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Can television survive amid digital challenge?

Can television survive amid digital challenge?

4157Television has fared positively in an increasingly digital Middle East, but should be conscious of the ever-changing digital environment and the power it can provide in advancing regional television, said an industry analyst, commenting on a new report.

The report “Television’s business model - Fit for a digital world: Middle East perspective” published by Deloitte, a provider of audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services, assesses television’s current performance and outlook given the growing number of digital challengers. The report is based on Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey- an online survey taking place in 22 countries including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“Our report seeks to explore and answer the key question of how television is faring in the current global and regional environment in the face of digital disruptions, which have taken hold abroad and at home in the region,” explained Santino Saguto, partner and Technology, Media and Telecommunications leader at Deloitte Middle East.

“Four of the foremost ‘digital challengers’ were studied and Deloitte’s assessment of each suggests that traditional television’s outlook remains positive”.

The four most major digital challengers assessed in this report include:

Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD)

The region has seen a rise in subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) providers. The Deloitte report finds that although SVOD is gaining traction in the region and growing at a much faster pace than global markets, the Middle East, at less than one per cent, still represents a very small share of worldwide SVOD revenues.

However, SVOD in the Middle East is still at a nascent stage, with much fewer players active locally than in more established markets such as Europe. With much higher uptake and penetration in online streaming, there is plenty of consumer demand and room for the local SVOD market to grow, creating opportunities for local players to capitalize on.

The recent foray of standalone regional SVOD providers into original content, a strategy that helped revive Netflix’s fortunes, could represent a defining trend separating potential winners from losers in a market with a disproportionate amount of free content.

Sports

The rise of the Internet and the abundance of sports related information available from the Web challenge television’s primacy as the principal source of premium sports content. Findings suggest that television always has and will continue to remain the home of premium sports.

In the Middle East, Deloitte estimates that in 2015 and beyond, the value of premium region-specific sports rights will continue to increase by at least 15-20 per cent per annum. With global sports rights estimated to be growing at a slightly slower pace in 2015 than the 14 per cent growth predicted for 2014, regional sports rights from next year are set to outpace global growth by an even wider margin.

Video clips

Short-form has boldly risen in the region, with viewing statistics in the ‘millions’ and even the ‘billions’. Despite this, findings suggest that although short-form video clips are gaining popularity globally and locally, traditional long-form television maintains its dominance in Middle East viewership levels, hours watched and advertising revenues.

Innovation

Although technology companies seem to dominate when it comes to innovation, the TV industry has proven adept at exploiting a range of technological advances, such as video compression. Similarly in the Middle East, television has maintained its position as the dominant media platform, despite digital disruptions including the rise of online streaming, social media, mobile gaming as well as smartphone and smart TV penetration. – TradeArabia News Service



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Jaguar F-PACE: An all-new performance crossover to join Line-Up in 2016

Jaguar F-PACE: An all-new performance crossover to join Line-Up in 2016

4132Jaguar has confirmed that it is set to introduce an all-new model to the Jaguar line-up, entitled Jaguar F-PACE, to go on sale in 2016.

Director of Design at Jaguar, Ian Callum, commented, “We received such an overwhelmingly positive response to the C-X17 concept car last year that we felt we just had to make it a reality. The Jaguar F-PACE, inspired by the F-TYPE, represents a perfect balance between performance, style and practicality. It offers a unique combination of Jaguar sports car-inspired exterior design, fused beautifully with a thoroughly practical and spacious luxury interior. The F-PACE is our family sports car.”

The Jaguar F-PACE couples class-leading interior space and exceptional on-road dynamics with five-seat usability to produce a true performance crossover. It will encapsulate everything that Jaguar stands for: Beautiful design, precise handling, a supple ride, luxurious interior finishes and cutting-edge technology.

Speaking in Detroit, Global Sales Director of Jaguar Land Rover, Andy Goss, said, “In 2015, we will be celebrating Jaguar’s 80th anniversary. We have started the year by announcing our first performance crossover, which we consider to be the ultimate practical sports car, a car that builds on the marque’s founding ideals of Grace, Pace and Space, to become one of the most innovative Jaguars we’ve ever developed. The F-PACE has now begun its engineering and development testing programme ahead of the new model going on sale in 2016.”

