Facebook, Instagram roll out ad-free experience in Europe

Meta has announced the introduction of a new subscription option in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. This is in response to the evolving European regulatory landscape.This initiative, set to launch in November, allows users of Facebook and Instagram in these regions to make a choice between continuing to access personalized services for free with advertisements or opting for a subscription to enjoy an ad-free experience while ensuring their information is not utilized for ad targeting.Under this subscription model, users in the specified regions will have the opportunity to subscribe for a fee and access our products without advertisements. The pricing structure will vary depending on the platform: €9.99 per month when using the web, and €12.99 per month for iOS and Android. It's important to note that this pricing variation takes into account the fees imposed by Apple and Google through their respective purchasing policies. Until March 1, 2024, the initial subscription fee will cover all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts within a user's Accounts Center. However, starting from March 1, 2024, an additional charge of €6 per month on the web and €8 per month on iOS and Android will apply for each additional account listed in a user's Account Center.But why is Meta implementing this new subscription offering? The company says it is committed to maintaining an ad-supported internet, ensuring that people from all walks of life can access personalized products and services, while also facilitating small businesses in reaching potential customers and driving economic growth in Europe. While advocating for an ad-supported internet, Meta is equally committed to complying with evolving European regulations and respecting their spirit and purpose.This decision aligns with Meta's earlier announcement in August, in which the company expressed its intention to transition users in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland to the "Consent" legal basis as per GDPR for processing data collected on their platforms for advertising purposes. This change was made in response to emerging regulatory requirements in the region, including the interpretation of GDPR by the Irish Data Protection Commission following a recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union and the forthcoming Digital Markets Act.The introduction of the subscription model is aimed at balancing the needs of European regulators, providing users with choices, and enabling Meta to continue serving the people of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. The Court of Justice of the European Union has explicitly recognized the validity of a subscription-based model as a form of consent for an ad-supported service.For users who opt to continue using Meta's products for free, their experience will remain largely unchanged, with ongoing support for tools and settings that empower individuals to control their ad experience. These tools include Ad Preferences, which offer a range of controls allowing users to influence the ads they see and the data used for ad targeting, as well as tools that explain "Why am I seeing this ad?" and help manage ad preferences.Meanwhile, advertisers will continue to run personalized advertising campaigns in Europe for those who choose to avail of the free, ad-supported online service. Meta remains committed to investing in the development of new tools that preserve the value of personalized advertising for both users and businesses while giving users more control over their ad experience on Meta's platforms.It's important to note that the subscription for an ad-free experience is available to individuals aged 18 and above, and Meta is actively exploring ways to provide teenagers with a useful and responsible ad experience in light of the evolving regulatory landscape.This new subscription model has been factored into Meta's most recent business outlook and guidance. This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Meta's business outlook and the evolving regulatory landscape. These statements should not be considered as predictions of future events. More information about potential risks and uncertainties related to Meta's business and financial results can be found in the most recent Form 10-Q. Meta undertakes no obligation to update these statements based on new information or future events.

From one client to a global force: Journey of Mad Influence with Gautam Madhavan

Gautam Madhavan, a 26-year-old entrepreneur, leads Mad Influence, a highly successful full-service digital marketing agency. The agency had humble beginnings in 2018 with just one client, but it has rapidly grown since then. Today, Mad Influence manages twelve to fourteen campaigns daily. Their early adoption of influencer marketing has propelled them to prominence in this global trend.In an exclusive interview with Adgully, Gautam Madhavan, CEO & Founder of Mad Influence, sheds light on the company's comprehensive scope of work.While emphasizing that Mad Influence is indeed an influencer management agency, he emphasizes that their services encompass more than just connecting content creators with brands. The company also specializes in digital marketing, social media management, content creation, and offers consulting services for businesses. Additionally, Madhavan discusses the rationale behind expanding Mad Influence to the Middle East and shares insights into the company's future aspirations for the region. Here are some excerpts from the interview:Can you please share your entrepreneurial journey?My journey in the world of entrepreneurship has been quite a dynamic and exciting one. I founded Mad Influence with a vision to revolutionize influencer marketing. It all started with a passion for connecting people and brands through the power of social media. Over the years, I've learned to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of digital marketing and influencer collaborations. From humble beginnings, we've now grown into an international player in the industry.What inspired you to launch ‘Mad Influence’ and ‘Mad Studio’ at such a young age?The inspiration behind launching Mad Influence and Mad Studio at a relatively young age came from recognizing the immense potential and impact of influencer marketing. I saw the power that influencers held in shaping consumer behavior and driving brand engagement. Mad Influence was born out of the desire to create a platform that could bridge the gap between influencers and brands, making it accessible to a global audience. Mad Studio, on the other hand, was established to provide creators with a space to unleash their creative potential. Youth often bring fresh perspectives and a willingness to take risks, which can be advantageous in the digital landscape.The trend of social influencers has significantly risen in the past few years. How do you measure its success?The success of the influencer marketing trend can be measured in various ways. One key indicator is the engagement and reach of influencer campaigns. We closely monitor metrics like likes, shares, comments, and click-through rates to evaluate the impact of influencer content. Additionally, the conversion rates and sales generated through influencer collaborations are vital performance indicators. As the industry evolves, we also consider the authenticity and relatability of influencers as key factors in success. Ultimately, it's about the value that influencer marketing brings to both brands and influencers in terms of increased brand awareness, customer trust, and revenue.How do you connect Brands with Influencers? Do brands look for a certain Influencer for their campaigns?Connecting brands with influencers is at the core of what we do. We offer a marketplace platform where influencers and brands can register and connect. Brands often have specific criteria for the influencers they want to collaborate with, such as audience demographics, niche relevance, and engagement rates. Our platform allows brands to search and filter influencers based on these criteria. Alternatively, influencers can also apply for campaigns that match their expertise and audience. We believe in facilitating a seamless and mutually beneficial partnership between brands and influencers, ensuring that the right fit is made for each campaign.Mad Influence has recently forayed into the Middle East? What made you do so?The Middle East presented an exciting opportunity for Mad Influence due to several reasons. First, the region is witnessing significant growth in influencer marketing, with a diverse and engaged audience. Second, Dubai, in particular, is a multicultural hub with a large number of expats, making it an ideal place for pilot projects and micro-influencer campaigns to target specific audiences. Lastly, Dubai's strategic location allows us to work with various time zones, which is crucial for managing global influencer marketing campaigns effectively. These factors made the Middle East an attractive market for our expansion.What can you say about the influencer marketing platforms of the Middle East? What can you predict about it?The influencer marketing platform in the Middle East is rapidly evolving and holds immense potential. We anticipate that it will continue to grow, driven by the region's diverse and digitally active population. As influencer marketing becomes more mainstream, we can expect to see innovative campaigns and partnerships emerging from the Middle East. This region has the opportunity to become a global hub for influencer marketing, and we aim to be at the forefront of this growth.Have you formed alliances with social influencers or brands in the UAE?Yes, we've formed valuable alliances with both social influencers and brands in the UAE. We've had the privilege of collaborating with some well-known names in the region, including influencers and celebrities. We've also partnered with brands in various industries, including real estate, tourism, FMCG, lifestyle, and consumer products, to execute influencer marketing campaigns that have proven to be highly successful. These alliances have not only allowed us to expand our network but have also enabled us to create impactful campaigns that resonate with the local audience.Mad Influence has collaborated with and offers advice to the biggest companies on social media channels including YouTube, Meta, Sharechat, Moj, MX Takatak etc. Will this be in the MENA region as well?Absolutely, our expertise in collaborating with major social media channels and offering advice will extend to the MENA region. We believe in leveraging the full spectrum of social media platforms to create comprehensive and effective influencer marketing strategies. The Middle East presents unique opportunities, and we will continue to work closely with brands and influencers to utilize platforms like YouTube, Meta, Sharechat, Moj, and MX Takatak to drive successful campaigns in the region.What will be your strategies for making Mad Influence successful in the MENA region?Our strategies for success in the MENA region will revolve around understanding the local culture, consumer behavior, and the influencer landscape. We aim to establish strong partnerships with regional influencers and brands, ensuring that we offer tailored solutions to meet their specific needs. Additionally, we'll continue to invest in technology and data analytics to provide insights and performance metrics that will drive successful influencer marketing campaigns. Our goal is to become the go-to platform for influencer marketing in the Middle East and make Dubai a global hub for this rapidly growing industry.

Chattels & More cowned Best Decor Retailer of the Year at the Design ME Awards

Chattels & More, a leading furniture and decor retailer, was awarded the prestigious title of Best Decor Retailer of the Year, at the esteemed Design Middle East Awards 2023. The awards ceremony, a hallmark event in the region's design and architecture industry, was held on October 26th at Sofitel Dubai The Palm.The accolade bestowed upon Chattels & More is a testament to the brand's unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation in the realm of home decor. Recognized for their outstanding contributions to the design industry, this award underscores the brand's position as a trendsetter and leader in the market.This significant achievement resonates deeply with Chattels & More's vision of becoming the most beloved furniture brand in the UAE. "We are honored to be named the Best Decor Retailer of the Year by the Design Middle East Award. This recognition is not just an award; it is a celebration of our dedication to providing exceptional products and services to our valued customers," said Adrian Shaw, CEO of Chattels & More.Chattels & More extends heartfelt gratitude to its community of 'Chattlers' – the loyal customers, supporters, and partners whose continued patronage and encouragement have been integral to this milestone. "Our 'Chattlers' inspire us every day to push boundaries and create spaces that resonate with beauty and functionality. This award is a testament of our goal to become the most loved furniture brand in the region." Shaw added.The Design Middle East Awards annually celebrate the creative best from the region's design and architecture industry, honoring top architects, designers, projects, and firms. Chattels & More's victory in the Best Decor Retailer of the Year category underscores the brand's dedication to shaping inspiring living spaces.

Ooredoo Group earns prestigious recognition at the Global Brands Magazine Awards

Ooredoo Group, one of the world’s most dynamic telecommunications companies, has announced today that it has received prestigious titles at the Global Brands Magazine Awards 2023, cementing its position as a leader in the MENA & SE Asia regions.The awards, organised by Global Brands Magazine (GBM), recognise outstanding performance and vision across various industries.Ooredoo Group was awarded the coveted title of "Best Visual Identity Brand – Telecommunications, MENA & SE Asia - 2023", reaffirming once again the company’s unwavering commitment to excellence. This remarkable achievement follows the company’s recent brand refresh with a new bold, vibrant, and distinctive visual identity that mirrors Ooredoo's passionate spirit and its readiness to a future that never stops evolving.The brand refresh introduced the new tagline "Upgrade Your World", encapsulating the company's promise to continuous improvement, and to enabling human progress, ensuring that every connection, innovation, and service provided contributes to the advancement of individuals, businesses, communities, and countries across its global footprint.Ooredoo Group received two more prestigious awards in 2023, further affirming its position as a leader in the telecommunications industry. The first award, 'Most Aspiring HR Leader 2023', recognising the exceptional leadership and contributions of the group in the field of human resources. The second accolade, the 'Best Digital Transformation and Customer Experience 2023' Award, underlines Ooredoo Group's success in implementing a transformative digitalisation strategy and delivering a seamless customer experience.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer at Ooredoo Group and Chairman art Ooredoo Kuwait, said: "At Ooredoo, we believe in pushing boundaries, fostering innovation and continuously improving to 'Upgrade Your World'. We are honoured to receive these prestigious awards from Global Brands Magazine, recognising our exceptional visual identity and the outstanding work of our dedicated teams. These accolades reflect our firm commitment to always delivering excellence in everything we do. In an industry characterised by rapid innovation, our new brand positioning shows our forward-thinking approach, placing customers and employees at the centre of our business transformation strategy.”The Visual Identity & Leadership Awards, a segment of the GBM Awards, are designed to honour companies that have excelled in evolving visual identity sectors. An external research team meticulously evaluated nominees, making Ooredoo Group's win a testament to its exceptional service delivery and commitment to excellence.

Sacheerome to invest $5mln in R&D

Dubai, UAE: India-headquartered Fragrance & Flavour (F&F) company, Sacheerome plans to invest over $5mn to set up a Research & Innovation Center, Application Lab, Evaluation Center, Sales office, and a Warehouse in the UAE over the next 3-5 years.With an eye on strengthening its business in the burgeoning UAE market, the company aims to drive 10X revenue growth over the next 36-60 months.“We have been supplying F&Fs in this region for decades. The Middle East is a confluence of cultures from across the world, and the business is remarkably fluid. Earlier London, Rome & Paris were the luxury market trendsetters but today, Dubai is as big a fashion & lifestyle powerhouse. Given our deep understanding of the pulse of consumers here and the backing of the partners we work with, we believe this is the time to expand and grow our business here,” said Manoj Arora, Managing Director of Sacheerome, at BeautyWorld Middle East 2023, where they are exhibiting at Sheikh Saeed Hall 3 | E 12.Currently, UAE’s FMCG industry generates $50 million worth revenue using Sacheerome’s line of products manufactured in India and the Gulf.Talking about the changing consumer preferences and buying trends in the Middle East, Mr Arora said: “The region has transformed into a global hub. Today, the consumer choices are more milder and fine fragrances. Oud and Natural Agarwood of Assam have become a big hit here.”Beginning in the 1900s, the Delhi-based company is a trailblazer in the fragrance & flavour industry, helping leading FMCG brands create sensory experiences for consumers, with over 10,000 products and a presence in 30 countries.On the new product & technologies Sacheerome is introducing in the UAE market, Mr Arora said: “We have pioneered four new technologies – Sach/Maxicap, Sach Veda, Sach/Natura, Sach/Odocon. These are aimed at providing superior fragrance experience for our consumers, boosting fragrance performance, with Indian naturals at the core of technology innovation.”Comparing the Middle East and Indian consumer’s choices, Mr Arora said: “While India is a huge price sensitive market, Middle East shoppers, with their strong purchasing power, are willing to spend more on high quality niche products.”According to an Expert Market Research report, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) flavours and fragrances industry reached a value of about $2.92 billion in 2023 and is further expected to hit approximately $4.16 billion by 2032.

