GameCentric unveils gaming tournaments with a AED 9500 prize pool

Dubai: Homegrown gaming platform GameCentric is set to ignite the gaming scene in the Middle East with a series of tournaments featuring a prize pool of USD 2600 (AED 9500). Running until the 21st of March 2024, this gaming extravaganza is attracting widespread attention from gaming communities, promising a thrilling gaming experience across popular game titles.Who: GameCentric, a leading gaming platform (Register for free only at A thrilling series of gaming tournaments with a USD 2600 (AED 9500) prize poolWhere: Online, through your mobile or laptops When: Running until the 21st of March, 2024How: Participants aged 13 and above can register for free on the GameCentric websiteGaming enthusiasts and novices alike can partake in the excitement by engaging in a variety of games, including FC 24 Mobile, BrawlStars, Rocket League, Clash Royale, Chess, Dominoes, Valorant, League of Legends, and PUBG. From intense action in popular titles to the strategic play of Chess and Dominoes, the tournament caters to a diverse gaming audience.Entry is open to all participants aged 13 and above, with a simple and free registration process on the GameCentric website.Saad, Founder & CEO of GameCentric and GamersHub, said: “Our vision is to align GameCentric’s energetic appeal with the ‘Dubai Program for Gaming 2033,’ propelling the region to become a top-tier global gaming hub. GameCentric’s cutting-edge platform provides an opportunity for gamers worldwide to showcase their skills and contribute to the program’s goal of generating a $1 billion incremental GDP impact. We aim to build a vibrant community of gaming talent, consisting of gamers, developers, and enthusiasts, empowering them to contribute to a greater cause.”Gear up for an electrifying online gaming tournament experience where participants have the chance to not only compete but also win exciting rewards. Secure your spot in your favorite game today and be part of the gaming extravaganza that is set to redefine the gaming landscape in the Middle East.

Mohammed Tayem features among Top 50 CEOs in the Middle East as entourage grows

entourage, one of the leading live communication agencies in the MENA region, is ending 2023 on a high note as its founder and CEO Mr. Mohammed Tayem won ‘CEO of the Year’ award in media category at the recently concluded CEO Middle East Awards 2023. The CEO Middle East Awards is a platform that recognizes excellence, innovation, and achievements of business leaders from across various industries and sectors in the middle eastern region. Speaking of the achievement, Mr. Tayem noted, “Running an organization is a continuous learning curve. The journey so far has been challenging to say the least, but most rewarding at the same time. It is great honor for me, and a humbling experience, to be recognized by the prestigious forum. I owe it all to my family, my team, the people who put their trust in me and gave it their best to bring entourage to where it is today. I hope to continue to develop a place where ambitions and creativity thrive effortlessly.” Navigating the dynamic landscape of the marketing & media industry in the region, Mr. Tayem has led the growth of entourage from startup to a flourishing 200+ people strong organization in just over decade. Breaking away from traditional, entourage diversified into a comprehensive integrated marketing solutions agency steadily emerging as a regional brand marketing & management powerhouse under Mr. Tayem’s leadership.Having worked with some of the biggest regional and international brands in both public and private sectors, entourage today scores among the very best agencies in the region, with operations in 4 countries, and retaining top global talents, featuring over 25 nationalities to empower and elevate brands through unique experiences. Mr. Tayem has maneuvered entourage through uncertain times, remaining steadfast in the face of challenges and inspiring an atmosphere of growth. With his strategic mindset and sharp business acumen, he has led entourage to become a formidable champion in the marketing industry.Through commitment, creativity, ambition, and resilience, the agency has witnessed more than triple-fold growth post-pandemic.The CEO award is a great way to end 2023 and welcome 2024 the year entourage celebrates its 15th anniversary of creating excellence.

Mercer to acquire The Talent Enterprise

Dubai – Mercer, a global leader in redefining the world of work and a business of Marsh McLennan , announced that it reached an agreement to acquire The Talent Enterprise (TTE), a leading psychometric and talent assessment technology company based in the United Arab Emirates. Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition will expand Mercer’s workforce and HR transformation capabilities, at a time when businesses are growing their workforces and need skilled talent.The Talent Enterprise provides progressive and powerful talent assessment tools and capability development solutions that enable organizations to make critical people decisions. With a team of more than 55 organizational psychologists, human capital, data science and technology experts, their services range from career guidance and recruitment to talent management and succession planning and workplace well-being. Through the acquisition of The Talent Enterprise, Mercer will expand its ability to help clients shape their recruitment, high potential identification and coaching, along with leadership development and succession processes through the use of proprietary assessment tools and platforms.“The Talent Enterprise’s suite of services and insights are critically important to organizations today, many of which are pursuing workforce transformations and need people development, upskilling and reskilling tools to remain relevant and competitive,” said Tarek Lotfy, President, Mercer India, Middle East, and Africa.  David Jones, CEO for The Talent Enterprise, added “Along with my Co-Founders, Radhika Punshi and Gauri Gupta, I am thrilled by this significant milestone in our journey to offering enhanced technology-led talent solutions to our rapidly growing client base.Through Mercer, we will be perfectly positioned to meet growing market demands, and empowered to offer the solutions that will attract, retain, and develop the best talent for our clients.”Intrepid Investment Bankers acted as the strategic advisor, Clyde & Co acted as legal advisor and PwC Middle East acted as financial advisor to The Talent Enterprise in the transaction.

