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Memac Ogilvy unveils new Cairo office as part of major Egypt reshuffle

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  • Award-winning agency reaffirms its commitment to Egypt one week after its global re-founding

Regional creative powerhouse Memac Ogilvy yesterday unveiled its new Cairo office as part of a major restructure in Egypt.

The award-winning, global agency has moved house to Maadi, next to Technology City. The change comes as part of Memac Ogilvy’s ongoing commitment to modernizing its services in Egypt, and follows the company’s worldwide re-founding, announced last week.

Both Regional and global leaders were present at the unveiling event, as well as a list of valued clients, suppliers and staff. Ogilvy’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for EMEA, Paul O‘ Donnell, Memac Ogilvy Chairman, Edmond Moutran, Chief Executive Officer for MENA, Patou Nuytemans, and Regional Director of PR & Influence and Acting Managing Director of Egypt, Saada Hammad all attended. The event fell off the back of a significant regional management meeting in Cairo, which also included Memac Ogilvy’s broader leadership team.

“Egypt has long been an important market for us, and we’re proud of the influential history we have here, from the launch of the New Suez Canal, to the Egypt Post, to Cairo’s Ministry of Finance,” said Mr. Moutran, Memac Ogilvy Chairman. “Today, the nation is going through significant growth measures, which is vastly important from a social, economic, and cultural perspective. This is an era we are committed to playing a key role in. Our 20 year history in the country allowed us to recognize the opportunities that exist, and we intend on contributing through our talented resources, services, and operations,” he added.

Last week, Worldwide Ogilvy CEO, John Seifert, announced the agency’s re-founding after 70 years of award-winning operations. The company reinvented its approach through a new client-centric, integrated structure that centralizes its offerings. The changes were reflected through a refreshed logo and website, as part of a transformation known as Next Chapter.

Egypt has been identified as a key market for rolling out Next Chapter, given the market opportunities, and Memac Ogilvy’s rich history of influential work in the country. It will bring its new Operating System and restructure to its Cairo team, as well as announce a number of exciting new hires from Egypt’s unique and extensive talent pool.

Saada Hammad, current Acting Managing Director for Memac Ogilvy in Egypt, said, “I’m constantly surprised by the incredible talent and passion in the Egyptian market, helping to carry forward the nation’s economic growth ambitions. We believe the country has the skills to help us further innovate our services, and successfully roll-out Ogilvy’s Next Chapter strategy, putting clients at the heart of our business, and making brands matter.”

It’s business as usual from the new offices for Memac Ogilvy, as it continues operations of more than two decades in Egypt alone. One of the company’s long-term characteristics has been its ability to modernize and adapt to current market trends, and bring its clients with it. Egypt’s transformation is one of its most exciting projects of potential to date, and the new approach, structure and office put it in the ideal position to realize such opportunities.

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UK College of Business & Computing opens new campus in Dubai, UAE

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UK College of Business & Computing (UKCBC), one of London’s leading higher & vocational education inaugurates its campus from June 2018 for the first batch of students.

The College currently has six campuses in Central & Greater London including the English language arm UK College of English (UKCE). Located in the heart of Dubai International Academic City and with a campus spanning around 19,000 square feet, the Dubai Campus will initially deliver Pearson BTEC qualifications in business management, computing, travel & tourism, and health and social care eventually expanding to other qualifications that suit the UAE’s higher education and employability needs.

“Vocational training is taking off in the UAE as more entities understand and appreciate its benefits. Youth now should be more open to opportunities to train in vocational courses as per education professionals and students. At UKCBC we will start with programmes in Business programmes at level 2 & 3 and then look to offer additional qualifications as the centre develops. This is the first step in our broader strategic plan to give true global access to quality education at value for money prices that will appeal to all income groups.” the college’s Director of Finance and Operations, Bhargav Busa said.

Employers increasingly prefer to hire graduates who can demonstrate work ready skills. BTEC diplomas provide students with industry experience from ground level. Students are required to complete assessments based on real companies or scenarios which helps build skills such as decision making, communication and other interpersonal skills.

Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Park, said, “We are pleased to welcome the UK College of Business & Computing to our thriving community, bringing its unique vocational and offerings to students in the UAE. There is no one-size-fits-all model – vocational education offers a unique combination of classroom learning with hands-on training with a focus on helping students become highly qualified in specific fields. Such programmes will not only enrich the educational landscape in Dubai but support the economic diversification of the UAE by producing and developing homegrown talent.”

