Fourth Dubai Gastronomy Forum celebrates culinary excellence

Dubai: The fourth Dubai Gastronomy Forum, organised by Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), served as a significant industry event bringing together stakeholders and highlighting key culinary events, including a look-back on the recently concluded 10th edition of the Dubai Food Festival 2023 and the latest Gastronomy Always On (GAON) survey results. Hosted at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam in Dubai on 21 June, the forum welcomed key stakeholders from across the gastronomy industry including restaurateurs, hoteliers, and key industry specialists.During the forum, DET also shared upcoming opportunities and plans with industry stakeholders in the gastronomy sector. These initiatives included a calendar of events, content series, activations, and partnerships aimed at supporting and promoting the F&B industry. The goal is to strengthen Dubai's dynamic ecosystem, which already boasts over 13,000 restaurants and cafes, and to rally their support in further enhancing the city's year-round global gastronomy hub status.The Gastronomy Always On (GAON) survey findings, which were unveiled during the forum, shed light on the positive trends in Dubai’s culinary scene, capturing the interest of industry stakeholders, diners, and F&B innovators, and also unveiled DFF’s pivotal role in contributing to the flourishing dining culture in the city. The survey findings showcased the festival's impact on the city's dining landscape, solidifying its role as a key contributor to the flourishing culinary scene. The results provided compelling evidence of the festival's ability to elevate the dining experience for residents, leading to an increase in their frequency of dining out.The results speak volumes: an astonishing 61% increase in the average number of occasions per week, with residents now enjoying an impressive average of 2.9 dining experiences per week compared to the previous average of 1.8. This exponential growth demonstrates the festival's unmatched ability to captivate taste buds, enticing residents to explore a myriad of culinary delights offered by the city's vibrant restaurant community.Furthermore, the survey emphasized the festival’s commitment to providing value for money to residents and visitors. Residents now spend an average of AED 162 per week, or 51 AED per outing, when eating out, a testament to Dubai Food Festival’s efforts in ensuring that gastronomic delights are accessible to everyone, regardless of their budgets. This dedication enhances the city’s reputation as a destination that offers exceptional value for money.The survey also indicates a rise in dining in, with an increase of 17% in the number of occasions per week people order in, rising from 1.7 to 2.0. The industry has actively embraced technology-driven services, promoting convenience and accessibility through online food ordering platforms. By adapting to changing consumer behavior, the festival continues to provide a diverse range of authentic culinary experiences, even in the comfort of people’s homes.Residents' high satisfaction levels with Dubai Gastronomy offerings were evident, with a mean score of 8.7 in Wave 3, representing an impressive 11.5% increase compared to Wave 2. Furthermore, the survey highlights a growing popularity of street food dining, which can be attributed to the festival's dedicated Street Food content, activations, and awareness campaigns.Looking back, the Dubai Food Festival’s 10th edition showcased an exceptional lineup of diverse culinary events, affirming the city’s commitment to authenticity and culinary innovation. The festival attracted a wide range of international and local chefs, renowned restaurants, and street food vendors,

Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection Greets New Leadership at Hilton Dubai Al

Dubai: Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection is elated to announce the appointment of two industry stalwarts to lead the team at their landmark luxury hotels – Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City and V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton.Leading Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, Saeid Heidari has just joined as its new General Manager. Overseeing the 1,004-room property, Saeid brings over 30 years of experience in managing luxury hospitality. A seasoned hospitality professional, Saeid comes with a proven track record in providing top-notch quality assuring seamless guest satisfaction and delivering first-rate financial results and operations management. Saeid exhibits strong skills in managing profit targets, developing new and innovative projects, and being proactive in property sales efforts. He is also adept with negotiations and motivating diversified colleagues while maximizing productivity and efficiently controlling costs. One of Saeid’s remarkable achievements includes winning the HR leadership award twice in a row. He lives by the motto ‘Compassion is more important than passion’. In 2022, Saeid started his time with Habtoor Hospitality at The Ritz-Carlton Budapest, and now finally at Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City. He loves seeing the progress in Dubai while celebrating how this beautiful city embraces diversity. Previously, Saeid led luxury properties such as Marriot International, Katara Hospitality, Anantara Hotel & Suites and many more. He began his hospitality career in 1988 at Marriott International in Frankfurt, Germany as a buy-out in Housekeeping, Executive lounge attendant and security officer while funding his education in Chemical Engineering and Nuclear Chemistry. In 2001, Saeid decided to move back to his roots in the Middle East by joining Marriot International in Saudi Arabia as the Director of Food & Beverages and then moving across the world in different positions – Egypt, Czech Republic, Dubai, India, Doha, etc. Likewise, Luke Wooley has just joined V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton as General Manager and Director – F&B. He brings over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry with a track record in managing immaculate F&B operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia. Luke was part of the Al Habtoor Group since the early 2000s and having been elevated to V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton as its General Manager, he will now be overseeing the operations at the 356-key luxury property along with two food and beverage outlets, and meetings & event spaces. First joining Monkey Island Hotel in his home town UK in 2000, he was transferred to Metropolitan Beach Club, Dubai and then to Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa for the grand opening of the resort. He then joined Habtoor Grand Convention Center and Spa in Beirut and returned to Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa in 2010 as the Director of Food & Beverages. Luke is proof of a true Habtoorian with his two-decades-long association with the Al Habtoor Group. Luke’s taste for travel took him to Georgia, Botswana and Kenya where he held leadership roles at independent properties and not least to the Sultanate of Brunei as the Executive Hotel Manager of the prestigious Empire Hotel. Before joining V Hotel Dubai, Luke was associated with Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa as its Hotel Manager and was also in charge of the hotel’s F&B section since April 2022. Welcoming the two seasoned professionals, who jointly bring over 50 years of experience in contribution towards the sector, Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection is poised to become the most sought-after destination in Dubai, recognized for its luxurious hospitality clubbed with exhilarating experiences including La Perle, seasonal Winter Garden, only Bentley Suite in the region, and several other attractions in the vicinity.

PepsiCo becomes water, beverages, and snacks provider for Gamers8

Riyadh:  Gamers8: The Land of Heroes today welcomed PepsiCo as a Main Sponsor to the world’s biggest gaming and esports festival, which will see the global leader in convenient foods and drinks exclusively supply water, beverages, and snacks.PepsiCo brands Aquafina, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Rockstar, and Doritos will all be on offer at Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, which runs from July 6 for eight weeks at Boulevard Riyadh City.PepsiCo is providing an incredible 1.5 million bottles of Aquafina water for Gamers8: The Land of Heroes – all of which are available complimentary to festival goers from the special, cooled fridges dotted around the venue.Ahmed Albishri, Deputy CEO at the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “We are delighted to unveil PepsiCo as a Main Partner for Gamers8: The Land of Heroes this summer, building on the tremendous work achieved between our organizations at Gamers8 last year. The work that goes into putting on live events – particularly ones such as Gamers8 that last an entire summer – should never be underestimated. Food and beverages are a crucial part of that and having a renowned, trusted partner like PepsiCo is essential.”Aamer Sheikh, PepsiCo Middle East CEO said: “We are thrilled to be to once again involved with the world’s biggest gaming and e-sports festival, which takes place right here in the heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Building on the tremendous success that the festival witnessed last year, we are looking forward to having festival visitors enjoy their time alongside our snacks and beverages, which go side-by-side with the exhilarating events taking place at Gamers8.”Gamers8: The Land of Heroes has a prize pool of $45 million – triple that of Gamers8 last year. The festival concludes with the Next World Forum, a gaming and esports forum held at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center on August 30-31, that brings together sector leaders and experts from around the world.

DIFC to build ‘Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus'

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, today announced it will build the “Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus”, the largest cluster of Artificial Intelligence and tech companies in the MENA region.The announcement comes in implementation of the directives of H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and President of DIFC.With ambitious plans to expand into a dedicated campus spanning over 100,000 square foot in the next five years, the Campus located at the DIFC Innovation One premises will focus on the use of AI and Web 3.0 in the financial services industry.The “Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus” will be home to visionary entrepreneurs, disruptors and engineers who possess a deep passion for emerging technologies. The Campus will provide world-class physical and digital infrastructure including R&D facilities, accelerator programmes and collaborative workspaces, to attract, build and scale AI companies.Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said, “DIFC’s 2030 strategy is central to shaping the future of finance and innovation. AI is expected to inject AED103 billion into the UAE economy by 2035 and contribute 14 percent to the country’s GDP by the end of the decade. The Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus will significantly contribute to this growth as a global nexus for R&D, investment, and innovation by attracting over US$300 million in collective funds, over 500 global AI and Web 3.0 start-ups, and create over 3000 jobs by 2028.”DIFC’s 2030 strategy is centred around driving the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation, and partnerships. DIFC’s Innovation Hub offers one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulations, innovative accelerator?programmes and funding for growth-stage start-ups. The fastest growing sector in DIFC with 686 associated firms, FinTech and Innovation saw funds of over US$615 million raised in the Centre during 2022.The “Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus” will act as a catalyst for growth, attracting global innovators, start-ups, and industry leaders to establish a vibrant ecosystem of AI-driven initiatives within the region. AI & Web 3.0 companies will also benefit from a sector-specific dedicated licensing and regulatory framework, in addition to leveraging DIFC unique soft infrastructure.Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, stated, “At DIFC we believe that being at the forefront of tech innovation and AI advancement is imperative as we pave the way for a digitally empowered future of finance. The ‘Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus’ will act as a catalyst for growth by attracting global innovators, start-ups, venture capitalists, and industry leaders, as we establish MENA’s largest ecosystem for the AI and Web 3.0 sectors. By nurturing a collaborative environment, the Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus will accelerate the development of future-forward technologies and empower organisations to unlock the true potential of AI and Web 3.0.”DIFC is spearheading the creation of a global ecosystem, the largest in the MENA region for AI and Web 3.0, by fostering cutting-edge technologies and attracting global talent. By seamlessly integrating physical and virtual infrastructures, the Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus is on track to emerge as the preferred headquarters for leading AI and Web 3.0 companies and venture capitalists operating in the region.DIFC plays a critical role in leading and shaping the future of finance through innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity by creating an environment that fosters growth and development. The 33rd edition of the Global Financial Centre Index rankings classifies Dubai as one of only 10 financial centres in the world as a global leader with a broad and deep offering.

Meta launches VR subscription service

Meta has unveiled a groundbreaking virtual reality (VR) subscription service called "Meta Quest+" at a price of $7.99. This innovative offering grants Meta Quest users the exclusive privilege of accessing the two most sought-after titles each month. Marked by its exceptional value, the Meta Quest+ subscription comes with a monthly fee of $7.99 or an annual payment of $59.99.The first indications of this remarkable service emerged in March when an astute Twitter user uncovered a description of a game pass feature within the Meta Quest app. Subsequently, another Twitter user stumbled upon the mention of Meta Quest+ and its associated pricing in the app selection of the Meta Quest app.On Monday, Mark Zuckerberg officially confirmed the arrival of Meta Quest+, emphasizing that it is currently compatible with Quest 2 and Pro. Furthermore, Quest 3 support will be extended upon the release of the new headset later this autumn.The initial game lineup for Meta Quest+ includes the adrenaline-pumping action-rhythm game FPS Pistol Whip and the captivating arcade adventure game Pixel Ripped 1995. In August, users will have the pleasure of experiencing Walkabout Mini Golf and Mothergunship: Forge.An intriguing aspect of Meta's subscription service is that subscribers retain access to all titles for as long as they remain subscribed to Meta Quest+.This new subscription offering from Meta distinguishes the company from PlayStation, which notably excludes VR games from its PlayStation Plus subscription.In its announcement, Meta expressed enthusiasm for the value that subscription services bring, harking back to the golden days of Blockbuster. With a monthly value of up to $60 USD, Meta Quest+ amalgamates affordability with the convenience of a curated experience. The company is thrilled to introduce Meta Quest users to an entirely novel approach for exploring the boundless potential of their VR headsets.To entice early adopters, Meta is extending an introductory discount, allowing users who sign up between now and July 31 to pay a mere $1 for the first month.Meta has also delighted fans by unveiling an array of forthcoming games for their VR headset.

Meta’s Messenger unveils parental supervision tools for teen safety

Meta has launched parental supervision tools on Messenger, aimed at empowering parents and guardians to ensure the safety and well-being of their teenage children in the digital world. By offering access to Messenger supervision tools and expert resources through the Meta Family Center, parents can now actively support their teens' online experiences.The parental supervision tools on Messenger are initially available in the US, UK, and Canada, with plans for a global expansion in the coming months. These innovative tools provide parents with valuable insights into their teen's Messenger usage without compromising their privacy. It is important to note that these tools do not grant parents access to their teen's private messages.Key features of the parental supervision tools on Messenger include:  1. Monitoring Usage: Parents can track the amount of time their teens spend on Messenger, gaining valuable insights into their online habits.  2. Contacts List Updates: Parents will have visibility into their teen's Messenger contacts list, as well as their privacy and safety settings, ensuring a secure online environment.  3. Report Notifications: Parents will receive notifications if their teen reports someone on Messenger, further enhancing safety measures and promoting open communication.  4. Message Settings: Parents can view who can message their teen, whether it is limited to friends, friends of friends, or no one. They will also receive notifications if any changes are made to this setting.  5. Messenger Stories: Parents can monitor who can view their teen's Messenger stories and will be alerted if any modifications are made to these settings.Over the next year, Meta plans to expand the range of features available through Parental Supervision on Messenger, enabling parents to assist their teens in managing their time and interactions effectively. It is important to note that these tools will function in both unencrypted and end-to-end encrypted chats, allowing for privacy while maintaining enhanced parental oversight.The launch of Parental Supervision on Messenger is part of Meta's ongoing commitment to creating the Meta Family Center as a central hub where parents and guardians can access valuable resources and tools to manage their teens' experiences across Meta technologies. This initiative aims to foster meaningful dialogue between parents and teens, ensuring a healthy and informed approach to their online lives.In addition to the introduction of Parental Supervision on Messenger, Meta is actively testing new messaging privacy features on Instagram. These features are specifically designed to safeguard teens from unwanted interactions and protect their well-being. The new measures include:  1. Invitation-based messaging: Individuals will be required to send an invite to connect with someone who doesn't follow them on Instagram. This ensures that permission is obtained before initiating a conversation. Users can only send one invite at a time and cannot send additional invites until the recipient accepts the invitation to connect.  2. Text-only invites: Message request invites will be limited to text-only communication, preventing the transmission of photos, videos, voice messages, or making calls until the recipient accepts the invitation to chat. This restriction aims to prevent the receipt of unwanted media from individuals not followed by the recipient.To promote responsible usage and encourage a healthy relationship with technology, Meta is taking further steps to nudge teens to manage their time on Facebook and Instagram. For instance, Facebook will notify teens after spending 20 minutes on the platform, encouraging them to take breaks and set daily time limits. Additionally, Instagram is exploring a new feature that nudges teens to close the app if they are excessively scrolling through Reels at night.

Sharjah Government Communication Award invites pioneering researchers and writer

Sharjah: The Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) has called on international academic and educational pioneers, including researchers and writers in government communication and public influence, to showcase their exceptional work in communication sciences in the tenth edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA).Recognising outstanding works, research and publications in communication sciences that capitalise on the growing array of traditional and modern communication tools and their public influence, the award aims to support educational and academic institutions, advance the academic research in communication and media, and provide a conducive environment for professionals in this realm. SGCA is accepting submissions across its categories until August 15, 2023.Best Research in Government CommunicationAmong the global categories of the 10th edition of SGCA, the ‘Best Applied Scientific Research in Government Communication’ recognises researchers, educational and academic government institutions that address the challenges of government communication and present practical communication solutions and methodologies. The award celebrates two winners through its subcategories: ‘Individual or Group Research’ and ‘Research by Government, Semi-Government, or Private Entity.’ Through these categories, SGCA aims to create a broader positive impact through institutional and government communication while also engaging the theoretical and academic facets that support the success of the communication process system.Honouring specialised authors and writersAcknowledging the crucial contribution of research to the progress of public communication, SGCA is introducing the global category of ‘Best Writer or Author in Government Communication Sciences.’ The award celebrates authors who offer fresh perspectives and valuable knowledge, greatly influencing government communication and its implementation. To ensure credibility, the award honours publications accredited by academic institutions with significant circulation.