Radisson Hotel Group expands in the Middle East with the opening of Radisson Blu

Dubai: Radisson Hotel Group is pleased to announce the opening of Radisson Blu Hotel, Amman Galleria Mall, a new contemporary hotel located in the bustling heart of Jordan’s capital city. This new addition promises to offer an unmatched experience for business and leisure travelers in Amman.Located inside the Galleria Mall, one of the most prestigious shopping centers in Amman, the hotel boasts 178 modern rooms and suites. The hotel's design seamlessly blends contemporary aesthetics in neutral tones with authentic Jordan-inspired accents, creating a unique and stylish ambiance.The hotel’s prime location not only provides easy access to top dining destinations such as Swefieh Village and Wakalat Street but also serves as a gateway to explore Jordan’s vibrant culture and heritage, as well as historical treasures, such as the Amman Citadel and the Jordan Museum. Positioned approximately 30 kilometers from Queen Alia International Airport, the hotel is also perfect as a business base due to its proximity to King Hussein Business Park.Marwan Shennara, General Manager of Radisson Blu Hotel, Amman Galleria Mall, said “We are excited to welcome guests to our modern hotel in the heart of Amman. Our hotel offers a perfect blend of comfort and elegance, tailored to provide an unforgettable experience for both leisure and business travelers.”The hotel offers a wide range of culinary experiences. Guests can begin their day with a sumptuous breakfast, including a variety of healthy options as well as classic favorites. L’Olivier, the hotel's all day dining restaurant, features an extensive menu of dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. These dishes can be savored both indoors and on the outdoor terrace, providing a versatile dining experience. For a more intimate setting, Jade, the on-site bar and lounge, is the perfect spot to enjoy expertly crafted beverages. After a day of exclusions exploring attractions like the Wadi Rum Desert or Petra, guests can unwind in the hotel’s pool and steam room.Tim Cordon, COO Middle East and Africa, Radisson Hotel Group, adds, “The opening of Radisson Blu Hotel, Amman Galleria Mall marks a significant milestone for us in Jordan and a return to the country. This hotel embodies our commitment to delivering exceptional service and a unique stay in one of the Middle East's most dynamic cities.”The Safety and Security of guests and team members remain a top priority for Radisson Hotel Group. All properties across the Group’s portfolio are subject to health, safety and security requirements, ensuring we always care for people and property. As part of its ongoing commitment to the highest standards of Safety & Security, this property aims to obtain the Safehotels Certification with the first months after opening.

64% of organizations across the Middle East are implementing ESG in 2023

Dubai, UAE: Green Future Project (GFP), a B-Corp providing end-to-end solutions for organizations to develop and implement a corporate sustainability strategy, has observed an increase in the number of UAE-based companies looking to implement an ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) policy. Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer at GFP, Zain Tarawneh, explains the factors that are contributing to this environmental reformation.According to a recent survey, 64% of organizations across the Middle East have adopted a formal ESG strategy; this reflects a significant increase from the previously reported 18% in 2022. Moreover, 73% of companies have made a carbon-neutral commitment or are working towards one while 40% are hopeful that Conference of the Parties 28 (COP28) will lead to governments improving ESG infrastructure and providing incentives for green growth.Zain commented: “There’s both a bottom-up and top-down movement happening, the former being pushed by mindful changes in consumer behaviour, and the latter by companies implementing reformative frameworks such as ESG and environmental policy. As a result, businesses are demonstrating an increased sense of responsibility as they strive to make a meaningful impact while remaining both profitable and competitive. ”As COP28 is set to kick off in the UAE at the end of this month, the country will not only play a key role in furthering its green agenda but also spark meaningful dialogue among key industry stakeholders and government entities to accelerate regional and global progress. With only 13% of businesses accessing sustainable finance, challenges remain with an ongoing green skills gap.“Nearly half of the organisations across the Middle East, 46% to be exact, are self-funding their ESG activities. While this is a welcome sign to usher in a greener future, more innovative green financing opportunities do exist and should be sought out to unlock the region’s full potential and enable the realization of its climate ambitions. COP28 will be an ideal platform for discussing such topics and ultimately provide benefits on a global scale,” added Zain.GFP is helping advance the UAE’s green objectives while contributing to key governmental mandates such as UAE Net Zero 2050. The company is working with UAE-based organizations in sectors including digital banking, hospitality, real estate, and finance to help them pioneer sustainable action across the region. Some notable live projects and partnerships include collaborations with companies such as Lune, Atteline, Gulf Capital, Silkhaus, and Sharjah Sustainable City[2]. To date, GFP has helped over 100 businesses globally in its decarbonization journeys while also planting 427,152 trees, protecting 85.48 hectares of rainforest, planting 229 corals for reef restoration, offsetting more than 26,905.62 tonnes of CO2, and producing over 14,675,674 kW of renewable energy

IPG Health furthers expansion in Middle East, North Africa

IPG Health, the world’s leading global healthcare marketing communications network, is reinforcing its offering and presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the launch of McCann Health Cairo. The new full-service agency is a continuation of IPG Health’s commitment to delivering the best talent, capabilities, and expertise to provide the right, bespoke solutions for our clients in every global market. McCann Health Cairo bolsters the network’s regional hub in Dubai, positioning IPG Health to provide specialized capabilities, including production and medical expertise to pharma and healthcare companies across the entire MENA region.“The MENA region is a dynamic and rapidly growing market that is increasingly important for our global clients, and for our own business as well,” said Dana Maiman, CEO of IPG Health. “As with everything we do, expanding our offering into this region is part of our commitment to doing what’s right for our clients, their brands, and our people. That is how we accelerate value, impact, and growth.”Offering a comprehensive suite of health marketing and communications capabilities, McCann Health Cairo is led by Karen Kamel as Regional Managing Director. The agency builds on the growth and momentum of the network’s McCann Health Dubai, which has enjoyed a string of creative and business successes in 2023 including – several “best places to work” recognitions, and its acclaimed “Wall Street Balls” campaign with FP7 McCann Dubai and the Testicular Cancer Society earning several awards in prestigious awards programs including the Cannes Lions Festival.“The healthcare industry in MENA is evolving at an incredible pace as our clients face increasing pressure to become more nimble, resourceful and effective at a global AND local scale”, said Karen Kamel, Regional Managing Director of McCann Health Dubai and McCann Health Cairo. “The addition of McCann Health Cairo to our group enables us to bring the unparalleled creativity and global scale of IPG Health to our clients, which will undoubtedly take them, and us, to even greater heights.”The launch was in collaboration with IPG’s FP7McCann Cairo, one of the most prominent creative agencies locally, under the leadership of Amr Kalaawy. As sister agencies within the IPG network in Egypt, FP7McCann and McCann Health Cairo will collaborate leveraging synergies, resources for the benefit of clients in the region.Saturnino Izquierdo, IPG Health’s President of Global Client Solutions, International Markets said: “This move is testament to our unwavering commitment to our clients and their brands. The MENA region is undergoing an extraordinary transformation of healthcare systems that is bringing massive opportunity. With McCann Health Cairo, we are now even better positioned to help our clients drive their growth, creativity, and impact in the region to even greater heights.”