All the BTEC courses offered by UKCBC are awarded by Pearson, the world’s largest learning company.

Ttina Narsian, Head of Sales & Marketing for the Dubai campus additionally quoted – “Vocational education and training opens up a world of opportunities. At UK College of Business & Computing, our delivery techniques are designed for all kinds of young and mature learners, as well as exceptional student support through experienced tutors; we aim to ensure that students are able to progress into their academic or professional journey with ease and confidence. We are committed to support the UAE government’s initiative for skill development in the region so that more and more graduates are able to positively contribute to the UAE economy towards a successful EXPO 2020 and beyond.”

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Ooredoo Reaches Out to Communities and Celebrates #RamadanMoments across its Global Footprint

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  • A Host of Activities and offers launched around the world to share the spirit of Ramadan and strengthen connections during the Holy Month

Ooredoo Group concludes one of its most impactful Ramadan campaigns, as its #RamadanMoments campaign, which was launched across its regional footprint, ends with the arrival of Eid Al Fitr.

As part of this year’s campaign, Ooredoo has released a new commercial that celebrates the traditions of the Holy Month and the spirit of togetherness in specific #RamadanMoments that people now enjoy as part of their daily digital lifestyles. The commercial was a great success, with more than 30 million views and over 23 million engagement on social media.

In addition, Ooredoo has conducted a multinational survey in Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Tunisia and Algeria to map online activity and content preferences during Ramadan, which will enable the company to further refine its portfolio of digital options created especially for the Holy Month.

Ooredoo companies around the world have also launched initiatives and activities, reaching out to local communities to celebrate the spirit of Ramadan each in their own way.

With the support of Ooredoo employees who generously volunteered their time, the activities have been designed to draw a smile on the faces of people, help underserved communities and encourage customers to communicate more with their loved ones during the Holy Month.

Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al Thani, Group Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo, said: “Ramadan is a time to reflect on our lives, connect and share great moments with loved ones, and be grateful for what we have. It is also a time to help those in need and show our customers how much we care.”

In Qatar, Ooredoo has launched the #RamadanWithOoredoo campaign that includes a series of activities designed to engage the community, including hospital visits, Iftar with the elderly and orphans, and distribution of Iftar boxes across the country.

Reflecting Ramadan’s spirit of sharing, Ooredoo Qatar has also offered its customers the chance to enjoy the best moments of the Holy Month with the Ooredoo Supernet by enabling them to send free data, free international calling minutes, and much more to their loved ones on a daily basis.

As part of their efforts to provide much-needed help to the communities affected by the cyclone that hit the Sultanate recently, Ooredoo Oman began its 14th annual Goodwill Journey heading to Salalah. Ooredoo volunteers have travelled with trucks loaded with supplies, goods and equipment to assist with local relief efforts. Since its launch back in 2005, this flagship initiative has helped over 140,000 people across Oman.

In addition, Ooredoo Oman launched “Ooredoo Surprises”, giving its prepaid customers free data, minutes, credit and others on a daily basis and enabling them to communicate and enjoy the Internet even more this Ramadan.

In Kuwait, Ooredoo has set-up a tent for donating daily Iftar meals for workers in the prime location of Soor Street. To make sure it serves a wider range of people, the company has also used a special truck to deliver daily Iftar meals to areas populated by underserved communities.

As well, Ooredoo Kuwait has launched the 4th edition of its award-winning “Ooredoo Volunteer Program” that saw hundreds of volunteers take part in the implementation of Ramadan activities this year.

Asiacell in Iraq, part of Ooredoo Group, launched the “Unlimited Daily Minutes Bundle” to encourage its customers to stay in touch during the Holy Month.

Ooredoo Tunisia’s campaign, “Ooredoo El Khir”, has seen the company collect donations from Ooredoo employees for the benefit of the “Un repas pour chaque Tunisien” association, which works to ensure that every Tunisian enjoys an Iftar meal on a daily basis.

Also, Ooredoo Tunisia has launched the “Kouswat El Eid” (Eid clothes) initiative, which aims to collect children’s clothes and toys and donate them to El Bachir Hamza hospital.

In Algeria, Ooredoo has opened its restaurants to offer Iftar meals to people in need throughout the Holy Month. The initiative was carried in partnership with the Algerian Red Crescent. In addition, Ooredoo Algeria has launched a host of special offers, enabling customers to enjoy Islamic content and encouraging them to communicate more for less during this time of year.

In Indonesia, Indosat Ooredoo provided donations to Islamic orphanages and boarding schools in the seven regions where it operates, including Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Bandung, Semarang, Balikpapan and Makassar. Donations were handed out during Iftar events organised by Ooredoo employees in each of the regions.