Aston Martin, Lucid Group form partnership to boost EV portfolio

Riyadh: Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc and Lucid Group Inc. have joined forces for electric vehicle technology, bringing together the iconic British carmaker and the innovative newcomer, both with backing from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. This collaboration has significantly boosted the stock prices of both companies.In a deal announced on Monday, Aston Martin will invest $232 million in shares and cash to acquire battery-electric powertrain components from Lucid. Additionally, Aston Martin has extended its existing collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Group AG, without issuing further stock to the German automaker, which already holds a stake of approximately 9%.As part of the agreement, Lucid has committed not to supply its powertrain technology to specific competitors of Aston Martin until three months after Aston Martin commences production of its electric vehicles or April 1, 2026, whichever comes first.These announcements have propelled the shares of Aston Martin and Lucid, with increases of up to 15%, although the gains were later tempered. At 2:45 p.m. in New York, Lucid's shares rose by 3.1% to $5.64, while Aston Martin experienced an 11% surge in trading on the London Stock Exchange.Chairman Lawrence Stroll hailed the proposed supply agreement with Lucid as a "game changer" for Aston Martin's future growth driven by electric vehicles. Stroll, who took charge three years ago, has been leading efforts to revitalize the 110-year-old British manufacturer, which has faced significant financial challenges over the years. Since Stroll's rescue in early 2020, Aston Martin has undergone multiple capital raises, with China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund becoming major shareholders.Philippe Houchois, an analyst at Jefferies, noted that Lucid is a strategic partner for Aston Martin due to its efficient electric vehicle powertrain, which will reduce future funding requirements. Furthermore, the Public Investment Fund's stake in Lucid could lead to additional synergies in terms of scale and market access.According to Bloomberg data, the Public Investment Fund held approximately 49% of Lucid as of March 31, but recent information suggests its stake has risen to around 61%. The wealth fund also owns roughly 18% of Aston Martin, as disclosed in a filing from last month.Aston Martin's newly announced 3.7% stake in Lucid through the BEV-technology partnership assures investors that the luxury brand is on track to achieve its goal of becoming fully electric by 2030, while simultaneously reducing reliance on Mercedes for technology.The financial challenges faced by Aston Martin in recent years have necessitated partnerships for core technologies that other automakers consider integral to their offerings. Models such as the DBX sport utility vehicle and DB12 sports car currently rely on Mercedes engines.While Aston Martin will continue to have access to Mercedes' powertrains and electric architectures for its present and future vehicles, the company will make cash payments instead of issuing shares, as previously planned. An Aston Martin spokesperson explained that Lucid's technology is already available, whereas Mercedes' AMG electric platform will only be accessible in late 2025.This deal with Lucid, known for producing the Air sedan since September 2021, will accelerate Aston Martin's pursuit of its ambitious electrification targets. The British automaker aims to launch its first plug-in hybrid supercar, the Valhalla, early next year, followed by its debut battery-electric vehicle in 2025. By the subsequent year, all new product lines will offer an electrified powertrain option.Aston Martin has committed to making phased cash payments totaling $132 million to Lucid and will invest at least $225 million in the EV maker's powertrain components.

Likee offers Dolby cinema tickets to create a spectacular Eid Al Adha

Dubai: Likee, one of the region’s most popular short video platforms, has announced an extraordinary Eid Al Adha celebration in 2023. Likee aims to immerse users in the magic of cinema while offering them the chance to win incredible prizes such as Dolby Cinema movie tickets through Likee's dedicated 'Delightful Eid Al-Adha party' event page, offering users the chance to redeem free tickets at select Dolby Cinema® locations at Reel Cinemas.At the heart of this campaign lies Likee's unwavering commitment to engaging its users and providing them with unforgettable experiences. The 'Delightful Eid Al-Adha party' event page on Likee serves as a central hub for all the festivities, ensuring users can seamlessly participate in Eid-themed activities and revel in the joyous spirit of the occasion.Likee users will be thrilled to discover a myriad of activities specially curated for Eid with chances to win exclusive prizes such as avatar frames like the "Generous Goat", the "Loyal Bull", and Eid Al-Adha 2023 wallpaper. By visiting the event page daily, posting videos with Eid Al-Adha hashtags, sharing the activity page, and engaging with hashtag videos, users can unlock opportunities to draw and claim remarkable rewards. The allure of free Dolby Cinema movie tickets adds an extra touch of excitement and exclusivity to the grand prizes up for grabs."We are thrilled to create a mesmerizing Eid Al Adha experience for our Likee users," said a spokesperson from Likee. "Through our Eid Al-Adha 2023 event page, we aim to foster creativity, inspire connection, and bring joy to millions of users during this festive season. We can't wait to witness the incredible content our users will create and share with the Likee community to celebrate Eid this year."Dolby Cinema unlocks the emotional impact of every film allowing you to see the subtle details and ultra vivid colors of Dolby Vision®, and hear the immersive sound of Dolby Atmos®. This unmatched combination is so lifelike — you’ll forget you’re at the movies. Lucky winners can expect an unparalleled immersive experience by redeeming the Dolby Cinema movie ticket at its partnering outlet, Reel Cinemas in Dubai.

Qatar Tourism reveals exciting line up of events for Eid Al-Adha

Doha: Qatar Tourism has announced a vibrant and diverse schedule of events set to take place across the country in celebration of the joyous occasion, Eid Al-Adha (June 29 – July 5).Visitors from the region are sure to find something to complement their Eid Al-Adha celebrations in the line-up of initiatives organised by Qatar Tourism, which include a special live performance by the country’s most prestigious children’s choir, a concert by one of the region’s megastars, fun-filled children’s shows, cultural workshops and a hospitality gesture welcoming all international visitors this Eid.In keeping with the spirit of Qatar’s famously warm Arabian hospitality, all regional visitors arriving via Hamad International Airport and the Abu-Samra border during this year’s celebrations will be welcomed with a special ‘Eidya’ gift package. Among other festive items, the packages will contain a complementary voucher booklet with special discounts to some of the country’s most sought-after attractions, including Desert Falls Water & Adventure Park, Doha Quest, Angry Birds, Kidzania, Megapolis and Kidzmondo, as well as stays, spa treatments and dining offers by some of Qatar’s leading hotels including Katara Hills, Maysan Doha, Banyan Tree and Al Rayyan Hotel. Offers can be found on Qatar Tourism’s page on the curated festivities, Sheikha Hessa Al-Thani, Head of Marketing and Planning at Qatar Tourism said: “We invite our beloved regional neighbours to visit and feel the true joyful spirit of Eid in Qatar this year. Following the resounding success of our ‘Feel Winter in Qatar’ campaign and the country’s re vitalised hospitality and leisure offering, we are delighted to keep this sense of positive momentum going during Eid Al-Adha celebrations. With an array of entertainment options for all ages, Qatar’s Eid Al-Adha 2023 festivities promises to be a truly unforgettable experience.”Enjoy Daily Cultural Workshops from Local Eco-FarmJune 29 – July 1, Place Vendôme Mall, 4:00pm to 9:00pmEach day throughout Eid Al-Adha, representatives from famed local sustainable farm, Heenat Salma, will hold a series of bespoke artisanal workshops for shoppers at Place Vendôme mall from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Focusing on arts, culture and food, the workshops will bring a slice of the farm’s unique ethos to the city.The Magic of Baream TV Comes Alive for ShoppersJune 29 – July 1, Place Vendôme Mall, 5:00pm and 7:00pmAlso at Place Vendôme, some of the best-loved characters from Qatari children’s TV channel Baream TV will be making a very special appearance for residents and visitors twice a day at 5:00pm and 7:00pm.Special Performances from Beloved Children’s ChoirJuly 2 - 3, Place Vendôme Mall, 5:00pm and 7:00pmA cornerstone of arts for children in Qatar, the prestigious Siwar Choir will make a very special appearance at Place Vendôme, with two live performances a day, one at 5:00pm and the other at 7:00pm.Qatar Live Program Continues with Performance from, Wael KfouryJuly 5, Mall of Qatar, 9:00pmPopular Lebanese superstar, Wael Kfoury, will perform a free live set at Mall of Qatar’s central Oasis stage on July 5 at 9:00pm. The performance marks a continuation of Qatar Tourism’s successful flagship live music program, ‘Qatar Live,’ which has brought mega stars throughout the year, including the likes of John Legend and Asala.For more inspiration on what to do and where to go during Eid Al-Adha, Qatar Tourism has launched a special Eid edition of its monthly ‘Qatar Calendar’ guide – the official tourism round-up of events taking place across the country. Eid Al-Adha Edition, a special edition of its monthly Qatar Calendar featuring a curated round-up of the most exciting offers and festivities taking place throughout the country during this exceptional time of year.Qatar Calendar HighlightsArts and culture lovers will find plenty to suit their tastes in Qatar this Eid Al-Adha, starting with an exquisite ode to haute couture at the Zwara: Focus on Forever Valentino Exhibition (M7, every day until September 10). Exhibitions will be available for art lovers across the country, including the fascinating The Curious Desert by Olafur Eliasson (National Museum of Qatar & Al Thakira Mangrove Nature Preserve, until August 15), and the dramatic collection of paintings in Eduardo Navarro’s Free Spirits of the Wild Horses exhibition (Fire Station, until July 10).Those in search of a little drama will not be disappointed, as a thrilling production of the famed The Black Magic Play (Abdul Aziz Nasser Theatre, June 28 – July 7) will be staged in the heart of the city. And the country’s most prestigious children’s choir, Siwar Choir (Place Vendôme, July 2-3), will enchant local audiences with two very special public performances. Finally, a vibrantly colourful Eid Al-Adha Festival will be hosted at the Al Shaqab Longines Indoor Area over the weekend (June 29 – July 1).For adventure seekers, there will be plenty of ways to get active during the Eid, including an exclusive Mangrove Kayaking Adventure (until August 31) in the crystal-clear waters of Purple Island and a PSG We Run Doha 5km run taking place on June 30 at the Katara Cultural Village.The Eid Al Adha edition of the Qatar Calendar also features an array of not-to-be-missed offers at Qatar’s industry-leading hotels, including ‘Stay 3 nights pay for 2’ at the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel Doha (until August 31) and 30% off a three-night stay at the JW Marriott Marquis (until December 30).The magic continues in Doha post-Eid, starting with very special performances of Disney on Ice presents 100 Years of Wonder (Lusail Multipurpose Hall, July 4-9). Miguel aspires to be a musician and journeys through the Land of the Dead to uncover family history, Moana and Maui bravely restore the stolen heart of Te Fiti, Anna and Elsa save their kingdom, and the Disney Princesses inspire with stories of strength, determination, and kindness. Share every magical moment filled with breathtaking ice skating and beloved Disney songs and stories that give everyone a reason to believe.With the recent re-launch of the Hayya platform, visitors who require a visa can easily travel to Qatar by applying at, or through the application on their smartphones. For GCC nationals, Hayya provides an option to apply for an entry permit for companions. For those entering Qatar via land at the Abu Samra border, Hayya will provide a pre-registration option for faster entry for vehicles, making the stay in Qatar even smoother and more enjoyable. Hayya also provides further services that help round out a visitor’s stay, including maps, transportation options, offers and current events.

Bigo Live join hands with the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon

Dubai:  Bigo Live, a leading global live streaming platform, joins forces with the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) to ignite a beacon of hope this Eid Al Adha. In a remarkable collaboration dedicated to making a tangible difference in the lives of children battling cancer, Bigo Live proudly pledges a donation of USD 15,000 to CCCL. This heartfelt contribution will empower and support the cancer treatment journey of young patients in the Middle East.The highlight of this collaboration is Bigo Live’s prominent role as an official donor of the esteemed "Hands of Hope" initiative. The initiative enables sponsors to leave a lasting mark by supporting CCCL's patients and covering the expenses of their vital treatment. Through this meaningful gesture, Bigo Live not only introduces a glimmer of hope into the lives of children battling cancer but also receives a special certificate adorned with the handprint representing the mark Bigo Live left at CCCL and in the lives of Children fighting cancer.Moreover, to mark this momentous occasion, Bigo Live's Charity Ambassadors will be organizing a heartwarming event, offering the children at CCCL a day they will cherish forever. The event will include a special event for the children, and a donation ceremony to officialise Bigo Live's generous contribution to CCCL, further reinforcing their dedication to making a difference in the lives of those in need."This Eid Al Adha, Bigo Live is delighted to collaborate with the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon," said a spokesperson from Bigo Live. "We are dedicated to providing meaningful experiences for all that positively impact the society, making a lasting expression. Through this partnership and the support of our passionate Charity Ambassadors, we hope to bring smiles to the faces of these brave children and contribute to their journey towards recovery."To further celebrate Eid Al Adha on the platform, Bigo Live will be introducing a dedicated ‘Eid Al Adha’ event page, commencing on June 15th and running until June 28th, promising to be a captivating experience for users in this region. With an array of special features, users can customize their profiles, send festival virtual gifts, and convey Eid greetings in unique and memorable ways, fostering a deeper connection with their audience.What’s more, top Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) such as Supersisters will conduct special livestreaming sessions to celebrate Eid with their fans. Users can expect thrilling live sessions, ranging from cooking competitions to mesmerizing musical performances, creating a buzz and capturing the attention of millions.While the event thrives in the digital realm, Bigo Live aims to bridge the gap between online and offline experiences. Join in spreading joy to children with cancer in the Middle East through special offline events organized as part of this initiative. By engaging in various charitable initiatives, Bigo Live aims to strengthen its bond between its users and their communities, making a significant impact in the lives of those in need and ultimately promoting positive changes in our societies."We believe that every act of kindness, no matter how small, has the power to create a ripple of hope in the lives of children battling cancer. Together with Bigo Live, we are united in our mission to bring smiles, joy, and healing to those who need it the most. Let us hold their hands, leave our mark of compassion, and ignite a beacon of hope that will illuminate their path to recovery," said Saad Kurdi, International Fundraising and Events Supervisor from the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL).The Eid Al Adha campaign solidifies Bigo Live's reputation as a corporate leader in the live streaming industry, showcasing their dedication to creating memorable experiences for their users. By aligning their platform with compassion, kindness, and togetherness, Bigo Live establishes itself as more than just a technological platform—it becomes a community that values corporate social responsibility.

Sterve unveils next-gen AI-powered platform for personalized marketing

Sterve, a leading full stack platform for MSMEs in the region, proudly announces the launch of its revolutionary next-generation AI-powered platform for personalized marketing. The cutting-edge technology aims to transform the way businesses engage with their customers and deliver tailored marketing experiences like never before.In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, personalized marketing has become a crucial aspect of successful customer engagement. Sterve's new platform leverages advanced AI algorithms and machine learning capabilities to deliver highly targeted and individualized marketing communications. By harnessing the power of AI, MSMEs can now better understand customer preferences, behaviors etc, enabling them to send more relevant and impactful marketing communications.The innovative AI-powered platform by Sterve offers a range of powerful features designed to empower MSMEs. Key features include:Customer Segmentation: Utilizing AI algorithms, businesses can segment their customer base more effectively, ensuring that marketing communications reach the right audience at the right time.Personalized Content: The platform enables the creation of dynamic and personalized content, ensuring that each customer receives messaging tailored to their specific needs and interests.Real-time Insights: Through advanced analytics and data processing, businesses gain valuable real-time insights into customer behavior, allowing for immediate adjustments and optimization of marketing commuications.Speaking about the launch, Jaicky Kumar, Cofounder & CEO of Sterve, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "We are thrilled to introduce our next-gen AI-powered platform for personalized marketing. This cutting-edge solution will empower businesses to connect with their customers on a deeper level and drive better results through personalized engagement. By leveraging the power of AI, we are revolutionizing the way MSMEs send marketing communications, providing businesses with the tools they need to stay ahead in today's competitive landscape."Deepak Mishra, Cofounder & COO reemphasized company’s vision and said “The unveiling of Sterve's AI-powered platform coincides with World MSME Day, emphasizing the company's commitment to supporting and empowering small and medium enterprises. With the new platform, even businesses with limited resources can harness the capabilities of AI and enhance their marketing communications and increase their sales.”