Asyad Express partners with Evri

Muscat: Asyad Express, part of Asyad Group, is proud to announce an agreement with Evri, the UK's largest dedicated parcel delivery company, to establish a landmark strategic alliance set to revolutionize e-commerce and e-fulfilment logistics in the Middle East. The agreement was signed during Bloomberg's high-level business event, "Foreign Direct Investment: Scaling New Heights", that focused on Oman's FDI prospects as a rising regional hub for foreign investment.The exciting partnership will attract major UK, European, US and Chinese e-commerce players to Oman and the region, where they will have a unique opportunity to capitalize on Asyad Express' developed network and world-class capabilities and infrastructure, powered by Asyad Group's state-of-the-art integrated logistics ecosystem.Shaikh Ibrahim bin Sultan Al Hosni, Acting CEO of Oman Post and Asyad Express, expressed his enthusiasm for the strategic alliance with Evri: "Our collaboration with Evri is a testament to our commitment to positioning Oman as a prominent e-commerce hub in the Middle East. By partnering with a distinguished global industry player such as Evri, we solidify our presence in the vital e-commerce markets of the UK, the US and China and establish Asyad Express as the logistics partner of choice in the region. We are confident in this strategic partnership's potential to promote sustainable economic growth in Oman and the Middle East.""In keeping with Asyad Express' priority of ensuring customer satisfaction, the strategic alliance will also provide international customer service support, catering to local languages and delivering high-quality assistance to clients." Shaikh Ibrahim added.Jason Ashbrook, VP Commercial at Asyad Express, said: "Under this partnership, we will jointly build a comprehensive e-commerce logistics ecosystem that completely integrates our combined services and creates a solid e-commerce gateway for Evri's clients, placing Oman as Evri's exclusive e-commerce fulfilment hub in the Middle East. Asyad Express and Evri will also be developing an international outbound product that will utilize Evri's network, providing Omani SMEs with a platform to market and sell their products worldwide."From his side, Evri's Director of International Operations Ed Ayyad commented on the beginning of this promising strategic collaboration: "We are immensely excited about the potential this newly formed alliance holds. By joining forces with Asyad Express, we are well-positioned to offer a superior e-commerce solution that caters to the unique needs of the Middle Eastern market. Together, we will create a seamless and efficient e-commerce ecosystem that fuels growth and empowers businesses across the region and from the UK & European markets where existing Evri customers are looking to enter one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets.""Through this strategic alliance, Evri and Asyad Express will bring together our industry-leading capabilities, innovative technologies, and deep market knowledge to optimize the e-commerce landscape in the Middle East. By focusing on customer-centric solutions, streamlined logistics, and a commitment to excellence, we are confident that this partnership will redefine the e-commerce experience in the region," Ayyad added.With its latest partnership and future expansion plans, Asyad Express forges ahead in fulfilling the Group's strategy to broaden Oman's e-commerce capabilities in key global markets, highlighting the Sultanate's growing potential as an e-commerce hub and attracting international brands seeking to expand their services in the region and beyond.

Middle East Consumer Brands Achieve 7.7X Higher Email Conversion

In a time when many brands are tightening their marketing budgets due to economic uncertainties, email marketing remains a resilient and cost-effective channel. It continues to deliver high returns on investment (ROI), facilitates personalized communication, and offers immediate, measurable outcomes.However, with the increasing reliance on email marketing, consumers are inundated with hundreds of emails daily, prompting brands to find ways to make their messages stand out. While click-bait tactics may have worked in the past, today's consumers expect transparency and authenticity from brands.This is where email personalization becomes a game-changer. Personalized emails allow brands to tailor their messages to individual consumers, addressing their specific interests and needs. Studies, like one conducted by MoEngage, demonstrate the remarkable effectiveness of email personalization. It can lead to conversion rate increases of up to 7.7 times, a 10.9 times boost in click-to-open rates (CTOR), and an impressive reduction of up to 88% in unsubscribe rates.These benefits extend across various industries, from retail and e-commerce to banking and fintech, travel and hospitality, media, and entertainment. Moreover, customer journey-based personalization can elevate CTOR by approximately 10.9 times and open rates by 7.2 times.Traditional personalization methods, such as demographic or first-name-based approaches, are no longer as impactful. Behavior-based personalization and stage-of-buyer-journey personalization have proven to be more effective.Implementing these advanced personalization strategies requires a deep understanding of customers and access to a reliable customer engagement tool. According to Raviteja Dodda, CEO of MoEngage, such tools enable brands to create authentic and human connections with customers, fostering meaningful relationships and driving business growth.

Disprz raises $30mln in Series C funding to expand presence in the Middle East

Disprz, an AI-powered learning and skilling suite, has raised $30 Million in its Series C funding round led by Lumos Capital and 360 ONE Asset (IIFL), with participation from Kae Capital, KOIS, & Dallas Venture Capital. The funds raised in the round will be utilized for global market expansion and product development using new-age technologies like Generative AI in emerging markets such as the Middle East, and India, & expanding to the US. The company serves industry leaders like Sharaf DG, Jumbo Electronics, NEOM, Saudi Research & others.Since its inception in 2015, Disprz has witnessed remarkable growth & is one of few HR tech startups in the Series C segment. “The company’s consistent revenue growth, during and after the peak of the pandemic, shows that people's advancement is recession-proof problem statement within HR tech- it is a core problem of humanity,” stated Kuljit Chadha, Co-Founder & COO, of Disprz.Subbu Viswanathan, Co-founder & CEO of Disprz, said, "Disprz is at the forefront of innovation in the learning and skilling space. We are on a mission to equip the workforce for the rapidly changing world, and we solve this mission using a B2B SaaS approach." Karan Ahuja, Fund Manager of 360 ONE Asset (IIFL) said, "Upskilling and re-training workforces is a top priority for human capital leaders globally, and Disprz’s product offerings stand out in a learning & development market that’s undergoing transition."Disprz has established its presence in every continent, serving over 350 organizations & boasting an impressive roster of renowned household brands & industry leaders. The fundraise will enable Disprz to expand its global team, hire data scientists, skilling scientists, and engineers to complement its product capabilities & accelerate its success through bigger and local go-to-market teams.The company also plans to form strategic partnerships and make strategic acquisitions, partnering with the broader learning ecosystem, including HCM players, people reward platforms, learning content players, and assessment players.Looking ahead, Disprz envisions itself as a people intelligence suite on a global scale, extending beyond employee skilling to back every stage in an employee's lifecycle. The company aims to empower organizations worldwide to advance their workforce potential through skills, data & personalization.

