucky with the leading lady, the less said the better!! To sum up, Khushalii soars but Starfish drowns... Ratings on some key aspects* : 1. Acting : 3.5/5 (Khushalii Kumar)2. Direction : 1.5/53. Music : 2/5 4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 1.5/55. Cinematography : 4/56. Editing : 2/5 7. Costume Design : 3.5/58. Special Effects and VFX : NA9. Action : NA10. Production Quality : 3.5/5 #SNRating for #Starfish : 2 stars out of 5. - Sumeet Nadkarni Liked the review? Click on the link below and like the #SNRatings page to subscribe to honest and unbiased reviews of all latest movies : You can also follow us on Twitter handle : @sumu76in * - The overall film rating is not a simple average of all ratings on key aspects but a weighted average of the ratings where some crucial aspects (like direction, acting, story and screenplay etc) are assigned more weightage than others. #Starfish #UnderwaterDrama #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #KhushaliiKumar #MilindSoman #BollywoodReview #Filmreview #TheatricalRelease #OTTRelease #Netflix #SNRatings #SNRatings barometer:1 star = Poor1 & 1/2 star = Below average/ Avoidable2 stars = Average2 & 1/2 stars = Above average/ Risk it3 stars = Good enough/ Endurable3 & 1/2 stars = Definitely worth a watch4 stars = Very good5 stars = Masterpiece/ Outstanding. 2023 SNRatings.

ADIFE 2023 set to showcase leading industry speakers

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

Anghami triumphs with 'Sound of Saudi' campaign

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

Yellow Friday sale kicks off on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Japanese restaurant “MiSora” opens its doors in Jeddah

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

PureHealth acquires leading Tech Company

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

UAE consumer fury as brands fail to deliver seamless digital experiences

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

Black Friday fever grips the UAE

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

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

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

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

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

Report unveils global impact of invalid traffic on marketing budgets

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

Hisense officially unveils Dubai R&D center

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

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

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

Snapchat empowers MENA’s creator economy with new financial incentives

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

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

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

Hypermedia unveils new website offering immersive experience

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

Fenty and Puma to unveil fresh line of shoes

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

UPP launches new brand identity ‘E7 Group’

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

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

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

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

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

Qatar Airways selects SITA to transform network infrastructure

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

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

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

Landor & Fitch rebrands as “Landor”

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

Etisalat by e& and DCT Abu Dhabi launch Arena Esports

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

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

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

Khaleeji Bank signs partnership agreement with Naseej

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