Addressable TV now a $56bn industry

 A new report on the addressable TV market published today by Ampere Analysis in partnership with GroupM Nexus’s addressable TV solution Finecast and Microsoft Advertising, finds that the global addressable TV sector is now a $56bn industry. This is set to rise by over 50% to $87bn by 2027. The report, which was informed by over 100 interviews with advertisers, streamers and agencies – and supported by extensive bottom-up market modelling and quantitative consumer research – finds that: • An average of a sixth of advertisers’ video advertising budgets are currently being spent with addressable TV service providers. This is as high as a fifth in mature markets like the US, with all major industry categories represented among addressable TV advertisers. • Both B2B and B2C marketers are using addressable TV to support performance marketing and brand-building objectives, targeting specific audience segments or geographies. • Brands are using addressable TV to extend campaign reach beyond broadcast TV. This is key in younger groups for whom the aggregate reach of addressable TV services provides a nearly 25% incremental reach boost over total monthly broadcast TV reach in developed markets. • While both small and large brands are using addressable TV, smaller advertisers devote less of their marketing budget to addressable TV. Addressable TV service providers need to work to remove non-cost barriers to using the technology, simplifying the purchase and planning process to support uptake. • Addressable TV typically commands higher pricing, which is attractive for service providers, but there are also incentives for service providers to deploy addressable TV to support viewer satisfaction and retention. Viewers who believe their TV service offers relevant advertising rate their streaming service higher in terms of user satisfaction – with an average Net Promoter Score 16 points higher than those viewers who don’t feel they are receiving relevant commercials. “The exponential expansion of the addressable TV advertising market serves as a clear indicator of the immense prospects awaiting service providers and brands. This research illustrates the inherent potential of addressable TV as a powerful tool for targeted communication with previously hard-to-reach audience segments. The seamless integration of such capabilities with the storytelling possibilities and brand 2 Ampere Analysis 2023 © protection mechanisms inherent in broadcast TV is well demonstrated,” says Kristian Claxton, Managing Partner, Innovation and Strategy at Finecast. Countering misconceptions is key to further adoption Despite the rapid growth of the addressable TV market, interviews revealed an array of attitudes and opinions that could hold back future growth if not countered by the industry. In emerging markets, there was a lack of clarity about the capabilities of addressable TV. Some brands were unaware of the targeting capabilities addressable TV platforms offered in their region, leading them to spend with alternative media. And even in developed markets, where addressable TV technologies are more mature, some marketers were not aware of the reach of addressable TV services, believing it to still be limited compared to broadcast media. The report also found that among those advertisers not yet purchasing addressable TV there was a widespread perception that addressable TV services were expensive. This contrasts the belief of brands already purchasing via addressable who felt that addressable TV was just as cost-effective as other formats. Richard Broughton, Executive Director at Ampere Analysis, says: “The extent to which addressable TV advertising is now being used by non-traditional TV advertisers, including smaller companies and B2B brands, is illustrative of how the medium can support TV service providers in their push to reach beyond traditional broadcast TV budgets and to open entirely new revenue streams. But it’s clear that there is still work to 3 Ampere Analysis 2023 © Notes to Editors: Research was conducted by Ampere Analysis on behalf of GroupM Nexus and Microsoft Advertising. B2B interviews involved discussions with 100 representatives of agencies, brands and streamers, taking place between November 2022 and February 2023. B2C quantitative research involved interviews with 8,000 internet users across the US, UK, Germany and Australia, taking place in February 2023. Market sizing and forecasting was conducted independently by Ampere Analysis. Link to report: be done by the industry in challenging entrenched opinions and in countering common misconceptions.” New technologies and applications will drive market growth The report forecasts that as case studies filter through to the wider market, those advertisers who are still wary of the technology will begin their addressable TV journey, contributing to the sector growing to an $87bn industry by 2027. But the research also expects that, even for those media buyers who have already incorporated addressable TV into the media mix, there will be a host of new and emerging technologies and screens that will support future campaigns. Interviews revealed that connected cars have already debuted as an addressable TV channel in some markets, with some brands taking advantage of geotargeting opportunities to reach passengers with messaging. And some agencies and brands were thinking about how targeted QR code-based formats support a level of follow-through and sales attribution. The report also suggests that new technologies such as generative AI may begin to support the creative process in the next few years, helping to address the practical challenges associated with developing the multiple creatives required for dynamic or addressable creative campaigns. According to Dave Osborn, General Manager, Sales at Microsoft Advertising, “Addressable creatives already allow media buyers to adapt messaging by audience group and in response to events, keeping commercial messages fresh and relevant. However, many of the most exciting developments in the addressable TV market have yet to be fully explored by brands. As many advertisers now see addressable TV as a core part of their media mix, their focus will shift to take full advantage of the capabilities of addressable TV and innovations such as generative AI and emerging technologies.” announces Eid Sale with up to 75% off

Cairo:, the Middle East’s leading online shopping destination, announces its Eid Sale of 2023, live from the 28th of June until midnight on the 2nd of July. The sale event is packed with up to 75% off hundreds of thousands of items, exciting bank offers, and split payment solutions. Fashion offers on noon.comWith prices starting at 49 EGP, you can save up to 75% off fashion brands like American Eagle, DeFacto, and Adidas, as well as the latest eyewear and watches from brands like Fossil, Cassio, Tommy Hilfiger, and Boss. Get up to 70% off beauty and fragrance products from renowned brands like Maybelline, Braun, Calvin Klein, and CeraVe.Bank offers and zero interest installment plansCustomers can now apply for the noon-branded "CIB noon Credit Card," in collaboration with CIB and Visa, to improve their shopping experience through interest-free installments of up to 15 months and 5% off (up to 150 EGP) all purchases.Customers can use noon’s Buy Now, Pay Later options and benefit from 3 month split payments with no interest, purchase fees, or downpayment thanks to noon's partnership with Paynas, powered by valU. Shoppers using valU can benefit from 60 month installment options with zero downpayment or purchasing fees, and get 25% off unlimited Sketchers and Anta purchases. National Bank of Egypt cardholders can get up to 12 month interest-free monthly installments for their noon purchases.Electronics & home appliances deals on noon.comCustomers can save up to 35% on smartphones from brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, and Infinix, as well as up to 60% on electronics like TVs, laptops, and home appliances from well-known companies such as LG, Lenovo, Carrier, and Fresh, as well as coupons for up to 500 EGP off Samsung and LG TVs until 30th of June.Customers can get 10% off Neoflam, Nouval, and Trueval and up to 70% off kitchen and home necessities from brand favorites like Bosch, Grandi, Nouval, and Englander (from just 20 EGP). Bosch, Black & Decker, and Kenwood appliances come with a discount coupon worth up to 1500 EGP until 30th of June. Baby and toys deals on noon.comBaby brands like Molfix, Philips Avent, and Johnson's are available for up to 65% off (from just 20 EGP), and Bebem products are on sale for 400 EGP. Get 40 EGP off, Buy 3, Get 1 Free deals on Molfix and BabyJoy products, and up to 60% off toys from Bestway, Intex, and Nilco.Super saver grocery offersCustomers can also stock up on grocery essentials with up to 70% off from brands like Oxi, Papia, Lipton, and Crystal for as little as 18 EGP.noon Minutes’ crazy offers delivered in 15 minutesnoon Minutes is also offering massive discounts of up to 65% off. Various products are on offer from brands like Fresh, L'Oreal, Dettol, and Temry, starting from 15 EGP with speedy delivery in as little as 15 minutes.noon’s Eid Sale is live from June 28th until midnight on July 2nd, with super-speedy delivery and thousands of amazing deals across fashion, beauty, home, electronics, appliances, and toys ready to wow customers.

Gift purchases for men to increase by 25% in 2023, according to Flowwow

Dubai: Flowwow, a leading online gifting marketplace, has announced a growing trend in buying gifts for men in 2023. According to the company’s data, there will be a 25% increase in gift purchases for men compared to the previous year, when men were allotted only 3% of all gifts bought.The sales increase has been attributed to a number of factors:The expansion to new markets such as the MENA region and the UAE, specifically in February this year, where acts of gift-giving are a traditional part of the celebrationsFlowwow has introduced new more male-oriented product categories (confectionary, live plants, perfume, and coffee, to name just a few), which helped to attract more customersHigh demand for gifts on Father’s Day contributed to the overall increase in gift purchases for men‘Such a significant increase highlights that we’re moving in the right direction as it doesn’t only give us the growth of the number of men among the recipients but also provides small businesses with access to more orders and customers.’ — commented Slava Bogdan, Flowwow’s CEO & co-founder, adding: ‘We will keep supplying efficient tools for people to reach out to their loved ones, regardless of their location, whether it’s with the help of a flower shop in the UAE or a jewellery brand in Spain.’Flowwow offers a wide variety of gifts for men, including pastries, mini bonsai gardens, fruit and flower baskets, and gourmet coffee sets. The company’s website features a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for customers to find the perfect gift for any occasion.With the holiday season fast approaching, Flowwow expects to see continued growth in gift purchases for men and is committed to offering its customers high-quality products and exceptional service. ??

Etisalat by e&’s GoChat celebrates 5mln downloads

Dubai: etisalat by e& announced today that its Super App GoChat crossed 5 million downloads, achieving this major milestone in less than a year since its official launch, and has now taken a step further by introducing its own GPT-powered chatbot ‘GoChat GPT’.With the launch of GoChat GPT, consumers can easily access the latest technologies and revolutionise the way everyday tasks are carried out. This is an addition to the plethora of services provided by GoChat Messenger, including but not limited to gathering information, writing text, answering complex questions, or sparking innovative ideas. GoChat GPT will be more than just an assistant; it will be a partner in productivity and exploration. Moreover, GoChat users can now easily share their exchanges with GoChat GPT with their family and friends using GoChat’s chat and chat group functionalities.To launch GoChat GPT, etisalat by e& has leveraged cutting-edge Generative AI technology running on Microsoft’s Azure Open AI Service to enable subscribers to access the service conveniently and reliably, redefining the future of communications. GoChat GPT does not require users to sign in or sign up for the service and is easily accessible from the chat screen for customers to ask their questions.The popular messaging app, which only requires a mobile phone number to register, enables UAE residents to connect globally and offers a host of unique features that make it a comprehensive application tailored to the needs of UAE users.In addition to free HD video and voice calls, the Super App offers local and international money transfers, bill payments, games, the latest news, and much more. It is available for download worldwide on Android and iOS.With many easy-to-use features, GoChat Messenger offers a variety of 'Buy 1, Get 1 Free' offers, grocery ordering, and various insurance options with exclusive discounts. Users can also keep up to date with their favourite brands through GoChat channels and earn rewards by referring friends and family through the 'Invite and Earn' offer.For users looking for an extra touch of exclusivity, GoChat Messenger's VIP membership enhances their experience with unique benefits including VIP status, exclusive stickers, an ad-free environment, the ability to customise the app's home screen icon, and more.

Analog Room chooses SOCIATE Communications for PR services

Dubai: SOCIATE Communications is pleased to announce that Analog Room has joined its client roster.Analog Room is dedicated to maintaining a steadfast commitment to delivering electronic music of the utmost excellence. With unwavering focus, Analog Room consistently strives to showcase the finest calibre of electronic music to its audience. By prioritising the highest standards of quality, Analog Room aims to provide an exceptional experience for enthusiasts and connoisseurs of this genre. Whether through meticulously curated DJ sets, expertly crafted live performances, or cutting-edge sound production, Analog Room remains steadfast in its pursuit of excellence in electronic music.SOCIATE is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Analog Room and support their ongoing efforts to promote the eclectic night of electronic dance music.SOCIATE Communications is a full-service PR and communications firm, with a reputation for delivering results for its clients.

OPG’s founder and MD bags honorary award for ‘Excellence in PR & Marketing

Dubai: Nidal Abou Zaki, Founder and Managing Director of Orient Planet Group, a leading PR and marketing communications consultancy in the Middle East, was awarded an honorary recognition for ‘Excellence in PR & Marketing Communications’ at UAE'S MASTERMIND BUSINESS LEADERS AWARDS 2023.The event, which hosted 100 senior business leaders, diplomats, bestselling authors, influencers, media, and heads of corporates, was organised by AIWA global at the Crowne Plaza – Dubai Marina on June 24, 2023. Three awards were given for industry verticals such as UAE Business Leaders Awards 2023, UAE Authors Awards 2023 and UAE Coaching Leaders Awards 2023.Abou Zaki, commented: “It is an honour to be a recipient of this award, and I look forward to contributing more towards the development of the PR and Marketing Communications ecosystem in the region. This achievement would not have been possible without the unwavering dedication and exceptional talent of our incredible team at Orient Planet Group. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each and every member of our team for their relentless efforts and commitment towards our shared vision. This award serves as a testament to the collective achievements of Orient Planet Group, and I am truly humbled to be recognized amongst such remarkable industry leaders, diplomats, authors, influencers, and corporates. Together, we are shaping the future of PR and marketing in the Middle East.”The UAE'S MASTERMIND BUSINESS LEADERS AWARDS 2023 recognises and honours exceptional achievements of business leaders, authors, coaches and speakers across the UAE who have been transforming lives and inspiring actions.

Up to 75% discounts in UAE: Mega shopping fest kicks off in Sharjah

Dubai: Summer Promotions 2023 kicked off on Saturday, with discounts ranging from 25 per cent to 75 per cent on renowned international brands at shopping malls and stores across the emirate.Organised by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the 65-day shopping extravaganza also rewards shoppers spending Dh100 or more with a chance to win a wide range of prizes.The Sharjah Chamber has allocated vouchers worth over Dh100,000, as well as hotel packages, tourist packages, and a grand draw for a brand-new Nissan Patrol 2023.This year is the 20th anniversary of the Sharjah Summer Promotions. Under the slogan "Ya Hala Bsaifna in Sharjah" (Welcome Summer in Sharjah), Mohammed Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, SCCI director-general, noted: "Celebrating its milestone 20th anniversary, the event stands as one of the emirate's most significant commercial happenings. Retailers and shopping centers are eagerly participating to capitalise on the heightened spending trends during this season filled with enticing events, discounts, competitive prices, and prizes, as well as recreational activities catering to diverse age groups and visitors.”Abdulaziz Mohammed Shattaf, assistant director-general at SCCI’s Communication and Business Sector, added Sharjah Chamber strongly collaborates with its strategic partners from the public and private sectors to bolster the retail sector, drive economic growth, and encourage businesses both within and outside the emirate.”Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( The content of this article is syndicated or provided to this website from an external third party provider. We are not responsible for, and do not control, such external websites, entities, applications or media publishers. The body of the text is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither we nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this article.

Saudi Arabian Football Federation launches groundbreaking funding program

Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) today announced an unprecedented funding initiative and support system for women’s football clubs. This groundbreaking initiative is designed to further enhance the rapidly growing women’s football leagues and the wider sport in Saudi Arabia, ensuring its sustainability and development for years to come.With a clear vision to inspire and nurture future generations of female footballers, SAFF's funding program will provide vital financial assistance to the Saudi Premier League and Women's First Division clubs.To be eligible for this funding, clubs must have a SAFF membership and Nafes license* to actively participate in all women’s tournaments organized by the Federation. They must also meet the organizational and technical requirements issued by SAFF. Furthermore, clubs must demonstrate their financial adequacy and commitment to the financial efficiency system according to national standards. Under this ambitious program, SAFF will allocate 49.9 million SAR to women’s football programs across the country, supporting clubs and players to continue the impressive growth of the women’s game.Commenting on this occasion, Lamia Bahaian, the newly elected Vice President of SAFF, said: “Today’s announcement is another monumental step for SAFF in our unwavering dedication to developing and sustaining a thriving women’s football presence in the Kingdom. We aim to inspire young girls that a career in football is not only feasible for them but promising. Women and girls are central to everything we do in sport, ensuring that we provide equal access to facilities, opportunities, and careers both on and off the pitch. This is made possible thanks to the tremendous support received from SAFF's management.”She added: “A key motivation behind this program has stemmed from witnessing an incredible 30% growth in women’s football clubs and players across Saudi Arabia, not just the major cities, over the past year. The interest potential of women’s football is vast and we want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to support and sustain this growth.”The program sets four key goals for participating clubs:Enhance club governance and sustainability through improved structure and strategy, in addition to financial and operational monitoring.Expand competitions and diversify teams to include an U-17 team and women’s futsal senior team.Create job opportunities and develop the workforce by appointing Saudi female coaches within the technical staff, and recruiting women in the administrative, technical, and medical positions.Cultivate athletes to represent national teams by signing professional contracts with Saudi female players and nurturing their development from the grassroots level to the senior team.Mirroring much of the transformation happening across all areas in Saudi Arabia, the strong women’s football movement embodies SAFF’s long-term strategy andcommitment to grow interest and inspire participation at all levels of women’s football. The Kingdom has made unprecedented investments in grassroots initiatives, player development, coaching, refereeing, and competitions, fueling much of the progress seen today.In alignment with the Saudi Vision 2023, women's sports in the Kingdom have made remarkable progress, with over 190,000 females now actively participating in sports each week. Women's football, in particular, has witnessed substantial advancements, including the establishment of a dedicated women's football department in 2019, the creation of a national women's team, and the launch of the SAFF Women's Premier League.Today, the Premier and First Division leagues feature 30+ clubs and 600+ players representing over 20 nationalities, forming a diverse and united force on the pitch. On an amateur level, almost 50,000 schoolgirls took part in the inaugural schools’ league across 4,700 teams from all corners of Saudi Arabia.Off the pitch, over 49 female referees are officially registered and officiating league matches, with the first Saudi female referee – Anoud Al Asmari – breaking into FIFA’s prestigious licensed list. There are 1,080 additionally licensed coaches playing a significant role in nurturing young female talent across clubs, academies, schools, and training centers in different cities across the country.

