MediavataarMe News Desk
Dubai-based Rich Ventures Group announced the launch of PropertiesArabia.com, which is considered the first dedicated pan-Arab property portal serving over 50 million property owners in the different Arab countries.
PropertiesArabia.com is a comprehensive property listing website offering free property listing and free property search for buying or leasing.
In addition, the uniqueness of PropertiesArabia.com comes from its specialised sections which include Open Houses, Direct from Owners, Direct from Developers, Area Transaction History, and Property Alerts.
There are also dedicated sections for developers and real estate brokers to list their inventory with ability to set up auto XML feeds.
Confirming the importance of the website, Mr. Shabeer Mohammed, Project Director, said, "As a one-stop destination for all individuals and companies interested in real estate, PropertiesArabia.com also offers other useful services like; real estate news, developers and agents' lists, upcoming events as well as market reports."
Mr. Mohammed added, "We will be launching PropertiesArabia.com one country at a time starting with the UAE. Our priority is to have enough listings before launching in any country. Right now, we already have over 14,000 listings from the UAE alone, but we plan to exceed one million listings once launched in all Arab countries."
On Tuesday night Mark D’Arcy, global director of creative solutions, Facebook, spoke to an audience about ‘social creativity’, as part of the ongoing NABS Tuesday Club talks initiative.
The exclusive event for NABS Partner Card holders saw Mark D’Arcy give special insights into the future of social media and how brands can best use social, in front of a packed audience at Facebook’s Covent Garden offices. It also marks the first Tuesday Club talk in this, NABS' centenary year.
Mark singled mobile out as a platform that must be taken seriously and suggested we are now in an age where we should be putting mobile at the start of any design process. While many in the industry might recoil at the prospect of working with the mobile screen as the primary creative canvas, it’s a reality they must acknowledge given the size of its user base.
Similarly, Mark advised brands and their agencies not to treat social as an afterthought when developing campaigns. “Social needs to be thought about from the moment you think about people; if you put people at the centre of the entire process then social needs to come first.”
He reflected on how marketers have, in some cases, become “disinter-mediated” from their audiences and how they need to refocus and ensure their brands are people-centric. “Know your voice and how to talk to people,” he advised.
“Think about the small businesses in your local area that you love. Think about what makes them special, from the personal service to the connection with the owner, to the customisation of the service, and try to build some of that into how you connect with your customers.”
No longer does the media dictate when we access content. When it comes to making sense of such monumental changes and the exponential growth in data for example, Mark explained that humans are hard-wired to seek out collective wisdom. “We ask for advice even if we know that the person we turn to will give us terrible advice,” he joked.
To reflect the way humans think and act, Mark talked about how the web is being rebuilt around people and becoming social. He referred to this as “technology catching up with humanity” and how “the authentic web changes everything.”
Mark highlighted the three big shifts taking place in communications now: “disruption to connectivity; search to discovery and the shift from being heavyweight to lightweight. It’s important that we optimise the way we connect, focusing on the value exchange and obtaining the biggest engagement in the smallest amount of time. We love building things, but we have to realise in this world of excellence that we need to optimise in the most deep and meaningful way in the smallest amount of time.”
Zoë Osmond, chief executive officer, NABS said: “What a wonderful way to kick off our centenary year by having Facebook share with us its vision for the future. Social media will clearly play a huge role in our industry over the next 100 years with the talk providing us with a wonderful juxtaposition of the legacy of NABS with the future of communications.”
Stephen Haines, UK commercial director, Facebook said “NABS has made a significant contribution to our industry since its inception and it’s a real privilege to have this opportunity to talk to an audience of future industry leaders. “
The evening’s NABS Tuesday Club talk with Mark D’Arcy was a special benefit to NABS Partner Card holders, who can enjoy a range of fantastic talks, high street offers, career development guidance and one-to-one mentoring schemes with industry heavyweights, for a charitable donation. Launched in July, the card has now been distributed to over 6,000 industry employees.
