TOD to offer month full of exciting sport season finals

Doha: Streaming platform TOD is all set to offer its subscribers a month full of exciting sport season finals. It starts with UEFA Europa League’s much-anticipated May 31st clash between six-time UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners Sevilla and 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League winners Roma. Fans will be able to stream every minute of the action live from Budapest’s 65,000-seater Puskas Arena.On Saturday, June 3, the action will switch to what promises to be a thrilling and memorable Manchester derby FA Cup final between Manchester United and Man City, with City eyeing to replicate their iconic treble. The same day, TOD will be showing all ten final day fixtures from France, including two Ligue1 matches live and exclusive on the platform. June 3 will also see TOD stream the UEFA Women's Champions League final from Eindhoven's PSV Stadium when former champions Barcelona take on the might of Germany’s Wolfsburg.On 4 June, TOD will be streaming the feisty Istanbul derby - Galatasaray v Fenerbahce, live and exclusive, a top match from the Turkish Super Lig. TOD will also be showing three LaLiga games live and exclusive, thus streaming all ten final day games from Spain.Fans will also be able to follow the CAF Champions League final first leg on June 4 and second leg on June 11, and the UEFA Europa Conference League final on June 7.June 10 will see streaming of the 2023 UEFA Champions League Final live from Istanbul's Atatürk Olympic Stadium with football fans witnessing the might of Man City come up against the Italian style of Inter Milan. Soon after, on June 12, TOD will be streaming the UEFA u-20 World Cup final. Additionally, basketball enthusiasts from the region will be able to enjoy NBA final playoffs throughout the whole of June. The platform will also keep tennis buffs riveted to their screens with the Roland Garros French Open Women’s Final on June 10, followed by the Men’s Final a day later. John Paul McKerlie, VP Marketing and Sales at TOD said, “These stand-out football clashes will complement our regular schedule of major fixtures from Spain’s La Liga, the English Premier League, the French Ligue 1 and Germany’s Bundesliga making for a fantastic month of sports action. Our subscribers won’t miss any of the crucial moments from these key games with our interactive timelines, match highlights and watch-from-the-start feature.”TOD can be streamed across MENA on iOS and Android devices, including most of the leading smart TVs such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, LG, and Hisense, to name a few. The TOD app can be downloaded from the App Store or Play Store and linked to up to 5 devices, with pin protection enabled personalization options.

Mawdoo3, ArabyAds team up for digital advertising growth

Dubai:  ArabyAds, the leading global technology company, today announced that it has further strengthened its partnerships by becoming the exclusive media representative for Mawdoo3 – the region’s largest online Arabic content publisher.The partnership marks a significant development in the digital advertising landscape as it brings together the deep technology expertise and advertiser base of ArabyAds and ThePubverse, with the massive audience reach and uniquely valuable content of Mawdoo3.Mawdoo3, with over 100 million organic unique monthly visitors globally and 32 million unique visitors from the GCC, along with 25 million social followers across all platforms, offers valuable and trusted Arabic content across various platforms. The company is committed to enriching the Arabic content online and providing reliable information for audiences in areas such as health, parenting, education, and entertainment, utilizing artificial intelligence technology to enhance the user’s day-to-day experience.ThePubverse ecosystem enhances publisher outreach through behavioral targeting, enabling efficient monetization of traffic for publishers in the MENA region. By deploying ThePubverse ecosystem across Mawdoo3’s leading platforms, ad monetization across markets will be strengthened, benefiting all stakeholders.Commenting on the development, Mahmoud Fathy, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ArabyAds said, “I am delighted with this partnership as it opens up new opportunities for the ecosystem. Advertisers across the region will now be able to access a massive, highly engaged Arabic-speaking audience cohort through Mawdoo3’s penetration in the region, and consumers will be able to get relevant ads as recommendations based on their interests, context, age group, and affinities. This is yet another step that aligns with our vision to create value, bridging the gap between advertisers, platforms, and consumers through technology and innovation.”Adding to the development, Imad Sarrouf, CEO of ThePubverse said, “This is a big step towards strengthening a technology-first ecosystem that lays its foundations on building for the advertising landscape. ThePubVerse’s AI-led platform will aim towards maximizing eCPMs (effective Cost per thousand impressions) for Mawdoo3, while its data-science engine would work on mapping audience to relevant ads as non-intrusive recommendations. What’s noteworthy is the platform’s capabilities to do this at scale, with Mawdoo3’s massive audience base. I am looking forward to strengthening this partnership for growing the business.”Rami Al-Qawasmi, CEO of Mawdoo3, expressed his excitement about the partnership, highlighting its potential to expand business reach and enhance the advertising experience in the region. “This step aligns with our vision to create value for both readers and advertisers. With our cutting-edge landscape and sizable audience base, merged with ThePubverse’s experience in the digital landscape, advertisers can have access to a highly engaged Arab audience, while delivering relevant ads as recommendations based on their interests.”Mawdoo3 has been helping more than 1000 brands reach their target audience and achieve their business goals throughout the years. In addition, it has been continuously inspiring Arab audiences with online content on multiple and wide range of topics.

Nearly 8 in 10 UAE shoppers seek better personalized offers: Adyen

Adyen (AMS: ADYEN), the global financial technology platform of choice for leading businesses, is publishing economic research that finds that retailers could potentially boost loyalty of 69% of UAE shoppers if they switched to a unified commerce approach and stopped operating in silos.More than half of UAE shoppers are seeking a flexible shopping journey that offers their favourite payment methods, buying online and returning in store and purchasing an out-of-stock item and shipping them directly home.Adyen commissioned Opinium LLP to survey 1000 UAE consumers out of 36,000 globally, and Censuswide to survey 500 UAE merchants out of 12,000 globally. The goal was to understand how recent are impacting businesses worldwide, with a specific focus on markets like the UAE. This research also explores changes in shopper behaviour across various markets and delves into the preferences of UAE shoppers, as well as the current performance of retailers. Economic modelling conducted by the Cebr shows how unified commerce, which involves connecting online and offline payments in one system, supports greater retail resilience in a demanding and competitive retail environment.The overwhelming majority 80% of UAE consumers globally said they spend more time searching for the best deals and prices[1], while almost one third 30% wait for big calendar moments like Black Friday before making a purchase. In response, 52% of UAE merchants believe the impact of inflation is such that they need to offer discounts to consumers year-round. The research found that in face of the rising cost of living personalisation and loyalty have become increasingly important. 78% of UAE consumers want to see more discounting at retailers they shop with and 67% say they want businesses to remember their preferences and previous shopping experiences so that browsing is more tailored. UAE Retailers are finding it hard to deliver on this, with 58% suggesting it’s now harder to categorise customers.The tech advantage69% of UAE consumers say that they’d be more loyal to retailers that let them buy online and return in-store, and nearly two-thirds 64% suggested they’d have better shopping experiences if a business enables them to shop in store and finish online or vice versa.Further, when consumers were asked about how technology makes them feel when shopping in-store, the result is overwhelmingly positive. Little less than half 43% said they were happier because shopping was quicker, and slightly more than one-third 36% said they would visit a store more frequently as a result of its technology implementation.UAE retailers are recognizing the significance of connecting all sales channels. In fact, this region is familiar with unified commerce, as 50% of retailers have already begun investing in this strategy in the past year, and 45% are considering its implementation.“We have always recognized the potential of unified commerce for businesses and its ability to elevate the shoppers' experience. It's great to witness that in the UAE, over half of the retailers have also acknowledged its potential and chosen to invest in it," said Sander Maertens, Head of the Middle East. “And despite the significant changes in consumer behaviour over recent years, retailers who have embraced unified commerce will find it easier to navigate and adapt to these shifts.""Through Adyen's financial technology platform, businesses leverage unified commerce, bringing together all payment data into a powerful system. This integrated approach provides valuable insights into customer behaviour, enabling organisations to meet their shopping expectations effectively. In the dynamic world of the retail sector, where speed is crucial, technology proves vital in building operational resilience amidst the ever-changing landscape."

UAE-based AI start-up School Hack hits one million users in just four months

Dubai: School Hack, the UAE-based Chat-GPT powered edtech platform that equips students to work with AI and helps develop the skills for the jobs of tomorrow, has hit one million users. Founded in January 2023 and launched in February 2023 by Muhammed Khalid, School Hack’s user growth already rivals some of the fastest growing apps of all time such as Instagram and Tik Tok. No app from the Gulf region has ever grown as fast before, and School Hack is currently outstripping any other app in the world in terms of the volume of words it is putting through OpenAI’s Chat GPT – with 150 million words a day and rising.The School Hack business consists of two products, the student-focused School Hack app – available on Apple and Android – and the SHP 2.0 platform focused on educators as well as students. SHP 2.0’s interactive AI portal is a breakthrough in helping schools to regulate and oversee AI usage, ensuring students harness its potential fully and responsibly. It helps prepare students for the future of work in an age of AI, and allows full visibility for teachers on how students are using AI – preventing cheating and plagiarism. The advanced AI detector ensures that students stay within the system and cannot exploit external AI platforms to bypass safeguards. These innovations have led Bloom World Academy to introduce School Hack’s SHP 2.0 platform across seven schools.The School Hack products have been in development for two years, anticipating ChatGPT and other AI products by 18 months and giving the app and the portal a massive advantage over a suite of AI products that are hitting the market. Advanced SHP 2.0 features include “Smart Media” which revolutionizes the way students interact with videos, lectures, and podcasts – it can convert any video or audio instantly to text. This is complemented by the “Ask me Anything” feature, which fosters curiosity and empowers students to take charge of their learning journey, and the “SmartDocs” feature which transforms the way students engage with documents and creates a personalized learning experience. The Social Study Group allows students to work together within the app and encourages collaborative learning and global connections.Muhammed Khalid, CEO and Founder said that as AI disrupts education students need the right tools to understand how to make the most of this game-changing technology. “I have always been passionate about education and I have been developing a number of ed-tech products over the last few years. As different AI tools emerged I could see the integration potential. Because we had existing products in development, School Hack has a different level of sophistication over other AI-powered apps and a natural head-start – which has been reflected in the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have seen and the record user growth we have witnessed.”

BM Studio founders launch "The Originals" creative house

Dubai: BM Studio founders, Benjamin and Julien Monie, along with Antoine Croise, founder and former director of Auditoire Dubai, recently announced the launch of a new creative house called The Originals.The Originals will operate in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.This creative house will provide events and content creation services for artistic digital installations, immersive experiences, large-scale multi-media cultural shows, and events.The team at The Originals has two decades of experience in designing and delivering major events across the region for leading brands.Located in Al Quoz, The Originals embraces and promotes the Dubai government's vision for the Al Quoz creative zone project. With a strong commitment to inspiring and nurturing the next generation of creative talent, we actively contribute to the realization of this vision.Benjamin Monie, Co-Founder of The Originals, stated: “The Originals is committed to supporting the rapid development of the Middle East’s cultural ecosystem. We have always been fascinated by our continually evolving world and the people we encounter which is an infinite source of inspiration for us. We aim to explore new territories and craft our original experiences and content with like-minded partners which is why we prioritise creating our own Ips, as well as co-creating original concepts with relevant partners in the region.”The Originals Co-Founder Julien Monie said: “The Originals is more than a traditional agency. We are a platform for the creative economy and a social space that brings people together to connect, collaborate and explore new ideas. This enables us to be physically connected to what is happening now and to what is coming next.”The Originals Co-Founder Antoine Croise said: “We don’t want to do events just for the sake of doing events. We want to make sure that the projects we develop have a positive social and cultural impact and also leave a legacy. The projects we work on are carefully selected based on this core value.”The Originals operates through three pillars: The Agency, The Studio, and The Society.The Agency focuses on producing interdisciplinary projects that revolve around art, culture, and technology, with the aim of offering unique experiences. Currently, they are working on various projects, including large-scale multi-media cultural shows, artistic digital installations, immersive experiences, and events.The Studio collaborates with artists, producers, and studios to produce animation, films, special effects, and music for their projects. Additionally, they offer talk shows, podcast series, and music production. The studio is equipped with facilities such as the first Dolby Atmos studio in the UAE, a podcast studio, a music recording studio, a video recording studio, and a graphic studio.The Society acts as a social space and community that brings together members of the creative economy. They organize regular events such as talks, masterclasses, social gatherings, and music showcases to foster connections and facilitate collaboration.

Gaming revenues in MENA to reach USD 6 billion by 2027

Dubai: Gaming revenues are expected to almost double by 2027 from 2021 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, reaching USD 6 billion, according to DMCC’s latest Future of Trade 2023 report titled ‘Gaming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Geared for growth’. A young and digital-savvy population, high levels of digital connectivity, and government support are driving the region’s emergence as a consumer and creator hub. Gaming and esports are both fast growing consumer segments, benefiting from rapid advancements in technology as well as broader and more inclusive audiences. The UAE and Saudi Arabia lead the region, supported by high income levels, strong digital engagement, and public investment initiatives. Globally, Asia Pacific constitutes the largest market share and China, the US, and Japan are the largest individual markets. The report gathers contributions from key industry leaders including Jad El Mir, Partner at Strategy&, and Klaus Kajetski, CEO and Founder of YaLLa Esports, to establish the critical drivers of the industry’s accelerated growth in the MENA region and beyond. It also examines the impact on gaming and esports from a technology, culture, and business perspective, covering global consumer trends, the emergence of MENA as a gaming and esports hub, and the key challenges that the industry needs to address to increase revenues further. Guiding the global industry’s accelerated growth from nearly USD 200 billion in revenues in 2021 to USD 340 billion in 2027, the report outlines a set of key recommendations for governments and businesses, namely: - Diversify esports revenue streams from sponsorship to new direct-to-fan monetisation models – including digital merchandising, loyalty programmes and training platforms for amateur gamers – to boost revenues.- Develop appropriate regulatory safeguards to ensure privacy, security and safety online in the digital gaming ecosystem and provide a business-friendly environment – including smoother visa systems to allow esports professionals and audiences to attend live events – to attract talent into the region and elevate it into a global industry leader. Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “Gaming has come to the fore of entertainment globally, driving rapid growth especially in the MENA region, which now constitutes 15% of the global player base. The rise of gamification in areas such as education, healthcare, and other sectors has demonstrated gaming’s role in facilitating economic activity more broadly. Ensuring the accelerated growth of the gaming sector will have a measurable impact on the future of markets around the world, as well as the future of trade. As DMCC seeks to solidify Dubai’s reputation as a global trade and economic hub, efficiently activating opportunities within the gaming sector will prove essential.” Among the most closely watched segments is esports, which is expected to post revenue growth of 23.3% between 2019 and 2024 in MENA. Fuelling this is the region’s young demographic, engagement from international broadcasters and sponsors, and government support. Tapping into this economic potential, DMCC partnered with YaLLa Esports, the Dubai-based professional esports organisation, to launch the DMCC Gaming Centre in December 2022. The Centre supports the growth of the industry in Dubai by providing gaming businesses with access to global capital, leading industry talent, and an ecosystem that allows them to operate efficiently and with confidence. Due to the UAE’s strong business environment and infrastructure, as well as its status as a gateway to the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, various international gaming developers have set up their regional headquarters in the country. Ubisoft is based in Abu Dhabi, while the gaming giant Tencent set up its MENA HQ in Dubai along with Riot Games. In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom has included gaming as a core element of its Neom project and has already made investments worth over $1.7 billion on the gaming industry.This special edition of DMCC’s Future of Trade report follows the launch of its flagship biennial report in July 2022, which set out the key drivers of global trade over the next decade. The Future of Trade report series has been downloaded and viewed a total of 1.3 million times.

Radio Bahrain Company receives three awards at the 2023 Transform Awards MEA

Manama: Radio Bahrain Company – a portfolio company of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company “Mumtalakat” – received three awards at the 2023 Transform Awards MEA, which was held in Dubai recently.The company received the Gold award for ‘Best visual identity from the technology, media and telecommunications sector’ and the Bronze award for both ‘Best use of a visual property’ and ‘Best use of copy style or tone of voice’. Radio Bahrain launched its new brand in collaboration with local branding agency Unisono last year.Commenting on the awards, Radio Bahrain CEO Omar Khalifa Shaheen said: “This recognition reflects our commitment at Radio Bahrain to continue to be at the forefront of 21st century radio and offer our listeners an exceptional entertainment experience. The rebrand marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter as we look ahead to the future. We are committed to continuously raising the bar and delivering entertainment excellence to our listeners.”Radio Bahrain broadcasts 24 hours a day, providing audiences of all ages and backgrounds an eclectic mix of the latest music, local and global news, and entertainment that reaches an audience of 6.5 million listeners.