New Native announces GAIA's Demo Day, showcasing 15 AI startups in Riyadh

New Native, a leading organisation at the forefront of artificial intelligence and investment, has announced GAIA's Demo Day, an event showcasing 15 hand-picked Artificial Intelligence startups. The event will take place on November 2, 2023, at The Garage, KASCT, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.This event will serve as a platform for these startups to present their generative AI-powered solutions, spanning various sectors such as E-commerce, Legal Tech, and Data Analysis. GAIA's Demo Day will put these startups in the spotlight, allowing them to showcase their transformative AI-powered solutions that have the potential to revolutionize their respective industries.GAIA, an initiative backed by the esteemed National Technology Development Program(“NDTP”) and The Saudi Data & AI Authority (“SDAIA”), has meticulously designed a 10-week program aimed at nurturing the potential of these 15 AI startups. They have been provided with advanced AI technology and top-tier mentorship, making it a transformative journey for each participant.Pawel Czech, New Native Co-Founder, stated: "The intersection of artificial intelligence and investment is one of the areas where we continue to see exciting opportunities for growth and change. GAIA's Demo Day is a reflection of our commitment towards driving human progress through innovative AI solutions. We look forward to showcasing these startups and their game-changing ideas on the global stage."Event Details:Date: November 2nd, 2023Location: The Garage, KASCT, Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaTime: 5:30 PM GMT+3Notable speakers at the event will include Dr. Esam Alwagait, Director of the National Information Center at SDAIA, who will deliver the opening speech. This will be followed by keynote speeches from Ibrahim Neyaz, CEO of the National Technology Development Program, and Pawel Czech, Co-founder of New Native.Furthermore, the event will feature pitching sessions and display booths from the startups, where they can impress potential investors, industry experts, and key stakeholders. Following these sessions, a networking session will foster collaborations and partnerships among attendees.“We are excited to lead the charge in AI innovation within the MENA region, with Saudi Arabia as a pivotal partner,” said Anas Agag, New Native’s MENA General Manager. “New Native is committed to making a lasting impact through AI solutions, and we look forward to showcasing the transformative potential of AI right here in the heart of the MENA region.”GAIA's Demo Day underscores New Native's dedication to fostering innovation and propelling human progress through its dynamic ecosystem platform. With a clear vision of nurturing AI innovation and facilitating the growth of technology-driven ventures, New Native has firmly established itself as a driving force in artificial intelligence.New Native invites you to join us at GAIA's Demo Day to witness the transformative AI solutions that are set to shape the future of various industries. This event promises to be a unique opportunity for investors, innovators, and industry enthusiasts to be part of the AI revolution.

Citi appoints Maria Ivanova as Citi Country Officer for the UAE

 Citi announced the recent appointment of Maria Ivanova as Citi Country Officer (CCO) for the United Arab Emirates. Maria will also assume the role of the Senior Executive Officer for Citibank NA DIFC, Citibank NA ADGM and Citigroup Global Markets Limited, DIFC branch.As CCO UAE, Maria will oversee all Citi’s businesses and operations across all the legal entities based in the UAE. She will work closely with the UAE management team and with Shamsa Al-Falasi, CEO of Citibank, N.A. UAE Onshore Branch to drive a client-centric growth strategy in the market while maintaining a robust control environment.Maria joined Citi in 1996 as a Corporate Banking Relationship Manager. Throughout her career, she has held various leadership roles including in Trade Finance and the Global Subsidiaries Group. Prior to assuming this current role, Maria was the Chief Operating Officer in Citi Russia and has served up till recently as Citi Country Officer for Russia.Commenting on her new role, Maria said: "I am delighted to lead our bank in the UAE and work together with our seasoned team of bankers on the ground to drive growth and success. With a full suite of banking and wealth management services, UAE is one of the flagship franchises for Citi globally, and I am looking forward to furthering our growth strategy and delivering the highest standards of products and services to our clients."In this new role, Maria’s remit extends to working closely with the Middle East & Africa (MEA) cluster leadership team to continue to develop and grow the businesses operating in the UAE, serving the rest of the MEA cluster. Ebru Pakcan, Cluster and Banking Head for the Middle East & Africa said, "We are pleased that Maria has assumed the responsibility of driving our business in the UAE. Maria has a strong track record of developing and implementing business strategy, consistent delivery of financial performance and a client-centric mindset. Her wealth of experience will be fully leveraged to tap growth opportunities in the UAE.”The UAE serves as the regional hub for Citi’s Middle East & Africa Cluster covering 29 markets. Citi UAE offers a full spectrum of financial services including Corporate & Investment Banking, Capital Markets, Sales & Trading, Transactions Services, Private Banking and Commercial Banking. In addition, it serves as one of Citi’s four global Wealth Management centers and continues to be a major player in local consumer services.

7awi Media Group launches Layalina digital magazine

7awi Media Group, a leading digital platform, has launched its Layalina digital magazine. The magazine will be an Arabic-only publication with its aim to captivate readers with engaging content and innovative digital format.  The Layalina digital magazine consists of an array of captivating articles and features tailored to a diverse range of interests and audiences. In its first issue, it offers a variety of compelling topics, including:• Fashion Weeks: Dive into the ever-evolving fashion universe, where you'll find the latest trends, hot runway styles, and emerging designers - all in one place.• Breast Cancer Awareness: In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the magazine is sharing inspiring stories of Arab celebrities making a significant impact in raising awareness and supporting the cause.• Spotlight on Saudi Actor Summer Shesha: Get to know the rising star, Summer Shesha, explore her journey, achievements, and the mark she's left on the entertainment industry.• Lifestyle Articles: Its lifestyle section covers a wide range of topics, from wellness tips to travel destinations, ensuring there's something for everyone to enjoy.Sossi Wartanian, Editor-in-Chief at Layalina Digital Magazine, said: “It’s our pleasure and excitement that we reconnect with our dedicated readers, contributors, and audience. We aim to bring together the finest content in a dynamic and interactive digital format. The magazine will cover a wide range of topics, from the latest in fashion, beauty, and celebrities to inspiring stories and women empowerment journeys in our region.”

Backpack announces launch of cryptocurrency exchange

Backpack, the all-in-one web3 wallet and company behind Mad Lads, the No. 1 NFT collection by market cap on Solana, today announced the launch of a regulated cryptocurrency exchange. Trek Labs Ltd FZE, which will launch under the name Backpack Exchange, has officially been issued the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license for Exchange Services from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), which supervises and regulates all virtual asset activities across the Emirate of Dubai. This license only covers Backpack Exchange and not any of the other virtual asset products and services offered by Backpack.Over the past five months, Backpack Exchange has developed a next-generation exchange that incorporates a novel zero-knowledge proof of reserves (zk-proofs), Multi-Party Computation (MPC) for custody, and low latency order execution, while also securing licenses in several jurisdictions worldwide and establishing premium fiat on and off ramps for users. The combination of Backpack Exchange and Backpack Wallet (which is currently an unregulated product) is designed to provide the smoothest transition for users from fiat to on-chain applications. While Backpack Wallet users already have access to a variety of dApps and executable NFTs (xNFTs) unique to Backpack, they will now be able to conduct trades on the exchange directly in the app.VARA’s VASP license for Exchange Services allows crypto businesses to exchange virtual assets for all types of customers. As the world's first independent regulator for virtual assets, VARA serves as a transparent and trusted guiding authority for the emerging world of virtual assets. In early 2023, VARA released the world’s first tailor-made regime for regulating virtual assets.VARA Spokesperson noted: “Dubai’s VA sector is fully regulated and VARA’s founding principles have been anchored on the need to structure guardrails for market security while remaining progressive and responsive to innovation. To this end, the licensing process is rigorous in its evaluation of suitably qualified ‘responsible’ participants that can serve as the UAE’s bar for convergence across global jurisdictions. In keeping with Dubai’s repute as a preferred global hub for entrepreneurship, Backpack Exchange must be recognised for their commitment to prioritise investor protection and risk assurance, and VARA appreciates their readiness to fulfil necessary prerequisites that has made them among the first VA exchanges to secure a full market license within the VARA regime”.Armani Ferrante, CEO and Founder of Backpack, stated: “It's time to put an end to the days of opaque crypto exchanges representing everything our industry stands against. It shouldn't be normal to use an exchange with a single point of failure, without proof of reserves, or without auditability. A verifiable, unforgeable ledger is the exact problem blockchains solve, and Backpack Exchange is taking full advantage of that. Using cryptographic techniques like zk-proofs, MPC, and state machine replication, Backpack Exchange hopes to raise the bar for transparency and compliance to demonstrate the best this technology has to offer. Don't trust, verify.”Backpack Exchange will launch in private beta for existing Backpack and MadLads community members this November. The beta will feature spot crypto trading functionality. The exchange is set to go live to the public in Q1 of 2024. The Backpack Exchange team will be working to add in various trading functionalities such as derivatives, margin, cross-collateral while its compliance team, with decades of experience from Barclays, State Street, HSBC, Coinbase, and other prominent financial institutions continues to secure additional licenses around the world.

Five essential questions for small business owners ahead of White Friday Sales

GoDaddy, Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), the company that helps entrepreneurs thrive, is excited to unveil the essential roadmap for Egyptian small businesses to excel during White Friday. As the White Friday sales event approaches, small business owners in Egypt are gearing up for one of the year's most anticipated shopping events. With the ever-present cost-of-living concerns, these sales have become even more crucial for consumers seeking holiday bargains.The recent GoDaddy’s MENA Small Business Survey revealed intriguing insights into Egypt's business landscape. In Egypt, over 20% of small businesses responded that they make over 60% of their revenue through social media channels (21%). Facebook was the most popular platform in Egypt at 91%, followed by WhatsApp at 67%.If you're a small business owner in Egypt looking to maximize the opportunities of White Friday, it's essential to ensure your online presence and marketing strategies stand out. Here are five vital questions to consider ahead of this year's White Friday in November:Is Your Website Ready for White Friday?Now is the perfect time to evaluate your digital storefront to make a lasting impression on potential customers and re-engage existing ones. Here's a checklist to go through before the sales kick off:Confirm that your logo and web design align with your brand identity.Ensure your contact information is up to date.Integrate your social media channels seamlessly into your website.Review your hosting arrangement for reliability, stability, and speed to handle increased traffic during White Friday.Update your product photos to make them captivating and current.Also, prioritize security. Does your online store have an SSL Certificate to encrypt data shared between your server and customers? Consider GoDaddy's comprehensive SSL Certificate to enhance website security and customer trust, instilling confidence and driving sales.Do You Have an Effective Marketing Plan in Place?Once you've identified the right deals for your business this White Friday, it's time to focus on promoting them. While major brands begin their White Friday marketing well in advance, small businesses can leverage tools like GoDaddy's E-store to reach customers online all around the world, and boost online visibility and engagement.Given budget constraints, rely on your email marketing list and social media channels for promotion. Maximize exposure with a schedule of email and social media marketing, starting with teaser emails leading up to the big special offer reveal. Sending reminders during White Friday or before deal expiration can also prompt purchases.Have You Optimized the Checkout Experience?The checkout process is pivotal in securing sales. Integrating popular payment gateways such as Fawry and a variety of mobile wallets can streamline this experience for your Egyptian customers. Be transparent about shipping prices and policies to avoid any surprise costs for customers at checkout.How Will You Encourage Repeat Business?White Friday is an excellent opportunity to attract new customers. Consider post-purchase strategies to inspire return visits:Encourage customers to join your email marketing list during checkout.Automate thank-you emails, request product or service reviews, and offer discounts or incentives for their next purchase.As White Friday firmly establishes itself in Egypt's retail calendar, now is the ideal time for small businesses to strategize and make the most of this consumer event. With these straightforward steps, ensure your website performs at its peak and your marketing strategy positions you for ongoing sales success. appoints Pavlina Zinonos as Senior Customer Support Manager, the global FinTech and financial services provider, has today announced appointing Ms. Pavlina Zinonos as Senior Customer Support Manager, which demonstrates the global multi-asset broker’s commitment to providing excellent assistance to its clients and partners.Pavlina Zinonos is a seasoned professional known for her consistent performance throughout her career. With more than 15 years of industry experience, she brings her wealth of expertise to this vital role.Her deep industry knowledge and proven track record make her the ideal choice to lead the customer support operations at multi-award winning broker.Pavlina is excited about her role at and has stated her commitment to adding value to the company."I'm thrilled to be a part of the XS Group, an organization that shares my values of transparency and excellence in customer support. I see a strong alignment between my personal values and's mission to provide exceptional service and support to our clients. I look forward to working closely with the team and contributing to the company's commitment to delivering outstanding customer experiences."As the newly appointed Senior Customer Support Manager, Pavlina will lead and manage a team of dedicated professionals responsible for providing top-notch customer support.Her collaborative approach will strengthen relationships between various departments, ensuring that clients enjoy seamless interactions and top-tier service. Under her leadership, is well positioned to continue its success, achieving new milestones in client satisfaction and support.Mr. Wael Hammad, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at, expressed his excitement about the appointment of Pavlina Zinonos."We are proud to appoint Pavlina Zinonos as our Senior Customer Support Manager. With her extensive industry knowledge and an impressive career history, we are confident that Pavlina will bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to our customer support operations. We eagerly anticipate working closely with her to elevate our service quality and ensure our clients receive the best support possible."In this appointment, reinforces its unwavering commitment to enhancing the client experience and strengthening the company's dedication to transparency and excellence in customer support. As Pavlina Zinonos takes the helm as the Senior Customer Support Manager, the future promises a continued focus on delivering exceptional value to clients and achieving even greater levels of customer satisfaction. looks forward to the positive impact Pavlina will bring to the team and the outstanding support she will provide to clients worldwide.