McDonald's was recently named the world's seventh most powerful brand in Forbes's World's 100 Most Powerful Brands list. The only quick service restaurant to be named in the top 50 brands, McDonald's earned its top ten position based on input from 2,000 consumers from across the world.
According to the data, which was provided by Landor and Penn Schoen Berland, all 100 companies named in the list have been successful by providing products and services that enable consumers to do things better and faster.
Mr. Rafic Fakih, Managing Director and Partner of McDonald's UAE, commented, "We are truly honoured to have been included in this list and recognised for our success. McDonald's - on a global, regional and local level - prides itself on a long history of offering high quality, delicious and convenient products. We believe strongly that our ongoing success stems from a combination of doing what is right for our loyal customers, as well as doing what is right for our business."
"McDonald's began its relationship with the UAE in 1994; in this short time, we have grown to draw a devoted and enthusiastic customer base, and in turn, we have become the largest and fastest growing international quick service restaurant in the region. The success of our business in the UAE is based on a marriage between McDonald's global practices and our own local insights, and we look forward to continued success throughout the region," he added.
The results of the study were gathered based on a combination of brand valuation exercises and a consumer survey, which asked participants to evaluate a brand based on 12 attributes of purpose. Attributes included honesty and trustworthiness, investment in innovative ideas and research, and level of impact on the everyday lives of consumers. According to Landor, consumers are becoming increasingly selective when evaluating brands; simply delivering a product or service is no longer enough, and consumers they tend to respond most favourably towards brands that have had a positive impact on their lives. Also named on the list were Apple, Microsoft, and McDonald's long-time partner, Coca-Cola.
McDonald's restaurants across the Emirates are 100% locally owned and operated, with more than 109 restaurants operating across the UAE.
Facebook increased its support for Middle East marketers yesterday by holding its first Studio Edge event in the region.
The gathering, in Dubai, UAE, brings together clients and marketers with the aim of improving their knowledge of Facebook's advertising tools and showcasing examples of best practice. In addition to the one day session, Facebook also made available a suite of online educational tools under the Facebook Studio Edge brand.
"Facebook Studio Edge was designed to assist agencies in keeping up to speed on product updates and best marketing practices on our social network's platform," explained Jonathan Labin, Head of Marketing Solutions at Facebook-MEA. "To create a better understanding of this remarkable interactive tool, we have invited key marketers and agencies to our Studio Edge event today in Dubai-UAE, where key Facebook speakers showcased its key features and discussed most effective means of supporting marketers in showcasing their work in the Facebook Studio Edge directory, thus sharing their contributions in the Facebook Studio Gallery with their peers in the industry."
Available to all agencies and Preferred Marketing Developers (PMD), Facebook Studio Edge covers topics centering on new developments on Facebook pages, changes and opportunities in advertising on the social network's platform, in addition to general updates in social technology. Each interactive topic, which ranges from 10-15 minutes, can successfully bring participating agencies up to speed on latest news and developments related to Facebook's tools and products.
"The Middle East is an important and rapidly developing region for Facebook and our relationship with the various agencies and PMDs is built on offering the best tools and platform to reach, promote and engage their clients' target audiences in the best possible manner," said Labin. "I am confident the active enrollment of regional agencies in Facebook Studio Edge will contribute positively to their long term marketing strategies."
Marketers and agencies registered to the Facebook Studio Edge will also be able to tap into a vast array of resources, among them Measurement & Research; Product Guides; Case Studies; Resources & Tools, in addition to Social Business Blueprints.
In order to encourage agencies to highlight their award winning work on Studio Edge, the Facebook Studio Awards was developed to honor agencies for their best submissions. Agencies with awards and those completing a higher number of the Facebook Studio Edge courses will gain better positioning in the search ranks of the directory.
