Records broken during first day of Aramco Team Series

Spectators in attendance and fans watching around the world were treated to some scintillating golf on day one of the Aramco Team Series presented by Public Investment Fund – Riyadh.Live from Riyadh Golf Club, the world’s best women’s golfers were in action as the fifth and final round of the 2023 series got underway. Alison Lee made Ladies European Tour history on an already monumental day. On the sidelines of the Saudi Arabian capital hosting its first-ever professional golf tournament, the American equalled two Ladies European Tour records, one by holing eight consecutive birdies and another closing with an 11-under-par opening 61 for the individual clubhouse lead.“I hit the ball well today, I hit some really good approach shots and made some difficult putts,” said Lee. “Today was one of those days where golf felt really easy – it was a dream round. I read the greens really well, my approach shots were on point and I hit my targets.“I missed a couple of good birdie chances coming down the stretch on 59 watch, but I can’t be too disappointed. I had a great round today and played solid overall.”Trailing closely behind is Australia’s Minjee Lee, the world No.4 who entered the series finale as a pre-tournament favorite. The two-time Major champion is two strokes back on nine-under-par overnight following a first-round 63.“I made a lot of birdies today, not eight in a row like Alison, but I still felt like I played really solid and hopefully there’ll be more of the same tomorrow,” said Minjee when assessing her opening round. “The course is in great condition and the putts were dropping. I’m feeling very good right now heading into tomorrow.”Another epic contest between the Lees of no relation could yet unfold. Just last week, Minjee overcame Alison in a titanic battle at BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea, winning the tournament via play-off. The overnight leader admitted that missing out on a maiden title by the narrowest of margins ‘hurt a little bit’ and stated she’s arrived in Riyadh ‘with a vengeance’.As for Minjee, she added that while its setting up for another head-to-head between them, there’s still a long way to go. “There's a few low scores out there that were played today, so we’ll have a few more challenges over the next two days.”The stage is set for another enthralling day tomorrow with eight players also in contention on seven-under-par. Charley Hull, Kylie Henry, Pernilla Lindberg, and Nicole Broch Estrup are two shots behind Minjee heading into Saturday along with Virginia Elena Carta, Jana Melichova, Chloe Williams, and Carlota Ciganda.Elsewhere on the opening day, Spanish world No. 33 Ciganda enjoyed a blistering start in the team format. Captaining a side including Alessandra Fanali, Sara Kouskova, and Lujain Khalil, Team Ciganda shares an overnight 21-under-par lead – two clear of the field.“We played really well as a team; it’s been a fun day,” Ciganda assessed. “We made a lot of birdies today and it was a joy the watch the ladies playing some great shots. As everyone knows, I love team events and hopefully we can have a good day tomorrow and win this thing.”The Spaniard was also full of praise for teammate Khalil, the Saudi-based talent who is competing as the team’s amateur. The innovative series, affiliated with the Ladies European Tour, has a unique dual format which teams up the world’s best golfers with amateur players in an exciting four-person team tournament, alongside a simultaneous individual event.Commenting on Khalil’s performance, she added: “Lujain played great out there. She loves golf and this course is her home. She wants to be pro one day and why not? She did a great job and made some really big putts for the team.”Sharing the overnight lead with Team Ciganda is Team Law, led by England’s Bronte Law with Meghan MacLaren, Chloe Williams, and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al Musbahi. At the close of play, six teams were two strokes behind heading into tomorrow morning.Tickets are still available for Aramco Team Series by PIF – Riyadh on Saturday and Sunday, offering sports fans and the general public in Riyadh the chance to attend a historic event that aims to showcase the best in women’s golf over three days while also providing a fun blend of family-friendly activities and entertainment across fitness, fun, and food.

Staffordshire University Boosts Esports with £2.9M Investment

Located on the Stoke-on-Trent campus, the new industry-standard facilities will feature equipment by Panasonic and EVS. The project will be designed, built and installed by broadcast solutions specialist Digital Garage.A bespoke Esports Arena and a Studio with dedicated broadcast galleries will feature as part of the expansion which caters for the growing number of students studying on the University’s future facing Esports course which has been redeveloped in collaboration with students and industry.Staffordshire University, which is celebrating 20 years of Computer Games degrees, was the first University in the UK to launch a dedicated Esports degree five years ago.Esports Course Director Dr Ying-Ying Law leads on several Esports modules and is a founding member of the Esports Research Network.She said: “The Esports industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace and it is important that we reflect this in our updated course curriculum and that our teaching covers the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will help sector progression.”“We have carefully considered what our graduates need to succeed in the future and through our revised course curriculum, our students get to examine both the theoretical and practical approaches to production, media, events, communities and management.”“Consequently, they will gain in-depth subject knowledge and transferable skills that will benefit them in the modern, digital media landscape, and be given exciting opportunities to apply it to projects in their chosen specialism.”Dr Law has authored a number of academic papers about Esports cultures and has experience of organising competitive gaming tournaments working collaboratively with Digital School House and Fête Smash.As part of their final year project, students on the Esports course have also been working with respected industry partners including Alpine, a car manufacturer and team currently on the F1 grid, on the Alpine Community Cup Series.The expansion of Esports in the University’s Beacon building will accommodate flexible teaching space and students will have access to over 80 devices including specialist Esports imaged workstations. Improved networking between rooms and Esports aesthetics and theming including lighting, furniture and artwork from student events will also feature.Professor Raheel Nawaz, Pro Vice-Chancellor – Digital Transformation at Staffordshire University added, “Creating next-generation environments and experiences on our campuses is central to our 2030 strategic plan.“Access to the best quality teaching and facilities is vital to ensure the future of the sector remains bright with new trailblazers entering the industry ready to hit the ground running.”Russell Campion, Associate Professor in the School of Digital, Technologies and Arts at Staffordshire University added, “We are excited to be expanding our Esports footprint in Stoke-on-Trent. This will give students greater access to our facilities, enabling them to immerse themselves in the latest technology and complete more practical based work and extra-curricular activities. We cannot wait for our students to experience the transformed spaces in Beacon.”The new facilities are set to be completed by Spring 2024. The Esports expansion is the latest in a series of ongoing investments in campus transformation projects across the University’s campuses.

