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WAFI Partners with VOX Cinemas to Open New Multiplex

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A multi-screen cinema and family entertainment centre is set to open at WAFI in 2019 including VOX Cinema signature experiences, MAX and KIDS

WAFI, a premium lifestyle destination, is set to be further enhanced with the launch of a VOX Cinemas multiplex, scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2019. VOX Cinemas will open its doors to a 16-screen multiplex in the new extension at WAFI. The signature concepts will include MAX, KIDS, Samsung LED screen, three VIP screens and three new concept screens, all designed to deliver exceptional experiences.

Dedicated to younger customers, the KIDS screens will show a range of family friendly films and animated content that guests can enjoy from their colourful seats while the MAX concept, dubbed as VOX Cinemas’ mega-screen experience, provides audiences with extraordinary sensory entertainment and spacious seating options.

In addition to the cinema, families will be able to enjoy a variety of entertainment including a soft play area, bumper cars, kids square, bowling and much more. The expansion will also include a delectable range of cuisines within the food hall concept that will be unique to the VOX Cinemas at WAFI, alongside the all-time favourite candy bar.

“We are looking forward to the opening of the VOX Multiplex within the new extension at WAFI. The anticipation is finally over and we are proud to announce that we are partnering with VOX Cinemas. The 16-screen cinema, family entertainment and dining experience will be one of a kind in the UAE and is set to be the ultimate destination for families. We have recently been through a repositioning exercise at WAFI to focus on families and following the opening of Carrefour, we are extremely excited for this next phase with the cinema and our upcoming 5-star Sofitel hotel which is scheduled to open late 2019.” said Louwrens Marais, General Manager at Wafi Property.

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#WOWJBR to Kick Off New Year with Unique Mind and Soul Theme

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#WOWJBR by Dubai Retail is set to kick off the new year and Dubai Shopping Festival with a Mind and Soul theme this January, and will celebrate with a unique Arts Festival, Sports Festival and Nature Festival.

Arts Festival

Brief:  your creative side this January as lively caricaturists, speed painters, glitter painters, dancing paintings and roaming graffiti characters bring the destination to life. Talented artist Jindi will be entertaining the crowd to get the new year off to a truly memorable start.

Date: 10-12 January 2019

Time: Thursdays: 6pm – 10pm

Fridays & Saturdays: 4pm – 10pm

Venue: JBR

Price: Free

Sports Festival

Brief:               In January 2019, #WOWJBR will host two weekends packed with sport events and activities. Join free fitness and yoga classes, and get into the mood with live acoustic performances from Ibby VK, Greg Pearson, Josh McCartney and Jamie Wrecs. Once you’ve achieved your daily workout goals, catch the action as daring tightrope artists, electric capoeira dancers and LED jump rope performers steal the limelight.

Date: 17-19 January & 24-26 January 2019

Time:Thursdays:  6pm – 10pm

Fridays & Saturdays: 4pm – 10pm

Venue: JBR

Price: Free

Nature Festival

Brief: Head down to #WOWJBR to experience the Nature festival happening at the end of this month. Immerse yourself in a vibrant world of hula hoop dancers, flower stilt walkers and roaming themed characters, and chill out with live entertainment from singer/songwriter Francoise Crosbie. Little ones can also enjoy a special LED puppet show.

Date: 31 January – 2 February

Time:Thursday:6pm – 10pm

Friday & Saturday:  4pm – 10pm

Venue: JBR


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Arpuplus’ MuzicUp continues to gain traction in MENA’s digital music distribution market

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Registered independent artists empowered to distribute records in chosen digital streaming platforms, while generating income and growing fan base

MuzicUp, MENA’s first music online distribution portal, continues to gain traction in the expanding digital music distribution market, steadily empowering regional independent artists seeking to get their records in the hands of music listeners and fans worldwide.

ArpuPlus, a subsidiary of A15 and MENA’s biggest content aggregator with more than 100,000 pieces of diversified content, attributed MuzicUp’s increasing popularity to the platform’s reliability to directly distribute original songs to the most-sought-after global streaming platforms and digital stores.

Music content uploaded on ArpuPlus’ MuzicUp are distributed to over 40 major regional multinational telecommunications companies, including Orange, Vodafone, Ooredoo, Viva, Du, Djezzy, and Etisalat, as well as popular music channels such as YouTube, Anghami, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Apple Music, Ghenwety, Deezer, and many more.