Ooredoo Maldives launched a short video highlighting local practices and traditions of the Holy Month and exploring the main differences between how people lived Ramadan in the past and how they do now. The video aims to encourage people to reconnect as a community.

To thank its customers for choosing Ooredoo and help them stay connected, Ooredoo Maldives also launched a series of offers, including a Ramadan weekly draw, offers on data packs and international calls, free Islamic content and prayer alerts, and much more.

Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani concluded: “It gives me great pleasure to see how the values of Ooredoo are clearly embodied during the Holy Month, with our operating companies in the Middle East, North Africa, and South East Asia taking the time to volunteer and making huge efforts to serve the communities in which they operate.”

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Abu Dhabi Welcomes Eid Al Fitr with Spectacular Fireworks Display

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  • Bargain hunters benefit from discounts of up to 90% across 15 malls

Abu Dhabi residents and visitors were treated to a dazzling firework display to celebrate Eid Al Fitr last night (Friday) at the specially designed outdoor venue at the Abu Dhabi Corniche and Hazza bin Zayed stadium in Al Ain.

Accompanied by incredible pyrotechnic effects, the fireworks display mesmerised the crowd as they joined in the festivities.

Visitors also enjoyed a 24-hour mega sale, as the Emirate’s retailers dropped prices by as much as 90 per cent during the citywide mall mega sale. Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (DED), the sale kicked off on Friday, June 15th at 10am and ran until 10am on Saturday, June 16th marking a special start to Eid Fest celebrations.

The shopping bonanza also featured a diverse line-up of events at malls across the emirate including a live performance with Pinkfong and Baby Shark with Teacher and their dancing friends in Bawadi Mall, Al Ain.

Guests can now look forward to the much-awaited Abu Dhabi Summer Season (ADSS), an annual event in which UAE residents and visitors will enjoy huge discounts in addition to a selection of superb performances, entertainment, and fun-filled family activities that will launch on Thursday, June 21st.

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GEMS schools partner with Dubai Cares to raise AED 300,000

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  • Jumeirah Primary School raised over AED 200,000 for Dubai Cares’ ‘Adopt a School’ programme
  • GEMS Winchester School, Dubai raised over AED 100,000 towards ‘Education in Emergencies’ appeal

Two GEMS Education schools, GEMS Winchester School Dubai and Jumeirah Primary School have collectively raised funds in partnership with Dubai Cares during the holy month of Ramadan. The schools independently raised over AED 300,000 for various charity programmes under the aegis of Dubai Cares.

Student, parents and the teaching community of the schools put in their best efforts to raise funds for a worthy cause. GEMS Winchester School Dubai came forward to raise much needed money for Dubai Cares ‘Education in Emergencies’ appeal and Jumeirah Primary School supported Dubai Cares ‘Adopt a School’ programme.

His Excellency, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “It’s wonderful to see school children so engaged with important issues such as universal access to quality education. I would like to thank the students, parents, teachers and school management of Jumeirah Primary School and GEMS Winchester School Dubai who have contributed to bringing hope in a better future for vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people around the world by providing them with an opportunity to go to school and learn.”

The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of Jumeirah Primary School, Dubai also hosted its 9th Annual Spring Fair, the largest charity school event in the region. This year, the PTA had chosen to support the Dubai Cares ‘Adopt a School’ programme of building a school in Jordan for Syrian refugees. This was a two-year project and the school donated AED 202,000 towards building this much-needed facility, where two hundred children will have access to education.

Rachel Higgins, Principal / CEO of GEMS Jumeirah Primary School, said: “Once again I could not be prouder of the GEMS Jumeirah Primary School family serving not only our own community but affecting the lives of others around the world. It is truly wonderful to be building our third school paid for entirely by our families through the Spring Fair. We are excited to be able to visit this school once built and to meet the children and adults who are continuing their education thanks to the efforts of our PTA. Together we can make a change and everything is possible”.

The Spring Fair was on a colossal scale, with PTA committee members working extensively with teachers and students and both small and corporate businesses. Each one of these individuals and entities shared the school’s vision and supported its work through their generous sponsorship.

Moreover, each year group of students from GEMS Winchester School Dubai were asked to choose an activity that they could run to raise funds. Some of the activities included a pyjama party, a speech choir competition, a talent show and a movie show. Key highlights included the Year 2 children putting together an implausible fashion show made of recyclable goods.

