Emirates Post Group announces winners of its ‘Logistics Unleashed’ competition

Emirates Post Group Company (EPG), in partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Education and various renowned technology companies, revealed the winners of its robotics competition ‘Logistics Unleashed’ following a judging session and awarding ceremony. The competition was designed in line with EPG’s objective of bridging the gap between academia and industry and fostering innovation in the logistics and supply chain sector.With the support of technology partners, Bayanat, a leader in AI-powered geo-intelligent solutions, Skygo, a trailblazer in drone technology; and Strata, an advanced manufacturing company, the students participated in immersive educational tours and received profound insights into the latest technology advancements with the opportunity to see innovation in action.The shortlisted finalists pitched their submissions and demonstrated their robotic solutions to a panel of esteemed judges. Following the deliberation process against the competition criteria, Alpha Team, whose members are Saif Dhafer Alameri, Bassem Mohamed Ghorab, Noureldin Mohamed Elhendawi, and Mohammed Walid Tarnini, claimed first place with Team RoboPost winning second and MASH Innovators in third place.The competition provided a platform to nurture innovation and cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset with the students. By tasking them with developing robots / technical solutions to streamline postal operations, students actively contributed to EPG’s innovation efforts, showcasing opportunities to enhance operational efficiencies. It also served as a testament to EPG’s commitment to engage and empower the younger generation towards a future characterised by technological advancements.In addition, ‘Logistics Unleashed’ underscored EPG’s steadfast commitment to the UAE Vision 2050. The vision aims to cultivate a competitive knowledge-based economy, with a particular emphasis on identifying the pivotal role of young individuals in realising its objectives. The competition adds to the wide array of initiatives and policies launched by the UAE to propel youth education, enhancement of skills, creation of employment opportunities and ensure maximum civic involvement, thereby contributing to the country’s holistic development goal.

Etihad Airways awarded global design airline of the year 2023

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways has been crowned ‘Design Airline of the Year 2023’, the top honour in the annual DesignAir Awards. The UAE’s national airline also received DesignAir’s ‘Most Improved Airline Brand’. The awards follow in quick succession from the global edition of the World Travel Awards 2023 on Friday 1 December, where Etihad celebrated a hat-trick with Best Customer Experience, Best Economy Class and Best First Class Lounge.The DesignAir judges commented: “Etihad has not just shone in its own region where it was crowned Design Airline of the Year Middle East, 2023 – but also our most prestigious award – Design Airline of the Year, 2023. Etihad has proven itself above all other carriers across the globe as this year’s leading global design airline.”The award recognises Etihad’s continued investment in guest experience, which this year has included the introduction of new menus and the launch of a new design-led and sustainable Economy dining experience. The airline also welcomed a new partnership with Armani/Casa to elevate the soft furnishings and tableware in Etihad’s acclaimed Business class experience.The airport passenger experience has also been improved following the opening of Terminal A, Etihad’s new home at Abu Dhabi International Airport, in November. The new terminal provides Etihad’s guests with a streamlined and biometric check-in experience, dedicated premium check-in services and a three-storey Business and First class lounge facility.Etihad has also received the ‘Most Improved Airline Brand’ in this year’s awards, reflecting its monumental year. This November, the airline celebrated its 20th anniversary and unveiled a roadmap for growth as part of its ‘Journey 2030’ vision, and an expanded network for 2024. Etihad also recently revealed the impressive cabin interiors on its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft which offer enhanced levels of comfort and privacy for guests. Antonoaldo Neves, Etihad Airways’ CEO, said: “This year is a proud and pivotal moment for Etihad. As we continue to invest in creating innovative and memorable experiences for our guests, we are thrilled to be recognised as design leaders in this year’s DesignAir awards."On behalf of the entire Etihad family, I want to express our deepest gratitude to our dedicated team members and our loyal customers. This prestigious recognition as the  ‘Design Airline of the Year 2023’ and ‘Most Improved Airline Brand’ is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our Etihad family. We are proud and honoured by the trust and support of our customers. Thank you for being a part of our journey.”Jonny Clark, Founder of The DesignAir, said: “Etihad has worked tirelessly for a few years now improving its product, image and consistency across its fleet. It’s for these very reasons we’re proud to award Etihad as the most improved airline brand this year. The airline hasn’t stopped in its efforts to elevate the passenger experience in the skies and on the ground.”Since 2012, the DesignAir has been recognising airlines that invest in design, product and brand, with winners selected by a panel of judges including industry experts and frequent fliers.

LEGO Group launches LEGO Fortnite via partnership with Epic group

The popular LEGO Group has launched a new game called LEGO Fortnite. This is the first play experience to come from the partnership between Epic Games and the LEGO Group to develop fun and safe digital spaces for children and families.Within LEGO Fortnite, players can explore vast, open worlds where the magic of LEGO building and Fortnite collide. Players can: • Play as some of your favorite Fortnite characters, like Brite Bomber, Cuddle Team Leader and Raven - but in LEGO Style• Collect food and resources, craft items, and battle enemies solo or with friends• Build shelter for defense and customize your ultimate home base, then recruit villagers to gather materials and help them survive the night• Gear up and drop into deep caves in search of rare resources, hidden areas and enemiesThe game is designed for people of all ages and “aims to encourage creativity, experimentation and collaboration through play. The LEGO Fortnite journey is just beginning, with new world building, gameplay features, and more LEGO Style Outfits arriving in updates starting early 2024. Fortnite is available to play for free on PlayStation®?4, PlayStation®?5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch™?, PC on Epic Games Store and cloud-based gaming streaming services.The LEGO Group is already using Unreal Engine across its broad portfolio of play and content experiences, including LEGO DREAMZzz™? and LEGO NINJAGO™?. The two companies are also using Unreal Engine to build digital twins for thousands of physical LEGO elements, and are working to make these available for creators across the Fortnite Ecosystem in both UEFN and Fortnite's Creative tools in 2024, in order to bridge the worlds of physical and digital play like never before.The LEGO Group and Epic Games will unveil several more LEGO themed games inside Fortnite starting early next year.Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group, said:?“Our partnership with Epic Games is focused on developing digital play experiences that are designed to be fun and safe, and have the potential to bridge the worlds of physical and digital play to inspire kids. Together with Epic Games, we are building digital worlds designed with kids in mind from the outset - we hope other creators and brands are inspired to do the same.”Tim Sweeney, CEO & Founder, Epic Games said: “LEGO Fortnite offers players a new way to express themselves through worldbuilding and is an important step forward in the evolution of the Fortnite ecosystem. We look forward to continuing to partner with The LEGO Group to build immersive digital play spaces that are fun for kids and all types of players.”

VIP Service launched in Dubai to redefine luxury and exclusive living

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: In the heart of Dubai, a city synonymous with luxury and extravagance, a new standard in upscale lifestyle management has emerged with the introduction of VIP Service. This premium service, conceived by the visionary entrepreneur Paul Theobald, offers a unique blend of exclusivity and personalized care, setting a new benchmark in the luxury concierge market.Paul Theobald, through his entrepreneurial path, has distinguished himself in fields such as IT, day trading, and cryptocurrencies, showcasing his remarkable business acumen and flexibility. Paul identified an untapped opportunity in the luxury services market and ventured into creating VIP Service, a company that promises to redefine the concept of luxury services. His entrepreneurial spirit and foresight are the driving forces behind this innovative service that caters to the whims and fancies of Dubai's elite.VIP Service is not just a luxury service provider, it stands out with its spectrum of personalized experiences, from arranging exclusive events, luxury cars, securing VIP access, to managing lifestyle and beauty & wellness services. The service excels in its attention to detail, flawless execution, and a deep understanding of the desires of its high-end clientele. The company's extensive array of services guarantees that client expectations are not simply fully met but exceeded beyond imagination.What elevates the VIP Concierge Service above others is its commitment to service excellence, personalized indulgences, and its extensive network. The company maintains the highest standards of trust and discretion, ensuring complete confidentiality for its clients. Available 24/7, the service exemplifies dedication to fulfilling client needs at any given moment, with international top-tier staff. Paul Theobald states, “We are dedicated to giving excellent service and making the impossible happen for our clients. We value trust and security above all, ensuring our clients can rely on us entirely. With Dubai being a city synonymous with luxury, our aim at VIP Concierge Service is to help both tourists and residents discover the best of it with an unprecedented level of treatment.”For those who aspire to experience the ultimate level of luxury and personalized service, VIP Service is the gateway to a world of exquisite indulgence. VIP Service is poised to transform the luxury service landscape in Dubai, offering an unmatched experience to the city's affluent and discerning residents.

LOVE BOATS UAE Reveals “December Campaign”

 LOVE BOATS UAE, the leading tour and speedboat company in Dubai, announces the December and New Year’s Eve offers for all Dubai visitors and adrenaline lovers to enjoy the major landmarks of Dubai’s impressive skyline onboard the latest modern speedboats from the UAE. At LOVE BOATS UAE, we provide a diverse selection of speedboat vessels with capacities of 12 and 20 passengers, all of which are equipped with safety features. Choose from our range of boats and enjoy a memorable tour of Dubai's famous tourist attractions and stunning waterfront projects! To Celebrate the end of 2023 and welcome the new year in style aboard the "LOVE BOATS UAE", our boat provides a unique vantage point to see fireworks from Atlantis, Burj Al Arab, and Burj Khalifa. Ring in 2024 with an exclusive view of the LOVE BOATS UAE Year's Eve Fireworks Show from three different locations. Date: December 31, 2023Time: From 10:30p.m to 1:00a.m (2 hours & 30 mins)Price: 500 AED per person (Below 3 years are not allowed- Pregnant women and people with back problems are not allowed)Inclusive of refreshments: (Water, Soda, Juice) guest can bring their own snacks.Reporting time: 9:30 PM (for check-in procedure) Location: Love Boats UAE (Marina Walk near Spinneys Supermarket) Note: All guests should be at our location 30 minutes before the trip.

KFH-Bahrain announces 6-month grace period on all new retail financing assets

Manama, Bahrain: Kuwait Finance House – Bahrain, one of the leading Islamic banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain, proudly unveils a groundbreaking campaign offering a Sharia’a compliant 6-month maximum, profit-accruing grace period on all retail financing products. This initiative represents a significant leap forward in the realm of retail banking, showcasing KFH-Bahrain's dedication to providing their clients with unparalleled flexibility and support.Through this exceptional offering, clients can enjoy a unique six-month maximum grace period on a diverse range of retail products offered by the bank which are: Tamweely Financing, Real Estate Financing, Social Housing Additional Financing and Auto Financing. KFH-Bahrain recognizes the diverse needs of its clients and is dedicated to ensuring financial empowerment through tailored solutions. The grace period is designed to offer clients a relief period which they need to manage their finances effectively.Mr. Hamed Mashal, Executive Manager, Head of Retail Banking at KFH-Bahrain expressed enthusiasm about the campaign, stating, "We are committed to understanding the evolving needs of our clients and providing them with the solutions they seek. The 6-month profit accruing grace period we are offering is a testament to our dedication to financial inclusion and support for our valued client base. We believe this campaign will empower our clients to navigate financial challenges with greater ease and confidence."