Advertising club bestows AnNahar and IMPACT BBDO with Brave Brands Award 2023

AnNahar Newspaper and IMPACT BBDO were presented with the esteemed Brave Brands Award at the 2023 Advertising Week held in New York recently. This honour, by The ANDY Awards Jury, is given annually by the Advertising Club of New York to brands and their partners who “fearlessly embrace audacious approaches and take risks in their pursuit of excellence”.In 2023, only ten brand/agency partnerships were selected globally for this honour. AnNahar+IMPACT BBDO were the only honorees from the Middle East region. The 2023 winners were:Burger King + DavidPenguin Random House + RethinkAnNahar Newspaper + IMPACT BBDOSkittles + DDB NY/ChicagoBack Market + MarcelBurger King + Burger King & DAVID + ZUBI, A VMLY&R Company Budweiser + Wieden+KennedyMatilda Bay Brewery + Howatson&Company Dame + Mischief @ No Fixed AddressUlta + McCann NY Gina Grillo, CEO and President of The AD Club and The International ANDY Awards, said: “These honorees represent the epitome of creative fearlessness, breaking boundaries and challenging conventions in the advertising world. Their collaborations have set a new standard for audacity and innovation, inspiring the industry at large.”Dani Richa, Chairman and CEO EMEA, BBDO Worldwide, said: “We are very proud to have won the Brave Brands Award along with AnNahar. It is great to have a courageous client who is always ready to push the envelope, and this is a dream for every creative agency.However, the real courage here is that of the An Nahar Newspaper team, who have demonstrated bravery despite assassinations, including of their former Editor in Chief Gebran Tueni.”Ali Rez, CCO of IMPACT BBDO Group, received the award and dedicated it to the current Editor-in-chief Nayla Tueni and her team.üzyatan-tv-drama-is-a-powerful-source-of-soft-power

Turkish actor Engin Altan Düzyatan: TV drama is a powerful source of soft power

The television drama industry is a powerful source of soft power that bridges communities and connects diverse cultures on a global scale, globally-acclaimed Turkish actor Engin Altan Düzyatan told audiences at the 21st edition of the Arab Media Forum (AMF) that commenced on Tuesday.Düzyatan, best known for his lead role in the hit Turkish drama ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul' ('Resurrection: Ertugrul'), drew large audiences to his session at the region’s pre-eminent media gathering. During his session, he shared insights from his experiences as the lead actor in the historical TV series, discussed the future of television, and highlighted his dedication to humanitarian causes. He also commended Dubai's sustainability efforts and its role in promoting awareness and the conservation of valuable resources.Addressing the audience, he said: “Turkey is a culturally rich Mediterranean country where community and family hold immense importance. As we began to narrate our stories, other communities found elements of themselves reflected in our tales. Turkish series have gained significant popularity in various Latin American countries as well as across Arabic nations. The sector has emerged as a powerful source of soft power, facilitating cross-cultural connections and enabling diverse communities to engage with our narratives,” he said in a session titled ‘Conversations with Engin Altan’.He also noted that drama productions help build cultural bridges that foster stronger ties between nations. “We are able to use such soft power to increase peace and boost communication between people,” he said, noting that Turkey is the second largest exporter of TV series.On the future of TV and its evolving trajectory, he noted the sector will change dramatically. “The mainstream we have been accustomed to will need to adapt to new systems, employ new talent, work harder, and take a leading role in the sector. Integrating AI is essential, but it's also incredibly exciting. Embracing these changes and evolving with technology is the key.”Responding to a question on the success of ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul' ('Resurrection: Ertugrul'), Düzyatan emphasised several key factors. He noted that the series had a well-coordinated and thoughtfully framed storyline that was engaging. The script was meticulously drafted and effectively conveyed the values of justice and peace that the Muslim community embraces.Furthermore, Düzyatan emphasised the importance of teamwork in the success of such a project. He highlighted that everyone involved in the production believed in the project's potential for success and worked collaboratively.On his social and philanthropic work, he said “I have a deep passion for humanitarian work, and I always seek opportunities to contribute. Access to clean water remains a significant challenge for impoverished societies around the world. I have been involved in meaningful projects addressing this critical issue. Climate change is a pressing concern as well. The reality is that our planet is warming, and water is becoming increasingly scarce. It's imperative that we use water resources efficiently.”“I'm aware that Dubai has taken substantial steps in this direction, and I have closely followed Dubai's efforts, along with those of other nations. When countries prioritise these issues, it raises awareness and inspires positive change,” he added.

dnata partners with Virgin Atlantic to support Dubai return this October

dnata, a leading global air and travel services provider, is partnering with UK-based Virgin Atlantic to support the airline’s highly anticipated return to Dubai this winter.dnata Representation Services has been selected to provide a comprehensive range of services to the airline as its general sales agent (GSA) in the UAE. The partnership establishes UAE-based infrastructure for local sales, marketing and distribution support, providing a full range of travel services for Virgin customers flying to and from Dubai. dnata’s services will support the airline as it gears up to resume flights between London Heathrow (LHR) and Dubai International (DXB) this month.Flights are now available for customers to book, and will operate from 30 October 2023 through to March 2024 with a four-times weekly seasonal service.Simon Woodford, Vice President Global Air Services at dnata Travel Group, said: “dnata Representation Services previously served as Virgin Atlantic’s GSA in the UAE, and we are delighted to be working with this dynamic airline as it makes its exciting return to Dubai. Our experienced team will work hard to support Virgin Atlantic in achieving its business objectives and growth plans, as the UAE continues to prove a top destination of choice for UK travellers.”Liezl Gericke, Head of International at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We’ve long wanted to return to Dubai when the time was right, and we know our customers will be over the moon with the reintroduction of this popular route. Nothing sets our hearts soaring like a new destination or reintroducing an old favourite. We look forward to welcoming our customers back on board, whether travelling for business or leisure or heading back to the United Kingdom to reconnect with friends and family.”The new service is set to offer seamless connections and consistent long-haul onboard experiences for customers connecting from Dubai via London Heathrow to destinations throughout North America across both the Virgin Atlantic and Delta networks, including New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.The new route will be served by the airline’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft boasting 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats, with return Economy Class fares starting from AED 2,050 per person.