To end the fund raising for the year the school joined forces with the parents and arranged a huge Global Fair in May that attracted around 5000 parents.

Commenting on the event Matthew Lecuyer, Principal GEMS Winchester School Dubai, said: “We are proud of each and every member of our school community who have come together and have shown true charitable kindness. It is such an honour to be working and learning alongside compassionate and caring global citizens here at GEMS Winchester School Dubai. The students, families and staff have all shown true generosity in our quest to raise money for the Dubai Cares charity. Our goal of AED 80,000 was smashed as we raised over AED 103,014.25 through varying events. Student leadership and community links were at the heart of the matter, organising and running theme days, house days, book sales and of course the highly successful Spring Fair that saw over 6,000 people in attendance.”

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Facebook Partners with American University in Dubai to Launch Blueprint University Program

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A program aimed to empower pre-professional students with Facebook Advertising knowledge

Facebook has announced a partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) at the American University in Dubai, to launch a dedicated Blueprint program to empower pre-professional students with Facebook Advertising knowledge, and introduce them to partners for internship opportunities, to provide them with real-life experience before they are hired for full-time roles.

The pilot program targets 150 students for a 6-month course, which will begin with a month-long Blueprint online course, followed by in-person training for four weeks. Students will then be invited to a career fair to set up opportunities for them to meet brands and agencies with available internships. After the completion of the internship, students can then take the Blueprint Certification Exam to complete the course.

Dr. Carol Melhem-Moufarrej, Associate Dean of the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) at the American University in Dubai (AUD) said “Here at AUD, and the MBRSC, we are pleased with this privileged agreement. This will facilitate our students’ ability to earn the Facebook Certification and an internship at prominent media and marketing companies in Dubai through an exclusive job fair organized by Facebook.

Yasser Noueiry, Agency Partner at Facebook, added: “As our business continues to grow in the region, our goal is to equip talented rising marketing professionals with a profound knowledge of Facebook’s family of apps and services. Through our partnership with AUD, we look forward to empowering a new generation of marketers in the region and inspire other universities in the region to offer Facebook’s Blueprint programs amongst junior students.”

Marc Ghosn, General Manager at Wavemaker added: “We are proud and thrilled to have played a major role in building the bridge between AUD and Facebook. We believe that this is the first step in redefining the future of education and empower the next generation. At Wavemaker, our core belief and mission are to reward our communities, and we are optimistic that other universities will follow this journey.”

Facebook’s Blueprint courses are also available in Arabic. By expanding Blueprint’s catalog of available languages, Facebook aims to provide more people around the world with the tools they need to help grow their businesses and expand their marketing skills.

Facebook’s Blueprint has three components:

  • Blueprint e-learning center. More than 50 online video modules in nine languages covering topics including targeting your advertising, creating better ads and using analytics.
  • Blueprint Live. In-person training events, aimed at digital marketing professionals.
  • Blueprint Certification. A series of lessons and two proctored exams, leading to the certificate of “Facebook Certified Planning Professional”.

Facebook Blueprint is aimed at three target audiences:

  • Small businesses, not-for-profits and their employees. They can use Blueprint videos and training to learn how to use Facebook more effectively. There is no cost, and you can access videos anytime. To date, 73% of the 1 million enrollees of Blueprint courses have been small businesses.
  • Advertising and communication agencies: employees of marketing agencies can use both the online programs and, if available, Blueprint Live, to improve and certify their digital marketing capabilities. This can help them attract, retain and better serve clients.
  • Curious individuals and hopeful ad pros: those who want to improve their social media marketing capabilities.
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dnata acquires majority stake in baggage storage and delivery service company, DUBZ

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  • Home check-in service in Dubai launched with UAE carrier flydubai and KSA carriers Saudia and flynas

Passengers flying out from Dubai can now enjoy the convenience of checking in their baggage and getting their boarding passes from their home or hotel.  dnata is launching these new services through baggage technology and logistics company –  DUBZ, in which it recently acquired a majority stake.

DUBZ was started in 2016 by three entrepreneurs who saw the opportunity to provide a practical and technology-enabled service to travellers in Dubai – the collection of baggage from their homes or hotels before a flight, and delivery of bags to the home or hotel on arrival in Dubai. Available 24 hours a day, the service can be booked online at www.dubz.com.

DUBZ is a winner of Intelak, a travel, aviation and tourism incubator led by the Emirates Group in partnership with GE and Dubai Tourism to support the UAE’s ambitions in setting the highest global standards for services, systems, and experiences in aviation.