The F-PACE will be manufactured in the Solihull plant in the United Kingdom. Further details on Jaguar’s all-new F-PACE will be revealed later this year.



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Al Hilal Bank releases UAE’s first scented ‘LAHA’ credit card developed for young, ambitious and empowered women

Al Hilal Bank releases UAE’s first scented ‘LAHA’ credit card developed for young, ambitious and empowered women

4119Al Hilal Bank has announced the release of its new ‘Laha’ credit card, a first-of-its-kind card that has especially designed for female customers in the UAE. Following the innovative footsteps of the world’s first ‘Qibla’ credit card released by the bank in late 2012, the ‘Laha Al Hilal Card’ has a built-in applet that can absorb the scent of any perfume. It comes with several exclusive benefits, rewards and privileges such as murabaha profit-free purchases, Platinum dining offers, complimentary airport lounge access, and exclusive discounts from major women-oriented brands.

According to the company’s senior executives, the ‘Laha Al Hilal Card’ was developed for young, ambitious and empowered women who desire elegant products that differentiate them from the rest. To commemorate the release of this unique product, Al Hilal Bank has partnered with Hind Al Oud - Arabic Perfume to create a special scent that will be called ‘Laha Al Hilal Perfume’ which will come along with the Laha Al Hilal Card package in a special box.

Mohammed Zaqout, Executive Vice President (EVP(, Head of Personal Banking Group, Al Hilal Bank, said: “Al Hilal Bank constantly develops products and services that make our customers stand out from the rest and showcase their potentials as individuals and as citizens. Our Laha Al Hilal Card celebrates the beauty, strength, vision, passion and character of women and encourages them to dream big and achieve even bigger. We want the holders of this unique card to be proud of being a woman and exploring possibilities together with Al Hilal Bank.”

“Today’s modern woman wants to send out a strong message about her individuality and her capacity to become a productive member of society while staying true to her heritage. Al Hilal Bank’s Laha credit card is a unique form of expression for aspiring women who desire to make a genuine difference. It is also a reflection of Al Hilal Bank’s full support for women and our passion for innovation and social responsibility.” said Mariam Yousef Ahli, Head of Corporate Communications, Al Hilal Bank.

“At “Hind Al Oud” we create the richest quality of perfumes and oils presented in a modern elegant image for women who know what they want and have high aspirations. We are honored to have our brand affiliated with Al Hilal Bank, a progressive institution that celebrates the potentials and importance of women. We hope to be known as the ‘smell of success’ for the banks patrons,” added Mohammed Hilal, Owner, Hind Al Oud.

Al Hilal Bank is noted for its various social responsibility initiatives aimed at uplifting women and various other segments of society. The bank recently sponsored a mass wedding for Emirati couples organized by the Al Nahda Women’s Association.




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Amazing A Cappella Soul Show At Global Village during Dubai Shopping Festival

Amazing A Cappella Soul Show At Global Village during Dubai Shopping Festival

4113Global Village guests can experience special shows during the Dubai Shopping Festival to compliment the celebratory atmosphere of the festival’s 20th anniversary.

A Cappella Soul, all the way from America, will be providing the Global Village crowds a fantastic chance to enjoy the unique art of ‘harmony singing’. The troupe uses their unique vocal skills to sing songs, doing away with the traditional need for instruments, and using their voices to create a marvelous musical atmosphere. A Cappella Soul sing a wide range of songs that include a special rendition of “In the Jungle” from the children’s classic – The Lion King.

Watch A Cappella Soul and many more Dubai Shopping Festival acts at Global Village until the 1st February. Global Village is open every day from 4pm until 1am, and from 4pm until 2am on Thursdays and Fridays.






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SportsOne Forecasts 50% Sales Growth during DSF 2015

SportsOne Forecasts 50% Sales Growth during DSF 2015

4111SportsOne, the multi brand sporting goods retailer, part of Landmark Group, today said that its sales were well on their way to achieve the forecasted 50% growth as DSF enters its third week.

The leading sportswear retailer known for its new in-store design and experience relies on DSF 2015 to hugely boost its sales and help achieve its expansion plans for the year and beyond.

