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Biggest Inter-University Sports Event of the Country Concludes at Gulf Medical University; AUS Emerge Overall Champions among 26 Participating Universities

The week-long inter-university sports festival hosted by Gulf Medical University (GMU), Ajman – the biggest sporting event of its kind in the country – concluded with a closing ceremony on 14th February 2019, at the University campus. Prof. Manda Venkatramana, Vice Chancellor – Academics of GMU was the chief guest for the closing ceremony.

Of the 26 Universities which participated this year, American University of Sharjah (AUS) emerged overall champions. BITS PIlani – Dubai were the runners up. Trophies were distributed to the winner and runners-up in different games, for both boys and girls.

Addressing the participants and spectators at the closing ceremony, Prof. Manda Venkatramana said that every year, GMU’s sports festival united the colleges of UAE in competitive sport.  “Sports and recreation are equally important in a student’s life, just as academic success,” he stressed. The closing ceremony involved the symbolic extinguishing the torch by the chief guest, signifying the close of the games.

Close to 1000 students participated in this year’s sports meet. Competitions were held in 226 events across 10 categories. The organizers said that the next year’s edition would be an even bigger event, with the inclusion of track and field events.

The closing ceremony was followed by a gala dinner attended by the participants.

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Table-toppers Quetta target Multan as HBL PSL resumes on Wednesday

Unbeaten Quetta Gladiators will aim to keep an unblemished record when they meet Multan Sultan as HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 action shifts to Sharjah on Wednesday.

The Sarfaraz Ahmed led Quetta – twice runners-up in three HBL PSL editions – are looking in no mood to relent as they target the elusive title with their never-say-die approach, under the astute coaching of former Pakistan captain Moin Khan.

It is remarkable how Moin has transformed a squad what does not have any iconic names but play with a winning spirit and determination.

Quetta thumped arch-rivals Peshawar in their first match of HBL PSL 4, keeping them to 155 for four, courtesy some tight bowling led by left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, who finished with two for 25 in his four overs. Umar Akmal, former Pakistan batsman, determined to regain his place in the national team, then batted in a punishing style as he took Quetta over the line with a polished and eye-catching 50-ball 75 not out laced with three sixes and seven boundaries.

Quetta’s next victim was Islamabad United who they beat more convincingly by seven wickets. This time left-arm paceman Sohail Tanvir, who rocked the title-holders with a prized wicket of Luke Ronchi off the very first ball of the match, finishing with four for 21. Pakistan origin Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed chipped in with three for 15.

Although Islamabad managed to reach 157 for eight, it didn’t prove much for Quetta who rode on Shane Watson’s aggressive 55-ball 81 not with four sixes and six boundaries and another commanding 28-ball 44 (two sixes and five boundaries) by Umar Akmal to seal the win with 10 balls to spare.

Multan Sultans had mixed fortunes in the first two games they have played to date, losing to Karachi Kings before staging a recovery with a win against Islamabad.

Multan did give Karachi a scare before going down by seven runs in a match highlighted by a new HBL PSL opening stand between Karachi openers Liam Livingstone (82) and Babar Azam (77). Multan fought hard in the chase of 184 with skipper Shoaib Malik (28-ball 52 with two sixes and five boundaries) and Laurie Evans (39-ball 49 with seven fours), but in the end a last over target of 16 proved beyond their tail-enders’ reach.

Multan then showed their bowling prowess against Islamabad, restricting them to 125 for seven with newcomer Ali Shafiq (two for 11), evergreen Shahid Afridi (two for 18) and hardworking Junaid Khan (two for 33) sharing the spoils. Shoaib Malik then anchored the chase with a solid 29-ball 31, but it was Shahid Afridi who sealed the win with two sixes.

Multan will hope they win the toss and break Quetta’s dominance of fielding first and then chasing a target. But if Quetta captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is once again lucky with the toss, then it will be tough for Multan.

