Six weeks left to enter for 2014 MEPRA Awards

There are six weeks left to submit entries for the 2014 Middle East Public Relations (MEPRA) Awards. With the submission deadline scheduled for midnight on October 9, 2014, the finalists will be announced on November 2. Sponsored by Mubadala and Fabric as the Platinum and Gold sponsors respectively, the awards will be announced on November 26 at an awards ceremony and gala dinner held at the Westin Hotel Mina Seyahi in Dubai.

Entries for the awards are welcomed from businesses and individuals operating in the public relations sector across the Middle East. This year, thirteen best practice categories and three team categories are available, split into Sectors & Services, People & Agency and Techniques, with two awards not open to entries – Overall Campaign of the Year and Chairman’s Award – Contribution to the PR profession in the Middle East.

For more information and to register, visit

Percept Gulf appoints new Chief Operating Officer

Eymard Saldanha has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer for Percept Gulf in the UAE. With 25 years of experience in media and communications, Eymard has handled portfolios spanning global agencies, start-ups, brand development, business mergers and acquisitions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining Percept Gulf, Eymard was Regional Director EEMEA – BAT and Head of Advertising MENA at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. In his new role, Eymard will be responsible for leading business development and integration of all marketing communication services for the Gulf region.

“Percept has been a pioneer in the entertainment, media and communications domain in the Gulf region and has set numerous benchmarks over the past two decades,” says Eymard. “Percept Gulf is an established name in the West Asia market and my mandate is to use the synergy of the Percept Group to propel us to a faster growth trajectory. I look forward to working closely with the team at Percept to ensure that we attain our lofty goals.”

Bipin Pathak, Founder and CEO of Percept Gulf adds, “We strongly believe that Eymard will be able to provide the leadership and vision that Percept Gulf requires to become an even stronger entity in the media and communications space in the Gulf region. His global leadership and brand experience will help us achieve the magnitude and growth targets we have earmarked for ourselves.”

Eymard’s appointment comes as a result of Percept Gulf’s recent restructure of its marketing communications services in the UAE. Percept Gulf will now encompass a wider spectrum of product offerings and solutions including advertising, brand marketing consultancy strategy, strategy, creative and design, public and media relations, digital marketing, integrated marketing communication consultancy, media planning and buying, digital media buying/planning, experimental marketing, sports marketing, brand activations and promotions and the marketing and promotion of intellectual properties owned by Percept Limited.

Twitter opens analytics dashboard to all users

Twitter has released an analytics tool called the tweet activity dashboard, which aims to assist social network users in learning more about the impact of their tweets. Initially released to advertisers and verified users in July of this year, the analytics dashboard now allows all account holders to see how people are engaging with their tweets in real-time, comparing tweet activity from month-to-month and presenting how tweets are trending over time. By clicking on any tweet, it is now possible to get a detailed view of the number of retweets, replies, favourites, followers or clicks that each tweet receives. Tweet metrics are also available through the tool.

Currently, the dashboard is open to Twitter accounts that have been open for at least 14 days and available for tweets in English, French, Japanese or Spanish.

To access the tweet activity dashboard, visit


Ali Faour joins Fifth Ring

Ali Faour has joined global energy communications specialists Fifth Ring as PR Account Director for its office in Dubai. Ali brings over 20 years of experience in handling blue-chip B2B accounts in the Middle East across various industries, most recently as PR Director for Memac Ogilvy in Saudi Arabia. In his new role, Ali will head the PR practice, managing the agency portfolio of clients including Pretect, Expro, AlMansoori, Heriot-Watt University and the Chartered Institute for Procurement and Supply. He will also lead new business generation, content development and cross-discipline coordination.

“To have the chance to join a company like Fifth Ring is a privilege for me and comes at the ideal point in my career,” says Ali. “It is an organisation that has enjoyed success around the world, so I look forward to utilising my own experience to continue to drive the business forward in this region.”

Ian Ord, Co-Founder of Fifth Ring adds, “With the growing importance of the UAE as a regional hub for operations across MENA and Sub Sahara Africa, we are delighted that Ali has joined our growing international team. With our clients increasingly exploring new markets and new opportunities, strengthening our Middle East operations is an important step in our commitment to providing the service they need, wherever they need it.”

DPQ Communications appoints a new PR Executive

Zainab Imichi Alhassan has joined DPQ Communications as PR Executive. Zainab joins the team from Grace and Garbo, where she held the position of PR Executive handling fashion and beauty clients. In her new position, Zainab will be working with clients across fashion, beauty and hospitality sectors.

“I am very keen to be a part of the DPQ team,” says Zainab. “I am very much looking forward to working on exciting accounts and growing in such a dynamic environment.”

Tina Junday joins 7DAYS

Tina Junday has joined the 7DAYS team as Digital Content Editor. For the last 15 months, Tina was Features Editor and Acting Editor at Campaign Middle East, and prior to this worked as a Multimedia Journalist for Coventry Telegraph in the UK. As Digital Content Editor, Tina will manage and develop the editorial sections of the company’s digital platforms.

“I’m excited to be joining a media organisation which offers the most compelling and relevant content in the region and I welcome the challenge of growing our digital platforms,” says Tina. “I’m also looking forward to working with an incredibly talented team, including our social media manager, to generate a bigger online buzz for 7DAYS than ever before.”

RedFilo among finalists in Gulf Capital SME Awards

RedFilo Events has been announced as a finalist in the DHL People & Culture of the Year category for the Gulf Capital SME Awards 2014. Hosted by MEED and in partnership with Gulf Capital as headline sponsor, the awards recognise the UAE’s SMEs, business leaders and entrepreneurs for innovation, growth and success. This year’s Gulf Capital SME Awards will take place on October 29, and will be held at The Ritz Carlton Dubai.

“We are delighted to have been given this recognition by MEED, the region’s most trusted business intelligence providers,” says Pach Ang, Founder and Managing Director, RedFilo. “Our commitment to establishing a safe environment and a positive culture at the workplace for our employees is a primary business objective.”

In addition to the aforementioned DHL People & Culture of the Year, categories for the Gulf Capital SME Awards 2014 include – Gulf Capital Business of the Year, Business Innovation of the Year, Business Leader of the Year, Customer Focus of the Year, Emirati Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, MasterCard Small Business of the Year, Online Business of the Year, RSE Startup Business of the Year and Sustainable Business of the Year.