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TEAM ABU DHABI’S XCAT WORLD CHAMPIONS READY FOR ALL OUT TITLE FIGHT IN DUBAI  

Torrente, Al Mansoori aim for back-to-back race wins to retain world crown

Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori ae ready for all conditions that the Dubai Grand Prix can create this weekend as they look to retain their title at the climax of the 2019 UIM XCAT World Championship.

The defending champions took to the water for official practice today with their sole intention to aim for back-to-back race wins in the final round of the series, regardless of any off-race developments.

On the eve of the first of two races in Dubai in the space of 24 hours, Team Abu Dhabi were still awaiting the result of their appeal against the two 30-second time penalties imposed on Torrente and Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 4 after last month’s Shanghai Grand Prix.

The penalties dropped them from the championship lead to third place, seven points behind the Dubai Police crew of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi, but their focus today was on the possibility of dramatically changing sea conditions in Dubai.

“It was very rough out there, very windy with some big waves, but both our boats are stable,” said Al Mansouri, after he and Torrente set the third fastest lap in the first official practice session, which saw only seven of the 12 boats recording times.

“We have a good set-up and we pushed today and found that everything was good for us, so we are ready. Everything depends on the weather tomorrow. We’re hearing from the weather guys that the sea will be flat, and if that’s the case we’ll change the set-up for sure because today we were set-up for rough water. We’ll decide tomorrow about half an hour before the pole position race.”

Added Mansouri: “We’re still waiting for news from the UIM, but whatever happens we’re going to push hard for two race wins to take the championship.”

Andrea Comello and Joakim Kumun in Consulbrokers set the early pace in official practice, with Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 5 recording the fifth quickest lap.

Official practice 1 results

  1. Consulbrokers Andrea Comello (ES) Joakim Kumun 3:13.871
  2. Victory Team (UAE) Salem Al Adidi / Eisa Al Ali 3:23.924
  3. Abu Dhabi 4 (UAE) Shaun Torrente / Faleh Al Mansoori 3.24.497
  4. HPI Racing Team (IT) Rosario Schiano Di Cola / Guiseppe Schiano Di Cola 3.28.336
  5. Abu Dhabi 5 (UAE) Andrea Comello (ES) Joakim Kumun 3:38.616
  6. New Star Racing (RU) Mikhail Kitashev / Dimitry Vandyshev 3:51.462
  7. Videx (IT) Alfredo Amato / Saul Bubacco 3:59.138

XCAT World Championship positions

  1. Dubai Police 143
  2. Maritimo 137
  3. Abu Dhabi 4 136
  4. Abu Dhabi 5 113
  5. 222 Offshore 71
  6. HPI Racing Team 60
  7. The Blue Roo 48
  8. New Star Racing 47
  9. Swecat Racing 44
  10. Kuwait 42
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Sports

TEAM ABU DHABI’S XCAT WORLD CHAMPIONS AIM TO RETAIN TITLE IN DUBAI GRAND FINALE

Torrente, Al Mansoori head into final round with focus on double race victory

Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori will blank out off-race matters in the 2019 UIM XCAT World Championship and focus on securing a double race victory in this weekend’s decisive Dubai Grand Prix.

The defending XCAT world champions, who opened the season with back-to-back race wins in Italy, hope that a repeat performance will be enough to see them retain the title they secured with victory in China’s Hangzhou Grand Prix last year.

“Our focus is purely on getting maximum points from the weekend, and the entire team will have nothing else on their minds,” said team manager Talib Al-Sayed.

After a third place finish in race three at last month’s Shanghai Grand Prix, Torrente and Al Mansoori thought they would arrive at this weekend’s final round of the championship in Duhai holding a five-point lead over the Dubai Police crew of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi.

But XCAT Racing later reversed their decision to penalise Al Zaffain and Bin Hendi for hitting a boy, removing a 30-seconds time penalty. They also imposed two 30-seconds time penalties on Torrente and Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 4 for buoy infringements at the start.