Upcoming matches:

Wednesday (match 8) – Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators, Sharjah (match starts 9pm PST)

Thursday (match 9) – Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi, Sharjah (match starts 9pm PST)

Friday (match 10) – Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans, Sharjah (match starts 430pm PST)

Friday (match 11) – Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi, Sharjah (match starts 9pm PST)

Points table

Team Played Won Lost Points
Quetta Gladiators 2 2 0 4
Peshawar Zalmi 2 1 1 2
Multan Sultans 2 1 1 2
Islamabad United 3 1 2 2
Karachi Kings 2 1 1 2
Lahore Qalandars 3 1 2 2

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Bank of America Reports First-Quarter 2017 Financial Results

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  • Bank of America reported its first-quarter 2017 financial results today.

Investor Conference Call information

Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan and Chief Financial Officer Paul Donofrio will discuss the company’s results in a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET today. For a listen-only connection to the investor presentation, dial 1.877.200.4456 (U.S.) or 1.785.424.1732 (international). The conference ID is 79795.

Please dial in 10 minutes prior to the start of the call. Investors can also listen to a live audio webcast of the conference call and view the presentation slides by visiting the Events & Presentations section of the company’s Investor Relations website.

Replay information for Investor Conference Call

Investors can access replays of the conference call by visiting the Investor Relations website or by calling 1.800.934.4850 (U.S.) or 1.402.220.1178 (international) from noon ET on April 18, through 11:59 p.m. ET on April 25.

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Asteco signs first master franchise in Saudi Arabia

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  • Saudi Arabia based Ma’ather for Real Estate Management LLC invests in Asteco’s proven franchise brand, the first in the country

Asteco, the Middle East’s largest independent full-service real estate company, has added its first franchise in Saudi Arabia to its growing integrated network, taking the tally of franchises to 15 in the GCC.

Following the signing of the agreement with Asteco’s licensing division, Ma’ather for Real Estate Management LLC, the main real estate division of the Rabiah & Nasser Group (RANCO), a leader in the Saudi construction, industrial and real estate industry, will now operate under the Asteco brand. The signing ceremony, which took place yesterday at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, was attended by Asteco Managing Director, John Stevens; Asteco Director of Licensing, Sean McCauley; Eng. Raed Al Rabiah, Managing Director and Ahmed Al Bader, General Manager of Ma’ather for Real Estate Management LLC.

Commenting on the announcement, Stevens said: “RANCO has built a solid reputation over the last 60 years as reliable and trustworthy real estate company, with credentials second-to-none. Their extensive knowledge and business acumen makes them a natural fit for the Asteco franchise model and I look forward to working with the team on the international and domestic real estate Saudi market.”

RANCO is recognised as one of the key driving forces behind Saudi Arabia’s positive urban development. Projects developed include residential and compound properties in Riyadh and Al Khobar, as well as commercial office complexes in Riyadh, Al Khobar and Jeddah.

Several government initiatives put in place to increase housing supply in Saudi Arabia through partnerships with the private sector in 2016 have resulted in a confident outlook for 2017, offsetting the reduction in both government and consumer spending. The introduction of Real Estate Investments Funds (REITs) is also expected to have a positive impact on the real estate industry in the Kingdom.

“This new franchise subsidiary is in line with our group vision in residential development and complements our real estate property management portfolio,” said Eng. Raed Al Rabiah, Managing Director, Ma’ather for Real Estate Management LLC. “The backing of a real estate firm of Asteco’s standing and its plus 30 years of experience will undoubtedly play a major role in supporting us during the launch phase and beyond. The gravitas of the Asteco brand combined with our local knowledge and expertise means we can look forward to business growth and success in the future.”

Its licencing division, established in 2014, was created specially to offer franchise opportunities to qualifying real estate companies, independent realtors and regional entrepreneurs looking to diversify their existing businesses, or launch a start-up in the property sector.

Currently, Asteco has 14 franchises across four different countries in the GCC, including Livington Properties, Asset Value Real Estate Brokerage and Savana Real Estate in Dubai, as well as Bahrain-based RightWay. All franchisees enjoy 100% of the commission and benefit from more than three decades of real estate experience earned by Asteco. Franchisees can also capitalise on tailored set-up support services, bespoke operating areas and regional brand visibility while tapping into an enviable sales and leasing portfolio.

