Gulf Air group holding strengthens management team to elevate aviation

Manama: Gulf Air Group Holding (GFG) has strengthened its senior management team to support the growth of Bahrain’s aviation.Bringing on board a wealth of diverse experiences in their respective fields, the management team is poised to drive the company’s strategic vision of advancing Bahrain’s economic agenda whilst bolstering its position as a global aviation industry leader. The management team is led by Dr. Jeffrey Goh, Gulf Air Group Holding Chief Executive Officer.Ahmed Naeemi will join the group as Chief Technology Officer in September 2023, Ahmed is a veteran in IT and Digital Management, who is set to spearhead technological advancements and cutting-edge solutions in line with the Group’s business ambitions. He joins the group from the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance.The appointment of Ahmed Naeemi follows the appointment of Adnan Hashim as Chief Financial Officer, exceptional financial leader with a proven track record, who will be playing a pivotal role in driving the Group’s financial strategy, business planning and operational growth, and the appointment of Sawsan AlMutawa as Acting Chief People Officer, a proven track record of HR across diverse companies, will be instrumental in nurturing leadership, improving productivity, and optimizing efficiency within the Group.This strategic move comes in line with the Gulf Air Group Holding’s increased focus on accelerating its business growth by implementing cutting-edge solutions and creating customer satisfaction and advocacy to align with the company’s aspirations.Commenting on their appointments, Jeffrey Goh, Gulf Air Group Holding Chief Executive Officer said: “We are delighted to announce our exceptional senior management team, who will be instrumental in driving our future growth while enabling us to adapt to the ever evolving aviation landscape. Each of the leaders are highly capable, having extensive knowledge of their domain and understanding of the Group's vision. I look forward to collaborating with them in our transformative journey to shape Bahrain's aviation future with the Kingdom's economic visionWith an ambitious new team at the helm, the Group aims to synergize its core departments in order to strengthen Bahrain’s aviation sector and go above and beyond for the Kingdom’s economy.

Samsung's Galaxy Open Market at Dubai Mall celebrates third week

Dubai: The Samsung Galaxy Open Market at the Dubai Mall continues to garner consumer interest in its third week. Under the theme ‘Join the Flip Side’, the store showcases Samsung’s latest Galaxy devices, including the revolutionary Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5, Galaxy Tab S9 Series, and Galaxy Watch6 Series.Among key attractions is a series of daily and weekly competitions where guests can win exciting prizes. The competitions are taking place inside various themed experiential zones to highlight key features of the latest Samsung devices.The FlexStudio Competition encourages users to experience Flex Mode in the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5. To facilitate the competition, Samsung Gulf has set up a selfie experiential zone with various angles of Galaxy Z Flip5. Visitors can try out diverse angles of the Galaxy Z Flip5 selfie. The best/most creative images each week will win a Samsung voucher.Samsung has also invited expert instructors to run a series of daily Photography Masterclasses, allowing participants to learn all the tips and tricks on the Galaxy Z Flip5 camera. Learning about Flex Mode makes transitioning from a regular to a flip phone easier and more fun. Judges choose the best image for weekly prizes.Gaming enthusiasts are also well-catered for, a gaming zone houses various Tab S9 and Galaxy Fold5 gaming kits, including a Mini Arcade, a Z Fold5 Controller and a Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. Guests can compete against each other in popular games such as Genshin Impact, Asphalt 9, Defense Derby and Harry Potter: Magic Awakened.Meanwhile, the Flip Your Beats freestyle rap/singing challenge moves to the qualifying rounds on August 18. Flip Your Beats aims to showcase local talent among local artists and rappers from the region. The competition is all about how uniquely the singer/rapper can either alter an existing song or create a new song to highlight the new Flip Phone. The Ultimate Showdown (finale) will be held on August 20. The mega winner from this challenge will receive a Galaxy Z Flip5, the runners-up a Watch6, while the 2nd runners-up will take home a Buds2 Pro. All shortlisted participants will receive an exclusive Galaxy Pack.Dubai residents and visitors alike can still visit the pop-up until August 28, conveniently located at the Star Atrium at The Dubai Mall (Lower Ground Floor).

Minor Hotels announces Sarah Hammond as director of sales & marketing

Dubai: Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of 530 hotels and resorts in 56 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Indian Ocean, announces the appointment of Sarah Hammond as Director of Sales & Marketing at Anantara Mina al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort beginning July 2023.Sarah brings more than two decades of experience working with luxury hotels in the UAE, Indian Ocean, and properties around the world. She is a highly motivated and skilled leader with a proven track record in driving results through strategy, dedication, and communication at the highest level of the hospitality industry.A British national, Sarah began her career with Kuoni Travel Group in 1998 before being recruited as a Sales Manager for Sandals & Beaches Resorts in 2000. She joined the Kerzner International in 2002 and, after gaining experience as a successful Sales Manager with One & Only Resorts and Four Seasons, Sarah was appointed Director of Sales FIT at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai. She moved to Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts as Associate Director of Leisure Sales in 2018 and, in 2020, was appointed Director of Sales & Marketing for Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives. She joins Minor Hotels after two years as Director of Sales at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in Dubai.As Director of Sales & Marketing for Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort, which is scheduled to launch in Q4 this year, Sarah will bring her extensive experience, expertise, and natural flair for sales and marketing to ensure the success of the new resort which will bring Maldivian-style overwater villas and tranquil elegance to the coast of the Arabian Gulf.David Garner, Vice President Commercial, Middle East, and Africa commented, “We are delighted to welcome a director of Sarah Hammond’s undoubted calibre and well-deserved reputation to our team at Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort. This new property is set to redefine eco-luxury in Ras Al Khaimah and Sarah will be an integral member of the team which will help generate and maintain its industry-leading success.”Sarah adds, “I am thrilled to be joining the pre-opening team at Anantara Mina al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort, it is such an exciting time to be opening a new luxury property, particularly in the stunning surroundings of Mina Al Arab. This much-anticipated resort will bring a wonderful new aspect to the destination and I am really looking forward to sharing updates with our key partners very soon.”Sarah will be responsible for creating, driving, and overseeing all sales and marketing strategies to promote and position Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort as a leading luxury resort within the region. She will lead a dedicated team to build successful relationships and an exceptional brand image with customers and partners, while creating outstanding awareness of the resort in key global markets.

Mindshare strengthens MENA operations with key leadership appointments in KSA

Mindshare, the global media agency network that is part of WPP, has appointed two industry veterans to regional leadership positions in MENA.Darine El Kaissi has been appointed as the Managing Director for Mindshare Saudi Arabia and Donnacha Kinsella has been appointed to the agency’s client leadership team to bring senior international client management capabilities to the Kingdom.The appointments are part of the agency’s aim to strengthen its KSA operations.Darine El Kaissi brings more than 19 years of advertising industry experience to the Mindshare team, including roles at regional creative agencies and C-level relationships with private and public-sector companies in the Kingdom as well as global and regional brands in telecom, government, FMCG and the financial sector.She has worked with brands and media such as The Red Sea Project, the Public Investment Fund, NEOM, Zain, Mobily, Asharq News and Asharq Business.Donnacha Kinsella brings global experience from Ireland and the United States in addition to seven years working in MENA to his new role.His experience spans diverse client verticals including CPG, automotive and tech, most recently with programmatic digital advertising leader Teads as CPG Industry Lead for the MEA.Mark Heap, Mindshare EMEA CEO, said: “These appointments underline Mindshare’s commitment to the region and our belief in the excellent opportunities for growth in the Kingdom.The depth and breadth of expertise and insight that Darine and Donnacha add will ensure we have dedicated, globally experienced leaders to work continuously with our clients and our own teams in Riyadh and around the world to help elevate our clients relationship and output to truly world class levels.”Earlier this year, Mindshare made several C-level appointments including the appointment of Lamiya Boumlaki as the CEO of Mindshare MENA and Faris Sibai as the Chief Growth Officer MENA.