Global hydration brand iPRO to exhibit at InFlavour Expo, Saudi Arabia

This global trade event for the food and beverage industry, backed by the Saudi government, boasts a remarkable lineup with over 600 exhibitors, 43,000 attendees, and 200 speakers. It follows iPRO’s successful presence at The Sports For All Expo, catering to athletes, sports enthusiasts, and health professionals worldwide.Building on a successful track record in the UAE, iPRO is now entering the Saudi Arabian market. For 2023, revenue from soft drinks is estimated to be over $6bn. According to Statista, it's expected to increase in size each year by about 6% until 2027.The market has experienced significant growth, due to the year-round hot climate and a growing population of health-conscious consumers. This trend towards wellness has reshaped the industry, with a focus on functional ingredients and reduced sugar content. iPRO is at the forefront, offering healthy hydration that quenches thirst while providing added health benefits.Sophie Christy, Global Commercial Director at iPRO, says: “After a successful Sports For All Expo, we're thrilled to enter the Saudi Arabia market and take the next step in our journey by participating in the prestigious trade event, InFlavour, sponsored by the Saudi government. We look forward to more opportunities like this as we expand our presence in the market”.Offering 100% of daily recommended vitamin C intake and enriched with B Vitamins, iPRO Hydrate provides consumers with a daily beverage that promotes overall wellbeing. It also contains added electrolytes for rehydration, positioning iPRO as the ideal choice for rapid replenishment where dehydration is a common concern.The fully recyclable range comes in four thirst-quenching flavours: Berry Mix, Orange & Pineapple, Citrus Blend, and Mango.

Al Arabiya Network launches new ‘Al Arabiya Business’ platform

Al Arabiya Network has announced the launch of Al Arabiya Business, a new platform dedicated to news and updates from the world of business, finance and more.The network launched Al Arabiya Business due to the increased demand for comprehensive and live coverage of the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, which has required more airtime by Al Arabiya and Al Hadath channels around the clock.Al Arabiya Business is available for free-to-air broadcast, as well as live streaming via Shahid, the world’s leading Arabic streaming platform, in addition to Al Arabiya Network’s website and YouTube.According to MBC Group and Al Arabiya Chairman Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim, the commitment of both Al Arabiya and Al Hadath to extensively cover the regional events led to the decision to launch Al Arabiya Business.“It’s widely recognized that the heartbeat of global financial markets never falters, even in the midst of conflicts and disasters. Our objective is for Al Arabiya Network to maintain its status as a trusted source for viewers seeking updates on economic and financial developments, all the while staying informed about the ongoing critical events in our region and worldwide,” Sheikh Waleed said in a statement.Chairman of MBC Group and Al Arabiya Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim.Meanwhile, the network’s General Manager, Mamdouh AlMuhaini, added: “The financial and business sector, as highlighted in our ‘Aswaq Al Arabiya’ [Al Arabiya Markets] program, has garnered considerable attention from our viewers. In light of the upsurge in conflicts and significant events, especially in the Middle East and North Africa – such as the earthquakes in Turkey, Syria and Morocco, the war in Sudan, and the ongoing situation in Gaza – our viewers are increasingly eager to stay informed around the clock.”The GM also said the service is dedicated to providing the audience with the latest updates, “as well as streaming ‘Aswaq Al Arabiya’ as standalone segments, aligning with our commitment to cater to our viewers’ ever-evolving informational needs, be it in the realm of politics, economics, or the business sector.”Al Arabiya General Manager Mamdouh AlMuhaini.Al Arabiya Business is available via the following outlets:Eutelsat E8WB satellite: Frequency 11470, Orbit 7°W/Vertical polarisation, Coding rate 27500, Error rate 6/5, QPSK frequency, DVB-S broadcast signalShahidAl Arabiya Business on YouTube

6th Arab Swimming Championships to take place in Abu Dhabi

The sixth Arab Swimming Championships will take place in Abu Dhabi, with the participation of 140 male and female swimmers from 16 Arab countries, at the Mohamed Bin Zayed City Swimming Pool. The competition will continue until 30 October, sponsored and organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in cooperation with the UAE Swimming Federation and Abu Dhabi Aquatics Sports Club.Teams from Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Yemen and the UAE are participating, with a total of 140 male and female swimmers representing their nations.Abdullah Salem Al Wahaibi, Championship Director and General Secretary of UAE Swimming Federation, confirmed that the organising committee is ready to launch the Arab event before a large gathering of spectators, following the success of the 2021 Arab Swimming Championships previously held in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the sixth edition of this championship constitutes a milestone on the international sports calendar this year.Abdullah Salem Al Wahaibi said: “The championship will be an opportunity for the member Arab federations to prepare swimmers for upcoming global competitions, including the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.”Abdullah Salem Al Wahaibi also praised the great support provided by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for the tournament’s success, which is scheduled over 4 days at the 50 metre Mohamed Bin Zayed City Swimming Pool. It is the site where all committees worked alongside the Arab Swimming Confederation to receive delegations and facilitate their tasks in training, ensuring that any difficulties were overcome before the start of the tournament.