Samsung unveils 2023 TV line-up for smart homes in Dubai

Dubai: Samsung Gulf Electronics introduced the Smart House of Entertainment concept in Dubai to showcase how its 2023 TV line-up is best suited for the evolving lifestyle needs of consumers. At an exclusive event in Dubai, Samsung demonstrated how it is leading in home entertainment innovation, delivered through seamless smart connectivity and an exclusive range of ultra-large screens that puts the TV at the heart of the smart home experience.This focus on premium Smart TVs has seen Samsung uphold its unparalleled leadership in the TV industry for nearly two decades. Data from research firm Omdia reveals that Samsung again topped the global TV market in 2022, making it the 17th year in a row that the company ranked first in the global TV market.Samsung showcased the Smart House of Entertainment concept in a luxury villa at Nikki Beach – Dubai. Spanning four rooms, the concept offered visitors a glimpse of how Samsung's 2023 TV line-up provides premium entertainment experiences for consumers. Each room featured different Smart TVs, including Neo QLED 8K, OLED, The Freestyle, The Frame, The Serif and The Sero. Additionally, all the rooms were powered with Samsung's SmartThings home automation technology, positioning the TV as the smart hub of every room in the house. With many homes having TVs in each room today, the Smart House of Entertainment demonstrates how Samsung empowers each family member with powerful, intelligent technology to define their personal entertainment experience.The Smart House concept aligns with the increased interest in smart homes among UAE residents and, more broadly, with UAE's vision for Smart Cities. By connecting various devices and appliances throughout the house, Samsung demonstrates how users can create a smart lifestyle tailored to their needs.   Nikola Aksentijevic, Head of Visual Display Group, Samsung Gulf Electronics, said: "Through innovation and listening to our customers, Samsung continues to lead the industry as the world's leading TV brand, particularly in the large screen segment. With the Samsung Smart House of Entertainment concept, we can demonstrate how we are accelerating our customers' adoption of cutting-edge smart home experiences. In this journey, our content partners play a fundamental part in the Samsung TV offering, and we will continue working together to bring the best customer experience and content for all."     Starting in the living room, guests were able to experience top Arabic content on Shahid on the 98-inch Neo QLED, which instantly transforms the room into a home cinema. It is powered by the Neo QLED 4K and features Quantum Mini LEDs that produce a billion colours and intense contrast with 1.5 times more lighting zones than Samsung's Quantum Matrix Technology. This is complemented by lifelike sound with Dolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound Pro and Symphony 3.Gaming enthusiasts experienced epic gaming with the Neo QLED in the Gaming Zone powered by Xbox. The TV features the Motion Xcelerator Turbo+, which brings high-speed games and high-octane movies to life with crisp visuals at blazing-fast speeds, with up to 144hz refresh rate with compatible PC-connected content. Meanwhile, the Freestyle projector offers easy connectivity with PC or gaming console, turning any flat surface into a Full HD 100" gaming screen. To enable gamers to make the most out of their games, the 2023 Neo QLED 4K features the Samsung Game Bar with helpful information such as the current refresh rate and input lag. Gamers can also change the screen's aspect ratio to widen their field of view for more compelling gameplay.On to the family room powered by OSN, guests experienced how the 2023 OLED 83” delivers bold contrast, dramatic sound, and vibrant colours. Its proprietary Quantum HDR OLED+, boosted by Quantum Dots, delivers bold contrast, dramatic sound, and vibrant colours, elevating OSN+ content to a whole level. The powerful AI processing technology transforms ordinary content into colourful 4K video while Dolby Atmos audio provides immersive surround sound.In the adjoining master bedroom, guests marvelled at STARZPLAY content on The Frame 75” which combines the innovation and picture quality of a Samsung QLED 4K with the ability to customize the stylish bezel to fit the home décor. When idle, The Frame turns into your personal art exhibition, featuring some of the world's most beloved masterpieces, curated by Samsung in conjunction with leading museums and galleries.Through product innovation, Samsung is driving the premium TV market, attracting more content partners to its entertainment ecosystem. At the Samsung Smart House of Entertainment event, regional and global partners such as STARZPLAY, Anghami, Shahid, OSN, Disney+, YouTube and Microsoft Xbox, and more collaborated with Samsung to showcase their blockbusters, leveraging the New QLED and OLED's cutting-edge visuals, true-to-form color reproduction and high-quality surround sound. By pursuing such effective collaborations, Samsung leads the industry in content partnerships and alliances, adding more value and entertainment options for customers.  By focusing on bigger, better screens, Samsung is delivering premium entertainment experiences for customers while aligning with customers' needs. The Omdia report reveals that Samsung dominated the global ultra-large TV market segment in 2022, reporting a 36.1% and 42.9% market share for TVs over 75 and 80 inches, respectively. For the premium TV market priced over $2,500, Samsung retained the largest market share by revenue at 48.6%.

Apparel Group receives best CSR Initiative Award in the retail sector

Doha: Apparel Group, a leading retail fashion and lifestyle conglomerate, has been honored with the prestigious CSR Award for Exemplary Corporate Social Responsibility in the Retail category at the Qatar CSR Summit. The summit, held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, took place from May 16–18 at Qatar University. Hosted by the Qatar National Program, the awards gala dinner celebrated organizations that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility.Apparel Group’s receipt of the CSR Award is a testament of the group’s significant contributions to the community and showcases its dedication to environmental stewardship and social welfare. As a strategic partner of UN Global Compact, Apparel Group continues its commitment to corporate social responsibility initiatives aimed at creating a positive and sustainable impact.The summit brought together CSR experts and professionals to explore the incorporation of economic, social, and environmental goals into organizational operations. Apparel Group actively promoted its CSR activities during the summit, fostering transformative learning and exchanging best practices in the field.Mr. Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group said: “The recognition received by Apparel Group at the Qatar CSR Summit reinforces the company's commitment to corporate social responsibility and its dedication to forging solid cross-sector collaborations. Through partnerships with organizations such as the Red Crescent and Qatar Charity, Apparel Group strives to create a positive impact on both the environment and society. As Apparel Group continues to drive sustainable practices and corporate social responsibility, the company remains dedicated to making a lasting and positive impact on the community and the environment.”Over the years, Apparel Group has actively engaged in multiple charitable endeavors, including substantial donations to organizations such as Qatar Charity, Hamad Medical Center, DEAP, and local schools. The group has also supported meal distribution programs, promoting social welfare and addressing pressing community needs.One of the company's notable initiatives aligns with Qatar's efforts to ban plastic usage, reflecting its commitment to combat plastic waste. Apparel Group has actively participated alongside multiple organizations in supporting this national endeavor, emphasizing the importance of environmental responsibility and sustainable practices.In 2023 alone, Apparel Group has made significant strides towards sustainability including organizing beach cleanups, participating in Earth Hour initiatives, and contributing to earthquake relief funds. The company continues to champion long-term sustainable practices within the region, fostering ethical behavior, minimizing waste, and raising awareness about sustainable practices among individuals and businesses.

SLS Expo opens reveal ambitious outlook for KSA’s entertainment industry

Riyadh: Local and international experts, government authorities, and industry professionals gathered at the opening of the region’s largest entertainment and leisure trade show, the Saudi Light and Sound (SLS) Expo, which opened its doors yesterday at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre.Inaugurated by Majed AL Hukair CEO – Al Hokair Group, the SLS Expo not only revealed the latest event technology, prolighting design, AV and audio innovations in the sector, but also mapped out the future of the industry in KSA.“We expect a great number of specialists and others to be among the visitors, with rich sessions in all disciplines, and we hope that the exhibition will contribute to creating a shift in the entertainment industry in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Al Hukair, following the inauguration of the SLS Expo, co-located with the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo.“In line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals to grow the entertainment and leisure industry over the next several years, SLS Expo 2023 has ramped up efforts to reveal the current entertainment, cultural and leisure landscape and propel the industry forward through its exhibition and summit,” said Mohammed Faisal, Event Manager, DMG events.“Prolight and sound are industry mainstays for creating memorable events and experiences and with an emphasis on live events of the future, these tools have the power to really change the outcome of the entertainment industry. And with the hundreds of exhibitors displaying the newest AV, professional lighting and sound technologies, the stage is set for the future of this industry,” he added.Saudi talent and performance arts were central to the summit conversations with Tahani Alghureiby, CEO at NEO Theatro Productions and Tom-Naylor Davis, Director and Partner at Theatre Projects Consultants, who both delved into development and challenges of performance arts in KSA yesterday.While Mark Reeves, Head of Entertainment and Events and Andrew Campbell, Director – Creative Production at Six Flags Qiddiya addressed summit delegates on the importance of storytelling and narrative development for prolight and sound shows.The second day of the summit today will tackle the prolight and sound industry by focusing on current trending and future tools for interactive audience engagement, discuss the role of women in the industry and take a closer look at two case studies: Sound storm presented by Michael Jobson, Executive Director – MDL Beast, and storytelling and design for live experiences in Saudi Arabia – A country in transition by Daan Oomen, Founder of Live Legends and Koert Vermeulen, Founder and Principal Designer at ACT Lighting Design.Over the next three days, global and regional exhibitors at the show will reveal services and solutions, meet influencers in the entertainment sectors while networking with government officials, investors, and the region’s top players. In addition, the Expo will display a variety of tools and technologies in sound engineering and design for immersive experiences and offer the industry an inside-look into the latest technologies all while stressing the importance of sustainability and the environmental impact of prolight and sound shows.Co-located with the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement (SEA) Expo, SLS Expo brings together manufacturers, distributors, industry buyers, and professionals from around the world to the kingdom and offers a platform for the advancement of professional lighting and audio, digital signage, virtual, augmented, mixed reality, and laser technology.SLS Expo includes a 300-plus exhibitor directory including: MA Lighting International, Provision AVL, Venue Tech, aDawliah Electronics, Halwani Audio Visual, Castle Robe Middle East, Clay Paky, SLS Production, ER Productions, and many more.

Sherpa Communications named the most trusted B2B agency in the MENA Region

Dubai: Sherpa Communications, a strategic public relations and communications agency in Dubai providing PR services for companies within the UAE and the Middle East, was awarded the Most Trusted B2B PR Agency in the MENA Region as a recognition of its constant support and guidance to its clients at Estesmarat Magazine’s Sixth Award Ceremony at Atlantis the Palm, Dubai. Anastasiya Golovatenko, Account Director at Sherpa Communications, received the award by His Highness Sheikh Salim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Civil Aviation in Ras Al Khaimah, in the presence of Mr. Mohamed Shams El Din, the Chairman and Founder of Estesmarat Emirati magazine and Future Forum for Arab Investments FF22020AI.In a room engulfed with potential and filled with prominent personalities, such as H.E Khalifa Saif Al Muhairbi, Chairman of Arabian Gulf Investment Group, H.E Ali Rashid Al Jarwan, CEO of Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company, and Mustafa Agha, TV Presenter in MBC, Sherpa’s representatives felt empowered, and this has strengthened Sherpa to keep working on presenting its clients in the best way and helping them secure prominent presence in the GCC media.Over the course of the past year, each member in Sherpa Communications has worked their absolute best to support experts who operate in a spectrum of industries: Technology & Digital | Data Analytics & Cloud Management | Crypto & Metaverse, Blockchain | Fintech | Healthcare & Pharma| Construction & Real Estate | Smart Logistics & Warehousing | Information security | Automotive & Smart Mobility | Esports | Education | Interior Design amongst others. On this occasion, Anastasiya Golovatenko, Account Director, Sherpa Communications, said: “We supported our experts to secure tier 1 media coverage across print, online, and broadcast verticals, helped them bring their vision for the business to life, and catalyzed their growth in this region and in international markets. Our efforts had a positive impact and our clients were able to close multi-million dollar contracts, secure funding, increase brand visibility, and develop a strong regional presence.”She added: “Trust in business means everything. We are delighted to receive the Most Trusted B2B PR Agency in the MENA Region award by Estesmarat Magazine, recognizing Sherpa Communications team as a trusted partner to businesses, especially in the B2B space, which we specialize in. We are honoured to work with multinational organizations across various industries as well as support homegrown SMEs with their campaigns and communications across the Middle East and Africa regions.”Additionally, the agency’s Senior Public Relations Executive, Mechelin Wehbi received the Individual Achievement in PR and Communication Award, celebrating her contribution to the Sherpa team and the industry.

FuelBuddy appoints one source for UAE expansion's marketing &cCreative

FuelBuddy, India's first and largest doorstep fuel delivery startup, has partnered with integrated marketing business impact consultancy, One Source, for their UAE launch and expansion. The partnership will include digital marketing, content marketing, performing marketing, and creative duties for FuelBuddy’s UAE business. Earlier this year, FuelBuddy partnered with One Source for integrated marketing communication for the India market. Along with marketing in India, One Source will now be responsible for developing and executing digital marketing strategies that align with objectives in the UAE. Founded in 2016 by Gautam Malhotra, Adnan Kidwai, and Divij Talwar, FuelBuddy has emerged as a pioneer in the energy distribution industry, offering innovative IoT and Cloud-enabled solutions for fuel storage and dispensing. Through its products such as Smart Tank, Diesel on Tap, FuelBuddy Vault, and BuddyCan, the brand is committed to digitising and democratising energy distribution across the globe, starting with India and the UAE.The partnership will be led for One Source by Senior Consultant, Akanksha Srivastava, supported by the national team, at One Source.Opining on the partnership Divij Talwar, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, FuelBuddy said, “With the fuel mobility market emerging at the pace that it is, we’ve already pioneered the market in India. With our global expansion plans, we were looking at partners who would help create business impact for us in a new market. The kind of experience we’ve had with One Source in India makes us believe they’re just the right partner for us towards achieving business goals via marketing.” Srishty Chawla, Co-founder, One Source added, “Winning this remit is a testament to the kind of business impact work we do with our partners in India. One Source has grown its integrated marketing remits by 100% YoY, and now, we are expanding our presence across key growth regions such as the UAE. We are excited to work with FuelBuddy in the next phase of mutual growth and we will continue delivering exceptional business impact work to our partners.”One Source has offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru which service Indian and global market leaders across start-ups, BFSI, fintech, edtech, construction, e-commerce, fast fashion, manufacturing, packaging, business consulting, ICT, foodtech and more. Over the last five years, the consultancy has seen consistent 100+% growth across partners and people, beating average industry appraisals along the way at 27% YoY.

Skin Care Nation by Faces debuts in Saudi Arabia

Dubai: FACES, the leading beauty retailer in the Middle East and a proud own brand of Chalhoub Group is thrilled to announce the arrival of its successful SKIN CARE NATION in Saudi Arabia.David Vercruysse, President of Managed Companies at Chalhoub Group, emphasizes, "The skin care market is a strategic focus for us in 2023. We are expanding our clean beauty portfolio, committing to offer sustainable and science-backed skin care products to consumers in the region. The arrival of SKIN CARE NATION aligns perfectly with the key macro trends shaping the future of the beauty industry."SKIN CARE NATION, a unique skin care concept, combines technology, scientific research, and expert knowledge to deliver an extraordinary skin care experience to our customers. Supported by top international skin care brands, the initiative is set to take Saudi Arabia's skin care landscape by storm.The heart of the SKIN CARE NATION experience is education. Patrice Brosson, the Managing Director at FACES, states, "We invite customers on a rewarding journey to discover everything about skin care. From expert routines to potent ingredients, customers will gain a wealth of knowledge tailored to their unique skin type and concerns. We aim to design personalized skin care routines in a playful and engaging manner."The SKIN CARE NATION pop-up store, launching at Granada Mall from May 27 to June 11, 2023, will offer a diverse portfolio of highly effective products. These products will be categorized into distinct routines, allowing customers to identify and select the best solutions for their skin concerns.Our customer journey covers three main stages at our central podium. The journey begins with an introduction to our concept, followed by a skin diagnosis to identify main skin concerns. This guidance will lead customers to their targeted 'nation' routine, where they will learn about skin care solutions across five key nations - Morning, Night, Skin Solutions, Eye Care, and Glow.The pop-up will feature a variety of the best skin care brands, including glamorous prestige brands, ultimate premium brands, and trending skin care brands. We are excited to welcome brands such as Alya Skin, Augustinus Bader, Beesline, Bioderma, BRTC, Clarins, Clinique, Elizabeth Arden, Erborian, Estée Lauder, Givenchy, Higher Education, Lancôme, La Mer, L'Occitane, Origins, ROC, Shiseido, and Sisley, Some By Mi to our lineup.Customers will not only have the opportunity to build their customized skin care regimen but also to enjoy attractive pre-kitted offers and engage in a rich daily program of skin care talks and activities.By integrating education, tools, and support, SKIN CARE NATION aims to create an emotionally connected and unforgettable experience. Our ultimate goal is to help everyone love the skin they are in. Join us at the SKIN CARE NATION podium in Granada Mall from May 27th and discover your customized skin care routine.