Six Senses Southern Dunes appoints Sherif Marei as Director of Sales & Marketing

 Six Senses Southern Dunes, the first property set to open in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project, will open its doors in late 2023 with Sherif Marei as Director of Sales & Marketing.With a career spanning 17 years in the luxury hospitality sector, Marei’s career started with the Accor Group, working at a number of renowned properties including Fairmont Heliopolis and Fairmont Nile City. His extensive expertise in luxury hotel inaugurations includes high-profile launches such as The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah, and most recently the Banyan Tree AlUla. His notable honors include the globally recognized Director of Sales of the Year and Fairmont Masters, in addition to the Fairmont President Circle Awards, the brand’s top accolade in sales.Expressing his enthusiasm for his new role, Marei said, “I am thrilled to join the Six Senses Southern Dunes team. The company’s ethos and values align perfectly with my own. As pioneers in sustainability and wellness, we define our brand by these principles. It isn’t simply what we do, it embodies who we are. The unique location and distinctive holistic approach to every element and experience offered to our guests at Six Senses Southern Dunes make my role in promoting the resort a true privilege.”Located along the historic incense trade route against the backdrop of desert plains and the Hijaz Mountains, Six Senses Southern Dunes, will set new standards in sustainability and desert hospitality as it takes guests on a journey into seldom-experienced nature, wildlife, and culture. The resort will be open all year round welcoming both adventure-seekers looking to experience the uniqueness of the Saudi Arabian desert and pleasure-seekers who want to relax in the tranquility and serenity of the Alnesai dunes.

VT Markets appoints Eslam Elshafay as Operations Manager for MENA Region

Dubai: VT Markets, a leading global forex broker, is pleased to announce the appointment of Eslam Elshafay as Operations Manager for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. With a wealth of experience in the forex industry, including a successful tenure at Accuindex, Eslam brings valuable expertise to his new role.Eslam Elshafay joins VT Markets with a remarkable track record in the field, having served as the CS & Operations Manager at Accuindex for two and a half years. During his time at Accuindex, Eslam showcased exceptional leadership skills and a deep understanding of operational efficiency in the forex market. His dedication to providing exceptional customer service and driving operational excellence played a pivotal role in Accuindex's success.With over five years of experience in the forex industry, Eslam possesses a comprehensive understanding of the market's dynamics and a keen eye for identifying emerging trends. His expertise in risk management, compliance, and operational strategies will prove instrumental in further enhancing VT Markets' position as a leading player in the industry.As the Operations Manager for VT Markets in the MENA region, Eslam Elshafay will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations, ensuring seamless execution of services, and maintaining the highest standards of customer satisfaction. His strong leadership abilities and strategic vision will help streamline internal processes, drive organizational growth, and foster a culture of excellence within the MENA region.I am thrilled to be joining VT Markets as their Operations Manager for the MENA region," said Eslam Elshafay. VT Markets is renowned for its commitment to providing clients with innovative trading solutions and exceptional service. I look forward to working closely with the talented team in the region and contributing to the company's continued success in the global forex market.

Amazonico Dubai announces the appointment of Andre Alexy as General Manager

Dubai: Amazónico Dubai, the renowned Latin-American hotspot in DIFC, has appointed seasoned F&B professional Andre Alexy as General Manager.With extensive knowledge in the hospitality and F&B industry across the globe and in the region, Andre brings his expertise, a passion for culinary excellence, and a proven track record of success to Amazónico. Bringing along 15 years of experience and solid operational development and multi-unit management expertise, Andre will oversee the overall operations of the acclaimed venue and lead a dedicated team of world-class chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, and hospitality professionals.Hailing from Germany, Andre’s first foray into the hospitality industry was an apprenticeship in Munich. After, he joined esteemed hotels and restaurants in Munich and Abu Dhabi before joining Beach Rotana as General Manager for three of its venues. He then moved to Doha to open Celebrity Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s first restaurant outside the US at Mondrian Doha before joining TAO Group’s pre-opening team of KOMA in Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Prior to his current role, Andre led the pre-opening team of the Atlantis Royal Dubai and oversaw six venues across the expansive resort, including day and nightlife venues, brand partner restaurants, beach and pool clubs, and the resort’s entire outdoor F&B operation.Offering a fresh perspective to Amazónico Dubai, Andre aims to further solidify the venue as the go-to destination for guests seeking a one-of-a-kind sensory experience, complimented by a warm and welcoming hospitality and ambience synonymous with the brand.

IFS Names Jamal Alamer as MENA Regional Sales Director

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: IFS, the global cloud enterprise software company announced the appointment of Jamal Alamer as the new Regional Sales Director for the MENA region. A highly accomplished professional, his exceptional leadership and skills will be a driving force to position IFS in the digital transformation market with its cutting-edge solutions that meet the evolving customer needs.Speaking on the appointment, Mehmood Khan, Managing Director Middle East and North Africa at IFS, said, “The region has been witnessing tremendous opportunities and growth. The timely appointment of Jamal Alamer will help us deliver strong customer experiences and success. We believe that IFS will be able to sustain its growth and establish itself as a key player in the digital transformation industry.” As Regional Sales Director, Jamal will support IFS’s growth objectives through the development and execution of the company’s go-to-market strategy in the sales teams to a range of industries, including Oil & Gas, Utilities, Telecommunications, Aerospace & Defence, Marine, Manufacturing and Engineering & Construction.“IFS has a strong market reputation and an innovative product portfolio. This is solidified by the commitment to customer success and this has been a catalyst for joining the company. Understanding the organization’s culture, operations and strategic objectives are key to my role, and will help in developing plans to implement effective sales strategies to drive revenue growth and expand IFS’s market share in the digital transformation space,” said Jamal Alamer as the new Regional Sales Director, MENA.Prior to this, Jamal held positions in AVEVA and Bentley Systems, where he honed his skills in developing and implementing solutions that drive business growth and improve operational efficiency. Throughout his career, he has been instrumental in pushing the adoption of the latest technologies, with a particular focus on AI, Machine Learning, Cloud Solutions, Asset & Service Management, APM, EPC 4.0, BIM, and Digital Transformation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and is a certified Product Management Professional (PMP).

JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh appoints Khaled Al Jamal as General Manager

Riyadh, KSA: JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh is pleased to announce the appointment of Khaled Al Jamal as its new General Manager. The highly respected hospitality professional will bring his wealth of experience in the industry having worked within the sector for over 35 years.Khaled graduated with a degree in Finance but found his passion within the hospitality sector, and hence kicked off a long-standing career in many countries from around the world starting with Marriott Amman Hotel in 1987 and held various F&B positions, followed by the USA, Hungary, Russia, Lebanon, Czech Republic, Turkey, UAE, Egypt, Ghana, Jordan and now KSA.During his tenure, he gained extensive experience across the hospitality industry, holding various senior positions in reputable brands such as Marriott, Renaissance, Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott and Fairmont.His General Manager career Journey started pre-opening The Courtyard Moscow in 2003. Subsequently, he went on to hold key General Manager roles worldwide, including the Beirut Marriott, Cluster General Manager at Prague, Czech republic, General Manager for the opening of JW Marriott Ankara Hotel and the Muli-Property General Manager for the opening of Marriott Al Jaddaf & Executive Apartment in Dubai, The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, The iconic Cairo Marriott Hotel, Accra Marriott Hotel in Ghana and Fairmont Amman.  On this occasion, Khaled Al Jamal commented: "I am delighted to join the JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh team which has been recently rebranded and is the first JW Marriott in the Kingdom. It is an exciting time for the property, and I am looking forward to working closely with the team to strengthen the brand’s position in the region and provide exceptional experiences to our guests, and share my experience in the industry to contribute to the hotel's continued success.”With his wealth of experience within the hospitality sector, Khaled will be working on strengthening JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh's position as a flagship brand in the region. His passion for the industry and dedication to excellence will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success of the hotel. The team is thrilled to welcome him onboard and looks forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.The property boasts elegantly designed guest rooms with stunning views of the Riyadh skyline to a diverse range of F&B offerings, state-of-the-art fitness and wellness centre, refreshing outdoor swims, an array of meetings and event facilities that provide a spectacular setting to elevate any corporate or social occasion, and much more, the JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh is the perfect destination for those seeking a refreshing, transformative, and elevated stay in the heart of Riyadh’s new commercial and residential district.