E-Ramadan content market concludes setting record numbers

Dubai, UAE: - E-Ramadan Content Market (ERCM) held its annual two-day virtual platform with participants from across the globe, successfully facilitating more than 220 meetings between E-Sellers and E-Buyers, showcasing a wealth of exclusive content for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan. ERCM witnessed a record-breaking turnout, highlighting its status as a premier platform for Ramadan content exchange.With producers, distributors and service providers joining from MENA, Turkiye, Europe, and the Indian Sub-Continent, ERCM proved its ability for international reach and influence in the global content industry. Buyers managed to meet key industry players like S Productions, Studio 100 Media, Abacus Media Rights, Antin TV, Toonz Animation, Blue Media, Afamia Production, Mako Kids, Rabee Alhajabed Art Production & Distribution and many more.Shoaib Ahmed, CMO, Ingenuity Productions (Pakistan), commented: “Returning for the second year in a row, the credit goes to the remarkable networking platform. A round of applause to their dedicated team for uniting an expansive international community of buyers and sellers on a single platform. E-Ramadan Content Market's seamless online portal and effective technical support have simplified the process, facilitating connections with the right individuals and organizations. We look forward to continued success!"Wafaa Yassine, Owner and CEO of Ovision (Lebanon), stated: "The entire experience has been incredibly smooth and successful. I deeply appreciate your invaluable assistance.”ERCM 2023 witnessed E-Buyers from over 15 countries engage in the event, including RTV Indonesia, Bahrain TV, BeIN, Shahid, Viu, Menassati, and DM Don Square Entertainment.Refat Alsahab, Acquisition Manager, IEN TV (Saudi Arabia), stated: "Many thanks for your outstanding efforts in this year's ERCM. The event was truly exceptional, boasting impeccable organization and perfect timing. The participants actively engaged and contributed to its success."Ihab El-Eraky, Scheduling Manager, Al Rai Media Group (Kuwait), remarked: “ERCM is a great opportunity for people in the media business to meet online without the hassle of leaving the office and getting to know more promising formats and titles for the purpose of licensing or production.”   Sama Moshgi, Head of Sales and Account Management, Dream Farm Studios (UK), commented: "Our experience with Ramadan Content Market was nothing short of outstanding. What stood out to us the most were the valuable connections we were able to foster, which we believe will be pivotal for our future endeavours. A special mention goes to the account managers and coordinators whose responsiveness and efficient follow-ups made the entire process seamless. The platform was user-friendly and intuitive, ensuring a smooth experience from start to finish. We look forward to participating again and recommend this platform to anyone looking to expand their network in the content industry.”ERCM 2023 achieved its mission of connecting content creators and distributors with platforms seeking top-notch Ramadan content. The event's success reflects its pivotal role in shaping the content landscape during this significant time of the year.

Leejam Sports achieves record-breaking profits & membership growth in Q3 2023

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Leejam Sports Company, the largest operator of fitness centers in the Middle East and North Africa, achievedrecord-breaking results in terms of revenue and net profits in Q3 2023, with SAR 348 million and SAR 92 million, respectively. This represents a year-on-year increase of 32% and 35%, compared to Q3 2022. These results follow the strong performance and record profits Leejam reported in the first half of the year, where the exceptional performance in Q3 contributed to the results for the first nine months of 2023, reaching SAR 927 million in revenue, an increase of 27%, and SAR 227 million in net profit, a rise of 51% compared to the same period in 2022, reaching a total of 448,000 by the end of September 2023, marking the highest figures ever recorded for both the male and female sectors.In this context, Mr. Adnan Al-Khalaf, CEO of Leejam Sports Company, stated, "Leejam Sports has maintained consistent profit growth throughout 2023, setting record levels across all financial indicators during Q3, which culminates in continued exceptional performance since the beginning of the year. Much of this strong and continuous performance is attributed to the company's product quality, diverse services, integrated strategy for attracting members from all segments, and its commitment to enhancing the customer journey and enriching their experience. The opening of 11 new centers since the end of September 2022 demonstrates the company's dedication to expanding access to a variety of sports activities, contributing to building a vibrant community that promotes health, happiness, and activity in all areas it serves."Profits Across SectorsMale Centers: Segment revenues for the current year's Q3 and the first nine months reached SAR 263 million and SAR 696 million, with an increase of 33% and 27%, respectively. The number of male members reached 348,000 by the end of Q3, a historical high.Female Centers: Segment revenues for the current year's Q3 and the first nine months reached SAR 84 million and SAR 224 million, with an increase of 31% and 31%, respectively. The number of female members reached 100,000 by the end of Q3, a historical high.Corporate Sector: The growth in corporate segment revenues is partly attributed to the improved onboarding experience for sector members through easy, seamless, and multi-channel digital services.Leejam's Formula for Maintaining Profitability Amid Escalating CostsLeejam's operating profits saw significant growth in Q3 and the first nine months of the year, despite increased sales and marketing expenses, general and administrative costs, including expenses related to hiring and investments in new technologies. The company's profits before accounting for depreciation, amortization, interest, zakat, and taxes increased by 34% and 32% during Q3 and the first nine months of the year, amounting to SAR 191 million and SAR 481 million, respectively, driven by higher operating profits. Additionally, the company also recorded its highest-ever deferred revenue balance, propelled by increased subscription sales during the successful promotional campaign for Saudi National Day in September 2023. Membership and subscription revenues showed growth during Q3, reaching SAR 305 million, a 30% increase compared to Q3 2022. This increase can be attributed to the continuous and comprehensive improvement of customer experiences across all membership categories.Leejam's Expansion and Development StrategyWhen discussing Leejam Sports' strategy for growth and advancement, Adnan Al-Khalaf expressed, "At Leejam Sports, we focus on a clear strategy with two main tracks. First, we aim to grow and develop our existing clubs, renovating them and increasing their membership through the 'Your Club is Changing' project, which has already seen 40 clubs developed and is ongoing. The second track involves Leejam's announcement to expand with more than 100 additional clubs”.Commenting on the expansion plans of Leejam Sports Clubs, Adnan Al-Khalaf said during his interview with Al-Arabiya channel: “After opening 11 branches in the third quarter of this year, we are continuing with the expansion plans as we aim to reach 250 club by 2025 in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. We also expect during the current and next quarter to achieve the highest rate of openings for our clubs, whether for women or men". Pointing out that more financial data in addition to the company’s new strategy will be disclosed as part of the "Leejam Day" conference scheduled for November 6, 2023.Personal TrainingThe increase in membership numbers has boosted demand for personal training services, leading to a 37 million and 100 million SAR increase in sector revenues during the current year's Q3 and the first nine months, respectively. This is a result of the company's investment in training programs, whether in swimming, group exercises, or specialized exercises such as boxing, cycling, and other scientifically designed high-quality training sessions to provide a better experience for customers. The enhancements introduced on our digital platform dedicated to members in 2023 have facilitated members' experiences in purchasing, payments, reservations, and logging their sessions, significantly improving the quality of personal training services. Furthermore, enhancing the digitization of member experiences and their interaction with personal trainers through our electronic platform has allowed better utilization of personal trainers' capabilities, offering more opportunities to boost their activity and generate higher profits for both them and the company.

Google's Pichai to Testify in US Government Antitrust Hearing

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc and its subsidiary Google, is set to testify on Monday, October 3, in a landmark antitrust battle with the US government. This case revolves around Google's alleged monopolistic control over search and certain aspects of search advertising.Pichai, appearing as a witness for Google, is expected to face questions about the company's efforts to maintain its dominance in online search, particularly as smartphones have become the primary device for web searches. The inquiry will likely focus on innovations related to search advertising as well.On the other side, the government's cross-examination may probe Google's multibillion-dollar annual payments to secure its position as the default search engine on various smartphones. The government contends that Google, which commands approximately 90% of the search market, has unlawfully paid around $10 billion per year to smartphone manufacturers, such as Apple, and wireless carriers like AT&T, to ensure that Google search is the default option on their devices, thereby preserving its market dominance.Google's strong position in the search market translates into significant influence in the highly profitable advertising sector, which serves as its primary revenue source. The tech giant argues that its revenue-sharing agreements are lawful and that it has made substantial investments to maintain competitiveness in the search and advertising realms. Additionally, Google maintains that consumers have the option to switch to alternative search providers if they are dissatisfied with the default search engine on their devices.

Kangana Ranaut's 'Tejas' takes flight as a deshbhakt

The film's name belongs to its heroine (Kangana Ranaut), who turns in to a fierce deshbhakt cum airforce pilot after her loved ones are killed in the Leopold Café attack of 26/11. Tejas is also the name of India's first indigenously made fighter plane, which our heroine Tejas takes to Pakistan and gives hell to the terrorists there!! It is also the name of the undercover mission she is on... oh wow. TEJAS TEJAS TEJAS. Tejas raised to 3 actually!! In its just under two hours runtime, Tejas the film crams in everything you can expect in a typical hyper patriotic Bollywood fare. There is a RAW agent to be rescued, there is the nincompoop Paki army to be fooled and behold, there is even a sinister terror plot to blow up the (yet to be inaugurated) Ram Mandir to be foiled. Phew!! Quite a long "To do" list, you would say. But our dear olè Kangana does all of it with seemingly relative ease. No hurry, no worry!! Coming from Ronnie Screwvala who produced the infinitely superior Uri (2019), Tejas is a letdown on many fronts. The screenplay oscillating between the protagonist's past and present, is a distraction. There is an overdose of songs in the first hour. The air combat sequences don't excite much as you thought from the trailer. Moreover, two fighter pilots pulling down an entire terror camp in Pakistan doesn't appear real. As for the climactic showdown at Ayodhya Ram Mandir, the less said the better... Kangana didi, as her haters love to troll her, has been having a bad box office spell off late. That truly doesn't matter as even in her worst of outings like Dhaakad last year, Ranaut is top class. Her sincerity, her hard work and her performances are always outstanding. If I go by the turnout of just seven (including myself) in the Sunday matinee show at Mahim's Citylight Cinema, Tejas will only add to the list of Kangana Ranaut's increasing flops. But as an actress, she is absolutely flawless. Whether you like her or not!! Ratings on some key aspects* : 1. Acting : 5/5 (Kangana Ranaut)2. Direction : 2/53. Music : 2/5 4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 2/55. Cinematography : 3/56. Editing : 3/5 7. Costume Design : 2/58. Special Effects and VFX : 2.5/59. Action : 2.5/510. Production Quality : 3/5 #SNRating for #Tejas : 2 stars out of 5. - Sumeet Nadkarni Liked the review? Click on the link below and like the #SNRatings page to subscribe to honest and unbiased reviews of all latest movies : You can also follow us on Twitter handle : @sumu76in * - The overall film rating is not a simple average of all ratings on key aspects but a weighted average of the ratings where some crucial aspects (like direction, acting, story and screenplay etc) are assigned more weightage than others. #Tejas #ActionThriller #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #KanganaRanaut #RonnieScrewvala #URI #BollywoodReview #Filmreview #TheatricalRelease #OTTRelease #Zee5 #SNRatings #SNRatings barometer:1 star = Poor1 & 1/2 star = Below average/ Avoidable2 stars = Average2 & 1/2 stars = Above average/ Risk it3 stars = Good enough/ Endurable3 & 1/2 stars = Definitely worth a watch4 stars = Very good5 stars = Masterpiece/ Outstanding. 2023 SNRatings.

Beautyworld Middle East 2023 opens today

Dubai, UAE: Beautyworld Middle East 2023, the region’s largest beauty and wellness trade fair, opened today at the Dubai World Trade Centre.Running until 1st of November, Beautyworld Middle East offers visitors unrivalled access to nine of the industry’s fastest-growing segments: Fragrance, Cosmetics & Skincare, Hair, Nails and Salon Supplies, Personal Care & Hygiene, Beauty Tech, and Supply Chain & Services alongside Clean + Conscious (formerly Natural and Organic) and the launch of the shows newest category; PrestigePack, .Beautyworld Middle East is spread over 15 halls for the 2023 show, having grown 20% in size from previous events and is expected to welcome over 1,750 exhibitors from around 57 countries. This year's edition promises to capitalise on the success of last year’s Beautyworld Middle East which was the most successful and best-attended edition in the event’s history.This year’s show sees the return of the ‘Next in Beauty’ conference, which brings fresh thinking, new insights, and advanced business strategies to the fore. Running across all 3 show days, Next in Beauty provides a platform for over 40 industry experts to discuss topics such as sustainability, technology innovations, diversity and inclusion and data led insight into industry trends.Emirati entrepreneur and homegrown skincare brand founder Salama Mohamed is today’s headline keynote speaker. In a one-on-one conversation with Lauren O’Connell, Beauty Editor of Cosmopolitan Middle East, Salama will share her personal experience and the inspiration behind the launch of her skincare brand Peacefull.“As we open the 27th edition of Beautyworld Middle East, this year's event is geared up to become the biggest and boldest yet. With increased participation from international pavilions and exhibitors, and an inspirational range of features and new show highlights for our expected 50,000+ visitors to enjoy, the growth and diversity of offering across all sectors is testament to the size of the opportunity for the industry in the region right now, and into the future,” explained Flyn Roberts, Portfolio Director at exhibition organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East.Attendees to Beautyworld Middle East are promised an unparalleled opportunity to expand professional networks, discover new products and unlock the tremendous business potential in one of the world’s key trade hubs. Stay ahead of this dynamic and fast-evolving market between 30 October – 1 November to unlock a world of possibilities at Beautyworld Middle East 2023.