Dubai Esports & Games Fest: Thrilling finale with immersive performances

Dubai: The Dubai Esports and Gaming Festival (DEF 2023) reached new heights of excitement and entertainment on its fourth day, leaving attendees in awe of the incredible experiences offered. As the festival entered its penultimate day, gamers and enthusiasts from around the world flocked to the South Hall 1 of the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City Dubai, for an unforgettable gaming extravaganza.Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Day 4 of DEF 2023 commenced with a mesmerizing performance by the Cosplay Idol Group on the main stage, showcasing their incredible talents and bringing beloved characters to life. Sumi Cosplay took the stage, captivating the audience with their stunning cosplay artistry and immersive performances. The passion and dedication exhibited by these talented cosplayers left spectators inspired and in awe.One of the highlights of the day was the highly anticipated Cosplay competition, where participants displayed their extraordinary creativity and craftsmanship, wowing the judges and onlookers alike. From intricate costumes to breathtaking performances, the cosplayers left a lasting impression, making it an exhilarating competition to remember.In addition to the Cosplay competition, Dubai Police hosted the FIFA 23 and Valorant Tournaments where skilled virtual footballers and FPS players showcased their talents in intense matches. The crowd was on their feet, cheering for their favorite players as they displayed exceptional skills and strategic gameplay with the conclusion of the Dominos Pro regional final.The Play Beyond tournament took center stage on the Mainstage, featuring a clash of gaming titans from around the world. Influencers from both the Regional Team and the International Teams battled it out across multiple genres, showcasing mind-blowing gameplay, awe-inspiring skills, and epic moments that left spectators in awe. Such as the beloved influencer MiniMinter (Instagram: @miniminter), who added an extra layer of excitement to the event, in addition to Grant (Instagram: @granthinds), the gaming superstar Demisux (Instagram: @demisux) and gaming tournament expert Granthinds (Instagram: @granthinds). Also AboFlah (Instagram: @aboflah) was there from the Regional Team alongside Saeed Wolf (Instagram: @saeed.wolf), Bashayer (Instagram:, an influential figure in the gaming community known for her impressive gaming skills, and Basharkk (Instagram: @basharkk) where fans will also have a chance to see them on the final day of the festival.From intense matches in games like Fall Guys, Fortnite, Rocket League, FIFA 23 with finals for Overcooked, Street Fighter 6, and Call of Duty today. The influencers left no stone unturned in their quest for the coveted Play Beyond Trophy.As the Play Beyond tournament unfolded on the main stage, attendees were immersed in a world of intense competition, surprises, mid-game challenges, and stoppage time. The energy in the Gaming Theatre, in association with VOX Cinemas, was electric, creating a thrilling and unforgettable experience for all.With only one day remaining, Dubai Esports and Gaming Festival promises an epic finale on 25 June, where attendees can continue to immerse themselves in the world of gaming, experience captivating tournaments including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and the finals of

UAE students use AI to design immersive game ideas

Abu Dhabi: Repton Al Barsha, part of Excella, a leading operator of high-performing K-12 schools, hosted the largest iteration of its annual Creativity Festival on Wednesday, 31 May 2023. 108 students from Years 3 to Year 6 across nine participating schools in the UAE demonstrated innovative gaming ideas, showcasing how technology is changing the world.In its fourth edition, the annual Creativity Festival was a resounding success as schools across the UAE celebrated students’ creative flare and passion for innovation. Participating schools included Repton Al Barsha, Horizon English School, Hartland International School Dubai, Kings School Al Barsha, Safa British School, Dubai English Speaking College, Bloom World Academy, Repton Dubai, and Repton Abu Dhabi.Under the theme AI Game Pitch Challenge, students were tasked with creating engaging and creative pitches for unique game ideas using generative AI tools such as Picsart, Songen, Revoice, Keynote, Pages and Clips. Students honed their skills, including creativity, problem solving, teamwork and communication, while learning about the exciting and endless possibilities of generative AI tools.Gillian Hammond, Principal of Repton Al Barsha said, “As a proud Apple Distinguished School, we aim to provide excellent educational journeys that offer personalised and experiential learning outcomes for each student, and we are committed to encouraging student curiosity in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment. Our innovators of the future creatively showcased their ground-breaking ideas on how technology and innovation is changing the world in which we live.”Repton Al Barsha teachers also hosted multiple workshops throughout the day where students explored various aspects of the design process, including pitching narrative, art, drama and music. In the AI workshop, students explored how to use AI tools to develop game ideas as well as experiment with new tools and technologies that are rapidly integrating into everyday life.Students participated in groups of four and recorded their innovative pitches showcasing their creations. These were then submitted digitally for judges in the industry to review and score.Winners Category List:Overall Best Winning Pitch: Repton Al BarshaBest music: Hartland International SchoolBest drama: Repton School DubaiBest art: Kings School Al BarshaJudges on the day included serial entrepreneur and founder of the world’s fastest growing Edtech application – School Hack.AI, Mr Muhammad Khalid. Dr Jihan Zahran also joined the judging panel; as an educational specialist for Middle East Data Systems UAE, she brings over 20 years of experience as an educational and innovation expert in the field of technology. Anand Ramachandran, Co-Founder of Bigfatphoenix Interactive also engaged in the festival as part of the judging panel, celebrating the students’ creative pitches and shared his expertise on game development concepts.As an Apple Distinguished School, Repton Al Barsha is committed to engaging with the community of learners across the country and offers nurturing and holistic educational pathways. The Repton Family of Schools in the UAE provides students with a supportive environment to develop confident and resilient students who are well equipped for life after Repton.

SRMG and Billboard launch Billboard Arabia to celebrate Arab artists

Riyadh: SRMG, the largest integrated media group from the MENA region, and Billboard, the world's most influential music media brand, have partnered to launch Billboard Arabia. The newly launched platform is dedicated to celebrating artists with Arab roots by spotlighting their music and promoting personal stories on a global stage.SRMG media group and Billboard have partnered to launch Billboard ArabiaBillboard ArabiaBillboard Arabia will be the premier global destination for artists with Arab roots – bringing the latest releases, reviews and interviews from the biggest names, exclusive coverage of regional and global events, original photography, and special video content together in one centralized location. Billboard Arabia will launch several charts over the next year, utilizing data from the top digital streaming platforms such as Spotify, Anghami, YouTube and others to highlight the artists and songs driving the global and regional music industry.Billboard Arabia celebrates and amplifies the work of Arab artists for a global audience by republishing content across Billboard's digital products. It will also host the Billboard Arabia Music Awards, as well as live concerts, activations, and regional and international events to celebrate all music genres and the artists that are inspiring innovation in the industry.Since its founding almost 130 years ago, Billboard has transformed the music industry. Through its platforms, Billboard has created a passionate and deeply engaged audience, celebrating popular culture and bringing people together around the world. Billboard Arabia will bring that same passion for music to cover the stories, experiences and cultures from the MENA region.According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, MENA is the fastest growing music region in the world. In 2022 alone, a handful of rising Arab artists garnered more than one billion streams, demonstrating the significant potential of the music market in the MENA region."The music scene in the MENA region is rapidly transforming. However, there is currently no dedicated platform to spotlight and tell the stories of the Arab artists leading innovation in the global music industry. Our partnership with Billboard will help fill that void in the market." said Jomana R. Al-Rashid, CEO of SRMG. "Billboard Arabia is more than just a digital platform. It will be the premier destination to celebrate the Arab music community and empower the business of music through data-driven charts, live concerts and awards. Our vision at SRMG is to ensure that creators and audiences have increased access to high-quality, original content and impactful experiences.""We are excited to join forces with SRMG to launch Billboard Arabia," said Mike Van, President of Billboard. "Billboard has a strong legacy of recognizing and amplifying artists across genres, languages, and cultures with a mission to share the power of music with new fans everywhere. SRMG's reach and access in the region coupled with our experience will ensure artists with Arab roots are heard around the world."Billboard Arabia was announced today from the SRMG Beach at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. As part of the announcement of Billboard Arabia, several artists from MENA are joining SRMG in Cannes to celebrate the diversity of sounds from the region. This includes performances from Elyanna, Felukah, Kouz1, DJ Outlaw, Jeed, Moayad Al Nefaie, Flipperachi, Meshaal, and DJ Rodge.Billboard Arabia is now live across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Be sure to check out Billboard Arabia's engaging content about Arab artists.

Apparel Group continues expansion: Skechers strengthens GCC footprint

Apparel Group, a global fashion and lifestyle retail conglomerate, is driving the rapid expansion of its renowned brand, Skechers, across the GCC region. This strategic move is a testament to the strong growth potential of the Middle East retail sector and underlines the Group’s commitment to enhancing its footprint within this dynamic market.Skechers, a global leader in lifestyle and performance footwear, is set to significantly bolster its presence in the region. With the unveiling of several new stores, it's poised to bring its stylish and versatile range of footwear and accessories to an even broader audience.Mr. Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, expressed his strategic vision regarding the expansion: "In line with our commitment to elevating customer experiences, we are strategically amplifying Skechers' presence in the GCC. We are investing in key markets that offer robust growth opportunities. This aggressive expansion represents our confidence in the brand, our innovative product range, and the resilience of the GCC's retail sector."The first store in the series was launched at Al Khiran, Kuwait on 30th May 2023. This expansive concept store, covering 2588 sq. ft., offers a comprehensive range of Skechers' products, including footwear, apparel, and accessories.This was followed by the inauguration of Skechers at Najran Park Mall in Najran, Saudi Arabia on 8th June 2023, offering an exclusive selection of footwear and accessories.The strategic expansion of Skechers also stretches across Bahrain and Oman. A new store is scheduled to launch at Enma Mall, Bahrain in June 2023, delivering an exclusive range of Skechers' much sought-after footwear and accessories. Further, an opening is set at Salalah Grand Mall, Oman in June 2023, where customers can look forward to a curated selection of Skechers footwear and accessories.Under the successful leadership of Apparel Group, the expansion initiative underscores Skechers' ongoing mission to solidify its reputation as a popular and accessible brand in the GCC region. The new store launches reflect the Group's unwavering commitment to delivering high-quality products to its discerning customers.

Dubai Esports & Games Fest: Thrilling finale with immersive performances

The Dubai Esports and Gaming Festival (DEF 2023) reached new heights of excitement and entertainment on its fourth day, leaving attendees in awe of the incredible experiences offered. As the festival entered its penultimate day, gamers and enthusiasts from around the world flocked to the South Hall 1 of the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City Dubai, for an unforgettable gaming extravaganza.Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Day 4 of DEF 2023 commenced with a mesmerizing performance by the Cosplay Idol Group on the main stage, showcasing their incredible talents and bringing beloved characters to life. Sumi Cosplay took the stage, captivating the audience with their stunning cosplay artistry and immersive performances. The passion and dedication exhibited by these talented cosplayers left spectators inspired and in awe.One of the highlights of the day was the highly anticipated Cosplay competition, where participants displayed their extraordinary creativity and craftsmanship, wowing the judges and onlookers alike. From intricate costumes to breathtaking performances, the cosplayers left a lasting impression, making it an exhilarating competition to remember.In addition to the Cosplay competition, Dubai Police hosted the FIFA 23 and Valorant Tournaments where skilled virtual footballers and FPS players showcased their talents in intense matches. The crowd was on their feet, cheering for their favorite players as they displayed exceptional skills and strategic gameplay with the conclusion of the Dominos Pro regional final.The Play Beyond tournament took center stage on the Mainstage, featuring a clash of gaming titans from around the world. Influencers from both the Regional Team and the International Teams battled it out across multiple genres, showcasing mind-blowing gameplay, awe-inspiring skills, and epic moments that left spectators in awe. Such as the beloved influencer MiniMinter (Instagram: @miniminter), who added an extra layer of excitement to the event, in addition to Grant (Instagram: @granthinds), the gaming superstar Demisux (Instagram: @demisux) and gaming tournament expert Granthinds (Instagram: @granthinds). Also AboFlah (Instagram: @aboflah) was there from the Regional Team alongside Saeed Wolf (Instagram: @saeed.wolf), Bashayer (Instagram:, an influential figure in the gaming community known for her impressive gaming skills, and Basharkk (Instagram: @basharkk) where fans will also have a chance to see them on the final day of the festival.From intense matches in games like Fall Guys, Fortnite, Rocket League, FIFA 23 with finals for Overcooked, Street Fighter 6, and Call of Duty today. The influencers left no stone unturned in their quest for the coveted Play Beyond Trophy.As the Play Beyond tournament unfolded on the main stage, attendees were immersed in a world of intense competition, surprises, mid-game challenges, and stoppage time. The energy in the Gaming Theatre, in association with VOX Cinemas, was electric, creating a thrilling and unforgettable experience for all.With only one day remaining, Dubai Esports and Gaming Festival promises an epic finale on 25 June, where attendees can continue to immerse themselves in the world of gaming, experience captivating tournaments including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and the finals of Play Beyond, and discover even more thrilling activations.

Eutelsat partners with Du to expand DTH coverage in MENA

Dubai: Satellite operator Eutelsat has partnered with multiplay telco du to enhance its direct-to-home satellite services in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Through this partnership, du is expanding its capacity at the 7/8° West orbital position, allowing its media clients to seamlessly deliver high-definition content to viewers, offering them an optimized user experience.The 7/8° West orbital position covers a vast majority of TV households in the MENA region, making it the region's most extensive exclusive coverage area. It is highly regarded by audiences due to its exceptional line-up of approximately 900 TV channels available at this location. This new collaboration between Eutelsat and du empowers du to elevate content delivery for its customers throughout MENA, providing increased capacity and an outstanding end-user experience. As a result, du is better equipped to cater to customers broadcasting TV channels in standard as well as high definition.Karim Benkirane, Chief Commercial Officer at du, said that the company is continually expanding and enhancing its services and products portfolio to serve the growing demands of broadcasters and content providers. “Increasing our satellite capacity on the 7/8 W orbital position enables our customers to reach more end users across the region and deliver more HD and SD services. We are dedicated to providing reliable, high quality delivery every time, no matter which device, platform or technology is being used. We are very pleased to be working with Eutelsat to boost our capacity and offer unparalleled reach, flexibility and availability for our customers, making it simple for broadcasters and content owners to succeed,” he said. “du’s satellite services are a critical component of Eutelsat’s offering for audiences in the Middle East and North Africa and demonstrates our commitment to connecting customers and end-users across the region. We work with world-class satellite provider partners to deliver state-of-the-art broadcast services via the region’s largest teleport. Our world-leading satellite and terrestrial infrastructure offers unparalleled reach, flexibility and availability for our customers and helps us to address markets where demand for high-definition services is growing,” said Mahmoud El Danaf, Eutelsat VP for MENA Sales Region.

BeIN Sports set for scintillating summer of women’s sport

Doha – beIN MEDIA GROUP (‘beIN’), one of the foremost broadcast networks in the world, and its flagship sports channels beIN SPORTS, are set for an exciting summer of elite sports as the world’s best female athletes take centre stage during a host of international competitions, including the 2023 Wimbledon Championships and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM, which will be broadcast exclusively across 24 MENA countriesThrough its beINSPIRED initiative, beIN is committed to elevating the profile of under-represented sports globally and recognise the value that all sports, and women’s sport in particular, play in the international sports eco-system. That means as well as football and tennis, this summer will also see beIN broadcasting women’s basketball, cricket, and cycling, among others.Set to serve up a sporting feast from 3 July, beIN SPORTS will start its summer’s coverage from the world’s oldest tennis championship, Wimbledon. The highly anticipated tournament will see Iga Swiatek, the Polish World No1 and four-time Grand Slam winner, continues her hunt for a maiden title at the All-England Club, while Elena Rybakina will defend her crown for the first time. Ons Jabeur, the Arab World’s first Grand Slam finalist, a four-time winner on the WTA Tour, and defeated Wimbledon finalist last year will be hopeful of taking that one last step on a surface that favours her game.Meanwhile, with nearly two million viewers tuning in to watch Barcelona win this year’s UEFA Women’s Champion League, the increase in interest and popularity of the women’s game across the region is clear. Next month will see beIN SPORTS broadcast the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM, which kicks off on 20 July and will run for a month.Subscribers can watch all 64 matches live and exclusive across beIN’s various platforms, providing ample opportunities to catch one of the game’s most decorated players in Alex Morgan. The two-time World Cup winner, Olympic gold medallist, and UEFA Women’s Champions League winner, will lead the charge as the United States seek a third successive title, while among those likely to stand in the way are Spain and their two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putella. Meanwhile, Morocco are preparing for the World Cup, in what will be their maiden appearance at the event. They became the first Arab team ever to qualify after their Women’s Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals victory over Botswana.Mohammed Al-Bader, Managing Director of MENA Channels at beIN, said: “As beIN continues its unwavering dedication to champion women's sports worldwide, we are thrilled to illuminate the extraordinary achievements of female athletes across the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond. Through our beINSPIRED initiative, we strive to amplify the recognition of sports and athletes that have long been underrepresented, ultimately emphasising the vital role women play in the global sports industry. Whether it is Wimbledon and the FIFA World Cup or the exhilarating Tour de France Femmes and FIBA Women's basketball tournaments, we are honoured to showcase this unparalleled talent, inspiring dreams and creating new heroes for all to admire. Our expanded coverage will do all these events justice.”beIN SPORTS will broadcast the premier women’s cycling showcase, Tour de France Femmes, between 20 – 30 July, while the FIBA Women’s Americup 2023, FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2023, and FIBA Women’s U19 World Cup 2023 will be showcased on beIN SPORTS across the MENA region. beIN SPORTS will also broadcast ECB women’s cricket as England take on Australia in both the T20 and ODI format throughout July, while the BNL Italy Major Premier Padel and Madrid Premier Padel P1 run from 10-16 and 17-23 July respectively.