Qatar Sports Investments, Arctos Partners agree partnership, investment deal

PARIS / DALLAS / LONDON / DOHA :– Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) and Arctos Partners (Arctos) have today announced a landmark strategic partnership and investment deal that will see Arctos acquire a minority common equity stake in Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), the most successful football club in France and one of the leading football and multi-sports brands in the world.The partnership will form the foundation of the next phase of PSG’s global growth and drive forward the Club’s footballing and business success. The investment from Arctos will go towards growing PSG’s operations and also supporting the Club’s strategic real estate initiatives, including relating to its stadium and the future development phases of PSG’s world-leading training centre at Poissy in suburban Paris.Arctos will also provide strategic services, expertise and insights aimed at helping the Club achieve its ambitions. These include sustaining the remarkable growth QSI has driven to date at PSG; continuing the Club’s international expansion into new markets, including North America; engaging new and existing fans across geographies; and collaborating to explore sports investment opportunities around the globe.Arctos applies its deep industry knowledge, operational expertise, data-science-backed research, and an extensive network of relationships to accelerate growth and increase value across its portfolio of sports franchises. To date, Arctos has announced investments in more than 20 professional sports organisations across MLB, NBA, MLS, NHL, Formula One and European football.For QSI, as well as introducing a leading strategic partner and bringing new investment to take the Club to the next level, the transaction with Arctos crystalises the incredible growth and value appreciation of PSG under QSI’s decade-plus custodianship, setting a new benchmark in European football.Since acquiring the Club in 2011, PSG has won 30 men’s football trophies and last year won a record 11th French Ligue 1 title. In total, the Club has won 48 trophies since its formation in 1970. Today, PSG is a forward-thinking, innovative, diverse and enormously ambitious Club, with football at its heart, which has also added an e-sports team to its men’s, women’s and youth football teams, alongside its leading handball and judo teams.The Club engages a community of over 200 million social media followers worldwide and is one of the most creative fashion and lifestyle brands in the world. Under the ownership of QSI, PSG has delivered the fastest revenue growth of any major European football team, and has achieved unmatched commercial success through table-topping matchday and sponsorship revenues.As a non-controlling owner, Arctos will not influence any on-field sporting matters. QSI will continue to have full control of all decisions at PSG.Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, Chairman of Qatar Sports Investments, said: “We are delighted to welcome Arctos into the Paris Saint-Germain family as a strategic partner and investor. As a Club and institution, we are entering the next exciting phase of PSG’s growth and development, both on and off the pitch – which is based on long-term ambitions and attaining excellence in everything we do. Arctos is a fantastic partner to help us achieve our goals, bringing strategic expertise, ideas and innovation to our business, while providing investment and new relationships to support our footballing and sporting goals. From day one, they have passionately believed in our project, our plan and vision for the Club – and we are proud to have them as part of our family. Today is an important milestone in Paris Saint Germain’s history, which will contribute greatly to the continued success and growth of our great Club.”Doc O’Connor, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Arctos Partners, said: “QSI has transformed Paris Saint-Germain into one of the most renowned and successful football clubs in the world, building both a global brand and one of the most engaged fan communities in the world. Today, PSG is an iconic sports institution with a proud history and a regular contender for leading honors in domestic and European competitions. The first time we visited the Club, we felt the magic of PSG and its deep connection to the city of Paris. Our investment in the Club fully aligns with our strategy of partnering with best-in-class teams across North America and Europe. We are excited to be joining the PSG family and look forward to working together with President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi to maximise the Club’s potential, providing strategic expertise and investment to drive the next phase of development, growth and success of this great institution.”Guggenheim Securities acted as exclusive financial advisor to Qatar Sports Investments and Paris Saint-Germain, while DLA Piper served as legal counsel. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Arctos Partners.

Westcon-Comstor appoints new MD for Gulf

DUBAI, UAE: Westcon-Comstor, a global technology provider and specialist distributor, today announced the appointment of Matthew Brownlie as Managing Director for the Gulf. Originally from Australia, Matthew Brownlie has lived in the UAE for the past 12 years and has been using technology to improve and grow businesses across different geographies for more than two decades. His most recent role was Managing Director, Middle East at Trapeze Group, a global supplier of intelligent transport and mobility technology. As part of his role, Matthew worked with enterprise and government clients on some of the Gulf’s most complex and impactful public transport projects. Prior to that he was Regional Manager, Middle East for global IT services and specialist consulting firm Sigtec.  Westcon-Comstor operates in more than 70 countries and Matthew will be responsible for the company’s offices in the UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.  With global revenue of US $3.42 billion in FY23, the company connects the world’s leading IT vendors with a channel of technology resellers, systems integrators and service providers.  “I’m excited to be joining Westcon-Comstor as we continue to grow our business across the region,” said Matthew. “In my new role, I am looking forward to adding further momentum to the company’s commitment to driving partner success. I am passionate about staying true to our mission of creating value for our partners and vendors in everything we do.”  “Matthew is a results-driven technology professional with over a decade of executive leadership experience and expertise in driving operational improvements and scaling businesses for growth, along with digital transformation projects and leading transformational change in complex and dynamic environments,” said Rakesh Parbhoo, Senior Vice President, Middle East and Africa, and Global CTO at Westcon-Comstor. “He is set to lead the region on a journey of further growth and transformation and will continue to embed a culture of delivering excellence. I’m thrilled to welcome him to the business.”

KlugKlug announces exponential growth targets by 2025

KlugKlug, a global SaaS platform for influencer marketing, has announced its plans to broaden its operational footprint and attain unprecedented growth by the conclusion of 2025. Throughout the preceding year, KlugKlug has achieved notable success, realizing nearly a twofold increase in revenue and client engagement, positioning the company as a key player in the influencer marketing industry. Presently, with a flourishing business approaching the $1 million mark, KlugKlug is aiming for a remarkable 10 to 12 times expansion by 2025. The company has strategically positioned itself in the market, garnering substantial momentum in the FMCG sector and establishing strong connections with Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands and long-tail influencers. As of October 2023, KlugKlug has established partnerships with 75 clients. The company is planning to significantly broaden its clientele, aiming to exceed 500 clients across diverse regions by the year 2025. Presently operational in India, Indonesia, and Dubai, KlugKlug is committed to expanding its presence to three pivotal regions by 2025—Southeast Asia (comprising Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines), the Middle East (encompassing Dubai, Abu Dhabi, GCC countries, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and North Africa).Commenting on this, Kalyan Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO of KlugKlug, stated, "As we look ahead, we're pretty stoked about where KlugKlug is heading. The growth we've seen recently is exceptional, but we're just getting started. Thinking about 10 to 12 times more growth by 2025 is pretty exciting. We're not just sticking to where we are – we're spreading our wings into new places, connecting with more people and brands. The plan is simple: keep doing awesome stuff in the influencer world and see where it takes us." Vaibhav Gupta, Co-Founder and CPO of KlugKlug said, "As we outline our future plans, we're keeping things straightforward and focused. It's not just about stretching our presence into Southeast Asia and the Middle East; it's about refining the way we operate. KlugKlug is more than a company; it's a positive force for change. We're enthusiastic about what lies ahead and how KlugKlug is positioning itself as a significant player in the influencer marketing scene."The exponential growth in client acquisition reflects KlugKlug's ability to foster strong and enduring relationships with its clients. The company's unique approach to influencer marketing has resonated with a diverse range of brands, from established FMCG giants to emerging D2C players. KlugKlug's expansion plans are not just about reaching new markets but also about deepening connections with clients and providing them with solutions tailored to their specific needs.Founded by Vaibhav Gupta and Kalyan Kumar, KlugKlug utilizes AI and machine learning-driven data to identify and explore influencers, deliver precise audience insights, and furnish intelligence regarding global influencers across popular social platforms. The platform presents an all-encompassing solution for campaign management, performance tracking, and data analysis, thereby enabling brands to engage in influencer marketing seamlessly.

90% of UAE consumers surveyed are at risk of responding to scammers

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Over-confidence is leaving consumers in UAE open to becoming victims of fraud, according to Visa’s annual Stay Secure study released today. Despite more than half of respondents (61% vs. 56% global average) claiming to be savvy enough to sidestep online and phone scams, the reality is that nine out of ten (90%; similar to global) are likely to disregard the warning signs that suggest online criminal activity.Conducted by Wakefield Research in countries across Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), Visa’s 2023 Stay Secure Study finds that just over one in two people (54%) in the UAE has been a victim of a scam at least once compared to the global average of 52%. Even more alarming is that 17% of the victims have been tricked multiple times, against the global average of 15%.“In today’s digital-first world, scams are evolving in sophistication with criminals using new approaches to trick unsuspecting consumers. Whether it’s a parcel held up at customs, a streaming subscription claiming to have expired, or a free voucher for a favorite brand, scammers are adopting extremely persuasive tactics to deceive their victims. With the rapid growth in digital payments, it is essential now more than ever that consumers in the UAE understand the language of fraud and act with a high level of caution. We thank our partners at Dubai Police for their support in bringing our important education campaign to local consumers,” explains Neil Fernandes, Visa's Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa.The Stay Secure Study is a part of Visa’s annual Stay Secure Campaign, which reflects Visa’s commitment to raising consumer awareness, strengthening education, and building confidence to combat social engineering threats. The campaign aims to pave the way for a secure and seamless digital payments experience.“Costly Confidence”: The Disconnect Between Awareness and ActionKey Findings of the Visa Stay Secure Study:Knowledgeable or naïve. It is concerning that those who consider themselves more knowledgeable are more likely to respond to a requested action from scammers compared to those who say they are less knowledgeable, including a positive news (79% to 74% for UAE vs global 74% to 67%) or urgent action (72% to 61% for UAE vs global 65% to 55%).People worry about the vulnerability of others. While respondents feel confident in their own vigilance, over half (51% vs. 52% globally) are concerned that their friends or families will fall for a scam email offering a free gift card or product from an online shopping site. Over a third (33%; vs 36% global) of respondents are concerned about children or minors, as well as retired people falling prey to online scams.What makes people suspicious. In addition to notices involving orders, product offers, or feedback, people are most suspicious of password requests. Less suspicious types of communications are updates regarding delivery or shipping (just 45% listed as a top three source of suspicion; 42% globally), marketing communications regarding a sale or new product offering (44% vs. global 41%), or an invitation to provide feedback on a recent experience (42% vs global 37%) – all of which can be used by scammers.Overlooking telltale signs. Only 60% (vs global 57%) reported looking to ensure a communication is sent from a valid email address, while 51% (vs global 52%) will check if the company name or logo was attached to the message. Fewer than half of correspondents look for an order number (40%; global 45%) or an account number (45%; global 43%). Interestingly, only 29% vs 33% globally look to ensure words are spelt correctly. Decoding The Language of FraudScammers try different approaches to craft messages that appear genuine and compel recipients to take immediate action. The Visa Stay Secure Study identified prevalent patterns in the language most associated with scams – and how vulnerable respondents in the surveyed countries are.Orchestrating Urgency: Cybercriminals often feign urgency to spur people into action, such as clicking a link or responding to a sender. Up to 37% of respondents (compared to 40% globally) will fall for messages about a security risk, such as a stolen password or a data breach, while a notice from a government entity or law enforcement can trick 35% (vs 36% global).  Sharing Positive News: 77% (vs 71% global) of respondents would take action if a message had a positive hook, like “free gift,” “you’ve been selected,” or “you’re a winner.” Gen Zers are more likely to act on a giveaway (38% vs 39% global) than a notice from the government (30% vs 31% global), while 42% (vs 44% global) of respondents would click on a link or reply to a message that offered a financial opportunity.Action Required: 66% (vs 60% globally) would respond to action-required phrases though respondents are most suspicious of requests to reset their password.Spot The Signs: Education and Awareness to Catch Scams in ActionThe survey corresponds with the launch of Visa's eight annual "Stay Secure" social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram (@VisaMiddleEast, @DubaiPolicehq) in partnership with Dubai Police.Consumers can better protect themselves by taking a few extra moments before clicking, including understanding the language scammers use.Among simple but effective best practices:Keep personal account information to yourself.Don’t click on links before verifying that they’ll take you where they say they will.Regularly check purchase alerts, which provide near real-time notification by text message or email of purchases made with your account.Call the number on corporate websites or the back of your credit and debit cards if you are unsure if a communication is valid.