Emirates Celebrates One Year of A380 Operations in Bengaluru

Emirates today celebrates the first anniversary of providing its signature A380 services to Bengaluru. In addition to marking a successful year of operations on the double-decker aircraft to Karnataka, today also sees the introduction of the Premium Economy offering on its services from Bengaluru, allowing customers to have more choice when planning their travel. One year ago, Emirates proudly introduced its flagship A380 aircraft on the route from Dubai to the Silicon Valley of India. The much-loved aircraft has become a symbol of luxury, comfort, and cutting-edge aviation technology, enchanting passengers with its unparalleled signature services, including its iconic Onboard Lounge and Shower Spa. Since its introduction in 2022, the iconic aircraft has carried over 700,000 passengers on the route between Bengaluru and Dubai. Furthermore, Emirates is the only airline in Bengaluru operating the world’s largest passenger aircraft.  As Emirates celebrates one year of A380 operations to the Indian city, the airline’s Premium Economy cabins today made a debut on its A380 services in India, including Mumbai and Bengaluru. Commenting on the milestone, Mohammad Sarhan, Emirates’ Vice President –India & Nepal, said, "India is a vast market with a high demand for our services to Dubai and to unique destinations across our network. Ever since the A380 launch in Bengaluru, we have witnessed a tremendous response from Indian customers wishing to use our services to travel to our hub city or to other popular destinations. In our commitment to India, we are delighted to celebrate one year of our A380 operations in this city with an enhanced customer experience. The Premium Economy cabins provide choice for those seeking elevated luxury and comfort at great value."The introduction of Premium Economy is set to redefine the passenger experience, offering valued customers even more options and comfort during their journey. The Emirates A380, renowned for its exceptional extra legroom has been a steady and long-time favorite amongst travel enthusiasts. With the addition of Premium Economy, the airline surely sets new standards in luxury air travel with its cabins featuring 56 plush cream leather seats, generous legroom and additional perks including an elevated dining experience.  Furthermore, passengers can immerse themselves in the world of entertainment with our award-winning in-flight entertainment system, ice. With industry-leading screens across all cabins and over 6,500 channels of content featuring movies, TV shows, and albums in Kannada as well, every moment of the journey becomes an extraordinary experience.Emirates began operations to India in 1985 with its scheduled services to Mumbai and Delhi and has been serving customers in Bengaluru with its award-winning services since 2006. Emirates provides access to nine points in India, with customers enjoying seamless connectivity to its global network, with over 130 destinations currently.

REDTAG fall/winter collection 2023 is ‘functional fashion’ redefined

REDTAG, the Middle East’s leading fashion and homeware brand, known for its unwavering commitment to providing utmost quality, value-based pricing, and voguish styles, has launched the fall/winter collection 2023 — an ensemble that exemplifies ‘functional fashion’ by honouring the season’s chill while being effortlessly stylish.  Staying true to its theme “Winter Moments”, the new collection has incorporated wintry colours like brownstone and Bordeaux velvet, as well as retained a few vintage elements from the bygone era for a memorable and warm season. On the contemporary front, light-winter characterwear with Disney, Marvel, and DC personalities will certainly amaze kids, just as heavy-winter staples like cardigans and fur coats will delight adults. Solids dominate REDTAG’s fall/winter collection 2023, making it an all-around classy affair.   Shehbaz Shaikh, Chief Retail Officer, REDTAG, said the new collection pays homage to the vintage winter wardrobe while being evidently in sync with modernity. “REDTAG prides itself in being a brand that is striking the right balance between global trends and local sensibilities and closely catering to the region’s fashion-forward generation. The new collection brings the ‘Winter Moments’ that our customers will cherish for a long time,” Shehbaz added.  Solid lightweight jackets in creams, with the warmth of quilt and the convenience of zips, are every man’s friend in the coming season. Fleeced coats with contrasting collars and biker jackets from a broad winter colour palette give men’s fashion a new meaning. In women’s fall/winter collections, REDTAG’s “modern minimalist” design approach is at its best.  Faux fur overcoats in beige, vintage peacoats in exquisite colours like wine, checked plaid shackets with blocks of browns, and fuzzy coats in dark blue are among the seasonal specials set to give women a timely makeover. Those seeking a slow transition into winter will find just the right comfort in full-sleeved smocked dresses with subtle floral prints, with knitted woollen stoles adding the final touch.  “Winter clothes must be viewed through the prism of functionality due to the season’s implications for health and well-being,” Shehbaz explained. That emphasis is apparent in the kids' collection comprising quilted and fleece jackets with hooded options in soothing colours like bubble-gum pink. REDTAG presents adult-like attire, such as long blazers, checked sweatshirts, and puffer jackets, for poised and confident seniors.  REDTAG’s ongoing ‘New Lower Prices’ initiative, aimed at enhancing affordability and applicable to the new collection, means the “winter moments” will begin right after you step into the nearest brand outlet or visit the online store. The pricing initiative takes after REDTAG’s customer-centric approach, which has helped the brand build a tiered loyalty program — RT Rewards — of over 15 million members in the region.

The Ned Doha welcomes Massimiliano Binda as Managing Director

Doha, Qatar – The Ned Doha, a hotel and private members' club, is pleased to announce the appointment of Max Binda to the position of Managing Director. Max will be responsible for charting the strategic course and overseeing the day-to-day operations of both the hotel and the Club, with a steadfast commitment to further enhancing the quality of service and experiences for members and guests.With an impressive career spanning over three decades in luxury hospitality and private clubs, Max Binda brings a wealth of expertise to The Ned. Max's career includes serving as General Manager at London's The Connaught, and as Hotel Manager at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in Shanghai, China. Notably, he also led as Chief Executive Officer at Les Bordes Estate in France.Max has also made significant contributions during his tenure at establishments including the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, and 18 years of hands-on operational experience with Mandarin Oriental Hotel group in six different countries. Fluent in English, French, Italian, and German, his linguistic skills complement his multifaceted experience across different cultures and markets. Since joining The Ned Doha, Max has been deeply engaged in its operations, bringing his experience to the forefront. With a vision to elevate the membership experience at Ned’s Club Doha, Max, in collaboration with the team, has identified opportunities to refine the Club’s offerings.Commenting on his new role, Max Binda said: "I am thrilled to be a part of The Ned Doha and eagerly anticipate the opportunity to contribute my experience towards enriching the Club and hotel’s offerings. The team’s unwavering dedication to excellence is truly commendable, and together, we are committed to creating exceptional moments for our members and guests."The Ned Doha, located in the former Ministry of Interior building, continues to be a symbol of architectural significance and historical richness. Crafted by Lebanese architect William Sednaoui in the 1970s, it offers panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf and city parklands, aligning with the character of other Ned locations across the globe.

Idrees makes Dubai go blue with ‘Changing Tree’

Founded in 2015, Changing Tree, a creative and tech company based in Bangalore, has gained recognition for its expertise in harmoniously merging creativity and technology, often referred to as the CT Effect. The company has recently taken a significant step in its growth journey by establishing an office in Dubai, expanding its presence to the Middle East. In a conversation with Adgully, Idrees, the Founder and CEO of Changing Tree, sheds light on why Dubai serves as the ideal location for their expansion and introduces their new "blue campaign." Excerpts:Please share your entrepreneurial journey with us? What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?My entrepreneurial journey has been a thrilling adventure, filled with uncharted territories, experiences, and lessons. What inspired me to become an entrepreneur was the belief in thinking differently and recognizing untapped opportunities. I began this journey by identifying a market gap and realizing that the fusion of creativity and technology could address brand challenges. This realization led to the birth of Changing Tree. I've always held a deep conviction in the power of execution. It's not just about having knowledge; the real power lies in implementing that knowledge. Becoming an entrepreneur, for me, was about following my passion, pursuing what I loved, and making a meaningful impact in the world.Changing Tree is quite a unique name. What is the motto behind naming it so?"Changing Tree" is not just a name; it's a promise. Picture a tree, with one side barren and the other lush. The barren side represents businesses stuck in old ways, but the green side signifies the potential they can achieve with a little help. "C" in Changing stands for Creativity, breathing life into ideas, and "T" is for Technology, providing the tools to soar. Therefore, just like that tree, with creativity and technology, businesses can change and grow.You have recently ventured into the Middle East by opening an office in Dubai. What made you take the brand overseas to Dubai?Our vision is to have a global footprint, allowing businesses across the world, regardless of their size, to benefit from the CT Effect (creativity and technology). Dubai, with its reputation as a hub of innovation and forward-thinking, serves as the perfect getaway. Its strategic location, connecting the East and West, aligns seamlessly with our mission. Choosing Dubai as our first step toward global expansion was an instinctive decision, introducing the CT Effect to a region ready for transformative changeThe Middle East, as we know, is the hub for creative and tech companies. What, according to you, sets Changing Tree apart from the competition?Absolutely, the Middle East is indeed a hub for creative and tech companies. However, what sets Changing Tree apart is that we're not solely a creative or a tech company. We are a distinctive blend of both, where creativity and technology converge to craft innovative solutions for our clients. This unique combination is at the heart of what differentiates us from the competition.What are the marketing and creative strategies adopted by the organisation to win the Dubai market?Our approach to conquering the Dubai market was marked by a meticulously designed three-phase campaign filled with suspense and intrigue. The culmination of this campaign was an impactful reveal where we introduced Changing Tree as the driving force behind Dubai turning blue. Beyond this, we actively participated in networking events and established a strategic digital partnership with the prestigious Icon Awards in Dubai. Leveraging our established reputation and recognized work in India, we've paved the way for our success in Dubai, cultivating valuable referrals and trust in the market.Your new ad campaign is brilliantly shot. What is the significance of the color blue in it?Thank you for noticing our campaign. The colour blue holds special significance for us as it represents our brand. It signifies the fresh and innovative approach that Changing Tree is introducing to the Dubai market. Blue is our way of making a statement about the change and energy we bring with us.

Light up your festive season with Dubai Shopping Malls Group

Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG), in partnership with Dubai Festival and Retail Establishment (DFRE), is thrilled to announce the launch of an exciting campaign to celebrate the Festival of Lights. The 'Shop. Scan. Strike Gold' campaign as part of the ‘Festival of Lights’ in Dubai Raffle Promotion, promises an electrifying shopping experience for residents and visitors alike.From 1-15th November, shoppers are invited to participate in this exhilarating campaign by spending just AED 200 at any of the participating malls. With their purchase, they will have the chance to light up a winning spree by scanning the QR code available in-store to unlock a world of winning opportunities and uncover surprise deals. The 'Shop. Scan. Strike Gold' campaign is set to add an extra layer of excitement to the festivities as twenty fortunate shoppers will have the opportunity to win gold worth AED 5,000 each. It is a golden opportunity for shoppers to add a touch of sparkle to their lives.Baiju Kurieash, Dubai Shopping Malls Group Secretariat & MD B.U.Z Management & Marketing LLC, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming campaign, saying, "Festivals are a time of celebration, joy, and togetherness. This campaign aims to bring these values to life through a unique shopping experience, with 9 malls joining this year's Dubai Mega Raffle. We are delighted to partner with Festival of Lights in Dubai and DFRE to make this festive season even more special. This initiative is our way of giving back to the community and making the festival of lights in Dubai a truly magical and memorable celebration."The anticipation will reach its climax on November 16th, when the lucky winners will be digitally drawn from among the participating customers. DSMG has partnered with Raffle-Tech, a leading retail-tech firm to organize the Raffle draws for this campaign in Dubai. Participating malls include: Times Square Centre, Silicon Central Mall, Arabian Center, Al Ghurair Centre, Dubai Festival Plaza, Al Khail Gate Mall, Bay Avenue Mall, Reef Mall and Oasis Mall.