Gemeria enters the Middle East market with a branch in Dubai

Gemeria on the grand opening of its wholesale branch for bulk buyers and salon partners in Dubai. This expansion represents a significant milestone for the company and showcases Gemeria's dedication to delivering premium quality hair extensions globally. Its focus on eco-friendly practices and ethically sourced natural human hair has positioned it as a pioneer in sustainability within the hair extensions industry.With a strong customer base of over 1,00,000 satisfied customers in India, Gemeria now aims to bring its exceptional hair extensions to the international market. The acquisition of a trade license for its Dubai branch demonstrates Gemeria's commitment to expanding globally while maintaining its core values of using 100% natural hair and promoting sustainability. This move solidifies its reputation as a trusted leader in the hair extension industry, catering to a diverse and global customer base.The wholesale branch offers a diverse range of high-quality products, including human hair extensions, clip-in extensions, ponytail extensions, and colored hair extensions for bulk buyers and salon partners. With a strong focus on customer satisfaction and meticulous attention to detail, it is poised to revolutionize the hair extension industry in the Middle East.Gemeria recognizes the importance of offering customers a physical space to explore and experience the beauty and versatility of its products firsthand. The decision to open a branch in Dubai was influenced by the growing demand for luxurious and top-notch hair extensions in the region."We are excited to introduce our premium hair extensions in Dubai, catering to the fashion-forward Middle Eastern market. With our exceptional products and commitment to customer satisfaction, It will be the go-to destination for hair extensions in Dubai and beyond," said Mani Tyagi, Co-Founder of Gemeria.Gemeria's innovative hair extensions and wigs, such as the half-head wig engineered by Gemeria, showcase the company's commitment to providing high-quality products that set them apart from competitors. The company has established a wide network of authorities and associations, particularly from South Indian temples, who provide pure, raw, virgin hair. This hair is then carefully classified based on its characteristics and undergoes an extensive and detailed cleaning and conditioning process before being used by clients.

e& Enterprise-Bespin Global JV to empower METAP with cloud services

Dubai: e& Enterprise has announced the successful formation of a joint venture (JV) with Bespin Global, known as "Bespin Global MEA." The JV officially commenced operations on May 25, 2023, offering public cloud managed and professional services in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Pakistan (METAP) region.Under the terms of the agreement, e& Enterprise owns a majority stake of 65% in the joint venture, while Bespin Global holds a 35% ownership share. The formation of Bespin Global MEA marks an important milestone for both companies, solidifying their commitment to expanding their presence in the METAP market.In addition to the establishment of the JV, e& Enterprise has made a significant investment of USD 60 million in Bespin Global. This strategic investment has resulted in e& Enterprise acquiring a stake of approximately 10% in Bespin Global, strengthening the partnership between the two organisations.As of May 2023, the joint venture will be accounted for as a subsidiary of e& Enterprise. This integration allows for closer collaboration and synergy between e& Enterprise and Bespin Global, facilitating the delivery of enhanced cloud services and technology solutions to clients in the METAP region.With its expertise in cloud technology and digital transformation solutions, e& Enterprise is well-positioned to support the growth and development of Bespin Global MEA. The joint venture will leverage the combined strengths of both companies to provide comprehensive and tailored public cloud managed and professional services, catering to the unique requirements of businesses operating in the METAP region.By joining forces, e& Enterprise and Bespin Global aim to drive innovation, accelerate digital transformation, and empower organizations in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Pakistan. The partnership reflects their shared vision of delivering exceptional cloud services and creating long-term value for customers across various industries.Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management and Flash Entertainment join forces

Dubai: Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) and Flash Entertainment (Flash) have officially integrated their activities and operations, combining the complementary expertise of the two entities to launch a new powerhouse that will shape the future of events, entertainment, and venue management throughout the Middle East and beyond.The company has been named 'Ethara' - meaning 'thrill' in Arabic - and launches today (May 15). Its ambition is to shape the untapped and unique opportunities in the live events space while continuing to deliver growth that has firmly positioned the Middle East on the global entertainment stage.Ethara is led by Saif Al Noaimi, formerly the CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management and Board Member of Flash Entertainment, who will bring his proven leadership to drive commercial expansion across new markets.Al Noaimi, CEO of Ethara, said: "By combining our strengths, we are perfectly positioned to make memorable moments that matter. By integrating the activities and operations of two of Abu Dhabi's pioneering entertainment and event management titans, Ethara will further establish the Emirate as an economic engine in the entertainment, event management, and sports industries, locally, regionally, and internationally."He added: "We have an unrivalled wealth of expertise, experience, knowledge and skills, which will propel Ethara's success far beyond what either company could achieve alone – all powered by world-class creativity and innovation."ADMM and Flash have collectively conceptualised, produced, promoted, and delivered over 700 major events to more than 16 million fans in the 15 years since their inception. These events have included the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yasalam After-Race Concerts, Mubadala World Tennis Championships, FIFA Club World Cup, AFC Asian Cup, NBA Abu Dhabi Games, UFC, national celebrations and festivals, as well as many more spanning sport, music, culture, entertainment, corporate, and MICE events.  Ethara welcomes the teams from both organisations under the new entity across offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Riyadh. Through the combination of expertise, Ethara will now seek to drive reach through an innovative approach to technology and future-focused ambitions across key markets."Ethara provides an exceptional platform to realise our collective potential and create experiences of the future, today," said Al Noaimi. "Ethara is a people-first event, and entertainment powerhouse that promotes and delivers best-in-class experiences."Ethara will continue to manage and oversee an impressive portfolio of assets, including: Etihad Park, the region's largest open air venue; Etihad Arena, the Middle East's largest indoor multi-purpose, state-of-the-art entertainment venue; Abu Dhabi's iconic Formula 1® circuit, Yas Marina Circuit; along with the Yas Conference Centre, offering versatile conference, meeting and events spaces with stunning Yas Island views.The company will also nurture and enhance existing relationships with local and international partners, which have been established since the inception of both organisations, as well as creating new partnerships that will see future, first-to-market events, ideas and activations.