ADNEC Group acquires French tour and holiday operator Karavel Group

ADNEC Group, the international business and leisure tourism group, has acquired Karavel, the French tourism group, from Equistone Partners Europe, one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors.Karavel is one of the largest tourism groups in France, offering travel packages to Europe, the Middle East and Africa through its online and offline distribution network.This acquisition reflects the active deployment of ADNEC Group’s strategy to geographically diversify its core sectors. It will strengthen the group's international expansion while enhancing Karavel’s growth and expansion into new markets and provide access to ADNEC Group’s portfolio of assets and expertise in the tourism sector. This strategic move will also support the tourism vision of Abu Dhabi to promote the emirate as a global destination for cultural, leisure, and business tourism.Karavel will join ADNEC Group’s established tourism portfolio which includes Tourism365 and its subsidiaries Capital Experience, Capital Travel, Capital Holidays, Etihad Holidays and Capital Drive, as well as driving greater economic impact to Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of ADNEC Group, said: “The acquisition of Karavel is an important strategic step for ADNEC Group as we deliver on our global expansion strategy and reaffirms our commitment to support the tourism objectives of Abu Dhabi. Karavel’s history of success in delivering tours and holidays to customers in France across destinations in Europe and the Caribbean complements ADNEC Group’s ambitions for growth in Europe where we already have a presence.“We see great synergies between our European and Middle Eastern tourism offerings, promoting cross-cultural holiday exchange, and will work closely with stakeholders including the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi to enhance our cluster and create a champion for tourism in Abu Dhabi.”Alain de Mendonca, CEO of Karavel said: “We are honoured to have been acquired by ADNEC Group at such an exciting stage in Abu Dhabi’s growth. The opportunities that come with joining ADNEC Group are significant, and we look forward to working together to bring our shared vision to life, delivering unforgettable holiday experiences and building a tourism brand which successfully bridges Europe and Abu Dhabi. We would like to thank Equistone Partners for their support and are very excited for the next stage in our journey.”Guillaume Jacqueau, Managing Partner and Country Head for France at Equistone Partners Europe, said: ”We are proud to have worked with Karavel to support its continued growth and maintain its strong identity as a leading European tourism platform. After providing the company with the necessary resources it needed during the COVID-19 pandemic to assure its developments, the group is now ready to take a decisive new step in its development. Thanks to our ongoing support, Karavel has enjoyed a remarkable turnaround, evolving into a dynamic group with promising international potential. We wish them all the best for the next stage of their journey with ADNEC Group.”Completion of the deal remains subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce announces establishment of CRBC

Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has announced the establishment of a new Business Council to represent the interests of Costa Rica’s business community in the emirate. The formation of the ‘Costa Rican Business Council in Dubai’ is a strategic move designed to enhance trade ties and strengthen connections between the two markets.The chamber welcomed a delegation featuring His Excellency Dr. Arnoldo André Tinoco, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica; His Excellency Francisco Chacón Hernández, Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica to the United Arab Emirates; and founding members of the council for a special meeting to discuss the council’s formation. The dialogue focused on strategies for collaboration to unlock the full potential of the new business council, which will deliver a host of benefits for companies in both Costa Rica and Dubai.His Excellency Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, stated: “The establishment of the Costa Rican Business Council in Dubai represents another significant step in enhancing the trade and investment relationship between the business communities in our respective markets. This collaborative effort comes as part of our ongoing drive to ensure a supportive, enabling, and world-class business environment in Dubai. We look forward to working together to boost bilateral trade and promote cross-border opportunities for business and investments.”The value of non-oil trade has been growing steadily and reached USD 58.7 million in 2022, representing an impressive annual growth rate of 19%. Bilateral trade and investments are set to increase further following the launch of the new Business Council. Earlier this year, Costa Rica also entered into preliminary CEPA negotiations with the UAE, paving the way for building a significant and influential platform that will further cement the economic relations between the two countries.Covering markets of strategic importance to Dubai, Business Councils serve as valuable platforms for companies in the UAE and abroad to connect, collaborate, and build mutually beneficial partnerships. Operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the councils drive advocacy efforts, secure legislative enhancements, and build bridges of cooperation with business communities across the globe.Business Councils are non-profit organisations comprising companies, business owners, and industry experts that represent the interests of companies from specific countries operating in Dubai. The councils work in cooperation with the chamber to promote bilateral trade and investments between businesses in Dubai and the market represented by each council.SHA

M2L Concepts to host inaugural Winter District at Jumeirah Emirates Towers

 M2L Concepts, a leader in entertainment, leisure and technology, is hosting the Winter District, a festive market and entertainment extravaganza set to captivate the heart of Dubai, in collaboration with Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Scheduled to take place from 14 December 2023 to 5 January 2024, from 2:00 pm to 2:00 am every day, the event is poised to be an unforgettable experience. Hosted at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Plaza Terrace, against the stunning backdrop of the iconic Museum of the Future, the Winter District promises an enchanting festive season for all. Entry to the event is free, with some activities carrying a fee, ensuring that the spirit of the season is accessible to everyone.The Winter District will feature an array of activities and experiences that cater to all age groups. From Christmas Trees to a snow fight zone, the festival is designed to capture the essence of winter joy. The stage will come alive with live music, complemented by a variety of food and beverage options and retail vendors. A special area will be set aside for entertainment for kids, including a Snow Play Area, opportunities to Meet & Greet Santa, a Carousel, and a Ball Pit, ensuring that the little ones have their share of festive fun.Adding to the festivities, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, known for its luxurious ambience, will host extraordinary Christmas and New Year's Eve experiences. The Winter District marks the first-ever such event at this location, promising a market that offers gourmet food and drink options, handmade crafts, artisanal gifts, and a plethora of activities including carnival games, a giant advent calendar, and a unique Chocolate Bar.Thomas Gateff, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at M2L Concepts expressed excitement about this new venture, stating, "After the resounding success of previous events like the Ramadan Majlis and the FIFA World Cup activities, which together welcomed over 40,000 visitors, M2L Concepts will recreate that magic at the same iconic location. We pride ourselves in creating memorable experiences for all who come to visit our events. We are confident that the Winter District will be another milestone in our journey, bringing joy and festive cheer to Dubai."The event is curated to transform the Emirates Towers Plaza Terrace into a winter wonderland, complete with a huge Christmas tree, gigantic snowmen, and festive lights, providing perfect 'gram-worthy moments against the views of the Museum of the Future. To keep visitors warm and satisfied, a selection of food trucks will be offering delicious bites and sips.As excitement builds, more details about the Winter District are set to be announced in the coming weeks. M2L Concepts, known for its innovative approach to temporary activations, is dedicated to crafting unique and impactful experiences, and the Winter District is poised to be a highlight of Dubai's festive season.

iCubesWire elevates Erick Maalouli as Business Director for Dubai, KSA markets

iCubesWire, a leading global Ad Tech platform, has announced the elevation of Erick Maalouli to lead its business development and strategic planning operations in the Dubai and Saudi Arabia markets. This move is aligned with iCubesWire’s strategic expansion plans and its commitment to asserting its dominance in the region. Erick Maaloulitakes the lead in one of the most fast-paced industries as the Business Director for iCubesWire in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. With a career spanning over 15 years in media and sales management, Erick has a proven track record of driving growth and innovation. His tenure at organizations like Choueiri Group andBayut&Dubizzleis marked by transformative leadership and strategic prowess in marketing, client servicing, and team management. Commenting on the role, Sanjeeda Khan, Co-Founder&Chief Growth Officer, MENA region, iCubesWire, states, “Erick’s elevation is followed by our focus on creating strategic and innovative leadership. Erick’s deep expertise and strategic approach to the Ad Tech industry make him the ideal choice to drive our growth initiatives in these key markets. His leadership is critical as we continue strengthening our market share and delivering cutting-edge solutions.” Erick’s appointment at iCubesWirespeaks of his exceptional ability to create strong client relationships, spearhead effective sales operations, and consistently achieve customer retention success. Under his leadership, iCubesWire has seen a substantial expansion in the MENA region, onboarding renowned clients across diverse sectors and strengthening its position as a leader in ad tech solutions. Erick Maalouli, the appointed Business Director, expressed his strategic outlook, “I am delighted to take on this challenge. With an emphasis on leveraging our advanced Ad Tech platform, creative content studio capabilities, and expansive influencer network, we are poised to enhance our offerings and deliver superior value to our clientele in the region. Our goal is to strengthen iCubesWire’s leadership in the marketplace and drive impactful ad tech solutions.” iCubesWire is known for its comprehensive ad tech solutions, including a content production studio and influencer marketing expertise. With a global presence that includes six international offices, a team of over 350 digital experts, and partnerships with over 500 esteemed brands, iCubesWire is eyeing unprecedented growth under the leadership of Erick Maalouli.

Vistage solidifies Middle East presence with new leadership group in Dubai

Vistage, the premier global executive coaching organization, has announced a significant milestone in its international growth with the launch of a new group in Dubai. This expansion further solidifies Vistage's commitment to fostering leadership excellence in the Middle East, showcasing the organization's global impact with a community of 45,000 members across 35 countries.Nathan Farrugia, a driving force in Vistage's Middle East expansion, has played a pivotal role in establishing the organization's presence in the region. Having successfully launched two CEO groups in Dubai in 2022, following accomplishments in Malta, Farrugia's leadership and strategic vision have been instrumental in this continued growth.Continuing the momentum of expansion, Vistage is pleased to introduce Simon Lewis, a distinguished leader with over 30 years of experience, who will chair the newly formed third group in Dubai. Comprising 12 CEOs and business owners, Lewis's wealth of leadership acumen and expertise will undoubtedly enhance the group's dynamics.“Navigating the intricate landscape of the Middle East business environment has been an exciting journey for Vistage. The launch of our new leadership group in Dubai represents not only a significant milestone but a testament to our commitment to cultivating leadership excellence in this dynamic region. The success of our previous ventures in Dubai and Malta fuels our optimism, and I am confident that under the leadership of Simon Lewis, this new group will flourish, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of Vistage's global community.", said Nathan Farrugia, Managing Director, Vistage.With a robust community of 45,000 members across 35 countries, Vistage is renowned for providing unparalleled executive coaching and mentorship, featuring:Personalized Executive Coaching: Led by seasoned leaders like Simon Lewis. Expansive Global Network: Connecting leaders in diverse industries and cultures. Advanced Learning Resources: Exclusive access to innovative business tools and strategies.Members of Vistage are known to consistently outperform their peers, emphasising the effectiveness of the organization's coaching approach.The establishment of the new group in Dubai, under the leadership of Simon Lewis, reflects Vistage's ongoing commitment to expanding its footprint in the Middle East. With plans for additional groups in the future, Vistage aims to become a pivotal force in shaping business leadership in the region.Vistage extends an invitation to CEOs and business executives eager to elevate their leadership journey. Membership in Vistage offers access to a global network of experienced leaders and a wealth of resources essential for success in today's competitive landscape.

Wallan Trading Company celebrates partnership with Renault

Riyadh: Wallan Trading Company a leading player in the Saudi automotive sector has signed a strategic partnership with Renault Group. The partnership will see Wallan Trading Company serve as the official distributor of Renault Group’s world-class products and services in the Kingdom.The agreement was announced at a special ceremony hosted in Riyadh on 4 December 2023, with the engagement bringing French and Saudi dignitaries and representatives of both entities together to mark the launch of the new partnership. Notable attendees and guests included Jerome Pannaud, Managing Director of operations in the Africa-Middle East and Asia Pacific region, Renault; and Fahd bin Saad Al-Wallan, Chairman of Wallan Trading Company. During the ceremony, the Wallan Trading Company presented its plans for the future, which include opening 6 showrooms and 10 maintenance centers in different cities by the end of 2024 that will offer sales and spare parts services.Jerome Pannaud, Managing Director of Operations in the Africa-Middle East and Asia Pacific region, Renault, said: “Saudi Arabia is home to a sophisticated auto industry, with Saudi consumers being some of the most discerning auto enthusiasts in the world.A leading market with a growing presence on the global stage, Saudi Arabia is of the utmost importance to us. We are pleased to have partnered with Wallan Trading Company, a leading proponent of Saudi auto excellence. Wallan’s proud history, vast resources, and expansive network make the company the perfect partner for us a partner that enables us to serve our customers better in the Kingdom and wider region.” He added: “Our strategic partnership will increase our sales in the Saudi market by introducing leading-edge offerings, including our latest models, uniquely designed to meet the needs, preferences, and demands of our customers. We will also work closely with Wallan Trading Company to support and empower employees with greater access to advanced technologies and value-added services to deliver an enhanced customer experience.”Fahad Al-Wallan, Chairman of Wallan Trading Company, said: “We are delighted to have established a strategic partnership with the Renault Group, whose cars are renowned for their advanced designs and innovative technologies. This alliance between our companies will enable us to offer the best products and services to the automotive market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.He added: “We are excited to explore the opportunities ahead. We plan to expand our reach during the coming period by opening more advanced centers in several regions so that Renault can remain close to its customers and provide greater access to the most innovative products, services, and spare parts”.