"We will continue to introduce unique and leading edge marketing tools to better serve the advertising industry, and I believe Facebook Studio Edge will add great value to agencies and marketing practitioners alike in the region," Labin concluded.
Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, now stands as one of the world's top-three global smartphone vendors for the first time ever according to a new report from global research firm IDC.
Noted in IDC's most recent "Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker" report, as of Q4 2012 Huawei held the third largest market share in the global smartphone arena based on unit shipments; enough to overtake major competitors and reach a pinnacle in the company's smartphone history.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the mobile phone business, the global technology giant has previously kept to ambitious plans to establish itself as one of the top three global smartphone vendors by 2015—an objective which the company has now succeeded in reaching well ahead of expectations.
The IDC report cites Huawei's mix of popular inexpensive smartphones for the mass market plus its high-end "Ascend" product line as helping to increase market share, as well Huawei's unique software and hardware offerings. In addition, the company has demonstrated its innovation skills having released the world's thinnest smartphone last year—the Ascend P1—and this year announcing the upcoming Ascend Mate, the first smartphone with a 6.1-inch display.
Mr. Jian Jiao, President of Huawei Device Middle East, noted: "With Huawei now amongst the top three global smartphone vendors, we have reached a significant milestone for our company and marked a visible shift in the consumer electronics industry. By listening to people's top demands and leveraging our global R&D strengths as well as our long-term strategic partnerships with leading telecom operators, we have been able to bring distinct advancements into the consumer market in more and more countries across the Middle East and around the globe."
Amongst the devices driving Huawei's growth within the Middle East are the recently launched Ascend D1 Quad XL smartphone, the brand's most powerful quad-core smartphone to date locally; the Ascend G600 smartphone which offers exceptional performance in the mid-range market; and the company's Ascend P1 smartphone which was the first Huawei "Ascend" device in the region and continues to be a popular choice for the style-conscious consumer.
"Laying a strong foundation for sustainable business development, the Middle East is an exciting market for Huawei today," adds Jiao. "Huawei will continue to leverage its expertise in networks, cloud computing, and future-oriented converged solutions by applying that knowledge to the production of our full range of consumer devices."
Earlier this year, Huawei's Chief Financial Officer announced that the company had achieved efficient growth in 2012 and that she is positive about the industry's future prospects with a projection for Huawei to grow its overall group revenue by 10-12% in 2013.
Over the past few years Huawei has made strategic adjustments to better serve its customers as it has extended the reach of its offerings from the telecom industry to the enterprise and consumer fields as well. To this end, Huawei has coordinated the development of a "cloud-pipe-device" business and put considerable resources towards providing large capacity and intelligent information networks, a variety of smart devices, as well as new-generation business platforms to offer users an efficient, environmentally friendly, and innovative information-based experience.
Huawei has been active in the Middle East for more than a decade with ten regional offices that today include over 3,800 employees responsible for more than $3bn in contract sales in recent years.
Huawei currently serves more than one third of the world's population in over 150 countries worldwide with roughly 150,000 employees.
VIVA, Kuwait's fastest-growing telecom operator, launched the new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone powered by BlackBerry 10 in Kuwait.
The new BlackBerry Z10 is the first smartphone based on the re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry 10 platform, giving customers a powerful and unique new mobile computing experience.
The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone is the fastest and most advanced BlackBerry smartphone yet, and offers customers a smarter experience that continuously adapts to their needs.
The new BlackBerry Z10 will be available from VIVA branches across Kuwait from February 10 2013.
VIVA CEO, Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Badran said, "Our collaboration with RIM has given us the opportunity to put forward the latest in BlackBerry smartphone technology, and we are pleased to present our customers with the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone. VIVA is keen to continuously offer the best and latest products in the market to its customers, reinforcing its position as a leader and trendsetter in the Kuwaiti telecoms industry."