OSN expands partnership with ITV Studios

Dubai: OSN, the leading entertainment network in the Middle East is delighted to announce the expansion of its existing deal with ITV Studios, the production and distribution arm of ITV PLC – the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster. This expanded partnership will bring an extensive line-up of captivating scripted and non-scripted programming exclusively to OSN+ and OSN TV starting this month.Under the enhanced agreement, OSN subscribers will have access to over 150 hours of exceptional content, including highly acclaimed series and award-winning productions. Audiences can look forward to enjoying all six seasons of the 9-time Emmy Award-winning comedy series, Schitt's Creek as well as other highly anticipated shows like Bump and The Suspect. As part of this exciting collaboration, OSN will also include the popular reality show, The Voice US, to its programming line-up.Commenting on the expanded partnership, Rolla Karam, SVP, Content Acquisition & Arabic Channels at OSN, added, "This expanded deal showcases our commitment to offering the best in entertainment to our viewers. We are excited to bring acclaimed series like Schitt's Creek and the latest season of the talent show, The Voice US, to our platform. We look forward to further strengthening our collaboration with ITV Studios and bringing more exceptional content to our viewers in the near future."Further enriching its entertainment offering, OSN will feature an array of captivating shows, including Vigil Season 1, the limited series Litvinenko, a selection of delightful cooking series such as John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen, Gino's Italian Express, and Tom Kerridge Barbecues, and George Clark’s Flipping Fast, among many others.This expansion is just the beginning of a promising collaboration between OSN and ITV Studios. Looking ahead to 2024, OSN is excited to announce plans to license more incredible content from ITV Studios, promising even more engaging and diverse programming options for its viewers.The deal was brokered on behalf of ITV Studios Global Partnerships by Robbie Burroughs, Sales Director, EMEA.OSN+ can be accessed through all your favourite devices, including major TV platforms,

OSN and Afac launch mentorship programme for Arab TV series

Dubai: OSN, the leading entertainment network in the Middle East, has teamed up with The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (Afac) to launch a ground-breaking mentorship programme called The Writers' Room. The initiative is aimed at fostering creativity and developing new, compelling TV series from the Arab region.The mentorship programme provides a platform for series creators to pitch their projects to OSN for potential development and distribution on their platform. The initiative is designed to support the development of a fully-fledged limited series, providing guidance from experts during and between residencies.The programme's aim is to nurture a culture of series writing in the region that is anchored in the Writers' Room method, allowing for peer-to-peer learning and participation in the creative process.“At OSN, we believe in the power of local storytelling and the incredible talent that exists within the Arab region and are excited to join hands with Afac to launch this initiative. This programme represents our commitment to nurturing emerging writers and investing in compelling narratives that resonate with our diverse audience. Together, we aim to unlock the untapped potential of Arab storytellers and create a platform for their voices to be heard," said Joe Kawkabani, chief executive of OSN.Successful applicants will also have access to weekly online working sessions, one-on-one mentorship, and support from experts in relevant fields. Final feedback on their fully written episodes will be provided by industry professionals, and their projects will have a first look by the commissioning team at OSN.“The initiative marks a significant step in supporting the development of Arab series creators. Through this programme, we aim to provide a nurturing environment for emerging talents, bridge gaps in series development, and foster a community of storytellers,” said Afac’s executive director Rima Mismar.The programme is open to Arab writers living in the region with prior writing experience, preferably in series writing, and who submit a project as part of their application.Applications can be made through the Afac portal until July 7. The Writers' Room mentorship programme represents a significant opportunity for Arab writers to showcase their talents and develop their series projects.

IBCAP Expands into Europe and Middle East with the Addition of Cricbuzz

Dubai: The International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP) today announced that it has expanded its anti-piracy coverage to include Europe and the Middle East with the addition of Times Internet Limited, India's largest digital network and owner of Cricbuzz.Cricbuzz, one of the world’s leading cricket content destinations, has become the official digital streaming partner for the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the MENA, Continental Europe and Latin America regions. With exclusive streaming rights for IPL 2023 in key countries, including Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Germany, France, Italy and Sweden, cricket enthusiasts across the region can catch every thrilling moment of the tournament via digital streaming on the user-friendly Cricbuzz app. As part of the IBCAP membership offering, it will initially monitor multiple live cricket matches for the IPL 2023 tournament on behalf of Cricbuzz."We are thrilled to offer cricket fans across the MENA, Continental Europe and Latin America regions digital access to one of the most important tournaments in cricket, the Indian Premier League," said Pankaj Chhaparwal, CEO of Cricbuzz. "With IBCAP's support, we aim to combat unauthorized streaming and provide a great experience for our users."“As a recognized leader in protecting cricket rights in the United States, it is a natural progression to expand that expertise into additional countries across Europe and the Middle East,” said Chris Kuelling, executive director of IBCAP. “We look forward to showcasing the significant value we bring to members, like Cricbuzz, in delivering the resources and expertise necessary in the fight against piracy.”

Ripple expands in the Middle East

Dubai : On the back of strong growth in the Middle East, Ripple, the leader in enterprise blockchain and crypto solutions, is expanding its presence in Dubai by opening a new office location in the heart of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and bringing Swell Global 2023, the seventh edition of its annual customer conference, to Dubai on November 8-9.Ripple has long focused on serving customers around the world with over 90% of the company’s business outside the US. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a key market for the company, with around 20% of all RippleNet customers, such as SABB, Qatar National Bank, Lulu Financial Holdings, Al-Ansari Exchange, and RAK Bank, based here. Over half of Ripple’s MENA payment volume consists of cross-border payments such as remittances from the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to India. In 2020, the company chose the DIFC as the location for its MENA headquarters due to Dubai’s innovation-forward regulations, expansive network and reputation as a leading global financial centre.“We chose Dubai as both a key office for Ripple, and to bring Swell Global to the city, in large part due to its forward-thinking regulatory environment. Regulators here have risen to the challenge of establishing a framework that allows the local crypto industry to thrive, create jobs and increase economic growth, while also ensuring participants act in a responsible manner, ” said Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple CEO. “Dubai is playing an important part in shaping the world’s future economy. By demonstrating truly visionary leadership, the Emirate has positioned itself as an exciting fintech hub that is embracing crypto and blockchain technologies to bring innovation and foreign investment into the space.“In late 2021, Ripple announced the launch of its first-ever On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) deployment in the Middle East, with Pyypl, the international blockchain-based financial services technology company in the Middle East and Africa. ODL leverages the digital asset XRP to underpin instant and low-cost cross-border payments. By using ODL, financial institutions and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) can leverage previously trapped, pre-funded capital to grow and scale their businesses. Billions of dollars have been transacted to and from MENA customers through ODL since launch.“In a hyper-global connected world, the need for cross-border payments is on the rise, with an estimated $156T worth of cross-border payment flows in 2022 alone. As a region containing a number of significant remittance markets and corridors, the Middle East’s financial institutions are focused on making payments faster, cheaper and more efficient for the people who need it the most. This is where Ripple excels. We were the first enterprise company to leverage crypto to tackle the trillion-dollar challenges associated with cross-border payments – expertise that we have been bringing to our customers in the Middle East for a number of years. Ripple is proud of its presence in the UAE and we are excited about what the future holds for our business in the region,” said Navin Gupta, Managing Director, South Asia & MENA, at Ripple.When Swell Global lands in Dubai, it will follow previous successful events which saw hundreds of Ripple’s customers and partners come together in London and Singapore, two other major global financial centres. The conference announcement comes as Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse arrives in Dubai to appear as a keynote speaker at Dubai Fintech Summit 2023. Garlinghouse will take the main stage alongside other global thought leaders, decision-makers and policymakers from the worlds of fintech, finance and crypto.