Medhat Karam, CEO, ArpuPlus, said: “Since the launch of MuzicUp last year, our main objectives have always been to earn the confidence of our main clients, the artists and labels, and provide them with the most convenient, trustworthy, and reliable way to stream their records in their chosen digital channels. To ensure consistency in the fulfillment of this commitment, we have equipped MuzicUp with advanced systems, artist tools, communication features, and other resources critical to making their music readily available anywhere in the globe.”

One of MuzicUp’s main features is the music uploading function for distribution in chosen digital platforms. This option removes the tedious tasks of creating separate accounts and uploading music and artworks for each and every streaming platform and digital store, thus saving time and effort.

“All of these are done with one mission in mind: empower independent artists and labels. When they sign up with MuzicUp, we let them keep their rights plus we offer them the most valuable way to earn revenues in a fair and sensible manner.  MuzicUp is, in fact, the only platform that gets daily revenues from mobile operators and the only portal that pays registered artists with their monthly revenues whether collected from operators or not. Through our portal, artists can choose the channels where they want their music streamed, generate income, and grow their fan base all at the same time,” Karam said.

Independent artists who are part of the ArpuPlus’ MuzicUp community continue to rave about the music online distribution portal and its role in advancing their respective music careers.

Hamza Namira, Egyptian composer, singer, and guitarist, said: “MuzicUp provides a single platform for the distribution of music content to many digital music channels, offering artists like me with opportunities to showcase my work. I also appreciate the fact that the platform provides latest information on artist’s revenues and other key data such as number of views, downloads and broadcasts, which are not offered in other platforms. I am delighted to be part of MuzicUp and I wish the team behind this pioneering platform all the best and success.”

For his part, singer Ibrahim Al Hakami said: “MuzicUp is a reliable platform that allows artists to stream their songs on their chosen digital broadcast channels. We also receive updated reports and other information related to our songs. The platform provides me a suitable and a new way to publish my work of art.”

MuzicUp is also the only platform in MENA that offers access to popular digital music channels and RBT in a single portal.   Being the number one regional RBT aggregator, ArpuPlus has links to 36 worldwide mobile operators, enabling the company to distribute over 400,000 music tracks. To date, MuzicUp has 131,505 contents; 384 providers; 37,057 artists; 37,052 albums; and 5,595,117 RBT downloads per year.

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Al-Hokair takes a giant leap in ‘Virtual Reality’ space with UK’s Immotion

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Al Hokair Entertainment, one of the leading family entertainment organisations in the region, is now taking the next big leap into the VR space with UK headquartered VR experts, Immotion.

With close to 91 active entertainment centers, under Al Hokair’s key entertainment brand ‘Sparky’s’, the group will now focus on embedding their centres with comprehensive virtual reality (VR) gaming zones by early 2019. Each VR zone will be situated within existing Al Hokair Time FECs and will have a minimum of 12 machines.

“In the first phase we will have four VR centres across Saudi Arabia and the UAE. We are getting ready for the millennials, they need more immersive games and they exactly know what they want from entertainment centers such as ours.  Over the last couple of years, we have seen a giant leap within the VR segment, and we see the growth to continue till atleast 2025,” said Mr. Mishal Al Hokair, the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Entertainment Sector.

“Currently, the VR market in UAE is in a nascent stage and we aim to make a massive impact with this agreement with Immotion. The most important aspect is the content within a game and they have an experienced team that can develop and implement this. Currently they are catering to major themeparks and this has instilled further confidence with regard to our collaboration,” added Mishal.

Immotion Group brings together world-class CGI experts, award-winning content creators, amazing storytellers and state-of-the-art motion platform technology to provide customers with immersive ‘out-of-home’ experiences. Formed from the merger of Studio Liddell – a Manchester-based CGI studio, and C2K – Los Angeles based filmmakers, Immotion Group combines over 40 years of experience in storytelling, content creation, advertising, art direction and communications.

“Today’s generation is consuming more entertainment content than ever before. This is estimated to be a multi-billion-dollar industry and we want to ensure that we establish our footprint slightly ahead of the industry,” added Mishal.

Current genres of VR gaming market are duplicating the most popular traditional video games’ genres. Specifically, simulations like shooters, races, and action VR games.  However, Al Hokair Entertainment plans to create a more diversified menu of games in order to cater to a wider audience, including young children and adults.

“We are looking at expanding our reach within Saudi Arabia, UAE and other regional markets. We believe that one of the key factors for the success of VR games is the engagement value of the whole VR concept. This ability of the gaming environment to reproduce a realistic representation of all human senses is something that engages the gamer. We are in the midst of conceptualizing such games with our partners,” concluded Mishal.

Sparky’s amusement is the destination for fun and excitement for the whole family. Bowling alleys, family ice rink, 4D cinema, kids, adult’s rides and arcade games.