META Film Fest cancelled due to current global situation

META Film Fest, the international motion picture gala, has announced the cancellation of this year’s event in Dubai due to the current global situation and challenges faced by communities around the world. Festival organisers, GM Events, offered their deepest sympathies to all those affected.The annual festival is the first private sector and industry stakeholder-led film festival in the Middle East and Africa.This year, it was supposed to showcase 95 films from 32 countries, with 29 films as special festival premieres, while the remaining 66 films will compete for various prizes in categories of feature, short, documentary and student films.META Film Fest was bringing a total of 14 world premieres, 28 regional premieres, and 38 UAE premieres, while also featuring 30 Arabic films.However, META Cinema Forum slated from November 7-8, 2023, at Grand Hyatt Hotel and Grand Hyatt VOX Cineplex, will be carried out as scheduled. The forum will expand to include some of the learning and development features which were originally planned for the festival, as well as select film screenings, in particular the movies with the environmental themes, in support and preparation for COP28.ürkiye

$651mln invested towards climate tech startups across MENA and Türkiye

CE-Ventures, the corporate venture capital platform of Crescent Enterprises, has partnered with MAGNiTT, the leading venture capital data platform in the MEAPT region [Middle East, Africa, Pakistan and Türkiye], to unveil 'The State of Climate Tech Venture Capital Report’. This groundbreaking and timely report delves deep into the dynamic landscape of climate tech investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Türkiye region, providing insights into key trends, challenges, and opportunities in this rapidly evolving sector.The report provides a comprehensive overview of climate tech investments in the region and highlights the importance of harnessing innovative technologies to combat climate change. With existing technologies holding the potential to mitigate 65% of all emissions, the report underscores the significance of further advancements to bridge the remaining 35% emissions gap.Key Highlights from the Report:Record-setting climate tech Investment: Climate tech investments reached an unprecedented global total of US$ 82 billion in 2022, marking a 20% increase from the previous year.In the MENA and Türkiye region, US$ 651 million were invested in 148 startups between 2018 and 2022.2022 was a record year for climate tech funding in the MENA & Türkiye region with total investment crossing a quarter billion dollars for the first time ever and resulting in a 50% increase compared to the previous year.The UAE leads the region with 62% of total climate tech venture funding, while Türkiye saw the greatest number of deals at 80.During H1 2023, the region has seen 30 transactions executed, which already represents 60% of the total number of transactions in the previous year.Startups in the agriculture sector, developing solutions towards climate resiliency, accounted for a majority of the venture capital invested over the past 5.5 years.Commenting on the report, Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and COP28 Special Representative for Business & Philanthropy said: "The Middle East is highly exposed to the effects of climate change. Our natural water scarcity, coupled with temperatures rising at twice the global average, foreshadow an increase in drought and extreme weather events that can impact hundreds of millions of lives. This ‘State of Climate Tech Venture Capital Report’ highlights the ingenuity of our regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, where investors, ecosystem enablers, and policy leaders are coming together to develop a multi-pronged approach towards addressing climate change. We need to move faster, and together, if we are to meet the challenge and embrace this essential opportunity.”Philip Bahoshy, CEO of MAGNiTT added: "We are excited to unveil our collaboration with CE-Ventures, the regional leader in the climate tech industry. As the expert VC data platform in MEAPT, we are keen to be first to present insights on the region’s industry. We are confident that our transparent data, though in its infancy for this particular subject, will spark increased interest, educate enthusiasts, and foster essential dialogues, particularly with COP28 on the horizon. Over the past few years, the sector has witnessed a remarkable surge in investor interest, boasting an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 62% from 2018 to 2022, resulting in a pinnacle of $256 million in capital deployment in 2022. We eagerly anticipate the industry’s continued progression and development."The launch of the report is timely, as it is a month ahead of the beginning of COP28 UAE, which will include the convening of leading business leaders and philanthropists from around the world at ‘Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum’, COP28’s private sector engagement platform.

Ski Dubai reveals 2023 / 2024 Sponsored Team

 Ski Dubai has revealed its 2023 / 2024 Sponsored Team, which identifies the region’s most talented skiers and snowboarders. The diverse cohort is made up of over 30 high calibre male and female athletes from 11 different nationalities, including 12 Emiratis, who range in age from 7-20 years old. For the first time this year, the programme has been extended to junior snow sport athletes aged 7-10.As part of its commitment to nurture young talent, Ski Dubai will provide the skiers and snowboarders with a range of benefits including unlimited slope access and more than 100 hours of coaching with its expert instructors who have trained numerous elite athletes. The Sponsored Team will receive full winter apparel from premium clothing brands Spyder, Volcom and RAKU, plus access to a wide selection of specialised equipment.Different Snow Sport disciplines make up the 2023 / 2024 Sponsored Team including: the Ski Dubai Freeski Sponsored Team, Ski Dubai Snowboard Sponsored Team, Ski Dubai Alpine Ski Sponsored Team, UAE National Alpine Ski Team, UAE National Snowboard Team, and UAE National Freeski Team. Each Team will also include Main and Junior Development Teams.Among the UAE National Team athletes chosen by Ski Dubai and the UAE Winter Sports Federation were Amenah Al Muhairi, 16, and Sultan Al Ghandi, 17, who previously competed in the prestigious FIS Park and Pipe Junior World Championships held in Cardrona Alpine Resort, New Zealand.Mohammad El Etri, Vice President, Global Snow, Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment said, “Congratulations to the newest members of our Ski Dubai Sponsored Team! Given the wealth of talented skiers and snowboarders in the region, this year’s cohort has showcased remarkable progress. Together with our long-standing partners at the UAE Winter Sports Federation, Ski Dubai will continue to support our young emerging snow sport athletes with world-class training in our state-of-the-art indoor ski facilities. We look forward to seeing our Ski Dubai Sponsored Team fly the UAE flag at the world’s most prestigious sporting events.”The Sponsored Team was chosen by Ski Dubai and the UAE Winter Sports Federation following a rigorous selection process which took into consideration a number of factors including technical skill performance, fitness levels, and coach reports and recommendations.Hamel AL Qubaisi, Vice President, UAE Winter Sports Federation added, “We have been monitoring closely for talents in snow sports and collaborated with our partner, Ski Dubai, to identify a unique cohort committed to our shared mission and vision. The Sponsored Team will continue to compete internationally and inspire new generations of snow sports’ athletes. We are extremely proud of their dedication and commitment to this emerging field of sports, and we will continue harnessing our resources for more developments in snow sports.”Over the last decade, Ski Dubai has fostered a winter sports culture in the MENA region, introducing more than 90,000 people to skiing and snow sports each year. In 2017, it established the Sponsored Team programme (formerly known as the Sponsored Athletes programme) to nurture young talent and provide a platform for athletes to learn, develop and hone their skills.The UAE was ratified as a Full Member of the International Ski Federation (FIS) in 2022, paving the way for Emirati snow sports athletes to compete internationally and for the UAE to host FIS-accredited international competitions. That same year, Ski Dubai attracted over 2,000 professional athletes from 45 nations and hosted a total of 42 snow sport events, including 11 FIS-sanctioned events. This year, Ski Dubai has partnered with the UAE Winter Sports Federation, Dubai Sports Council and UAE Paralympic Committee to host 12 international-level snow sport events, starting with the FIS World Snow Day Alpine Ski Race and Freestyle Competitions in January and ending with the UAE FIS Alpine Ski Slalom Race from 6-9 November.

Antares Publishing and Raya celebrated in 2nd Sharjah Rights Connection Awards

The winners of the second edition of the Sharjah Rights Connection Award were announced during a ceremony at the 13th Publishers Conference, recognising the invaluable contributions of publishing rights professionals striving to make an impact in the industry.HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), accompanied by Mansour Al Hassani, Director of Publishers Services Department presented the awards for the two categories. Elina Harutyunyan, Head of Publishing at Antares Publishing in Armenia, was presented the award in the individual professionals selling translation rights in publishing houses category. Her tireless efforts to expand the reach of literature to international audiences and dedication to the translation movement has significantly enriched the global literary landscape by bringing Indian voices and narratives to readers around the world.In the independent professionals working with agencies specialised in selling book rights to publishers and licensors category, the award was presented to Yasmina Jraissati, founder and director of the Raya Agency in Lebanon. Jraissati's agency has not only successfully sold translation rights for numerous clients but has also played a pivotal role in facilitating cross-cultural literary exchanges. Her commitment to fostering collaboration between authors and international publishers has made a substantial impact on the accessibility of diverse voices in the publishing sector.International Excellence Award for Accessible PublishingAttendees were also witness to WIPO's ABC Accessibility in Publishing Award, organised by the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC), marking its debut in the Middle East at the Sharjah Publishers Conference. This award, through a video presentation, honoured individuals and initiatives pivotal in enhancing content accessibility for people with disabilities, highlighting inclusivity in publishing.The ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing acknowledged leaders in both publishing and project initiatives, showcasing outstanding contributions in improving access to e-books and digital publications for the visually impaired and print-disabled. The selection panel, comprising accessibility experts, based their decisions on criteria such as content availability in accessible formats, integration of accessibility standards, supply chain collaborations, innovative practices, and positive impacts on those with disabilities.The awards featured three categories with the Publishers Award going to Hegas from Sweden, the Accessible Reading Award being received by Chetana Charitable Trust in India, and finally a Special Commendation Award being awarded to UAE’s Kalimat Foundation.Insightful discussions with industry leadersAs part of the conference agenda, a keynote discussion was held between Ian Chapman, CEO & Publisher of Simon & Schuster UK & International; and Jo Henry, Managing Director of BookBrunch, who engaged in an insightful dialogue illuminating on the evolving landscape of global publishing, and Chapman’s extensive history within the industry. Simon & Schuster's impressive track record as the Publisher of the Year for two consecutive years and Children's Publisher of the Year this past year, highlights their commitment to excellence. Chapman expressed his deep appreciation for the energy and passion he has witnessed in the publishing community in Sharjah, and the privilege of being among his peers at the conference.During the discussion the CEO’s words resonated with industry professionals and aspiring publishers, as he urged everyone to focus on the present, taking positive actions today to shape a brighter future for the world of books. As he succinctly put it, “In 2019 we set a goal to double our publishing profits within five years, instead we quadrupled it within just two years. We're here to publish books. It's important to place one's focus in the present. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, do something positive today that will impact the future.”The 13th edition of the Publishers Conference brought together an elite group of global publishing industry experts, literary agents, and thought leaders from 106 countries, and is held over three days. The Publishers Conference, preceding the Sharjah International Book Fair, provides a platform for professionals in the publishing industry to discuss the most significant challenges and practices to advance the development of the sector.

Renowned global AI experts confirmed for high-level symposium in the UAE

Four of the world’s leading authorities on Artificial Intelligence are gathering in Dubai to debate how AI will shape the future of business and economy in the Middle East.The event, hosted by Arabian Gulf Business Insight (AGBI) and in partnership with the global management consultancy Oliver Wyman, will present a specially invited audience of senior business leaders from the UAE with actionable insights on how this disruptive technology is set to affect societies and industry in the regionThe event will progress a robust debate at the recent GITEX conference in Dubai, where G42 signed an agreement with OpenAI to deliver its generative AI models across sectors spanning financial services to energy and healthcare – further cementing the UAE’s global position as a country at the forefront of AI adoption. Representing a regional voice on the expert speaker panel will be Jad Haddad, a Partner at Oliver Wyman, who leads the global consultancy’s Digital Practice in the Middle East, Africa and India and who has advised governments and private organisations on the digital economy, digital investments and smart cities.According to Oliver Wyman analysis, the acceptance of AI technology is notably high among people in the GCC. Our research reveals that only 18% of respondents in the UAE express reluctance to use AI, in contrast to 38% in the UK. This openness can be attributed to various factors, including the relatively youthful population of the GCC. Opportunities abound, and as Gulf countries actively invest in diversifying their economies they stand to benefit significantly from the numerous opportunities presented by AI. However, as is the case with any technological shift, it is also crucial to acknowledge and address the associated risks and limitations in order to identify the best path forward.Joining Jad, will be Michael Bayler, an acclaimed author and a sought-after strategy consultant who has led tech-driven change programmes for the world’s biggest brands across multiple sectors, including RBS, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Diageo, the BBC and Discovery, among others.As well as a Professor of Digital Creativity at City University’s world-renowned Bayes Business School, Professor Neil Maiden has been at the forefront of AI and creativity research for over a decade, with more than 250 peer-reviewed papers published in leading industry journals. They will be joined by Jessica Groopman, a respected Silicon Valley-based analyst who specialises in unpacking the human, business and societal impacts of emerging technologies such as AI, and has advised companies such as Coca-Cola, Technicolor, Pandora, Intel, Microsoft and Cisco.James Drummond, Editor-in-chief of AGBI, said: “The whole world is focused on AI and the transformative effect it will have on so many industries in the future. To help our audience of business leaders understand better what AI’s adoption will mean for the region’s key economic sectors, we have assembled an expert international panel.“Their unparalleled experience and insights related to this very important field will ignite a dynamic discussion that explores the regional impact and opportunities of AI. I am looking forward to introducing them to our invited guests at November’s special event.”Arabian Gulf Business Insight’s AI reception is the first in a series of events that will encourage open dialogue and knowledge-sharing to the benefit of all guests and speakers.