Global Information Technology Challenge to take place in Middle East

Abu Dhabi is hosting the final round of the Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities 2023 from 25-27 October, making its debut in the Middle East and North Africa. The event will bring together 87 participants from 15 countries at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), while approximately 406 participants are joining online from 13 countries. The competition is organised by Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Care in South Korea and LG Electronics.The preliminary rounds of the competition saw the UAE qualify, with five out of eight UAE teams successfully securing their spot in the finals.This achievement was made possible through joint efforts led by Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, in collaboration with various local community organisations. They worked together to train and prepare student teams with disabilities to participate in the challenge, with support from government and private entities, including the College of Engineering at the University of Al Ain, the Cybersecurity Council, CyberGate for Cybersecurity, and Abu Dhabi Polytechnic University.The students underwent intensive training programmes to refine their skills at the College of Engineering labs in Abu Dhabi. Their training covered specialised areas, including challenges in creating and editing presentations using PowerPoint, Excel, research and information utilisation challenges to address daily life issues using the internet, an electronic creative challenge for smart cars that assessed their skills in using Scratch programming for self-driving cars, and an electronic creative challenge for the Internet of Things (IoT).The sessions were supervised by lab engineers and focused on equipping students with the necessary practical skills to compete in the competition.Asaad Hawas Al Sadid, Director of Project Management Office at Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, said, "We are pleased with the cooperation between the Zayed Higher Organization and its partners from the local community, in line with Abu Dhabi's Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024, which supports people with disabilities in various stages of life."Assad Hawas Al Sadid emphasised that the students were successful in showcasing their capabilities during the competition, thanks to being provided with the necessary practical experience. The five UAE teams were supervised by specialised mentors and successfully qualified for the finals after presenting competitive projects related to research and information utilisation addressing daily life challenges using the internet.One of these teams presented a distinctive innovation, an effective device to help individuals with visual impairments detect obstacles using sound, vibrations, and colour contrast. Another team designed an alert system for wheelchairs that issues a warning when the wheelchair encounters any incident.Dr. Amer Qasem, Deputy President of Al Ain University in Abu Dhabi, emphasised the university's commitment to establishing inclusive partnerships and initiatives for people with disabilities in society. Dr. Amer Qasem also highlighted the university's dedication to empowering individuals with developmental disabilities and inspiring them to overcome challenges in information technology.Dr. Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Chairman of the Cybersecurity Council for the UAE Government, expressed his satisfaction with the performance of UAE teams in this global competition. He noted that this achievement resulted from effective collaboration among partners, emphasising that the participation of the Cybersecurity Council in this global event aligns with the council's strategy to promote a cybersecurity culture. Dr. Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti added that the competition aims to empower all members of society, especially young people with disabilities, to facilitate their integration into society, raise their digital awareness and enable them to access information independently without the need for assistance.Sardjan Babich, Chief Information Security Officer at Cyber Gate for Cybersecurity, said, "Through our strong commitment, we aim to achieve our main vision of providing a world that allows everyone to access technology. The Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities continues to evolve into a prominent international competition, thanks to the significant support provided by the Zayed Higher Organization primarily. These innovative initiatives are expected to yield transformative results by attracting more individuals and institutions that share the same vision to contribute to this noble cause."The competition features two prominent competitions on the first day: E-Creative Smart Car, which assesses participants' skills in using scratch programming for self-driving cars, and Electronic Content, which focuses on showcasing their creative abilities in creating and editing video clips on specific topics.The first and second days feature four challenges aimed at evaluating skills in creating and editing presentations, assessing the professionalism in using functions and formulas, data editing according to specific standards, measuring information search skills, and using them to address daily life challenges using the internet, as well as evaluating the ability to make life easier for people with disabilities.The Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities (GITC) started in South Korea in 1992 with the goal of reducing the digital divide for people with disabilities. Since 2011, GITC has expanded its reach to encompass youth with disabilities from around the world, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. The aim of the competition is to promote their participation in society by facilitating access to higher education and employment opportunities. In 2024, there are plans to further develop GITC to make it a more sustainable competition by enhancing its international reputation and ensuring the independence of participating countries.

Majid Al Futtaim donates $1mln to the Emirates Red Crescent

Majid Al Futtaim owns the exclusive rights to operate Carrefour under Majid Al Futtaim’s distinct logo and name in 15 markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. These include, the United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Bahrain, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Uganda. The Company remains dedicated to its communities and people, including its 46,000 colleagues regionally.Majid Al Futtaim* is deeply saddened by the ongoing events in the region and in light of the crisis in Gaza. The Company is donatingUSD 1 million to the Emirates Red Crescent to support the national relief campaign launched by United Arab Emirates, “Tarahum- For Gaza”.This donation comes in addition to the substantial support provided by other Majid Al Futtaim Group entities in the region through donations, that exceeded a further USD 1 million, and various customer fundraising campaigns.Majid Al Futtaim also launched a fundraising drive for its customers with Emirates Red Crescent. Customers can donate through Carrefour UAE’s cash counters, website and mobile app, or contribute with in-kind donations using Red Crescent’s donation points at Carrefour stores, or across the Company’s shopping malls and THAT concept store. Customers can also donate SHARE points through the app.