“DSF has been a key driver of growth for SportsOne and the sportswear industry as a whole. The first two weeks of the festival have been incremental and we expect this year’s show to help us transcend our performance in previous years and grow substantially to meet our ambitious targets for the year and beyond”, said Shivam Goyal, Business Head, SportsOne.

“As both authorities and consumers are growing more conscious of the necessity of instilling a culture of prevention and adopting an active lifestyle, we are sure that DSF will move sportswear industry into centre-stage and will be a key driver of growth”, added Goyal.

To meet the expectations of consumers during DSF, SportsOne is showcasing an unmatched range of sporting goods, which will be bundled with several exciting consumer promotions and value-added offers, including a Buy 1 Get 1 Free Offer and discounts of up to 50% on a wide range of goods, including gym equipment and bikes, across all SportsOne retail stores in Dubai.


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GE Healthcare marks first global installation of its ultra-fast Revolution EVO CT scanners in the UAE

GE Healthcare marks first global installation of its ultra-fast Revolution EVO CT scanners in the UAE

478GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) has marked the first global installation of its ultra-fast computed tomography (CT) scanners across Ministry of Health (MoH) hospitals in the UAE, supporting the hospital modernization strategy of MoH by installing advanced equipment and taking the country’s healthcare system to truly international standards of care.

Bringing remarkable improvement in diagnostic efficiency, the new Revolution EVO CT will allow clinicians to perform more exams in less time, while providing high quality images and less dose to the patient, and was introduced to the region only this year. The installation of this advanced equipment at MoH hospitals is led by the Ministry’s Strategic Vision 2014-16 to further strengthen the standards of healthcare delivery in the country.

His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Salim Al Olama, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Health, said: “Advancing social development with a focus on healthcare is one of the strategic approaches of the UAE Government. At the Ministry of Health, we are committed to introduce the world’s best and most advanced technologies to our hospitals to raise them to truly international standards. One of the key pillars of our Strategic Vision is to enhance the preventive health system, which places the highest importance on diagnostic technologies.”

He added: “The introduction of the advanced technologies at our hospitals will contribute to greater efficiency in patient care and also contribute to the better health of the people. By assuring excellent service standards through deploying the latest technologies, we are bringing transformational change to our healthcare system. Through our partnership with GE Healthcare we are drawing on the company’s competencies in advanced medical technologies for our hospitals.”

Maher Abouzeid, President & CEO of GE Healthcare for the Turkey and Middle East, said: “With nearly eight decades of presence in the region, we support the UAE’s healthcare sector with equipment and training to achieve the goals of the Ministry and to contribute to the highest standards of healthcare delivery. The installation of Revolution EVO CT, our newest suite of cardiac care diagnostic equipment, highlights our commitment to support the UAE Ministry’s objectives of setting international standards and delivering distinguished healthcare services.”

He added: “New CT technology can improve patient outcomes while cutting the cost of providing care. The Revolution EVO CT brings several advantages to healthcare practitioners by its ability to provide a definitive test and diagnostic confidence. By converging spatial resolution, temporal resolution, coverage and low dosage – all-in-one equipment – it provides remarkable image quality and can help achieve up to 40% increased workflow efficiency for the hospital.”

The introduction of the Revolution EVO CT is part of the Ministry’s efforts to innovate the Radiology departments with the newest suite of CT, MRI and x-ray equipment. GE Healthcare was awarded the contract to equip 11 hospitals with nine Revolution EVO CTs, two Discovery HD 750 CTs and provide advanced clinical application training to the hospitals radiologists.

The nine Revolution EVO CTs are installed in Al Baraha Hospital in Dubai; Kuwaiti Hospital, Dibba Hospital, Kalba Hospital, Al Dhaid Hospital and Khor Fakkan Hospital in Sharjah; Ras Al Khaimah Obaidullah Hospital; Umm Al Quwain Hospital and Khalifa Hospital in Ajman. The Discovery HD 750 CTs are installed in the Fujairah Hospital and Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah.

Revolution EVO is designed to support a very wide variety of patients and applications, from complicated trauma or cardiac patients, to large patient backlogs in demanding emergency departments that strain workflows and resources. It has a new Clarity Imaging System that provides up to 100% better spatial resolution over previous GE CT scanners1, while the innovative ASiR-V2 iterative reconstruction method lowers dose for patients of all ages.