Hub71 welcomes 23 startups in its 13th cohort

Hub71, Abu Dhabi's global tech ecosystem, has welcomed 23 new startups as part of its latest cohort, having collectively raised over $53 million in funding. Following a rigorous selection process, the successful startups will enter Hub71’s new Company Building Program and benefit from up to AED 250,000 worth of in-kind incentives and AED 250,000 in cash for equity. High-performing startups from the latest cohort will also be eligible to receive a top-up of up to AED 250,000 in exchange for additional equity, after one year.Hub71 received a 107 per cent increase in applications from over 100 countries, reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s increasing global appeal as an innovative destination of growth for the world’s leading entrepreneurs. The new cohort comprises tech startups hailing from countries across the region, including the UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, as well as companies from the UK, Canada, India and Armenia, which will establish a presence in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, around 40% of the startups in the latest cohort are from the US. This reflects the growing interest from mature tech hubs in Abu Dhabi’s favorable innovation ecosystem. Operating in 11 diverse industries, the startups will support the advancement of sectors aligned with Abu Dhabi’s strategic economic priorities, including FinTech, ClimateTech, HealthTech and EdTech.Seven startups in the cohort will join Hub71+ Digital Assets, the specialist ecosystem focused on unleashing the growth potential of Web3 and digital assets. Startups in Hub71+ Digital Assets can tap into a network of 13 dedicated partners, including leading digital asset exchanges, global technology providers, venture capital funds, blockchain platforms and other commercial and investment opportunities required to scale. Startups joining Hub71+ Digital Assets include UK headquartered Avantgarde Finance which has raised $5.5 million in funding and provides a platform for digital asset investment managers to plug into, launch their strategies and grow at scale.With a growing focus on the potential of innovation and technology in supporting climate action in the UAE, Hub71 selected two ClimateTech startups that developed innovative technologies helping to shape a more sustainable future. Acquai, which has raised $1.5 million (AED 5.5 million), is a software and hardware service company delivering data from waterways using 3D printed, bio-inspired fishlike drones. Meanwhile, Carbonsifr is a UAE founded climate tech platform enabling businesses to take tangible climate action through their climate-tech solutions such as emissions calculation engine, AI-based reduction platform and checkout tool to engage consumers on their daily.Ahmad Ali Alwan, Deputy CEO of Hub71, said: "With each cohort, we are noticing increasing interest from high-growth startups worldwide seeking to establish their businesses and expand from Abu Dhabi. Tech entrepreneurs recognize the distinct advantages of setting up their companies in the UAE capital, which provides a favorable environment for developing and marketing innovative products and services that can transform the business world. By attracting startups with immense growth potential, Hub71 is building on its powerful community of visionary entrepreneurs who will pave the way for the future of innovation.”In addition to a customized three-month course to receive expert mentorship, tailored advice and critical support, startups joining Hub71 will also gain access to a broad network of corporate, government, investment, and talent partners operating within Abu Dhabi’s technology ecosystem, significantly heightening the prospects of securing commercial deals, investment and market growth opportunities.The 23 startups selected to join Hub71’s 13th cohort:AlGooru is an online service that connects students from various age groups with private on-demand tutors.Anecdote is a customer analytics platform that delves into each customer feedback ticket, drawing from various sources to deliver valuable insights that companies can use to make better product decisions.Aquaai is a software and hardware service company delivering data from waterways using 3D-printed, bio-inspired fishlike drones.Atiom is a behavioral tech platform and mobile solution for deskless teams, primarily focused on creating real business value for large enterprise organizations.Autobia is a B2B marketplace leveraging data to solve the infrastructure and after-sales challenges in the automotive industry.Avantgarde Finance provides digital asset investment managers a platform to plug into, launch their strategies, and grow at scale.BioSapien is a validated FDA drug delivery platform that can slow-release drugs over a specified period into tumors directly.Carbonsifr is a platform that neutralizes the carbon footprint across businesses and industries.ClearQuote Technologies utilizes computer vision to assess vehicle images automatically and identify and evaluate defects or damages.CrunchDAO leverages the power of Web 3.0 collective intelligence to create a next-generation financial insights provider.Digital First AI offers a solution to the marketing industry by providing an all-in-one AI integration.Droplinked by FlatLay is a Web 3 commerce enabler for consumers and enterprises, bridging the gap between Web 2 and Web 3 capabilities with no-code, headless solutions.FlapKap is a user-friendly tech funding platform that integrates with e-commerce, social media and advertising platforms, marketplaces, payment gateways, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERPs). Goodable uses AI to deliver mental health programming to any screen or device. Its platform is clinically proven to improve employee mood, health and productivity by up to 96%.Lemonade Fashion is a video-first fashion and beauty platform. The social platform lets users shop directly from the video and check out from the same integrated system.Momint enables accessible funding and trade of solar photovoltaic1 (PV) investments with a built-in digital wallet, specializing in putting real assets and legal contracts on the blockchain.Netki is an identity validation provider with deep expertise in high-scale and high-fraud environments.Overnight Finance is an asset management protocol offering passive yield products based on delta-neutral strategies, primarily for conservative stablecoin investors.Param Labs is a game and blockchain development studio that delivers the highest quality blockchain-integrated games to the masses through player-owned digital assets.PriceOye Technologies is a managed marketplace for consumer electronics at the best prices with a built-in price comparison engine.Retailhub is a platform for direct integrations between retailers and aggregators.Sustainable Planet is an AgriTech company utilizing sustainable technology to combat food insecurity and climate change.Syd is a SaaS platform in predictive/preventative health tech that focuses on improving the life quality of employees as a success strategy from a business to an individual employee perspective.

Dubai SME to empower youth in Hatta to kickstart the start-up ecosystem

The Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Dubai SME), a part of Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), has outlined its ambitious plan to support and develop the entrepreneur community across various fields in Hatta.Dubai SME’s new plan for Hatta entrepreneurs aligns with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to empower Hatta’s young citizens to start their own businesses and implement new creative approaches that will ensure the region’s sustainable economic development and contribute to raising the standard of living and ensure the well-being of people.In addition to Hatta’s status as a leading regional leisure hotspot, facilitating further development of the Hajar Mountain community – regarded as one of the UAE’s most prominent tourist, heritage, and cultural destinations – is a cornerstone of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. The plan covers four key strategic pillars: Wellness, Tourism, Sports & Activities, and Sustainability, with a specific focus on preserving Hatta’s natural environment, boosting its development, and enriching its tourism competitiveness. The plan also seeks to support domestic projects that meet the current and future ambitions of Hatta residents, creating opportunities to support Emiratis in a way that stimulates tourism and encourages entrepreneurial activity while also preserving the unique geographical identity of the region.   Workshops, Courses & Training ProgrammesIn 2022, Dubai SME accelerated efforts to train and qualify the youth of Hatta to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit by starting or expanding their own businesses. Dubai SME organised several training courses and specialised programmes to provide local entrepreneurs with advice, guidance, and information. Last year, 401 citizens participated in 19 workshops, while two specialised programmes – the Certified Professional Entrepreneurship and the Certified Agri-Entrepreneurship Professional Diplomas - saw 103 citizens participate in 52 projects.Earlier this year, Dubai SME also organised several training courses in creative entrepreneurial thinking, entrepreneurial leadership, creativity management, and e-commerce to further develop trainees’ skill sets. Since the programme’s start last year, Dubai SME has issued 34 fee-exempt business licenses in the Hatta region, including eight domestic licenses.Project FinancingHaving already facilitated dedicated funds to numerous projects, Dubai SME remains committed to providing financial assistance for the launch or expansion of projects that add value to the Hatta region and its people. Dubai SME actively encourages Emirati entrepreneurs to contact the establishment and apply for funding.To date, an apiary project in the Hatta mountains (Al Doror for Honey and Dates Trade) is one of the most prominent projects to receive establishment and expansion loans from Dubai SME. In addition to its agricultural and environmental impacts, the project includes the construction of an apiary consisting of 3,000 beehives, with a production capacity of more than 20 tonnes of honey each year.Elsewhere, Tanoor Restaurant has been financially supported, enabling its owners to develop and expand operations. Renowned for its famous local dishes, the restaurant serves delicious food in a distinctive atmosphere. In addition, Hur Hatta for Salon Supplies Trade, which provides beauty supplies, tools, perfumes, and non-pharmaceutical preparations to licensed beauty centres in the Hatta region, has also been supported by Dubai SME.His Excellency Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said: “In line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai SME has implemented an integrated plan targeting young Emirati talent in Hatta.. We are committed to providing financial and technical support to them as we continue our mission to support Emirati entrepreneurs and other businesses. The support provided by Dubai SME over the past year to Hatta-based entrepreneurs, as well as other citizens, is a core enabler in achieving the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33 including integrating Emiratis into the workforce across high-performing sectors.“As we work towards achieving the key goal of the D33 Agenda to further consolidate Dubai’s status as one of the top three global cities within the next decade, we will continue to identify and leverage investment opportunities by fostering an environment where entrepreneurship and the next generation of business leaders thrive. Through strategic initiatives, mentorship programmes, and access to resources, we are dedicated to equipping our entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed. This support extends beyond financial assistance; it encompasses knowledge sharing, networking opportunities, and a nurturing ecosystem where ideas can grow into successful businesses.”A business facilitation centre in support of projects by Hatta youthTo enable youths in the region to start their projects and turn their ideas into reality, a new business facilitation centre, Tasheel has been established at Hatta Community Centre to support young entrepreneurs and SME owners, who can utilise smart services to issue tax-free business licenses, including obtaining an Intelaq License via the Invest in Dubai platform. The centre also offers multi-use halls and a meeting room as a hub for entrepreneurs.In this context, Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism, represented by Dubai SME, signed a cooperation agreement with the Community Development Authority with the aim of developing the Tasheel Centre for Entrepreneurship site and supporting Hatta youth projects in the Hatta Community Centre, providing the Establishment’s services in the Smart corner of the center, as well as allowing them to use the building and marketing facilities of the centre. Dubai SME also provided special devices for entrepreneurs to register and receive its services. They can also benefit from the gaming hall space on the ground floor to organise some events and hold specialised exhibitions. They can also use the space allocated for the preparatory kitchen to support entrepreneurs, and others.Through financial and technical support, Dubai SME has contributed to several Hatta success stories, including projects related to construction and contracting enterprises; blacksmithing, carpentry and aluminium; food; tourism and leisure establishments; productive farms; hotels and vacation homes; restaurants and cafes; fitness centres; services; domestic projects, and more.

UAE debut: forays into global offline payment solutions arena

The UAE-based subsidiary of Indian fintech company Infibeam Avenues Ltd, Avenues World FZ LLC, which owns and operates UAE’s largest payment gateway brand – announced the introduction of its mobile-based QR Code payment solution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) market for merchants to tap into burgeoning offline payments landscape. It is a pivotal and strategic move marking the company’s debut on the international stage of offline payment solutions, starting with the UAE market.“For the first time, we are foraying into the offline payment space in the UAE market with our innovative QR-Code payment offerings for merchants,” said Mr Arun Jeevaraj, Vice President, Business & Operations, UAE & Saudi Arabia, He further shared that the company has onboarded multiple merchants in last few months including renowned establishments in Dubai like Prime Association Management, a renowned homeowners' association, and the esteemed Jaffer Bhai's The Biryani King of Bombay, which operates in Dubai.According to Mr. Vishwas Patel, Joint Managing Director of Infibeam Avenues Ltd, the company's foray into the offline payment landscape within the UAE market is a strategically astute move. He further emphasized that the introduction of QR Code payment facilities for offline transactions will significantly augment the value the payment gateway - is offering to its merchants/clients, as it will bolster the merchant’s standing in the offline payment acceptance space as well.To further solidify its hold on offline payment space, the company is set to unveil CCAvenue TapPay (SoftPoS) in the UAE market as part of, to offer offline payment options for merchants. This innovative payment software can be downloaded from Google Playstore, and it can transform any NFC-enabled mobile device into easy-to-use POS machines, allowing simple card payments with just a tap.“The intent is to furnish comprehensive solutions – offline along with online payments, to our clients,” Mr Vishwas Patel said, adding that notably, the UAE marks the company's maiden entry/debut into the international arena for its offline payment solutions, signifying a pioneering milestone for its global expansion with offline payment solutions. Infibeam Avenues Ltd already has established a significant presence in key global markets, spanning the USA, Australia, the MENA region and beyond.For nearly a decade, the company has diligently cultivated its robust presence within the online payment landscape in the UAE market, primarily through its renowned payment gateway brand- This payment service has attracted a prestigious clientele/merchants hailing from a diverse array of industries, encompassing retail, hospitality, airlines, and the service sector. Today, can boast to have clientele/merchants of over 5,000 entities; notably, among these clients/merchants are prominent property developers, including iconic names such as Burj Khalifa, Emaar, Damac, Nakheel, and Trump Golf Dubai.In the last six year,, has seamlessly processed an impressive aggregate of AED 24.5 Billion in transactions, amassing a substantial tally of approximately 23.5 million transactions to date. This fiscal year, in August, marked a historic milestone for the company as it achieved the remarkable feat of processing over AED 1 Billion in transactions within a single month, a significant testament to its ongoing success."In a bid to propel the growth of the digital payment sector in the UAE, we have unveiled QR code payment solutions for our merchants. This strategic move is in response to the rising popularity of QR code-based mobile payments within the UAE market, a trend poised to ascend in the forthcoming years. This surge is intrinsically linked to the rise of e-commerce, the digitization of business operations, and the overarching digital transformation sweeping through the UAE economy," explained Mr. Vishwas Patel.According to various market reports, the global QR code payments market closed in 2022 with a valuation of US$11.2 billion. Projections are nothing short of remarkable, with an anticipated CAGR of 16.9%, culminating in an impressive valuation of over US$ 55.6 billion by the year 2033.The ubiquity of QR code payments has been sweeping across the globe, gaining significant traction in emerging economies such as China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Brazil. In line with these global trends, the company anticipate a parallel growth trajectory and increasing adoption of QR code-based payments within the vibrant and dynamic UAE market.

Dubai Duty Free named best global Duty Free at the 6th Burj CEO Awards

Dubai Duty Free was presented with the ‘Best Global Duty Free Award’ at its Head Office on 25th October, which was won earlier at The Burj CEO Awards held in Europe in August.Hosted by CEO Clubs Network Worldwide, the 6th edition of the award acknowledged remarkable individuals and organisations across a diverse array of over 50 categories.Dubai Duty Free earned the title of Best Global Duty Free for its exceptional performance in setting up the global benchmark for airport retailing with the success of Dubai Duty Free spanning four decades.Dr. Tariq Nizami, Founder and CEO of CEO Clubs Network Worldwide, personally presented the award to Dubai Duty Free executive team led by the Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin.In addition, McLoughlin and COO, Ramesh Cidambi were also presented with a Medal of Honour from the CEO Clubs Network Worldwide.Commenting on the award, Colm McLoughlin said, “We are delighted to receive the Best Global Duty Free Award from the CEO Clubs Network. This is a strong testimony to our dedication to providing a world class retail experience to our customers We were unable to be present at the awards ceremony itself, so appreciate receiving the award in person.”Also present in the awarding are Sinead El Sibai, SVP – Marketing, Mona Al Ali, SVP – HR, Michael Schmidt, SVP – Retail, Sharon Beecham, SVP – Purchasing and Zayed Al Shebli, SVP – Loss Prevention & Corporate Security.The Burj CEO Awards is an annual global business award ceremony hosted in different countries that was first launched in 2016 in Washington, D.C., and since then has been held in London, Shenzhen, Mauritius, and Dubai. Over the years, the BURJ CEO Awards have recognised and awarded more than 200 business leaders and organisations for their business success. In addition to the awards ceremony, the BURJ CEO Summit is designed for awardees and delegates to share knowledge and best practices and engage in discussions on future trends and challenges. It offers a positive impact on the opportunities for networking and collaborations.??????