Ruder Finn elevates Atul Sharma to CEO of Ruder Finn India & Head Middle East

Leading global communications agency, Ruder Finn, today announced the expansion of Atul Sharma’s role as CEO of Ruder Finn India, which comprises Ruder Finn India and RF Thunder India. After leading Ruder Finn’s growth in India for the last four years, Sharma is now also being appointed the role of Head of Middle East as part of the company’s planned footprint expansion. Sharma will bring together a new team to expand the firm’s network and set up operations in the Middle East region to meet the growing demand for public relations, marketing communications, digital, and corporate reputation in this region.“We are delighted to appoint Atul as the CEO of Ruder Finn India and Head of our new ventures in the Middle East,” said Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO, “RF India’s transformative growth has been led by a strong leadership team under Atul. Atul has been leading the charge on consulting for our clients on emerging technologies with the growing team in India. Further, we have envisioned paving our way in the Middle East for some time, and I am confident that Atul will help us to tap into the market as we mark our next growth phase in that region.”Sharma joined Ruder Finn Asia in 2018 as Managing Director, Vice President of Ruder Finn India, responsible for overall management and operations, and establishing Ruder Finn as a major player in the India market. With a transformative leadership style, Sharma has led Ruder Finn India to become the fastest growing PR firm in India, building its sectoral expertise across Technology, Brand, Corporate, Auto, Entertainment, Education, Lifestyle, B2B, and Start-Ups, amongst others. The India office has grown multi-fold in the last four years with a strong focus on technology, data analytics and insights and storytelling at its core. Sharma has brought on board extremely competent talent across all the five offices in India. Ruder Finn India is also the first PR firm in the region to launch Web3 Practice to help brands understand and build communities for their various stakeholders.Sharma will continue to lead his team in India, which has experienced exponential growth in staff in the last four years, as well as grow the team in the Middle East as he spearheads the initiative to expand Ruder Finn’s footprint in the region. In addition to his work at Ruder Finn, Sharma also acts as President of the PRCAI (Public Relations Consultants Association of India) wherein he is leading various initiatives to make the PR industry more professional, ethical and prosperous.“It is an honor to be named CEO of the Ruder Finn India Group, which has been recognized as one of the fastest growing mid-size public relations firms in the region, with a strong portfolio of clients backed by exceptional talent,” said Atul Sharma, CEO Ruder Finn India & Head Middle East, “I am also excited about the opportunities in the Middle East for its strong presence in sectors including energy, luxury and retail. I am looking forward to helping build and establish the Ruder Finn presence in the GCC markets.”“We are thrilled to have Atul expand his role. As a respected industry veteran his strong understanding of business growth but also staying ahead of the curve with innovation makes him a strong leader to drive this next chapter of growth for us,” said Elan Shou, Regional Director, Asia, Ruder Finn, “We are certain with our footprint expanding globally, we will truly be able to integrate and drive more synergy for global mandates across locations especially in newer sectors like defense, Web3, aggregator economy etc.”

Rana Almaeeli appointed as new CE of Sinnad company

 Bahrain-based SINNAD Company, a leading Card Processing Payment Solutions and Digital Payments in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs. Rana Almaeeli as its Chief Executive, effective February 2023. This appointment comes as part of SINNAD’s efforts to drive its digital strategic vision and scale their business offerings across the GCC and the African market.Mrs. Rana Almaeeli has held a range of senior managerial positions at SINNAD and has a long history of excellence in the Card Processing, Payment Solutions, and digital payments realm. Rana has also worked as a General Manager at SINNAD for over 11 years, where she leveraged her extensive expertise in digital payments and Payment Solutions.It is also worth noting that Rana received the HRH Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa award in December 2015, under the theme “Women in the Financial and Banking Sector,” for the youngest General Manager in the banking sector.SINNAD, a subsidiary of The BENEFIT Company, was founded with the aim of supporting banks in growing their business with high efficiency, low operating cost and increased profitability by outsourcing their services. Through best-in-class technology and know-how, it provides banks with reliable, efficient and easy-to-use card issuings, ATM and Merchant Acquiring complete solutions from systems outsourcing to full operations. Over the years, SINNAD has established itself as one of the leaders in digital payments and Card processing in the MEA region.Commenting on the appointment, Mohamed Ebrahim AlBastaki, Chairman of SINNAD said, “I would like to congratulate Rana on her new role as CE and express my best wishes for her. Rana has been a valuable asset at SINNAD for over a decade now and has consistently shown her commitment and dedication to the firm through her work experience and invaluable contributions. She played an integral role in shaping SINNAD and helped to set many of the foundational cornerstones that it was built upon. We are confident in her ability to lead SINNAD’s further growth and evolution.”Addressing the promotion, Mrs. Rana Almaeeli commented, “I would like to express my sincerest gratitude towards the Board of Directors , senior management and my colleagues for their unwavering support throughout the years. I am honored to have been a part of SINNAD since the beginning of its journey. We have achieved incredible growth and reached countless milestones over the years, and I look forward to leading our future endeavors as CE.”“I am certain that my extensive knowledge and skills in fostering a progressive, strong financial services environment equips me to lead SINNAD into its next phase, and it is a great privilege to contribute to its success story in the Middle East and Africa regions.”

Veeam appoints Dustin Driggs as Chief Financial Officer

Veeam® Software, the leader in Modern Data Protection, today announced the appointment of Dustin Driggs as the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Driggs will lead Veeam’s global financial function including strategy and reporting as Veeam continues to gain market share and provide best-in-class secure backup and fast, reliable recovery that keeps businesses running.Driggs is an accomplished finance leader with more than 30 years’ experience in successfully building and managing large multinational businesses. He joins Veeam from Barracuda Networks where he worked for over 16 years, most recently as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President leading the finance and accounting function. Prior to Barracuda Networks, Driggs held senior leadership roles at Cisco Systems and PwC.“Veeam is helping to keep businesses running when the unexpected happens, whether it’s ransomware, natural disasters, human error, outages, or a cyber-attack. That’s an incredible value proposition that in turn creates huge opportunity in a fast-growing market,” said Dustin Driggs, CFO at Veeam. “I’m excited to join such a talented and innovative team and look forward to the opportunity to contribute to Veeam’s continued global success.”“Dustin brings great experience, insights and skills to Veeam,” said Anand Eswaran, CEO at Veeam. “With more than 5,000 employees, 450,000 customers and well over $1B in ARR, it’s an exciting time in our development and evolution; we’re growing rapidly by keeping businesses running. In a digital world, our value proposition of proactively protecting data across every type of environment and helping companies rapidly recover from unexpected events is incredibly critical to every organization. Dustin is a valuable addition to our strong leadership team at Veeam, and I’m confident his expertise and experience will make a great impact here.”Driggs succeeds Chuck Garner who is leaving Veeam after successfully leading the company’s finance, strategy, and operations functions and having completed its $5 billion sale to Insight Partners in 2020. Garner said, "I have enjoyed partnering with our leadership team and investors over the last four years as Veeam has achieved record growth and extended its market leadership position."Eswaran added, "I want to thank Chuck for his leadership and dedication at Veeam. He's made valuable contributions to the company, and I wish him much continued success."Veeam recently announced the NEW Veeam Data Platform, a single platform delivering more advanced data security, recovery, and hybrid cloud capabilities than ever before. The Veeam Data Platform, which includes Veeam Backup & Replication (VBR) v12, provides best-in-class secure backup and fast reliable recovery that keeps business running. It brings together the latest features offered from Veeam into a robust solution that is offered in three enterprise-grade editions for protecting Cloud, Virtual, Physical, SaaS, and Kubernetes applications across complex and expanding IT environments and the increasing set of challenges facing every organization from outages to errors and ransomware. Veeam will highlight the New Veeam Data Platform during VeeamON 2023, the community event for data recovery experts, which will take place May 22 – 24 in Miami, FL and online. Designed by and built for the backup and recovery professional, attendees will expand their skills, celebrate with the community, and share industry knowledge with special content from Amazon Web Services, (AWS), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and more. Registration for the in-person event is now open.