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Lufthansa Group invests on innovation, digitalisation and personalisation

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Lufthansa Group is on an investment drive in the areas of product customisation and digitalisation. Between now and 2020, the Lufthansa Group will be investing a total of 500 million euros in innovations including the development and improvement of personalised digital offers across the group.

On her visit to Dubai for the first time as the newly-appointed Senior Vice President Sales Lufthansa Hub Airlines and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Hub Frankfurt, Heike Birlenbach said: “Lufthansa is gearing up to raise the bar in customers’ travel experience. As part of our investment drive, we initiated the roll out of our modern aircraft, and we continue to churn out ideas for innovative services – some of which are currently available, making Lufthansa Group fit for the future and living the digital age now. Our digitalisation and personalisation push puts us ahead of the competition and allows us to be the first choice for our passengers.”

Whether above the clouds or on the ground – the Lufthansa Group is reacting to customer preferences with tailor-made digital offers. Currently, travellers can already download 250 newspapers and magazines as eJournals, and over 200,000 downloads in February alone showed how customers enthusiastically welcomed the offer. When searching for best prices, customers can ask the chatbot “Mildred”. They can also access current information regarding their flight with the Apple Watch while in the air and much more. Most recently, the airline group has been developing a new application for the “personal assistant” Google Home. The little device will soon be able to use text to speech technology to answer questions regarding upcoming Lufthansa flights.

“Personalisation and customization are key drivers for leisure and business travels. The convenience and seamlessness to go from point A to point B are big factors for travelers. In addition, we have an extensive network that covers many affluent destinations via the Lufthansa Group airlines such as Lufthansa German Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings. This is why at Lufthansa, we are constantly evolving to answer the needs of our travelers and making a more personalised and bespoke travel for them. With social media and digitalisation a big part of our customers’ everyday lives, we also make sure to provide them their needs in this aspect,” said Karsten Zang, Senior Director, Gulf, I.R. Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Lufthansa Group.

On Lufthansa long-haul flights, flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters does not mean that the passenger has to lose contact with the ground. A powerful Wi-Fi hotspot and the on-board wireless network offer the best conditions for surfing the Internet and using mobile data services via the GSM mobile service. Browsing the Web, accessing social media platforms, sending e-mails with large attachments, and using a passenger’s own corporate network via VPN (Virtual Private Network) – can all be done cost-effectively. The free and exclusive Lufthansa FlyNet® portal provides users with news, comprehensive information about the journey, as well as access to the Lufthansa flight information and to Lufthansa destinations, to live TV channels, shopping and more.

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Etisalat and Al Fardan Exchange announce strategic partnership

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Etisalat today signed an agreement with Al Fardan Exchange, one of the oldest and most established names in the UAE remittance market, to improve customer experience and provide convenient seamless payment solutions across the country.

The agreement signing ceremony was held today at Etisalat Head Office in the presence of senior executives from Etisalat and Al Fardan Exchange. The partnership reflects the focus of both entities on customer satisfaction and accessibility.

Ahmed Al Awadi, CFO of Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is committed to offering our customers choice by providing a range of innovative solutions and striking the right partnerships. Today’s agreement with Al Fardan Exchange will expand our network of payment partners in the UAE making it more accessible for all our customers.”

Osama Al Rahma, CEO of Al Fardan Exchange, said: “It is a great pleasure to be associated with Etisalat and we are sure that this tie up will be mutually beneficial for both organizations as well as for the customers. We always look for ways to add value to our services and offer additional facilities to our customers.”

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Saxo Bank Chief Economist: GCC Poised to Gain Economic Strength from Rising Tide of Populism Across the West

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  • As the rising tide of populism in the West erodes the foundations of the open market, the apparent retreat from globalisation may result in the GCC’s capital markets gaining huge momentum for growth

Steen Jakobsen, the Chief Economist of Saxo Bank, the online multi-asset trading and investment specialist, believes the lack of scientific theory and foresight in the feverish growth of populist ideology in the West could positively impact regional financial markets.

Framed by a romantic notion of reinstalling glories of the past, the current wave of populism in the USA and Western Europe has endured defining moments in the wake of events such as Brexit and the election of President Trump. Further evidence of anti-establishment forces growing to prominence in the West are evident in right-wing front-runner Marine Le Pen being widely tipped to win the first round of the French presidential elections this week (April 23).