HBKU Press joins discourse on national artificial intelligence

Doha: Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) recently launched a critical title in the world of communications and artificial intelligence (AI) with its new book Qatar Communication Strategies: From Managing a Crisis to Creating a Successful National Brand by Dr. Salim Zakhour and Dr. Nadine Mounzer Karam.HBKU Press officially launched the new title at an event at Qatar National Library on Tuesday May 16th, which saw one of the authors, Dr. Salim Zakhour, facilitate a large-scale public discussion exploring the intersections between national branding, communication strategies, and the increasingly prevalent question of AI with a fully developed digital AI personality addressing the audience.Joining via video, co-author and communications expert Dr. Nadine Karam asked the critical question “how can a nation that has worked on its brand for so long, turn a very unexpected regional crisis into an opportunity?” Dr. Nadine then emphasized that the question is the main focus point of  Qatar Communication Strategies.“In addition to interesting, related topics, we analyzed a major 21st century national/regional crisis and how through proper communication strategies and essentially prevention plans based on economic and political multinational relations, Qatar came out stronger than ever on the international scene, allowing a small country to rebrand and reposition itself on a whole other level,” she added.The discussion concluded with a dynamic Q&A session, with Dr. Zakhour taking questions and comments from the audience, as well as speaking on the intricacies of corporate branding and communications, the growing use of AI and its utilization in competitive political spheres. “The FIFA 2022 World Cup boosted Qatar`s image and position greatly. And this success should be followed with extensive work into creating Qatar`s national brand and promoting it,” he noted, acknowledging the pivotal role communications, branding, and rebranding played in facilitating a global sporting event.“Competition between nations is very high, especially with artificial intelligence technologies in place. Nations that understand how to use AI to create and boost their national brand will have the lead. In this regard, Qatar`s Government Communication Office proactive role is a necessity for the country’s national brand creation and adoption,” he concluded.The launch event saw notable success with over 100 guests in attendance. Audience members were then invited to meet with the author and get their personal copies signed by him. Qatar Communication Strategies: From Managing a Crisis to Creating a Successful National Brand is now available for sale.

ChatGPT phishing fantasies: will AI chatbots help fight cyberscam

Dubai: While ChatGPT had previously demonstrated the ability to create phishing emails and write malware, its effectiveness in detecting malicious links was limited. The study revealed that although ChatGPT knows a great deal about phishing and can guess the target of a phishing attack, it had high false positive rates of up to 64 percent. Often, it produced imaginary explanations and false evidence to justify its verdicts.ChatGPT, an AI-powered language model, has been a topic of discussion in the cybersecurity world due to its potential to create phishing emails and the concerns about its impact on cybersecurity experts’ job security even despite its creators’ warnings that it is too early to apply the novel technology to such high-risk domains. Kaspersky experts decided to conduct an experiment to reveal ChatGPT’s ability to detect phishing links, as well as the cybersecurity knowledge it learned during training. Company’s experts tested gpt-3.5-turbo, the model that powers ChatGPT, on more than 2,000 links that Kaspersky anti-phishing technologies deemed phishing, and mixed it with thousands of safe URLs.In the experiment, detection rates varies depending on the prompt used. The experiment was based on asking ChatGPT two questions: “Does this link lead to a phishing website?” and “Is this link safe to visit?”. The results showed that ChatGPT had a detection rate of 87.2% and a false positive rate of 23.2% for the first question. The second question, “Is this link safe to visit?” had a higher detection rate of 93.8%, but a higher false positive rate of 64.3%. While the detection rate is very high, the false positive rate is too high for any kind of production application.Question askedDetection rateFalse positive rateDoes this link lead to a phishing website?87.2%23.2%Is this link safe to visit?93.8%64.3%The unsatisfactory results at the detection task were expected, but could ChatGPT help with classifying and investigating attacks? Since attackers typically mention popular brands in their links to deceive users into believing that the URL is legitimate and belongs to a reputable company, the AI language model shows impressive results in the identification of potential phishing targets. For instance, ChatGPT has successfully extracted a target from more than half of the URLs, including major tech portals like Facebook, TikTok, and Google, marketplaces such as Amazon and Steam, and numerous banks from around the globe, among others – without any additional training.The experiment also showed ChatGPT might have serious problems when it comes to proving its point on the decision whether the link is malicious. Some explanations were correct and based on facts, others revealed known limitations of language models, including hallucinations and misstatements: many explanations were misleading, despite the confident tone.Below are the examples of misleading explanations provided by ChatGPT:References to WHOIS, which the model doesn’t have access to:Finally, if we perform a WHOIS lookup for the domain name, it was registered very recently (2020-10-14) and the registrant details are hidden.References to content on a website that the model doesn’t have access to either:the website is asking for user credentials on a non-Microsoft website. This is a common tactic for phishing attacks.Misstatements:The domain ‘’ is not associated with Netflix and the website uses 'http' protocol instead of ‘https’ (the website uses https)Revelatory nuggets of cybersecurity information:The domain name for the URL ‘’ appears to be registered in North Korea which is a red-flag. “ChatGPT certainly shows promise in assisting human analysts in detecting phishing attacks but let’s not get ahead of us - language models still have their limitations. While they might be on par with an intern-level phishing analyst when it comes to reasoning about phishing attacks and extracting potential targets, they tend to hallucinate and produce random output. So, while they might not revolutionize the cybersecurity landscape just yet, they could still be helpful tools for the community,” comments Vladislav Tushkanov, Lead Data Scientist at Kaspersky.To learn more about the experiment, visit's ML team is at the forefront of applying machine learning technologies to cybersecurity tasks, constantly updating Kaspersky products with the latest tech and intel. To take advantage of Kaspersky's expertise in machine learning and stay protected, the company's experts recommend:For corporate cybersecurity, Kaspersky Managed Detection and Response is an essential tool capable of detecting and preventing intrusions in their initial stages. It utilizes advanced machine-learning models to filter out mundane events and sends only alarming ones to professional human analysts. This service enhances a company's ability to withstand cyber threats while optimizing the use of existing workforce resources.Providing your staff with basic cybersecurity hygiene training is crucial. Conducting simulated phishing attacks can also help ensure that they know how to distinguish phishing emails.Lastly, using the latest Threat Intelligence information to stay aware of actual TTPs (tactics, techniques, and procedures) used by threat actors is also recommended to enhance cybersecurity.

Anghami launches AI-powered personalized podcast

Abu Dhabi: Anghami, the leading music and entertainment streaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has launched its AI-powered personalized podcast, which it says is the first of its kind in the world, taking innovation to the next level and revolutionizing the way we get valuable updates.  The platform is also releasing its first ever daily news podcast – Anghami AI Newsroom – generated solely by Artificial Intelligence. Anghami will soon unveil a new feature that empowers users to create their own personalized podcasts, by providing Anghami’s AI with a set of topics, users will receive a customized daily digest, available through a forthcoming premium subscription tier. Topics range from local and global news, to music, sports, technology, business, and more. To enhance personalization, users can select their preferred voices, choose from a variety of languages including English, Arabic and French and customize their own podcast with a unique description and title. Anghami’s AI then crafts a podcast specifically tailored to their interests, providing a unique and unparalleled experience – a significant shift in how we receive daily updates.“Anghami AI Newsroom” is a groundbreaking daily news podcast produced solely by Artificial Intelligence, without human intervention. The unconventional podcast autonomously researches and curates relevant topics, delivers concise summaries, and records content in multiple languages, thus acting as its own editor. Fresh episodes are released every morning on Anghami, recapping the news from the previous day. Anghami is also leveraging its existing algorithms that identify popular and emerging songs, feeding that information to the AI system to generate a music news segment that offers listeners the latest updates and trends in the music industry.The new feature is powered by OpenAI’s GPT models, utilizing a diverse array of trusted sources from both regional and international outlets. “We are excited to introduce this cutting-edge feature enabling users to personalize their daily content and curate a unique audio journey. This is a testament to our ongoing commitment to innovation and delivering exceptional user experiences,” said Elie Habib, Co-Founder of Anghami. “Our use of AI technology allows us to deliver accurate news updates in multiple languages tailored to our audience preferences. This is a significant milestone for Anghami and the audio streaming industry in the MENA region.”By introducing its latest innovative additions, Anghami aims to showcase the unbeatable capabilities of AI, especially when used in audio-content generation. The platform is committed to constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible, not only by offering users a new way to stay on top of updates, but also by providing a remarkable and personalized experience that is tailored to their interests.

YouTube ad revenue to reach $30.4 billion in 2023 HL

Dubai: YouTube continues to maintain a formidable position in the online video advertising market, as confirmed by recent insights from WARC Media Platform. The platform is actively seeking ways to foster deeper connections with viewers, creators, and brands through its multi-format video strategies.YouTube has surpassed Netflix to become the largest TV streaming platform in the United States. Accounting for 22.9% of over-the-top (OTT) viewing in March 2023, YouTube dominates as the go-to channel for catching up with sports news among US Gen Z viewers. Additionally, YouTube claimed the title of the most popular platform for music and podcast listening in the US last yearAd investment with YouTube is projected to rise by 4.0% in 2023, reaching a substantial $30.4 billion. This marks a significant turnaround from Q4 2022 when ad revenue experienced an 8.8% decline due to a shift in investment towards retail media and search. Growth is expected to resume in 2023 at more than double the rate recorded in 2022. WARC Media forecasts an accelerated revenue growth of 10.3% for YouTube in 2024, reaching an estimated $33.5 billion by year-end.With a strong emphasis on Shorts and Connected TV (CTV) engagement, YouTube is spearheading innovations such as unskippable 30-second ads and "pause experiences" on TV, enabling marketers to effectively engage audiences across various screens while achieving their performance and brand-building objectives.Key Takeaways from WARC Media Platform Insights:1. Commerce brands are anticipated to spend $4.1 billion on YouTube ads in 2023, representing a 4.6% increase from 2022. While retail remains YouTube's primary category for ad investment, growth from other sectors has proven to be more challenging. However, certain categories are expected to experience double-digit spending increases in 2023, notably technology and electronics (+13.9%) and toiletries and cosmetics (+12.1%), while figures elsewhere show more modest growth.2. YouTube advertisers have the opportunity to reach approximately half of all internet users worldwide. With over one billion hours of video watched daily on the platform, YouTube maintains its position as the world's most popular online platform. Its adult advertising reach is estimated at an impressive 2.07 billion people, nearly double that of TikTok and Instagram individually. While YouTube Shorts (60 seconds or less) provides marketers with opportunities to engage new audiences, its daily viewer total of 50 billion still trails behind Instagram Reels' 140 billion daily views. Notably, the under-18 demographic spends an average of 60% more time on TikTok than on YouTube content.According to Kantar research, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is a pivotal growth area for YouTube, particularly in domains such as live shopping, Shorts, and gaming. In Latin America, YouTube demonstrates cost-effective brand impact compared to other video platforms.These remarkable insights demonstrate YouTube's unwavering position as a leading force in the online video advertising market, presenting abundant engagement opportunities for brands, creators, and viewers alike.

Gen Z in the UAE lean towards hybrid work and engage in side hustles

Dubai: A recent report from the Oliver Wyman Forum – the think tank of strategic management consultancy Oliver Wyman – analyzes what makes Gen Z tick, and as part of its ongoing analysis it has discovered that Gen Z-ers in the UAE overwhelmingly prefer hybrid work (meaning the ability to work in the office on some days, and remotely on others). They are also especially motivated to advance in their careers. Understanding what makes Gen Z tick, and what incentivizes them, is important for today’s business and government leaders because they currently make up more than a quarter of the global population – and will comprise 27% of the workforce by 2025.The report focused on the age 18 to 25 cohort, and key UAE findings include:Side hustles42% of the Gen Z surveyed in the UAE have formal or informal jobs on the side, compared to 27% of the non-Gen Z respondents.Gen Z in the UAE who have side hustles are primarily incentivized by a sense of connectivity and community, with 49% citing that as their main motivation to do the extra work.In contrast, non-Gen Z in the UAE with side hustles indicated they are driven more by personal passion.Almost 10% of Gen Z in the UAE earn money through investment income.Return to office70% of Gen Z in the UAE prefer hybrid work environments, while only 15% prefer 100% remote options.Meanwhile, non-Gen Z in the UAE are 40% more likely than Gen Z to want a full return to office.Retention and job satisfactionGen Z employees in the UAE are 19% more likely than those in the US to be actively or passively seeking new jobs.Non-Gen Z job-switchers and job seekers in the UAE were primarily motivated to search for other opportunities by better compensation first, followed by better advancement and growth opportunities, and better work-life balance. In contrast, Gen Z are more likely to leave their jobs for advancement and growth opportunities, compensation, and better benefits and perks.Adel Alfalasi, Head of the UAE at Oliver Wyman, said: “The in-depth Oliver Wyman Forum report shows that Gen Z exhibit significantly different behaviors and motivators than even young millennials, who are only a few years older. Gen Z want transparency, personalized attention, equitable treatment, and options when it comes to how they work. The pandemic taught us that we cannot continue to work in the same way – and organizations that became more nimble and agile during the pandemic should use those same skills to adapt to Gen Z’s unique needs. This generation will drive changes that lead to a more adept private sector, but also a more agile public sector. Organizations that take this cohort seriously now will find themselves ahead in the years to come.”Ana Kreacic, Partner and Chief Knowledge Officer at Oliver Wyman and Chief Operating Officer of the Oliver Wyman Forum, said: “At over a quarter of the global population, Gen Z is set to become the world’s highest-paid spending power and to create large shifts across the public and private sectors in the next decade. Our understanding of their values, needs, and behaviors, and their potential impact is nowhere near where it needs to be. This research will help shape future discussions for more inclusive outcomes and goals while identifying opportunities and risks for business and society.”á-as-brand-ambassador-for-its-uefa-champions-league

OPPO announces Kaká as brand ambassador for its UEFA Champions League

Dubai: Global smart technology company OPPO today announces Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos Leite, better known as Kaká, as the official Global Brand Ambassador for its partnership with the UEFA Champions League.As a former FIFA World Player of the Year and winner of the Ballon d’Or, the UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Cup, and much more, Kaká is an icon in the world of football and one of the most decorated players of his era at both the club and international level.Together with OPPO, Kaká will return to the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, where the Miracle of Istanbul occurred in 2005. With Kaká’s presence, OPPO looks forward to celebrating the 2023 cfinal in Istanbul alongside fans worldwide.“We are thrilled to welcome Kaká as OPPO Global Brand Ambassador for the UEFA Champions League 2022-23 season,” said Elvis Zhou, OPPO Overseas CMO. “Partnering with a global sporting event of the caliber of the UEFA Champions League gives OPPO an unrivaled opportunity to share our mutual spirit of inspiration with audiences around the world. We believe miracles don’t just happen, they are made of expertise and perseverance. With Kaká, the witness and creator of miracles, joining the OPPO squad this year, we will be better positioned to communicate and engage with our global fans while inspiring them to enjoy, experience, and share miracle moments from their favorite football matches.”“OPPO’s spirit of ‘Inspiration Ahead’ is the same spirit that lies at the heart of every athlete’s ambition to achieve greatness in the face of adversity,” said Kaká. “As a big technology fan, I’m excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with a global technology leader like OPPO to further connect and inspire football fans around the world during this year’s competition, and witness more miracles together.”OPPO Global Brand Ambassador Kaká has exciting plans ahead, including visits to Jakarta, Indonesia on June 3rd and Beijing, China on June 5th for a series of OPPO activities. Additionally, during the 2023 UEFA Champions League final, Kaká will meet with global fans in Istanbul, Turkey at the OPPO booth at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium and showcase the impressive camera capabilities demonstrated by OPPO’s Find N2 Flip and Find X6 Pro smartphones while capturing memorable moments. With Kaká and the UEFA Champions League final set to return to Istanbul this summer, OPPO looks forward to enjoying the extraordinary and inspiring match and celebrating the birth of a new champion alongside fans across the globe.

TDRA: 300,000 websites registered in .ae in 2023

Dubai: The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) announced the registration of more than 46,000 new domain names in the UAE national domain .ae in 2022, bringing the total number of registered domain names to 300,000 until the first quarter of 2023, an increase rate of nearly 20% compared to 2022. Thus, .ae is the most used national domain and one of the fastest growing domains in the Arab region.This increase reflects the interest of government entities, individuals and companies to use the national domain due to its benefits, including giving credibility to the work of the registered entity, in addition to preserving the intellectual and commercial property rights of trademark has many features, most importantly providing the best user experience, availability of distinguished names and abbreviations with the ability to match the name to the official website, trademark, e-mail or blog. Entities and individuals can register their activities automatically and in a few minutes, through a list of TDRA-approved registrars to register domain names. The list is available on TDRA’s official website.Commenting on the importance of registering entities and individuals in .ae, Eng. Abdulrahman Al Marzouqi, Director of Policies and Programs Department at TDRA, said: “The UAE has the most developed and competitive economy in the region, and this gives an important advantage for businesses and companies that own a .ae domain, as it enhances the confidence of customers and partners with the organization that owns the domain. This is added to many benefits, including the ease of obtaining a domain, the speed of the procedure, and the possibility of obtaining a name that matches the nature of the business or its name. Today, we have 23 accredited companies in the UAE competing in providing domain registration services at competitive prices.” Al Marzouqi added: “The domain name is an integral part of the trademark of any organization, and we at TDRA attach exceptional importance to the protection of trademark owners. We have embodied this by developing a fair dispute policy to protect trademark owners. TDRA also uses the services of the World Intellectual Property Organization to make unbiased judgments.”In addition to facilitating the identification of the entity and optimizing it on search engine, .ae facilitates the follow-up of the registration process and registrants to achieve a secure digital society. This is achieved by developing and implementing clear policies that prevent misuse of technology and safeguard the digital society.The steady increase in the number of registrants, which amounted to 20% last year, reflects the economic importance of the UAE, as a major economic hub in the Middle East. Examples of international companies that use the .ae domain include, but are not limited to, Amazon and Google.In order to develop the UAE national domain, .ae website, supported by ChatGPT, was launched this year. It provides several advantages such as speed and the suggestion of distinctive names based on the user’s description of their commercial activity. ChatGPT technology also supports search in Arabic and the local dialect in addition to the English language.