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DWTC welcomes over 500,000 visitors across consumer and entertainment events in 2018

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  • Over 29 entertainment, leisure and sporting events held in 2018

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has announced another successful year for its consumer and entertainment events as it closes 2018 having hosted over 500,000 visitors across more than 29 events. This shows approximately seven percent increase in visitor numbers for the consumer and entertainment events from 2017. Ranging from pop concerts and theatrical productions to consumer shows and sporting events, DWTC’s versatile events calendar has been strategic in the evolution of Dubai as a global business, leisure and entertainment hub.

Mahir Julfar, Senior Vice President – Venue Services Management, Dubai World Trade Centre said: “DWTC’s annual consumer and entertainment events calendar has become an important component of our MICE sector offering as it continues to attract thousands of thrill seekers, super fans, sporting enthusiasts and music lovers from around the world. The number of attendees in 2018 is testament to the strength of this market segment. As we go into the new year, we look forward to contributing to the city’s exciting, multicultural leisure and entertainment offering with an unforgettable line up of events, shows and festivals for the entire family.”

As one of the most awaited events of the year, more than 420 exhibitors and 45,965 of the region’s pop-culture fans attended Middle East Film & Comic Con in 2018, immersing themselves in international popular culture, film, TV, sci-fi, animation, manga, comics, collectibles, and more, through a series of talks, meet-and-greets, workshops, live events and an exhibition.

Running for the 19th year, Modhesh World, Dubai’s largest indoor family ‘edutainment’ destination, was spread across eight halls over the summer months, featuring a plethora of attractions, experiences, games, shows, contests and workshops.

The 22nd edition of Carpet Oasis drew in 24,000 traders and visitors from all over the world to explore thousands of handcrafted silk carpets and antique souvenirs, including some of the finest products from Iran, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

One of the highlights for the younger generation this year was the ‘Passport to Adventure’ Disney On Ice production which dazzled a 20,000 strong audience with its combination of world-class ice skaters and heartwarming Disney stories, lavish costumes, dazzling lighting, and enchanting music to create an extraordinary show for families.

Cirque Du Soleil returned to DWTC in 2018 with a new show inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight. An audience of 10,500 was kept enthralled through a live immersive experience that captured the imagination.

In line with the government’s efforts to make Dubai the most active city in the world, DWTC was once again transformed this summer into the largest indoor sports arena in the region with Dubai Sports World welcoming over 266,000 sports enthusiasts and spectators in 2018 looking to get some sporting action in a sun-free environment.

The 3rd edition of Dubai Muscle Show, featuring heavyweights from the bodybuilding universe as well as an array of sports competitions and interactive features and fitness demonstrations, attracted almost 10,000 fitness fans – ending the year on a high note for DWTC’s sporting offering.

DWTC’s 2018 consumer and entertainment events offering was complemented by a number of theatrical productions and musical concerts that drew a multicultural audience to the venue. Illustrious comedian Dave Chappelle’s sold out gig with close to 5,000 fans crowned the numerous stage performances that took place at the venue this year. These include Nairooz concerts, Pakistani singing sensation Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Bollywood star Shreya Ghoshal with a live symphony orchestra, Atif Aslam’s Eid-E-Jashn, Sunidhi Chauhan, Kumar Sanu, Iyad Alrimawi & Orchestra Sharq’s Love & Peace concert, and more.

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Argentinian Dance Band Malevo Rocks Global Village

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  • 8-piece dance troupe made semi-finals of America’s Got Talent

Malevo, the Argentinian dance band that took America by storm in Season 11 of America’s Got Talent, is appearing on stage at Global Village. The international show is available to all visitors of Global Village, the world’s leading multicultural Festival Park and the region’s first family destination for culture, shopping, and entertainment with two, dynamic 20-minute sets every night from Saturday to Thursday until the 3rd of January 2019.

Malevo is group of eight men from Buenos Aires, Argentina that do the Malambo, a traditional dance performed to the beat of the bombo legüero drum. Part of Argentine folklore, the dancing isn’t accompanied by singing or lyrics and dates back to the 16th century. The energetic and vibrant dancers perform a rhythmic Malambo routine with tap dancing, beating drums, and whirling boleadoras using both contemporary and traditional music.

Director, choreographer and dancer Matías Jaime created the dance company in 2015 out of love and passion for the dance and a desire to bring the traditional art form to the masses. He says: “We love to perform the Malambo, a traditional Argentine folk dance of great virility and dexterity. We start from its essence and roots, but seek to take it beyond its limits, with a modern, avant-garde and transgressive look, merging it with other dance styles, like flamenco and urban percussion. We keep to the purity of the dance but seek also to achieve a perfect combination, to give a complete innovative, visual and sensory experience for our audiences.”