Beyond ONE appoints Nisreen Shocair as CEO for Middle East and Africa

Following its recent acquisition of Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa (VMMEA), Beyond ONE™, the TMT-sector (technology, media, telecommunications) investment and operations company, has announced the appointment of Nisreen Shocair as Chief Executive Officer for Middle East and Africa. Overseeing both Virgin Mobile and Friendi Mobile brands in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, Shocair will be responsible for driving and developing the next phase of the organisation.A bold and seasoned leader spanning geographies and sectors, Shocair has built a career at the intersection of technology, entertainment, fashion, retail and sustainability in United States, UK, Germany and the Middle East. Most recently, she was CEO of YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group in the Middle East. Prior to that, she led the launch of a live streaming shopping network on MBC, the largest media company in the MENA region, a first-mover in shoppable digital content. As President of Virgin Megastore for MENA, Shocair led the organisation’s radical transformation across nine markets. She has also held leadership positions at Viacom, Sony Music, Bertelsmann AG and Hearst.Group CEO of Beyond ONE, Markus Tagger said: “Nisreen is a future-forward thinker and leader with a track record of successful cross-sector transformation and business growth. We are delighted to be working with her as leader on Beyond ONE Middle East and Africa, and our first of many acquisitions in growth markets around the world.”Of her appointment at Beyond ONE, Shocair said: “The number of women leading large tech companies remains a rounding error. With Beyond ONE, we will bring more visibility to the industry for tech talent and entrepreneurs, especially women, both regionally and globally.“We are an equal opportunity employer with a clear vision focused on cultivating and growing talent across multiple sectors and categories - beyond just one telco, beyond just one region and beyond just one vertical. I’m excited to realise a vision that brings creativity, community and connectivity together, while maintaining a great experience, greater personalisation, and even greater hyper-localisation.”VMMEA, a pioneer MVNO in the Middle East has enjoyed considerable success since it was founded in 2006, today serving more than three million users in multiple GCC countries and operating a profitable, industry-leading digital communication platform for both its Virgin Mobile and Friendi Mobile operations.

IMG appoints David Collins as SVP and MD for MENA

International Management Group (IMG), a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, has appointed David Collins as its Senior Vice President and MD for the MENA region. Based in Dubai, Collins will be reporting to Robbie Henchman, President of global partnerships for IMG Events, IMG Media.Collins has more than two decades of experience in the sports marketing industry. He has been working in the Middle East in the last ten years. He was with Wasserman’s as SVP, head of growth and development, EMEA. He was in charge of launching Wasserman’s Middle East business.Apart from overseeing the regional team, he will manage IMG’s MENA events and worldwide partnerships business, which comprise the Arab Gulf Cup, Lusail Winter Wonderland, and Mubadala World Tennis Championship. David has played a crucial role in establishing golf’s Race to Dubai, helped Emirates NBD on its Expo 2020 Dubai association. He also was instrumental in launching Ladies European Tour, an elite women’s professional sports event in Abu Dhabi.Collins said: “Having started my career with IMG, it’s a real privilege to be back working with the business. It’s such an exciting time for the Middle East region, off the back of mega events such as Expo 2020 and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. When considered alongside IMG’s world-class portfolio of events and services, as well as the wider Endeavor network offering, the opportunities for further regional growth look incredibly bright.”Robbie Henchman said: “We are delighted to welcome David as our new Managing Director of IMG’s MENA business. Through his impressive track-record of establishing and delivering world-class events and partnerships with federations, key government stakeholders and leading brands, David brings extensive regional experience, expertise, and relationships to this role.”Founded in 1960, IMG operates in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions.

Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh names Guenter Gebhard as Regional VP

Riyadh: Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center, the most iconic hotel in Riyadh, is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Guenter Gebhard as Regional Vice President and General Manager.A veteran hospitality executive, Gebhard joined Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh in 2019 as General Manager, following an extensive 35-year international career, taking him from Europe to the United States, Asia to Australia and more recent years in the GCC and Middle East. During his tenure, he has been overseeing all operational and commercial aspects of the Hotel including a substantial hundred million dollar renovation of the property. He also has been a main drive in attracting local talent onto the team. In his latest role as Senior General Manager, he had been supporting ongoing strategic expansion efforts of Four Seasons within the Kingdom.“Guenter is a creative Hotelier with a strong track record of delivering results. In his new role, he will continue to oversee Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh and will lead regional responsibility for all operational aspects of our nascent growth in the Kingdom,” says Simon Casson, President- Hotel Operations, Europe, Middle East & Africa at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. “Saudi Arabia is the most active destination for our region from a growth perspective with currently 10 new projects at different stages of development. We are fortunate to have a leader who shares the aspirational vision for the future of the Kingdom.”Ideally situated in the heart of Riyadh, one of the most vibrant destinations in the Kingdom, Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, with its newly renovated rooms and suites, is an appealing combination of modern luxury interiors combined with Saudi heritage touches. The Hotel is tucked inside the iconic Kingdom Tower, a familiar sight on the skyline and one of the most popular attractions in the city for tourists and locals alike.“I feel honored and privileged to take on this regional role with Four Seasons,” says Guenter Gebhard, Regional Vice President and General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh. “There is a rich legacy to draw upon as we chart our course for an exciting future ahead. With Saudi Arabia turning into a dynamic destination full of art, culture and entertainment, I look forward to working with the team and the local community to further establish the Kingdom on the international stage."Born and raised in Nuremberg, Germany, Gebhard was always encouraged by his parents to travel and see the world. After attending the Hotel & Tourism Academy in Munich, Germany, he studied Finance and Management at the Stern School of Business, New York University. Gebhard’s prior experience in the Kingdom, other GCC countries and global work exposure are strong attributes that will support Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts growth in Saudi Arabia.