Team Abu Dhabi have appealed against the penalties, but as no decision has yet been reached, Al Zaffain and Bin Hendi currently lead the championship by six points from Australians Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton in Maritimo, with Torrente and Al Mansoori another point behind in third.

Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori return to action in Dubai looking to build on an impressive run of performances in China where they claimed a hat-trick of podium finishes in Abu Dhabi 5.

The XCAT boats take to the water at Dubai International Marine Club for two official practice sessions on Thursday starting at 11am and 3.30pm.

The pole position qualifier gets underway at 9am on Friday, with race one roaring to life at 3pm and race two following at the same time on Saturday.

XCAT World Championship positions

  1. Dubai Police 143
  2. Maritimo 137
  3. Abu Dhabi 4 136
  4. Abu Dhabi 5 113
  5. 222 Offshore 71
  6. HPI Racing Team 60
  7. The Blue Roo 48
  8. New Star Racing 47
  9. Swecat Racing 44
  10. Kuwait 42
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Barwa Bank takes home two celebrated trophies at the International Finance Magazine Awards

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  • The Bank’s popular Shari’ah compliant savings account ‘Thara’a’ has been named the ‘Best Innovative Islamic Banking Product in Qatar’
  • Barwa Bank’s Marketing Team has been recognized as the ‘Best In-House Marketing and Communication Team’ for 2016.

Honoring its continuous efforts in presenting clients with innovative products and exceptional services, Barwa Bank, Qatar’s most progressive Shari’ah compliant service provider, has earned two esteemed titles at the International Finance Magazine (IFM) Awards, which was held at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai.

As such, the Bank’s popular Shari’ah compliant savings account ‘Thara’a’ has been named the ‘Best Innovative Islamic Banking Product in Qatar’, while its Marketing Team has been recognized as the ‘Best In-House Marketing and Communication Team’ for 2016.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Khalid Yousef Al Subeai, Group Chief Executive Officer of Barwa Bank Group, said:“At Barwa Bank, we are truly honored that ‘Thara’a’, our one-of-a-kind savings account, claimed such a sought-after title at the esteemed IFM Awards. This award bears witness to the novelty of ‘Thara’a’ in Qatar’s Islamic Banking sector and praises its rich lineup of value-added benefits, services and cash reward scheme, which have collectively propelled it to become the savings account of choice for many bank clients in the country. The ‘Best-In-House Marketing and Communication Team’ title Barwa Bank won at the awards pays tribute to the relentless efforts and creativity of our Marketing and Communication Team, who have done their best to introduce and promote the Bank’s various offerings to clients and stakeholders, as well as played a direct role in elevating ‘Thara’a’ to the highly regarded status it enjoys today.”

During his participation at the IFM awards ceremony, Mr. Talal Ahmed Al Khaja, Barwa Bank Group Chief Communications Officer, said:“Not only has Barwa Bank taken home two distinguished trophies home at the IFM awards, but the prestigious titles demonstrate the well-orchestrated team effort behind the Bank’s offerings, from product planning and development all the way to their successful introduction in the marketplace. While we are surely pleased with Thara’a’s significant achievement, we are profoundly proud of Barwa Bank’s Marketing and Communication Team for laying out the Bank’s innovative marketing plan and faithfully executing its multi-channel creative campaigns throughout the year, which has made achieving both awards possible.”

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11th EDITION OF CITYSCAPE ABU DHABI OFFICIALLY OPENS

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  • UAE capital’s leading real estate event returns as research reveals the Emirates tops the charts for Middle East investment

The 11th edition of Cityscape Abu Dhabi opened its doors today to thousands of local, regional and international visitors who flocked to the capital’s largest real estate event to meet more than 100 exhibitors and see a host of new project launches.

The three-day property exhibition comes as new regional market research studies reveal that the UAE is the most appealing country to invest in real estate in the Middle East.