Emirates announces Penelope Cruz as brand ambassador

Dubai: Launching mid-summer 2023, Emirates can reveal that its latest ad campaign and brand collaboration will feature Penelope Cruz. The Academy Award winning actor and philanthropist is already a fan of the Emirates brand and a frequent flyer who has visited Dubai multiple times. In exclusive behind-the-scenes footage shot onboard a signature Emirates A380 aircraft, Cruz revealed her passion for Emirates and the positive association she has with the brand stating that she was thrilled to partner with Emirates after years of traveling with the airline, on some of the most special trips of her life.The new TV spots will start to air globally from June 2023, in both English and Penelope’s native tongue of Spanish. With a thought provoking theme of ‘travel is not just about the end destination; ?it’s also about how you get there’, the short ads show Cruz sampling all the exclusive luxuries that Emirates First and Business Class customers experience as they Fly Better, from a crafted beverage in the A380 Onboard Lounge, to an indulgent shower above the clouds, cheering for a football game shown on live TV, to relishing generous helpings of luxury caviar. In other spots, she enjoys the spacious seats in Emirates’ new Premium Economy Class. She interacts with Emirates Cabin Crew in multiple languages and enjoys the wide variety of movies and content on Emirates’ award-winning ice inflight entertainment system, viewed on a huge 32-inch full HD LCD screen – the largest in the aviation industry. Cruz is also filmed using the personal temperature controls in her private First Class Suite, using bespoke binoculars to enjoy the sky-high views, and wearing the Emirates hydra-active moisturising pyjamas to settle in for a siesta in her lie-flat bed, surrounded by an array of luxury amenities – ensuring her journey is spectacular from the beginning. Each of the new TV spots were directed and brought to life by Robert Stromberg, a double Oscar-winning Hollywood director, with 21 award wins and 30 award nominations for movies, TV series and commercials throughout his illustrious career. Stromberg worked closely with the Emirates brand team to ensure the TV spots conveyed the thoughtful luxury of the Fly Better experience, while retaining a note of Cruz’ cheeky sense of humour. Esteemed production house Ridley Scott Associates also supported the series of TV spots, and Framestore – the multi award-winning creative studio for special effects.Richard Billington, Emirates’ Senior Vice President of Brand and Advertising, commented; ‘Emirates is all about Flying Better, where the journey to your destination matters as much as the place itself. We take care of every detail in the Emirates experience and wanted a brand ambassador who reflects the Emirates brand - it needed to be someone classy, stylish, and having modern global appeal. Penelope was the perfect fit.’Following in the footsteps of other globally successful ads such as Burj Girl, Jennifer Aniston onboard Emirates, and Gerry the Goose, Penelope Cruz will partner in the ad series to be aired globally on TV news channels, featured on Emirates’ own digital channels, with more joint activities to be announced over the coming year.

Landmark Group announces the passing of Founder Chairman Mukesh “Micky” Jagtiani

Dubai: The Landmark Group today announced that its eminent Founder and Chairman, Mukesh “Micky” Jagtiani, has passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family.Micky Jagtiani leaves behind a formidable legacy of a leading family-owned business conglomerate in the GCC region and beyond, that he founded and managed for several decades. Renowned for his exceptional leadership, unwavering customer-centric approach, and deep market understanding, his visionary spirit and strategic foresight helped the Landmark Group and its brands become a household name in the community. He will always be known for his inspiring leadership and even more so, for his humility and genuine concern towards all the lives he touched.From its humble beginnings with a single store in Bahrain in 1973, Micky Jagtiani was the driving force in shaping the conglomerate’s extraordinary journey. His strategic acumen enabled the Landmark Group to emerge as the region's foremost retail and hospitality conglomerate, with over 2,200 stores in 21 countries across the Middle East and Africa, as well as the Indian Subcontinent, and Southeast Asia.He is fondly remembered by his family – his wife- Renuka, his children - Aarti & Savitar, Nisha & Kabir, and Rahul, his grandchildren Samar, Nikhil, Yohan and Aliya - and his beloved Landmark Group community. He leaves behind enduring friendships, 21 countries , and bonds with the Group’s senior management, the industry and wider community, whose lives he touched profoundly.The Landmark Group remains committed to carrying forward his spirit and ensuring the continuing success of his ambitions and dreams A public condolence gathering is scheduled to take place on Monday, May 29th 2023. Further details to be shared.

Kalaam Telecom Group makes it to Capacity Power 100

Bahrain: Kalaam Telecom Group, the digital solutions provider, is pleased to announce the inclusion of its Group CEO, Veer Passi, into the annual Capacity Power 100 top names in wholesale telecoms. The Power 100 is an exclusive list that highlights the people driving significant change and innovation in the global carrier and ICT community. Kalaam Telecom Groups’ inclusion acknowledges its unparalleled growth.Over the past decade, Kalaam Telecom has undergone its digital transformation journey from a Prepaid Calling Card company in Bahrain to one of the top three Data Service Providers in the MENA region, with licensed operations in Bahrain, Kuwait and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).“I am very humbled and proud to represent Kalaam on this list. This recognition really belongs to each and every member of the Kalaam family and is a testament of the collective exceptional talent, creativity and commitment that we bring together as team. It’s a privilege leading such an extraordinary team at Kalaam Telecom Group, and I am confident we will continue to make a difference and shape the future of industry in the region,” said Veer Passi, Group CEO, Kalaam Telecom.Kalaam Telecom Group has seen exponential growth over the last seven years with four strategic acquisitions in Bahrain and Kuwait, making it a prominent regional operator in the MENA region. Kalaam’s 100% owned KNOT terrestrial cable system with consortium ownership of undersea cable EIG, connects the region to Europe and covers 18 out of 20 countries in the Middle East with 53 Points of Presence across the globe.The Group company has also made significant progress towards the unification of acquired brands such as KEMS Zajil telecom in Kuwait and the launch of a unified wholesale brand, Kalaam Carrier Solutions. The Groups’ expansion has continued to The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where it launched ISP operations in 2022 with all major services licenses to offer data & digital services to the enterprises .“We are very proud of our milestones and the progress we continue to make. Kalaam Telecom Group is now one of the top three Data Service Providers in the MENA region, and we continue to be committed to our vision of Empowering Digital Transformation for businesses by simplifying access to technology and provide a fully digital & personalized customer experience.” said Passi.

Brand Lounge wins Grand Prix at the Transform Awards MEA

Dubai: Brand Lounge, a strategy-led brand consultancy, announces its triumphant win of the prestigious Grand Prix at the tenth Transform Awards Middle East Africa. This honor recognizes their collaboration with Geneva-based luxury watch and jewelry brand Charles Zuber. The Transform Awards MEA acknowledges the transformative power of brand strategy and design and celebrates exceptional brand development efforts across the region. Along with the Grand Prix, Brand Lounge celebrated a remarkable evening with 11 golds, four silvers, five bronzes, and four Highly Commended awards for their flagship projects. Brand Lounge x Charles Zuber earned praise for its daring approach to brand development in the luxury retail industry. Through its strategy-led brand development methodology, Brand Lounge defined and developed a Neo-Swiss design philosophy that differentiated the brand in a fiercely competitive sector. Brand Lounge's remarkable achievements at the awards underscore its steadfast commitment to delivering innovative and differentiated brands. Brand Lounge x FANN Media Discovery Platform shone brightly during the evening by winning numerous awards, including three Golds for Best external stakeholder relations during a brand development project, Best brand evolution (consumer), and Best visual identity from the education sector. Brand Lounge crafted a brand positioning and identity for FANN that empowers its target audiences to define the brand.  Brand Lounge x Hayat Biotech garnered three Golds for Best Use of a Visual Property, Best Use of Copy Style or Tone of Voice, and Best Visual Identity from the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Sector.Clients whose contributions have fueled our remarkable successes shared their thoughts:Sabrina Bergopsom, Managing Director at Charles Zuber remarked, "The brief for developing the Charles Zuber brand was simple: let us make the impossible possible and disrupt the luxury watch and jewelry industry. This is exactly what they achieved through their strategic foresight, creative interpretations, and daring positioning, which cemented our brand's niche in a highly competitive market for luxury watches."Sheikha Jawaher Bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FANN Media Discovery Platform, stated, "We are immensely grateful to Brand Lounge for their exceptional work in developing FANN’s new identity. Their creativity and expertise have beautifully captured the essence of our brand, enabling us to stand out and make a lasting impact in the education sector. FANN’s success at the Transform Awards is a testament to its pivotal role in shaping our identity and elevating our presence.”Hasan Fadlallah, Founder & CEO of Brand Lounge, said, "We dedicate this momentous victory to our clients who have placed their trust in us and also to our team, whose relentless efforts consistently exceed expectations."Continuing the sentiment, Fadlallah added, "This is an exciting time for brand development. The region is rapidly progressing with initiatives like Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. We look forward to continuing our mission to create differentiated brands that truly resonate with customers. This honor reaffirms our unwavering commitment to always maximize value for our clients."

Trellix hires Saudi cybersecurity expert to lead expansion in Kingdom.

Riyadh: Trellix, the cybersecurity company delivering the future of extended detection and response (XDR), today announced the appointment of Saudi Arabian national Khaled Alateeq as Head of the Middle East region. Alateeq’s knowledge, skills and his relationships with its public and private sector entities in the Kingdom — a strategic market for Trellix — were key deciding factors in his appointment.“Trellix’s long-term commitment to Saudi Arabia, its government, its people, and its economic vision, led us to appoint Khaled Alateeq as head of the region,” said Fabien Rech, SVP EMEA at Trellix. “He has first-hand experience of the cyber threats facing Saudi Arabia as the nation fulfils the extraordinary promise of National Vision 2030. Trellix has a unique value proposition — underpinned by Trellix XDR — for business and government entities, which coupled with Mr. Alateeq’s great reputation and success in his home market will enable him to have significant impact on every organization’s ability to protect itself while aligning with Vision 2030.”Mr. Alateeq is a cybersecurity industry veteran with more than 13 years of experience across a rich array of roles. He holds a dual master’s degree in Management Information Systems and Enterprise Security Management. He has held many positions in business and information technology, giving him a broad perspective on the intersection between business operations, IT, and cybersecurity, as well as a clear picture of digitalization, government processes, and enterprises’ business plans, and how to tackle the cyber challenges that threaten these areas. “As entities transform to align with Vision 2030, it is inevitable that they will expand their attack surfaces and leave themselves open to new attack vectors,” said the newly appointed Mr. Alateeq. “Traditional security defenses won’t cut it anymore; enterprises need a living security approach to stay one step ahead of adversaries, adapt to new threats, and accelerate detection and response.”Trellix has been active in the Kingdom for more than two decades, and has quickly built a trusted brand recognized across all key sectors. The Company offers a living security approach, that is open, native, and constantly learning and adapting, for a range of industries, with a principal focus on critical sectors such as government, oil and gas, telco, FSI, and utilities. In Saudi Arabia, Trellix is laser-focused on helping organizations achieve their Vision 2030 goals and has created simplified cybersecurity operations.The Company has also invested in developing the local talent pool in the Kingdom in collaboration with other organizations. Most recently, the Company was a participant in the Global Cyber Security Forum, held in 2022 and sponsored by the National Cybersecurity Authority. In the same year, the Company worked with the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programing, and Drones as a capability development provider during its Tuwaiq Academy Youth Boot camp.“I have lived the cybersecurity and cyberthreat story in Saudi Arabia, watching, learning, and advising as threat surfaces have expanded and enterprises have beaten back their adversaries,” added Mr. Alateeq. “I am excited to join Trellix and help Saudi organizations take the fight to their digital foes through a security approach that makes them more agile and more prepared than ever before. With Trellix’s help, I am confident that the Saudi business community and the government can make true progress towards Saudi Vision 2030.”

Socialeyez boosts digital engagement for the NNAS Sports Tournament 2023

Dubai: SOCIALEYEZ, the Middle East’s leading digital agency has further underpinned its commitment to producing powerful and meaningful social media content for sporting events in the region through its latest partnership with the Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Sports Tournament.Undertaking all social media production, content creation, creative development, conceptualisation and overall social media management for the tournament, SOCIALEYEZ pulled out all the stops to ensure the 10th edition of the 19-day sporting event was a huge success. Held under the theme ‘Limitless Abilities’ and organised by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), the NAS Sports Tournament is the biggest event of its kind in terms of participation and prize money, and is held every year in the Holy Month of Ramadan at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex in Dubai.This year’s edition ran from 21 March to 10 April and featured eight categories: padel tennis, running, cycling, volleyball, wheelchair basketball, fencing, archery and jiu-jitsu. Attracting more than 5,000 participants from 103 different nationalities, it was watched by more than 40,000 spectators.SOCIALEYEZ managed the social media presence, attracting a raft of new fans and supporters using dynamic content including reels, videos and interviews before, during and after the event.The impact organically resulted in 403 thousand views across Instagram, along with a reach of 240 thousand and 290 thousand impressions.Tarek Esper, Managing Director at SOCIALEYEZ, said: “We were delighted to be a part of NAS Sports NAS2023 and to be given the opportunity to showcase such a major event to the world through social media. Our overall aim was to create an inspiring, motivating and empowering visual that highlighted the achievements of the participants in the NASWe used a variety of methods to engage our audiences, and the stats in terms of views and reach show that we managed to capture the excitement both on and off the sports field in a truly valuable way. At SOCIALEYEZ, we love working on these huge events, especially ones which see people come together through a love of sport.”The Middle East’s leading digital agency, SOCIALEYEZ, is powered by a team of highly skilled and experienced strategists and content creators, adept at boosting engagement for a number of clients such as Du, Canon, RTA, DP World, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Future Foundation.

Kaspersky analyzes digital superstitions believed by Internet users in the UAE

Dubai: Kaspersky recently analyzed what digital superstitions Internet users in the UAE believe in nowadays and investigated whether there are grounds for these beliefs.According to the global Kaspersky Digital Superstitions survey, the most popular misbelief is that one should not pronounce “Yes” or “No” when speaking on the phone with strangers. Allegedly, the conversation can be recorded and used to steal money from banking accounts: the majority of respondents surveyed (79%) agree with this. In fact, voice identification systems are used in some banks, but only as an additional authentication tool which is not enough for carrying out a transaction, in particular to withdraw or transfer money.      Another common misconception that 80% of respondents believe in is that the HTTPS protocol of a website guarantees its authenticity. While in fact, the HTTPS certificate means that personal data can’t be reached from outside of the website, however this data can still be stolen by the site itself if it is a phishing resource.More than half (56%) of respondents believe that it’s possible to delete all information on a smartphone by rolling it back to factory settings. In reality, the data can often be recovered after a factory reset and formatting. Specifics of the storage space on gadgets implies that the data is deleted only in case it’s overwritten, which is not happening during a reset.56% of respondents from the UAE think that if the device is not connected to the Internet, it is impossible to infect it with malware. In fact, it’s possible to infect a device even if it is not connected to the Internet, for example, using a flash drive or other removable media.More than three quarters (78%) users think that the "Incognito" mode in the browser provides complete anonymity on the Internet. Though "Incognito" mode doesn’t guarantee absolute privacy. In this mode, the browser is not saving the history of visiting websites, cookies, download history and authorization data which is not equal to complete anonymity.“For over 25 years already we’ve been fighting not only various cyberthreats, but also digital superstitions. However, many of them are extremely durable. For example, it is interesting that more than a third of the users surveyed still believe that cactus plants absorb radiation from a monitor that may be harmful. That is why it is important to constantly improve digital literacy, as well as use reliable security solutions. There is nothing to be ashamed of not knowing something – and it is never too late to learn something new,” says Emad Haffar, Head of Technical Experts, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at KasperskyTo protect against various cyberthreats, Kaspersky experts recommend following the below tips:Pay attention to privacy settings in social networks and on popular platforms.Use strong and unique passwords for all your accounts (at least 12 characters with letters in different case, numbers and special characters), store them in password managers.In those services that allow it, set up two-factor authorization.Download applications only from official stores and periodically check which programs are installed on the device.Do not follow suspicious links in mail, instant messengers or social networks (even if they were sent by friends).Carefully check the name of the site in the address bar before entering your personal or payment data on it.Do not believe the myths and constantly improve your digital literacy, and in order not to worry about the safety of your data, install a reliable security solution on all of your gadgets, including mobile devices.