IHG Hotels & Resorts picks Sayed Tayoun as General Manager for Dubai business

Dubai - IHG Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce the appointment of veteran hotelier Sayed Tayoun as General Manager of Holiday Inn & Suites Dubai Science Park.With more than twenty years’ experience in hospitality operations & commercial leadership in the region, Sayed has been leading and inspiring teams across different IHG brands to excel in operational standards & achieve rooms, F&B & other revenues streams at optimum profitability. A Graduate with BA in Hospitality Management from Notre Dame University in Lebanon, an achiever in online career enhancement programs from Cornell University and Harvard Business School. His remarkable career in IHG began back in 2005 at InterContinental Doha, climbing up the ranks to become Director of Sales & Marketing in InterContinental Abu Dhabi in 2010, then leading the commercial functions for IHG Hotels in Abu Dhabi in 2012 and later with IHG Hotels at Dubai Festival City in 2016. Most recently, he was named the Cluster Hotel Manager of the InterContinental Hotels at Dubai Festival City, where he led operations for the multi-branded complex of over 1,598 rooms, 10,000 square meters of events space, and 11 award-winning F&B outlets; introduced new F&B concepts in the business; and initiated more than 20 key projects to enhance the guest experience and drive revenues.  In his new position as General Manager of Holiday Inn & Suites at Dubai Science Park, Sayed is driven by his passion for people and support for the local community, as well as his ambition to successfully launch a pioneering green hotel that supports responsible hospitality. Together with his leadership team, he is pouring his considerable energies towards bringing IHG Hotels & Resorts’ “Journey to Sustainability” to life in Holiday Inn & Suites Dubai Science Park through a variety of channels such as a no single-use plastic policy, an in-house water bottling plant, and digital amenities to reduce the use of paper in all the guest rooms, suites and apartments.  Built inside the hotel, the water bottling plant, for example, reduces the consumption of at least 1,500 plastic bottles a day by producing glass bottled water instead. The bottling plant has a 3,400-liter capacity, generating 80 liters per hour of cold still water, ambient still water, and sparkling water. “With travel bouncing back, it’s important that people have options for accommodations that help them reduce their carbon footprint. Many hotels have already begun by limiting the use of single-use plastics, and our hotel in particular, has implemented the use of eco-friendly products from eco bags, plantable seed pens, pencils & notebooks and biodegradable vanity kits as a replacement to traditional plastic toiletries, but we want to go an even bigger step further with pioneering innovations like our water bottling plant. In this way, we provide our signature hospitality and service to our guests while being environmentally responsible,” Sayed shared. “Our vision is for Holiday Inn & Suites Dubai Science Park is to become one of the city’s most vibrant communal hubs. It is important for our guests, both local and international, to feel a sense of place and familiarity when they stay with us. Our aim is to support the local community by providing a place where people come together for business, social or leisure. We also plan to offer unique experiences that encourage local exploration and support local businesses and attractions,” Sayed adds.  Aside from championing responsible hospitality and supporting the community, Sayed is also a firm advocate of diversity and equality. A polyglot who can speak fluent Arabic, English and French, and with his passion for history and travel, Sayed believes that diversity enriches the workplace and helps to deliver true hospitality to guests of the hotel.  To this end, he has worked to champion diversity and inclusivity in the workplace including improving the hotel’s Emiratization program; implementing a flexible schedule for working mothers in the hotel; and ensuring gender equality amongst the employees of Holiday Inn & Suites Dubai Science Park, with a diverse number of nationalities, and is still opening its doors for more. Holiday Inn & Suites will soon be opening its doors at the Dubai Science Park, a thriving community that fosters development in the medical, wellness, pharma, and technology sectors while being ideally located near Dubai’s beaches, golf courses and malls.  The hotel features a sleek and brand-transforming public space design which will allow the guests to meet, relax and socialize, as well as 324 guestrooms, suites and one-bedroom apartments conceptualized to optimize guest comfort. Integrating a modern approach, all hotel rooms, suites and apartments include features such as a Digital TouchPad panel and a Bluetooth speaker with wireless charging. Upper-scale one-bedroom suites will also be equipped with a built-in kitchenette, cookware and flatware, washer and dryer – facilities that are quintessential to long-staying guests. The?hotel also includes?seven?ultra-modern?collapsible?events and conference space and an extensive upper mid-scale ballroom, all equipped with modern technology, which can accommodate over 340 guests. For recreation, the hotel will have a fully equipped fitness center, an outdoor pool and a sizeable activity space. When it comes to food and beverage offerings, Holiday Inn & Suites at Dubai Science Park offers a variety of exciting choices to suit every taste. The hotel will have a sleek pool bar; Kitchen25, a restaurant serving international cuisine; and Café Verde, a café that will feature smart, communal working spaces. This fulfills the hotel’s brand promise of providing a space to support startup companies, entrepreneurs and “digital nomads” or remote-working professionals. The hotel will also be home to McGettigan’s - the famous Irish pub, which is set to be the new hotspot in the neighborhood for dining and drinks, with its unrivalled Irish hospitality and entertainment and al fresco seating. All this with the comfort and services they have come to know and love at Holiday Inn including the brand’s signature “Kids Stay and Eat Free” program. Complemented by memorable, warm and friendly service, Holiday Inn & Suites Dubai Science Park will be the perfect destination for both business and leisure travelers, as well as residents within the community.

Capgemini Egypt appoints Hossam Seifeldin as CEO

Cairo – Capgemini announces the appointment of Hossam Seifeldin as CEO Capgemini in Egypt. In this role Hossam is responsible for building and growing the Group’s newest Global Delivery Center team of experts that serves global clients with a focus on Europe and the Middle East region. Capgemini’s Global Delivery Center in Egypt has been set up to meet growing client demand for its offerings in Cloud Infrastructure Services, Intelligent Operations, Engineering, Research and Development, and Data and Artificial Intelligence. Through its network of Global Delivery Centers, - now including Egypt, Capgemini provides large organizations with 24/7, multi-lingual business and transformation services. Thanks to its time zone, the new Egypt Global Delivery Center is ideally placed to provide services to clients across Europe and the Middle East.“After spending a number of years working in the region Hossam is returning to his homeland of Egypt to establish and grow Capgemini’s first delivery center in the country,” comments Aiman Ezzat, CEO of the Capgemini Group. “He is an accomplished business leader and technologist, with a strong track record in building and leading new organizations as well as ensuring delivery excellence. I am delighted to welcome Hossam to the Group and wish him every success in his new role.” “In leading Capgemini’s newest Global Delivery Center, I will combine the skills that I have accumulated over the years in serving global clients, as well as building and shaping new business units and teams founded on trust and an inclusive culture,” said Hossam Seifeldin. “The work that we are undertaking for clients spans the fast-evolving fields of cloud, data and AI, connectivity, software, digital engineering, and platforms. The rich talent pool in Egypt has a well-matched skill set. I am really looking forward to growing our portfolio of services and welcoming new team members to Capgemini, from graduates and developers through to data scientists and engineers.”Prior to joining Capgemini, Hossam worked for 27 years in IBM where he held several leadership positions across the different business units and geographies. In 2013 he was appointed as the Middle East & Africa (MEA) Vice President, where he led the IBM Transformation across MEA and delivered strong performance across the different metrics. He also led the Operations, Transformation and Strategy since 2008 whereby he developed and executed the Operational and Strategic operating model across MEA. In addition, he has held several leadership roles on top of his VP responsibilities: General Manager for Saudi, Gulf, and Pakistan from 2019 till end of 2021 and General Manager Africa from 2014 to 2016. Hossam started his career in IBM Egypt in 1996 as a Systems Engineer.Hossam is passionate about building new business units and creating inclusive culture with trust, teamwork and speed with execution at the center.He holds a B.Sc. in Engineering from Ain Shams University in Cairo and a Diploma in Management from Henley University (UK). He is also certified board director from International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group.

Ameera Al Abbasi appointed as Head of Retail Banking at KHCB

Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB), one of the leading Islamic banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain, has announced the appointment of Ms. Ameera Al Abbasi as the Bank’s Head of Retail Banking. Ms. Ameera Al Abbasi has undertaken several leadership roles since joining KHCB in the year 2008, as she was the Head of Business Banking before being appointed to this position.Ms. Al Abbasi has extensive experience in the banking sector and the field of retail and corporate banking, which extends for more than 17 years. She holds a number of career and academic qualifications, the most important of which are a BSc in Marketing from the University of Bahrain, Associate Professional Risk Manager “APRM” from the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association “PRMIA” in the USA, and has attended the Islamic Finance Management Development Program at Coventry University in the UK.On this occasion, members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Management congratulated Ms. Al Abbasi, wishing her all the best in her new position, while also praising her prominent role throughout the positions she held over the previous years within the bank’s team. They also emphasised their confidence in her and the role she will play as Head of Retail Banking during the upcoming period towards achieving the Bank’s strategic objectives.For her part, Ms. Al Abbasi expressed her sincere gratitude and appreciation to the bank’s Board of Directors and the Executive Management for their confidence, stressing that she will work to further enhance the leading position held by KHCB by continuing to develop its retail banking services, especially in relation to the digitisation of branches and continuing to offer additional innovative products and services that will add a new dimension to the banking experience provided to clients.KHCB is a leading Islamic bank that strives to achieve clients' aspirations through an Islamic banking model that offers a comprehensive range of high quality Shari'a-complaint banking services and investment opportunities to individuals and companies.

The Saudi Music Commission appoints Paul Pacifico as Chief Executive Officer

The Saudi Music Commission announced today the appointment of Paul Pacifico as Chief Executive Officer, where he will be responsible for developing the Kingdom’s music sector in line with the National Culture Strategy.Mr Pacifico will assume his new role at the Commission from January 2023, continuing a distinguished career marked by extensive knowledge and experience in the fields of music creativity, entrepreneurship, policy, and education. Over the past six years, Mr Pacifico served as CEO of the Association of Independent Music (AIM), where he led the representation of the UK’s independent music sector including music entrepreneurs, independent labels, service companies, distributors, and artists. During his time at AIM, he initiated the Music Climate Pact, developed with the support of the UN Environment Programme, which brought together key industry leaders to take collective action to reduce the music sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate its contribution to global climate change, and ignite action on the climate crisis.Prior to that, he was CEO of the UK’s Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) and the founding president of the International Artist Organization (IAO), working on uniting music artists organizations from all over the world. Mr Pacifico is Associate Professor at Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain and has served on the boards of English National Ballet, UK Music, Creative UK (formerly the Creative Industries Federation) and the Music Advisory Board of London’s Roundhouse, as well as international music organisations IMPALA (Europe) and the Worldwide Independent Network (‘WIN’). In April this year, Mr Pacifico was recognized as one of the top executives in the global music sector in Billboard’s 2022 International Power Players List.Commenting on his appointment, Mr Pacifico said, “Time and time again, music has been shown to be a powerful and sustainable enabler across both cultural and commercial development. It is truly remarkable to see the level of support and the pace of change within Saudi Arabia as it builds a strong music sector for all to participate in. The opportunity to help in that journey is a huge privilege. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Music Commission to build a vibrant, inclusive and effective music sector as a key part of the ongoing cultural transformation in the Kingdom, led by the Ministry of Culture."The Saudi Music Commission is one of 11 sector-specific commissions under the Ministry of Culture. It was launched in 2020 to oversee the development of the Kingdom’s music sector.  The Commission aims to enrich the music sector in the Kingdom and develop its ecosystem through building world-class infrastructure, providing universal access to music education, empowering musical talent, creating job opportunities, and increasing the sector’s contribution to the economy.

