New Middle East PR Manager for Volkswagen

Michelle Hogan has been announced as the new Middle East PR Manager for Volkswagen. Having lived in the region for over five years, Michelle is well acquainted with the Middle East market, and has extensive experience in both luxury and mass automotive segments.

“Volkswagen is a great company to work for and a respected global brand, I’m delighted to join the group,” says Michelle. “There are some really exciting things on the agenda for 2014 and I am looking forward to getting into my new role.”

Michelle will be based at the Dubai Airport Free Zone offices and is contactable at / +971 (0)4 204 5888

A stylish farewell for Rebecca Kelsey

After two years at Grazia Middle East, Fashion & Beauty Editor Rebecca Kelsey today steps down from her position as she prepares to return to the UK on November 30th.

“I have decided after two wonderful years on Grazia Middle East, and three in the Middle East, that it is time to return home to London to be with my husband,” says Rebecca. “It is with a heavy heart I leave Dubai, and I want to stress how much I have thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone.”


FP7 does the double at 2013 Effie MENA Awards

FP7 won a historic double at the Effies 2013, sweeping Network of the Year and the FP7 Dubai office winning Agency of the Year.

Tarek Miknas, CEO of FP7 MENA was ecstatic at the huge metal tally and the crowning achievements. In an emotional mail to all FP7 staff he wrote, “I thank everyone in this network for contributing to our transformation. I travel from market to market, and I see how hard we are all working to turn our agency into the one we’ve always wanted. You are all stars and I am seriously proud to be among you everyday. Please do take your new title of The Most Effective Agency very seriously as we intend to hold onto this position beyond 2014!”

Sasan Saeidi, who spearheads the FP7 UAE operation added: “Effies is the future of our industry and all our clients are demanding more accountability and responsibility for our communication ideas, every day. Effies, is creativity with purpose. An award that celebrates the creation of ideas that create impact and results. This is what we should all be doing every day. Nothing is more important.”


Sea and be scene

After the official opening of Sofitel The Palm Dubai this past weekend, Team TMN thought it only fair to swing by and check out what is rumoured to be one of Dubai’s hippest new hotels. But with the Polynesian themed resort boasting an enviable F&B line up, our first question was simply, where to start? And it wasn’t log before we found the perfect venue…

What: Moana seafood restaurant

Where: Sofitel, The Palm, Dubai

When: Open for lunch from 12.30pm – 3pm and for dinner from 7pm – 11:30pm

The promise: “A contemporary seafood restaurant creating stylish simplicity within a Polynesian façade. Moana expertly prepares only fresh and sustainable sea fare, with the finest ingredients in the market.”

Did it deliver? A feeling of calm enveloped us as we made our way through the tranquil yet tropical lobby en route to the garden, where nestled within the meanderings walkways we found Moana. A short walk through the restaurant to our table on the terrace gave us a glimpse into why Moana is fast gaining a reputation for all the right reasons.

Impeccable décor earned the venue an instant nod of approval with an elegant water feature, variety of seating options – including a sushi counter and ceviche bar – and low lighting giving a warm, intimate vibe. Dining under the stars, or under the vast traditional cabana to be exact, won us over.

The menu offered a varied international seafood selection with an Asian and European influence. We tried the Lobster Nachos and Salmon Degustation to start, which came generously portioned – if only we hadn’t overindulged in the seaweed breadbasket on arrival. While the grilled seabass was a thoroughly enjoyable option, the Thai Style Sea Bream Masala pot is where the chef’s culinary skills really shone through. A house specialty that all should try, there’s an abundance of pot options to satisfy the most varied of tastes.

Dinner wouldn’t be complete without dessert, and the Chocolate Spicy Fondant and tangy Passion Passion didn’t disappoint.

The Verdict: If you’re seeking that distinct holiday vibe without setting foot outside the emirates, an evening spent at Moana at Sofitel The Palm Dubai couldn’t be any more gratifying. Without a high-rise tower in sight and with a lush garden view, fresh seafood with rich and distinct flavors – not to mention impeccable service – we’re predicting this contemporary seafood restaurant to be a future classic.