Public cloud’s contribution to UAE economy to reach $181bln by 2023

Dubai: Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), commissioned a new report quantifying the relationship between public cloud computing adoption, national productivity, and economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The report highlights the potential for the UAE to unlock USD $181 billion in additional economic value over the next decade (2023-2033), or 2.5% of the UAE's cumulative GDP by accelerating adoption of cloud.The study, performed by Telecom Advisory Services LLC, and directed by Raul Katz, Director of Business Strategy Research at the Columbia Institute for Tele-information (Columbia Business School), provides a cutting-edge econometrical method for calculating the aggregate productivity gains realised by economies that adopt cloud computing. It extends previous economic research focused on firm-level productivity by establishing cloud adoption as a driver of national productivity and economic growth.Unleashing the Economic Power of Cloud Computing in the UAEIn 2021, public cloud adoption made a significant impact on the UAE's economy. According to the report, it contributed 2.26% to the country’s GDP, generating an economic value of USD $9.5 billion, the largest public cloud contribution to GDP in the region. This "productivity" effect is in addition to the "construction" effect of building and operating cloud infrastructures in the UAE, which, in the case of AWS UAE Region, are projected to contribute $11.2 billion to the UAE economy by 2036 and support nearly 6,000 full-time equivalent jobs annually.In the MENA, the UAE is where cloud adoption is driving the most economic growth in terms of spillovers. The report finds that a 1% increase in cloud adoption by UAE organisations will result in a 0.21% (USD 854.7 million) average GDP growth, which is three times the MENA average and the highest in the region. Over 91% of this impact, can be attributed to the national productivity gains or so-called “spillover effects” on the economy, while the remainder (9%) is driven by cloud spending from UAE public and private organizations. As an economic stimulant, cloud computing is 17% more effective in the UAE than mobile broadband.Yasser Hassan, Managing Director, Commercial Sector, MENAT at AWS, said: "The findings of our report highlight the tremendous opportunity for the UAE to accelerate economic growth and position the country as an attractive and influential economic hub, in line with the government's “We the UAE 2031” vision launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. As cloud computing continues to gain momentum, it is imperative for the UAE to continue to support cloud adoption and develop a skilled workforce to enhance the country's competitiveness on a global scale. With the support of AWS, the UAE can accelerate its digital transformation and unlock new opportunities for economic growth and social development."The study demonstrates that the economic impact of cloud computing is guided by returns to scale, - greater adoption of cloud computing will lead to proportionally greater productivity gains and economic impact.The UAE has ambitious plans to diversify its economies through digitization. In 2021, 43% of organizations in the UAE region adopted cloud computing, versus 49% in Western Europe and North America. With the government's focus on digital transformation, it is well-positioned to become a hub for cloud computing in the region.“The widespread adoption of cloud has already led to increased efficiency, cost savings, and job creation in various industries. As more businesses and organizations continue to migrate to the cloud, the economic benefits are expected to grow even further,” added Yasser.The report identifies four key advantages of cloud computing: First, it enhances business efficiency and effectiveness, streamlining processes and improving outcomes; second, it offers access to a wide range of services, enabling businesses to leverage advanced technologies; third, it boosts productivity by facilitating collaboration, mobility, and agility within the workforce; fourth, cloud computing promotes environmental sustainability by reducing carbon emissions per unit of data transmitted

New Veeam research finds 93% of cyber attacks target to force ransom payment

DUBAI: Organizations of all sizes are increasingly falling victim to ransomware attacks and inadequately protecting against this rising cyberthreat. According to new data in the Veeam® 2023 Ransomware Trends Report, one in seven organizations will see almost all (>80%) data affected as a result of a ransomware attack – pointing to a significant gap in protection. Veeam Software, the leader in Data Protection and Ransomware Recovery, found that attackers almost always (93%+) target backups during cyber-attacks and are successful in debilitating their victims’ ability to recover in 75% of those events, reinforcing the criticality of immutability and air gapping to ensure backup repositories are protected.The Veeam 2023 Ransomware Trends Report shares insights from 1,200 impacted organizations and nearly 3,000 cyber-attacks, making it one of the largest reports of its kind. The survey examines key takeaways from these incidents, their impact on IT environments and the steps taken, or needed, to implement data protection strategies that ensure business resiliency. This research report encompasses four different roles involved in cyber-preparedness and/or mitigation including, security professionals, CISOs or similar IT executives, IT Operations generalists, and backup administrators.“The report shows that today it’s not about IF your organization will be the target of a cyber-attack, but how often. Although security and prevention remain important, it’s critical that every organization focuses on how rapidly they can recover by making their organization more resilient,” said Danny Allan, CTO at Veeam. “We need to focus on effective ransomware preparedness by focusing on the basics, including strong security measures and testing both original data and backups, ensuring survivability of the backup solutions, and ensuring alignment across the backup and cyber teams for a unified stance.”Paying the ransom does not ensure recoverabilityFor the second year in a row, the majority (80%) of the organizations surveyed paid the ransom to end an attack and recover data – now up 4% compared to the year prior – despite 41% of organizations having a “Do-Not-Pay” policy on ransomware. Still, while 59% paid the ransom and were able to recover data, 21% paid the ransom yet still didn't get their data back from the cyber criminals. Additionally, only 16% of organizations avoided paying ransom because they were able to recover from backups. Sadly, the global statistic of organizations able to recover data themselves without paying ransom is down from 19% in last year’s survey.To avoid paying ransom, your backups must surviveFollowing a ransomware attack, IT leaders have two choices: pay the ransom or restore-from-backup. As far as recovery goes, the research reveals that in almost all (93%) cyber-events, criminals attempt to attack the backup repositories, resulting in 75% losing at least some of their backup repositories during the attack, and more than one-third (39%) of backup repositories being completely lost.By attacking the backup solution, attackers remove the option of recovery and essentially force paying the ransom. While best practices – such as securing backup credentials, automating cyber detection scans of backups, and auto verifying that backups are restorable – are beneficial to protect against attacks, the key tactic is to ensure that the backup repositories cannot be deleted or corrupted. To do so, organizations must focus on immutability. The good news is that based on lessons learned from those who had been victims – 82% use immutable clouds, 64% use immutable disks, and only 2% of organizations do not have immutability in at least one tier of their backup solution.Do not re-infect during recoveryWhen respondents were asked how they ensure that data is ‘clean’ during restoration, 44% of respondents complete some form of isolated-staging to re-scan data from backup repositories prior to reintroduction into the production environment. Unfortunately, that means that the majority (56%) of organizations run the risk of re-infecting the production environment by not having a means to ensure clean data during recovery. This is why it is important to thoroughly scan data during the recovery process.Other key findings from the Veeam 2023 Ransomware Trends Report include:Cyber-insurance is becoming too expensive: 21% of organizations stated that ransomware is now specifically excluded from their policies, and those with cyber insurance saw changes in their last policy renewals: 74% saw increased premiums, 43% saw increased deductibles, 10% saw coverage benefits reduced.Incident response playbooks depend on backup: 87% of organizations have a risk management program that drives their security roadmap, yet only 35% believe their program is working well, while 52% are seeking to improve their situation, and 13% do not yet have an established program. Findings reveal the most common elements of the ‘playbook’ in preparation against a cyberattack are clean backup copies and recurring verification that the backups are recoverable.Organizational alignment continues to suffer: While many organizations may deem ransomware to be a disaster and therefore include cyberattacks within their Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) planning, 60% of organizations say they still need significant improvement or complete overhauls between their backup and cyber teams to be prepared for this scenario.

Electronic retailer EROS announces exclusive partnership with Dreame

Dubai: Eros Group, a leading distributer and retailer in the UAE, today announced its partnership with Dreame, a smart consumer technology company that specializes in innovative vacuum cleaners that promises to revolutionize the way people clean their homes.This partnership will enable Eros Group to sell and distribute Dreame’s innovative product line exclusively in the UAE. Dreame’s high-performance cleaning appliances such as cordless, robot and Wet& dry vacuum cleaners - leverages astrodynamics technologies to navigate and clean any home with unmatched precision and efficiency. The device uses state-of-the-art sensors to detect and avoid obstacles, ensuring a thorough and seamless cleaning experience. Its products are engineered using powerful technology, airtight structure, and streamlined architecture to create a powerful suction that can easily remove dust accumulated in crevices and can be used on a variety of surfaces such as hardwood floors, thick carpets, and beds.In addition to its advanced cleaning capabilities, all its vacuum cleaners are designed to be highly durable and long-lasting, with a robust construction that can withstand the rigors of everyday use. It is also energy-efficient that consumes minimal energy while delivering maximum cleaning power.Mohammad Badri, Director, EROS Group said, "Eros Group has always been committed to providing customers with the latest and most innovative products in the market. We are proud to partner with a company like Dreame that meets the needs of modern households, with its advanced technology and user-friendly vacuum cleaners. We are excited to introduce their highly advanced product line to our customers in the UAE."Kevin Wang, General Manager, Dreametech said, " Dreame Technology ("Dreame"), a fast-growing company leading in smart home-cleaning technologies. We believe that our products are game-changer for anyone seeking a more convenient and efficient clean. Its advanced automation features and powerful cleaning capabilities make it the perfect companion for busy households, and we are confident that it will transform the way people approach cleaning. We can't wait to see the impact advanced robot vacuum and mop has on the lives of our users, and we are proud to offer such an amazing product at an accessible price point. We are excited to introduce their highly advanced product line to our customers in the UAE."Dreame’s vacuum cleaner is now available for purchase at EROS’ retail stores across the UAE as well as online.

Gartner identifies 12 actions to improve data quality

DUBAI: Gartner, Inc. identified 12 actions to help chief data and analytics officers (CDAOs) and other D&A leaders improve data quality (DQ) to avoid high costs and deliver sustainable value to their organization.“Data quality issues cost a lot,” said Jason Medd, Director Analyst at Gartner. “But the issues are not hard to fix and does not have to take a lot of time. If CDAOs don’t have impactful and supportive DQ programs in place, their organization will face a multitude of complications and lost opportunities.”Improving DQ is not a one-time effort. “One of the mistakes that CDAOs make is taking a technology-centric approach to DQ improvement, with little focus on organizational culture, people and processes to streamline remedial actions,” said Medd.Gartner estimates that through 2024, 50% of organizations will adopt modern DQ solutions to better support their digital business initiatives.Gartner shared 12 actions for CDAOs and D&A leaders to take to deliver improvement and assurance in their DQ (see Figure 1).Source: Gartner (May 2023)Gartner condensed the 12 actions into four categories to enable CDAOs to prioritize their efforts based on the problem areas.Focus on the Right Things to Set Strong FoundationsFirst, CDAOs need to focus on the right things to set strong foundations. “Not all data is equally important,” said Medd. “CDAOs must focus on the data that has the most influence on business outcomes, understand the key performance indicators (KPIs) and key risk indicators (KRIs), and build a business case. Then, they need to share common DQ language with stakeholders and establish DQ standards.”Apply Data Quality AccountabilityOnce the foundations are established, CDAOs need to obtain sponsorship from D&A governance committee and dedicate data stewards from business units and the central D&A team who will proactively shift gears based on priority, look at new avenues to aid improvements, and potentially look at building real-time data validations where needed to help bridge the gaps.“Data is a team sport, so CDAOs should form special interest groups who can benefit from DQ improvement, communicate the benefits and share best practices around other business units,” said Medd.Establish “Fit for Purpose” Data QualityTo improve DQ it is important to perform data profiling and data monitoring to understand and validate current data gaps and challenges, monitor and build improvement plans. Then, CDAOs need to transition to a governance model based on trust to drive enterprisewide adoption of DQ initiatives.Integrate Data Quality into Corporate CultureCDAOs can make DQ better by using technologies to reduce manual efforts and get faster results. They also do it by identifying frequent DQ issues and incorporating the solutions into business workflow. CDAOs should also improve data literacy across the business by installing a DQ culture and facilitating knowledge sharing and collaboration among all the stakeholders of the program.Gartner clients can read more in “12 Ways to Improve Your Data Quality.”Data & analytics leaders can learn more about how to evaluate their own effectiveness using the Gartner CDAO Effectiveness Diagnostic, an exclusive tool that allows CDAOs to understand their effectiveness as leaders and discover their strengths and areas for improvement.

Emrill appoints director to enhance growth and market presence

Dubai: based facilities management (FM) services provider, Emrill, has appointed Dean Harnden as business development director. In his new role, Harnden will focus on developing and implementing strategies to further develop and grow Emrill’s services in key sectors in the UAE. He will be responsible for building and maintaining key stakeholder relationships while increasing efforts to deliver service excellence in current and future contracts.With 23 years’ experience in the FM industry, Harnden has worked in the UAE, Australia and the UK, managing numerous high-profile clients and contracts. Before joining Emrill, he led a team of over 20,000 employees and was integral in increasing revenue across the business and creating and maintaining value partnerships with key stakeholders and clients. His extensive experience includes contract negotiations, growth and operations, soft FM services, as well as developing and implementing specialised marketing and communications strategies to increase brand awareness in the industry.Commenting on his recent appointment, Harnden said: “It is a pleasure to be working with Emrill, an organisation that has such a stellar reputation in the region’s FM industry. Their award-winning team has consistently delivered quality FM services while constantly evolving as a business with continuous improvement as a key strategy across every level of the business.”With his expertise across aspects of FM and support services, Harnden aims to maximise profitability while upholding Emrill’s core values and expanding business operations in critical sectors. He will deliver industry-leading services and exceed client requirements across sectors including residential, commercial, industrial, master communities, aviation, logistics, healthcare, retail, hospitality, education, and leisure.Emrill’s CEO, Stuart Harrison commented on Harnden’s recent appointment: “Having worked on both the operational and commercial side of FM, Dean has experience across several facets of the industry, including major events, security, maintenance, and customer service. This unique industry perspective will undoubtedly prove advantageous to Emrill and contribute to new projects and retaining current contracts. We are delighted to have him on the team and look forward to working with him on developing and growing our business further.”Harnden concluded: “My goal for 2023 is to exceed Emrill’s growth targets. While FM is a competitive industry, I am confident that with Emrill’s extensive resources and dedicated team of experts, we will exceed our targets for the year and maintain our reputation as one of the region’s preferred FM service providers.”

Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg receives Legion d’Honneur Chevalier Award

Dubai: The Chairperson and Managing Director of an over six-decade-old Dubai conglomerate has been awarded France’s highest civilian honour during a special ceremony held at the residence of the French Consul General on Tuesday, May 16.Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, was awarded the Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur – Chevalier (Knight) in recognition of her outstanding achievements and contribution in the fields of business and industry. On behalf of President Emmanuel Macron, she received the honour from His Excellency Nicolas Niemtchinow, French Ambassador to the Emirates.The award was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in May 1802 and its more prominent recipients reads like a roll call of cultural and historical figureheads, from Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein to Alexander Graham Bell, Marie Curie, Audrey Hepburn, JK Rowling, and Jeff Bezos.Dr Al Gurg said: “I am truly humbled to accept this recognition on behalf of my countrywomen in the United Arab Emirates. It is a great honour to be placed along with the past and present honourees whom I have long admired and respected. In a larger sense, this award is a true spotlight on the countless leaders, who work tirelessly to make an impact in the global community. In joining their ranks, I hope to continue my efforts to further strengthen the close bonds between the UAE and France. Emirati-French ties have a historic legacy in economic and cultural domains and my efforts will be to further broaden these collaborations.”