Canon's "Make it GROW" campaign brings new flagship products to the Middle East

Dubai: Canon, the global leader in imaging solutions, has announced the launch its latest flagship products, the Colorado M Series and imagePRESS v 1350, in the Middle East region. The launch of these cutting-edge printing solutions is part of its "Make it GROW" campaign in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that aims to help customers grow their businesses returns with Canon's product portfolio. The campaign showcases their unprecedented features and capabilities that efficiently meet the needs of commercial printers, designers, print service providers, and photography professionals.Canon's "Make it GROW" campaign features two product launch events in the UAE. The first was organised at Bab Al Qasr hotel in Abu Dhabi from 1st – 2nd May 2023, and the second is a week-long event at Colab, Dubai Design District, from 8th – 12th May. The Dubai event hosts a special evening gathering on 10th May, exclusively for interior decor designers, and highlights the unique applications of Canon's new products in this market segment.The Colorado M Series is a game-changer in the large format printing industry, boasting new features such as white ink printing, modular design options, versatility, and upgradability. With the highest productivity in its class, it empowers print service providers to expand their business horizons and explore new applications on various flexible and rigid media.On the other hand, the imagePRESS v 1350 sets new standards in Canon's production machines range, offering the highest levels of product automation, volume, and quality. This advanced printing solution is designed to meet the demands of high-volume printing environments, providing unmatched productivity and exceptional print quality."At Canon, we are committed to delivering innovative solutions that empower our customers to grow their business and achieve success," said Shadi Bakhour, B2B Business Unit Director at Canon Middle East. "Our two new products are prime examples of our dedication to pushing the boundaries of print technology and providing customers with the tools they need to excel. With Canon's new flagship products, customers in the Middle East can expect unparalleled print quality, productivity, and versatility, enabling them to take their businesses to new heights."Canon's "Make it GROW" events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai provide an opportunity for customers, enthusiasts, and photography professionals to explore new features and applications of its flagship products. Its experts will be available for consultations on optimizing business returns and driving customer engagement with unique, high-quality printouts.In addition, Canon will showcase the newly launched products at the upcoming Saudi Print & Pack 2023 exhibition, where visitors can learn about the benefits of Canon's latest offerings, explore new features, and receive free consultations on applications and business opportunities from its experts. As a bonus, Canon is offering a promotion with a chance to win a fully paid trip to Saudi Arabia to attend the Saudi Print & Pack 2023 exhibition.