Memac Ogilvy veteran returns as agency’s first dedicated UAE CEO

 Integrated marketing agency Memac Ogilvy has appointed Claus Adams as its UAE CEO as the agency pursues ambitious growth plans across its full suite of capabilities. Adams will work alongside and report into the network’s MENA CEO, David Fox.In appointing its first dedicated CEO for the UAE, the agency has upgraded its most senior leadership position from Managing Director, reflecting the scale of the agency’s multi-discipline aspirations into the future.In his role, Adams will lead the realization of Memac Ogilvy’s strategic objectives across five capability areas of public relations, consulting, advertising, healthcare, and experience. Adams will also work to uphold the agency’s integrated model, driving further synergy to most effectively meet the communications needs of Memac Ogilvy’s diverse and region-wide client base. Underpinning the new CEO position is a mandate to continue producing transformative work for brands that successfully marries Memac Ogilvy’s world beating creativity with commercially driven effectiveness.Adams’ appointment marks his return to Memac Ogilvy and the region. In 2008, Adams was tasked with establishing creative commerce brand OgilvyAction (now VMLY&R Commerce) in the Middle East and North Africa, serving as MENA Regional Director until 2013.His more than two decades of broader experience in shaping teams, strategy, and operations towards lasting business growth will be instrumental to the future direction and success of Memac Ogilvy’s UAE presence. Adams previously held the title of EMEA CEO for Geometry and VMLY&R Commerce CEO in Germany. Since 2021, Adams has been a member of the board of the German Advertising Association, representing the leading German agencies in the West.“Claus was the standout choice to lead the charge for Memac Ogilvy in the UAE towards fresh creative thinking for our clients and new partnerships with ambitious global and local brands,” commented David Fox, Memac Ogilvy’s Chief Executive Officer MENA. “He understands the nuance of the region and the UAE market in particular, he’s proven himself as a leader of business growth, and he knows how to create a culture that energizes people to do their best work. This challenge, coupled with Memac Ogilvy’s diverse group of clients, is what drew Claus back to the region to steer our next chapter.”“The opportunity to return to Memac Ogilvy in the UAE in 2022 was too great to resist,” added Adams. “Change is happening all around us in culture and business, and for decades this agency has stood apart for the transformative, award-winning ideas it brings to the brands we all love. I’m thrilled to be joining a team of exceptional talent and valued partners to play my part in creating meaningful work for such an exciting group of clients.”

Mashreq appoints Hamda Al Shamali

 Mashreq, one of the leading financial institutions in the UAE and the Middle East, today announced the appointment of Hamda Al Shamali in the newly created role of Chief People and Intellectual Capital Officer.In this role, Hamda will bring her significant human capital and talent development expertise to lead and grow human resources, nurture and develop Mashreq talent, and support culture and engagement enhancement programmes across the organization. She will be responsible for leading key priorities such as DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion), streamlining distributed workforce and hybrid working models, automation of EX journeys and evolving our employees wellbeing discipline into the broader and more comprehensive organizational health approach.Hamda is a seasoned senior Emirati human resources professional with a strong track record spanning more than 20 years of accomplishments with leading local and international organizations.Prior to joining Mashreq, Hamda was the Executive Director, Human Resources at The National Health Insurance Company – Daman, overseeing all aspects of the company's Human Resources function. She also led the Business and Culture project at Daman, being a part of their global HR community which helped steer the company transform their vision, culture, technology and resources. Her experience also includes leading Nationalization and Local Talent across multiple roles in GCC for international banks such as HSBC Bank Middle East and Barclays Plc.Commenting on her appointment, Ahmed Abdelaal, Group Chief Executive Officer, Mashreq, said: “Hamda is a proven leader in building excellence and taking an innovative approach to HR, and her fresh perspective combined with the distinctive strength of Mashreq as a brand makes her uniquely positioned to front our endeavors to support nationalization programmes around the region, attract top talents and world class leaders while fostering a workplace culture that engages and motivates employees to rise every day, which ismission critical for our future growth strategy. I look forward to working closely with Hamda to maintain and enhance our status as one of the best places to work.”Hamda Al Shamali added: “I am delighted to be joining Mashreq at such an exciting time in its growth, as the bank aims to adopt a challenger brand status and seeks to achieve social and economic impact by supporting the aspirations, dreams and needs of every customer.Attracting and retaining the right talent will be an essential part of this strategy. I look forward to capitalizing on my experience in the financial services sector to further nurture human capital and strengthen the bank’s role in providing best in class products and services to its customers.”Hamda holds a Bachelor’s degree of Applied Science in Business Administration from Higher Colleges of Technology Dubai.

BHSI names Pedro Mairos

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) today announced that it has appointed Pedro Mairos as Global Underwriting Officer, Marine. He was previously Head of Marine for the UK & Ireland at BHSI.“Our large global footprint coupled with the substantial growth of our Marine business made now the optimal time to deepen the global leadership of our marine underwriting team worldwide,” said Dean LaPierre, Chief Underwriting Officer, Property & Marine, BHSI. “We are pleased to have such a deep bench of talent across both underwriting and claims to service our marine customers and brokers in local markets around the globe.”Pedro joined BHSI in 2019. He has more than two decades of experience in the global marine market, including Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He will continue to be based in London and can be reached at offers a full range of marine insurance products worldwide, including inland transit, motor truck cargo, warehouse legal liability, builder’s risk, contractor’s equipment, ocean cargo, stock throughputs, project cargo, and marine equipment, including subsea equipment.Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance ( provides commercial property, casualty, healthcare professional liability, executive and professional lines, transactional liability, surety, marine, travel, programs, accident and health, medical stop loss, homeowners, and multinational insurance. The actual and final terms of coverage for all product lines may vary. It underwrites on the paper of Berkshire Hathaway's National Indemnity group of insurance companies, which hold financial strength ratings of A++ from AM Best and AA+ from Standard & Poor's. Based in Boston, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Irvine, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, San Ramon, Seattle, Stevens Point, Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Brussels, Cologne, Dubai, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London, Lyon, Macau, Madrid, Manchester, Melbourne, Munich, Paris, Perth, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, and Zurich.

CowPay appoints Mohamed Abu Khadra as CEO

CowPay, the leading fintech service provider and e-payment enabler, said it had appointed Mohamed Abu Khadra as its new CEO, effective September 1. Abu Khadra succeeded CEO Hussain Al-Manawi, who joined the company’s board.Abu Khadra boasts of a proven track record of successes in the fintech and e-payment industry. He contributed to raising awareness on the key role of fintech services and its applications during his work as a marketing director at Bee Smart Payment Solutions for 10 years.Abu Khadra said: I am pleased and proud to have been selected as new CEO of prominent fintech platform CowPay. And looking forward to achieving the ambitions of the company's board and investors, expanding its foothold, and boosting its market share."He added the Fintech market offers unprecedented opportunities on the back of the Central Bank of Egypt's (CBE) support to the industry’s information infrastructure and legal framework in order to increase penetration of fintech services in our daily lives.In this respect, mobile phone wallet transactions surged by 108% to 212 million transactions in the first half of 2022, recording EGP 250 billion, according to CBE data. CBE said point-of-sale (PoS) transactions reached 110.6 million at a combined value of EGP 108.7 billion. Meanwhile, e-commerce transactions amounted to 60.3 million, totaling EGP 22.3 billion by the end of June 2022.Mohamed Abu El-Naga, Vice Chairman of CowPay, expressed confidence in Abu Khadra and his ability to trigger a quantum leap in the company's business and to build on Al-Manawi's achievements. Currently, CowPay serves more than 500 clients and adopts an ambitious expansion plan to scale up its businesses.Established in 2019 as an Egyptian company, CowPay is a payment facilitator registered at CBE. The company's board members have long-standing experience and in-house expertise in the e-payment and telecommunications sector.   CowPay provides innovative e-payment solutions for companies and individuals to help them transform their payment and collection transactions. The company has a shareholding structure of pioneering Egyptian and regional investors.