100% sustainable and eco-friendly Men’s fashion brand relaunches in the UAE

Dubai: 22Ahead, a men’s fashion brand based in the UAE, today announces the relaunch of its men's fashion label with a renewed commitment to producing 100% sustainable and eco-friendly products. With a strong emphasis on environmental responsibility, the brand is setting new standards for ethical fashion practices and inspiring consumers to make conscious choices.Saad Tariq, Founder and CEO at 22Ahead said: “Originally established in October 2022 as a high-end online fashion brand, we have undergone a remarkable transformation in response to market trends and the urgent need for positive change in our society and the environment. Embracing the vision set by the UAE's leaders for 2023, as the year of sustainability, we have embraced a complete shift towards sustainable practices and are incredibly proud of our new approach to market.”At the heart of 22Ahead's ethos is the use of 100% organic fabrics. Every garment in their collection is crafted from high-quality organic materials, ensuring both style and sustainability. These fabrics carry important certifications such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), OEKO-TEX, and the Global Recycled Standard (GRS).But sustainability doesn't stop at the fabrics. 22Ahead takes a holistic approach by utilising 100% recycled and recyclable packaging materials. By minimising waste and promoting a circular economy, the brand actively reduces its environmental footprint.As part of its dedication to environmental conservation, 22Ahead has established partnerships with organisations like One Tree Planted. For every article sold, the brand commits to plant one tree in areas around the world that are most effected by deforestation and are ecologically vulnerable. With every purchase, customers can be confident that their fashion choices align with a greener future. In addition, the brand donates AED10 to eco-friendly or charitable organisations, with each sale.To promote circularity and reduce waste, 22Ahead offers a unique Clothing Return Program. Customers have the option to return clothes after 6 months, receiving an AED 50 website voucher in return. The returned clothes are then donated to those in need in the UAE or beyond, ensuring that clothing is repurposed and benefiting others.Education is a crucial component of 22Ahead's mission. Through weekly tutorials and blog posts on their social media pages and websites, the brand empowers consumers with knowledge about eco-friendly best practices. By sharing valuable information and tips on sustainable fashion choices, 22Ahead enables individuals to make informed decisions that align with their values.Transparency and accountability are core values for 22Ahead. The brand provides an annual impact report that highlights its environmental initiatives and showcases the collective efforts of customers in making a positive difference. By sharing this report, 22Ahead ensures that customers can see the tangible results of their support and encourages other fashion brands to embrace transparency.Beyond their products, 22Ahead actively engages in community activities focused on the betterment of society and the environment. By organising events and collaborating with environmental organisations, the brand raises awareness and drives meaningful change. Through these efforts, 22Ahead aims to inspire individuals to take part in creating a more sustainable future.With its relaunch as a sustainable and eco-friendly fashion label, 22Ahead invites fashion enthusiasts to embrace purchase decisions that make a positive impact on the planet. By choosing 22Ahead, consumers can align their values with their style, contributing to a more sustainable future. It's time to redefine fashion and embrace a brighter tomorrow with 22Ahead.

AMF1 team partners with NetApp for FIA Formula One

Dubai: As the Formula 1 contest heats up, Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team has partnered with NetApp, a cloud-led, data-centric, software company, to optimise the AMF1 Team’s application performance and cost – on and off the track. Enabling a fast, efficient data pipeline, alongside a simplified and unified management plane, NetApp’s technology is supporting the AMF1 Team to spot opportunities for driving improvement in real-time.   The aim of the NetApp transformation partnership project with the AMF1 Team was simple: to make their cars go faster. The project focussed initially on infrastructure and the building out of the data fabric, now the team are using data insights to focus on that all-important title. Solution and impact?  NetApp has worked with AMF1 Team to implement FlexPod as a trackside converged infrastructure platform, which replaces multiple singular points of failure, improves availability and performance, while also removing legacy systems. This in turn reduces weight and, as a consequence, has a positive impact on reducing the carbon footprint. FlexPod has produced results in five key areas:  Performance  FlexPod has allowed AMF1 Team’s performance software group to tap in to compute power and storage to develop a Kubernetes cluster at track to allow the team to analyse data at a faster rate with no bottlenecks.  Reliability  By having a high-performing FlexPod solution with two redundant converged infrastructure platforms, AMF1 Team can run all the systems but can load balance across both FlexPods for increased performance. Resiliency at a host level is achieved with three hosts on each FlexPod, redundant network switches and full N+1 resiliency on cables both across one FlexPod and then between racks and FlexPod. Continuous improvementThe IT team must constantly push to enable the whole team and the car to have better agility, greater speed and improved reliability. With the speed that telemetry data is being sent from trackside to factory being reduced from 20 minutes to less than 10 minutes, engineers at the AMF1 Team factory can analyse the data at speed and adjust if needed. This is being achieved using NetApp SnapMirror technology which is transferring the data back to the factory to Mission Control at a significantly improved rate.  Security  Protection is a core principle to safeguard the most valuable asset within the team; their data. It is important to make this process easier and more informative.  AMF1 Team uses Cloud Secure, a feature of NetApp Cloud Insights which provides a simple turnkey solution to enhance their ability to detect ransomware and provide user data access auditing. It analyses data access patterns to identify risks from ransomware attacks. It reports access activity from insiders, outsiders, ransomware attacks, and rogue users. Advanced reporting and auditing make it easy to identify violators and possible threats. Speed towards sustainability? Formula 1 set out its sustainability plan to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030. For the AMF1 Team, as a key player in this industry, the introduction of FlexPod is contributing to the team’s sustainability efforts in multiple ways:   In the AMF1 Team’s new Silverstone “smart factory”, NetApp Cloud Insights techtechnology helps consolidate the company’s older, less efficient systems and provides essential temperature and power monitoring, enabling AMF1 Team to monitor and minimise power consumption.   Teaming with NetApp, the AMF1 Team can easily tap into resources from the world’s leading cloud providers, supporting different workloads with powerful cloud infrastructure as needed. This means that only the computing power that’s needed is employed, and no more.   With FlexPod technology, the AMF1 Team can support operations at the track remotely, driving down both costs and emissions. Plus, the high-performance FlexPod platform boosts overall efficiency, allowing the organization’s IT team to do more with less.  Clare Lansley, Chief Information Officer, Aston Martin F1 Team said: “NetApp high performance FlexPod are fundamental to our operation at the track. They are therefore given kid-glove treatment and high protection as we fly them to races around the world. As we use data to improve our performance and go faster, NetApp’s work with the AMF1 team is vital to this success.”Where are we now??  The results are clear: the AMF1 Team is using data to go faster, and are on their way to a place on the podium every time. NetApp’s work with the AMF1 Team is vital to this success.    With a fast, efficient data pipeline; simplified, unified management plane; and technologies for optimising application performance and cost, AMF1 Team are pioneering a modern approach to F1 racing on and off the track.

Microsoft brings latest innovations in cloud, data & AI to COMEX 2023

Muscat:  Microsoft is participating in COMEX as the official Innovation Partner, where it will demonstrate industry-leading technological innovations and highlight the key role artificial intelligence (AI) plays in the successful digital transformation journeys of governments and businesses.Held at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat, Microsoft’s booth at COMEX reflects the company’s commitment to supporting the accelerated adoption of technology amongst individuals, organizations, and across key sectors in line with Oman Vision 2040’s goal to transition the nation into a knowledge-based community.“The Sultanate of Oman is setting up necessary infrastructure to accelerate economic diversification and introduce a series of digital innovations across vital sectors”, said Sheikh Saif Hilal Al Hosni, Country Manager, Microsoft Oman and Bahrain. “AI is a defining technology of our time, and we are optimistic about what AI can do for industries and the society in the Sultanate. Microsoft has long been a trusted partner in digital change across The Sultanate of Oman; and at this year’s COMEX, we shall devote ourselves to helping delegates get ready for AI and make it work.”COMEX serves as an opportunity for regional IT stakeholders to network with other innovators and share use case stories, allowing each to strengthen their own digital transformation programmes. Microsoft’s focus on AI readiness will further strengthen best practices and ensure that all delegates can return to their organisations with value-adding knowledge. Microsoft’s stand will feature 5 partners including Netways, PWC, Cypher Learning, Noventiq, and IITC (International Information Technology Co.); the Company’s experts will be participating in the COMEX International Conference discussing various topics such as E-services, Cybersecurity and Healthcare and Data & AI.Through the Azure platform, the intelligent Microsoft Cloud offers public and private enterprises the ability to deliver new business models and boost the speed of innovation and time to market. Microsoft’s AI technologies are protected by industry-leading security measures and include advanced analytics, natural-language-processing, cognitive services, and IoT field-connection services. These technologies can connect the entire business, from the physical to the virtual.

Homegrown seafood chain announces AED 10mln expansion

Dubai: The UAE’s famous homegrown seafood chain, Golden Fork, has announced its intent of opening 20 more outlets across the country by 2024.The AED 10 million expansion plan of the iconic family friendly brand will see branches activated in Deira City Centre’s exciting new Food Central food hall, Motor City, Al Ain Mall, Mega mall in Sharjah and Al Wahda Mall in Abu Dhabi. Already having opened their doors are Golden Fork outlets at Dalma Mall, City Seasons hotel in Deira, Lulu Mall in Fujairah, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Mushrif Mall.All these new outlets will showcase the brand’s new contemporary interiors whilst serving the fare that has made Golden Fork a household name in the UAE for more than 45 years. The menu will include favourites like Cajun Seafood, Prawn Biryani, Goan Fish Curry, Seafood Mixed Grill, Fried Shrimp, and the signature Bouillabaisse soup, which has been savoured by a whopping 15 million customers over the years.Also refurbished and given a major makeover is the original Golden Fork restaurant at Al Rigga, which opened in 1975 and has catered to 2 million patrons. A new hall that can accommodate as many as 80 people has been added to the facilities, ideal for private gatherings and corporate events.“Golden Fork’s high loyalty factor is courtesy good, wholesome food, exacting hygiene standards and a reputation for sensible pricing. We have also been synonymous with a relaxed, leisurely ambience that beckons customers from different parts of the world with great dishes served with ladles of love, a sprinkling of warmth and a dash of nostalgia,” said Shanavas Mohammed, partner, Golden Fork.“We have a strategic plan for this expansion and are setting about it in a studied manner. As the UAE gets more community-centric, we are ensuring that the delicious food, exemplary Golden Fork service and cozy, warm ambiance is always just around the corner,” he added.Mohammed also shed light on the brand’s ongoing sustainability initiatives.“Our focus will always be on sourcing seafood responsibly and using sustainable packaging materials. On both counts we are uncompromising. We are totally committed to environmentally friendly practices. This approach is the key to our corporate strategy.”Integral to this major expansion, the company has also received approval to set up in Saudi Arabia and plan to open 3 outlets in Riyadh by the end of this year with 10 outlets set to open by the end of 2024.YOU MIGHT ALSO LIK

Sprinklr launches new AI-everywhere offering AI+

DUBAI: Sprinklr (NYSE: CXM), the unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform for modern enterprises, today announced the launch of Sprinklr AI+. A new AI-everywhere offering that unifies proprietary AI from Sprinklr with OpenAI’s generative AI, Sprinklr AI+ brings generative AI to customer experience with a commitment to enterprise-level governance, security, and data privacy.Sprinklr AI+ allows enterprises to combine unstructured, CX data from 30+ digital channels – including social platforms, messaging platforms, and millions of publicly available news, blog, and review sites – with generative AI to create content, improve feedback and assistance, and more quickly identify insights and subsequent actions. Sprinklr AI+ incorporates generative AI powered by an integration with the OpenAI enterprise API. This bespoke arrangement includes robust security and privacy terms and demonstrates Sprinklr’s commitment to safeguarding our customer’s data."We have seen massive demand for generative AI capabilities to improve customer service and employee efficiency. Sprinklr AI+ brings this transformational technology to customer experience at the enterprise level and has the potential to revolutionize the front office for our global customers," said Sprinklr Chief Technology Officer, Pavitar Singh. "For us, this is the next evolution of our AI journey to help our customers work better, faster, and more cost-effectively, while preserving the level of governance, compliance, and data privacy that the most iconic brands in the world require."Sprinklr is built from the ground up to unify and centralize CX data on one platform. The flexible and modular architecture allows Sprinklr to quickly integrate with the latest and best technology. Sprinklr AI+ is the next evolution of Sprinklr’s AI that leverages more than 1,250 industry-specific AI models, spanning 100+ languages and 150 countries, to process petabytes of unstructured text, audio, video, images, metrics, and time series data and enables our customers to extract structured insights. With generative AI capabilities powered by an enterprise API integration with OpenAI, Sprinklr customers can tap into new features across all four Sprinklr product suites.Sprinklr Service: Sprinklr Service is the only unified omnichannel CCaaS offering on the market. With Sprinklr AI+, Sprinklr’s customers can now supercharge agent productivity with generative AI features like “summarization” and “call notes automation.” This allows Sprinklr customer agents to focus completely on their customer, eliminating the need to take notes during the conversation. It also provides other Sprinklr customer agents or supervisors with a quick overview of conversations without reading entire transcripts. Features like “reply assistance” help agents generate or improve content with a single click, and Sprinklr AI+ provides the ability to automatically extract answers from the knowledge base directly within the platform, ensuring accuracy and consistency. Sprinklr AI+ improves quality management capabilities by automating the quality scoring and sentiment analysis of conversations at scale. And finally, Sprinklr AI+ augments existing conversational AI bots, chat platforms, and the knowledge base with generative AI for writing, translation, summarization and more.Sprinklr Insights: Sprinklr’s AI-powered research platform increases the speed from data, to insight, to action with generative AI. “Topic and keyword creation” with support from generative AI helps customers find the right information more quickly. “Article paraphraser” and “message summary” capabilities provide at-a-glance overviews of detailed articles and content for quick review and action from Sprinklr customers’ marketing and communications teams.Sprinklr Marketing: Sprinklr Marketing is the only unified omnichannel platform for the end-to-end marketing lifecycle. Sprinklr AI+ delivers generative AI-powered suggestions to help our customers build marketing campaigns – including the ability to create tone, voice, and visual style guidelines. Sprinklr customers can also tap generative AI within the platform to assist in brainstorming ideas, personas, CTAs, and USPs. For paid social media campaigns, generative AI helps our customers create and refine social content.Sprinklr Social: Sprinklr Social with Sprinklr AI+ includes publishing, engagement, and reporting tools integrated with OpenAI’s generative AI models to help enterprise social media teams create better content, more quickly, with fewer resources.Sprinklr AI+ gives brands a unified generative AI capability for social media management, customer service, and marketing that is built with enterprise-level governance, security, and data privacy in the design.Availability:Sprinklr AI+ is currently in a limited availability beta. Please contact your account representative to be added to the program or to be shortlisted for our general launch coming soon.

Unilever adds electric van to its logistics fleet in the UAE

Dubai: Unilever Arabia has announced the addition of the first-ever Electric Van (EV) to its fleet in the UAE. Making deliveries to its key customers in Dubai as of this March, the incorporation of the 1-tonne battery-powered van signifies a major stride in Unilever’s efforts towards reduced emissions via its logistics operations and achieving net zero value chain emissions by 2039.: Unilever Arabia has announced the addition of the first-ever Electric Van (EV) to its fleet in the UAE. Making deliveries to its key customers in Dubai as of this March, the incorporation of the 1-tonne battery-powered van signifies a major stride in Unilever’s efforts towards reduced emissions via its logistics operations and achieving net zero value chain emissions by 2039.As part of a strategic partnership with leading retailer, Carrefour – which is owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the UAE –the EV van will initially deliver Unilever’s products to Carrefour’s Mall of the Emirates store. This will provide customers in Dubai with a sustainable delivery solution, reducing emissions by up to 15 per cent in comparison with traditional vehicles.The region’s first EV van was launched in the presence of Mr Youssef Lootah, CEO, Corporate Strategy and Performance Sector, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) along with Ahmed Kadous, Unilever’s Head of Supply Chain MENA & PC Middle-East & Turkey, Khalil Yassine, Head of Unilever Arabia and Luc Charrier Vice President of Merchandise for Carrefour, at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.Commenting on the milestone, Ahmed Kadous, Unilever’s Head of Supply Chain MENA & PC Middle-East & Turkey, said, “Sustainability is integrated into everything that we do at Unilever. As part of our vision to ensure a purpose-led and sustainable business model, the EV van aligns with our bold ambitions towards delivering a profitable, yet responsible, performance and growth. The introduction of electric vehicles to our delivery fleet is a core ambition and is central to Unilever’s sustainability commitment. We look forward to working more closely with the public sector and industry to further expand the infrastructure and seamlessly support the transition to electric mobility. I would like to congratulate the team for their unwavering efforts in driving Unilever’s vision forward and thank our partners for sharing our ambitions towards achieving a net zero business model.”Bertrand Loumaye - Country Manager for Carrefour - at Majid Al Futtaim Retail commented, “We are committed to sourcing and delivering sustainably sourced produce as part of our ‘Dare Today, Change Tomorrow’ strategy. The launch of the first electric delivery van in the UAE from Unilever, a highly valued partner, marks a major milestone in Majid Al Futtaim’s journey to becoming net positive in carbon and water by 2040 – as well as our collaborative efforts to achieve the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 strategy. It is exciting to be at the forefront of such momentous, positive change as we continue to make industry firsts happen.”Prior to joining the existing fleet, the EV van underwent a series of planning and testing to ensure its readiness and compliance. These included driver training, vehicle maintenance, insurance and on-site charging port installation in collaboration with the EV distributor, Emirates Global Electric Motors, a member of Al Fahim group, and leading global logistics provider, DB Schenker.Emirates Global Motor Electric (EGME) is the official dealer in the UAE for Yaxing EV vans, which features a 105 kWh Liquid Cooling Battery with a range of up to 300 km and can carry a payload of 1,400 kg. The Co2 CO2 emission reduction of this van versus a similar van run on diesel is around 250kg CO2e per truck per day. As part of its commitment towards developing a greener supply chain, Unilever has commenced a programme to test alternative fuels. Since late 2022, Unilever has been testing biodiesel in the UAE with two trucks, which reduce CO2 emissions by up to 15% compared to conventional fuels.