"The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone delivers a powerful new platform for BlackBerry customers. Combined with network and service plans from VIVA, BlackBerry Z10 customers will be delighted with a re-invented communication experience, seamless multitasking, easy access to multiple social networks, and the peace of mind that BlackBerry security gives them," said Carlo Chiarello, EVP, Global Smartphone Business at RIM.
With BlackBerry 10, every feature, every gesture, and every detail is designed to keep customers moving and includes advancements such as::
•Peek and Flow into the BlackBerry Hub - A new mobile computing paradigm where what matters to customers is always only one swipe away
•Keyboard - Understands and adapts to customers, so they can type faster and more accurately
•BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) - Allows customers to share things with the people that matter to them in an instant
•BlackBerry Balance technology - Protects what is important to customers and the businesses they work for.
Saudi League fans are in for a real treat as the matches from the current and upcoming seasons, along with the King's Cup and the Crown Prince Faisal bin Fahd Cup Championship, will now be available across all key digital platforms - thanks to 'Dawri Plus', a revolutionary product from Intigral.
"Dawri Plus" will give fans a fully interactive experience, including exclusive Saudi League content and statistics, live updates, the ability to pause and playback games, and a platform to engage with each other in real time. These features are available on the go, on any device, regardless of the country one is based in.
The rights extend across Internet, mobile, broadband applications, multimedia messaging (MMS), mobile TV (live streaming), third-generation broadband services and video over IP services. Once the 2013 season starts, subscribers can avail this service to follow latest news, multimedia and behind-the-scene updates at anytime and from anywhere. The digital platform will allow football fans to get first-in-class services in the most innovative way to date.
Intigral, Middle East's leading digital media solutions provider, developed the software after gaining the digital rights for the two Saudi League seasons, the ongoing 2012 - 2013 season as well as the upcoming 2013- 2014 season.
Commenting on the new offering, Dr. Ismaeel Makdisi, Intigral's Acting CEO, said, "The digital content market in the Arab region is advancing at a rapid rate and has significant potential to drive revenues and gain a loyal customer base. With the full digital rights to the Saudi League matches, "Dawri Plus", an Intigral product, is spearheading a new digital era for sports fans and we are proud to pave the way for the first convergent offering in KSA. This service and technology is available on a global scale and used by International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the UEFA European Football Championship and the recently concluded London Olympics 2012."
His Excellency Mr. Abdul Rahman Al-Hazza, Chief of Radio and Television, added, "We are excited about partnering with Intigral as they set out to revolutionize our fans' viewing experience for one of the most sought-after annual sporting events in the region. This partnership has raised the bar in providing seamless sports entertainment in a new and unique way." Founded in 1976, the Saudi League is the biggest football championship in Saudi Arabia.
Dawri Plus features:
- Live updates from favorite teams in an innovative and never-seen-before format
- Comprehensive data and statistics updated in real-time
- DVR features and timeline capabilities for game watching
- Video on demand for all major events
- Highlights from the games
- Social platform and chatting capabilities while watching the games
- Goal alerts and notifications
- Pause and play-back option
"Dawri Plus" can be enjoyed through SMS and MMS service, and will offer live streaming, play-by-play, timeline and statistics as the season unfolds. The final phase will add richer interactivity and exclusive content.
ZEE TV, the #1 South Asian Entertainment Network in partnership with Ethnic Channels Group Limited (ECG), Canada’s largest distributor of third language television services, launches ZEE TV Canada!
ZEE TV will be available to Canadian viewers as a 24/7 service for the first time! Canadian viewers who enjoyed ZEE’s top programming such as Pavitra Rishta, Punarvivaah and SaReGaMaPa on ATN, will now be able to watch their favorite shows throughout the day. ZEE TV Canada will be available on Rogers, Bell and Telus starting from February 1st!
ZEE’s relationship with ATN has been a happy one. In Canada, however ZEE has outgrown the relationship and felt the need to address the immediate and ever-growing consumer need for more top notch ZEE content.