AWRostamani group partners with Chery to empower UAE's automotive sector

AWRostamani, the leading automotive distributor in the United Arab Emirates, is pleased to announce its exclusive national distribution partnership with Chery, one of China’s elite vehicle manufacturers. The official commencement unites two industry giants, pooling their strengths and expertise in the pursuit of automotive excellence for the entire UAE market.Chery's unwavering commitment to automotive innovation is evident. Dedicated to advancing the user experience, Chery infuses its products with intelligent technology, surpassing smart connectivity and adopting an internet-centric mindset. Fuelled by the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) artificial intelligent technology, each Chery model simplifies driving, making it increasingly efficient.Such an emphasis on innovation and safety forms the foundation of AWRostamani's and Chery's partnership, marking a significant expansion throughout the UAE. "For over 50 years, AWRostamani has stood as a beacon of industry excellence and innovation. Today, as we welcome Chery into our portfolio, we enter a new chapter in our legacy, aligned with national sustainability goals, and dedicated to exceeding expectations with innovative solutions, driving us towards a greener future, while continuing to address consumer demands for traditional products like Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, and reinforcing our commitment to customer satisfaction and industry leadership,”, stated Michel Ayat, CEO – Automotive at AWRostamani.He continued, "The Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) inclusion under the Chery fleet underscores a shared commitment to eco-consciousness, while also delivering impressive fuel efficiency features."Shen XianTian, GM of Chery Middle East, said: “Chery has solidified its position as a leading player in the automotive world, with a remarkable history of over 26 years dedicated to technological innovation and product development. Partnering with AWRostamani, with its deep-rooted legacy in the region, is further propelling our brand, leveraging its regional expertise and market insights, and accentuating our commitment to sustainability and avant-garde solutions. Synonymous with automotive excellence, our forthcoming array of electric and hybrid vehicles will strengthen our approach to sculpting the future of eco-friendly transportation.”This partnership is founded on shared values and an enduring appetite to excel in this sector. AWRostamani and Chery are well-equipped to explore new opportunities, offering customers a fully satisfactory automotive experience and setting a notable industry standard. As a result of this collaboration, the Tiggo 7 Pro Max, Tiggo 8 Pro Max and Tiggo 8 Pro Plug-in Hybrid, will be introduced to the UAE market as part of the lineup.

Dubai International Content Market to take place in November

Dubai is gearing up for the Dubai International Content Market (DICM 2023), scheduled to take place from November 22nd to 23rd at Madinat Jumeirah. This event is set to welcome more than 80 exhibitors hailing from 16 different countries. These exhibitors represent a broad spectrum of participants, including content creators, distributors, service providers, and innovative startups, all eager to present their content and offerings to both local and international prospective buyers and visitors.The global digital content market, which was valued at approximately US$162.9 billion last year, is projected to surge to a staggering US$282.3 billion by 2032. Dubai is recognized as a vital bridge between regional and global markets, with events like DICM serving as a unifying platform where industry stakeholders can come together and connect.DICM 2023 is set to feature four country pavilions, including two from South Korea, and one each from Turkey and Russia. This presents a unique opportunity to explore a diverse array of rich content from across the global market.The event has garnered immense interest from the industry, with more than 200 buyers from over 25 countries already confirmed to attend.

RAKEZ empowers its business community with digital marketing & AI seminar

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) launched its next phase of events for its community of entrepreneurs under the ‘Growth Series’ theme. The series kicked off with an engaging seminar -highlighting the significance of the latest social media strategies, the digital marketing revolution and the pivotal role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in achieving substantial digital success for companies.The session stood out as a groundbreaking and enlightening platform, allowing participants to delve into discussions about utilising advanced social media strategies to reach a broader range of potential customers. It emphasized the importance of exploring digital marketing to achieve the uttermost results in their business’ digital growth and success. Furthermore, the digital experts provided valuable insights and shared their experiences, shedding light on effective digital marketing and content implementation strategies aimed at boosting market awareness for SMEs and new startups.RAKEZ Group CEO Ramy Jallad said, “In today's dynamic business landscape, digital marketing and impactful content are not just assets—they are the lifeblood that fuels growth, innovation, and connection. With the integration of AI, the horizons of what's possible have expanded exponentially. Every touchpoint, every click, every digital interaction, opens a door to unprecedented opportunities. But seizing these chances requires more than just understanding; it demands mastery and the agility to evolve. Our commitment is to ensure that our community of businesses recognises the immense value of social media, digital marketing and AI realms, and are equipped to harness their full potential. By organising events like these, we aim to bridge knowledge gaps, foster collaborative learning, and introduce a future-ready digital mindset. With the right tools, insights, and strategies, we're confident our clients can break barriers and redefine success in their respective industries.”During the informative session, experts delved into the latest innovations in AI, discussing how businesses can utilise AI tools for content creation, editing, and implementation. Attendees expressed their concerns about emerging digital trends and the challenges of aligning the right strategies with their business objectives. Addressing these concerns, specialists offered deep insights and outlined a framework of best practices for them to adopt.Clients across various sectors frequently attend RAKEZ community events, consistently gaining valuable insights and recommendations to enhance their business strategies. Nazira Connolly Founder and Operations Manager of EVAP Investment LLC Said , “I have been a regular participant of RAKEZ events, and I hold them in high regard. In today's market, these events are invaluable for staying current with digital trends and aligning with modern technology. Today's session has deepened my understanding of the importance of social media strategies, brand protection, and enhancing brand recognition. As a result, I’m now committed to investing in our company's website to showcase our work and achievements effectively. The event not only benefited my company's growth but also provided a platform for networking with industry peers and enriched my understanding of corporate tax intricacies.”Similarly, Meenal Karani Founder of Boss Lady of Business & Bicep said , “The theme of today's event is profoundly relevant for any business aspiring to enhance brand visibility and reach their customers. While we have been utilising social media for our online presence, today's insights have equipped us to use these platforms more efficiently. We have gleaned key takeaways on how to leverage social media platforms to reach more and more customers, identify the right audience and their needs - as well as the role of AI in generating highly engaging content. Consequently, our focus will now extend to incorporating Facebook and WhatsApp Business into our social media strategy.”Meanwhile, Ahmad Yahia Executive Director of Premier Business Solution Services, who regularly participates in RAKEZ events, affirmed the positive impact of these gatherings on the business community. He noted: "As the proprietor of a business consultancy firm, I came here today with the clear objective of understanding the tremendous potential of social media to broaden our outreach and connect with a wider clientele. RAKEZ consistently delivers invaluable insights, fostering connections, and offering innovative solutions that help us elevate our consultancy services to new heights. The impact of these events reverberates throughout our business operations, enhancing our ability to serve our clients effectively and navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape."RAKEZ remains committed to empowering entrepreneurs and businesses with knowledge, connections, and innovation - As a staunch supporter of SMEs and startups, RAKEZ offers an ecosystem that ensures successful business ventures in the UAE, bolstering a vibrant business community, gearing up for an exhilarating digital horizon.