Figures from a new YouGov survey, commissioned ahead Cityscape Abu Dhabi revealed that 88% of home buyers, individual investors and institutional investors believe that the UAE is the most appealing country to invest in real estate in the region, followed by Qatar (4%).

This preference mirrors home owners’ and buyers’ reasons for wanting to invest, with return on investment (81%), capital appreciation (78%) and the availability of multiple options (78%) to be the main drivers behind the UAE’s appeal.

Taking place from 18-20 April at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Cityscape Abu Dhabi is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

With approximately 3,100 residential units completed in Abu Dhabi last year, predominantly within Reem Island, Saraya, Danet and Rawdhat, the total property stock reached 248,000 units in the capital.

David Dudley, Head of Abu Dhabi Office, JLL revealed in his key note speech and quarterly report at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi Conference today (Tuesday 18 April) that a significant proportion of the 5,000 units scheduled for completion this year may face some delays in the final stages of approvals and handovers, in order to alleviate and measure supply and demand.

Dudley said: “There are signs of 2017 and 2018 supply completions being higher than 2015-2016. We expect that as market conditions start to improve in Dubai and government spending returns to Abu Dhabi, the market will head back towards recovery and it will be important for supply completions to remain balanced.”

The half-day conference also saw H.E. Khalifa Bin Salem Al Mansouri deliver a welcome speech, followed by Omar Al Busaidy, Abu Dhabi Experience Development Unit Head, Tourism & Culture Authority Abu Dhabi, who delivered a keynote speech on Destination Abu Dhabi discussing the anticipated impact of upcoming landmark projects in the capital on the UAE’s real estate sector.

More than 100 exhibitors are out in full force this week at Cityscape Abu Dhabi showcasing their latest developments and offering exclusive discounts and promotions to visitors of the exhibition.

TDIC presented its residential real estate offerings available for sale on Saadiyat island, including a preview of the apartments for purchase in Mamsha Al Saadiyat, the first development of its kind in the Saadiyat Cultural District, and home to the single largest collection of acclaimed cultural assets in one setting: Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Manarat Al Saadiyat.

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) revealed that a number of mosques, parks, playgrounds and sports facilities will be developed across Abu Dhabi as part of their initiative for the Year of Giving, while Wahat Al Zaweya Company for Investment and Real Estate Development launched 400 pieces of land for UAE nationals.

Aldar launched their latest mid-market project on Reem Island – The Bridges, a 1,272 unit, AED1.3billion development which offers high quality amenities and a prominent location close to Abu Dhabi’s main business and cultural districts, with prices starting from AED450,000.

Bloom Properties announced the commencement of the main works at Faya, the fourth phase of its master planned community in the UAE capital’s Bloom Gardens.

A new feature on the show floor, Cityscape Talks became a hub of activity as visitors took advantage of the free to attend presentations designed to help them make informed investments at the event.

Lynnette Abad, Partner at Property Monitor, will be one of the experts to address the crowds during the Talks today (19 April).

Abad said: “While the rate of decline in Abu Dhabi residential prices has slowed in comparison to the last year, the market is expected to remain under pressure from the fallout of redundancies and oil price movement.

“That said, communities with established infrastructure, amenities and locational advantages have fared better and these factors are expected to drive demand in future as well. Also, an interesting shift in neighbouring Dubai market this year is the entry of residential options at lower price points, for instance villas for as low as AED 1.8 million, and such offerings targeting first time buyers could stimulate activity from a wider set of buyers within the Abu Dhabi market.”

 

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Global Success for Solcon Industries’ Medium Voltage DriveStart

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  • Innovative Motor Control Delivers Full Control and Reduces Energy Usage

Two years ago, Solcon Industries released the DriveStart to deliver on a promise – create a medium voltage motor control that costs less and requires a smaller footprint than a variable frequency drive (VFD). “One of our customers required a simple, yet complicated solution – bring a motor up to speed,” said Gil Briman, CEO. “They were dealing with an insufficient power grid and paying high charges during peak times. The DriveStart not only solved their issues but was embraced by our customers across the global industrial landscape.”