OPSWAT Opens Dubai Office to Bolster Industrial Sector's Cybersecurity DefenseOP

OPSWAT, a global leader in Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) cybersecurity solutions, today announced the opening of its Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, following GITEX earlier this month. The move is aimed at answering the increasing demand across the region for zero-trust cybersecurity solutions capable of safeguarding critical infrastructure.The opening of OPSWAT’s Dubai office closely follows a period of significant growth for the company in the region. Over the past 12 months its regional momentum has included 60% growth in revenue, 50% growth in its customer base, a 50% increase in the number of projects, and a substantial increase in the company’s operational resources.OPSWAT’s regional customers include organizations in the manufacturing, nuclear, energy, oil and gas, government, and defense sectors. More than 50 GCC ministries selected OPSWAT in the past year and the company is also actively working with almost all the region’s oil and gas companies. In the financial services sector, OPSWAT has provided solutions and products to 43 regional banks — including eight central banks — since March 2022, and is in the POC stage with approximately 50 other FSI entities.“This office opening is timely, as we will have an on-the-ground presence in a market where we are fast becoming the vendor of choice for government ministries and banks,” said Sertan Selcuk, VP of Sales, Middle East, Turkey, Africa & Pakistan (METAP), at OPSWAT. “Our expectation is to see at least 500 companies as our customers in the META region by the end of this year.”Selcuk explained that the ongoing merger between IT and OT has added many layers of complexity to securing critical infrastructure. IT cybersecurity solutions lack the tools to protect such infrastructure and very few security professionals have the skills to tackle the current threat landscape as it relates to OT. A further challenge is that few training and certification programs focus on critical infrastructure protection.“Like elsewhere, many critical infrastructure networks in the Middle East rely on outdated or legacy systems that were not originally designed with robust security in mind,” Selcuk said. “Most OT networks rely heavily on IT systems and this interconnectedness often increases the attack surface. Securing these interdependencies poses substantial challenges.”OPSWAT’s growing reputation in the region has been built on its Content Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR) technology, which addresses these challenges directly. In CDR, files ranging from PDFs and HTML to image and video assets are pulled apart, sanitized, and reconstructed in real time. From its new base in Dubai, the company will offer CDR and other technologies to an expanded market. Its hub presence will ease OPSWAT’s engagement with partners and customers, who will get face-to-face access to industry experts.Apart from serving as a collaboration hub for customers and partners, OPSWAT’s Dubai office is home to a critical infrastructure protection (CIP) laboratory, where industry professionals, clients and channel organizations can see for themselves the power of OPSWAT products like Neuralyzer, MetaDefender Kiosk, MetaDefender Vault, NetWall, and much more. They will also be able to explore the advantages of OPSWAT Academy training, experience attack simulations, and discuss with the company’s experts how to combine these products and services to build the best possible OT security posture.Following two successful years where its business has more than doubled, OPSWAT is looking to a strong 2024, characterized by the same level of growth.“This investment [office launch] builds on the foundation we’ve been laying in the region for years, and we’re excited to have a strong presence in this key market,” Selcuk noted. “We are fully committed to the cyber fight alongside our META customers and partners. We see Saudi Arabia and the UAE as critical markets for cybersecurity awareness, and we see our growth in the region as continuing through our channel partners. We look forward to working with them to bring our solutions to more customers in the months ahead.”Apart from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Selcuk described OPSWAT’s growth in Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and Kuwait as “exponential”. “We are also in the midst of a very aggressive restructuring in Turkey, which is home to more than one million manufacturers,” Selcuk continued. “We have reaped the fruits of this in the first six months of this year. Next year we will focus on Pakistan and South Africa and we plan to manage all the countries in the META region from our new offices in Dubai.”

Shereen Mostafa named Head of A/V Productions for Publicis Communications ME

Publicis Communications, the creative hub of Publicis Groupe Middle East recently promoted Shereen Mostafa to Head A/V Production. In this capacity, Shereen leads the production practice across Publicis Groupe, managing production operations across agencies and overseeing the Groupe’s scope at large. She will also focus on elevating the production practices to achieve creative excellence and developing & implementing a strategic vision to build a production community that offers clients integrated and innovative solutions. Beginning her career at Publicis Groupe's Cairo office, Shereen is regarded as one of the industry's most accomplished and recognised production heads. With over 17 years of experience, she has consistently delivered exceptional results across numerous campaigns for renowned clients, including McDonald’s, The Coca Cola Company, PepsiCo, Bel, Kellogg’s, Danone, Nestle, Ferrero, Kraft, P&G, du, Etisalat by e&, Philip Morris, Samsung, Emirates Airlines, HSBC, GMC, Mercedes, Infinity, EMAAR, and many more. She also served as a jury member for D&AD in both 2021 and 2022 and is one of the Executive Jury of CICLOPE Festival 2023 happening in Berlin.“Shereen’s deep understanding of different cultures across the Middle East and globally, unique creative vision, coupled with her years of experience in the advertising industry, brings significant value to all her projects, going beyond traditional advertising. I wish her luck with her new role”, Bassel Kakish, CEO, Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey.Commenting on her appointment Shereen said “A producer isn’t anymore the person who’s in charge of the budget spent, but the maestro and creative mind who can put the whole puzzle together. We are lucky to work in an industry that we love, something that brings happiness and joy to our hearts with every piece of work we produce and be proud of. Recognition is always great and rewarding, but it should always be secondary. I am extremely excited about my new role and look forward to collaborating with the exceptionally talented individuals I have the privilege of working alongside. I am committed to putting in the effort and producing exceptional work.”With numerous accolades and international recognitions to her credit, Shereen's journey in the industry continues to shine. From Cannes Lions to D&AD, Effies, Lynx, LIA, and beyond, her impressive track record speaks volumes.

Twitch's balancing act: Meeting user and advertiser expectations

Social platforms face a perpetual challenge: how to cater to advertisers' demands while keeping users engaged. Twitch, the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform, is no exception, as its streams lack built-in ad breaks. To run ads on Twitch without disrupting the broadcast, the platform faces the dilemma of either pausing the live action or finding a non-disruptive ad placement. Viewers, too, prefer minimal interruptions during their game streams.Rachel Delphin, CMO of Twitch, expressed confidence in addressing this challenge. She highlighted TwitchCon as a platform where the community can interact with brands in a way that enhances the overall experience.Twitch's ad product team openly discussed the tug-of-war between users who want minimal ad interruptions and advertisers seeking undivided attention, often through intrusive midroll ads. Streamers find themselves caught in the middle, trying to balance user satisfaction and ad revenue.Mike Minton, Chief Monetization Officer at Twitch, noted that advertisers paying a premium for a 30-second, non-skippable ad expect a highly interruptive experience, which is their value proposition. To bridge the gap, Twitch is exploring static ad placements that appear at various points on a stream without fully halting the action. However, brands may not be willing to pay a premium for these placements.Twitch's ad product team is dedicated to finding innovative ad solutions that meet advertisers' expectations without provoking user backlash.

Adjust and Mobmio are to accelerate MENA mobile industry

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

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority hosts Digital Publishing Forum

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, proudly organized the second edition of the Digital Publishing Forum. This prestigious event served as a platform to spotlight emerging trends and address the challenges encountered in the dynamic digital publishing sector.The Digital Publishing Forum aimed to stimulate innovation, generate insightful recommendations, and facilitate productive dialogue among publishers, experts, and specialists within the field, ultimately contributing to the advancement of the digital publishing industry in the United Arab Emirates.This engaging forum featured interactive sessions and workshops, drawing participation from a diverse group of experts, academics, publishers, specialists, intellectuals, and writers. Among the noteworthy sessions were "The Future of Digital Publishing in the UAE," led by prominent figures including Mohammed Al-Zarooni, Deputy Director-General of the Information and Digital Government Sector; Dr. Abdulrahman Al Muaini, Assistant Undersecretary for the Intellectual Property Sector at the Ministry of Economy; and Dr. Afra Atiq, an acclaimed Emirati poet.The "Safe Publishing on Digital Platforms" workshop, organized by the Dubai Electronic Security Center, explored the vital subject of content security on digital platforms.A distinctive feature of the forum was the "Brainstorming Laboratory," which provided a platform for Emirati publishing houses to share their visionary insights and recommendations for the digital publishing landscape. This session was skillfully moderated by Lama Jasim Bourisly, Consultant in the Advisors Office at Dubai Culture.The "Publishing in the Age of Digitalization (Artificial Intelligence, Opportunities, Challenges)" session, moderated by Iman Al-Youssef, delved into the profound impact of artificial intelligence on digital publishing and the various opportunities and challenges it presents.The "Digital Publishing Market (Evolution and Future)" session witnessed participation from esteemed individuals such as Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director of the Emirates Publishers Association, Author Amira Abu Kadra, Co-founder Partner at GHAF Library and Publications, and Author Alyazia Khalifa Alsuwaidi, Director and Founder of Al Falak for Translation and Publishing.Furthermore, the "Digital Publishing Technologies: Between Impact and Influence" session explored pressing matters related to copyrights in the era of artificial intelligence and the role of digital publishing in strengthening the green economy. This session featured insights from Ahmed Al-Yassi from the Emirates Intellectual Property Association and Mustafa Youssef from the Higher Colleges of Technology.In a virtual session titled "The Role of Digital Publishing in Sustainability," Dr. Emad Abu Eid underscored the impact of digital publishing on sustainability, highlighting its contribution to reducing the carbon footprint and advancing carbon neutrality in alignment with national sustainability strategies.Speaking about the Digital Publishing Forum, Mohammed Al Hebsi, Acting Director of Dubai Culture’s Literature Department, emphasized the significance of this event in enriching the cultural landscape in Dubai. He expressed his vision for the forum as an innovative platform that fosters constructive dialogue and knowledge dissemination through digital publishing, catering to the evolving aspirations of readers.Additionally, the Digital Publishing Forum hosted a dynamic virtual space in collaboration with Rofouf, Noon, and Zodiac Media, providing authors and the public with valuable insights on publishing their work via audio and digital book applications. This platform also offered opportunities for listing, promotion, and showcasing of literary creations.Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is dedicated to supporting the digital publishing industry through various initiatives that empower literary and intellectual creators, enabling them to reach diverse segments of society.

Stc Group records record-high nine-month revenues of SAR 54.61 billion

In accordance with the dividends distribution policy for three years period starting from the 4th quarter of 2021, which was ratified during the Ordinary General Assembly Meeting on 30-11-2021. In addition to the amendment on the dividends distribution policy, which was ratified by the Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting on 30-08-2022, by distributing an amount of SAR 0.40 per share per quarter, stc will distribute a total of SAR 1,993.80 million in cash dividends to the shareholders for the 3rd quarter of 2023, representing SAR 0.40 per share as the total number of Treasury shares related to the Employees Stock Incentives Plan stood at 15,493,743 shares at the end of the third quarter 2023 and those shares are not entitled for any dividends distribution. The eligibility of dividends shall be for the shareholders at the close of trading on Sunday 05-11-2023 and as per the registered shareholders in stc’s shareholders registry in the Depository Center at the end of the 2rd trading day following the eligibility date. Dividend distribution date will be on Thursday 23-11-2023.Commenting on these results, Eng. Olayan Alwetaid, stc Group CEO, indicated that the group’s results and performance for the three-month and nine-month periods were excellent and in line with our expectations, which were achieved as a result of the group’s commitment to its “Dare 2.0” strategy and its operational and financial plans. The group CEO added that during the third quarter of this year, stc group acquired a 9.9% stake in Telefonica Group for SAR 8.5 billion. Telefonica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world with presence in major markets like Spain, Germany, Britain, and Brazil. This investment aims at strengthening the cooperation between the two companies to benefit from all available opportunities in the future. This investment also aligns with the group’s ambitious expansion and sustainable growth strategy, which has resulted in numerous investments in ICT sector whether locally or internationally. The most recent was the acquisition deal of the group's subsidiary "Tawal" of United Group’s towers in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia, which recently announced the acquisition completion and the official start of its operations.In continuation of the group’s support for digital transformation, “iot Squared”, a subsidiary of stc Group, has signed a binding agreement to acquire “Machinestalk” company, which is one of the largest Saudi companies specialized in the field of the Internet of Things. This acquisition is an extension of the group’s pioneering role in adopting advanced digital technologies and leading the digital transformation in the region, which contributes to keeping pace with the growing demand for Internet of Things technologies and expanding the delivery of comprehensive services and products in this promising market.In pursuit of achieving the group’s vision to lead the digital field in the Kingdom, the group’s subsidiary, “sirar by stc” was ranked first place in the Middle East and North Africa, and the eleventh place globally among the top 250 providers of cybersecurity services in the “MSSP Alert” list. The ranking was based on an extensive research conducted by the “CyberRisk Alliance. Since its establishment in early 2021, sirar by stc has worked to solidify its position through many partnerships that exceed 100 partners from various sectors. This recognition comes as a testimony to the company's performance in achieving growth and as an acknowledgment of its commitment to providing cybersecurity services that align with the highest global standards.Furthermore, stc group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and agreement with Roshn group, the leading real estate developer and one of the major projects of the Public Investment Fund. The MoU agreement included the deployment of 5G network towers, smart homes and cities solutions, as well as the applications of Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to enhance communication efficiency and improve the quality of life of residents and visitors of Roshn’s communities. The partnership agreement between stc and Roshn comes as a result of the Group’s strategy to build digitally enabled capabilities within new regions and projects in the Kingdom by equipping a modern digital infrastructure and providing the latest digital solutions and innovative services that enrich the lives of society. The smart city technologies and applications will be reflected in Roshn’s projects, which will enhance the quality of life in line with the goals of vision 2030 aimed at building a digital society, a prosperous digital economy, and a better future for the Kingdom.In conclusion, stc group aims towards continuous development, success, and leading the digital and communications field by entering into local, regional and global investments, partnerships and agreements in the communications and information technology sectors in line with the pillars of its “DARE 2.0” strategy. stc’s strategy will support achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and play a deeper role in the digital transformation, not only in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also going further to make an impact in the Middle East and the world.