Toyota, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, and SAMF delve into motorsports possibilities

Jeddah: Representatives from Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, an authorized distributor of Toyota vehicles in Saudi Arabia since 1955, and the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) have successfully completed a visit to key TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) facilities in Japan to explore opportunities in motorsports aimed at strengthening the Saudi motorsports ecosystem by leveraging Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC) extensive knowledge in the field, as well as supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 sustainability goals by learning more about Toyota’s Multiple Pathway approach to carbon neutrality.A delegation including His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, Chairman of SAMF, and Munir Khoja, Managing Director of Marketing Communication at Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, was taken for a special tour of TMC facilities involved in the development of sports vehicles. These included the TGR factory and Shimoyama Proving Ground, a testing facility that supports the Company’s research and development efforts.Productive discussions took place on increasing GR vehicles’ participation in motorsports in Saudi Arabia, including the Saudi Toyota Championship. Organized by SAMF, the Championship is the largest of its kind in the Kingdom and features a diverse line-up of events such as rallies, drifting, time attack, autocross, drag racing, and hill-climbing. Spanning seven cities including Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Asir, Al Baha, Qassim, and Hail, the Saudi Toyota Championship represents a qualitative leap in the world of local racing that has attracted over 300 participants to date.His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, Chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, said, “The tour of the TGR factory was a truly transformative experience as we witnessed TMC’s latest carbon-neutral technology and their bold steps towards a decarbonized society. We are excited about the potential of climate-conscious vehicles to revolutionize the Kingdom's motorsports scene and look forward to exploring further opportunities for grassroots motorsports initiatives and the advancement of carbon-neutral technology in our country.”TGR was established in 2015 ?to consolidate Toyota’s motorsports activities under one in-house brand and represents a fundamental pillar of the company’s commitment to ?creating ‘ever-better’ cars. The TGR team actively participates in numerous different forms of motorsports ?including the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). In recent years, TGR has found great success in these events with eco-friendly vehicles such as the GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid and the GR010 Hybrid, including winning the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race an incredible five times in succession. Toyota harnesses the experience gained under the extreme ?conditions of motorsports to forge new ?technologies and solutions, with the goal of bringing the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.Made for motorsport enthusiasts by motorsports enthusiasts, Toyota’s GR line-up represents the embodiment of climate-conscious sports vehicles. Abdul Latif Jameel Motors offers an extensive range of GR models to customers in the Kingdom including the Land Cruiser, Supra, Hilux, and GR86.Munir Khoja, Managing Director of Marketing Communication at Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, said: “As part of our strategic relationship with both TMC and SAMF, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors is committed to promoting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals and initiatives towards a greener future. Our recent conversation with TMC was of utmost importance as we discussed innovative solutions to support the electrification of more vehicles in Saudi Arabia. TMC's dedication to realizing hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell cars aligns with our values and our mission to improve mobility in the Kingdom. We look forward to celebrating these special moments and promoting sustainable mobility for all.”The guests also visited the facilities of Rookie Racing, a private team owned by TMC Chairman Akio Toyoda. Rookie Racing’s participation in a series of grueling endurance races with a hydrogen-powered GR Corolla exemplifies TMC’s Multiple Pathway approach and passion for making ‘ever-better cars’ through motorsports.Toyota’s Multiple Pathway approach to carbon neutrality offers customers the choice of various vehicle powertrain technologies, including Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV). This enables customers to select cleaner and greener mobility options based on their economic circumstances, locally available energy sources, charging infrastructure readiness, industrial policies, and usage needs.Akitoshi Takemura, Regional CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, commented: “As our Chairman Akio Toyoda has said, Toyota believes that ‘carbon is the enemy.’ Our Multiple Pathway approach provides an excellent fit with the drive to achieve carbon neutrality in Saudi Arabia, where diversifications across multiple sectors including the country’s energy resource strategy are underway in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”Takemura continued: “Toyota, together with SAMF and Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, supports these goals not only by providing cars to motorsports enthusiasts, but also by establishing communities where car lovers can gather and tomorrow’s talents can grow. We remain committed to shaping a more sustainable tomorrow fueled by our passion for developing ‘ever-better cars’ through motorsports that are fun to drive, while at the same time focusing on sustainable mobility to ensure that no one is left behind.”Abdul Latif Jameel Motors has worked together with Toyota Motor Corporation since 1955 to deliver a premium automotive ownership experience and world-class aftersales services in Saudi Arabia. Leveraging decades of expertise across the mobility value chain, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors remains committed to continually enhancing its products and services to meet the evolving needs of customers across the Kingdom.

Cartlow and E-city partner to launch Sustainable Device Subscription Program

Dubai: Cartlow, the leading reverse logistics platform, has partnered with E-City, a multi-brand electronics retail group, to launch a new device subscription program across 16 stores in the UAE. The program aims to align with the UAE's 2023 vision for sustainability by providing customers with affordable and convenient options to prolong the life cycle of their devices and reduce electronic waste.In the device subscription program, customers will constantly have the latest device by securing its exchange value for future use. This program simplifies the process of keeping up with the latest technology by eliminating the need to sell or trade-in the current device.All old devices collected through the program undergo data sanitization following international standards for IT Asset Disposal services. The program adheres to circular economy principles, meaning that collected devices are either repaired, refurbished, or recycled to minimize waste and promote sustainability. This collaboration reflects Cartlow's continuous commitment to minimizing electronic waste and promoting a sustainable future. The global mobile device subscription market is expected to reach $64.8 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 24.8% from 2021 to 2026. These statistics demonstrate the growing popularity and importance of device subscription programs globally, particularly as consumers increasingly prioritize flexibility and access over ownership. The coming together of the two entities helps to address this growing trend, promoting a more responsible and eco-friendly approach to electronic device consumption in the UAE.Cartlow has managed over 2 million products since its inception, resulting in a groundbreaking contribution to saving over 6 million kg of e-waste and 36 million kg of carbon emissions. The platform aims to further dominate the global reverse logistics market, which is projected to reach $958 billion in 2028.Mohammad Sleiman, Founder and CEO of Cartlow, stated, “Our partnership with E-City is aligned with the UAE's vision of sustainability for 2023, and we are delighted to contribute to this mission. As a leading advocate for reducing the environmental impact of electronic waste, we take pride in our efforts to provide sustainable and cost-effective solutions to our customers. Together with E-City, we strive to make a positive impact on the environment and promote a more sustainable future for generations to come.”Cartlow and E-City hope to encourage consumers to make environmentally responsible choices while also promoting new technology at an affordable price point through their agreement. receives 19mln visitors and more than 30mln visits to by end of 2022

Dubai: The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) released ‘ 2022... Figures and Facts’ Report, which sheds light on the great success story of the portal since its launch, as the interface of the UAE Government official presence, and the main reference for government information and services. The report includes milestones, figures, results and indicators related to the portal's performance and the level of its popularity locally and globally.Moreover, the report highlights the journey of, which was launched in 2001, starting with its establishment as a static site under the name of (, through the stage of the interactive site based on an open-source content management system, to the stage of the one-letter domain (, which is the shortest domain name in the world.Commenting on the report, H.E. Eng. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, TDRA Director General, said: “The UAE Government official portal ( is the UAE interface online, and an interface of its digital presence. We are pleased with the results achieved by the portal in terms of the level of visits, searches and browsing. We are also pleased with the comments and suggestions received from the portal users that have contributed over time to developing it and improving its performance in line with international best practice.”H.E. Al Mesmar added: “TDRA’s team works tirelessly on developing the portal and aligning it with the higher national directions, manly 'We the UAE 2031' vision with its four pillars related to government, society, economy and international relations. We developed the portal based on our role as an enabler of the digital government, and on our strategic goal to enhance the digital lifestyle in line with the directives of the wise leadership by making digital transformation a path to creating a happy and sustainable future in the UAE.” reflects the best international experiences, such as the customers' journey, adopting the latest international standards and choosing the best content management system.The report showed a steady increase in the number of visitors to the portal, as the number of visitors approached 19 million in 2022, with more than 30 million visitors came mainly from the UAE. During the last five years, more than 35.6 million visitors from the UAE visited the portal, while India came second with 4.67 million visitors in the same period, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia third with 2.72 million visitors.As for the most popular pages, the page of applications for entry permits and visas and their validity came at the top of the list, as the average time spent by the visitor browsing this page was 4:16 minutes. Travel to the UAE page came second with an average visit time of 4:07 minutes, and the Emirates ID page came third with an average visit time of 3:51 minutes.According to the report, English came as the most used language with 48.8 million visitors, followed by Arabic with 8.13 million visitors, then French with 1.18 million visitors, then German, Russian and Chinese.The report showed the inclusion of 2,630 digital services on the portal, provide

Salesforce celebrates partner growth and success in Middle East

DUBAI: Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, has announced the winners of its annual Middle East Partner Awards 2023 across 10 categories.The Middle East Partner Awards event, which was held at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai as part of Salesforce World Tour Essentials Dubai on May 18th, gathered more than 1,500 attendees across Salesforce’s regional ecosystem.Salesforce’s partner network experienced robust growth of 46% year-on-year by the end of Q1 2024 (January 31, 2023). Over the same time, the total number of Salesforce certifications rose by 51.5% to reach 3,673.“The spectacular growth of our partner network is a reflection of both the success of our partner program and the surging demand for solutions that help organizations put their customers at the center of everything they do,” Mukesh Kumar, Regional Vice President for Salesforce Alliance & Channels Middle East, said. “This level of growth made the 2023 awards a truly special occasion, with an eclectic mix of regional partners and global system integrators, and partners covering newly represented sectors including telco and financial services competing for awards.“What these awards really demonstrate is that we value our partners as extensions of our organization: We are members of one family and share similar core values. This is vital to ensure we work as one unified team, focused on our customers’ transformation journey and success in the Middle East.”Awards were handed out as follows:1 Customer Success Partner (Implementation - CSAT) - recognizes partners who share Salesforce's commitment to customer success through the development of product, industry, and service expertise, as demonstrated by Salesforce specializations. Building a strong track record of successful implementations and maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. Winner: Coberg2 Outstanding Knowledge Partner (Innovation - Credentials) - recognizes partners who have a laser focus on expanding their Salesforce Practice. By utilizing all available enablement tools, they have increased their total number of certifications, certified individuals, and use of partner learning camps. Winner: Smaartt3 Sales Excellence Partner (Engagement - ACV) - this award celebrates partners who are committed to growing the Salesforce footprint across the commercial and enterprise markets. They have demonstrated this through increased sales and marketing engagement reflected in being the Top influenced Annual Contract Value (ACV) contributor. Winner: CloudzLab4 Community Impact Partner - recognizes partners who have dedicated their time, money, and resources to have a positive impact on the local community. This is measured through their enrollment in Salesforce’s Talent Alliance, Pledge 1% and sustainability programs, and their demonstrated corporate responsibility.Winner: Deloitte5 One A&C Cloud Solution Partner – this category recognizes partners across the One A&C cloud solutions, which includes Mulesoft, Tableau and Slack. The partner must demonstrate great product knowledge which helps to address customer challenges.Winner: Capgemini6 Marketing/Commerce Cloud Partner – recognizes partners who excelled in using Salesforce marketing and commerce cloud solutions to drive transformation programs and build a niche set of skills that are relevant for customers. Winner: Horizontal Digital7 New Cloud (NetZero, Data Cloud, Whatsapp, CDP, Industry Clouds) – partners who invest resources to understand Salesforce’s latest product offerings or industry solutions. Building on the incredible salesforce knowledge and taking this further to truly leverage the maximum value from the salesforce platform.Winner: Publicis Sapient8 Outstanding New Logo - This award celebrates the partner who positioned Salesforce to help solve unique and complex business challenges for new customers across the Middle East.Winner: Sirocco9 Rising Star Partner - celebrates the partner with the most growth based on program pillars: Customer success (Navigator + CSAT), Innovation (Credentials & Practice Growth), Growth (Influenced ACV) and Lead (Equality and Sustainable Development).Winner: Conx Digital10 Overall Partner of the Year - recognizes a partner that has gone above and beyond in their commitment to building a world class Salesforce practice. They have excelled across all of the consulting program pillars, built a strong alignment with Salesforce’s sales team and dedicated marketing to ensure pipeline creation and progression. These partners are a true extension of Salesforce.Winner: EI-Technologies MENA

Jaguar Land Rover switches gears with Hearts & Science in MENA

Dubai: In support of the Reimagine Strategy, JLR has appointed Hearts & Science, a brand of Omnicom Media Group, as its new global media agency. The network was appointed following a thorough evaluation process. A successful global transition concluded this month, completing the move across all five key regions: China, Europe, Overseas, North America and the UK.The appointment of Hearts & Science supports JLR’s commitment to become proud creators of the most desirable, modern luxury brands for the most discerning clients. All four makes in the JLR house of brands, Jaguar, Range Rover, Discovery and Defender, will be managed by Hearts & Science. The network’s client-centric approach, fused with data science skills, will accelerate the manufacturer’s growth and transformation.In line with the global decision, Hearts & Science MENA will be responsible for 23 markets, managing media strategy and planning, buying across traditional and all biddable and performance channels. The deployment of marketing science, a custom digital marketing transformation framework and optimized customer digital experiences through OMNI, Omnicom’s critically acclaimed marketing orchestration platform, are also in the scope of work.The choice of an agency built for the future was also driven by JLR’s Reimagine strategy to deliver a sustainability-rich vision of modern luxury by design. The company will become carbon net zero across its supply chain, products, and operations by 2039. Before the end of the decade, the Range Rover, Discovery, Defender collections will each have a pure electric model, while Jaguar will be entirely electric. “Throughout the tender process, Hearts & Science demonstrated they were the most capable partner to help JLR build equity across our house of brands and embed a performance marketing-led ecosystem. We are excited to begin our partnership with them but also wish to wholeheartedly thank Dentsu for their partnership during the past five years,” said Lennard Hoornik, JLR’s Chief Commercial Officer.“Acting on data to improve performance is clearly an approach that runs deep in our engineering. With the appointment of Hearts & Science, we will go further down that path in our marketing too. They’ve demonstrated an exceptional command of data, analytics, technology and consumer understanding,” explained Paula Shamaa, Brand Director at Jaguar Land Rover MENA. “With their insights, science and expertise, we expect them to lift all our KPIs, be they brand or business focused, and create differentiation, desire and demand.”“Speed, accuracy and reliability are some of the attributes you require from a performance car. JLR have come into this review with the same expectations and found at Hearts & Science a team of experts and specialists bound by the same drive: to accelerate growth through effective marketing transformation,” commented Rasha Rteil, managing director of Hearts & Science MENA. “In the last few years, we have built a solid track record of success above and beyond media. It is this best practice that JLR will capitalize on to improve its marques’ positioning and desirability, with a next-level data infrastructure.”

MoEngage to host the 2nd edition of its flagship event

DUBAI: After hosting 250+ brands in 2022, MoEngage, a marketing automation and customer engagement platform, is back with the 2nd edition of #GROWTH Summit Dubai on 1st June at Westin Mina Seyahi, Dubai.The Dubai chapter of #GROWTH Summit 2023 will bring experts from top GCC consumer brands together and foster a network of Growth, Marketing, Product, and Retention professionals to encourage peer learning and problem-solving. The event is brought to the audience in partnership with AWS, mParticle, and Tanla. #GROWTH Summit promises to host marquee brands like GMG, DP World, OSN+, Geekay Group, RedTag, Sharjah Corp,, Astra tech, Lals Group, Almosafer, and many others.Building long-lasting customer relationships and sustainable growth is the biggest growth lever. And with this invite-only event, MoEngage aims to bring in leaders who will share their experiences, discuss actionable strategies, and showcase real-world frameworks they have used to drive meaningful engagement and growth.The event will feature various panel discussions, fireside chats, customer growth stories, and intuitive product announcements that will encourage the marketing fraternity to look towards innovative ways of engaging with customers.What makes #GROWTH Summit Special?All Brands Under One Roof: Get a chance to interact with professionals from brands across verticals like Retail, E-commerce, BFSI, Telecom, Travel, Media, Healthcare and many more.Product, Features and More: Get latest updates on features that are revolutionizing customer engagement like Outbound Segment, Website Personalization, Inform, OSM Pro and Flows.Interactive Panel and Fireside Chats: Listen to seasoned professionals from various B2C brands as they share their experience across engagement, retention, and personalization.A True Networking Event: Meet and greet your peers and get a chance to discuss challenges and solutions around customer engagement with marketing leaders over a sumptuous meal.A few of the panelists, amongst others attending the Summit are:Pallav Singhvi, VP Consumer Business - Seera GroupHitesh Malhotra, VP Marketing - DamacRichard Quipp, Engagement Director, The ENTERTAINERNuran Mekky, Group Head of CVM Operations and Customer Experience, Gargash GroupMilica Smudja, Head of Marketing - Landmark LeisureNilanjana Chaterjee, Data & Analytics Director - AlamarTariq Jaser, Co- founder and Head of marketing - myco.ioIshan Singh, Director - Engagement and Retention - OSN+Dharmendra Mehta, Business Head - E-Commerce - Lal's GroupDebleena Ghosh, Head of CRM - GMGVinod Nagar, Head of Growth, Marketing & CX - PayitSami Skaff - Product Head | Customer Experience - AWRostamaniBilal Adham, Director of Digital - DP WorldHammad Khan, Head of Digital - Geekay GroupOwais Khan,VP Marketing - UdrivePuneet Mishra, Head of E-commerce, Redtag“In the last couple of years, we have seen marketers coming together as a community to solve the major engagement challenges. To encourage and contribute to these communities, we are back with our 2nd edition of Dubai Summit. #GROWTH Community is a platform to foster mutual learning and problem-solving among marketers and product owners. After seeing great reception from the community across 4 continents, with 10,000+ attendees, more than 500 speakers, and over 100 curated sessions, it gives us immense pleasure to host the event in the heart of UAE," said Raviteja Dodda, CEO, MoEngage.