Would you like Team TMN to review your event, latest launch or product? E-mail with full details and we’ll be in touch to offer our verdict.

New Russian magazine to launch in UAE

A new Russian language magazine is due to hit the newsstands this December called “Iskusstvo Zhit”, a direct translation of The Art of Living. The monthly luxury lifestyle magazine is intended for modern Russian-speaking residents of the UAE as well as Russian tourists. The title is published by the newly formed New Life Media Group, will be available in two sizes – regular and travel size – and will have a circulation of 15,000 issues per month.

“We are really excited that after a lot of hard work, Iskusstvo Zhit/The Art of Living is ready for launch,” says Dmitry Dolzhanskiy, Co-Founder of Iskusstvo Zhit/The Art of Living and New Life Media Group. “Our target is to promote the culture of the UAE for the minds of our readers and follow the social life of the UAE. The magazine’s appealing design and universal consumer topics position The Art of Living as a top quality publication for today’s consumer.”

Editor-in-Chief of the magazine and Co-Founder of New Life Media Group is Denis A.K who has worked for a number of publications in Russia such as Fashion Collection, Iskusstvo Potreblenia and Sobaka. The title will primarily target women and will cover fashion, beauty, celebrity interviews, bars, restaurants, gadgets, lifestyle and travel. goes live

Motivate Publishing has today increased its online presence with the launch of The platform, which bills itself as the go-to guide for expert opinion, insider info, news, reviews, entertainment, competitions and more, will complement the print magazine, while offering its own unique content.

“We’re really proud of what we have created, especially with the launch campaign which celebrates 35 years of Dubai (,” says Matthew Fortune,’s Web Editor. “As the longest-running entertainment magazine in the region, we’re  in a unique position at having watched this incredible city grow into the exciting hub it is today. We hope this is shown in the engaging content we have delivered on Long may our – and the city’s – expansion continue.”

Shortlist announced for Effie Mena Awards 2013

Today, GMR formally announced the finalists in the Effie Mena Awards 2013. The final winners, drawn from every corner of the region, will be announced during the awards ceremony on November 20 in Dubai. There are 17 award categories and the shortlist is decided by a mix of votes and judged decisions. This year’s judging panel is made up of leading figures across the marketing industry.

The number of entries for the sell-out event has doubled from last year and builds on the 47 per cent increase registered in 2012. Wider geographical participation is also at its highest with the Netherlands, the UK and Singapore submitting entries for the first time. The UAE, however, leads, submitting 60 per cent of all entries followed by Saudi Arabia – which increased its participation from last year – Egypt and Lebanon. Qatar, Iraq, Tunisia and Oman also increased their participation.

These awards, in their various incarnations from the original GEMAS in 2003 through to The Effie Mena Awards, are celebrating their tenth anniversary, so we’re delighted that it has also turned into a record-breaking occasion,” says Alexandre Hawari, co-CEO of organisers, Mediaquest Events and publisher of GMR. “We’re delighted not only to attract more such a large number of entries, but that they come from all across the Mena region and beyond. This is a testament to the credibility and prestige of the awards.”

The winners can go onto be cited in the Effie Effectiveness Index, which ranks the most effective agencies and advertisers points based on finalist and winner data from 40 worldwide Effie Award competitions.

The awards presentation ceremony takes place at Music Hall, Zabeel Saray Dubai, on November 20. Choueiri Group sponsors the after party. To view the complete Effie Mena Awards 2013 shortlist, visit

New Digital Editor for New You magazine

New You magazine has appointed a new Digital Editor, Handan Darici, who will be responsible for the entire digital environment of New You magazine. Handan will oversee the running and design of the New You website, including administration and full content editing. She will also be responsible for managing the social media marketing to ensure cohesive brand integrity and the successful integration of all media platforms – including the online boutique that recently launched.

“As a Digital Editor and Social Media Strategist I design, manage and deliver e-commerce strategy for the optimum success of our online boutique. There is nothing like working in a field that has a genuine focus and is growing exponentially,” says Handan.