For over 40 years, Solcon Industries has delivered innovative solutions. The DriveStart, an IGBT-based medium voltage soft starter, is available up to 6.6kV at 750A, and is the perfect addition to Solcon’s motor control solutions. “Solcon has remained a global leader in industrial motor controls because we listen,” says Jonathan Barrie, Senior Director of Product Management and Global Marketing. “Our products have earned a solid reputation due to their long, successful life out in the field. The DriveStart follows our corporate tradition.”

How does Solcon help customers with insufficient power grids? On a turbo vacuum blower at a paper mill in Indonesia, a DriveStart was commissioned to overcome issues with a weak power supply, high inertia start and other conditions. The DriveStart limited the starting current to lower than nominal as it accurately controlled the speed in order to prevent over speed. “The DriveStart’s integrated Solcon Data Logger and control program accurately adjusted the acceleration of the motor load to optimize the power usage,” says Mr. Barrie.

The Drivestart solved issues for other customers. “We created a great motor control and now it’s commissioned in other fields including mining, gas production, sludge pumps and others,” says Mr. Briman. “It started as a simple solution to help fill one customer’s request that turned into a global success.”

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TDIC OFFERS FLEXIBLE PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR ALL DEVELOPMENTS ON SAADIYAT ISLAND AT CITYSCAPE ABU DHABI 2017

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  • Unique selection of residences available for purchase in Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Jawaher Saadiyat and Saadiyat Lagoons on first day of the exhibition
  • Units available in golf course-facing Jawaher Saadiyat, Mamsha Al Saadiyat in the heart of Saadiyat Cultural District and the vibrant all-inclusive Saadiyat Lagoons District 

Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, launched a premier selection of residential units across three projects on Saadiyat Island under a new flexible payment schedule on the first day of Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2017, taking place from April 18 – 20 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Held under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Cityscape Abu Dhabi is the largest real estate-focused event and marketplace, which brings to the capital the biggest names in local, regional and international developers, investors and government entities, to access the latest developments and opportunities in residential, hospitality, retail and commercial real estate.

In an opportunity not to be missed, potential investors and homeowners can take advantage of a new flexible payment plan which allows buyers to secure their unit with a deposit of 2.5% of the unit sales price for the 50 distinctive apartments available for purchase in Mamsha Al Saadiyat, situated in close proximity to Saadiyat Island’s collection of world-class museums Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The same terms have been extended for 29 contemporary villas on sale in the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club-facing Jawaher Saadiyat, as well as more than 30 units across the fully inclusive nature-based community of Saadiyat Lagoons.

The new plan establishes a milestone in local real estate offerings, providing buyers the opportunity to secure residential offerings of superior quality at newly affordable rates with a trusted developer. Saadiyat Island is widely viewed as the future of contemporary Abu Dhabi, providing residents and visitors with access to a wide range of culturally and leisure immersive experiences. Developments on the island epitomize Abu Dhabi’s strategy for growth and development, combining innovation with rich traditions and heritage, whilst adhering to an environmentally sensitive philosophy.

At Cityscape Abu Dhabi will grant visitors an interactive preview into TDIC’s diverse portfolio of projects, with the 2.5% deposit and payment proposition creating a remarkable offer that makes the prospect of home ownership in the capital’s premier destination, attainable for buyers seeking investment opportunities on Saadiyat Island.

During Cityscape Abu Dhabi, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) will be located at stand 7A10, between Halls 7 and 8, at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2017.

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Dubai Land Department presents the winners of the Gulf Real Estate Awards 2017

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  • Bin Mejren: “The awards confirm that Dubai is a center of global real estate innovation
  • The closing ceremony celebrates the highest achievements and best real estate practices in the region

Dubai Land Department (DLD) has achieved exceptional success with the first edition of the Gulf Real Estate Awards 2017, fulfilling its aim of making the programme the most prominent event attracting industry leaders from across the region. The event is inspired by the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and his vision of encouraging further innovation to achieve a qualitative leap that positions Dubai as the regional capital of real estate innovation.