SME sector role in UAE’s economic growth receives top recognition at CF2SGFA

Dubai, UAE: In line with its contribution to the thriving landscape of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Century Financial, a renowned investment specialist in the region, has bestowed prestigious honors upon the finalists of the SME Golden Frame Awards.Part of the Gulf Business Awards, the special segment of Century Financial SME Golden Frame Awards, stands as a testament to the integral role played by UAE-based SMEs in bolstering the economic performance and growth of the country and the wider GCC region. The SME Golden Frame Awards represent a strategic, multi-faceted effort aimed at providing extended support to foster visionary leadership, creativity, responsibility, and ambition. The auspicious recognition was conferred on SMEs that are pioneers and leaders in innovation, business strategy, product delivery, sustainability, and customer service, among other crucial factors.Launched in November 2022, the initiative attracted an overwhelming response from homegrown SMEs, receiving over 50 expertly and creatively crafted award entries across categories. Seven outstanding winners stood out from this pool of entries after weeks of careful evaluation by a seasoned judging panel comprising regional industry leaders.The ShowstoppersRetail Company of the Year - GMGDisruptive SME of the year - Polynome EventsSocial Innovation Excellence Award - Butterfly Social TechnologiesAgriBusiness Leader of the year - Export Trading GroupInnovative SME of the year - Petrafos Energy & Downtown Reality Real Estate BrokerageSustainable SME of the year - Healthy Pop foodsPresenting the awards, Bal Krishen, Chairman and CEO of Century Financial, expressed, “The Golden Frame Awards is a timely initiative that seeks to not just motivate and inspire homegrown businesses but to encourage them to continue developing people-driven solutions that ultimately make a difference. Our overall objective is to help the regional SME sector to scale up sustainably by recognizing these creative breakthrough innovators who are making disruptive moves in their respective fields.”Sharad V K the Marketing Director of Century Financial, added, “As a pioneering investment services company in the UAE, Century Financial has always cherished the values of innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. The SME Golden Frame Awards is a unique celebration spotlighting the promising SMEs that drive our nation's growth and prosperity. We introduced the Golden Frame Awards for SMEs in partnership with Gulf Business in 2022. It was a resounding success, setting the stage for this year's equally triumphant 2nd edition.”SME landscapeThe Golden Frame Awards comes on the back of a burgeoning SME industry as the UAE targets to increase the number of SMES from 557,000 as at the end of 2022 to one million by the end of 2030. This, according to the Ministry of Economy, is part of the UAE’s strategy to boost the contribution of SMEs to the economy.As the regional SME sector continues to demonstrate significant growth and impact over the last few years and further accounting for more than 94 percent of companies operating in the country, the Golden Frame Awards will serve as a boost to the UAE’s start-up ecosystem. This, according to Krishen, has risen in tandem with the increase in digitisation in key sectors such as retail, services, e-commerce, and government.

MENA shoppers spent 40% more during White Friday week

The last White Friday special offers are still hanging on the websites of many marketplaces and online stores while brands are ready to summarize the results of the most important sale of the year. According to the Admitad affiliate network estimates, this year MENA customers spent 40% more during White Friday compared to a “quiet” period. Customers were most active in buying clothes and footwear, electronics, household goods, toys and beauty products.While searching for trends, Admitad analyzed over 153 million online orders of more than 2800 brands worldwide and over 5,6 million online orders in MENA.The sale was successful but quietOnline sales during White Friday hit records again this year, but it's clear that the pendulum of excitement around the sale is slowing down every year. According to Admitad, the global increase in sales during the week of White Friday compared to last year was only 8% in the number of sales and 9% in the sum of sales. The MENA market is in perfect sync with global dynamics.At the same time, the importance of White Friday itself for MENA users is gradually decreasing. Last year, the jump in the number of sales compared to the "quiet period" amounted to 35%. This year, shoppers increased their activity by only 40% despite the overall active growth of Ecommerce sector YoY. It seems that their attention was diverted by the Single’s Day sale and Cyber Monday following the Friday.Also, shoppers are more likely to say that White Friday discounts are not as tempting as they used to be. The constant stream of sales has taught customers to scrupulously study the offers from brands, check discounts for truthfulness, juggle with coupons and promo codes and not to give in to the first temptation, but to wait for a really profitable purchase.What types of goods were in high demand?Marketplaces, which accounted for more than 60% of purchases worldwide last year, only strengthened their dominance this year, with more than 67% of all online orders made from them during White Friday week. In MENA, they have the same level of dominance and attracted about 69% of purchases during the sale week.These product categories, according to Admitad's calculations, attracted the largest share of sales:Electronics - 24%Fashion - 17,2%Home & Garden - 13%Toys & Hobbies - 7%Beauty & Health - 6,7%Tools - 6,5%Automobiles, Parts & Accessories - 6,3%Sports & Entertainment - 4,5%Home Renovation - 4%Others - 10,8%If we compare these stats with the results of last year's sale, the orders of fashion, toys and home goods sagged significantly, while electronics and tools gained in popularity. There is also a new leader in the top - “Hope Renovation” category.These major product categories showed the most significant growth compared to “quiet” period:Tools +105%Toys & Hobbies +65%Electronics +59%Sports & Entertainment +55%Home & Garden +45%Automobiles, Parts & Accessories +41%Best sources of customersThe impact of cashback services on MENA customers' purchases remains very significant - shoppers applied cashback to more than 20% of their online purchases again this year. The possibility to get cashback from a purchase for many users becomes a determining factor when choosing a store or even a particular product.Content platforms and online media ones again appeared to be one of the main sources of White Friday orders this year and attracted more than 19% of all orders. They are followed by contextual and targeted ads (17%), social media (12,5%), coupon services (9%), browsers (5%) and mobile apps (4%). Affiliate marketing has also shown its growing popularity, with 20% more brands building it into their marketing strategy than last year. Companies find it convenient to use a tool that allows them to cover all possible sources of traffic and pay only for results. The results of affiliate partners who attract orders for remuneration also improved this year - their profits jumped by 43% compared to earnings during a “quiet” period.New Year sales are right around the corner. It is important for brands to consider the results of Single's Day and White Friday in preparation for them.

58% of companies in Saudi Arabia plan to outsource cybersecurity

Company bosses are boosting their cybersecurity following an alarming increase in cyberattacks, a new study commissioned by Kaspersky has found. The data shows that 71% of companies in Saudi Arabia suffered at least one cyber incident over the last two years. One of the main reasons cited was the shortage of qualified IT security staff (34%). Among measures to strengthen cybersecurity, overall up to 58% of respondents claimed that their companies plan to invest in different forms of outsourcing cybersecurity in the next 12 to 18 months.Kaspersky conducted a study to learn the opinions of IT security professionals working for SMEs and corporations worldwide regarding the impact people have on cybersecurity in a company. The survey gathered information about various groups of people who influence cybersecurity, looking at both internal staff, and external actors. It also analyzed levels and types of online safety company bosses believed warranted investment.In Saudi Arabia, more than three quarters (71%) of respondents reported that their company had experienced cybersecurity incidents within the last two years, with 75% of these judged as ‘serious’. Some said the main reasons for cyber incidents occurring in their company were a lack of necessary tools for threat detection (22%) and a shortage of internal IT security staff (34%).The respondents indicated that a variety of measures would be appropriate to address the gaps in cybersecurity. Specifically, 10% said they would like to see more external specialists brought in. One quarter of organizations (24%) plan to invest in third-party professional services, and as many as 42% of respondents are aiming to outsource their cybersecurity to MSP/MSSP (Managed Service Providers/Managed Security Service Provider). The most likely industries to invest in third-party services in the near future are critical infrastructure, energy and oil & gas companies.At the same time, many organizations plan to invest in automating their cybersecurity processes. In the next 12 months almost half of businesses globally (53%) have concrete plans to implement software that automatically manages their cybersecurity, while 13% are discussing the subject. “The automation and outsourcing of cybersecurity tasks are major areas that organizations struggling because of a lack of experts and alert fatigue can focus on. Turning to external experts, — whether it’s outsourcing, to manage the whole cybersecurity system, or adopting expert-level services to assist the IT Security department — is the optimal solution for many. Cybersecurity vendors, Managed Service Providers, Managed Security Service Providers are the companies that have relevant expertise, all the necessary tools, and can manage cybersecurity effectively for customers of any size. Additionally, they can provide the customer with various options, such as Managed Detection and Response services, where SOC experts continuously carry out monitoring, or assistance in case of emergency like investigating a particular incident. Automation tools provided by cybersecurity vendors is another way an organization can strengthen its cybersecurity. For example, our XDR and MDR has out-of-the-box automation through investigation and response playbooks and embedded AI, enabling clients and partners to significantly automate their information security processes. With all possible options provided by experts, each company can determine the scope of services that are needed, based on cybersecurity gaps or desired development trajectory,” comments Ivan Vassunov, VP, Corporate Products at Kaspersky.To cope with a shortage of tools or IT Security employees in-house, Kaspersky recommends:Make use of the expertise offered by managed security providers offerings. For example, Kaspersky Managed Detection and Response raises the overall protection level of an organization by monitoring of telemetry coming from the company's IT network 24/7, and helps with the development of in-house processes and best practices while following the incident response guidelines provided by Kaspersky experts. Additionally, the AI assistant in MDR automatically handles about half of all security alerts to ensure maximum protection.Implementing Kaspersky Professional Services optimizes the workload of a struggling IT department. Kaspersky experts assess the state of your current IT security, then deploy and configure Kaspersky software quickly and properly to ensure hassle-free ongoing performance. And Kaspersky Premium Support speeds up and boosts the efficiency of any Kaspersky-based IT security infrastructure.For SMBs that lack the budget to purchase some cybersecurity products and hire dedicated IT security professionals, just one IT administrator (even part time or outsourced) is enough to easily manage Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud through a console with numerous automated scripts.Invest in cybersecurity trainings so your current IT security specialists’ skills are always up-to-date and equipped to handle anything the cyber threat landscape throws at your organization. Kaspersky Cybersecurity for IT Online training helps build up simple yet effective IT security best practices and simple incident response scenarios for general IT administrators. And Kaspersky Expert Training equips your security team with the latest knowledge and skills to manage and mitigate threats, protecting your organization from even the most sophisticated attacks.The full report and more insights on the human impact on cybersecurity in business are available via the link.

Vivek Mansingh takes on as Chairman of Advisory Board at iAccel Gulf Business

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: iAccel Gulf Business Incubator (iAccel GBI), a catalyst in UAE’s dynamic startup ecosystem announces the appointment of Dr. Vivek Mansingh, a Stanford alumnus and global leader as the new Chairman of the Advisory Board. The recent appointment bestows iAccel Gulf Business Incubator with a significant edge, marking a revolutionary move that prioritizes innovation and governance, thereby enhancing its strategic approach.Founded in UAE in 2023 under the Hamdan Incubation Program, iAccel Gulf Business plans to expand its footprint to Saudi Arabia in the next 18 to 24 months. Under Dr. Mansingh’s visionary advisory, the Dubai SME-certified company is looking forward to shaping and refining its long-term vision, providing insight into industry trends, global expansion, and investment strategies, while ambitiously meeting its short-term goals.Having spent almost 4 decades immersed in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Silicon Valley and India serving as an innovation evangelist, Dr. Mansingh is one of the few global leaders who has worked with Steve Jobs, David Packard, Bill Hewlett, Michael Dell, and John Chambers among other distinguished world-class leaders. With a talent of this caliber on the roster, iAccel GBI is anticipated to bring about a groundbreaking transformation as it works on strengthening the emirate's role as a vibrant talent hub in the startup ecosystem and solidifying its position as one of the leading global cities, aligning with the goals outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33.Commenting on the momentous development, iAccel GBI Founder, Deepak Ahuja said, “Dr. Mansingh's wealth of experience and strategic insights will undoubtedly propel iAccel GBI to new heights, fostering substantial growth in our journey towards enhancing UAE's dynamic startup ecosystem. His leadership will be instrumental in shaping iAccel GBI into a global innovation powerhouse. I am grateful to Dr. Mansingh for coming on board as Chairman to the Advisory Board and sharing in our vision to make an impact as we solidify iAccel GBI’s position as a leader in the world of entrepreneurship.”Dr. Vivek Mansingh, Chairman of the Advisory Board at iAccel Gulf Business Incubator said, " It brings me great joy to formally collaborate with iAccel GBI. With over four decades immersed in the entrepreneurial realm, I eagerly anticipate sharing strategic insights to navigate the UAE business landscape. Our primary goal is to articulate a roadmap, outlining iAGBI's vision, and foster a vibrant, enduring environment while we focus on network expansion and enhanced financial governance for flourishing businesses and driving sustainable growth, leveraging the UAE's immense potential.”Together with the new role Dr. Mansingh also launched his book “Achieving Meaningful Success” in Dubai, which has been praised by Ratan Tata, Narayan Murthy, Kiran Majumdar-Shaw, Sadhguru, John Chambers, Dr Devi Shetty, Rahul Dravid, Prakash Padukone, Vinita Bali, Vani Kola, and more. These distinguished people have achieved amazing success by passionately pursuing their goal-based journeys and have underlined the ideas shared in the book.Aiming to be one of UAE’s leading ecosystem players, iAccel Gulf Business Incubator offers a plethora of opportunities for startups from across the world. The company has a network of close to 300 angel investors, with five venture capital firms and 12 HNIs and family offices working with them.iAccel GBI collaborates extensively with academia to foster an entrepreneurial and innovative culture among students in leading UAE universities.Dedicated to fostering gender diversity in entrepreneurship, iAccel GBI will be introducing iThrive, a platform to offer 360-degree solutions to women-led startups. The objective is to empower visionary women to thrive in the business landscape, driving innovation, and contributing to a more inclusive and dynamic startup ecosystem. In addition, iAccel GBI is actively drawing in interest from UAE national talent, providing incubation and fostering initiatives to nurture their entrepreneurial potential.