Du launches cyberbullying awareness campaign aimed at schools

Dubai: du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), today announced a campaign in collaboration with Beat the Cyber Bully to educate UAE students about the risks of cyberbullying and the importance of its prevention. The campaign will involve visiting private and public schools across the UAE and conducting engaging workshops tailored to different age groups, ensuring a comprehensive approach to raising awareness.Adel Al Raees, Head of Corporate Communication at du said: "We are honoured to spearhead this vital campaign to combat cyberbullying and raise awareness among students and educate the parents. As a responsible digital telco, we firmly believe it is our duty to ensure that young people have a safe and positive online experience. This initiative aims to empower students to take a stand against cyberbullying, fostering a culture of respect, empathy, and responsibility in the digital world."The workshops will equip students with the essential knowledge and tools to identify, report, and prevent cyberbullying, while simultaneously promoting a secure and inclusive online environment. The campaign addresses the growing concern over the prevalence of cyberbullying and its detrimental impact on young people in today's increasingly digital age.In addition to the school visits, the campaign will also incorporate an SMS campaign and informative content on du’s social media platforms to raise public awareness. It will initiate competitions with prizes to further engage the community, and informative sessions specifically designed for parents to help them effectively understand and address cyberbullying. du has also partnered with UNICEF as part of its unwavering commitment to promoting online safety for children, reinforcing the significance of this initiative.The cyberbullying campaign by du is currently ongoing till the end of the semester, with plans to conduct informative workshops to educate students and parents to spread awareness across various schools in the UAE. The company is devoted to making a positive impact on the lives of young people and cultivating a more secure and inclusive digital space for all.

Dubai Festival City Mall introduces a new VOX Cinemas multiplex

Dubai: Dubai Festival City Mall, part of Al-Futtaim Malls, is proud to announce the upcoming opening of its latest entertainment attraction, a cutting-edge multiplex operated by VOX Cinemas, the dedicated cinema arm of Majid Al Futtaim.Film enthusiasts can enjoy the latest blockbusters at VOX Cinemas at Dubai Festival City Mall, which boasts modern auditoriums with cutting-edge audio-visual technology. To complement the moviegoing experience, VOX Cinemas has a dedicated Candy Corner serving its delicious signature popcorn, which is available in seven unique flavours, a selection of candy bars, along with other mouth-watering treats like burgers, hot dogs, pizzas and nachos.VOX Cinemas at Dubai Festival City will introduce its signature concepts later in the year including GOLD, a luxury experience which seamlessly blends gourmet dining with film.Commenting on the announcement, Hayssam Hajjar, General Manager of Al-Futtaim Malls – UAE, said: “We are delighted to join forces with the Middle East's top cinema exhibitor, VOX Cinemas, in launching this state-of-the-art multiplex at Dubai Festival City Mall. This achievement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to delivering exceptional experiences to our visitors while reinforcing our position as a leading shopping, dining and entertainment destination in the region." Mohamed Al Hashemi, Country Head – UAE and Oman, Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment added, “The mall is no longer just a shopping destination. It is a social hub for family and friends, and today’s consumers expect a strong leisure and entertainment offering that they can’t get at home. VOX Cinemas is proud to partner with Al-Futtaim Malls to offer guests an innovative and customer-focused cinema experience, which features the latest cinematic technology and a range of signature concepts to appeal to our diverse audiences.” With over 600 cinema screens in the Middle East, VOX Cinemas is the largest cinema exhibitor in the region. The newest addition at Dubai Festival City Mall is the brand's 22nd cinema in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi Chamber appoints Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi as CEO

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (ADCCI) Board of Directors has appointed Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), bolstering the chamber’s senior management team and its strategic mission of empowering businesses and enabling the business community to reach its full potential.By employing his long experience in driving business transformation, Al Qubaisi's primary focus will be to establish a resilient and interconnected business community to realise the objectives of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. He will play a pivotal role in supporting the Abu Dhabi Chamber in achieving its vision of strengthening the business community and positioning Abu Dhabi as the preferred choice for businesses and talent in the MENA region by 2025.With more than two decades of experience in business, investment, and strategy, Al Qubaisi brings a wealth of expertise, complemented by an extensive network of stakeholders and regulatory bodies. Prior to joining ADCCI, he held executive leadership positions in finance and investment at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and was a fundamental member of the company’s leadership team. Additionally, Al Qubaisi has garnered international experience through his tenure with British Petroleum (BP) and Ernst & Young (EY).His Excellency Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman of ADCCI, said: “We are delighted to announce Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi as the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer. Al Qubaisi will play a key role in strengthening the business community and contributing to the growth of Abu Dhabi’s economy by forging partnerships and fostering engagement with the business community. His appointment is a testament to the chamber’s keenness to attract the highest levels of competencies, who are able to realise the visions of our wise leadership in promoting the emirate of Abu Dhabi as the go-to destination for businesses and a highly regarded business hub on the world competitiveness map.“This strategic decision comes in line with the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s new three-year strategy 2023-2025 in cementing the chamber’s position as the voice of the private sector and enhancing its role as a policy advocator, a networker, and a service provider.“On this occasion, we would also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our former Director-General, Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri for his exceptional contribution over the years, which played a key role in driving our success. Al Mheiri was an exceptional leader and an inspirational figure to everyone who has worked with the chamber. With his steadfast dedication, Al Mheiri played a key role in shaping the chamber’s journey of success and realising several achievements and progress. Under his leadership, the Chamber launched successful projects and leading initiatives centred on excellence.”Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of ADCCI, said: “I am honoured to be appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, this economic monument that enjoys a prestigious place within the business community locally and internationally, and look forward to building upon the chamber’s strong foundations to support and empower the business community. Through working hand-in-hand with the chamber’s highly qualified and skilled team, I am confident that together we can unlock the full potential of businesses, and drive sustainable economic development and growth in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.”Al Qubaisi is a Certified Corporate Director from Harvard Business School (HBS). He served as a board member for Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, ADNOC Distribution and ADNOC Refining, while also chairing multiple executive committees, audit committees and finance committees. Al Qubaisi holds a Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) degree from INSEAD Business School. Additionally, he has completed Senior Executive Leadership Program from Harvard Business School, and earned executive leadership and management certificates from University of Oxford and IMD Business School.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy expands collaborations at GITEX Africa

Dubai – Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has participated in GITEX Africa to engage with startups, incubators, and accelerators seeking to collaborate with the emirate to access global markets.As part of its participation in the exhibition, the chamber held more than 50 meetings with digital startups, multinational companies, and other businesses interested in benefiting from the emirate's advanced digital economy ecosystem and establishing their presence in Dubai.Saeed Al Gergawi, Vice President of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, delivered a keynote speech during the event about the benefits of setting up a business in Dubai and the role of the chamber in enhancing the emirate’s digital economy. Al Gergawi also contributed to an insightful panel discussion on key strategies to build a robust and resilient startup ecosystem that supports sustainable economic growth.The chamber’s participation in GITEX Africa supported its goals of attracting high-potential tech companies, international businesses, and investments to the emirate and provided a platform to promote the upcoming Expand North Star event, which will be hosted in Dubai this October.   Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy aims to position the emirate as one of the world’s most agile and diversified technology-enabled digital hubs. The chamber plays an instrumental role in cementing Dubai’s digital leadership by attracting top global companies and talent within the sector and ensuring they can thrive in the emirate.Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy consistently works to amplify the success of Dubai’s digital ecosystem through various initiatives designed to attract startups and unicorns to the emirate. The launch of the Expand North Star Summit, an international event aimed at showcasing Dubai’s competitive advantages to digital companies while connecting venture capital investors with Dubai’s digital leaders, further builds on this success.The GITEX Africa exhibition was the first GITEX event to be held outside Dubai. Hosted in Morocco, the African continent’s largest all-inclusive tech event connected leading global tech companies, governments, SMEs, start-ups, coders, investors, and academia, to accelerate, collaborate, and explore new opportunities.Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, aims to strengthen Dubai’s position as a global leader in digital economy, attract specialised talent, leading companies and new investments and create a stimulating environment that supports the growth of digital companies. The Chamber was established by a decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Emirates becomes Etoile Sportive du Sahel Sponsor

Dubai: Emirates, the world’s largest airline and Etoile Sportive du Sahel, one of the most decorated football and basketball sports clubs in Tunisia, have signed a new sponsorship deal, which will see Emirates become the official airline sponsor of the Club, starting from the 2023-24 season.The agreement underscores Emirates’ ongoing commitment to growing the sport of football and connecting to a new base of fans in North Africa. In addition to football, Emirates will also be supporting the main indoor sporting teams which includes basketball, volleyball and handball. Emirates branding will be prominently placed on the Etoile Sportive du Sahel Club’s first team jerseys, training kits, as well as all indoor sports kits from the start of the 2023-2024 season.Emirates will also enjoy a wide-range of other benefits including: advertising and branding rights in the club’s stadium and indoor sports facilities, digital and social media activation rights, hospitality, meet and greet access to the athletes; and prominent visibility across the Sousse Olympic Stadium and training ground and indoor sports arena.Speaking on the partnership, Mr. Badr Abbas, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa, Emirates, said, “We are pleased to partner with Etoile Sportive du Sahel, a football powerhouse in Africa, and a formidable force in international basketball. Amplifying our brand message on jerseys across their different sports divisions will help to create more meaningful connections with sports fan bases in Tunis and across Africa. Our partnership with Etoile du Sahel is also a testament of our support and long-standing involvement with football and we’re also keen to connect with fans of indoor sports including basketball, volleyball and handball that are fast gaining popularity in Tunisia. Etoile du Sahel has great local and regional appeal, and as a brand, we’re proud to bring together ardent fans and teams, expand the reach of the club, while nurturing upcoming talent.”Mr. M Othman JENAYAH, Etoile du Sahel said, “As the president of Etoile Sportive du Sahel, I am happy to announce this great partnership with Emirates. This collaboration signifies our shared passion for the beautiful game and our mutual dedication to fostering the growth of football in Tunisia and beyond.We are proud to have the world’s largest airline, Emirates as the official sponsor of Etoile Sportive du Sahel. This partnership marks a momentous milestone in our club's history, as we proudly display the renowned Emirates brand on our jerseys. We are excited to join forces with a global company that shares our commitment to excellence, both on and off the field.Emirates' support and recognition of Etoile Sportive du Sahel is a testament to our club's remarkable legacy and this partnership not only strengthens our position as a prominent force in African football but also amplifies our visibility on an international scale.”Etoile du Sahel is one of the most glorious and multisport Tunisian club, known primarily by its football, basketball, handball and volleyball teams. L’Etoile stands for its worldwide performances and has won several championships, cups and super cups at the national, African and Arab level.Having won more CAF trophies than any other Tunisian team, the club has been crowned the top title of CAF Champions League, has earned 2 CAF Super Cup titles, 4 CAF Confederation Cup titles and 2 African Winners' Cup.It has been listed as one of the most valuable football clubs in Africa and one of the most widely supported teams in the continent.Emirates’ sponsorship portfolio is made of top sporting clubs, tournaments and high profile cultural events worldwide, and it remains committed to supporting sports, entertainment, music, culture and arts initiatives in the communities it serves. The airline supports an impressive roster of high profile football clubs and events including Arsenal FC, Olympique Lyonnais, Real Madrid FC, AC Milan, Olympiacos FC, S.L Benfica, The Emirates FA Cup, and the Asian Football Confederation.Emirates’ involvement in basketball began more than 32 years ago, when it partnered with the UAE Basketball Association as Sponsor and Official Airline, benefitting from multifaceted branding and marketing rights across its events. The airline has also sponsored the Dubai International Basketball Championship for 28 years, in addition to helping bring the FIBA World Championship to the UAE. Basketball teams sponsored by Emirates, both men’s and women’s divisions, have won the International Basketball Championship multiple times. Emirates has sponsored the Lebanese Basketball League and top division teams through its support of the Beirut Basketb

PRCA MENA unites PR industry leaders at exclusive leaders' breakfast in Dubai

Dubai: PRCA MENA, the professional body for PR and communications practitioners in the Middle East and North Africa, organised a Leaders’ Breakfast which brought together industry leaders and top-level executives for a morning of insightful discussions and valuable networking opportunities.This occasion took place at Fouquet’s in Downtown, Dubai, gathering over 20 esteemed members representing various agencies and organisations within the PR industry. PRCA MENA Leaders’ Breakfast serves as a platform for influential leaders to connect, exchange ideas, and gain valuable insights into the latest trends and developments shaping the PR landscape.Alnura Belyalova, Director of Public Relations, Luna PR, said, “The PRCA MENA Leaders Breakfast is a great place for networking. It helps to reconnect with industry peers and make new invaluable connections. I look forward to the great collaborations that lie ahead.”Petra B Spanko, Regional Director at Katch International, added, “Attending my first Leaders Breakfast with PRCA MENA was a remarkable experience. The event had a fantastic crowd, and I thoroughly enjoyed engaging in valuable discussions with industry peers. It was a great opportunity to exchange insights and perspectives, further strengthening my professional network. I look forward to future events and continued collaboration within the PRCA MENA community.”John Rynehart, Managing Director at Seven Media, commented "It was a pleasure to be part of this exclusive event. The opportunity to engage with industry peers and share experiences was invaluable.”Ahmad Itani, CEO at C&B and PRCA MENA Chair of the Board, shared his appreciation for the event, saying, "The PRCA MENA Leaders Breakfast was an excellent opportunity to engage with the industry’s thought leaders in an intimate setting. The discussions and networking opportunities provided valuable insights and opened doors to potential collaborations.”Monika Fourneaux, Head of PRCA EMEA, emphasised the importance of the event, stating, "The PRCA MENA Leaders Breakfast is a remarkable assembly of C-level executives in the PR industry. We take pride in providing a platform for industry leaders to connect, exchange insights, and establish valuable relationships. The event exemplifies PRCA MENA's dedication to advancing the PR profession in the region."PRCA MENA remains committed to organising events that facilitate networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among PR professionals across the region. By providing exclusive platforms for industry leaders, PRCA MENA continues to elevate the standards of the PR profession and drive its growth and success in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Saudi Arabia claims first-ever Grand Prix at Cannes Lions Festival

Riyadh: In a remarkable feat, Saudi Arabia has achieved its inaugural Grand Prix victory at the esteemed Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.Wunderman Thompson Riyadh emerged triumphant, securing the Grand Prix in Creative Commerce for their groundbreaking 'Subconscious Order' campaign executed for HungerStation.Rayyan Aoun, Executive Creative Director of Wunderman Thompson KSA, expressed his enthusiasm, describing this achievement as a pivotal milestone for Saudi Arabia.Aoun further emphasized the historic significance of this triumph, highlighting that it marks the first time a campaign from the Kingdom has ever clinched the prestigious Grand Prix, a globally recognized accolade for creative excellence.Through a collaborative effort with Wunderman Thompson's global creative data team, the campaign ingeniously combines consumer insights and cutting-edge technology to deliver an enhanced consumer experience.The 'Subconscious Order' app, designed to tap into users' subconscious minds by tracking their eye movements, assists them in deciding the type of food they desire most at any given moment.The underlying objective of the campaign, as described by Wunderman Thompson, is to alleviate the frustrations associated with decision fatigue that consumers often encounter when choosing their meals.Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, Jury President of the Creative Commerce Lions, commended the campaign's transformative approach, remarking how it transcends the transactional realm to evoke emotional connections. Furthermore, the campaign successfully addresses the challenge of choice overload, thereby facilitating the discovery of new food options and places to order from.Crimi-Lamanna further noted the importance for brands to provide substantial value in exchange for individuals sharing their facial data, and she commended 'Subconscious Order' for accomplishing this feat admirably. She lauded the campaign as a remarkable example of leveraging AI in commerce, demonstrating a bold and courageous endeavor to redefine the user experience.