Having predicted Trump’s ascension months before his Presidential victory, Jakobsen believes the surge in populist politics is the biggest threat to global financial markets.

“Today, markets are relatively open and fair for everyone to enter. This is one reason why Brexit Britain and Trump’s America are now characterised by divisive social upheaval. The contrasting voices are striking. There are those calling for an economic vision that increases productivity, creates competition and openness, and improves access to education, and there are those favouring more protectionist policies.”

In the UK and across Europe, much of the anguish following the outcome of the British referendum is marked by concerns over the reversal of the open-market and open-border policies that enriched both the UK and its European Union (EU) partners. With Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government triggering the UK’s final divorce agreement with the EU, trepidation over the UK’s vote for autonomy and self-determination draws parallel to global concerns over the impact on markets caused by President Trump’s economic policy, which many argue would have been more suited to the socio-economic climate of the 1950s and 1960s, according to Jakobsen.

As politics shaped by goals of national sovereignty continue to unfold, particularly in France where a Le Pen presidential victory could see the return of the French Franc and a French referendum on EU membership, the notion of the open market in Europe may soon face further challenges.

The tension is not restricted to Europe and the US either. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loon recently stated in an interview with the BBC that it may become necessary to take sides between the US and China. Meanwhile, for the GCC region, Jakobsen maintains the uncertainty has created new opportunities for prosperity as regional markets wake-up to the worst-case scenario of nations divided by political turmoil, the closing of borders and a fragile open market.

“While nations across the Gulf and wider Middle East would have to strike an uneasy political balance to remain an ally on both sides of the US – China coin, a world polarised along the lines of West versus East would ultimately see capital flowing inside small economic regions, creating a significant opportunity for the GCC debt market to gain huge momentum as the re-selling of capital to the US becomes less urgent,” he said.

“The GCC debt markets have an excess return relative to US treasuries, making it possible to have dollar exposure without any physical money actually being based in the US. With more dollar reserves being placed outside US borders, the GCC debt market could become very lucrative, not only for inter-GCC countries, but also for Asian and European investors.

“The Middle East’s capital market has grown at an impressive rate over the past year and in order for the GCC region to monopolise the potential to create deeper capital markets, there should be a clear and transparent political vision for the region. If capital markets can be made deep enough to absorb all the net excess saving there is in the Middle East, instead of those excess savings going overseas, there should theoretically be a higher deposit base, which would attract higher levels of inward investment.”.

Jakobsen added that this opportunity for economic prosperity comes at a time when moves such as the UAE’s implementation of bankruptcy laws and the Saudi Arabia bond issuance are seen as very strong signals to the rest of the world that the GCC region remains well and truly open for business.

“If GCC countries continue to launch initiatives that bring its financial ecosystem in line with that of international players, together with its huge geographical advantage, the region will become increasingly influential in a world that is becoming more and more polarised,” comments Jakobsen.

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AXILSPOT Announces Availability of New Range of In-wall Wireless Access Points in the MEA Region

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  • The ASW3, ASW3U and ASW120 series of In-wall wireless access points fit into standard power sockets with PoE and USB charging, dual band and high speed data transfer.

AXILSPOT, a global vendor in enterprise wireless networking, announced availability of its ASW3, ASW3U and ASW120 series of In-wall wireless access points in Middle East and Africa to help businesses manage their growing workload with a secure and reliable network and Internet connectivity.

This series of In-wall wireless access points has a range from 300M to 1,200M. The ASW3, ASW3U In-wall access points are single band working at 2.4GHz with data rate up to 300Mbps. The ASW120 In-wall access point is dual-band 802.11ac Wave 2, providing 300Mbps data rate at 2.4GHz and 867Mbps at 5GHz.