Since its launch, the company has seen strong demand for its services from customers who want a hassle-free journey to and from the airport, especially when travelling in groups.

From bag collection and delivery, to full home check-in service

At present, the company collects the baggage from the passenger’s home or hotel, seals and weighs the bags, securely transports them to Dubai International  Airport and hands them over to the passenger for self-check in.  Upon arrival into Dubai, passengers can also leave their bags with DUBZ after retrieving them from the baggage carousels.

With dnata taking a majority stake in DUBZ, the companies are now offering passengers a home check-in service where they will not only have their baggage collected at home or the hotel, but will also get their baggage checked-in on the spot, and collect their boarding passes from DUBZ. Passengers using this service can proceed straight to airport immigration, avoiding queues at the airline check-in counters with the assurance that their bags have already been checked in with the airline.

dnata and DUBZ are starting the new home check-in service for passengers flying with UAE carrier flydubai and KSA carriers Saudia and flynas.  They have the capability to extend this to any carrier and are currently in discussions with other airlines to make it available to their passengers soon.

In addition, passengers on any airline arriving at Terminals 1 and 2 at Dubai International Airport and Al-Maktoum International Airport can appoint DUBZ to collect their baggage at the carousels, clear customs on their behalf and deliver the bags straight to their home or hotel.

Technology and tracking

DUBZ’s robust technology platform has been integrated with airport data to help customers select the most suitable pick-up times for their baggage. DUBZ also partnered with World Security to implement GPS tracking in all its vehicles, live CCTV screening at its facilities and smartphones for its drivers to manage paperless transactions, all the more to provide passengers with a seamless and hassle-free experience.

“At dnata, we’re always looking for ways to enhance the customer’s experience at every touch point of their journey. With DUBZ’s innovative idea to create convenience for travellers, we’re now able to extend our service beyond the airport to let them check in for their flights from home.  It saves them time and provides peace of mind. With success in Dubai, we hope to roll this out as a dnata product around the world,” said Steve Allen, Divisional Senior Vice President – UAE Airport Operations, dnata.

“We’ve found in dnata a strategic partner whose industry leadership and commercial strength will help take our product offering to the next level.  Our goal is to scale up the business while maintaining the agility and service standards we’ve achieved since inception,” said Omar Abou Faraj, CEO and Co-Founder of DUBZ.

The new luggage check-in services costs AED 110 each for the first and second bags or AED299 for the first three bags, and AED30 for every additional bag after that. For the baggage belt pick up service, it is AED 99 for the first bag and AED 40 for every additional bag.

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Jumeirah Al Qasr Launches ‘Jumeirah Art’ exhibition in Partnership with ‘Dubai Culture’

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Jumeirah Al Qasr, announced its partnership with Dubai Culture & Arts authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, and unveiled a dedicated art gallery space to display the works of talented artists from across the region through the ‘Jumeriah Art‘ exhibition that will run throughout the year with the first artist displayed until mid-September.

The first exhibition as part of ‘Jumeirah Art’ will feature the outstanding works of Lulwah Al Homoud, a talented and well-known Saudi artist, whose art comprises vivid geometrical forms and Arabic calligraphy. The artist’s unique pieces are inspired by the distinguished Egyptian Calligrapher Ahmed Moustafa, and by the Pakistani Calligrapher Rasheed Butt, whom she trained with in her younger years.

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of Dubai Culture, commented: “We are delighted to collaborate with our partners at Jumeirah Group in bringing a dedicated art gallery space to exhibit talented artists work from across the region. By providing artists with such platforms, we are supporting our mandate to establish Dubai as a global, creative and sustainable city for culture, arts, heritage, and literature. This partnership comes under our Public Art Strategy, which aims to shed light on the unique visual designs of the region’s creative community by displaying their art in creative and innovative ways.”

Al Nabouda added: “Our selection of the artist Lulwah Al Homoud comes as part of our on-going efforts to strengthen the collaboration with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in many fields. We also selected her in recognition for her Islamic art style, which supports our efforts to establish Dubai as the capital of Creative Islamic Economy, by shedding light on local and international talents from the Islamic culture and arts”.

Commenting on this new project, Pinar Timer, General Manager of Jumeirah Al Qasr said: “At Jumeirah Group, we consider Jumeirah Al Qasr- the crown jewel of Madinat Jumeirah- perfectly reflecting its Arabic name, meaning ‘The Palace’. The unique architecture and interior designs at Jumeirah Al Qasr inspired by the historical Arabian palaces, makes it the perfect place to host some of the region’s most celebrated artists, especially the Arabic inspired art of Lulwah, which showcases the authentic artistic elements of this part of the region, while complimenting the guests cultural experience. We are very proud of our partnership with Dubai Culture, and we are very excited to see this collaboration come to life.”