His Excellency Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, commented: “We would like to sincerely congratulate all award winners and wish all participants the best of luck for next year’s edition. We would also like to assure all of our partners that the Gulf Real Estate Awards will continue to evolve year after year in line with Dubai’s growing status, and confirming the Emirate as a centre of global real estate innovation. We can guarantee this through our adoption of the highest standards during the planning and implementation of all stages of the programme, from receiving the nominations and undertaking the screening process, to selecting the winners and announcing the highly anticipated results.”

Due to the diversity of the participants’ fields and the large number of applications submitted to the jury, the Gulf Real Estate Awards has achieved the main objective set by its organisers – to celebrate and recognise real estate achievements in the region. The awards programme has also demonstrated both the success of the real estate sector and its ongoing development, underscoring its positive role in supporting national economies.

Mahmoud Al Burai, Executive Director of Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI) at Dubai Land Department, added: “We extend our thanks and appreciation to all parties and individuals who contributed to the success of the first edition of the Gulf Real Estate Awards. Particular thanks go to ‘Awards International’, all our sponsors, including our Headline Sponsor Takaful Emarat, our Partners Cavendish Maxwell and Harbor Real Estate, and our Media Partners BNC Publishing and Gulf Property. We would also like to express our gratitude to our jury members, who have been keen to pursue credibility, integrity and transparency to the highest degree in order to select and honour the best achievements, making them models to be followed by the whole region.”

Winners of the 20 categories:

  1. Best Real Estate Registration Trustee award for Tamleek Real Estate Registration Trustee
  2. Best Architecture Company award for Bin Ghatti Developers
  3. Best Media Communications award for Property Time
  4. Best Mortgage Provider award for National Bonds Corporation
  5. Happiest Community award for Diamond Developers (Sustainable City)
  6. Best Facility Management Firm award for Emaar Community Management
  7. Best Smart Real Estate Project award for KLEINDIENST (The Heart of Europe)
  8. Best Customer Experience in Real Estate award for P.K Properties
  9. Best Real Estate Developer – Sustainable ‘Green’ Development award for Diamond Developers (Sustainable City)
  10. Best Real Estate Project in Commercial – Retail award for Al Mouj Muscat (The Walk Retail)
  11. Best Employer in Real Estate for KAIZEN Asset Management Services
  12. Best Real Estate Project – Hotel award for Enshaa – Palazzo Versace Dubai
  13. Most Innovative Real Estate Marketing Campaign award for SPF Realty
  14. Best Real Estate Portal award for Emaar Community Management
  15. Best Real Estate Project in Affordable Housing award for Dar Wa Emaar Real Estate Investment & Development Company
  16. Best Real Estate Project for Commercial Offices award for Hopkins Architects
  17. Best Owners Association Management Firm award for Luxury Owner Association Management Services
  18. Best Real Estate Project in the Luxury Residential award for Al Barari Firm Management
  19. Best Real Estate Project – Master Development for Damac Properties
  20. Best Real Estate Brokerage Firm award for Aqua Properties

Mark Hamill, Managing Director for Awards International UAE – the organisers of the awards – commented: “It’s important professionals have one stand out event giving all companies, big and small, an equal chance of recognition. Having a fully transparent awards process makes this event special – knowing you’ve beaten the best on merit alone does wonders for individuals and companies. The scale on which the real estate sector has embraced these awards has been fantastic, bringing huge credibility to our finalists and winners. A massive thanks to all our judges, sponsors, and especially DLD, for making this an event that really matters.”

DREI, the educational arm of DLD, signed an agreement with ‘Awards International’ on the side-lines of Cityscape Global 2016 to launch the awards programme targeting all real estate companies in the Gulf region.