  • ASW3 300M Multi-Service In-wall Access Point, offers multiple interfaces to support cable access, PoE output, VoIP, telephone and USB charge; compliant with 86mm or 75mm electrical outlet box; Standard 802.3af PoE power supply; Auto RF adjustment reduces wireless interference; centralized management via Mobula Controller Platforms; and supports up to 30 concurrent users.
  • ASW3U 300M Multi-Service In-wall Access Point, offers multiple interfaces to support cable access, PoE output, VoIP, telephone and USB charge; compliant with 118mm US type electrical outlet box; standard 802.3af PoE power supply; Auto RF adjustment reduces wireless interference; centralized management via Mobula Controller Platforms; and supports up to 30 concurrent users.
  • ASW120 1200M Multi-service In-wall Access point, offers multiple interfaces to support cable access, PoE output, VoIP, telephone and USB charge; compliant with 86mm, 75mm or 118mm US type electrical outlet box; dual band 5GHz/2.4GHz, Standard 802.3at PoE; Band steering generates purified wireless and extended load capacity; Auto RF adjustment reduces wireless interference; centralized management via Mobula Controller Platforms; and supports up to 100 concurrent users.

Commenting on the availability of the products in the region, Nick Huang, Regional Sales Manager, AXILSPOT said, “The ASW3, ASW3U and ASW120 series of In-wall wireless access points are highly versatile and adaptable for businesses who want to extend the range of their networks. With the fast pace of workplace and consumer expansion, businesses often need to quickly expand the range of their wireless networks with minimum additional investment.”

“The ASW3, ASW3U and ASW120 wireless access points can fit into standard electrical outlet box creating a low profile, secure design with front port access, blending in inconspicuously with interior furniture. These In-wall wireless access points are an ideal choice providing easy wireless network setup for a variety of environments including hotels, villas, dormitories and offices,” added Mr. Huang.

The previous launch and availability of AXILSPOT products has been well received in the region both by business customers and channel partners according to August Chen, Director of Global Sales at AXILSPOT.

“AXILSPOT continues to provide state-of-the-art innovative wireless access points for businesses to mobilize and expand their enterprise networks. This range of In-wall wireless access points provides power over ethernet output, VoIP, IPTV, telephone, Internet access and USB charging. It also uses MIMO chip, Smart RF and network optimization, multi SSID and VLAN tagging, AP configuration, amongst other state of the art features. All these features are meant for regional businesses to get a high rate of return on their investments with AXILSPOT products and receive secure and reliable wireless connectivity,” explained Mr. Chen.

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2,000 Visitors in Conclusion of FBR Ajman Expo 2017

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Organized by Ajman Chamber and INDEX Conferences & Exhibitions, Franchise, Brands, Retail Expo – FBR Ajman concluded on a high note with the participation of 100 local and international brands from 13 countries.

His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Majid Bin Saeed Al Nuaimi, Chairman, Ruler’s Court, Ajman, accompanied by H.E. Abdullah Al Muwajai, Chairman of the Ajman Chamber visited FBR Ajman where he toured the exhibition area and was introduced to the leading brands in diverse sectors. He praised the great diversity of products displayed in the exhibition, which forms an ultimate platform for exchange of experiences, signing of partnerships, and successful business deals, which in turn will support the growth and sustainability of the economy.

In this occasion, Eng. Anas Al Madani, Vice Chairman and Group CEO of INDEX Holding: “We are very proud of the great success FBR Ajman in its 3rd edition has accomplished, as it had attracted more than 2,000 visitors over 2 days. We are very proud also of our cooperation with Ajman Chamber in organizing this event, that has provided a key platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience between franchisees and investors who are looking to start up their businesses from Ajman.”

The last day of the exhibition has witnessed the signing of a remarkable number of cooperation agreements and important business deals. Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed a partnership agreement with ASWAQ, a subsidiary of Investment Corporation of Dubai, to enhance cooperation and partnership between both parties. The agreement was signed by H.E. Abdullah Al Muwajai, Chairman of the Ajman Chamber and Mr. Yousef Al Sayed Sharaf, Chief Executive Officer.

Ajman Chamber has also signed a cooperation agreement with Franchise Souq, to support cooperation in the field of franchise that will eventually guide entrepreneurs and support them in this dynamic field. The agreement was signed by Mr. Mohammed Al Janahi, Executive Director of the Business Development and Investment Sector, and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of FBR Ajman and Mr. Jassim Albastaki, Chief Executive Officer of Franchise Souq.