ZEE Americas CEO, Suresh Bala said “The impact and growing importance of the South Asian diaspora in Canada cannot be overstated. And with the launch of ZEE TV Canada, we are now in a position to address this significant opportunity. ZEE has and continues to remain the leading South Asian media brand globally. 650 million viewers in 169 countries around the world are testament to its popularity. We are fortunate to have found an energetic and progressive partner in ECG and we are confident that this partnership will help us to exponentially grow our business in Canada”.
“Ethnic Channels Group is privileged to partner with the #1 South Asian Channel in the World. Canadian viewers will be enthralled by ZEE’s programming repertoire” said Slava Levin Co-founder and CEO of Ethnic Channels Group.
“As the largest distributor of international TV in Canada, the launch of ZEE TV is a great addition to our Group” added Hari Srinivas, President of Ethnic Channels Group.
ZEE now has 6 channels in Canada catering to the diverse group of viewers. ETC Punjabi, Zing, ZEE Salaam, ZEE Tamizh and ZEE Cinema will now be joined by ZEE TV Canada as a 24/7 channel!
Media Innovation Group, the strategy and consultancy arm of WPP technology company 24/7 Media, has appointed Nicky McShane as European managing director.
Nicky joins Media Innovation Group with over 12 years’ experience in launching and growing performance marketing companies in the digital sector. She has held senior management roles at companies including AdLink Group and Affilinet and has consulted for the BBC and Impact Radius.
She spent the last two years working on the agency side, providing affiliate management to advertisers. At Media Innovation Group, Nicky will be responsible for driving the agency’s continued growth across European markets.
Nicky McShane, European managing director, Media Innovation Group, said: “Media Innovation Group has big plans for growth and I will be working with the team to achieve our short and long-term business objectives. This is an exciting time to be involved in the performance marketing industry and I’m looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”
David J. Moore, Chairman & CEO of 24/7 Media added: “Nicky is one of the performance marketing industry's most experienced and well-connected professionals, having forged her media career in radio, press and most significantly in digital.
“Her experience will be a huge asset to Media Innovation Group as we look to grow the business across Europe in 2013 and beyond. She is a great addition to the team and the business as a whole.”
Arab Satellite Communications Organization announces that Africa 24, the news channel for Africa, already present in France and in Subsaharan Africa, has selected ARABSAT to expand its coverage and launch in French on ARABSAT Badr-4 at 26°E to cover the entire Middle East, North Africa and portions of Western Europe.
Khalid bin Ahmed Balkhyour president& CEO of Arabsat stated "We are very pleased with the new partnership with Africa 24 and deeply appreciate their confidence in ARABSAT satellites technical capabilities. We look forward to strengthening this partnership, and provide our full support to Africa 24 to develop and expand its broadcast and coverage, and we wish them best of luck."
With the exclusive launch of AFRICA 24, ARABSAT continues to offer the best African programming line-up in the Middle-East and North Africa," said Constant Nemale, President and Founder of Africa 24. "AFRICA24 is completely aligned to ARABSAT Network's continuing commitment to offer the most attractive African programming options to the diverse African communities at the best value," added Constant Nemale.
Founded in 1976, Arabsat has been serving the growing needs of the Arab world for over 30 years. Now one of the world's top satellite operators and by far the leading satellite services provider in the Arab world, it carries over 450 TV channels, 160 radio stations, 3 Pay-TV networks and wide variety of HD channels reaching tens of millions of homes in more than 80 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Europe—and way beyond around the world—including an audience of over 170 million viewers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region alone tuned into Arabsat's video "hotspot" at 26° East.
Operating a growing ?eet of owned satellites at the 20° East, 26° East, 30.5° East and 34.5° East positions of the geostationary orbit, ARABSAT is the only satellite operator in the MENA region offering the full spectrum of Broadcast, Telecommunications and Broadband services. This capacity will continue to expand with the launching of new satellites, making the ARABSAT satellites' fleet the youngest in the region.