 

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Tamouh announces Reem Downtown on Reem Island

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  • A sustainable masterplan, Reem Downtown is innovatively designed and will incorporate the first light rail and metro in the Capital 

Tamouh Investments, the Abu Dhabi-based real estate developer, unveiled today the masterplan of Reem Downtown, an innovatively designed development, located at the north-western shores of Reem Island, spanning a total area of 104 hectares, and 3.4 million sq. m total built-up area. Reem Downtown is set to become the first mix-used development in Abu Dhabi that seamlessly merges the contemporary with the traditional design, in a unique setting that embraces a fully connected transport infrastructure with the first light rail and metro in the Capital.

Reem Downtown’s topography is scientifically drawn to enable uninterrupted sea-views from across the island and a micro-climate control where the entire city is naturally air conditioned throughout the hottest months of the year. The unique design of the island encourages healthy living and lifestyle of its residents and visitors; the pedestrian and cycling links, coupled with a waterfront promenade, mangroves observation center, public parks and sports fields, Reem Downtown is fully walkable.

Ghanem Mubarak Al Mansoori, the Chief Executive Officer of Tamouh Investments said: “For over a decade, Tamouh has been a contributor to the overall real estate landscape in Abu Dhabi and to the realization of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.”

“Reem Downtown is yet another testament to Tamouh’s innovative approach to developing strategic mixed-use developments that not only answer to the diversified needs of the capital’s residents and businesses, but also reinforces Abu Dhabi’s position as a residential, touristic and business hub on the global map. We believe that Reem Downtown is an iconic project, and we anticipate strong interest from the local, regional and international investors,” Al Mansoori continued.

Reem Downtown is provisioned to accommodate 12,300 residential units with an estimated population of 27,000. Split into eight zones, each one is branded in different character areas that are distinctive in style and function. With parklands to the north, natural mangrove reserves to the east, high-rise towers to the south, and traditional low-rise buildings to the west, Reem Downtown is suited to all.

 

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SWIFT African Regional Conference to take place in Abidjan

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SWIFT will hold its 24th African Regional Conference (ARC) in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire on 16-18 May 2017. Supported by the Côte D’Ivoire banking community, ARC 2017 will bring together up to 500 high level financial representatives from across 45 countries for three days of keynote speeches and interactive panel sessions. The programme features senior speakers and strategic thinkers from across the industry and the continent.

Guy Koizan, First Vice President of the Banking Association, Ivory Coast, said: “Holding the SWIFT African Regional Conference in Côte D’Ivoire illustrates the strength and stability of the country’s economic and business environments and the dynamic role it is playing in Africa’s development. Abidjan will play host to hundreds of leading financial experts at ARC who will discuss the most significant issues facing the region.”

SWIFT has announced the first distinguished speakers set to participate in ARC 2017:

  • Kalyani Pillay, CEO, South African Banking Risk & Information Centre
  • Rose Mambo, Chief Executive, Central Depository & Settlement Corporation Kenya
  • Chris Hamilton, CEO, BankServ Africa and member of the SWIFT Africa Advisory Group
  • Leonida Mutuku, Co-founder & CEO, Intelipro
  • Sam Okenye, Chief Information Security Officer, United Bank for Africa
  • Farzam Ehsani, Head of the Foundery, Rand Merchant Bank’s blockchain initiative
  • Sizwe Nxedlana, Chief Economist, First National Bank
  • Segun Aina, Chairman, FinTech Associates (Nigeria)
  • James Scott, Head of CIB Digital, Barclays Africa
  • Wumi Adeniyi, Chief Compliance Officer, Heritage Bank
  • Mouawia Essekelli, Deputy Director General, Global Transaction Banking, Attijariwafa Bank
  • Olivier Miet, Global Head of Sales & Network Management, Cash Clearing Services for Banks & FI, Société Générale
  • Astrid Ludin, Research and Strategy, Strate
  • Lebogang Mokgabudi, Director M-Commerce, Esoko
  • Ishmael Nwokocha, Treasurer, MTN Nigeria
  • Mary Sabwa, East Africa Sales Head, Citi

The theme of this year’s African Regional Conference is ‘Financing for the future’. The opening plenary will look at how African countries can diversify their economies to help drive growth. With increasingly challenging global conditions, including the downturn in the commodities cycle, the session will look at whether the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative is still relevant, and what African countries can do to decrease reliance on international investment and aid, and support African development for the benefit of Africa.