Dubai to host landmark event, with 300+ attendees & international investors

The Region’s first Freedom Business Summit will unite over 300 International Investors, Government Officials, Future Thinkers, and Global Citizenship Experts in the UAE to unveil Indonesia's prosperous investment opportunities and explore Financial Sovereignty by building economic empowerment across borders.DUBAI: The Freedom Business Summit, the UAE's premier one-day event dedicated to Global Citizenship and Business Freedom, is scheduled to take place on December 7th at Dubai Knowledge Park.The highly sought-after event is a must-attend for those seeking the best options in second citizenship, residency programs, international island investments, legal offshore strategies, sovereignty, Plan B, and a location-independent lifestyle.Attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to connect with a select network of distinguished individuals, including renowned citizenship industry experts, global expats, international investors, government representatives, real estate developers, high-net-worth individuals, as well as top executives (C-Level) and prominent crypto investors.The event features an exclusive lineup of esteemed speakers, including Kristin Surak, a highly acclaimed author and professor at the London School of Economics, Paul Bryson, the accomplished Managing Director of Virtuozone, Pandu Biasramadhan, a Senior Consulting Manager at Incorp ID, Indonesia, and Alex Chehade, the esteemed General Manager of Binance, to name just a few.This year, the Freedom Business Summit places a special focus on Investment Opportunities in Indonesia and the Golden Visa Launch.Explore the unique investment potential of Indonesian islands, including Bali real estate investments, and gain exclusive insights into Indonesia's recently launched Golden Visa program, offering attendees a pathway to residency through strategic investments.In fact, visitors will have the unique opportunity to gain insights from Indonesian government officials and policymakers on the latest regulations, incentives, and opportunities.The Freedom Business Summit offers keynote presentations and panel discussions that delve into topics often overlooked by mainstream media, including:International Investments: Uncover offshore investment strategies, high ROI portfolios, overseas investment opportunities, and real estate prospects in Bali and Indonesia.Global Citizenship: Explore optimal pathways to a second passport, citizenship through investment programs, and residency opportunities in desirable locations.Sovereign Lifestyle: Learn to create a Plan B, safeguard your assets through offshore banking, select the best incorporation jurisdictions, fine-tune tax planning, and implement geo-arbitrage strategies.These sessions will be complemented by in-depth explorations of:Global Mobility for MillionairesExploring Second Passport OptionsInvestment Opportunities in IndonesiaBali as a Real Estate Investment Haven"We're thrilled to pioneer a groundbreaking gathering, uniting global investors, experts, and visionaries for an unprecedented exploration of international investments and second citizenship options. With a special focus on Indonesia's thriving opportunities and Bali real estate investments, we're set to deliver an incredible experience designed to help attendees forge a path toward a more empowered and secure financial future." Adds, Denys Dovgal the Founder of the Freedom Business Summit. The Freedom Business Summit is Co-organized with Alex Villas. Alex Villas is the industry-leading real estate company in Bali with a mission to bring affordable luxury living to the masses.

Kris Fade becomes newest brand ambassador in LG’s "Life's Good" campaign

Dubai, United Arab Emirates:– LG Electronics (LG) is thrilled to announce its partnership with radio personality, Netflix star, and entrepreneur Kris Fade, who joins the esteemed roster of global Brave Optimist brand ambassadors in LG's groundbreaking "Life's Good" campaign.The one-year collaboration sees Fade standing shoulder to shoulder with other global superstars, with LG planning to release meaningful collaboration content on its social media channels from various influencers, through which the company aims to amplify the message, that together we can foster inspiration and hope among customers globally by embracing a “Life’s Good” notion.Crucially, the collection of influencers that LG has partnered with all embody the spirit of "brave optimists": including Jenny Park, a Nigerian-Korean fashion model who carves her own path, with confidence in herself and the future; Australian national swimmer and singer-songwriter Cody Simpson; and Willow Smith, a highly-respected performer in her own right, and the daughter of renowned singer and Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Will Smith.Fade's journey to success has been marked by overcoming adversity and rejection, shaping his own path with unwavering optimism and determination, and finding love and joy in everyday moments with a “Life’s Good” outlook.He said: "I'm incredibly proud to join hands with LG and be part of the 'Life's Good' campaign, an initiative that fosters inspiration and hope, not just in the UAE but globally. Through my personal story, I hope to encourage others to embrace optimism and resilience in their lives."As part of his role as an LG Brave Optimist brand ambassador, Fade will share an intimate story from a pivotal time in his life that helped shape his spirit and success. The video capturing this powerful narrative is set to be released later this year, promising a heartfelt and inspiring journey.LG's "Life's Good" campaign, introduced in August, is an integral part of the company's vision to transform into a "smart life solution company", with the Brave Optimist initiative shining a light on the value of uniting together during this critical time. This campaign represents LG's commitment to evolving with the changing needs of customers by providing innovative and engaging customer experiences.“Life's Good” activations have been steadily rolling out – aligning with LG's dynamic and youthful brand identity unveiled earlier in the year – including the "LG Finger Heart Filter" and "Life's Good Sticker Package" designed for major social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.Sa Nyong Kim, President of LG Electronics Gulf, said: “LG's commitment to enhancing customer communication, by sharing core values and the message of ‘Life's Good’, is an exercise in optimism. Our partnership with the renowned, empathetic, and resilient Kris Fade, whose message will be delivered to our customers worldwide, underscores LG's dedication to spreading positivity and inspiration, demonstrating that, together, life truly can be good, and optimism is the key to unlocking boundless potential.”

Microsoft unveils path to accelerating sustainability with AI in the Middle East

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Microsoft has released a whitepaper titled "Accelerating Sustainability with AI: A Playbook" ahead of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), taking place at Expo City in Dubai from November 30th to December 12th. The playbook outlines a comprehensive strategy for governments, businesses, and civil society organizations to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in propelling the transition to a net-zero, climate-resilient, and nature-positive future.Commenting on the release of the paper, Samer Abu-Ltaif, CVP and President of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMA) at Microsoft said, “Climate change is the defining issue of our generation, impacting our communities and natural environment like never before. We are at a critical moment for environmental sustainability, and it is vital that government leaders, businesses, and civil society work hand in hand and use every tool available to us, including AI. In line with our commitment to share our learnings, innovations, and best practices with decision-makers, researchers, data scientists, developers, and others, we hope this will serve as an important resource and a catalyst for how to unlock the full potential of AI for a sustainable future."The playbook highlights the three unique, and most crucial abilities, that AI possesses for overcoming bottlenecks that exist on the path to net zero. This includes the ability to discern patterns, predict outcomes, and optimize performances in complex systems; the ability to accelerate the discovery and development of solutions like low-carbon materials, and climate-resilient crops; and finally the ability empower the sustainability workforce of the future.Juan M. Lavista Ferres, Vice President and Chief Data Scientist of the AI for Good Lab at Microsoft – and one of the authors of “Accelerating Sustainability with AI: A Playbook,” - noted that while AI is already contributing to sustainability-related discoveries, its true transformative potential is only just beginning to be realized. “The challenge now is to prime the global technology, energy, and policy landscape to encourage AI innovation. This will enable the deployment of solutions that accelerate decarbonization, which will enable the development of even more sustainable AI operations, and in turn, can enable AI to scale the deployment of more sustainability solutions. It is a continuous cycle of innovation and progress.”Microsoft’s playbook offers a five-point approach to help achieve this continuous cycle which includes: investing in AI to accelerate sustainability solutions; developing digital and data infrastructure for the inclusive use of AI for sustainability; minimizing resource use in AI operations; advancing AI policy principles and governance for sustainability; and building workforce capacity to use AI for sustainability.Microsoft will showcase the playbook at COP28, where the company is participating as a Climate Supporter and Climate Innovator partner in a dedicated booth, along with 20 of its global partners. The company will showcase how its Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability suite is building AI into many of its products and solutions to help customers make more impactful decisions toward net-zero goals. It will also unveil how its AI for Earth and AI for Good programs are helping to place the latest AI technologies into the hands of changemakers globally, who are developing innovative solutions to address many environmental challenges.Discover Microsoft's latest sustainability innovations at Booth #70 in Hall 1 at the Technology and Innovation Hub in the Green Zone. To learn more about the insights in Microsoft’s AI playbook, click here.

Lulu Group and SirajPower forge a green alliance

Manama, Bahrain - Lulu Group, a leading GCC retail chain, is excited to announce the expansion of its partnership with SirajPower, the GCC’s leading distributed solar energy provider in the region, further strengthening its commitment to environmental sustainability and green initiatives.Following their successful partnership in the UAE, Lulu Group has entered into a long-term solar lease agreement with SirajPower, facilitating the installation of cutting-edge 10MWp solar rooftop systems across six prominent locations of Lulu Hypermarkets in Bahrain.The comprehensive solar capacity will be distributed among strategic locations, including Lulu Hypermarkets in Riffa and Hidd, the Ramli Mall at A’ali, the Lulu Dana Mall in Sanabis, and the Lulu Logistic warehouses in Sitra. Al Namal Group, a leading local partner in Construction and contracting, real estate, property development and management, health, and hospitality divisions, will provide valuable expertise and services for the installation of these solar systems. These cutting-edge solar panels will generate about 17GWh of clean energy annually, reducing approximately 12,078 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. This will help Lulu Group achieve its sustainability goals and support the Kingdom of Bahrain’s clean energy vision.The partnership was commemorated during a signing ceremony at Lulu Group’s headquarters in Bahrain, graced by the presence of Lulu Group Director Mr. Juzer Rupawala; Laurent Longuet, Chief Executive of SirajPower; David Auriau, Director and Board Member of SirajPower; Jeeben Varghese Kurian, Executive Director of Al Namal Group and other senior officials from both entities.Juzer Rupawala, Lulu Group Director, commenting on the partnership: “Lulu has always been at the forefront of adopting sustainable options, and our partnership with SirajPower to bring solar energy into our power mix is a conscious choice to align ourselves with the Kingdom’s ambitious environmental goals to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030,“This strategic step is part of a series of affirmative actions that we firmly believe will not only benefit the environment but also contribute to the well-being of our planet,” Rupawala added.Laurent Longuet, CEO of SirajPower said: ‘’We are thrilled to announce our expanding collaboration with Lulu Group as we venture into a remarkable 10MWp solar project in Bahrain. Lulu Group has been an integral partner for SirajPower, and our initial collaboration resulted in the successful completion of the solar carport installation at Lulu Group's Dubai Silicon Central Hypermarket, UAE which continues to produce sustainable energy to this day.” “Our most recent solar project in Bahrain represents a significant milestone in our partnership with Lulu Group and showcases our commitment to developing and delivering clean energy solutions that will support the Kingdom’s ambitious goal of generating 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2035. Together with Al Namal Group, we expect to create a more sustainable future for Bahrain, and look forward to making a lasting impact," Laurent added. Jeeben Varghese Kurian, Executive Director of Al Namal Group commented: “We are thrilled to be part of this remarkable project. We as a group have always been keen in the renewable energy sector and were one of the very first to be approved as solar contractors here in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It has always been our goal as a group to contribute to the Kingdom's future vision and we are happy to play a part in its sustainable energy goals.”With this groundbreaking accord, Lulu Group sets an inspiring example for other regional retailers, showcasing its proactive approach towards environmental responsibility and embracing renewable energy solutions to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. The partnership with SirajPower underscores Lulu's unwavering commitment to fostering a more sustainable and greener future for Bahrain, in line with the nation's environmental objectives.