In addition to that, Ajman Chamber has also signed an agreement with Enatni, new UAE startup with a vision to showcase Emirati owned businesses, community, and culture. The agreement was signed by Ms. Jameel Ahmed Kajoor, Director of SMEs Support Department, Ajman chamber and Mr. Abdullah Al Zaabi Enatni, CEO of Enatni.

One of the major accomplishments that took place during the exhibition, is the great business deals and agreements that were sealed among exhibiting companies in the exhibition from one side and also the deals between exhibiting companies and interested trade visitors who came to the exhibition looking for franchises and famous brands.

Towards the end of the exhibition, H.E. Abdullah Al Muwajai, Chairman of the Ajman Chamber, awarded all participating companies and brands who took part in this edition of FBR Ajman, he also extended his gratitude for all of them and praised their role in making from this exhibition an international platform for local, regional and international brands. H.E. also admired the big variety in brands participating this year at the exhibition.

H.E. continued saying: “Our wise leadership is very keen on providing all the support needed for entrepreneurs through guiding all stakeholders towards this purpose. Moreover, Ajman chamber is very keen on organizing specialized events that enrich the business community in general, in addition to participating in all related exhibitions inside the UAE and abroad, while also involving young local entrepreneurs and guide them to choose quality projects that has the potential to succeed, in addition to promote the local brands inside the UAE and abroad.”

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ManageEngine Emerges as a Champion in Info-Tech ITSM Research

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ServiceDesk Plus Receives Research Group’s Champion Award; Recognized as Industry Trendsetter

  • Received a high Value Index score  indicating value per dollar spent for features, usability and stability
  • Recognized for its strong market presence and leadership in the industry

ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, today announced that ServiceDesk Plus, its flagship ITSM product, has been recognized as a Champion in the Info-Tech Research Group Mid-Market Service Desk Vendor Landscape report. ManageEngine’s inclusion and placement in the report is a testament to its leadership status in the IT service management market and its ability to provide best-in-class ITSM solutions with enterprise-ready capabilities for mid-market companies.

“As organizations mature, they have to continuously innovate to get more business value from their IT operations and are constantly looking for tools that deliver results,” said Rajesh Ganesan, director of product management at ManageEngine. “We at ManageEngine realize this need and have purpose-built ServiceDesk Plus with the optimal balance of features, customization and programmability, all without compromising ease of use. We thank Info-Tech Research Group for this recognition which we believe will help many mid-market companies make the right choice.”

ManageEngine Scores High in Value Vendor Landscape reports by Info-Tech Research Group recognize outstanding vendors in the technology marketplace. By assessing vendors on the strength of their offerings and their enterprise strategies, Info-Tech Research Group’s Vendor Landscape reports pay tribute to the contributions of exceptional vendors in particular categories.

This report evaluated 13 vendors in the service desk market. ManageEngine came among the top three vendors ranked on the Value Index, which scores each vendor’s product offering and business strength relative to its price point. In the report, ServiceDesk Plus is identified as “an on-premises/SaaS solution that offers module-based scalability with seamless integration between the various add-ons.” Sandi Conrad, senior research director at Info-Tech Research Group and the report’s author, stated that “ServiceDesk Plus is perfect for organizations looking to incrementally increase maturity of IT through service desk, ITAM and other modules for IT operations and beyond.”

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GCC family businesses discuss requirements for long-term continuity and growth at 2017 FBCG Annual Summit in Dubai

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  • A 2-day event that brought together prominent family business leaders and experts to showcase best practices serving family business continuity
  • Sustaining family unity and maintaining commitment to evolve the family business were identified as key requirements for family business success over generations.

Family Business Council – Gulf (FBCG), the regional association of Family Business Network International (FBNi), recently concluded its Annual Summit 2017 under the theme ‘Secrets to Family Business Continuity: Committed to Evolve Over Generations’ held in Dubai.

The fourth edition of the summit brought together leading GCC family businesses experts and academicians to share family business experiences and effective approaches to address family business challenges.