Citi appoints Head of Markets for Middle East, Egypt, and Pakistan

Citi is pleased to announce that Kamal Benkabbou has been appointed Head of Markets for Middle East, Egypt, and Pakistan (MEEP) effective immediately.Kamal will build on solid foundations in MEEP to drive and implement a fully integrated growth strategy for Markets in the region. He will develop and execute a client-centric strategy delivering Citi’s Global Product offering into the region while developing and leveraging Citi’s local infrastructure and capabilities. He will be a key partner to regional leadership teams and product heads in Markets with a focus on identifying and delivering synergies and efficiency gains within Markets and with broader Institutional Client platform. Kamal will also be responsible for providing overall oversight of the Risks arising from Markets activities across the MEEP region.Kamal has been Head of Financial Institution Sales and Solutions (FISS) for the MENA region since 2019. He has been responsible for delivering significant growth in revenues in the region across Markets products. He also successfully led our efforts to instil a strong sales management discipline and foster a client centric culture.Kamal joined Citi in 2011 to develop our MENA Investor Sales franchise. Prior to Citi, he worked at Barclays Capital in London in a similar role. Kamal will continue leading the FISS effort in the region until a replacement is appointed. He will remain based in Dubai.

CPX Holding and Huawei to collaborate in strengthening the cybersecurity

CPX Holding, a UAE-based leading provider of digital-first cybersecurity solutions and services, and Huawei have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore and deliver strategic projects that support UAE's advancement as a top trusted digital hub for the region.The memorandum was signed by Khaled Al Melhi, CEO of CPX, and Jerry Liu, CEO of Huawei UAE, at GITEX GLOBAL 2022 in the presence of executives from both companies.In particular, CPX and Huawei have expressed a mutual commitment to the sustainable development of the UAE's cybersecurity ecosystem. The two parties will thus work together to exchange knowledge on industry trends, design end-to-end cybersecurity platforms and solutions, and add value to the country's existing cybersecurity projects. By leveraging resources from both inside and outside the UAE, the parties will ultimately be able to assist public and private-sector organizations in ensuring compliance with stringent cybersecurity standards while accelerating their cyber maturity.Khaled Al Melhi, CEO of CPX, said: "The GCC region, particularly the UAE, has become a hub for digital innovation. In alignment with our mission to empower organizations with cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions and services, our collaboration with Huawei aims to support government and private sectors to maintain their competitive edge and thrive in an increasingly digital economy."Jerry Liu, CEO of Huawei UAE noted: "Huawei believes cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and collaboration between ICT industry stakeholders to build unified and transparent security standards is key to safer cyberspace. Therefore, we value partnerships like this with CPX, which support the government's efforts to position the UAE as a trusted digital oasis." The MoU comes as governments and businesses in the UAE rapidly adopt new technologies while also being exposed to new and more sophisticated cyber threats. Mitigating these unprecedented security risks has thus become a C-suite priority across all sectors as they strive to do more than rely on reactive cybersecurity strategies.

Senior appointments reflect Gensler Middle East’s regional growth Trajectory

Gensler, the global architecture, design and planning firm, has appointed three directors to its Middle East office. Thomas Williams, AIA, LEED® AP and Arthi Balasubramanian, B.Arch. (Hons), PG Dip, COA, have been appointed as Studio Directors and Stephanie Kinnick AIA, LEED AP® BD+C is the newly appointed Operations Director. All hires will have a Middle East-wide remit.These appointments act as a significant growth marker for Gensler Middle East, headed by Tim Martin as the Managing Director. With Gensler’s worldwide revenue for fiscal year 2021, reaching $1.235 billion, and the Middle East being an impressive contributor, the region is a focus market for the global giant. Currently Gensler, founded in 1965, has 50 locations across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Americas with three in the Middle East. The firm serves more than 3,300 active clients in almost every industry.Commenting on the appointments, Managing Director of Gensler Middle East, Tim Martin said: “The Gensler Middle East office has seen huge success over the past two years, and as a result, exponential growth across client base, revenue and staff. With giga projects and two new offices under our belts, we are delighted to be welcoming a continued high caliber of talent to the Gensler family to aid us in our commitment to the design industry. Guided by determined optimism, we believe the power of design can spark positive change and create a future that promotes equity, resilience and wellbeing for everyone.”Thomas Williams is an architect licensed in the State of Hawaii, U.S.A. with more than 25 years’ experience across; global hospitality leadership, design leadership in master planning, ultra-luxury resorts and high-rise urban mixed-use. His project experience spans; resorts, urban hotels, boutique properties, residential developments, entertainment venues and culture and art complexes.With large scale projects such as; Park Hyatt & Andaz Porto Island Dubai, U.A.E. 1,150 keys, Van Don Resort Complex, Hanoi, Vietnam 2,400 keys, Ritz Carlton Bora Bora, Bora Bora Island, French Polynesia 300 keys, Four Season Resort, French Polynesia 125 keys, Raffles Resort, Bora Bora Island, French Polynesia 250 keys, amongst many others, Thomas’s primary role is leading and directing design across Gensler’s Lifestyle II studio, covering; hospitality, residential and retail, while working with Gensler’s global production team. His professional expertise extends beyond the conceptual realm to technical working drawings and direct client management. As a result of a rich background in architecture, hospitality management and graphic design, he is able to bring a unique professional view to projects and design solutions for his clients.With over 15 years’ experience in architectural practice, Arthi studied Architecture at Anna University, Chennai, India, before moving to the UK to obtain her Post Graduate degree at the University of Sheffield. Arthi has worked for a number of well-known architectural studios in the UK, leading several award-winning projects during that time. Shortly after moving to the UAE, Arthi worked as Lead Design Manager for the Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture’s, complex masterplan and modernization of the Cultural Foundation Building at Qasr Al Hosn. In her previous role she was responsible for overseeing the design and delivery of all regional projects, developing strategy and leading business development. Her passion is design and renovation of cultural building, especially projects that bridge local heritage with contemporary architecture.Stephanie Kinnick is an architect with over 25 years’ experience and a diverse portfolio of work globally, ranging from academic to commercial, arenas to single family residences, civic and transportation to hospitality and retail. Being based in the MENA region for more than ten years, she has had the opportunity to see a cross-section of projects come to life, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Yas Bay, and Jubail Island Town Center. With a strong foundation in design and a keenness for strategic leadership, Stephanie excels as a driven team leader. She is currently the 2022 President of AIA Middle East and in her current role, she will manage the day-to-day operations of Gensler’s Middle East offices, covering all aspects of business, resourcing, finance, marketing, business development and team development.Unique among design firms, Gensler Middle East’s integrated network serves a cross-section of the global economy through the following practice areas: Community Aviation Cities & Urban Design Education Lifestyle Brand Design Culture & Museums Digital Experience Design Hospitality Mixed Use & Retail Centers Sports Work PlaceConsulting & Real Estate Services Consumer Goods Developer Energy Financial Services Foundations, Associations & Organizations, Government & Defense