Iconic culinary experience: The Big Chill Café's grand debut in Dubai Hills mall

Dubai, UAE: – The Big Chill Café, an iconic name in the culinary world, proudly announces the grand opening of its fifteenth restaurant, marking its inaugural international venture in the vibrant Dubai Hills Mall. Founded 23 years ago and celebrated for its soul-satisfying, Trattoria-style cuisine, the Big Chill Café has become a household name, and its newest endeavor is set to deliver the same heartwarming experience to Dubai.Nestled within the lively Dubai Hills Mall, The Big Chill Café welcomes patrons with its signature warm interiors. Adorned with rustic brick-clad walls showcasing vintage movie posters from the owners' private collection, the restaurant exudes a cool and trendy vibe. The spacious venue creates a perfect backdrop for friends and families to enjoy their extensive menu, offering an array of delectable dishes. The Big Chill Café's cuisine takes center stage, presenting an expansive range of food items that caters to all tastes. From the much-celebrated Pasta, Risotto, and Pizza to an exquisite range of handcrafted desserts and artisanal ice creams, every dish is a testament to the brand's commitment to quality and flavor. Patrons can gorge on the irresistible Viennese Chocolate Cake, the refreshing Summer Fruit Bavarian, or the decadent Mississippi Mud Pie.Kickstart the day at The Big Chill Café by diving into the classic charm of the Full English breakfast or embark on a flavorful journey with their exotic Breakfast Pizza. Moreover, patrons can also indulge in the magic of homemade ice cream, carefully crafted with the finest ingredients. From the luxurious Coffee Toffee Crunch to the irresistible Ferrero Rocher, the rich flavors cater to every sweet craving. Paired with sensational Milkshakes and sinful Sundaes, Big Chill café offers a dessert experience like no other.Looking back on the incredible journey of The Big Chill Café, the founders express their enthusiasm for introducing their café to Dubai. “Bringing 23 years of culinary love to Dubai Hills Mall is a dream come true for us. The Big Chill Café isn't just a restaurant; it's a continuation of our passion, a celebration of gourmet dishes, and an embrace of warm hospitality. Join us in creating new memories and savoring the flavors that have defined our legacy.”  Indulge in a culinary journey at The Big Chill café that originated as a dessert haven in 2000. Dive into the rich flavors of the Mississippi Mud Pie, and explore the innovative Brotchen Pizza Rolls, a delightful blend of bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, jalapenos, and cheese. Savour the exotic Peri Peri Prawns, featuring chargrilled prawns bathed in a spicy and tangy Portuguese sauce. The menu also includes other classics like several pasta options and the Angus Steak Sandwich, a symphony of Australian Angus beef, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, and mustard, all nestled in toasted ciabatta bread. The Big Chill Cafe promises a great gourmet adventure where every dish is crafted to perfection. As The Big Chill Café puts down its roots in Dubai, it invites food enthusiasts to embark on a gastronomic journey and promises to be an experience that captivates the senses. Explore new and delectable delights at The Big Chill Café, now open at Dubai Hills Mall.

Etihad to fly big bird to the Big Apple

Abu Dhabi, UAE – Etihad Airways is delighted to announce it will start flying its A380 double-decker to New York JFK from 22 April, 2024.Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, says: “We’re thrilled to start flying our remarkable A380 across the Atlantic, and we know our guests love the onboard experience. Whether they are flying in Economy, Business, First or the three-room suite in the sky, The Residence, they will enjoy elevated levels of service from our dedicated crew, and ensure they arrive in the city that never sleeps refreshed and relaxed. We know this is important for all our guests, not least our corporate customers, and the timing and comfort provided by the A380 means they can arrive fresh and ready for their business appointments.“Putting the A380 on the popular New York route makes sense as we satisfy customer demand for more capacity, further growing our expanding network. The fact that our new route to Boston, Etihad’s fourth US gateway, will open on 31 March, three weeks before our A380 starts flying to New York, underlines our ambitious growth plans.”The introduction of the A380 marks a significant enhancement to Etihad's capacity in the crucial US market, connecting to the broader GCC and Indian subcontinent. It will further attract an increased number of visitors to sample the attractions of the vibrant city of Abu Dhabi.The A380 will operate on one of the two daily Etihad flights to New York. The other daily flight will be operated by a 787-9 featuring First, Business and Economy cabins.The US route becomes the second destination after London to enjoy the remarkable A380 experience since Etihad returned its superjumbo to the skies.Welcome onboardEvery guest in Etihad’s A380 is treated to a unique and elevated experience. For those in Economy, a dedicated welcome area sets the tone. The cabin boasts 68 extra legroom seats with an additional 4 inches of space, along with 337 Economy Smart seats featuring Etihad's signature fixed-wing headrests and large pillows for maximum comfort.On the upper deck, the Business Studios provide an exclusive haven with 70 private spaces, ensuring a stress-free journey. The upper deck also houses The Lobby, a serviced lounge and bar area between the First and Business cabins. Collaborating with Armani/Casa, Etihad brings sophistication to the Business experience, offering premium ceramics, glassware, cutlery, and fabrics. Comprehensive Wi-Fi connection and extra levels of comfort and convenience make it easy for business travellers to remain productive and in touch.First Apartments take luxury to new heights with nine private spaces, each equipped with designer tableware, a spacious leather lounge chair, and a separate ottoman that transforms into an 80" lie-flat bed. First-class guests can enjoy personal vanity units and access to the exclusive First-class shower room.The ResidenceAt the pinnacle of luxury is The Residence, the world's only three-room suite in the sky. Accommodating up to two guests, The Residence features a private living room, bedroom, and ensuite bathroom, complete with a shower at 40,000 feet. A dedicated team of Etihad cabin crew ensures unparalleled service.Guests in The Residence can indulge in a culinary journey with an à la carte menu, served on designer tableware in the private living room, or even opt for breakfast in bed. From gourmet cuisine to champagne and caviar, The Residence Signature High Tea offers a range of lavish options.Now, the dream of experiencing The Residence is just a click away on With special offer prices starting from 10,999 AED ($2,990), guests can upgrade from a First-class ticket for a truly unforgettable journey. ** Special offer available to buy between 29 November to 12 December, 2023 upgrade for 10,999 AED for one person or 14,999 AED for two, one-way. Available on travel from 22 April, 2024 (excluding 14 – 24 June, 2024).Standard The Residence upgrade fare between Abu Dhabi and New York 16,600 AED per person, one-way.

AWS Recognizes Bespin Global MEA as ‘System Integrator Partner of The Year’

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an company, today announced the 2023 UAE AWS Partner Award winners, recognizing leaders who are vital in helping customers drive innovation and build solutions on AWS.The 2023 System Integrator Partner of the Year Award for the Middle East & North Africa went to Bespin Global MEA, a leading cloud consultancy and management firm, acknowledging the e& enterprise company as a top AWS Partner in demonstrating remarkable results for customers, supporting clients through large-scale cloud migrations to scale business, upskilling employees to deepen digital transformation, and helping customers seize opportunities and unlock benefits of the AWS Cloud platform.The AWS Partner Awards recognizes its top partners and rising stars of the year whose business models have embraced specialization, innovation, collaboration, and continuing to evolve and thrive on AWS while working with their customers. The award also recognizes its partners that have provided significant contributions to revenue-launched opportunities, net-new certified individuals, and AWS designations earned.Earlier this year, Bespin Global MEA entered into a joint venture with e& enterprise, enriching its service portfolio and expanding its share in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Pakistan (METAP) markets. By utilizing the capabilities of both companies, Bespin Global MEA offers a wealth of experience in managing mission-critical systems and providing guidance to clients to launch innovative digital services, improve their competitive edge, and elevate customer experiences.“The award underscores not just our technical prowess in delivering top-notch solutions but also serves as a testament to how Bespin Global is supporting customers in utilizing the AWS Cloud to drive innovation, improve efficiency, and achieve tangible business results,” said Miguel Angel Villalonga, CEO, e& Enterprise Cloud. "AWS experts have recognized that our new facilities clearly demonstrate Bespin Global MEA’s advancements in transforming the UAE’s digitalization journey, which is in line with our ambition to promote innovation through developing cutting-edge cloud solutions." The AWS Partner Network (APN), is a global partner programme, focused on helping partners build successful AWS-based businesses or solutions by providing business, technical, marketing, and go-to-market support. The APN includes Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Systems Integrators (SIs) around the world, with AWS Partner participation growing significantly during the past 12 months. Bespin Global MEA, in the past year, opened its new headquarters in Abu Dhabi featuring a Cloud Operations Centre and an all-new Bespin Global Training Academy. Through its ‘first-of-its-kind’ automated Cloud Operations Centre, Bespin Global MEA provides 24/7 customer service, thus, helping customers navigate the region’s nascent cloud security landscape. Meanwhile, Bespin Global Training Academy integrates outcome-driven courses, hands-on laboratories, and performance-based tests to assess, train, and validate competency and skills using technologies provided by the company.“System integrators serve as a catalyst, driving enterprises to unlock the full spectrum of progressive business value from AWS's extensive array of services. We are proud to have developed a broad portfolio of capabilities on AWS to assist our customers scale at speed all while enhancing cost efficiency,” said Mouteih Chaglil, CEO of Bespin Global Middle East and Africa.Bespin Global MEA, a pioneer APN member since 2016, has been awarded the prestigious Premier Tier Partner status, AWS MENA Partner of the Year 2022, in addition to the distinguished title of AWS DevOps Partner of the Year in 2020 and 2021.

Women’s elite sports to generate more than $1 billion in revenue in 2024

Deloitte predicts that women’s elite sports will generate global revenues of US$1.28 billion in 2024 (£1.02 billion). This is the first time that annual global revenues for women’s sport will have surpassed US$1 billion. This total is at least 300 per cent higher than Deloitte’s previous valuation three years ago.Deloitte’s forecast is based on the three main categories of revenue for women’s sports; matchday, broadcast and commercial. Commercial revenue, which includes club sponsorships, partnerships, and merchandising sales, currently represents the largest share of total revenue (US$696 million, 55 per cent). This is followed by broadcast (US$340 million, 27 per cent), and matchday (US$240 million, 18 per cent) revenues.The two most valuable women’s sports are projected to be football (US$555 million, 43 per cent) and basketball (US$354 million, 28 per cent), while the largest geographical markets in 2024 are forecast to be North America (US$670 million, 52 per cent) and Europe (US$181 million, 14 per cent).<img src='\016bfe774024f83329318e239efe1a3d.png' class='content_image'>Jennifer Haskel, insights lead for Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “Over the last few years we have seen exceptional growth in women’s sport across the globe, driving a significant uplift in its commercial value, which in turn has led to growing interest from investors. Crucially, women’s sport is increasingly being viewed as a unique product that is becoming ever more distinct from men’s elite sport.“This surge in fan and investor engagement is leading to new and improved opportunities for clubs and leagues, including greater commercial partnerships, increased participation and bigger matchdays. In order to ensure this growth remains consistent and sustainable, sports organisations must ensure that investment is directed to the right places such as encouraging fan loyalty, player welfare and maintaining competition across leagues.”Deloitte expects valuations for teams and leagues to continue to rise, with several teams’ values predicted to exceed US$100 million in 2024.Meanwhile, major events and global competitions such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Women’s Tennis Association tour are expected to contribute US$425 million – 33 per cent of the forecasted total.In turn, Deloitte expects that in 2024 women’s elite sports will continue to be allocated additional prime time broadcast slots, making the women’s events easier to find and watch.Paul Lee, global head of technology, media and telecoms research at Deloitte, added: “Women’s sport is on an impressive growth trajectory. However, broadcasters, streamers and social media platforms will have an important role to play in showcasing major events that capture the interest of new and existing fans, while creating an experience that is memorable and impactful.“The next step will be maintaining habitual viewers who loyally tune in to watch their favourite players, teams and competitions across the season. To do this, sports organisations and media businesses will need to continue to elevate the profile of women’s sport with prime-time broadcasts, as well as investing in digital platforms that make games accessible to all those who want to watch.”This prediction is one of several in this year’s Deloitte TMT Predictions report.

Basatne International unveils UAE’s first AI-based robotics technology

Dubai, UAE: Basatne International, a leader in sustainability and a frontrunner in reverse logistics for consumer electronics, proudly opened the doors to a new state-of-the-art facility in Dubai Silicon Oasis. Equipped with the latest diagnostic technology to reduce mobile phone e-waste, the robotic and AI solution will process up to 7,000 mobile devices, reducing CO2 emissions by 500,000 kilograms per day.This technology will advance a new circular economy by assessing if a device’s lifespan can be extended with refurbishment or if it should be responsibly recycled. It will also enhance Basatne International's grading precision for the resale market while drastically increasing device throughput.The new facility was inaugurated by Ammar Aboulnasr Basatne, Basatne International’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, in the presence of Dr. Juma Al Matrooshi, Director General of Dubai Silicon Oasis, and several executives, business partners and distinguished guests.“We are thrilled to introduce this concept and cutting-edge technology in the UAE, which is at the forefront of environmental sustainability initiatives. By extending the lifespan of mobile phones, we are ultimately reducing e-waste in landfills, reducing a large amount of CO2 emissions while also making a positive impact on the economy," said Ammar Aboulnasr Basatne, Basatne International’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer.“Globally the number of mobile devices is expected to reach 19 billion by 2025, of which half will likely be disposed of in landfills. Therefore, a key mission for us is to advance the culture of trade-ins by creating awareness on the economic and environmental benefits of refurbishing or recycling mobile phones,” he added.The diagnostics solution is a versatile suite of applications and devices designed to receive, prepare, clean, clear data, conduct testing, and assess connected devices. This employs software, robotics, and artificial intelligence to deliver a seamless, automated workflow for handling various devices.Basatne concluded, “The solution is also 100% accurate, consistent, and secure, adding economic value over the years to come. It also has the potential to create new jobs in other sectors including logistics and e-commerce as well as industry training”.The new facility, branded under the Ardroid division, is the first phase of Basatne International’s establishment in the region. Expansion plans are in the pipeline with new commercial partnerships as well as entry into other markets.