BTEA and Connections Luxury Unite for Bahrain's Luxurious Wonders

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) and Connections Luxury announced its partnership aimed at showcasing the kingdom’s premier luxury products to a select international audience of elite luxury buyers. This collaboration delivered exclusive experiences, establishing significant connections between elite travelers and the Middle East’s jewel, Bahrain. The prestigious event, "Connections Luxury Bahrain," took place from October 15th to 18th, 2023, and has already made an extensive impact in the world of luxury travel. The primary objective of this partnership between Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) and Connections Luxury is to significantly profile and position Bahrain as a leading tourism destination among prominent global tour operators. This outcome represents a key milestone in promoting Bahrain as a go-to luxury destination in the Middle East. The event brought together an elite gathering of exceptional international tour operators and representatives from the global luxury tourism sector and destination management companies. Over a span of three days, participants were granted an exclusive opportunity to discover the diverse attractions offered by Bahrain, laying the foundation for the kingdom to shine on the global stage. The event garnered immense acclaim and feedback from participants, emphasizing the kingdom's prominence in the realm of luxury travel. Participants at "Connections Luxury Bahrain" were offered a plethora of experiences that captured the essence of Bahrain's luxury offerings. Among these, spa treatments at luxurious hotels proved to be a highlight for many. One participant remarked, "They had an amazing experience, with offerings from the hotel, such as spa treatments, which were incredibly relaxing. The experience was truly enjoyable." The adventurous had the chance to hold a falcon, which, although petrifying, left an indelible mark, and the calligraphy session where participants had their names written in Arabic, providing a unique and personalized memento. A leisurely walk around the resort added to the overall charm. As one participant summed it up, "This was a nice experience, and now I can go back to the UK and passionately sell the products." Another participant highlighted the diversity of experiences, stating, "So far, I have taken part in two experiences. One involved trying on an outfit with a helmet at Bahrain Circuit, and the other was off-roading. These experiences not only showcased Bahrain International Circuit but also shed light on the kind of adventures that await in Bahrain." In a statement, Dr. Nasser Ali Qaedi, CEO, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), said, “Bahrain has always been a hidden gem in the world of luxury travel, and “Connections Luxury Bahrain” amplifies the charms of our destination. The event's resounding success further solidifies Bahrain's position as a premier luxury destination in the Middle East. It stands as a testament to our commitment to showcasing Bahrain’s unparalleled offerings to the world and elevating its position in the luxury travel industry.” The “Connections Luxury Bahrain” event drew in attendees from across the globe, creating a diverse and dynamic atmosphere. Guests had the chance to partake in exclusive tours, experiences, and one-on-one meetings with key stakeholders in Bahrain’s luxury industry. The occasion celebrated the essence of Bahrain's unique blend of history, culture, and modern luxury.

Formidable duo takes rein of PHD, MENA as Luca Allam steps down

Luca Allam will be stepping down as CEO of PHD for the MENA region after being in the organisation for 13 years. Following this shift, Daniel Shepherd and Karen Doumet will step into Co-Managing Director roles. Allam had joined PHD as Digital Director for Abu Dhabi and became the CEO for MENA subsequently. He will step down and explore new career opportunities. Karen Doumet , who has been leading the agency’s operations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, has spent 16 years of her career at OMG, and 13 at PHD. OMG in a statement said: “A planner at heart, she’s grown to become a successful business partner to PHD’s clients and a great mentor to her team. Doumet’s coached a generation of talent and has created a world-class standard of operational excellence. ” Daniel Shepherd began his career in London at the beginning of the programmatic revolution and developed his strong digital planning talent. After joining PHD in Dubai in 2015, he eventually became Head of Strategy and Product.      OMG added: “He injects his passion for culture, storytelling and creativity in his data-driven, and award-winning, strategy approaches. Shepherd actively contributes to crafting and sharing the agency’s thought-leadership.”Luca Allam has guided the digital transformation of the agency, developing its skill-set, attracting and developing top talent across seniority levels and office locations. He elevated PHD into a top tier agency brand. Under his watch, PHD has attracted and retained an impressive portfolio of global, regional and local clients and was named Most Effective Media Agency Office of the Year at the MENA Effies in 2017, 2019 and 2021.Elda Choucair, CEO of Omnicom Media Group MENA and former CEO of PHD MENA, said: “As hard as it is to see Luca go, I’m grateful for his dedication and achievement. The team he’s built is resilient and ambitious, with multiple layers of talent ready to step up.”