Petal Ads demonstrates its diverse targeting capabilities at the Arabian Travel

Dubai: Petal Ads, a leading advertising platform by Huawei, is participating in the 30th edition of Arabian Travel Market.The leading global event for the inbound and outbound travel industry in the Middle East will take place in Dubai on 1 to 4 May. Huawei's team of experts will demonstrate the unparalleled capabilities of Petal Ads, particularly in effectively targeting the rapidly growing outbound travel markets of China and Russia. As China has reopened its borders after three years, Chinese travelers are returning to their favorite destinations. This year, Chinese outbound travel is predicted to recover approximately two-thirds of 2019 levels, with around 110 million border crossings. In 2024, 170 to 180 million border crossings from mainland China are anticipated, surpassing the 2019 benchmark.China's smartphone usage is also on the rise. In 2022, the number of users surpassed one billion, and smartphones have become a vital component for communication, entertainment, commerce, and travel. People use their smartphones to discover travel destinations, book accommodation and transportation, and plan activities prior to departure, as well as for navigation, language translation, and obtaining information about local attractions while traveling.Additionally, Connected TV has become a rising trend in China, with an All-Scenario Ad Display on HUAWEI Vision offering an Innovative 3D, Stunning Visual Impact and an Omni-Channel covering. China plans to leverage Connected TV Advertising and Over-the-Top inventory to generate significant impressions in local markets and boost audience awareness. Marketers can benefit from tremendous traffic through both CTV and OTT channels, each of which has unique advantages.While mobile apps bring far-reaching brand-awareness effects due to mandatory ad views, CTV consumption is far more message-oriented. Also, with targeting and privacy, Marketers can feel sure that their ad spendings on targeting will deliver excellent dividends to them.Furthermore, according to the Association of Tour Operators in Russia, the country's outgoing tourism increased by 10% in 2022, with at least 23,5 million Russians traveling abroad. The UAE was one of the most popular destinations, with about 1 million visitors and a 60% rise year-over-year, while Qatar welcomed 55% more Russian travelers in 2022 than in 2021.Solutions that can precisely target smartphone users are key for the travel industry. However, programmatic advertising in countries like China and Russia can be challenging due to cultural differences that can significantly impact its effectiveness. Therefore, a deep understanding of local culture in order to deliver relevant advertising messages to users is a must. Huawei's Petal Ads can overcome cultural barriers and establish meaningful connections with Chinese and Russian users thanks to the company's strong presence in both countries and unrivaled knowledge of the Chinese market.Visitors of the Arabian Travel Market, businesses and executives in the travel industry, as well as marketers, will have the unique opportunity to experience Petal Ads' sophisticated targeting capabilities firsthand, designed to unlock business potential. Petal Ads provides access to a data management platform (DMP) that allows marketers to gain insights on specific audiences based on various indicators, including travel intent indicators such as the following:Basic tags: the first type is demographic attributes, which include gender, age, location, and visitor status. This information can be helpful in determining who the target audience is and how they interact with the product or service being offered. The second type of tags are advanced attributes, such as academic degree, occupation, and income. This information can provide a deeper understanding of the audience's background and financial situation, which can inform marketing and advertising strategies.Behavioral tags are another important type of data, including frequently used apps such as tourism, hotel, and other travel-related apps, as well as searches for hotel-, business trip-, and travel-related words. This information can reveal the interests and behaviors of the target audience, as well as provide insights into what types of content they are searching for.Scenario-based tags can be used to gain insights into user behavior in specific situations. In this case, the scenarios being tracked are home, work, business trip, and travel. Additionally, tags can be created to track specific operations on phones, such as unlocking the device, opening apps, and powering on and off. Finally, dynamic location can be tracked, including movement trajectory and geographical location. By tracking these scenario-based tags, it is possible to gain insights into how users behave in different contexts, which can inform product design and development, as well as marketing and advertising strategies. For example, by understanding how users behave during business trips, it may be possible to develop new products or services that cater specifically to the needs of this audience.Custom tags can be created to track specific groups or behaviors, such as industry-specific custom audiences, high-spending users, users who have traveled abroad in the past year, recent tourists, travel photography fans, and travel bloggers. These tags can be particularly helpful in tailoring marketing and advertising strategies to specific groups, as well as gaining insights into niche interests and behaviors.By analyzing these indicators, as well as numerous additional data points, Petal Ads' DMP can assist advertisers in effectively targeting audiences who are likely to be interested in travel-related products and services, and to use this information to inform marketing and advertising strategies.Targeting niche audiences is one of the platform's biggest strengths. Since the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has placed an emphasis on medical tourism via the prestigious Dubai Health Experience (DXH) brand, the medical tourism audience is an excellent example. In this context, Petal Ads' DMP can use a variety of data sources and targeting criteria, including:Demographic data: Petal Ads can collect and analyze data regarding the age, gender, income, and level of education of individuals who have expressed an interest in medical tourism.Behavioral data: Petal Ads can track the online behavior of people who have searched for medical tourism-related keywords, visited medical tourism websites, or engaged with a medical tourism content app.?Contextual data: Petal Ads can target people who are browsing websites or consuming content related to health and wellness, travel, or luxury lifestyle.Based on these data points, Petal Ads' DMP can create audience segments that are most likely to be interested in medical tourism, and then target them with relevant ads on different platforms, such as Huawei-owned and operated media, apps, search engines, or display networks. Targeting medical tourism audiences requires careful consideration of regulatory compliance and ethical concerns, as well as an understanding of the unique needs and preferences of the target audience. Petal Ads combines personalization and privacy, ensuring that users' personal information is always protected and processed in an appropriate manner.William Hu, Managing Director of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Middle East and Africa Eco Development and Operation, said: "Petal Ads is constantly updating its features to meet the requirements of various markets, enabling businesses to connect with customers across the globe in a more efficient manner through the use of advanced targeting. Our ads reach users at any time and anywhere, creating a smarter and more engaging era for mobile advertising. We will continue to utilize the latest advancements in AI, machine learning, and big data to expand our platform."In addition to the unique advantages for the travel sector, Huawei will showcase the most recent developments of its pioneering, results-driven programmatic advertising platform, which revolutionizes the way campaigns are planned. Petal Ads expands beyond Huawei devices to include personalized ads not only just on smartphones, but also on the connected devices which include tablets, Smart TVs and other IOT products (TBD), to Cover Users' Life All Day to Facilitate Huawei Brand Penetration into the advertiser's Journey.

Gensler survey shows new trends in the definition of an effective workplace

Dubai: Gensler, the world’s leading design and architecture firm, has conducted a survey of 2,000 office workers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait to determine how Middle Eastern employees are adapting to the post-pandemic work environment. The survey reveals a shift in employees' mindsets regarding what constitutes an effective workplace.The Gensler Research Institute has conducted several global surveys in the past 20 months, using the insights to uncover strategic design solutions for our clients. From these surveys, several central themes have emerged. According to the latest data, employees are returning to the office seeking a conducive atmosphere to focus on their work. This marks a significant shift from the pandemic era when office workers cited working in-person with teams and colleagues as the most important reason to come into the office."We are seeing a trend where employees are seeking out the office environment to focus on their work that can be challenging to achieve at home," said Jose Faine, Principal and Design Director – Workplace Design of Gensler. "Employees reported that they need to be in the office significantly more than they currently are to maximize their productivity. This is a significant shift that highlights the importance of the workplace in providing the right conditions for optimal productivity."According to the survey, the office is more conducive for in-person collaboration, learning, and socializing, but less effective for working alone. Compared to pre-pandemic times, employees now spend less time working solo and more time working in-person with others, learning, and socializing. However, despite the significance of individual work to job performance, the effectiveness of spaces for individual and virtual work have declined. On average, workers report that 67% of the time spent working individually requires a high level of concentration.The data also shows that highly effective workplaces that allow for employees to have more choice in where they work within the office results in a more positive workplace experience, positively impacting individual, team, and organizational outcomes, leading to job satisfaction, career advancement, personal wellness, and a sense of community. This is compared to less effective workplaces where employees have limited options and are restricted to working in designated areas.In addition, the survey identified that the most innovative organizations provide a diverse range of work activities and spaces, unlike less innovative companies. These leading companies offer designated areas for focused work, collaboration, learning, socializing, and relaxation. Such a variety of spaces provides employees with greater autonomy and options, allowing them to select the workspace that best suits their current task."The survey highlights the importance of a flexible and diverse workplace environment that caters to the needs of the modern workforce," said Tim Martin, Principal and Managing Director of Gensler Middle East. "Companies need to focus on creating spaces that allow employees to choose where and how they work, and provide a range of spaces for different activities. This approach can lead to better outcomes for individuals, teams, and organizations."The survey's findings offer valuable insights for organizations aiming to establish a productive work environment, emphasizing the significance of a flexible, diverse, and efficient workplace that meets the demands of today's workforce. Through the creation of workspaces that offer employees a range of options and autonomy, organizations can attain improved outcomes for individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole, resulting in job satisfaction, career growth, personal well-being, and a sense of community.