Rixos Bab Al Bahr welcomes Mr. Bireswar Das as the new Director of Finance

Ras Al Khaimah: - Rixos Bab Al Bahr, the ultra-all-inclusive family resort, announces the appointment of Mr. Bireswar Das as the new Director of Finance, effective immediately. Reporting directly to Mr. Ahmed Elnawawy, General Manager, Das is set to play a pivotal role in the finance department of the renowned beach resort nestled between the waters of Al Marjan Islands, Ras Al Khaimah.In his new capacity as Director of Finance at Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Das will assume complete accountability and responsibility for the Finance Department. His mandate includes ensuring the successful delivery of all performance objectives and hotel initiatives while supporting the implementation of the strategic business plan in alignment with the company's expectations.With a career spanning over two decades, Das brings a wealth of experience from leading finance departments at globally recognised brands such as Emirates Airlines, Taj Hotels, Shangri-La Group, Traders Hotel, and Five Hotels & Resorts.His extensive knowledge, proven track record, and experience in the finance sector make him an invaluable addition to the Rixos Bab Al Bahr team. He also holds a bachelor's degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Calcutta, India, along with advanced IT proficiencies.Welcoming Mr. Bireswar Das as the new Director of Finance, Mr. Ahmed Elnawawy, General Manager at Rixos Bab Al Bahr stated, "We are thrilled to have Mr. Bireswar onboard at Rixos Bab Al Bahr. Mr. Das's exceptional financial acumen and extensive experience make him the perfect fit for this crucial role. With his strategic mindset and proven ability to drive financial performance, we are confident that Mr. Das will further strengthen our financial operations and drive sustainable growth for Rixos Bab Al Bahr."His most recent role was as the Cluster Finance Manager at Jumeirah Beach Hotels LLC, overseeing prestigious properties like Burj al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and Wild Wadi Waterpark, where he facilitated automating processes, resulting in a paperless environment and reducing repetitive tasks at Jumeirah Hotels.For more information, visit our website or follow us on social media:Instagram:

Monoprix increases UAE footprint with Abu Dhabi opening

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: GMG’s Everyday Goods – Retail division is now expanding into the country’s capital city with the opening of the first Monoprix in Abu Dhabi. After a series of successful launches in Dubai, including branches at Nakheel Mall, Jumeirah Town Centre and Dubai Hills, the Abu Dhabi branch is centrally located in the Avenue at Etihad Towers. The stunning 11,300+ square foot space houses everything from high-quality foods to the latest home décor all under one roof, a first for the capital. Customers can also look forward to being the first to enjoy Monoprix bespoke in-store concepts such as the first interactive juice and salad bar, shop in shop wellness and Supercare pharmacy, and a dedicated seating area where quality, convenience and sustainability, hallmarks of the brand, will be on full display. Promising the ‘local fresh market’ experience, Monoprix at Etihad Towers features a butchery offering a complete range of meats and choice cuts, a fishery selection that includes the freshest local and regional catch, and cheese selections, each with the signature of reputed French gourmet professionals. Customers can also enjoy baked goods and pastries reminiscent of the best Parisian patisseries.Monoprix in Avenue at Etihad Towers will also encourage local produce as an integral part of its allure and support the company’s overall ‘farm to fork’ approach, whilst also housing an extensive range of high-quality private label food and nonfood products. An exclusive beauty and personal care section is also certain to resonate with Abu Dhabi’s discerning audience. For the first time in the capital, the best of food and décor will be in store as the Monoprix at Etihad Towers will showcase the Maison concept where the ‘art of living’ is celebrated through a selection of the finest houseware with a decided French edge. From cutlery and glassware to storage and linen and décor pieces, the theme is simple lines and earthy colours. For added convenience, Monoprix at Etihad Towers will also offer home delivery and online shopping through partners.“At Monoprix, good taste combines with quality and great value to give discerning consumers a refined and comprehensive retail experience,” said Marc Laurent, President, Retail – Everyday Goods, GMG.“From exclusive spaces like a bespoke juice bar and salad bar that you’ll only find at Monoprix at Etihad Towers to French-inspired home décor and the finest fresh food, shopping at Monoprix is designed to surprise and delight.”“Our first opening in Abu Dhabi reinforces our firm commitment to building the Monoprix brand in the UAE by opening in strategic locations and embedding ourselves into the hearts and lives of the discerning audience who call this region home,” he added. Customers will be eligible to receive an AED 25 shopping voucher on a spend of AED 100 in-store. “With the National Day weekend and festive season around the corner, customers can also take advantage of our one-stop shop for all their holiday shopping, be it for adding flair to their festive table or finding the best gifting options for every member of the family.” Monoprix Etihad Towers is now open and operates from 7:30am till 11:00pm daily in Avenue by Etihad Towers.

Maiden edition of Brands of India trade show underway

Dubai, UAE: In a momentous celebration of trade, international collaboration and cultural exchange, the maiden edition of Brands of India trade show organised by The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI), received a grand inauguration by H.E. Butti Saeed Al Ghandi, Vice-Chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event, is set to captivate the MENA Apparel industry at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Halls 6 & 7 from November 27th to 29th, 2023.Supported by the Embassy of India-UAE, The Dubai Textile Merchants Association (TEXMAS), Dubai International Chamber and the Readymade Garments Merchants Group Dubai, the trade show demonstrates the rapid pace at which Indian businesses are entering the UAE market indicating a strong and positive momentum post the signing of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2022.Complimenting CMAI for Brands of India, Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Government of India, expressed, “This is an excellent platform to position our brands in overseas market. Under the dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, the Government of India is dedicated to creating and supporting a modern, dynamic, integrated and world class textile sector. CMAI has been consistently promoting Indian brands, encouraging them to develop international linkages and expand their horizon in international markets, particularly in regions with substantial Indian Diaspora.”Mr. Rajesh Masand, President, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) said “Even before CEPA, there has been a long history of India-UAE fostering economic, cultural and friendly ties. Dubai has been strongly positioning itself as the gateway to Africa for Indian businesses and Brands of India will further cement ties and empower Indian Apparel brands to accelerate their presence in the MENA region. The co-operation in digital currencies of both countries, Dirham and Rupee along with the interconnection of payment systems is another recent development in trade settlement capabilities which will further boost business.”Gracing the occasion as Chief Guest, H.E. Butti Saeed Al Ghandi, Vice-Chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre, emphasised the significance of Brands of India in boosting bi-lateral ties and drawing both countries even closer and expressed "Fashion has the power to transcend borders and create lasting connections. We are delighted to witness this noteworthy event that promotes diversity and showcases the vibrant tapestry of Indian Brands.""Brands of India is poised to serve as a key milestone in the journey of Indian Apparel brands towards international recognition. About 1500 buyers from more than 30 countries have pre-registered to source from the show which makes us ecstatic that the platform has created exciting business prospects for Indian brands in the region" said Mr. Jayesh Shah, Chairman, Brands of India and Vice President, CMAI.H.E. Mr. Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to UAE stated “Today, Indian brands have a global appeal and are preferred by people from across the world. I am glad the event is hosted in the UAE which is home to citizens of around 190 nationalities. Under CEPA, there is immense scope for expanding the presence of Indian Apparels in the Gulf, Middle East, Africa and Europe.”Renowned brands such as Oxemberg, J. Hamstead, Dollar, Grammer, Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Otto, Peter England, Texas Jeans, Mexico Jeans, Klix, Double Bull, Bonheur, 109 F, Cover Story, Biba, Dressline, Indifusion, Soch, Satya Fusion, Vastrado, Zola, Gini & Jony, Little Kangaroos, Blazo, Tiny Girl, Vitamins, Mustang and many others are participating at the show.Brands of India was initially envisioned with 150 top Apparel brands but exceeded expectations with the overwhelming participation of more than 350 brands showcasing collection that spans Western wear, Indian Ethnic wear, and Fusion wear across 145 Men’s wear brands, 80 Women’s wear brands, 90 Kidswear brands and 35 brands as Fusion of these categories.

KSA launch marks milestone as Yabi concludes seed funding round of USD 8mln

With Al Wafra Al Thaniya (Wafra II) joining the prominent list of existing investors, Yabi closes its USD 8 million Seed round. The round focuses on product development and pushes growth into regional markets.Yabi by Souqalmal was launched in Saudi Arabia this November, boasting a localised personal finance masterclass platform. Driven by its firm belief in localisation for true value creation when it comes to personal finance, Yabi launched in both English and Arabic in the Kingdom, offering two new classes every month, all delivered by Saudi market experts. Yabi is now fully live in two markets UAE and KSA.Yabi's commitment to the KSA market goes beyond the tailored content, as the startup has a presence on the ground, allocating dedicated resources to lead the market penetration. The objective is to increase financial literacy through B2B relationships by encouraging companies to bring financial literacy as part of their employee well-being program.“Saudi Vision 2030 is inspiring, and its impact will set an unprecedented growth. Yabi and Saudi Vision 2030 share a common goal: to increase financial literacy and saving levels across the Kingdom.Financial literacy and the involvement of individuals in the economy are top priorities for the public and private sectors. ~30% of Saudis are considered financially literate today (report by SAMA) and the savings ratio was 1.6%1 of annual disposable income (2018). Those are evidence of some of the gaps we want to fill.Additionally, the Saudi Vision 2030 has within its targets to reach 70% of household ownership and to increase the national saving levels closer to the global average of 10%. Moreover, the Saudi government is working towards achieving its National Savings and Financial Literacy Strategy, which aims to help individuals make better financial decisions and increase the access and use of personal financial tools. This is a crucial moment for Yabi and the Kingdom to work towards the financial well-being of their citizens and residents.” says Ambareen Musa, Chief Executive Officer of Yabi.“Spreading financial literacy and financial awareness is key to allowing individuals to live their lives happily and to their fullest potential. While technology has improved our lives in many aspects, it also brought a negative impact on financial behaviours. Yabi is at the forefront of using tech to empower individuals by spreading essential financial knowledge. Wafra II believes that any future for fintech must include efforts to spread financial awareness. Therefore, its investment in Yabi to bring its platform to the Saudi market aligns with its core purpose to play a role in raising the level of financial education, build up investments and savings and therefore contribute to Saudi Arabia’s digital GDP.” says Salah Kashoggi, Managing Director of Al Wafrah Al Thaniya.Yabi corporate pipeline is promising and expected to add more names to the already prominent list of adopters, which includes Al-Futtaim, Careem, Chalhoub and Al Ghurair, to name a few.1 According to a report by Forbes Middle East on the analysis of household savings in Saudi Arabia.

Sales fever vs consumers – who wins?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are extremely popular global sales events. They usually involve millions of people around the world. In particular, Black Friday online sales grew 3.5% to $65.3 billion globally in 2022. Besides, according to the Salesforce survey on sales recap, consumers spent $1.14 trillion online globally across the Holiday Season. Considering this, Kaspersky explored users’ behavior and habits related to big sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.A new Kaspersky survey in the UAE reveals that 93% of purchases occur spontaneously during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It also discovered that social media makes an unexpectedly big contribution to sales results, 71% of followers attempt to get whichever special deals their favorite influencers and online bloggers recommend. At the same time, 50% of users are ready to buy something unplanned if they receive a recommendation from friends or family members.Women are the more dedicated super-sales shoppers, with 22% saying they will always make spontaneous purchases during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, compared to only 17% of men. Those aged 25 to 34 years also stand out: 23% say that they will always buy something spontaneously during these events, significantly more than in any other age group.As for the importance of big sales events for respondents, 71% are ready to wait until big events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday to get the best deals. While 79% of consumers say that they make use of the run-up to these events to plan their bigger purchases in advance, hoping to make the most of price cuts and special deals.“For many, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a great way to save serious money on a variety of purchases, so each year, these days are marked by unprecedented excitement and interest in online and offline shopping. As our research shows, 90 percent of users buy things spontaneously during big sales events and may not pay much attention to safety, trying to snatch the best offer. Our solutions for safe online shopping – like Kaspersky Premium – can be a reliable assistant in online payments security, which will protect not only your personal data, but also financial information, and will also warn you so you don’t end up on a phishing site,” Comments Marina Titova, Vice-President, Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.Full report ‘The Super Sale Game: who’s the winner? A study on how we shop and pay’ is available via the link.