Sido Bestani, Head of the Middle East, Turkey & Africa, SWIFT, said: “While global economic conditions have put pressure on many African economies, others have seen solid growth supported by public infrastructure investment, private consumption and a growing services sector. ARC 2017 provides a unique platform for the African financial community to come together, discuss the shared challenges faced by the continent and look at how they can make the most of the opportunities.”

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Saudi Cloud Analytics Market Tops SAR 280 Million by 2019

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  • Al Nasser, Maadaniyah, and Tasnee Drive Connected Manufacturing to Support Saudi Vision 2030

The 15-fold growth in the Kingdom’s cloud analytics market will drive Saudi Vision 2030 industry vertical innovation, business leaders announced at the recent SAP Saudi Cloud Day.

Through 2019, the Kingdom’s cloud analytics market will top SAR 280 million in 2019, up from SAR 20 million in 2014, according to a recent Micro Market Monitor report.

“Cloud solutions enable manufacturers to support Saudi Vision 2030 goals of increased localization and diversified economic growth. With the cloud, Saudi organizations can gain real-time supply chain, customer, and employee insights for better decision-making and new digital business models,” said Mohammed Al Nasser, Managing Director and Board Member at the construction conglomerate Al Nasser Trading and Import Company.

Al Nasser Trading and Import Company used cloud solutions from digital transformation enabler SAP to improve materials planning by 40 percent.

Recognizing innovative deployments, Al Nasser Trading and Import Company with partner ISYX Technologies, received a gold award in the SAP Europe, Middle East, and Africa Quality Awards.

Additional Saudi organizations receiving awards at the Middle East and North Africa level included the General Authority for Zakat and Tax with partner Invenio, Maadaniyah with partner BaasKaar IT Company, and Saudi Electric Company and Tasnee both with the partner Cognizant.

“Manufacturing and petrochemicals are incredibly complex sectors that need real-time cloud solutions to enhance operations and cut costs, free up employees to focus on mission-critical operations, and take the customer experience to the next level. Maadaniyah is committed to leveraging the latest cloud solutions to support Saudi Vision 2030 economic localization and diversification goals,” said Shakir Al Otaibi, CEO, Maadaniyah.

SAP is one of the world’s leading digital transformation enablers, with more than 125 million cloud subscribers worldwide and more than 30 cloud solutions across all lines of business.

“Cloud adoption is central for driving Saudi Vision 2030’s nationwide digital transformation and business competitiveness. The strong turnout at our inaugural Cloud Day event shows the demand for real-time cloud solutions for Saudi organizations across all industry verticals. Cloud solutions enable organizations to have real-time visibility and make better decisions that fuel Saudi economic growth,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, Managing Director, SAP Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen. 

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Instinctif Partners Middle East completes IPO advisory role for ENBD REIT

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  • ENBD REIT successfully offered shares to trading on Nasdaq Dubai in March
  • Instinctif Partners delivered a 360-degree communications consultancy programme for the REIT
  • ENBD REIT has retained Instinctif Partners for ongoing Public Relations work

Instinctif Partners Middle East has completed its delivery of strategic counsel and IPO communications advice to ENBD REIT (CEIC) Limited, the Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management, which successfully completed its listing on Nasdaq Dubai on 23 March 2017.

The Instinctif Partners team provided Emirates NBD Asset Management, the REIT’s manager, with a full range of services including strategic communications advice, media relations, digital content strategy, branding and content development, in addition to providing full PR support on the day of the IPO.