Nokia and etisalat by e& show first 100 Gbps fiber broadband in Middle East

Nokia has today announced that the company -- in collaboration with Etisalat UAE, branded as etisalat by e& -- demonstrated the fastest passive optical network (PON) speed in the Middle East and Africa region. Nokia Bell Lab’s PON proof of concept (PoC) demonstration achieved speeds up to 100 gigabits per second (Gb/s) on a single wavelength -- four times faster than the most advanced networks available today.In the long-standing partnership between both the technology leaders, they have achieved multiple industry-firsts, including the world’s first single-carrier terabit-per-second field trial, setting optical transmission capacity record over etisalat by e&’s fiber network in the UAE.To achieve 100 Gb/s on a single wavelength, Nokia Bell Labs used pioneering digital signal processing (DSP) techniques. Once advanced DSP is adopted, the steps to 50G and 100G are straightforward and 100G could be commercially available in the 2030s.The Nokia Bell Labs 100G PON prototype is the world’s first application of flexible rate transmission in a PON network. Flexible rate transmission works by grouping fiber modems (ONUs) that exhibit similar physical network characteristics (e.g., loss or dispersion) and makes data transmission more efficient. Using flexible rate transmission results in lower latency on a PON and cuts power consumption in half -- two essential characteristics for fiber networks that have a rapidly growing role in the massive delivery of fixed and mobile broadband services.The PoC is Nokia's most recent industry-first in fiber access, following XGS-PON, TWDM-PON, and 25G PON. 100G PON could be commercially available in the 2030s.Marwan Bin Shakar, Senior Vice President/Access Network Development, etisalat by e& said: “Fiber networks are fast evolving into becoming the backbone of the entire telecommunications sector as they play an important role in delivering any service to any end point, including residences, businesses, and cell sites. As their use case evolves, they must become quicker, smarter, and more cost-effective. We are thrilled to have showcased a working prototype for 100G PON with Nokia. Our partnership with Nokia is a demonstration of our commitment to maximise value for our customers and bring positive change to their lives in the age of digitalisation. Through our partnership, we are looking forward to continuing our efforts in bringing in the best-in-class solutions to our customers and enabling the adoption of innovative technological solutions within the UAE and the region.”Samer Makke, Head of the Customer Team for etisalat by e&, UAE, at Nokia, said: “etisalat by e& is a pioneering operator in the region and we are proud to have demonstrated our industry-first prototype technology with the company. Fiber broadband continues to evolve and will play a critical role in enabling services for enterprise customers, premium consumers, and supporting 5G rollouts. 10G XGS-PON is now mainstream; the first 25G city is a reality; and 50G and 100G are being developed. This just shows the unlimited potential of fiber broadband.”Resources25G PON media gallery: Images and videoFiber for everything webpage. One fiber broadband network, many opportunities

Annual Spending on Digital Transformation across the Middle East

Digital transformation investments in the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa (META) are set to more than double across the 2021–2026 period, according to the latest forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC). The global technology research, consulting, and events firm says that digital transformation spending in the region will accelerate at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16% over the five-year period, topping $74 billion in 2026 and accounting for 43.2% of all ICT investments made that year."For many organizations, the digital and tech investments they made during the pandemic to build resilience could be put to test in 2023 across key business dimensions such as customer experience, operations, and financial management, among others," says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the META region. "The implementation of further digitalization in critical areas and a more rapid shift to a 'digital business' approach will be key to separating the thrivers from the survivors."No matter what the economy throws at us over the coming 12 months, organizations must not lose sight of their digital aspirations. The focus should be on enabling clear and measurable outcomes, and digital spending needs to transition from building to scaling. Indeed, IDC predicts that by 2027, at least 30% of the C-suite's focus will be on scaling innovation and operating a truly digital business. Automation will sit at the heart of this process, helping to reduce the cost of IT operations, address labor shortages, and increase the velocity of innovation."Globally, IDC expects spending on digital technology by organizations to grow at eight times the economy in 2023, establishing a foundation for organizations to drive operational excellence, competitive differentiation, and long-term growth. IDC will expand on these insights as it hosts the META region's most influential technology vendors, telecommunications operators, and IT service providers at IDC Directions 2023 Middle East, Türkiye & Africa.Taking place on February 1 at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre, this in-person event will address the theme 'Navigating Disruption in the Age of Digital Business'. It will examine the very latest digital acceleration trends shaping end-user investment priorities across the region, providing essential guidance to the region's foremost ICT vendors on proven best practices for transforming themselves into new-age digital partners for their customers.To learn more about IDC Directions 2023 Middle East, Türkiye & Africa, please contact Sheila Manek at   or on +971 4 446 3154. You can also join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #IDCDirectionsMETA.

Deloitte appoints Rashid Bashir CEO of Consulting in the Middle East

Rashid Bashir has been appointed the new CEO of the Consulting practice at Deloitte Middle East. He will start his new role on 1 January 2023, succeeding Tim Parr, who is set for retirement.Mutasem Dajani, CEO of Deloitte Middle East commented, “In the last five years, and under the leadership of Tim Parr, the consulting business has witnessed substantial growth in all areas including talent, client base and offerings. We are now market leaders in digital banking, investing in client centric facilities including a digital studio in Dubai and a digital center in Riyadh.” “Tim is succeeded by Rashid Bashir who will be leading our consulting practice as it enters a new and ambitious stage of growth. Rashid has played a critical role in delivering our strategy and serving the governments of the region, and I am confident he will bring his vision for the business, understanding of the market and his passion for our people and clients to his new leadership role,” added Dajani.Rashid will transition from his current role as Chief Strategy Officer and as lead partner for the Government and Public Services practice at Deloitte Middle East.Commenting on his appointment, Rashid Bashir said, “The creativity and innovation we offer will enable and drive forward the socio-economic transformation happening across the region. We aim to be the advisors of choice in the GCC market, and I am committed to bringing the best of Deloitte to the region.” “Against a backdrop of constant change – be it climate, technological or economic – governments and the private sector will continue to transform. Our ambition is to become the largest Consulting practice in the region, nurturing the national talent and serving our clients with distinction. My leadership team will include three women partners and 12 different nationalities, championing diversity and inclusion,” added Bashir.Rashid has been advising national governments in the GCC on socioeconomic transformations and will continue to advise on large-scale government projects across the region. He has substantial experience working on some of the most complex policy issues facing governments, including economic growth, job creation, education, innovation and entrepreneurship.Rashid holds an MBA in Strategy from Strathclyde Business School in Scotland and a Master of Philosophy in Economics from The University of Glasgow. Before moving to the Middle East 12 years ago, Rashid was a strategy consultant with Deloitte UK.