Egyptian police, ACE shut down major piracy service in MENA

The Egyptian police, in collaboration with the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), has shut down CimaClub, one of the largest piracy services in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region.ACE is the world’s leading anti-piracy organisation. CimaClub enabled users to directly download or stream pirated content, offering a VOD library of nearly 50,000 movie and TV series titles in Arabic and their original versions. All ACE members were affected.The service attracted more than 29 million monthly visits through its 65 domains. Most of the traffic originated from Egypt, France, Canada, the United States and Germany.Egyptian police identified and confronted the operator in Giza, Egypt.“ACE remains persistent in cracking down on piracy, collaborating closely with authorities to pinpoint unlawful operators in the MENA region,” said Natasha Matos-Hemingway, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at Shahid, a leading Arabic streaming platform by MBC GROUP and ACE member. “This wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of the Egyptian authorities involved, who work diligently to prevent illegal content sharing, and we are grateful to both. It’s no secret that piracy results in tremendous losses, not only for broadcasters, but for production companies and emerging content creators as well. At MBC GROUP, we remain aligned with ACE in its ongoing mission to protect the intellectual property rights of our creators. We are grateful to the Alliance for their great work throughout the year, and we look forward to continuing to fight content piracy together.”“Content piracy has severe implications across the entertainment value chain,” said Fiona Robertson, General Counsel of OSN, a member of ACE. “As one of the leading entertainment companies in the region, we are committed to protecting the rights of all content creators by working closely with law enforcement and regulatory authorities in our operational markets.”“We applaud the Egyptian police for their swift action in identifying the operator of one of the most notorious piracy services in the MENA region,” said Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Content Protection for the Motion Picture Association and Head of ACE. “The sheer breadth of this illegal operation affected every ACE member, compromising the intellectual property of numerous creators and content owners. Today’s action underscores the power of a global and joint effort to protect the integrity of the creative marketplace.”

Bahrain Launches Camping Season in the Sakhir Desert

 After a hiatus of three years due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Kingdom of Bahrain, celebrated for its rich heritage and vibrant culture tapestry, is set to enchant residents and tourists with the commencement of its highly anticipated annual camping season. Bahrain Camping Season which began on 10th November 2023, and extending its charm until 29th February 2024 against the backdrop of the vast and mesmerizing landscapes of the Sakhir Desert, this season promises to be a celebration of nature, culture, and community. The camping season in Bahrain is more than just a winter retreat; it's a cultural legacy inherited from the kingdom’s Bedouin ancestors, celebrating the beauty of nature, and providing an opportunity for families and friends to come together. The Sakhir Desert, known for its serene ambiance, transforms into a safe and open space for various activities, from barbeques and bonfires to stargazing. The cool breeze of the winter season adds a refreshing touch to the camping experience, creating an ideal environment for making lasting memories. The camping season in Bahrain is not just about enjoying the outdoors; it's a reflection of the kingdom's commitment to providing diverse and enriching tourism experiences. Families can set up tents under the starlit sky, engage in barbeques, and participate in a range of activities that cater to various interests. The camping season is designed to be inclusive, welcoming both residents and tourists to immerse themselves in the beauty of Bahrain's natural landscapes.

EBay awarded top sellers at exporter of the year event in Dubai

Dubai: eBay - one of the world’s largest online marketplaces – hosted its annual Exporter of the Year 2023 event for the first time in Dubai on November 22, marking an unprecedented chance to reward the entrepreneurial spirit and success of eBay sellers across the global emerging markets, and celebrate their global exporting excellence.This year, the company invited its top 100 sellers from the Middle East, *Europe, India, Latin America and South East Asia to come together in Dubai to celebrate and share their experiences with the community.Vidmay Naini, General Manager, Global Emerging Markets at eBay says: “As an eBay community, we are committed to supporting and working together with our sellers, and the eBay Exporter of the Year 2023 demonstrates our gratitude for their hard work, innovation, and dedication to excellence.”The event represents an opportunity for sellers from eBay's global emerging markets to make personal, in real life contact with a thriving global community made up of individuals and businesses, working together and spanning multiple geographies, cultures, and languages.The Exporter of the Year 2023 ceremony took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the night of Wednesday, November 22, at the Hilton Al Habtoor City hotel, as part of a two-day event for the ambitious eBay sellers.The celebration also included talks from John Lin, Vice President, International CBT Markets, eBay and Mr Naini, GM, Global Emerging Markets, eBay. 12 eBay sellers received accolades in one of four categories, of Exporter of the Year, Family/Female Exporter of the Year, Best Customer Service and ‘The Big Leap’, in front of an invited audience comprising global eBay executives and sellers from different countries that are part of eBay's global emerging markets.“The deep, special connection we share with our sellers is one of the most important factors in driving our business growth and success. We truly believe that by working together, we can showcase the immense potential of cross-border commerce as a powerful tool for scaling exporting businesses and creating economic opportunities for all.”“eBay benefits greatly from our sellers' success, and this celebration is an excellent way to show our gratitude, solidify our community of sellers, and reinforce our interest in continuing to thrive together.” concludes Naini.

Wahed launches in the UAE

Abu Dhabi: Wahed Invest Limited (Wahed), the UAE robo-advisory subsidiary of Wahed Inc., a global Shariah-compliant fintech that aims to advance financial inclusion through accessible, affordable and value-based investing, has launched after having been granted a Financial Services Permission (FSP) from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). Wahed will become the UAE’s first dedicated Islamic digital investment management platform.Wahed offers financial services to UAE residents to facilitate a smarter way to invest through access to a diversified, Shariah-compliant portfolio in its digital Application. The firm aims to empower Muslims at large to take charge of their investment well-being with a transparent and selective Shariah-compliant portfolio.Wahed is designed to cater to financially savvy investors as well as those with little financial knowledge. Coupled with low starting investment minimums of USD 500, low fees, and no lock-in period, it hopes to remove the barriers to sophisticated investment management that have been traditionally reserved for high-net-worth investors.Junaid Wahedna, Chief Executive Officer at Wahed Inc. said, “We consider the UAE our home. I grew up in the UAE and am very excited to bring our technology and investment efficiencies to the UAE's flourishing business environment in Abu Dhabi, ADGM and beyond. We are committed to contributing to an increase in the savings culture amongst the youth and professionals in a safe and Shariah-compliant manner, in line with the cultural values of the UAE”.Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief of Markets at ADGM said, “We are pleased to welcome Wahed to ADGM’s international financial centre and vibrant community and congratulate them on being granted the FSP by ADGM’s FSRA. With a world-class progressive regulatory ecosystem, ADGM aims to catalyse the growth of Fintech innovators by fostering a trusted, collaborative and enabling marketplace for Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider region. The launch of Wahed in the UAE brings next-gen financial services and strengthens our growing digital economy”.Since its launch in 2015, Wahed has attracted over 300,000 customers worldwide and has raised more than USD 75 million in funding from family offices, institutions and high-profile backers, including Dubai Cultiv8, and international footballer Paul Pogba. Wahed’s mission is to change how the Muslim community participates in global financial markets by making investing accessible and ethically acceptable for the 1.8 billion Muslims globally.Once signed up to the Wahed App, users can securely create an account within minutes. The Wahed App will automatically suggest a portfolio for each user based on how they answer questions about themselves, considering the individual's financial situation, attitude towards risks, investment goals and other criteria. The portfolio models are overseen by the firms’ fund management professionals. Users can begin investing with as little as USD 100 while paying a fraction of traditional management fees. Wahed ensures that investors always have a diversified portfolio, regardless of their account size, thus making investing efficient for various types of people, whether they are entrepreneurs, working professionals or homemakers.

Talabat hosts second annual partners' event, recognizing shared success

Cairo: talabat, the MENA’s leading platform for everyday deliveries, held the second edition of its Annual Partner Gala to recognize the shared success and impact with its partners and showcase the positive impact of cooperation, technology, and innovation on society. The event, , featured inspiring stories and experiences from partners who have been part of talabat’s journey. Over the past three years, the customer base of partners has grown by more than 130%, while sales have increased by over 200%.The event brought together government officials, partners, suppliers, NGOs and corporations from both local and foreign firms that have contributed to the impact generated across the ecosystem. With over 10,000 partners across 25 cities, 50% of which are SMEs, talabat reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the local economy and further enabling the flourishing ecosystem.During the gala, talabat presented the 2023 round of its "Partner Awards", curated to recognize strategic partners that deliver an amazing experience while contributing to positive economic and social impact. Among the winning partners, Krispy Kreme was honored with the "t-Star" award for delivering the best overall experience and Abu Auf was awarded for achieving the fastest growth rate with talabat mart in 2023. While La Poire won the “Rider’s Favorite” award, for being the highest rated partner by riders this year.As part of its ongoing effort to support partners in Egypt and enable their sustainable growth through technology, talabat announced a strategic partnership with Cartona, the fastest-growing B2B E-commerce marketplace. This partnership aims to directly and conveniently connect partners to FMCG producers and wholesalers, significantly facilitating business. Under this partnership, partners will have access to a wide assortment of products, fast delivery, secure payment methods, and exclusive discounts.talabat also highlightedits corporate social responsibility initiatives alongside six local charities. Under its #Tech4Good strategy, talabat has facilitated over EGP 25.5 million in donations and provided 480,000 meals to communities in need since April 2021.The company reiterated its dedication to riders, offering additional income opportunities to over 14,000 individuals, on average earning EGP 7,000 per month, and up to EGP 15,000 EGP, in addition to being the first everyday delivery platform to provide life and accident insurance coverage to the out-sourced fleet. More recently, the company introduced the "Tare2na Wahed" program, which offers riders a range of benefits and easier access to financing and maintenance support.Hadeer Shalaby, Managing Director of talabat Egypt, expressed her pride in organizing the annual event for the second year, and emphasized its importance in recognizing shared achievements. Shalaby highlighted talabat's vision of enabling partners and driving SME growth through technology and strategic partnerships.Mohamed Sekkina, General Manager of talabat Mart, noted the continuous growth of the quick-commerce service since its launch in 2020, which has enabled its primarily local and SME supplier base of over 280 partners to scale their businesses, resulting in an average of 200% sales increase across 37 dark stores in nine governorates. Sekkina also announced plans to further expand the current 37 dark store network in 9 governorates to serve more customers and further support local suppliers.It’s worth mentioning that Cairo serves as the second regional tech hub headquarters, investing in cutting-edge data technologies with a dedicated team of over 430 engineers and product managers.

Hilton Doha The Pearl welcomes industry leader Daniel van Wyk as General Manager

Doha, Qatar: Daniel van Wyk has been named as the new General Manager of Hilton Doha The Pearl. Boasting a distinguished career in the hospitality sector, Van Wyk brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success to his role at the upscale property.Van Wyk has spent 20 years with Hilton with the last 13 years as General Managers for various hotels in the United Kingdom and Doha.Van Wyk's journey in the industry has been marked by remarkable achievements, showcasing his exceptional leadership and strategic expertise. In the face of unprecedented challenges, he adeptly led the opening of two hotels in Doha during the COVID-19 pandemic, achieving profitability in their inaugural years.In his most recent role as Cluster General Manager for Aleph Doha Residences, Curio Collection, and Doubletree by Hilton Al Sadd Doha, Qatar, Van Wyk successfully led his team through the pre-opening phase.As a committed advocate for talent development, Van Wyk serves as an assessor and mentor for various Hilton Management Programs, playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of the hospitality workforce.Beyond the boardroom, Van Wyk actively engaged with the community as the Chair of a number of Charity Dinners and contributed to various charity organizations in Glasgow, exemplifying his commitment to social responsibility.Reflecting on his appointment, Daniel van Wyk expressed his enthusiasm for the new role: "I am honored to join the Hilton Doha The Pearl family and look forward to contributing to the legacy of excellence that Hilton is renowned for. Together with the dedicated team that made Hilton Doha The Pearl what it is today, we will continue to elevate the guest experience and set new standards of hospitality in Doha."During his time in Glasgow and London, UK, Daniel van Wyk was a member of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, participated in the Young Presidents Club, and affiliated with the Glasgow Hotel Manager’s Association and the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau as well as the Paddington Partnership Association.In his new role, Van Wyk will oversee and lead initiatives to further enhance the exceptional offerings at Hilton Doha The Pearl. His focus will be on ensuring continued room and residence occupancy, and optimizing the success of dining options, including The Kitchen, Mulberry Tavern, Lobby Café, and La Pergola, in addition to the various hotel amenities such as the well-equipped fitness center, eforea Spa, private beach, outdoor pool, and Kids Club.

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

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

Al-Futtaim Automotive transforms the automotive retail experience

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

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

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

Realme defies market trends to conquer global markets

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

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

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

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

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

ADIFE 2023 set to showcase leading industry speakers

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