Travel Genius launches Geni-us, the go-to travel planning source of the future

TravelGenius Pte Ltd announced the launch of Geni-us, a powerful travel search engine which delivers meaningful, relevant, and personalised travel recommendations and itineraries based on the travellers’ desired experience. The map-based travel planning and discovery platform uses a revolutionary technology understanding travel intent, with a natural language free form search, answering all travellers needs in a single search and locating the best area to stay at. Acting as the users’ local travel agent, currently launched in Beta version, offers a stress-free way for users to turn all their travel desires into memorable experiences, at a click. Following the recent launch of SpotQuest, the leading location intelligence platform for hospitality businesses, TravelGenius is ushering in a new era of human-centric innovation for the travel industry. Leveraging cutting-edge Voice and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies, as well as advanced mapping capabilities, TravelGenius offers a dedicated location intelligence platform tailored to the unique needs of the hospitality and travel sector. With access to meticulously curated proprietary data, TravelGenius enables location classification at granular levels, right down to streets and neighbourhoods. This all-encompassing platform is a one-stop solution catering to the diverse needs of travel businesses, consultancies, hotels, restaurants, travellers, and destinations alike, offering a transformative approach to the world of travel.Pioneering this game-changing solution for the travel industry, Hannes Bos, the Founder of TravelGenius, is a hospitality professional with over two decades of industry leadership. Understanding the travel industry challenges, Hannes has always wanted to simplify how people work in the industry, and how travellers can plan for their trip and make the best out of their stay. “Over the last twenty years, the online travel industry has not been able to meaningfully simplify the process of researching, planning and booking trips, which currently still requires an average of 30 online sessions over 19 days*” said Hannes.With this in mind, he has created Geni-us, the first platform where travellers can now easily and effectively plan for their stay, as the purpose-built platform provides answers to the key travel questions “What to do, When to do, Where to go (destination), Where to Stay (Area/Location), and How to get there” into one map-based user-interface. While there are tons of resources, including Chat-GPT and AI-based platforms, where travellers can find locally curated answers to any such questions, none of them offer the opportunity to answer all these questions in a multi-faceted way that is visually relevant and hyper-personalised as Geni-us.Geni-us is the only travel recommendations platform to process travel plans search queries and interpret their meaning simultaneously, at one click. The platform integrates thousands of travel guides, accommodation reviews, itinerary maps, and expertly curated travel content, saving travellers precious research time for planning their trip, and ensuring their travel experiences match their desires.Sachin Chauhan, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of TravelGenius said “At Geni-us, we developed a travel experience data layer where we captured all travel related points of interests (Destinations, at street/beach level, things to do, best time to travel, accessibility and proximity, food, accommodation, and more). We curated these billions of datapoints and created profiles for every travel corridor and traveller persona. Our ability to also incorporate food preferences and/or dietary requirements in the travel search and recommendations engine, allows us to advise travellers the micro-neighbourhoods that have best access and proximity to their choice of food, anywhere in the world.”By removing travellers’ pain points, Geni-us will benefit the whole travel industry. Because planning a trip is not about entering dates, ticking boxes, or choosing filters, Geni-us has developed a unique conversational feature based on users’ lifestyle and passions which literally turn their travel dreams into reality. The voice enabled platform makes it even easier to intuitively conduct the travel search and explore expertly curated travel recommendations. Geni-us empowers travellers to make a confident decision about their next trip, and empowers the industry by providing a single, efficient, and meaningful travel planning source that will support the whole travel ecosystem.

Two-thirds of UAE tech leaders attribute increased business profitability to AI

The UAE is taking a proactive stance in the world of technology, leading the way in adopting innovative technologies. An impressive 89% of technology leaders in the UAE are confident that their current technology can effectively fuel business growth and enhance organizational development. This level of confidence surpasses that of their global counterparts by a significant 16%, as highlighted in the recently released KPMG UAE Tech report for 2023, titled "Tech Trailblazers: Navigating the Next Digital Frontier."The KPMG report emphasizes the UAE's dedication to using technology to reach ambitious business objectives, tackle challenges, and promote Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) priorities. Notably, 87% of tech leaders in the UAE are confident in their current technology's ability to advance the organization's ESG agenda, surpassing the global average by 15%. Additionally, a substantial 86% of UAE tech leaders believe that their organization's technology is simultaneously enhancing employee satisfaction, well-being, efficiency, and cost reduction.Mohamad Majid, Partner, Digital and Innovation at KPMG Lower Gulf said: “The UAE’s digital transformation leaders are committed to their innovation priorities and realizing value at pace, despite the headwinds of global economic uncertainty. This year’s KPMG UAE Tech Report provides insights into how the nation’s tech leaders are forging a path of innovation and technology-driven growth, setting a global example for strategic AI adoption, prioritizing ESG and cybersecurity, and advancing business technology.”The UAE's strategic focus on AI and machine learning (ML) and commitment to transformative technologies is shared by CTOs. Based on the KPMG study, a significant 53% of tech leaders in the UAE recognize AI as a key driver for fulfilling their short-term objectives. The study also highlights other technology preferences of respondents for achieving these short-term goals, with edge computing (43%) and quantum computing (41%) emerging as highly valuable options. Interestingly, the Metaverse, although at 29%, still showcases potential, suggesting that it's an evolving concept rather than an immediate competitor to innovative technologies.Remarkably, 43% of tech leaders attribute their belief in AI's potential to its demonstrated return on investment (ROI). In fact, two-thirds of CTOs attribute significant increases in profitability to AI initiatives.84% of UAE tech leaders believe that the benefits of XaaS technologies are worth the risks. This puts them 21% ahead of tech leaders around the world. XaaS, or "Everything as a Service," means getting various resources and services over the internet through subscriptions. It includes things like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and more. XaaS helps businesses adapt quickly to changing needs, save money, and stay up to date with regular updates and improvements.The report has also found that in the UAE, information security is a key driver of digital transformation due to regulatory requirements and rising cybersecurity concerns. More than half (56%) of tech leaders emphasize the importance of meeting customer demands for enhanced data privacy and cybersecurity in shaping their strategies.However, 47% of tech leaders in the UAE identify underdeveloped data management strategies as a hurdle to transformation (compared to the global average of 34%). Furthermore, 43% of respondents highlight the limitations of legacy technology, highlighting the necessity of innovative strategies that directly address these challenges.Tomorrow’s tech leaders envision digital evolution holistically, cultivating innovation across all industries. As the UAE sets out to achieve its centennial 2071 ambitions, technology breakthroughs can reshape the future of education, healthcare, tourism, manufacturing, and ESG.