Samantha Bartel, Managing Partner, Instinctif Partners Middle East, said:“In the weeks and months leading up to the IPO, we worked closely with the ENBD REIT team to ensure seamless communications before, during and after the listing. I am very proud of the hard work our team demonstrated in working with ENBD REIT, the first IPO on a Dubai exchange since December 2014, and we look forward to accomplishing future milestones together.”

ENBD REIT offered 94,594,595 ordinary shares to regional investors at a price of US$ 1.11 per share. Gross proceeds of the offer amounted to approximately US$ 105 million, before the deduction of commissions and other fees payable by or on behalf of ENBD REIT in connection with the Offer. On the day of the IPO, ENBD REIT’s stock was Nasdaq Dubai’s highest gainer.

Anthony Taylor, Fund Manager, Real Estate, Emirates NBD Asset Management, commented:“Thanks to the dedicated work of the Instinctif Partners team, the management team was able to focus 100% on the task at hand, safe in knowledge that our communications requirements were in capable hands. The process ran very smoothly, and we are pleased to continue our relationship with Instinctif Partners, who will provide ongoing investor relations and communications counsel to ENBD REIT.”

ENBD REIT’s investment properties were independently valued at approximately US$ 314 million as at 30 September 2016.

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‘PIXEL’ by Hiroto Yoshizoe wins the Lexus Design Award 2017

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Lexus International has recently announced the Grand Prix winner of the Lexus Design Award 2017―PIXEL by Hiroto Yoshizoe―leading this prestigious international event to a peak of excitement. Lexus Design Award 2017 drew 1,152 entries from 63 countries under the theme of ‘Yet’.

“The Lexus Design Award always presents a fascinating survey of the issues currently engaging young designers, and what they consider to be the most important challenges and compelling opportunities for design today. The quality and scale of ambition of the submissions to this year’s award program was truly exceptional. It was very difficult for us to whittle them all down to 12 finalists, then four prototype winners and finally to the Grand Prix winner, although every stage of the process generated a feisty and enjoyable debate,” said Alice Rawsthorn, well-known design commentator and Lexus Design Award 2017 Judge.

Congratulating Hiroto Yoshizoe on his winning project, Takayuki Yoshitsugu, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation, said, “The Lexus Design Award was created with the aim of fostering the growth of ideas that contribute to society by supporting designers and creators whose works can help to shape a better future. This year’s winner – Hiroto Yoshizoe’s PIXEL – is a work of tremendous imagination and creativity that captures the essence of what the Lexus Design Award stands for.”

Yoshitsugu continued, “Design and craftsmanship have always been a fundamental part of the Lexus brand, and the Lexus Design Award attempts to extend this tradition to an exciting new direction. I would like to acknowledge the support we have received from our customers in the Middle East for our efforts towards shaping the future of design and using the power of creativity to build a better world.”

Hiroto Yoshizoe commented, “I’m so surprised and honored to receive this prize from Lexus Design Award. I would like to thank Alex and Daniel of Snarkitecture for all their mentorship. I also offer my sincere thanks to all the people who have supported me on this project, and of course to Lexus for giving me this amazing opportunity.”

First launched in 2013 to stimulate ideas for a better tomorrow, Lexus is celebrating the 5th anniversary of this international design competition which supports up-and-coming designers and creators worldwide. The Grand Prix winner was chosen by an elite global creative design panel after presentations by the four prototype finalists. The works of all 12 finalists―four prototype winners and eight panel winners―were on display at the Lexus ‘Yet’ pavilion and revealed how they would apply the ‘Yet’ philosophy in original and innovative ways.

Lexus ‘Yet’ took place from April 4th through April 9th at the La Triennale di Milano, the Design and Art Museum in Parco Sempione, Milan, central to Milan Design Week, the world’s largest design exhibition, also known as Salone Del Mobile.

In addition to the Lexus Design Award 2017 display, the Lexus ‘Yet’ exhibition was composed of the three following areas where visitors experienced the exciting and infinite potential of ‘Yet’ through immersive and engaging installations.

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