GE’s Discovery HD 750 is the world’s first high definition CT scanner, which offers high definition imaging with exceptional resolution and clarity. It also operates at a lower dose to patients adding to their comfort.

The new technologies will support the UAE in addressing the increasing incidence of heart diseases. According to estimates, the cost of non-communicable diseases across the GCC region will reach over US$36 billion, and the financial burden to diagnose and treat them is expected to increase to US$68 billion by 2022. Cardiovascular diseases account for nearly 28% of the direct costs and 25% of the indirect costs.3

GE Healthcare has a strong presence in the UAE, led by partnerships with leading public and private sector healthcare providers to supply advanced diagnostic and medical technologies.


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Private sector supports unified GCC expat hiring policy

Private sector supports unified GCC expat hiring policy

4117The private sector supports efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) governments to develop a unified policy that would govern their contractual relationships with labor exporting countries including India, Indonesia and the Philippines, a leading official said here Monday.

Abdurahim Hassan Naqi, secretary-general of the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said at a meeting in Riyadh with the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) that a decision was reached to form a working group to tackle the issue with state role players.

The private sector, represented by the federation, supports the efforts of the Gulf governments to seek a common solution to the issue. This would be the basis for negotiations with foreign countries and government agencies, he said.

The Gulf countries currently have individual labor pacts with these countries. These agreements have seen exporting countries seek greater concessions from Gulf nations in terms of working hours, conditions and salaries.

Meanwhile, Saad Al-Baddah, head of the CSC’s national recruitment and investors committee, said that the Gulf has become one of the world’s largest and most attractive markets for household and professional workers.

He said that remittances from Gulf states exceeds $81 billion (SR304 billion) annually. He said there are 9 million foreign workers in the Kingdom, who send home $35 billion (SR131 billion) each year.

In the United Arab Emirates, 4 million foreign workers transfer $16 billion (SR60 billion) in remittances yearly, while in Kuwait, 1.6 million foreign workers transfer nearly $12 billion (SR45 billion) back home each year.

In Oman, 900,000 foreign workers transfer $7.5 billion (SR28 billion) annually, while 1 million workers currently employed in Qatar transfer $8 billion (SR30 billion). Bahrain expatriates send home $1.5 billion (SR5.6 billion) a year.



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Qatar Rail celebrates the National Day In an atmosphere of solidarity

Qatar Rail celebrates the National Day In an atmosphere of solidarity

4100On the occasion of Qatar National Day, marked on the 18th of December 2014, and in honor of the tremendous achievements of the state, Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail) held its annual celebration in the Headquarters of the company in the presence of Eng. Abdullah Abdulaziz Subaie, Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Qatar Rail, and Eng. Saad Ahmed Al Muhannadi, Chief Executive Officer of the company.

Eng. Subaie addressed a large audience of employees congratulating Qatar’s leadership and people on the occasion, and said:

“On the occasion of the National day of Qatar, we extend our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, to His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Interior Minister and to all the honorable people of the state of Qatar. Qatar, under the wise leadership of H.H the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is achieving remarkable progress in implementing good governance practices, rational management of national resources, improving the productivity and efficiency of the public and private sector institutions in the country and ensuring a sustainable and competitive economy for the current and future generations. This is why at Qatar Rail, National Day is not just another celebration but it is the occasion to renew our commitment and determination in delivering on our promises to the nation and its leadership.”

“Our ambitions and the targets that we are setting at Qatar Rail are not impossible things to achieve. Our ambitions and targets are genuine and I am confident that they are achievable if we have the passion, commitment and vigilance with strong sense of accountability and ownership, and to seek be the best in everything we do and work at double speed to exceed the expectations of our stakeholders, our nation and its leadership,” he added.

For his part, Eng. Saad Ahmed Al Muhannadi addressed the staff, saying:

“On the occasion of the National Day of the country, I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, and the Father Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and the esteemed government and Qatari people, and all those who have worked and are working to achieve our vision and national aspirations.”

“On every National Day, the National Vision 2030 becomes more visible and more reachable, thanks to the wisdom and foresight of the leadership of this country, Qatar has indeed made amazing achievements in the light of the development of infrastructure projects to support the national economy,” he added.