Dubai upskills 170+ government employees in generative AI

Dubai: More than 170 government employees in Dubai have been trained to use generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools in their work, as part of a course held by the Dubai Future Academy, an initiative of the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF).The course was held following a recent announcement by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation, launching the Dubai Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DCAI). The centre was launched with the aim of making Dubai’s government the best in the world in employing AI in its operations.The intensive course introduced participants to some of the best and most innovative generative AI tools currently available, as well as the areas in which advanced technology applications can enhance the performance of government agencies and the quality of their services.Abdulaziz AlJaziri, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer of DFF, said: “This course provided an opportunity for some of our brightest national talents working within government to learn about various global practices and success stories in AI. They also learnt about many recent trends and innovations in AI that will shape, advance and support government work in the future.”AlJaziri said: "This initiative supports the objectives of the Dubai Centre for Artificial Intelligence by empowering government employees with the latest skills and expertise to develop effective uses of AI. This will help teams to enhance the performance of the government sector, making Dubai and its government the best in the world in this field."Harnessing AI for goodThe course focused on 7 main pillars covering the basics of generative AI, the most important current applications and successful use cases, as well as how to take advantage of AI tools such as ChatGPT in decision-making, establishing new companies, enhancing economic competitiveness, and developing creative sectors. The course also emphasised the need to expedite legislation and policies to match the rapid technological strides being made across multiple sectors.Dubai: a global centre for AIThe experts leading the course highlighted that Dubai possesses all the essential elements to emerge as a significant global hub for adopting and fostering AI applications within government. This potential is partially attributed to its visionary approach, which emphasizes preparedness for the swift global changes we are currently experiencing.Instant engineering and AI legislationVivek Pandey, Generative Artificial Intelligence Product Manager at Meta, presented a special session during the day-long course. He focused on defining the concept of real-time engineering and the need to develop regulatory legislation and policies for AI usage to ensure the highest levels of efficiency, privacy and data protection.Vivek Pandey, said: “Much like computer literacy was the key to productivity a few decades ago, I firmly believe that the workforce of the future will be differentiated by those who can work with AI and those who cannot. The Dubai Future Foundation’s class provided an excellent head-start towards this future and a solid foundation to build upon about the opportunities, development processes, and uses of Generative AI. It was an absolute pleasure to engage with a talented, curious, and enthusiastic audience, and I am grateful for the experience.”Dr. Ahmed Alali, Co-Founder of DeepOpinion AI, a tech startup pioneering intelligent automation, said: “Generative AI is a breakthrough in modern technology that makes AI more accessible than ever, boosting the productivity of individuals and organisations across all sectors. This is a moment that will lay the foundation for a new economic era where work will evolve to become a hybrid model between humans and AI co-workers. At DeepOpinion, we made it our mission to bring AI co-workers to every team on the planet.”He added: “The course is designed by AI leaders to be practical and interactive by focusing on success stories, high impact applications and use cases that participants can take back to their organizations.”João Ferrão dos Santos, Founder of AIsthetic Apparel, the first startup to appoint ChatGPT as its CEO, said: “Generative AI has revolutionized the business landscape. It's levelling the playing field and opening a world of cost-effective opportunities for entrepreneurs. To create quality work, companies will not use AI to replace human expertise, but augment it – AI is a powerful tool whose true potential can be harnessed in the hands of experienced professionals.“This masterclass, organized by the forward-focused Dubai Future Foundation, was an opportunity for participants to delve deep into the transformative world of generative AI. Attendees gained practical insight into how founders leverage AI to drive their businesses forward, and how companies will fight for growth in a new economy where every industry player will be using AI to compete globally."For his part, Boris Eldagsen, creator of the first AI generated image to win the World Photography Award, said: “AI is a knowledge amplifier. Especially in text-prompting, AI works with the knowledge and experience of the single user. Thus, this could be the first technological revolution where senior citizens have a clear advantage.”AI and the government sectorDCAI, headquartered at AREA 2071 in Emirates Towers, aims to assist government entities in deploying future technologies across key sectors. The Dubai Future Foundation, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Media Council and Dubai  Digital Authority will oversee the implementation of the goals and outcomes of DCAI. These entities will work in collaboration with the relevant authorities to ensure the successful realization of the centre’s objectives.Key areas of focus include developing legislation pertaining to AI applications, attracting leading global technological solutions, and nurturing local talent to bolster national capabilities in the field. The launch of the centre is in implementation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s directives to apply the latest AI technologies in varied sectors.

Dubai launches Dubai Centre for Artificial Intelligence, accelerating tech-drive

In a significant stride towards a tech-driven future, Dubai has once again demonstrated its unwavering commitment to technological advancement with the recent launch of the Dubai Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DCAI).Launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, the ground breaking initiative further strengthens Dubai's status as one of the world's most technologically advanced cities. The DCAI is poised to revolutionise the deployment of future technologies across key sectors, empowering government entities to embrace the transformative power of AI and generative AI tools to enhance productivity and optimise government services. Under the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the emirate has consistently set its sights on becoming a global leader in preparing for emerging opportunities and challenges while actively shaping the future. With this launch, Dubai takes yet another leap forward in its rapid adoption of AI and future technologies, remaining in perfect sync with the ever-evolving landscape of global technology innovation.In another recent launch by HH Sheikh Hamdan, Dubai’s Digital Strategy is going to set the stage for a new era of digital transformation, in line with the leadership’s vision to position Dubai as a global role model in the sector.Dubai's trailblazing journey towards a tech-driven future is not only propelling it as one of the world's most technologically advanced cities but also aligning seamlessly with the transformative objectives outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33. The launch of D33 by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, set in motion a new phase of development with ambitious strategic goals aimed at strengthening Dubai's economic leadership and serving as a global model for progress in various sectors.A core objective of the D33 is to increase the added economic value derived from Dubai's long-standing digital transformation journey, which has already achieved remarkable advancements over the years. Recognising the critical importance of digital transformation, the directive within the economic agenda sets a target of reaching an annual added economic value of AED100 billion from digital transformation initiatives over the next decade. This ambitious endeavour aims to reinforce Dubai's status as a global hub of the digital economy while establishing its influential role as a significant contributor to the global digital ecosystem.The city's comprehensive digital infrastructure, forward-thinking leadership and thriving ecosystem of tech start-ups position it at the forefront of innovation. As Dubai embraces transformative technologies across sectors such as transportation, logistics, trade, sustainability, retail and finance, it not only elevates its own status but also showcases to the world the potential for creating a thriving, technologically advanced society.By nurturing a conducive ecosystem, leveraging legislative support, and implementing strategic plans, Dubai has created an environment where innovation flourishes, empowering the city's strategic sectors to seize the boundless opportunities presented by the digital age.Unified digital platformsSignificant efforts were made to bolster the emirate’s commercial sector by extending support to businesses and offering a comprehensive range of digital services. These services aim to simplify the process for business owners, investors, and companies in establishing and managing their commercial projects within the emirate. With the introduction of the 'Invest in Dubai' platform in 2021, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, has played a pivotal role in fostering strong growth within the trade sector. This platform serves as a unified digital platform for setting up businesses, reaffirming Dubai's status as a global investment destination and the preferred choice for both local and international investors and entrepreneurs.The 'Invest in Dubai' platform provides a seamless and efficient experience for conducting business, aligning with the Digital Dubai approach. As the largest unified platform, it grants investors the opportunity to obtain trade licenses and commence business operations within minutes. Dubai's concerted efforts to promote investment and trade have become compelling incentives for technology companies worldwide to capitalise on the facilities offered by the emirate. These initiatives have been unveiled by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy as part of its strategic plans for the upcoming phase. The Chamber aims to attract 300 digital start-ups to Dubai by the end of 2024, alongside over 100 international experts specialising in advanced technologies. Moreover, the Chamber is actively involved in enhancing laws and policies that foster the growth of the digital economy, promoting digital transformation within local companies, and creating an improved business environment to attract global digital enterprises. These endeavours significantly contribute to the realisation of Dubai's economic agenda outlined in D33.In its ongoing commitment to enhancing the efficiency of its government sectors and achieving optimal performance, the city has also introduced a ground breaking digital platform that facilitates immediate strategic communication among government leaders. This platform, known as “Hub Nub,” is a smart application developed by the Digital Dubai Authority. It serves as a global exemplar in adopting cutting-edge solutions that ensure swift decision-making and high-quality performance within government operations.In another initiative, DubaiNow has emerged as a crucial application in Dubai, offering a wide range of services with exceptional quality and reliability. Aligned with the digital vision of the Dubai Government, this app serves as a unified digital channel, streamlining numerous essential applications for users. With over 170 services provided by over 35 government and private entities, DubaiNow simplifies and enhances user experiences.The application has witnessed remarkable success, with more than 20 million transactions completed, amounting to a value exceeding AED10 billion since its launch. Last year alone, DubaiNow facilitated four million digital payment transactions, totalling AED2 billion.Dubai has been committed to fostering entrepreneurship in the technology sector and has outlined comprehensive plans to support start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) over the next decade. The objective is to facilitate their complete digital transformation and encourage the automation of their processes. To achieve this, Dubai has introduced a range of programmes and initiatives designed to train entrepreneurs, help them utilise innovative ideas that promote digital transformation and enhance their tools. One notable initiative is SANDBOX, established by Dubai Silicon Oasis, the integrated technology free zone.The initiative is the first of its kind in the MENA region, offering support to early-stage tech start-ups scale and raise funds. By providing a nurturing environment and essential resources, SANDBOX empowers start-ups to thrive and grow in the dynamic tech landscape.As part of efforts to foster Dubai’s digital transformation, Digital Dubai Authority established the region’s first-of-its-kind AI Lab that seeks to accelerate the city’s emergence as the smartest city in the world. Launched in collaboration with IBM, the pioneering initiative aims to leverage AI technology to create an efficient and effective government system, ultimately enhancing the quality of life for citizens, residents and visitors.The city’s relentless pursuit of digital transformation is reflected in its ongoing unveiling of new initiatives and projects. With a focus on optimising innovative solutions, accelerating development rates and enhancing the quality of life, the emirate strives to maintain its status as the world's top city to live, work and visit. Through these efforts, Dubai continually adapts to the evolving needs of its diverse community, providing exceptional services that meet the highest standards.

INFINITI brings brand refresh for a new era

DUBAI, UAE — INFINITI today announces a comprehensive brand refresh to enhance customer connection and deliver ‘thoughtful hospitality’ across all touch points.Central to the update is a new global retail architecture design, in concert with an evolved brand logo and new multisensory signature.The new look and feel draws inspiration from the brand’s Japanese heritage and reflects INFINITI’s long held belief, that personal and rewarding experiences are more important than the car alone. “The evolved look and feel uplifts INFINITI’s signature total ownership experience and sets the scene for a bright new era for the brand” said Asako Hoshino, executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “We believe true luxury is simple, personal, and memorable. These updates are targeted at delivering a deeper connection with our valued customers.”New Retail ArchitectureINFINITI’s new retail architecture, led by the INFINITI global design team, based in Atsugi, Japan, blends a clean, minimalist exterior with an open, light-filled interior. A key to bringing to life INFINITI’s signature Total Ownership Experience, the company is committed to offering physical retail spaces that allow valued customers the opportunity to connect and interact with the brand.Drawing inspiration from Japanese design philosophies, the new architecture pays homage to the brand's rich heritage while providing a truly immersive experience for customers.The overarching design embodies the Japanese concept of “Ma,” a philosophy that considers the space between things. Unlike the Western construct of minimalism, Ma embraces empty space in an additive capacity — to ensure balance between all elements.The exterior façade features a distinctive deep eave along the roofline that purposefully creates shadow and controls direct sunlight into the showroom. Inside, the showroom has been reimagined to enhance the feeling of spaciousness and support a seamless journey for the customer.“We tasked our talented design team with creating a refreshed retail environment that reflects a new era for INFINITI,” said Sam Xin, global divisional general manager, INFINITI Brand. “The result is a bright, welcoming space where customers can experience thoughtful hospitality when engaging and interacting with our brand”Refreshed brand logoSince INFINITI’s inception in 1989, the brand’s logo has drawn inspiration from the infinite road to the horizon, reflecting the forward-facing direction of a brand born to challenge convention, as well as the drivers with the same attitude.   The evolved logo unveiled today, the fourth iteration in the brand’s history, places greater focus on the “infinite road” and horizon line, complimented by revised INFINITI wordmark spacing, that visually accentuates the horizon.“Our aim was to subtly evolve the INFINITI logo in support of the bright new chapter that lays ahead” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global Design. “Adding greater emphasis to the point where the infinite road intersects with the horizon, we are showcasing our steadfast commitment to always look forward to the future and to new horizons.” A new three-dimensional INFINITI emblem will adorn production vehicles of the future - bringing added depth, while expressing dynamism, motion, and power. As the visual focal point on the front of future INFINITI vehicles, the logo boldly announces their arrival, with illumination that elevates the bright road to the horizon. An invigorating new multisensory signatureExperiences are always more memorable and stimulating when more than one sense is engaged. In addition to a refreshed visual identity, INFINITI today introduces a new multisensory signature, encompassing scent and sonic elements, to create another dimension of connection with customers.New signature scent evokes a Japanese forestScents can transport people to memories of places visited, as well as those they can only imagine. To deliver a subtle feeling of Japan – a source of inspiration for INFINITI - to guests around the world, the brand announced a new signature scent for use at brand events, as well as for optional diffusion within retail showrooms.INFINITI’s new signature scent is both invigorating and calming, reflecting opposites working in harmony to deliver something even more profound. The scent evokes a Japanese forest, with hints of Hinoki wood (Japanese cypress), sugi (Japanese cedar) and yuzu (Japanese citrus). The INFINITI signature scent is crafted by a master scent designer in Japan and is 100% sustainably sourced and organic. New signature sound leverages human voice and sounds from JapanTo capture the feeling of INFINITI through sound, the brand today released its own brand master track, titled “Moment of Tranquility”, serving as the foundation for a new sound logo (sonic), as well as for use at future brand activations and in-car experiences. The sound logo creates a sense of anticipation by marrying powerful Japanese musical elements with more serene sounds to deliver a harmonious balance. A taiko drum, the embodiment of human performance and power, contrasts with a soft furin (Japanese wind chime), an instrument played only by the wind, to add a layer of tranquility and refinement. True to INFINITI’s brand value of “Human”, the sound is anchored around a female voice humming as a signal to all senses that something exciting is about to happen.Experience the new look and feel from todayVisitors to INFINITI’s digital channels can see the brand’s evolved visual identity from today, and guests to selected retail locations within the U.S., Mexico and Middle East, can experience the new retail design from this month onwards.Customers in Doha, Qatar, Monterrey, Mexico, Downtown Los Angeles and Georgetown, Texas will be amongst the first to experience the new INFINITI showroom layout and aesthetic.Additional INFINITI sites within the America’s and Middle East are scheduled to be refreshed later this year, with locations across the globe to be updated over time.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise unveils Ai cloud for large language models

Dubai: Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) today announced it has entered the AI cloud market through the expansion of its HPE GreenLake portfolio to offer large language models for any enterprise, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, to access on-demand in a multi-tenant supercomputing cloud service.With the introduction of HPE GreenLake for Large Language Models (LLMs), enterprises can privately train, tune, and deploy large-scale AI using a sustainable supercomputing platform that combines HPE’s AI software and market-leading supercomputers. HPE GreenLake for LLMs will be delivered in partnership with HPE’s first partner Aleph Alpha, a German AI startup, to provide users with a field-proven and ready-to-use LLM to power use cases requiring text and image processing and analysis.HPE GreenLake for LLMs is the first in a series of industry and domain-specific AI applications that HPE plans to launch in the future. These applications will include support for climate modeling, healthcare and life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, and transportation.  “We have reached a generational market shift in AI that will be as transformational as the web, mobile, and cloud,” said Antonio Neri, president and CEO, at HPE. “HPE is making AI, once the domain of well-funded government labs and the global cloud giants, accessible to all by delivering a range of AI applications, starting with large language models, that run on HPE’s proven, sustainable supercomputers. Now, organizations can embrace AI to drive innovation, disrupt markets, and achieve breakthroughs with an on-demand cloud service that trains, tunes, and deploys models, at scale and responsibly.” HPE is the global leader and expert in supercomputing, which powers unprecedented levels of performance and scale for AI, including breaking the exascale speed barrier with the world’s fastest supercomputer, Frontier. Unlike general-purpose cloud offerings that run multiple workloads in parallel, HPE GreenLake for LLMs runs on an AI-native architecture uniquely designed to run a single large-scale AI training and simulation workload, and at full computing capacity. The offering will support AI and HPC jobs on hundreds or thousands of CPUs or GPUs at once. This capability is significantly more effective, reliable, and efficient to train AI and create more accurate models, allowing enterprises to speed up their journey from POC to production to solve problems faster. Introducing HPE GreenLake for LLMs, the first in a series of AI applications HPE GreenLake for LLMs will include access to Luminous, a pre-trained large language model from Aleph Alpha, which is offered in multiple languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The LLM allows customers to leverage their own data, train and fine-tune a customized model, to gain real-time insights based on their proprietary knowledge. This service empowers enterprises to build and market various AI applications to integrate them into their workflows and unlock business and research-driven value. “By using HPE’s supercomputers and AI software, we efficiently and quickly trained Luminous, a large language model for critical businesses such as banks, hospitals, and law firms to use as a digital assistant to speed up decision-making and save time and resources,” said Jonas Andrulis, founder and CEO, Aleph Alpha. “We are proud to be a launch partner on HPE GreenLake for Large Language Models, and we look forward to expanding our collaboration with HPE to extend Luminous to the cloud and offer it as a-service to our end customers to fuel new applications for business and research initiatives.”HPE provides supercomputing scale for AI training, tuning and deployment HPE GreenLake for LLMs will be available on-demand, running on the world’s most powerful, sustainable supercomputers, HPE Cray XD supercomputers, removing the need for customers to purchase and manage a supercomputer of their own which is typically costly, complex and requires specific expertise. The offering leverages the HPE Cray Programming Environment, a fully integrated software suite to optimize HPC and AI applications, with a complete set of tools for developing, porting, debugging, and tuning code.In addition, the supercomputing platform provides support for HPE’s AI/ML software which includes the HPE Machine Learning Development Environment to rapidly train large-scale models, and HPE Machine Learning Data Management Software to integrate, track, and audit data with reproducible AI capabilities to generate trustworthy and accurate models. HPE GreenLake for LLMs runs on sustainable computing HPE is committed to delivering sustainable computing for its customers. HPE GreenLake for LLMs will run in colocation facilities, such as with QScale in North America as the first region to deliver purpose-built design to support the scale and capacity of supercomputing with nearly 100% renewable energy.1Availability HPE is accepting orders now for HPE GreenLake for LLMs and expects additional availability by the end of the calendar year 2023, starting in North America with availability in Europe expected to follow early next year. HPE also today announced an expansion to its AI inferencing compute solutions. The new HPE ProLiant Gen11 servers are optimized for AI workloads, using advanced GPUs. The HPE ProLiant DL380a and DL320 Gen11 servers boost AI inference performance by more than 5X over previous models.2 For more information, please visits HPE ProLiant Servers for AI. HPE Services provides a comprehensive portfolio of services spanning strategy and design, operations, and management for AI initiatives.For more information on HPE GreenLake for Large Language Models (LLMs), please visit:

Google unveils experimental AI tool to enhance YouTube user comment replies

Google has announced the pilot launch of an experimental AI tool aimed at generating draft replies to user comments on YouTube. This initiative is part of a larger social campaign designed to enhance user engagement and foster meaningful interactions within the YouTube community.The objective of this AI tool is not to replace human creativity but rather to empower and liberate it. By leveraging the capabilities of artificial intelligence, Google aims to enable users to draft thoughtful and engaging replies with greater ease and efficiency. The tool will serve as a valuable resource for creators and users alike, providing them with inspiration and suggestions while maintaining the human touch that makes each interaction unique.During the demonstration of the AI tool, one thing became abundantly clear: the most successful outcomes are achieved when AI is coupled with individuals who possess curiosity, creativity, and compassion. It is not AI alone but the collaboration between humans and AI that yields the most compelling results.Robert Wong, VP of Google Creative Lab, emphasized the role of creative individuals in times of change.“We see the same potential for AI to help us connect, be more productive and liberate our imaginations. And we’re excited about how it will interplay with human creativity. Throughout history, humans have always pushed the boundaries of what’s possible – driven by curiosity, creativity or necessity. All eras of discovery and innovation began with someone imagining possibilities,” said Robert Wong.

Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company launches ATTO 3

Dubai: Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company, in partnership with BYD, the world’s leading manufacturer of new energy vehicles and power batteries, is proud to announce the highly anticipated launch of the latest electric vehicle to hit the UAE market, the BYD ATTO 3. This revolutionary vehicle marks a significant milestone in the UAE's journey towards sustainable mobility and reinforces both Al-Futtaim Group and BYD's commitment to contributing towards the UAE’s Net-Zero 2050 strategic goals.Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company and BYD have set out to democratise the EV market in the UAE, by making electric vehicles more accessible to new customers and creating an EV ecosystem that will accelerate the adoption of EVs in the country. As part of this commitment, Al-Futtaim Group has made a pledge to ensure that at least 50% of all its vehicle sales comes from new energy vehicles by 2030, in addition to installing at least 3,000 charging stations across the UAE.The EV ecosystem that Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company aims to build covers a comprehensive range of products and services, including the latest electric vehicles, charging solutions, a full range of financing packages, and best-in-class after-sales service. This is an ambitious vision that only Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company can achieve in the UAE, providing customers with turnkey EV solutions for their convenience and peace of mind.“When it comes to democratising electric vehicles, it all begins with financing,” said Hasan Nergiz, Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company. “We strive to give our customers the power of choice, which is why we have launched a full spectrum of innovative financing solutions available from day one, including Guaranteed Future Value Finance, leasing and subscription models, in addition to conventional auto loans. And each product has a fully digitised online user journey to ensure a seamless experience for our customers.”The price for the BYD ATTO 3 is a highly competitive AED 149,900, with financing options available starting from AED 1,499 per month, making this revolutionary electric vehicle more accessible to first-time buyers. The vehicle launches with only one fully loaded trim with all features and specifications, giving customers all the cutting-edge features in one purchase. Customers can choose from one of five captivating colours and drive away with confidence that they’ve made the right choice.The BYD ATTO 3 is a perfect choice for daily commutes and urban driving, offering a top speed of 160 km/h and an impressive range of up to 420 km on a single charge under WLTP conditions. It ensures peace of mind for drivers of all experience levels with advanced safety features like Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Front & Rear Collision Warning, and Front Side & Side Curtain Airbags. Whether you're a first-time driver or a young family, the BYD ATTO 3 provides the utmost safety and convenience. There is a reason why it was voted “Electric Family Car of the Year 2023” by VAB, the Flemish Automobile Club.Style, comfort, and technology are all neatly tied together in one package with the BYD ATTO 3. Its sleek exterior is enhanced by LED automatic headlights, keyless entry with a remote engine starter, a panoramic sunroof, and 18" alloy wheels that perfectly complement its modern design. Once customers step inside, they are immediately immersed in luxury with multi-coloured ambient lighting, the comfort of vinyl leather seats, a 6-way powered driver seat, and a wireless charger. One can also stay entertained and connected with the 12.8" electric rotary multimedia screen, an impressive Dirac audio system with 8 speakers, and seamless Apple Carplay integration. Refreshing every ride is the Insta Air Purification System, ensuring fresh and clean air throughout the journey.Designed with the needs and preferences of the UAE customers in mind, the BYD ATTO 3 has undergone extensive product localization and rigorous hot weather testing to ensure its seamless integration into the local market.“We understand the importance of product localization for the UAE market with its unique climate and hot weather,” said AD Huang, General Manager of BYD Middle East & Africa, Auto Sales Division. “Last year, we conducted extensive hot weather testing to ensure the BYD ATTO 3 performs optimally even in the region's challenging climate and hot summers. Over the course of several months, we drove more than 100,000 kilometres across the UAE in order to optimise the vehicle’s performance and ensure that our customers receive the best driving experience possible with the BYD ATTO 3.”With the launch of the BYD ATTO 3, BYD further displays its brand vision to"Cool the Earth by 1?" by delivering reliable and sustainable mobility solutions that significantly reduces carbon emission. The BYD ATTO 3 represents a significant step towards achieving a cleaner and more sustainable transportation sector in the UAE.Customers can now experience the BYD ATTO 3 first-hand at the very first BYD showroom in the UAE, The Zone by Al-Futtaim, situated on the City Walk Boulevard of Dubai. Furthermore, Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company will be launching a mobile showroom for BYD that will be deployed across 14 high footfall areas across the UAE.

Procter & Gamble’s campaign sets a Guinness World Record

Dubai: In an initiative launched in early June, Procter & Gamble (P&G), in partnership with a key retail partner launched the ‘The Tree of Hope’ campaign, aimed at encouraging shoppers to pledge to change their behaviors for a more sustainable future. The campaign, an extension of P&G’s #ForestsforGood program, aimed to raise awareness of environmental issues and highlighted actions that can be taken towards leading a greener, more environmentally friendly lifestyle, while breaking a Guinness World Record and making pledges towards a sustainable environment.“At P&G, we are committed to help create a better world for future generations by driving sustainability initiatives across our brands and operations,” said ElMehdi Chad, Vice President, UAE and Levant, at P&G. “We realize that each action, no matter how small, will have an impact on the world around us, and we are therefore proud to have launched this in the UAE to encourage consumers to make simple, yet impactful changes, in their daily lives for the benefit of the environment.”‘The Tree of Hope’ campaign asked consumers to make a series of pledges to change their daily routine in order to mitigate their own environmental footprint. These include using reusable water bottles and bags over plastic alternatives, reducing energy consumption at home, favoring walking over driving, and promising to educate themselves further on sustainable practices. The campaign resulted in more than 1800 consumers taking the pledge across key retail partner outlets in the UAE, a new Guinness World Record for the ‘largest online video chain of people passing and using sticky notes’.Sustainability is a core ethos for P&G, with P&G’s commitment to sustainability underscored by its ‘Ambition 2030’ strategy; a strategy that supports its brands’ ability to provide irresistible superiority that is sustainable to improve lives now and for generations to come. At its foundation is improving the livelihoods of people across its operations, supply chain, and the communities that it serves. At the heart of Ambition 2030 is four science-based pillars—Climate, Waste, Water and Nature, with initiatives such as ‘The Tree of Hope’ engaging communities directly in order to make a positive difference to both the planet and its people.The #ForestsforGood program is one of P&G’s most ambitious sustainability initiatives in the region. In the UAE alone, an expansive partnership with key partners over the last several years, saw multiple community-driven forestation programs implemented in the country, with thousands of trees and saplings planted as a result.

Barracuda welcomes Siroui Mushegian as CIO

Dubai: Barracuda Networks, Inc., a trusted partner and leading provider of cloud-first security solutions, today announced Siroui Mushegian as its new Chief Information Officer (CIO). Mushegian brings more than 20 years of executive and IT leadership experience to Barracuda and has successfully built strong operational environments that eliminate technology silos and deliver measurable business outcomes.“As Barracuda continues to navigate the always evolving threat landscape, Siroui’s strategic thinking and dedication to excellence will play a pivotal role,” said Hatem Naguib, CEO of Barracuda. “By leveraging Siroui’s expertise, we aim to expand upon and to implement cutting-edge measures that safeguard our business, and by extension, our customers’ assets.”“I’m thrilled to start this journey with Barracuda and eager to collaborate with the team to strengthen its systems and infrastructure,” said Siroui Mushegian, CIO of Barracuda. Cybersecurity is critical in today’s digital landscape, and I look forward to contributing my expertise and strategic vision to Barracuda.”Mushegian joins Barracuda most recently from BlackLine where she was responsible for all aspects of BlackLine's internal corporate IT. Before BlackLine, Mushegian held executive IT leadership roles at WNET New York Public Media, NBA, Ralph Lauren, and Time, Inc.

Peugeot’s all-new 408 makes its GCC debut

Dubai: PEUGEOT has announced the arrival of its all-new 408 in the GCC. With the new 408, PEUGEOT demonstrates the creativity of its teams by offering a new fastback silhouette. The new model is the first of its kind, both in the history of the brand itself and in the car market as a whole.This new age PEUGEOT offers a feline stance and unique allure, with engineering excellence focused on efficiency and intelligent electrification, as well as the emotions provided by cutting-edge technologies dedicated to driving pleasure and instinctive use.  The Allure of InnovationThe PEUGEOT 408 captivates with its dynamic fastback profile and distinctive style that breaks with convention. Its feline stance is a trademark of PEUGEOT’s design language, while its sharp lines, body-coloured grille, and iconic lion emblem make a bold statement. The rear bumper features an inverted cut-out, adding a touch of strength and character. The 408 sits confidently on 720mm diameter wheels, with striking 20-inch rims boasting a disruptive geometric design. The innovative light signature, with fang-shaped LED lights at the front and three-claw LED lights at the rear, further exemplifies PEUGEOT’s unique allure.The All-new PEUGEOT 408 comes with six distinctive colours; Obsession Blue (new colour, selected to mark the launch of the model), Titanium Grey (new colour), Artense Grey (Allure trim only), Elixir Red, Pearl White and Black Perla Nera, giving its customers the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.A Spacious and Efficient InteriorInside the new PEUGEOT 408, you'll find exceptional comfort and ample space. With a length of 4.69m and a long wheelbase of 2.79m, the 408 offers remarkable legroom and a generously sized 536-litre boot, expandable to 1,611 litres with the rear seats folded. The sleek and slim silhouette enhances aerodynamic efficiency, contributing to an exceptional driving experience.Emotion and Technology CombinedThe PEUGEOT 408 delivers an emotional driving experience for both the driver and passengers. Featuring the latest generation of PEUGEOT’s renowned i-Cockpit®, it offers a compact steering wheel for unique agility and precision of movement. The cockpit is designed with a focus on quality and connectivity, incorporating state-of-the-art technologies to make every journey more intuitive and rewarding.Excellence in Safety and PerformanceSafety is paramount in the new PEUGEOT 408, with a range of advanced driver assistance systems to ensure peace of mind on the road. These include Adaptive Cruise Control, blind spot monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist, and Driver Attention Alert. The 408 is equipped with a 215 hp engine and an 8-speed automatic gearbox, delivering excellent performance and efficiency.The Future of PEUGEOT"At PEUGEOT, we believe that life is better with allure. With its unique look, innovative fastback silhouette and unbridled elegance, the new 408 is the perfect expression of the PEUGEOT Brand's philosophy and inventiveness," says Linda Jackson, CEO of the PEUGEOT Brand. "Unexpected from every angle, the new PEUGEOT 408 has been designed for lovers of cars and of life, who want to break free from the traditional while seeking responsible pleasure. It embodies PEUGEOT’s exacting technological standards - controlled efficiency and a very high-level digital experience - as well as the intense emotions of instinctive driving pleasure”.The new PEUGEOT 408 introduces a new era of modernity and elegance, transcending traditional sedan and SUV classifications. It pushes the boundaries of design, technology, and performance, providing an extraordinary driving experience that exceeds expectations.Earlier in May, 15 all-new PEUGEOT 408 “Alawel” first limited edition vehicles were sold in less than 90 minutes in the United Arab Emirates, as part of an exclusive online launch ahead of the arrival of the All-new 408 in the Middle East.Starting from AED124,900 the All-new PEUGEOT 408 is now available in all markets across the GCC.

upGrad becomes the title partner to Mumba Masters at GCL

upGrad Mumba Masters, owned by a leading sports business group U Mumba, has named Asia’s largest integrated learning skilling and workforce development company upGrad as its title partner for the inaugural Global Chess League (GCL), presented by Tech Mahindra and FIDE. Having established its prominence as a premier Pro Kabaddi and Ultimate Table Tennis team in India, U Mumba has further expanded its footprint in the sporting canvass on the global stage by fielding a world-class unit of chess Grandmasters in the first edition of the GCL. In a strategic move, the sports company has joined hands with the India-HQ skilling giant upGrad to further scale its expansion.“We are thrilled to have upGrad onboard as our title partner of our Mumba Masters. This partnership marks an important milestone for U Mumba as we venture into the international chess arena and upGrad’s vision of empowering individuals aligns perfectly with our vision of nurturing talent and promoting sport at the highest level. This association will allow us to engage with the youth and create opportunities for talented individuals to shine in the world of chess. The team is looking forward to a long, dynamic partnership and taking the GCL by storm,” said Suhail Chandhok, CEO – U Mumba.As part of the 1-year franchisee deal, the team logo will be carried on the tournament jersey and shall be worn by the six powerful players including Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli (Superstar Women), Alexander Grischuk and Vidit Gujrathi (Superstar Men), Javokhir Sindarov (Prodigy) and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Icon).Known for previously partnering with Star Sports for a high-impact cricketing tournament WTC 2021, the latest partnership strengthens upGrad’s foray into the sports segment to further expand and scale the brand’s presence across the global strata. Commenting on the development, Mayank Kumar, Co-Founder and MD, upGrad said, “Chess is more than just a game; it embodies discipline, resilience, and perseverance; something that upGrad continues to foster amongst its every single learner. It is because of our seriousness, that we have continued to outlast with an outcome-oriented pedagogy and robust business model. And as this partnership progresses, we will continue to inspire individuals to remain committed to their passion that drives them to do better every day. We have built a very strong brand name in upGrad that resonates with the learning needs of the global workforce, and therefore, took a conscious call to represent a sport that fosters critical thinking and problem-solving while also driving innovative mindsets amongst millions.Riding high on its YoY success and growth, upGrad, as a part of this association aims to further elevate India's stature as a responsible nation on the world stage. “We take this as our calling to transcend from a trusted Lifelong Learning partner to a trusted household name,” he added.GCL tournaments are scheduled to take place through the next 10 days starting today in Dubai (UAE) with upGrad Mumba Masters taking on as an opener against Triveni Continental Kings.

Nabd unveils immersive word games, expands content verticals

Dubai: Nabd, a prominent Arabic content platform and app, has introduced an exciting addition to its repertoire: immersive word games accompanied by daily challenges. This expansion serves to enhance Nabd's extensive array of content verticals, providing users with an engaging and captivating experience. With a diverse range of offerings such as personalized news, live match scores, football schedules, real-time financial market data, weather forecasts, entertaining video streams, and even live TV streaming, Nabd continues to redefine the boundaries of an all-encompassing application.The inclusion of word games on the Nabd platform represents a noteworthy milestone in its commitment to delivering a comprehensive user experience that extends beyond news consumption. Users can now indulge in captivating word games and actively participate in daily challenges, putting their skills to the test with a fresh word puzzle provided each day. These personal challenges offer an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating way for users to interact with the word game feature while simultaneously staying informed about the latest headlines and exploring other content verticals.Abdur-Rahman El-Sayed, the Chief Executive Officer at Nabd, expresses enthusiasm about the introduction of word games to the platform, emphasizing how it enriches their content offerings and further enhances the user experience. El-Sayed highlights Nabd's unwavering commitment to providing a comprehensive and captivating platform for its users. By incorporating word games into their repertoire, Nabd expands their content verticals, enabling users to immerse themselves in diverse forms of entertainment while remaining connected to the latest personalized news and information.Nabd's latest word games feature adds an element of amusement and mental stimulation to the platform, allowing users to unwind while testing their vocabulary skills through thrilling daily challenges. By seamlessly integrating word games into their versatile app, Nabd aims to cater to the diverse preferences of its impressive user base of 30 million, offering them a unified solution that combines both information and entertainment in one place.