STARZPLAY records nearly 70% increase in viewership during Ramadan 2023

Dubai: Ramadan entertainment continues to be in high demand and has driven growth in viewership during the Holy Month,  according to a recent viewership analysis by STARZPLAY, one of the region’s top 3 subscription video on demand services.The platform witnessed a remarkable increase in viewership across the GCC markets with nearly a 70% increase in unique users compared to Ramadan 2022. UAE witnessed the maximum increase in viewership, a 62% increase in unique users in 2023 vis-à-vis Ramadan in 2022 while the rest of the GCC recorded nearly a 60% increase in unique users.Over the years, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Ramadan has typically seen increased TV consumption and a visible shift in viewership towards Arabic content. This year too, the top performing shows in the region included Serou Al Batea, Al Moasses Osman, Kashf Mestaagel, Bab Al Hara and Harb. Drama continued to be the top performing genre while comedy satires and cookery shows remained a popular choice for viewers.  Tony Saab, Senior Vice President of Content and Strategic Partnerships, STARZPLAY added: “Ramadan is a month of family gatherings and celebrations with friends and families and a time where viewers consume a greater amount of entertainment content. Over the last few years STARZPLAY has witnessed a significant increase in streaming during the Holy Month and this year was no different. Our platform recorded nearly a 70% uplift in consumption vis-à-vis last year which is a clear indication of the increase in demand of video streaming consumption across the MENA region. The Ramadan viewership figures evidently indicate the appetite for Arabic language content in the region and therefore an opportunity for streaming services like ours to deliver even more original Arabic content.”During the Holy Month, STARZPLAY also witnessed over a 50% increase in new sign-ups compared to Ramadan 2022, which is a testament of the platform’s compelling content roster to meet the demand for streaming in the region. The young consumers are driving subscription growth and STARZPLAY has been at the helm to deliver diverse, as well as quality, content to its audiences, with a strong focus on producing Arabic original content.With thousands of hours of premium content including blockbuster movies, exclusive TV shows, kids’ content, Arabic series, as well as varied content via add-on channels, STARZPLAY is the number one player in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The service is available in 19 countries across the MENA for fans to enjoy quality content anytime, anywhere, and from any device. announces $250mln Series D led by QIA

Dubai:®, the AI powered composable software platform, designed to be so simple and accessible that everyday businesses and individuals can turn their ideas into software, today announced an investment of $250 million in a Series D funding. The new investment, led by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) takes the total amount raised by the company to over $450 million with an up to 1.8x increase in its valuation.The latest round of capital will fuel the company’s continued industry leadership and innovation pipeline allowing further investments in talent, partnerships, and technology; with a bigger focus on using human conversation as the primary user interface for allowing people to build software rather than the expert-laden white-canvas systems we are used to seeing in the no-code/low-code space. With customer demand at an all-time high, and AI advancing every day, the company has almost doubled its headcount since January 2022, and extended its UK HQ footprint with four new offices opened since 2021 – including the USA, the UAE, Singapore, and France.Continued investor support – combined with strategic partnerships, customer tailwinds and acclaimed industry innovation – helped drive the company’s momentum with 2.3x revenue growth and over 40,000 features deployed to customers within the last year.    The Series D round included participation from additional existing and new investors including Iconiq Capital, Jungle Ventures & Insight Partners.“ was founded on the promise that everyone should be empowered to unlock their human potential. Today this means being able to build software to be able to do more with less. We are entering an incredible time in history where the very notion of software is changing; from something that had a shelf life of years to what will eventually have a shelf life of a conversation and the volume of what is being created is only going to grow exponentially” said Sachin Dev Duggal, Chief Wizard and Founder of     Duggal added “With the support of our investors and the dedication and drive of our team, we are further empowered to unlock our own potential. Our growth strategy has always been driven by a DNA based on being able to do more with less and this has weaved into our shared vision with our customers around the world as everyone pushes the envelope to do more. It is what attracted our first-round investors in 2018, and what drives this Series D today. Our team is already investing this capital in our AI and automation capabilities, not only keeping pace with the fast-moving industry, but leading from the front so we can empower our customers more and at the same time use new frontier technology responsibly.”"QIA is very excited to be partnering with the leader in this space. We are confident that’s innovative technology and proven approach positions the company for a future of substantial growth. This investment is aligned with QIA’s strategy of supporting innovative companies shaping the future of the global economy” said Ahmed Ali Al-Hammadi, CIO for Europe, Türkiye and Russia at QIA.“Our journey with was fuelled by a deep-seated belief in their pioneering solution, allowing us to recognise the immense potential of this sector and anticipate the trajectory of this industry during its nascent stages,” said Amit Anand, Managing Partner at Jungle Ventures. “As early investors, we have witnessed their exceptional growth, even amidst harsh economic climates, which demonstrates the team's resilience and commitment to innovation. We are proud to continue supporting on their visionary path today.”Established in 2016, continues to lead the industry with its AI-powered composable software platform that allows anyone with an idea to build an app (web or mobile) – faster and 70% more affordably. Breaking software down into its reusable lego-like features, coupled with customization from its managed expert network of designers and developers atop its human assisted AI powered assembly line, has been the key to’s performance and that of its customers’ successful digital transformations worldwide.The brand has also furthered its partnership with Microsoft for a holistic global GTM and inclusion in their reseller program, as well as entered partnerships with JP Morgan & Chase, Etisalat UAE and other technology and financial enterprises. These partnerships, along with the company’s visionary application of AI, has landed on the 2023 Fast Company list of Most Innovative Companies, winner of the 2022 Europas “Scale Up of the Year” as well as placing them firmly in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Multi Experience Development Platforms (MXDP) and MarketGuide 2022 for MXDP, as well as inclusion in the final round of consideration for 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for low code application platforms (LCAP).The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.Goodwin acted as legal advisor to

MENA online video ad revenues to reach $2.3bn in 2027: Omdia

Dubai: The online video advertising market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will more than double to reach $2.3bn in 2027 according to the latest research from Omdia.“MENA is generating worldwide interest in the online advertising market thanks to the immense growth potential linked to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. With more than half of online video advertising revenues expected from TikTok, Meta and YouTube, online video players must integrate social video into their video strategies. It is important to note that this growth is the free video space and will not be to the detriment of the online video subscription market which is on track to reach $1.5bn in 2027 representing 54% growth.”Subscription video on demand (SVOD) subscriptions reached 11.1 million at the end of 2022, and more than 2 million new subscriptions expected this year.The leading player is Arabic video on demand service, Shahid VIP, with 2.7 million subscriptions. In a close second place is STARZPLAY Arabia with 2.1 million subscriptions and NETFLIX is in third place with less than 2 million subscriptions.Shahid holds the largest catalogue of Arabic content in the region offering popular original shows such as Al Thaman and Stiletto and coverage of the Saudi Pro League. There are also plans to launch more than 20 new free ad-supported television (FAST) channels.STARZPLAY Arabia saw its numbers increase to 2.1 million subscriptions driven by subscribers to its premium football and cricket content thanks to telco partnership deals.Netflix has continued to invest in original content in the Middle East however, the scale and scope of its content is limited. The success of Dubai Bling should lead to more investments in high-quality, Middle East-focused, unscripted content in the region. The streaming service has also amended its pricing strategy between the Gulf and North African countries to make it more accessible to low-income countries in the region.Omdia forecasts that SVOD and telco partnerships will play a significant role in the growth of the online video services in the MENA region.

Islamic Coin's Public Release Boosts Shariah-Compliant Crypto Adoption

Dubai: It has been at the forefront of rapid crypto adoption for the past few years. In 2022 alone, cryptocurrency transactions in the MENA region accounted for $566 billion: a 48% increase from the previous year. At the same time, five out of the top 20 countries in the global crypto adoption index are Muslim-majority nations, with Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, and Nigeria leading the group.However, Muslims still hold significant reservations about digital assets, with the main concern being whether or not crypto is halal: e.g., earned lawfully and through ethical means according to the principles of Islam.The Dubai-based Haqq ecosystem is addressing this concern with the launch of Islamic Coin: a 100% halal cryptocurrency.New Fatwa-accredited Asset, Boosting Islamic FinanceIslamic Coin is the native token of the Haqq, the world’s first ecosystem that abides by the principles and traditions of Islam. Focused on driving crypto adoption in the region and boosting Islamic finance across 185 countries, Haqq aims to provide the global Muslim population with user-friendly, Shariah-compliant financial products.The new currency will power seamless transactions and interactions in the ecosystem while supporting innovation and philanthropy: the network will dedicate 10% of each Islamic Coin issuance to philanthropic pursuits across the Muslim world. To date, Islamic Coin has received accreditation and authorization through the Fatwa of several Muslim authorities.The coin has the potential to become a tier-1 asset: as Haqq’s co-founder Mohammed Alkaff Alhashmi recently claimed, if only 3-4% of the online Muslim community holds the coin, it could become a Bitcoin-scale asset. To date, Islamic Coin has secured over $200 million — a record shattering feat given last year’s bear market.With the public release scheduled for 2023, Islamic Coin already has multiple exclusive partnerships with leading Web3 projects and Islamic educational institutions.Increasing Crypto Awareness and AdoptionAs part of its initiative to boost crypto adoption, Haqq Association — the ecosystem’s non-profit — has partnered with the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) to increase blockchain and crypto awareness while fostering a positive learning environment. Haqq and IIUM will create a blockchain academy in Malaysia, offering free courses about crypto and blockchain technology courses. Students at IIUM can also enroll in these courses for credits toward existing university programs.Haqq and Islamic Coin recently partnered with DDCap Group, and will be working on a Web3 Shariah-compliant alternative to SWIFT as well as other products.Haqq is also forming several commercial partnerships with retail and e-commerce platforms to introduce Sharia-compliant Web3 technologies into traditional Web2 environments. Most recently, it has partnered with Holiday Swap, the world’s largest home exchange platform, to transition the company’s tokenized operations to Web3.To keep track of news on Haqq and Islamic coin, visit the official website.

Google Cloud opens new cloud region in Doha

Doha: Today, Google Cloud announced the opening of its Doha cloud region at an official launch event attended by ministers from the Qatari Cabinet and executives from leading Qatari businesses, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Qatar Free Zone Authority (QFZ). The new cloud region will meet growing demand for cloud services in Qatar and the Middle East region and support Qatar’s National Vision 2030 that aims to transform the country into a digital economy through innovation and digital transformation. According to research commissioned by Google Cloud and conducted by Access Partnership, the new Doha cloud region is expected to drive increased economic activity and is estimated to contribute a cumulative 18.9 billion USD in higher gross economic output to the economy of Qatar between 2023 and 2030 and support the creation of 25,000 jobs in 2030 alone. This new cloud region is the latest significant investment made by Google Cloud in Qatar, following the recent opening of a country office and virtual center of excellence (CoE) in Msheireb.The series of investments in infrastructure and resources demonstrates Google Cloud’s continued commitment to playing a pivotal role in advancing Qatar’s digital future and technological capabilities. MCIT and the Qatari government have helped enable the growth of cloud across the government through the adoption of cloud policies, which facilitated Google Cloud's market entry. His Excellency Mr. Mohammed bin Ali Al Mannai, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said: “The launch of the first Google Cloud region in Qatar fits into our comprehensive vision to achieve the desired goals of Qatar National Vision 2030, including the establishment of a strong digital infrastructure with internationally agreed standards and policies that will lead us all towards a more efficient economy based on digitalization and technology to facilitate quality of life and provide convenient solutions for various sectors. The new cloud region will contribute to giving impetus to economic and productivity growth, and will allow various government and private companies and institutions within Qatar the opportunity to achieve significant efficiency gains by adopting flexible features in dealing with digital technology.”H.E. Ahmad Al Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZ) said: “The launch of the new Google Cloud region in Qatar marks a significant milestone in our growing partnership with Google Cloud that started in 2020 with an agreement to establish Google Cloud’s region in Doha. We are proud to provide world-class cloud services from the free zones in Qatar, this is in addition to QFZ’s pivotal role in introducing disruptive technologies and advanced digital infrastructure, creating opportunities for businesses to enhance their capabilities, foster innovation, and advance the technology sector in the State. This will further accelerate Qatar’s digital transformation and the realization of Qatar National Vision 2030 that aims to build a sustainable knowledge-based economy.”QFZ and Google Cloud’s strategic collaboration agreement to enable in-country Google Cloud presence was announced in early 2020. QFZ’s continued support of the launch of the Center of Excellence has helped the growth of the technology ecosystem in Qatar.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is excited at the opportunity offered by Google setting up its Cloud region in Qatar. This gives us the ability to innovate jointly with Google and leverage their rich Cloud service offerings. We are particularly keen to use AI/ML driven data insights using Google Cloud as a platform for enhancing our world-acclaimed customer service whilst also improving our operational efficiencies. Areas like data driven predictive maintenance will now be much easier with Google Cloud being in Qatar and our data residing here securely.” His Excellency Mr. Nasser Ghanem Al-Khelaifi, Chairman of beIN Media Group, said, “We are delighted to enter this major new partnership with Google Cloud, which will help beIN embrace latest technologies and innovations. As a proud Qatari media group, we are always looking to innovate as a business and find ways to improve the experience of millions of our subscribers worldwide. In partnership with Google Cloud, beIN will help drive the continued digital transformation of the sports, entertainment and media industry, both in Qatar and globally.”Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Financial Center said: “Our partnership with Google Cloud affirms our shared desire to facilitate the growth of local businesses by providing opportunities and solutions that enable them to capitalize on the transformative benefits of technology and digitalisation. Working with Google in this field builds up the support we provide our clients, particularly those in the financial services sector, and takes us steps forward in our mission to support the transformation of Qatar into a digital and fintech hub and the country's sustainable development in line with the national development plan.”Ahmed AlFahad, Executive Director of Technology & Network Operations, Al Jazeera Media Network stated: “We are delighted to be among the group of companies leveraging Google Cloud’s new cloud region in Qatar. The new region will help Al Jazeera positively impact and empower more customers and partners around the world. Our collaboration with Google Cloud has helped us deliver tremendous value added services to news readers around the globe. We are able to capture and analyze how people engage with news in real-time and translate these insights into actions that help us keep the world better informed. We believe that with the cloud region now in Qatar, we are going to be strongly positioned to deliver exceptional news coverage and drive deeper engagement to all the information.”Adaire Fox-Martin, President, Google Cloud Go-to-Market, said: “We are proud to be delivering on the commitment we made in 2020 to the Government of Qatar and the business community to open a cloud region in the country. The economy of Qatar holds tremendous growth potential. The Doha cloud region will be a catalyst for economic development and will create more employment opportunities in the Qatari market as more businesses grow and expand with the power of cloud technologies. We are also humbled by the presence of Qatari Cabinet Ministers and leaders from Qatari businesses at the region launch event today, which reflects the endorsement of the new cloud regions' potential.”The new Doha region is part of Google Cloud’s global network of 37 regions and 112 zones that bring cloud services to over 200 countries and territories worldwide. The new region brings high-performance, low-latency services and products to customers of all sizes, from public sector organizations, to large enterprises, to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups in Qatar and the Middle East. Organizations in the region will benefit from key controls that allow them to maintain the highest security, data residency, and compliance standards, including specific data storage requirements.Today’s news was revealed as part of a keynote by Adaire Fox-Martin, President, Go-to-Market, Google Cloud, at the company’s launch event held at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC). The event was attended by over 1,200 participants from Qatar’s top decision makers, government officials, CIOs, CXOs and IT community.