Oakley and Garmin present the Jebel Jais Challenge

Oakley and Garmin, both sports brands, have joined forces for Jebel Jais Challenge, a mountainous challenge in the UAE. In this challenge cyclists will get the opportunity to embark on an adventure of epic proportions, an exhilarating journey of endurance, excitement, and the unmistakable Oakley thrill on Sunday, 5th November.All cyclists are invited to join the Oakley and Garmin challenge for an unforgettable adventure, driven by the brand’s commitment to innovation and its unending passion for the extraordinary.The Jebel Jais Challenge calls on thrill-seekers and biking enthusiasts to ascend to the summit and return to the starting point as many times as possible within an eight-hour window. Contenders will be able to feel the adrenaline course through their veins as they conquer the awe-inspiring mountain, embracing the true spirit of adventure and achievement.The challenge is for riders to put their mettle to the test by scaling the mountain multiple times within eight hours. Each successful lap of 51 kilometers will earn them a valuable Oakley Coin. These coins then become a ticket to unlock the latest in high-performance eyewear and apparel.Riders will also be able to take the challenge on at their own pace, taking this as an opportunity to enjoy the scenery Jebel Jais offers. The route leads to a turning point just before the guard boom on the ascent, this has a stop that will offer everyone a chance to recharge with refreshing drinks and snacks before heading back to the start for another thrilling climb. Registration is open online and will close on Tuesday 31 October, or sooner if the event reaches capacity. With only 150 slots available, everyone is encouraged to register as soon as possible.

Vijay's Action Packed 'Leo' Delivers High-Octane Entertainment

If Hollywood has MCU, we have our LCU!! That's the Lokesh Cinematic Universe which started with Kaithi (2019) and went further gun blazing in Vikram (2022). Leo, the third instalment in the action thriller series, rests on a weak premise but still makes it to the watch-worthy grade thanks to some high octane action sequences and Anirudh's pulsating background score. Parthiban (Thalapathy Vijay with salt and pepper beard) lives a blissful family life with wifey (Trisha) and two kiddos until he is haunted by the ghosts from his past in form of Antony (Sanjay Dutt) and Harold (Arjun Sarja) Das, two gangsters who believe he is their long lost heir Leo. So is Parthi really Leo Das or not??!! The basic theme reminded me of Amitabh Bachchan's Hum (1991), which was cleverly adapted as Superstar Rajinikanth's Baashha (1995) and later horribly remade as Sunny Deol's Big Brother (2007). Having said that, Lokesh Kanagaraj packages the oft repeated plotline wonderfully with right quotient of thrills as well as emotions. The family scenes for instance, touch your heart here. And the café fight sequence in the first half is a howl!! Expectedly, Thalapathy Vijay carries the film entirely on his able shoulders and gets two formidable villains to fight in form of Sanju Baba and Arjun. Both are first rate. There are ample references of Kaithi and Vikram, which I won't disclose here for spoiler purpose. On the technical front, the action set pieces are excellent right from the first hyena fight till the blood soaked climax. Moreover, Anirudh's music elevates the film to an altogether different level. The film is close to three hours long (with interval) but doesn't seem so. On the flipside, the VFX in the car chase scene between Vijay and Sanju Baba looks shoddy. All in all, Leo works well even with its wafer thin plot. The LCU is burning bright, no doubt!! Ratings on some key aspects* : 1. Acting : 4/5 2. Direction : 4/53. Music : 4/5 4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 3/55. Cinematography : 3.5/56. Editing : 3.5/5 7. Costume Design : 3/58. Special Effects and VFX : 2/59. Action : 4.5/510. Production Quality : 3.5/5 #SNRating for #Leo : 3 & 1/2 stars out of 5. - Sumeet Nadkarni Liked the review? Click on the link below and like the #SNRatings page to subscribe to honest and unbiased reviews of all latest movies : You can also follow us on Twitter handle : @sumu76in * - The overall film rating is not a simple average of all ratings on key aspects but a weighted average of the ratings where some crucial aspects (like direction, acting, story and screenplay etc) are assigned more weightage than others. #Leo #ActionThriller #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #ThalapathyVijay #Trisha #LCU #LokeshKanagaraj #SanjayDutt #ArjunSarja #BollywoodReview #Filmreview #TheatricalRelease #OTTRelease #Netflix #SNRatings #SNRatings barometer:1 star = Poor1 & 1/2 star = Below average/ Avoidable2 stars = Average2 & 1/2 stars = Above average/ Risk it3 stars = Good enough/ Endurable3 & 1/2 stars = Definitely worth a watch4 stars = Very good5 stars = Masterpiece/ Outstanding. 2023 SNRatings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adjust & Mobmio announce strategic partnership to accelerate mobile industry

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

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

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

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

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

Advanced Media Trading's #IAMTomorrow Campaign Celebrates the Generation

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

Liverpool FC Retail, e-commerce relaunch

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

Can Generation X marketers thrive in the age of AI?

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

BEL Group Selects Catch Communications as PR Partner for Regional Expansion

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

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

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

OSH Del MAR Opens Outdoor Terrace for An Unparalleled Dining Experience

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

Boosting PR campaign performance with artificial intelligence

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

UAE's metaverse pioneer Everdome launches SPACES (MaaS)

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

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

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

ManageEngine adds next generation antivirus capability

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

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

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

UAE Pro League and EWEC Join Forces for Sustainable Football

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

ALMA brings traditional Mexican flavours to Abu Dhabi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viridi expands global presence with launch of MENA subsidiary

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

ICubesWire secures influencer marketing partnership with Himalaya

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

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

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

Doha Festival City unveils festival magazine featuring F1 sensation Yuki Tsunoda

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

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

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

Advanced Media welcomes UAE’s film students to CINESchool

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