Eng. Al Muhannadi saying: “In Qatar Rail, we are proud of the role we play in the growth and success of Qatar, and we look forward to continuing the path to prosperity and growth thanks to our daily efforts, both nationals and residents”.

Qatar Rail’s celebration included a cut of a cake designed especially for the occasion, on the rhythm of traditional music. The company’s staff had launched a few weeks before the National Day contest on Instagram, which gave everyone the opportunity to publish all the attractive images of Qatar and heritage landmarks on the social media platform. During the ceremony, Qatar Rail honored the winners in this contest who had the most inspiring photos.

Qatar Rail assures its firm commitment to the directions and norms of Qatar and its institutions and social responsibility policy towards its staff and workers on construction sites, as well as towards all its partners and contributors in the success of its project, through the permanent engagement in conferences and events that take place to support the Qatar National Vision 2030



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Saudi International Motor Show 2014 set for next Monday

Saudi International Motor Show 2014 set for next Monday

445The 36th edition of the Saudi International Motor Show 2014(SIMS) gets ready to kick off next Monday at Jeddah Center for Forums & Events.

The show, to be held under the patronage of HRH Prince Mishaal bin Majid bin Abdulaziz , is organized by Al Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE) with the National Commercial Bank (NCB) as the main sponsor.

Scheduled to be held in Jeddah from December 15th to 19th 2014, the Saudi International Motor Show will feature automobiles from USA, Europe, Japan, Korea and China , the world’s leading auto brands including Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Honda, Isuzu, Kia, BYD, Lifan, Volkswagen, Geely, GM, Higer, Hino and Nor .

The five-day event offers visitors the chance to discover the latest technology in car manufacturing and design and provides a platform for trade professionals to come together. On display will be the latest models and technology in the automotive industry.

“There is no doubt that this year’s show will be one of the most exciting on record, from the greatest deals to the newest wheels,” said Zahoor Siddique, Vice President of Al Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE)

An action-packed schedule of entertaining and interactive features at the show includes the 4 x 4 test drive, drifting and go-karting organized by Nissan and modified cars to keep the young enthusiasts bound to the show for all an enthralling experience.

At the same time a special feature will be the “Children Test Drive area” which will allow children to test drive miniature vehicles with the sole purpose of introducing them to the rules of safe driving, following the traffic signal and other important aspects of driving.

AutoCare which is held concurrently with SIMS has developed over the last few years into a totally dedicated concurrent showcase for auto parts, accessories and maintenance equipment by more than 100 companies.



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The best winter holidays from the best in the business

The best winter holidays from the best in the business

420It’s holiday season and Alpha Holidays has announced unique and exciting winter holiday packages for customers in the UAE and GCC. Valid till March 2015, the packages comprise a host of world-class destinations to choose from.

Whether travellers want to take a city break to the Hungarian capital, Budapest, or travel to Cambodia for the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor, Alpha Holidays has destinations for everyone. Other destinations include London, Paris, Budapest, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka and more.

What’s more, attractions include a city tour of Paris, a romantic getaway to Vienna and travellers can also choose to explore one of Europe’s most popular destinations, Paris. A guided chauffeur driven tour of Kandy and Colombo or an exploration tour of Sri Lanka completes the range.

“At Alpha Holidays, our focus has always been on giving our customers something more than just a holiday. We’ve planned out some amazing winter holidays this season, with packages for all kinds of travellers”, said Samer Assaad, Director at Alpha Holidays. He believes that it is important to deliver a complete experience rather than just helping people get to their desired destinations. “We’ve really stepped it up this winter and our holiday packages are planned out to deliver a seamless holiday experience”, he added.

Recently, Alpha Holidays was announced as the no. 1 seller for Costa Cruises as the brand had held a competition for several tourism agencies around the world. The challenge was to secure bookings for 300 people within 1 month. Alpha Holidays not only won the contest, but also reached the target much before the stipulated period. The team was awarded a prize by the Head of Sales & Marketing Mediterranean New Markets, India, Africa and Middle East.

Alpha Holidays offers exceptional quality of service, professional travel intelligence and innovative customer care for both leisure and corporate travellers, thanks to its team of loyal, passionate and dedicated staff. Alpha Holidays is part of Alpha Tours - the market leaders in the tourism and travel industry across the Gulf, with a wide network of international partners, high service levels and a strong heritage.

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