H.E. Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of FBCG, said, “We believe that each family business has its own secrets to success, but we also believe that families can inspire each another on ways to regenerate their own formula to success” He added, “By tailoring the summit agenda around real-world case studies and success stories, we aimed to provide families with practical insights that they can learn from and incorporate in order to better address the challenges of growth, business model evolution and generational transition.”

Prominent regional and international speakers took the stage at the summit presenting case studies and taking part in panel discussions. Two GCC family groups, Al Mulla Group from Kuwait and SEDCO Holding Group from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, shared their learnings and discussed how to professionalize and introduce corporate discipline in the family business; focusing on how to build effective Boards to fit long-term generational time horizons.

The summit also witnessed the launch of a GCC case study on family business social impact. Community Jameel shared their approach in developing community projects tied to their business and centered on job creation. Hassan Jameel, Deputy President and Vice Chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel, took part in a relevant panel session along sustainability experts and discussing with the audience effective ways of giving in the context of the family business.

International family speakers also took part in the summit; Hans-Jacob Bonnier of Bonnier Group, a sixth-generation family firm which is ranked among Scandinavia’s leading media conglomerates; and Meral Zaim Inci, a second generation from the leading Turkish Inci conglomerate. Both families belong to FBN exclusive community; and took part in GCC summit to present their family governance development journey.

Every year, the FBCG summit attracts leading GCC family businesses in a private closed-door gathering. FBCG’s events are exclusive to family-business members and the format of the sessions is designed to encourage open and effective discussions among the participating members.

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Emaar Malls AGM approves 10% cash dividend of AED 1.3 billion (US$ 354 mn) for second consecutive year

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  • Seven Directors of the Board elected by the General Assembly

The second Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Emaar Malls (DFM: EMAARMALLS), the shopping malls and retail business majority-owned by Emaar Properties, today approved a proposal by the Board of Directors to distribute 10 per cent of the share capital, equivalent to AED 1.301 billion (US$ 354 mn), as cash dividend to the shareholders.

The assembly also elected a Board of Directors comprising seven members: Mr. Mohamed Alabbar, Mr. Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Mr. Abdulrahman Al Hareb, Mr. Abdulla Belyoahah, Mr. Helal Saeed Almarri, Mr. Mohamed Al Hussaini, and Mr. Ali Ibrahim Mohamed Ismail. A special resolution was passed by the AGM approving the change in number of Board members from nine to seven.

The AGM also approved the report of the Board of Directors on the activities and financial position of the company as well as the auditor’s report and the company’s balance sheet for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016. Ernst & Young was chosen as the auditor for 2017.

Addressing the shareholders, Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Malls and Emaar Properties, said the success of Emaar Malls is led by the UAE’s robust growth and the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to establish the nation as a smart hub for trade and commerce.

“We are driving our growth with our focus on delivering enhanced retail experiences for our customers. We are investing in new and advanced technologies that will create all-encompassing experiences for our customers and contributing to sustained value for our shareholders.”

He added: “We will strengthen our malls assets with the expansion of The Dubai Mall and the development of retail districts in Dubai Hills Estate and Dubai Creek Harbour, which are designed for the new generation of tech-savvy, trend-conscious customers.”

Emaar Malls recorded a net profit of AED 1.874 billion (US$ 510 mn) and revenue of AED 3.227 billion (US$ 879 mn) in 2016. The shopping malls assets of Emaar Malls – The Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, Souk Al Bahar, Gold & Diamond Park and the community shopping centres – welcomed 125 million visitors during 2016, with gross leasable area (GLA) occupancy levels averaging at 96 per cent.

With a GLA of about 6 million sq ft in Dubai, Emaar Malls is expanding The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue by another 1 million sq ft built-up area. New retail and leisure opportunities are being created for retailers and customers with the Boulevard, Fountain Views and Zabeel expansions of The Dubai Mall.

Emaar Malls is also developing dedicated retail precincts in Dubai Creek Harbour and Dubai Hills Estate. Several community mall projects are also being planned to serve Emaar’s integrated lifestyle developments.

Shareholders of Emaar Malls are requested to update their contact details and addresses with the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) to make sure the dividends are received appropriately, as the payment will be made through DFM.

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