Cisco unveils next-gen solutions with generative AI

Dubai: Cisco (CSCO) announced it is reimagining the way people work with new, powerful generative AI technology. Cisco will harness large language models (LLMs) across its Collaboration and Security portfolios to help organizations drive productivity and simplicity for their workforce.Expectations are at an all-time high – organizations are grappling with how to deliver unrivaled experiences for hybrid workers, while safeguarding their businesses from sophisticated cyber threats.According to Cisco's 2023 State of Global Innovation Study, IT professionals rank generative AI as the technology most likely to have a significant impact on their business, with 85% of those saying they're prepared for its impact. Cisco recognizes the important role generative AI will play in advancing the future of work and is committed to providing hybrid workers with an efficient, safer, and more productive, work experience."Generative AI will quickly become pervasive as we see businesses and workers embrace the technology to become materially more productive," said Jeetu Patel, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Security and Collaboration, Cisco. "At Cisco, we've been using AI for years. Now we're unveiling how we're incorporating generative AI into our existing products, helping customers drive real value to unlock the most secure, unrivaled work experiences possible."New Summarization Capabilities in Webex by CiscoWith every work interaction being hybrid, employees, and customers need collaboration experiences that empower them to do their best work. Within the Webex Suite, new summarization capabilities that help people get up to speed in seconds will include:"Catch Me Up" will allow users to quickly catch up on missed interactions, including meetings, calling, chats and more.Intelligent meeting summaries with key points and action items. Users can opt in to automatically generate the most important elements of a Webex meeting, extract the key points, and capture action items with owners. This will be a huge time-saver for attendees and people unable to join a meeting – eliminating the need to listen to a recording or read through transcripts.Summaries in Vidcast, the company's video messaging tool. This capability will produce highlights and chapters so viewers can navigate to the most important parts of the video quickly.New conversation summaries in Webex Contact Center will provide agents with a fast, automated way to consume long-form text from digital chats with customers as well as facilitating post-call wrap-up and resolution with customers. For example, if a customer is escalated to a call with a human agent, they expect that agent to be informed and not have to repeat their frustrations. Chat summaries provides the agent with a clear summarization of issues and resolutions already explored via self-service and a summary of the call to both the agent and customer once it ends. Moving Security from Complex to Conversational Cisco is investing in cutting-edge innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning that will augment security staff by simplifying operations and increasing efficacy. Further delivering on its Security Cloud vision (link to Day 1 release), Cisco is previewing new generative AI capabilities to simplify policy management and improve threat response.Effective security policy creation and management is an oftentimes extremely complex but critical function of cybersecurity hygiene. There is little room for error and the process of making simple edits that won't interfere with or override previous rules is extremely time consuming and technically challenging. The volume, inconsistency, and complexity of maintaining all of these policies across all of these systems creates a significant risk that opens the door for attacks.The Cisco Security Cloud will leverage a generative AI Policy Assistant to address this problem by enabling security and IT administrators to describe granular security policies and evaluate how to best implement them across different aspects of their security infrastructure. This week's preview showed how the Cisco Policy Assistant can reason with the existing firewall policy set to implement and simplify rules within the Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center. It is the first of many examples of how generative AI can reimagine policy management across the Cisco Security Cloud.Augmenting Analysts with Machine Speed and ScaleThreat detection and response is another complex and high stakes responsibility of the security operations where time is of the essence and analysts must rapidly gain understanding of complex systems at machine scale.Cisco's security operations center (SOC) Assistant will augment security analysts with the context to make the right decisions at the right time. The SOC Assistant will provide a comprehensive situation analysis for analysts, correlating intel across the Cisco Security Cloud platform solutions, relaying potential impacts, and providing recommended actions. Significantly reducing the time needed for SOC teams to respond to potential threats.Cisco previewed its generative AI solution for Webex and Security Cloud onstage at Cisco LIVE 2023. Webex summarization, policy management and SOC Assistant Summaries will be available by the end of calendar year 2023. The additional SOC Assistant features will be available in the first half of calendar 2024.

More than half of Gen Z wish their school had taught them more about web3

Dubai: A new study of seven countries, including the UAE, US, UK, India, Nigeria, Singapore, and Brazil launched today by Boss Beauties highlights fast growing use of web3, and the need for more education resources to ensure girls are not left behind The first global study to measure Gen Z’s attitudes towards web3 found that 52% wanted their schools to teach them more about the virtual and digital environments in which many find themselves when not in class. The study, conducted by New York-based Boss Beauties and released today, is the most up-to-date comprehensive look at how 16-25-year-olds (and parents) in seven countries view the knowledge gaps, risks, and future of web3.  Topline global findings include: ?   41% of young women have encountered someone pretending to be someone else online. ?   While one in five (21%) Gen Z girls admit they are “highly uninformed” of the risks in this new digital space, 13% of Gen Z boys say the same. Similarly, more Gen Z girls (20%) consider web3 risky, compared to boys (14%).   The report looks at web3, the next generation internet, through the eyes of Gen Z. Web3, which is fast evolving, is built in the cloud and on blockchain technologies that enable users to interact with decentralised apps, including online gaming, virtual communities, cryptocurrency platforms, and NFT marketplaces. The study was commissioned by Boss Beauties, a media and entertainment brand founded in September 2021 with a collection of web3 digital collectibles. Boss Beauties continues to provide the tools, skills, and connections to safely bring the next 1 million women and girls into a web3 world. The report is based on in-depth polling by EPG in countries where web3 is established and rising in popularity.  Gen Z are hungry for more web3 knowledge, the global survey finds. More than half (52%) of Gen Z wish their school had taught them more about web3. Outside the classroom, an even larger proportion – 57% – would like more access to educational resources, such as explainer videos, on the topic. Parents agreed and are eager for their children to learn more about web3 at school, with 45% wishing for more educational resources outside the school walls.  This lack of educational resources is especially worrying as girls have a historical tendency of getting left behind when new technologies emerge.[1] Currently, women account for just 28% of engineering graduates, and only one in five AI professionals. If the gender imbalance in tech persists, this could have knock-on effects on the global economy, given that the World Economic Forum expects 77% of jobs to require digital skills by 2030. The new study, which encompasses seven countries – UAE, UK, US, Brazil, India, Nigeria, and Singapore – is based on in-depth polling of 3,869 people, of which 1,906 were aged 16-25, and 1,133 were parents or carers over 25.  Lisa Mayer, Founder and CEO of Boss Beauties, said:  “Policymakers, educators, and web3 companies all need to come together and ensure that young people and their parents have the tools and knowledge they need to stay safe and make informed decisions as they navigate this fast-changing digital space.  “If used properly, web3 can allow Gen Z to feel empowered, connect with people around the world, and become the change-makers they want to be. But we know from history that when new technologies emerge, girls get left behind. Web3 will only continue to grow in the years to come, so it is essential we act now to make sure girls are able to understand this technology, preparing them for the future of the workforce and for how the world is changing. “At Boss Beauties, we will continue to keep our focus on educating, connecting, and mentoring women and girls so they can be everything they want to be. We are reaffirming our mission to bring the next 1 million women and girls into a web3 world by providing new research that can help us, as well as others building in this industry, create the tools and education women and girls need.”  Lila Thomas, Vice-President of Brand and Strategic Partnerships at Boss Beauties, said:  “As our research shows, although Gen Z are embracing web3, many are still unaware of the risks that it entails – especially girls. It’s particularly alarming that more than 40% have come across someone pretending to be someone else online.  “Our goal at Boss Beauties is to elevate women and girls by giving them the tools they need to succeed. That starts with being safe online, and it’s why education is a part of everything we do.”  Faced with a lack of educational resources on web3, Gen Z mostly tend to turn to online search (24%) and their friends (19%) to learn more. Fewer look to social media (16%), online communities (16%) and mainstream media (13%). There were also differences in how Gen Z girls versus boys try to learn about web3: young men were 1.4 times more likely to do so via online communities and mainstream media. Outside of the classroom, few Gen-Zers are able to turn to their parents for guidance about web3. Just 17% of Gen Z say their parents were “somewhat” or “well” equipped to teach them about web3. Similarly, only 39% of parents feel able to teach their children about risks online. The study uncovered gender differences in knowledge of web3 among parents: 67% of women say they are unfamiliar with blockchain and web3, compared to 53% of men.  The need for more educational resources on web3 is particularly urgent as the survey uncovered alarming risks that young people have faced in this emerging digital space. A staggering 41% of Gen Z girls, and 42% of Gen Z boys, say they have come across someone pretending to be someone else online.  And although around 58% of Gen Z feel as or more confident identifying risks on web3 compared to real life, only around a third (29%) of Gen Z girls, and just over one-fifth (22%) of Gen Z boys say they are highly informed of the dangers on web3.  The survey results indicate that Gen Z girls tend to feel less confident in the web3 space than their male counterparts. While one in five (21%) Gen Z girls admit they are “highly uninformed” of the risks in this new digital space, just 13% of boys say the same. Similarly, more Gen Z girls (20%) consider web3 risky, compared to boys (14%).  Perhaps because parents are not digital natives – unlike the younger generation – they have more reservations as to how their children use web3, and how dangerous the digital space can be. More than a third of this cohort said they are unsure or do not know what their children do on web3, a similar percentage for mothers and fathers (37% vs 36%). Half of the parents surveyed perceived web3 to be risky. Just 8% of mothers, and 13% of fathers, view it as a completely safe space.  The findings highlight the need for policymakers, web3 companies, and the education community to come together and find ways to enhance understanding of the new digital space among young people and their parents – especially as it will only grow more popular in years to come. Tellingly, parents underestimate the rise of web3: while just 32% predict their children will spend more time on web3 in the coming years, 54% of Gen Z expect to spend “somewhat more” or “a lot more” time in the new digital space in the next three years. Already, nearly one in six (14%) Gen Z respondents spend at least 10 hours a week in web3 spaces.  There are differences between what Gen Z boys and girls do in web3 spaces. While online gaming is the most popular use of web3 among boys (31%, compared to 24% for girls), girls are more likely to use web3 to access virtual communities (30%, compared to 20% of boys). As to why Gen Z are drawn to web3, the most commonly cited motivation, was “financial purposes” (17% for young men and 16% for young women), followed by a desire to access a safe space that supports their individuality (12%).   The study also sheds light on Gen Z’s shopping habits on web3: half (50%) said cryptocurrency was their most recent purchase, followed by NFTs (20%), online gaming accessories (12%), digital real estate (10%) and virtual goods (8%). However, Gen Z girls were almost twice as likely than their male counterparts to feel entirely unfamiliar with crypto wallets, potentially locking them out of a vast range of web3 activities.  Many more boys (48%) say they have made a purchase on web3 in the past year, compared to just 29% of girls. Here, again, parents do not appear to be fully aware of what Gen Z do on web3: just 23% correctly assumed their children had purchased something over the same period. The gender imbalance looks unlikely to change for now, as 64% of Gen Z boys, compared to 54% of girls, plan to purchase something on web3 in the coming year.  Web3 is also set to play a bigger role in Gen Z’s social dynamics, with many seeing it as an extension of their real-life self. 58% of Gen Z girls, and 49% of Gen Z boys, apply the same ethics and values both online and off. They also find it easier to form relationships online, according to 41% of Gen Z girls and 46% of Gen Z boys.  The study also shows interesting gender differences in how Gen Z approaches real-life relationships. 38% of those young women surveyed in this age bracket think online relationships are easier to maintain compared to 42% among boys. A majority (53%) of Gen Z girls value their real-life relationships more than virtual ones, and 48% of boys agree.   OTHER KEY GLOBAL FINDINGS:  ?   Compared to Gen Z boys (15%), nearly twice as many Gen Z girls (27%) are unfamiliar with how to open and manage a crypto wallet. ?   When parents were asked the same question about opening and managing a crypto wallet, 68% of mothers and 60% of fathers globally said they either didn’t know how to or were unsure. ?   When parents are asked how much they thought their children spent on their last transaction, they tend to overestimate: 44% believe it was in the region of US$101-500 instead of US$20-100, which is what Gen Z say their most popular category of spending is. ?   58% of Gen Z respondents are concerned about their privacy and safety online. ?   26% of Gen Z girls say they have been “subjected to abuse or harassment, e.g. body shaming, misogyny” online, a figure only slightly lower for boys (24%).

Crypto Oasis Ventures and Roland Berger officially launch "The Green Block"

DUBAI - The Green Block, a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to fostering Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) projects in Web3, was officially launched yesterday at BEEAH Group headquarters in the United Arab Emirates. This global initiative, spearheaded by Crypto Oasis Ventures in collaboration with the management consultancy Roland Berger, marks a significant step towards creating a sustainable future by leveraging the power of Blockchain and AI technologies.Highlights:- The Green Block is a global Think Tank and Launchpad that aims to accelerate and promote the use of Web3 and AI technology for the improvement of the environment, social and governance related initiatives that improve the quality of life.- It is initiated by Crypto Oasis Ventures in partnership with Roland Berger.- The initiative will bring together projects and thought leaders that utilize technology for advancing sustainability related projects.- BEEAH Group is the Think Tank's first Patron with Khaled al Huraimel, Group CEO also joining The Green Block Advisory Council.The primary objective of The Green Block is to establish an ecosystem that connects stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop and implement impactful Web3 solutions pertaining to corporate governance, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. By leveraging the potential of Web3 and AI, The Green Block aims to address global challenges in line with the UAE's COP28 agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Faisal Zaidi, Co-founder of Crypto Oasis Ventures, stated, "The launch of The Green Block represents the first milestone in our journey to create a sustainable future through Web3 initiatives in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) field. By connecting projects, providing and enabling infrastructure, and empowering talent, The Green Block will facilitate the development and implementation of sustainable Web3 solutions on a global scale. Aligning ourselves with the objectives of COP28 and the UAE, we aim to take this initiative global."As the inaugural patron of The Green Block, BEEAH assumes a vital role in propelling the mission of the initiative. As an international holding group and pioneer for sustainable, smart solutions for future ready cities, BEEAH understands the importance of fostering sustainability and aligning with the UAE's agenda for COP28. Through their partnership with The Green Block, BEEAH underscores its dedication to environmental responsibility and social progress.Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of BEEAH Group, emphasized the significance of The Green Block's launch, stating, "There is immense potential in Blockchain, AI and Web3 technologies and I am excited to see how the Green Block leverages these to revolutionize ESG projects. As one of the first adopters of blockchain technologies in Sharjah, BEEAH Group's vision is built on the twin pillars of sustainability and digitalisation. As a patron of The Green Block, BEEAH Group looks forward to fostering innovation and engaging with stakeholders to achieve sustainability objectives using technology while overcoming global challenges."On the steering committee of The Green Block initiative, the representation from Roland Berger contributes to determining the strategic direction of the initiative. The committee makes key decisions that shape the initiative's long-term plans and immediate goals, helping to ensure the continuity of its mission. Technology like Web3 and AI will contribute significantly to a path to sustainability - The Green Block Think Tank and Launchpad will accelerate this transition and connect the global thought leaders.Pierre Samaties, Partner at Roland Berger Middle East and leading the Global Digital Assets, Web3 and Metaverse practice, expressed his enthusiasm for The Green Block's potential impact, saying, "The launch of The Green Block initiative is the start of an important Think Tank and Launchpad for Web3 and AI technology that will support sustainability and quality of life. Many use cases of the technology are a perfect fit for advancing renewable power, boosting financial inclusion and incentivizing environmental improvements."

IoT Squared signs MoU with Fogsphere

Riyadh: Internet of Things Technologies Company (iot squared), a joint venture between Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) and stc Group (stc), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fogsphere®, the region’s leader in AIoT and Computer Vision. The collaboration aims to enhance cooperation in the field of Video Analysis and its integration with commercial and industrial IoT systems in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will further strengthen the industry’s 4.0 ecosystem along with commercial and public administration adoption of advanced, privacy-friendly, computer vision applications, in line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030.The MoU was signed by Othman Al Dahash, Chief Executive Officer of iot squared and Pasquale Giampa, Chief Executive Officer at Fogsphere, during the Saudi Smart Manufacturing event in Saudi Arabia on 13th June 2023.Through this partnership, Fogsphere® will provide its computer vision and AIoT platform and engineering services to iot squared and support the development of its portfolio of AIoT-based solutions. The two partners will also collaborate to identify target markets, verticals and applications that require AIoT services in the Kingdom and provide them with the necessary solutions and State-of-the-Art AI algorithms.Under the collaboration, iot squared will enable enterprises and industries across the Kingdom to innovate new services, optimise operations and provide safer work environments via Fogsphere’s AIoT solutions.Moreover, in line with the nation’s vision to fast-track digital transformation, Fogsphere® and iot squared will also cooperate in creating industray 4.0 use case in Saudi Arabia and leverage complex AI and computer vision implementations through its state-of-the-art, scalable and commercially flexible platform for AIoT use cases."Our collaboration with Fogsphere® aims to accelerate the digital transformation of Retail, Industrial and PA with the adoption of AIoT technologies provided by Fogsphere®, in line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030 objectives. This will be achieved by adopting Fogsphere’s AIoT solutions that enable the Kingdom to overcome the limitations of market AI-only applications”, said Othman Al Dahash, CEO of iot squared."The strategic cooperation between Fogsphere® and iot squared creates a solid beginning of a long-term relationship between the two parties. We are committed to supporting, with iot squared, all our customers and partners in Saudi Arabia to accelerate the digital transformation journey and the development of the industry’s 4.0 ecosystem, in line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030", said Pasquale Giampa, CEO of Fogsphere®.The agreement opened dialogues on various aspects of development, including new business opportunities and innovations within the public, commercial and industrial sectors. The cooperation would pave the way for the smart and fast adoption of the most advanced AIoT and computer vision technologies as a key enabler of the digital transformation initiatives in the Kingdom.