World of Coffee Dubai 2024 to shape a more sustainable future for the industry

The World of Coffee Dubai 2024 is set to boost the sustainability of the coffee industry, promote eco-friendly and responsible agricultural practices, and ensure the continuity of the coffee supply chain by merging the collaborative efforts of traders, farmers, manufacturers, and consumers. The exhibition, which is known to draw thousands of professionals, will bring together a diverse community of coffee enthusiasts, experts, and industry leaders from across the globe, attributing to its status as one of the largest and most important international exhibitions focusing on the coffee industry. The global event, organised by DXB Live, the integrated event management and experiential agency of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), will be held from January 21 to 23, 2024, during which it will highlight the sustainable coffee movement.The third edition of the exhibition symbolises the remarkable growth and development in the coffee market in the region, offering an important platform to shed light on to latest innovations, sustainable practices, and solutions in coffee cultivation, production, and distribution. It is in response to the surging demand for certified sustainable coffee production, as its market is anticipated to expand by 15 to 20 per cent during the remaining months of 2023.Samir Mash'al, the CEO of Seed Coffee Roasters, said: “At Saeed Coffee Roasters, we affirm our steadfast commitment to offering the highest quality coffee, sourced through sustainable methods that not only safeguard our planet but also support local communities. We are delighted to be part of the World of Coffee Dubai 2024 to highlight our latest innovations solutions, and approaches designed to drive sustainability within the coffee industry. In our relentless pursuit of meeting our customers’ expectations and ensuring a greener planet for future generations, we are dedicated to offering sustainable coffee products. This commitment extends from eco-conscious coffee cultivation methods to environmentally friendly packaging and unwavering support for local farmers.”The exhibition will emphasise sustainable practices in the coffee industry, focusing on eco-friendly packaging like biodegradable and recyclable coffee bags, carbon-neutral coffee production using renewable energy and advanced waste management, and reducing waste during production with methods such as advanced drying, optimised supply chains, organic farming, and pesticide substitution.Jimmy Brown, the CEO of Coffee Planet, said: “We believe in the significance of promoting sustainable practices across the coffee industry. Our unwavering commitment involves constantly improving and implementing the best practices across our operations, from farming to roasting and packaging processes. These practices are deeply rooted in environmental conservation principles, and they aim to improve the well-being of both coffee farmers and local communities. Through our participation in the World of Coffee Dubai 2024, we are excited to present our latest innovations and solutions that are integral to realising this vision. We are dedicated to delivering exceptional, high-quality coffee that truly reflects our steadfast commitment to sustainability."The World of Coffee Dubai will focus on empowering and supporting coffee farmers and workers by providing guidance on sustainable farming practices and essential resources, using source verification programs. This exhibition will also address the sustainable coffee movement's role in conserving water resources, as the coffee sector is a significant water consumer and aims to enhance coffee quality, positively impacting market value.Shouq BinRedha, Exhibition Manager of World of Coffee Dubai 2024 said: “We are delighted to organise a series of workshops in conjunction with the upcoming World of Coffee Dubai 2024. The exhibition will set an ideal platform for international industry experts to participate and share their insights and experiences to attain our objective of promoting sustainability within the coffee industry and it represents a comprehensive endeavour that begins in the coffee fields to ends in the coffee cup. During the process we must meticulously examine each step, commencing with environmentally conscious agricultural practices in coffee cultivation. The journey continues through the roasting process, where the intrinsic flavours of the coffee are preserved and extends to packaging methods in a way that maintains the quality while minimising their ecological footprint. The exhibition will focus on driving innovation in the coffee industry and developing a roadmap for a more sustainable future for this sector.”The sustainable coffee movement prioritises eco-friendly farming methods, including reduced pesticide and chemical fertiliser use, as well as growing coffee under tree canopies to mimic natural forest conditions. This approach enhances ecological balance, biodiversity, and coffee quality. Labels like 'Shade-Grown Coffee' (grown under tree cover) and 'Direct-Trade Coffee' (sourced directly from farmers) are used to promote such practices, ensuring fair payment for farmers and high-quality beans for roasters and consumers.World of Coffee Dubai 2024, a DXB Live initiative, focuses on enhancing collaboration among key stakeholders to address pressing challenges, foster a harmonious balance between profit, the environment, and societal well-being while ensuring a coffee supply for current and future generations and shaping a more sustainable coffee industry for future.é-andrade-ceo-emea

Dentsu names André Andrade CEO EMEA

Dentsu announced the appointment of André Andrade as CEO, dentsu EMEA overseeing the integrated growth strategy and business execution for dentsu within the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region. Andrade joins the community of Regional CEOs overseen by Giulio Malegori, recently appointed Group Chief Operating Officer, Dentsu Group Inc.Andrade has been part of dentsu for nearly 20 years demonstrating a proven ability to drive growth and scale client relationships across EMEA markets. Since 2004 he has served as CEO, dentsu Portugal, CEO of dentsu Spain & Portugal and further assumed the responsibility CEO Iberia & Sub-Saharan Africa (IBSSA) in 2013.In this most recent role, Andrade significantly grew revenue and performance in the IBSSA cluster and delivered a successful acquisition plan that integrated ten operations across media, creative, content and data bringing new capabilities and talent to dentsu teams, delivering on a true one dentsu market offering. Andrade also overseas dentsu’s Client & Solutions Hub for EMEA, in charge of driving client-centric strategy for integrated growth solutions across the region.“André has shown passion and commitment to bringing together the best of dentsu and spearheaded innovation to deliver integrated solutions at scale,” said Hiroshi Igarashi, President and CEO, Dentsu Group Inc. “I am looking forward to working in close collaboration as we continue to focus on putting our clients at the center, and delivering a seamless, integrated experience, driving growth and competitive advantage.”“Having worked with André for many years, I have witnessed first-hand his commitment to leading teams, transforming businesses, and driving client growth,” said Giulio Malegori, Group Chief Operating Officer, Dentsu Group Inc.. “He has extensive understanding of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region which means he is well positioned to understand the diverse needs of our people, clients and consumers.”“It’s an exciting time to be part of dentsu given our uniqueness in the marketplace, sitting at the intersection of marketing, consulting and technology. We are committed to embracing client-centricity at the core of everything we do and the decisions we make,” said Andrade. “I am ready to take on this next opportunity with dentsu and look forward to working together with our 16,000 people across EMEA in delivering innovation and people-centred transformation for clients.”Dentsu will announce Andrade’s successor over the coming weeks.

Sharjah Airport welcomes first flight of Air Cairo

Sharjah Airport received Air Cairo airline’s first flight, which started operating its scheduled flights to and from Sharjah Airport. This strategic move comes to reinforce the network of destinations in line with the surging demand for passenger and cargo flights and address passengers’ requirements efficiently and with high quality.The Egyptian carrier will operate six flights weekly with Airbus A320 aircraft, which includes four flights to and from Cairo International Airport on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. It will also have one weekly flight to and from Sohag International Airport on Saturdays and one weekly flight to and from Assiut International Airport on Tuesdays.The new destinations are a valuable addition to the existing network, which reflects the relentless efforts of the Sharjah Airport Authority to improve the airport’s position as a preferred hub for air transport and widen its network of international destinations. The move will contribute significantly to raising the status of Sharjah as an economic and tourist hub on the global level.

Jumeirah Golf Estates hosts the monthly Jumeirah Pairs by The Lounge Spa

Jumeirah Golf Estates hosted the monthly Jumeirah Pairs by The Lounge Spa over the Fire Course. This event was battled out in a Pairs Betterball Stableford where the best net score on each hole within the pair is counted to the overall team score.The winning score was Net 61 (-11) scored by Juliette Castell & Mitsuko Emmerson. The pair recorded 8 net birdies and 2 net eagles with one of those net eagles occurring on the treacherous Par 3 14th hole, courtesy of a gross 2 by Juliette.In second place was the pair of Rony El Haber & Adam James with a score of Net 61 (-11). Unfortunately, it was not to be for the pair who narrowly missed out on countback to the eventual winners. The pair also recorded a Net hole in one on the Par 3 14th although a costly bogey on the 18th would only be good enough for second place.Third-place prize went to Martin Stewart & Bradley Stuart with a great score of Net 63 (-9). Congratulations to the pair as their score was good enough to claim third place outright even after a bogey on the Par 4 17th.There were two on-course competitions, winning Nearest the Pin on hole 14 was Jayson Hilton. Twelve players managed to beat Tommy Fleetwood Academy Teaching Professional Ginger Delacretaz who hit her shot to ten feet on the 8th hole. A draw took place for the players who manged to hit inside of Ginger’s ball, the winner for this goes to Adam James. Adam takes home his second prize of the evening after finishing runners up in the team overall.Whilst concluding the prize-giving presentation, Adam Stastny, Assistant Services Manager at Jumeirah Golf Estates, commented, “A huge congratulations to all our prize winners today. Thank you for participating in today’s event. A huge thank you to The Lounge Spa team for their continued support of club events here at Jumeirah Golf Estates, your involvement provides an elevated experience for our participants.”

Stc pay lands a win at the MEA Business Tech Achievement Awards

Manama, Bahrain : stc pay has been awarded in the category of “New product/service launch” at the MEA Business Tech Achievement Awards organized by SAMENA Council. The award is in recognition of the innovative fintech services offered by stc pay, one of the Kingdom’s leading digital Bahrain continues to set benchmarks in the fintech sector by employing the latest tech advancements and addressing the growing need for on-the-go payment solutions. stc pay’s cutting-edge platform empowers users to effortlessly manage their finances, conduct seamless transactions with unparalleled ease. stc pay services have become a vital part of the Bahrain consumer landscape, empowering those with limited financial access in the Kingdom.Commenting on the award, stc Bahrain CEO and stc pay Chairman Eng. Nezar Banabeela said: “We are grateful to receive this prestigious award in honor of our dedicated platform, stc pay, that addresses the growing demand for smarter, faster and more versatile mobile payment solutions. We aim to continue advancing the latest tech developments– shaping the future of digital wallets and financial transactions in Bahrain. We look forward to what is coming next in terms of our fintech services and hope to continue spearheading the nation’s digital transformation journey.”stc pay was officially licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain in partnership with Khaleeji Bank in March 2023 – as it plays a pivotal role in financially empowering the local community. Within less than one month of its launch, the app has been downloaded more than 50,000 times.

Mazaji Radio partners with ELAN Media

Doha, Qatar: Mazaji FM 94.6, a well-known radio station, and ELAN Media, the foremost media company in Qatar, have entered into an exclusive partnership, marking a significant collaboration in the media landscape.Under the partnership agreement, ELAN Media will now offer advertising slots, sponsorship packages and live content segments to clients across Qatar with a wide choice of prime and drive time airing opportunities.“Mazaji FM is one of the most popular Arabic language radio services in Qatar with a particularly strong listenership on conventional and online radio among Qatari youth. This deal represents the coming together of two of Qatar’s most forward-thinking organizations and opens new business opportunities for an expansive client base across the consumer and events segments,” commented Jaber Al Ansari, ELAN Group CEO. “In just over a year, Mazaji FM has captured a strong following and we are confident of further growing its listener base and bring great opportunities for corporates and brands to reach their clients and build meaningful connections with the local community.”“Mazaji FM is a cost-effective reach medium with strong local appeal, with a listenership that has strong emotional connections with the station, which reflects positively on advertisers,” explained Hamad Aljabri, General Director, Mazaji FM “It provides information as it reaches consumers closest to their time of purchase, when they are driving to or from work, or even during a lunch break. The station has come a long way in a short time, and we believe our partnership can further build its already significant listener reach.”Mazaji FM advertisers include some of the biggest corporates and event names in Qatar. “Our advertisers and sponsors reach a listenership primarily comprising middle-and-upper income group Arabs aged 15-35 years, both Qatari nationals, who make up the lion’s share, and other Arab residents,” explained Hamad Aljabri, General Director, Mazaji FM. “We are confident that with ELAN Media’s robust and creative advertising capabilities we can soon be the major radio force in the nation.”

Records broken during first day of Aramco Team Series

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

Staffordshire University Boosts Esports with £2.9M Investment

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

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

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

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

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

dnata partners with Virgin Atlantic to support Dubai return this October

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

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

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