Lulwah is represented in Dubai by Tabari Artspace. She previously had a number of successful solo exhibitions, including one at the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum in 2015, and another one in 2016 at the Hafez Gallery in Jeddah. She also co-curated the ‘Edge of Arabia Exhibition’ at the Brunei Gallery in London, and contributed her work to many international group exhibitions, including the Sundaram Tagore Galleries in New York, AB Gallery in Hong Kong, and to many other art exhibitions in France, Germany, Lebanon, and Korea.

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Mall of the Emirates presents an exclusive Ramadan exhibition – Art from the Heart – showcasing outstanding talent by people of determination

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Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has opened an exclusive photography exhibition – Art from the Heart – portraying the Holy Month through the creative eyes of 12 talented people of determination at Mall of the Emirates. The special exhibition can be viewed at the mall’s Luxury Wing on Level 1 of the mall from June 7 to June 16, 2018.

The group of talented young people, who are part of the Special Photography Programme by Asateer Events, created a series of photographs depicting the spirit of Ramadan inside Mall of the Emirates. Each piece captures the mall’s distinctive elements such as Ramadan decor and architectural details.

Asateer offers employment opportunities and creative activities to people of determination. The organisation was founded by Dubai resident Mohamed Younes, a special needs educationalist and photographer from Egypt. Its ‘Special Photographer’ project, launched in 2013, is for service users who have shown promise in photography. All undertake training tailored to their abilities and are supported with a programme of excursions, exhibitions and more. For further information please visit www.malloftheemirates.com, www.facebook.com/MallOfTheEmirates, or www.instagram.com/malloftheemirates

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Blink Studios wins ‘Best Art or Film’ at Augmented World Expo 2018 USA

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  • This is a monumental win for the studio that further advances upon Dubai’s mission to become the central hub for innovation on a global scale

Blink Studios, an award-winning animation studio based in Dubai, announced that it was awarded the ‘Best Art or Film’ ‘Auggie award’ for its animated short series ‘Karim & Noor’ during the 2018 Augmented World Expo (AWE), the most recognised industry AR & VR awards event in the world that takes place annually in Silicon Valley. This prestigious win marks a first for the Middle East and further solidifies the studio as one of the UAE’s finest, as well as adds another notch on Dubai’s mandate for global innovation and ingenuity.

Since launching in 2016, ‘Karim & Noor’ has captured the hearts of viewers from around the world by matching humour with inspiring morals of friendship, compassion and acceptance. Episodes are uploaded onto the show’s dedicated YouTube channel — youtube.com/karimandnoor — and feature the adventures of Karim, a seven-year-old boy, and his ‘lanbot’ — a robot lantern. The series uses a ‘short form’ video format, which is popular with online videos and builds massive viewership with young children.

Nathalie Habib, Executive Producer at Blink Studios, commented: “Blink Studios is honoured to be one of the first studios in the Middle East to receive international acclaim for its creative achievement in producing films utilising the latest advancements in storytelling technology. We thoroughly believe that being ahead of the game in our art as storytellers and film makers will keep our ideas, stories and products relevant to our audiences everywhere.”

AWE’s annual events bring together a mix of CEOs, CTOs, designers, developers, creative agencies, futurists, analysts, investors, and top press in a fantastic opportunity to learn, inspire, partner, and experience first-hand the most exciting industry of our times. This year’s submissions were voted on by a myriad of professionals in the realm of futuristic technologies, including Pearly Chen, Principal Group Program Manager at Microsoft, Mark Sage, Senior Product Manager at Google AR/VR, and Dr Hong Choi, Chief of Staff at HTC.

The Auggies offer critical exposure to new technologies, ideas and advancements, and this year AWE received the largest number yet of submissions from companies of all sizes and scale, locations and applications–generating fierce competition among each category for a winner. X Reality Experiences — technology-mediated experiences that combine virtual elements with reality — enjoyed $2 billion in investments during 2017. This value is estimated to grow to around $20 billion within the next five years and as a now-recognised global player that focuses much of its productions on this technology, Blink Studios is set to reap the benefits of this expanding and developing market.

Blink Studios operates in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles, and is a pioneer in the research and development of storytelling through this medium of content experience that is set to become mainstream in the future.

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