The ENTERTAINER appoints new CEO for growth into KSA and Egypt

The Board of Directors at the ENTERTAINER announced earlier today Ahmed Gaber has been appointed as the new CEO of the company to lead new growth strategy. An experienced business leader, Ahmed will assume responsibilities and commence his duties on 10th October 2022.The board concluded that the company will maintain its key attention on the MENA region with a continued focus on the UAE as a key market. Besides UAE, KSA is identified as the primary focal market with its prominent status to eclipse existing regional hubs and has set course to expand in Egypt. As an additional strategic measure, the company is negotiating sales of non-core markets outside MENA for successful exits.“We are pleased to appoint Ahmed as the new CEO for the ENTERTAINER, he has a broad and unique experience, which we believe will be very valuable for our company. The leadership team has integrated a new business growth strategy that will ensure a diverse selection of B2B offerings with a projection consisting of a steady increase in the number of merchants on the ENTERTAINER app and fast growth of users and resumption. Another high priority for the management includes retaining employees as pillars for success,” said the Chairman of the Board of the ENTERTAINER, Hisham Alrayes.“I am honored and very excited to lead the ENTERTAINER. I believe that our award-winning lifestyle app is the perfect solution for people to enjoy more, for less, especially as we face the current economic uncertainty. Additionally, the company’s business model will be restructured in order to accommodate its business partners. I’m confident in our new strategy as it positions us as a necessary asset in the UAE as we take strategic steps in KSA to generate further profitable growth while simultaneously tapping into Egypt’s market,” said Ahmed Gaber, the newly appointed CEO of the ENTERTAINER.Prior to the ENTERTAINER, Gaber was the General Manager of Visa's operations in North Africa where he was responsible for developing the digital Payments industry across numerous markets with a special focus on enabling digital commerce, launching EMV acceptance and issuing, rolling out financial inclusion programs and helping governments implement digital payments programs. He has more than 21 years of experience in the GCC and MENA region and has led markets across 11 different countries.Ahmed holds a Bachelor of Electronics and Communications Engineering from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology that he obtained in 2000. He also attended more than 25 courses in leadership, sales and strategy. Ahmed also attended Strategic Business Management, a Harvard University course, and the Visa Leadership program in partnership with INSEAD to lead and manage teams.

MContent appoints Brandon Fong as the new Chief of Streaming

MContent, the world’s first fully decentralized content ecosystem is pleased to announce the appointment of Brandon Fong as their new chief of streaming business. The hiring of the well respected industry veteran shows the commitment of the MContent board to strengthen its streaming business ambitions and commitment to its community and stakeholders  as the company moves towards a rebranding and relaunch of its content platform.  As part of his new role, Fong will oversee MContent’s consumer facing streaming platform with responsibility for all revenue growth, marketing operations, product development, and user acquisition initiatives. He will also lead new business development and strategic partnerships that integrate MContent’s suite of web3 assets across SVOD, AVOD, FAST and transactional marketplaces. “I am thrilled to join MContent and work with the talented leadership team to create unique streaming experiences for their consumers, content partners and advertisers. MContent’s slate of high quality content, engaged user community and dynamic, blockchain enabled rewards platform provide a strong foundation for continued success and growth.”  In his previous roles, Fong was Senior Vice President at Curiosity Stream and has held senior leadership positions at STX Entertainment, Time Inc., Starz Entertainment and Aol. He has executed content partnerships with FuboTV, Yahoo, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Snap and LG while driving strategic relationships with Facebook, Amazon and Jukin Media. He holds a bachelors degree from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  “Given Brandon’s impressive track record as a transformative business leader and his strong relationships in the global content and streaming business, as well as his drive to create resilient teams and culture, I am confident that he will build on MContent’s incredible success story and lead the business to new levels of sustainable and accelerated growth across the world for our customers, stakeholders & investors”, said Umair Masoom , Founder & Managing Partner MContent.

Xebia Appoints New Global CEO

Xebia’s current CEO, Anand Sahay, has been promoted to a global position to drive the growth of the leading Dutch IT consultancy, now headquartered in the US, with 19 offices worldwide, including Dubai.  Sahay joined Xebia in 2014 as CEO to take the company beyond the Netherlands and co-founded Xebia Global Services. He was responsible for extending Xebia’s business into the Middle East and Africa, the US, UK, APAC and ANZ regions. As a leading entrepreneur, Sahay combines the latest technology with unique service offerings to create innovative service-line products to tap into potential markets and, by collaborating with business leaders, solves critical problems. He has had exposure to a diverse range of organisations, functional groups and work cultures. Under Sahay’s stewardship, Xebia developed software engineering prowess to cater to the growing demands of global customers for quality software technology. Building on the architecture, engineering and software craftsmanship learned over the years in the Netherlands, he has brought a unique and refreshing blend of quality and scale. Sahay has made Xebia distinctive in the world and helped it stand out from the other software firms globally. Commenting on his appointment, Sahay said, “It is an honour to be promoted to Global CEO. With our strength of cutting-edge technology and a family of highly skilled individuals and our dedicated workforce, we will be able to build a unique firm of futurists who bring the latest technology to our customers while scaling up the engineering team to bring new technology implementations to life.” Xebia has over 5,000 employees worldwide, including over 3,000 people across five centres in India. Xebia’s software covers every critical capability required to bring successful digital transformation programs to customers worldwide. As an electronics engineer, Sahay started his career as a software programmer at TCS. He later completed his MBA and undertook various leadership roles. An avid reader and philanthropist, Sahay is committed to giving back to society and enabling people and the environment. Anand is actively involved with The Nudge Foundation, an association that alleviates poverty sustainably, collaboratively and by scalability. It has three impact streams to tackle the complex issue of poverty, including the Centre for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (CSDE), the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) and the Centre for Rural Development (CRD).

Simplilearn expands its global team with key senior leadership appointments

Simplilearn, the world’s #1 online Bootcamp for digital economy skills, today announced the appointment of two key senior leaders: Asem Rostom as the Country Manager – the Middle East and Vishal Shah as the Senior Director of Enterprise Sales in the United States. The appointments are a part of Simplilearn’s larger goal of expanding and strengthening its teams globally in order to continue delivering the highest-quality upskilling. Mr. Asem Rostom joined Simplilearn as Country Manager, Middle East. He comes with a demonstrated history of working in the education management and assessment industry. An alumnus of Altinbas University, Istanbul, Asem is a visionary senior sales and management executive with a successful leadership background in spearheading cross-functional sales and operational teams. He has previously worked with Cambridge University Press as a MENA IELTS Manager and at Pearson VUE as the META Manager. Mr. Rostom is skilled in business planning, sales, customer relationship management, sales management, curriculum addition, workforce skill gap analysis, and team building. Mr. Vishal Shah, appointed as Simplilearn’s Senior Director of Enterprise Sales in the United States, will be based in Atlanta, Georgia. He will be managing the Southeast Region of the United States along with select named accounts across the U.S. Mr. Shah comes with over 15 years of enterprise sales experience and has previously worked with Udemy as the Enterprise Account Executive for the Southeast region. An alumnus of Kennesaw State University, Vishal has been a highly confident consultant with over 20 years of documented success in healthcare/biotechnology and SaaS. He has previously worked with Coca-Cola, Global Payments, NCR, and Equifax. Speaking on the new appointments, Mr. Kashyap Dalal, Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer, Simplilearn, said, “I am delighted to welcome Mr. Asem Rostom and Mr. Vishal Shah at directorial positions for our the Middle East and the U.S. teams, respectively. Their extensive experience in the education and sales domain will prove extremely beneficial to Simplilearn. We are confident that through their addition, we will continue to provide outstanding results to our consumers. We look forward to further strengthening Simplilearn’s global footprint with their efforts and expertise.” Mr. Asem Rostom, Country Manager, Middle East, Simplilearn, said, “It is a privilege to join the Simplilearn team as their Country Manager, Middle East region. The Edtech domain is growing at an exponential rate and is facilitating easy and accessible education to learners across the globe. While I hope to bring my own knowledge and expertise to the table, I also look forward to working and learning from the larger team of Simplilearn and facilitating the best outcomes for our consumers.” Mr. Vishal Shah, Senior Director, Enterprise Sales, Simplilearn, said, “I am thrilled to be a part of the Simplilearn team, which has always been committed to the larger goal of delivering industry-relevant, high-quality skills to its learners. I believe that together as a team, we will be able to contribute towards reducing the skills gap globally. I look forward to new learnings and hope to build a deep, long-lasting collaboration that will benefit both our internal and external stakeholders.”  Simplilearn conducts more than 3,000 live classes per month, with an average of 70,000 learners who together spend more than 500,000 hours each month on the platform. Programs offered by Simplilearn give learners the opportunity to upskill and get certified in popular domains.