Malevo shot to fame in 2016 when their act was showcased on the renowned American television show “America’s Got Talent” and launched them into worldwide recognition. Since then, Malevo has performed in festivals, TV shows, private events and theaters in France, Canada, Mexico, Egypt, Russia, and USA, among other countries. Last year, Malevo performed with Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas and the Dance Open Festival in Moscow. In July, the company traveled to Montreal, to participate in the Festival “Juste pour fire” and the Canadian TV Gala “Le Incroyable 2017”. In 2016 Malevo received the Argentinian distinction “MARCA PAIS”, in recognition of its contribution in expanding and spreading Argentinian roots and culture throughout the world.

Most of the dance troupe have known each other since they were little kids, growing up together in poverty. Jaime, who says he has devoted his whole life to the Malambo dance, had a dream to bring Malambo to stages around the world, and give their families a better life at the same time. Malevo attempts to take Malambo the dance to another level with a modern and different look – but still filled with passion and energy that is at the heart of the folkdance.

Global Village continues to offer unique shopping experiences, cultural performances, entertainment events and surprises every day until 7th April 2018, and is open from 4 pm to 12 am from Saturday to Wednesday and from 4 pm to 1 pm on Thursdays, Fridays and public holidays. On Mondays, it is dedicated to families and women only.

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Dubai Studio City Highlights Emirati Filmmaking Heritage through Unique Film Simulation Event

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Two-day guided tour showcases world-class facilities of sound stages

Dubai Studio City, the region’s leading community for the broadcasting, production and events sectors, transformed its state-of-the-art sound stages to showcase several film sets that highlighted the Emirati filmmaking heritage and culture since the 1950s. Along the sidelines of its UAE National Day activities, the hub hosted guided tours that attracted the attendance of industry experts from the production, entertainment and broadcasting domains.

With the UAE’s Year of Zayed drawing to a close, the two-day event particularly highlighted the inspiring vision of the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The exclusive initiative also offered an insight into the unique infrastructure, facilities and specs of the sound stages and their ability to launch or scale-up projects, whether in the filmmaking or events arena.

The on-set simulated filming experience leveraged features such as the two tall elephant doors placed at the entrance of the sound stages that could also be transformed into a divider ranging from six- to 30-metres. The catwalk area and two well-designed water tanks with a depth of three-metres were also used as props for the shoot. Specifically, for the purposes of the guided tour, one water tank was converted into the set of a live diving scene filmed using animation and computer-generated imagery (CGI).

As the largest venue in the MENA region of approximately 50,000 square feet, the Dubai Studio City sound stages offer cutting-edge film shooting spaces and event venues with complete sound proofing, noise criterion of 25, and height of almost 16-metres. The ceiling of the sound stages can carry a weight of up to 12 tonnes, with each rigging point weighing 700 kilograms.

Recently, Dubai Studio City offered the sound stages to host the world’s biggest annual book sale, the 10-day Big Bad Wolf, as well as the grand finale of the Arab Hope Makers Award.

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The First “Saladin” Game is Now Available on Google Play!

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“Saladin” is the first mobile game in the MENA region which is inspired by the Syrian TV Serie that narrates the tales of Salahuddin Al Ayyubi, First Sultan of Egypt and Syria, Liberator of Palestine, and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty!

This epic strategy game was officially launched on Google Play and introduced to the world in December 3rd,2018. Following the accurate historical storyline of the wars against the Crusaders as its background, players will empower themselves as great lords by building their own cities, training their powerful armies, and attacking their enemies to conquer and reign! Play to make Saladin alliances, defeat the Crusaders army, become the hero of hundreds of battles and take the city of Jerusalem back, all this while enjoying the challenges and the glory of “Saladin”.

Train your commander, strategize with your infantry, cavalry, chariot, shooters, and other armies. This will not only require you a reasonable allocation of resources but also, it will definitely challenge your tactical planning. You can also invite your friends to fight beside you, build an indestructible alliance and share the fruits of victory!

Battle of Harding, “Red Beard” Frederick, “Lion Heart King” Richard, King of Laws II and many more. All these historical names are calling you for battles. However, be careful, the Richard Lionheart, as he’s a very difficult Crusaders enemy in your battles.

All the elements in the “Saladin” game are based on the historical series “Salatin”, which perfectly restores the grand scene of the ultimate combat between the Western and Eastern worlds. Exquisite game graphics, detailed digital effect, and magnificent background music will bring to indulge in this full range gaming experience.

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