Architectural Digest to launch in the Middle East

Architectural Digest is set to launch in the Middle East in Spring 2015, announced today by Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman and Chief Executive of Condé Nast International. Published under license agreement with Arab Publishing Partners (APP), a division of ITP Publishing Group, this will be the eleventh edition of the magazine available globally.

Architectural Digest is hugely respected as the international authority on decoration and design,” says Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman and Chief Executive, Condé Nast International. “It is exciting to bring this publication to the Middle East.”

Ali Akawi, Managing Director of APP and ITP Consumer adds, “The GCC has some of the fastest growing cities in the world, with ambitions to create entirely new modern landscapes and ‘cities within cities’ in the next ten years. Architecture and design will be key to fulfilling this vision and the recent expansion in the number of commissioned projects – both residential and commercial – is evidence that there is now a need for individuality and unique brands. Architectural Digest Middle East will showcase global and regional unique design to both inspire and educate its readers.”

Architectural Digest currently has editions in the USA, Germany, France, Mexico, Latin America, Russia, Spain, China and India, with a global readership of over 6.8 million a month.

Facebook relaunches Atlas for targeted ads

Facebook has re-launched Atlas – its new ad-serving and measurement platform – allowing marketers to target advertisements across multiple devices. Microsoft sold Atlas to Facebook in 2013 for an estimated $100 million and is offered to advertisers as a way of targeting the social network’s 1.3 billion users. With personal information already used to show contextual ads on individual News Feeds, Atlas now enables Facebook to utilise the same data on behalf of third–party apps and websites.

Up to now, Facebook’s existing ad technology has used cookies to track websites visited by people for ad targeting purposes, though these cookies do not work on mobile devices and are often inaccurate, rendering it a challenge for marketers to track the interests of consumers reliably. Atlas allows advertisers to target ads around ‘Likes’ and interests for third-party websites and apps, anonymously tracking individuals and bypassing the flawed cookie ad-serving and measurement technology.

“Atlas delivers people-based marketing, helping marketers reach real people across devices, platforms and publishers,” says Erik Johnson, Head of Atlas. “By doing this, marketers can easily solve the cross-device problem through targeting, serving and measuring across devices. And, Atlas can now connect online campaigns to actual offline sales, ultimately proving the real impact that digital campaigns have in driving incremental reach and new sales. This valuable data can lead to better optimisation decisions to make your media budget even more effective.”

Global ad company Omnicom is Facebook’s first holding company to sign an agency-wide partnership with Atlas, and clients including Pepsi and Intel will be two of the largest brands to test out the Atlas platform. Initially, Atlas will be used exclusively for ad-serving and tracking, though Facebook has plans to set up Atlas as an ad purchasing platform in the future.


Women’s Health ME announces Next Fitness Star

Women’s Health Middle East, in association with the National Health Insurance Company – Daman and their ActiveLife initiative, has announced the winner of the region’s first campaign for the Next Fitness Star. In a search for the UAE’s ultimate fitness personality, the title has been awarded to Heba Abel Gawad, who was selected by readers from among five finalists during a two-month online voting campaign and workout series. Heba, 32, from Egypt and Spain, is a former two-time Olympic athlete, NeuroPilates instructor and fitness educator who specialises in targeting the brain and nervous system to get the most out of the body. Heba is starring in her own fitness DVD, which will be given away with the next issue of Women’s Health Middle East – out on October 1, 2014.

“We are so thrilled to announce Heba as Women’s Health Middle East’s Next Fitness Star!” says Yi-Hwa Hanna, Editor-in-Chief, Women’s Health Middle East. “All of the finalists were amazing candidates and it was an exciting and tough competition, but we can’t wait to share Heba’s incredible workout with the region. She’s an inspiration.”

Heba, the Next Fitness Star winner adds, “This competition has been an amazing opportunity for me to be a part of, and I feel very grateful and supported by everyone who voted for me. It’s a great honour to be part of the movement in the Middle East to promote a healthy lifestyle, and it’s been really great meeting the four other finalists who are all stars.”

Hospitality Business Middle East launches redesign

CPI Media Group has announced a fresh new look and expanded editorial scope for Hospitality Business Middle East magazine. Renamed HBME, the magazine will diversify its editorial focus from the business of hotels to the business of tourism across the GCC.

HBME will now report on the business of hospitality as both a pillar of Arabic culture and a vital economic driver, whilst including greater analysis on the factors driving hotel performance – from destination development to global political, social and economic trends. Specific attention will be paid to the hotel, F&B, aviation, cruise, leisure and corporate tourism markets, with the same data, commentary and industry interviews readers have enjoyed over the previous 29 editions of the title.

The structure of the magazine will comprise of the following –

  • Data: The latest benchmarking, analysis and performance metrics in collaboration with partners STR Global, Colliers International, EY and UNWTO among others
  • Procurement: Product news from the industry’s top brands and in-depth supplier profiles each month
  • Design and Technology: The latest innovations in IT, architecture and interiors, and how they are being utilised in the hospitality industry
  • Development and Investment: With emphasis on the pre-opening stage of a hospitality asset
  • Analysis: In-depth on market feasibility and the impact of new social and economic trends
  • Operations: Behind the scenes with business leaders and operational and corporate managers
  • Trend Talk: Submitted content from HBME’s editorial contributors and industry analysts

“The hospitality industry contributes 10 percent towards global GDP and in the Middle East the World Travel and Tourism Council predicts an 89 percent increase in annual travel and tourism revenues over the coming decade,” says Melanie Mingas, Editor, HBME. “This exponential growth will benefit both the leisure and business sectors, which are predicted to see a 100 percent increase in activity and revenues over the same period. Infrastructure and accommodation investments will hit $3trillion in the Middle East and the region’s airlines will buy 870 aircraft by 2027. So it’s vital that, as a central reference point for the hospitality industry, HBME is poised to cover these developments and their impact on GCC hotel performance.”

Facebook to secure EU approval for WhatsApp bid

Facebook is set to win unconditional EU approval for its $19 billion offer for mobile messaging service WhatsApp, in a deal that will pit the leading social network against telecom operators. This will be the largest deal in Facebook’s 10 year history, and will give the company a firm foothold in the growing mobile messaging market. US regulators gave the green light for the deal in April of this year, advising WhatsApp to stick with its current privacy practices after the merger, which includes not using users’ personal data for targeted ads.

With the decision unpublished by the European Commission as of yet, the clearance for the bid is stated to be unconditional as the deal will have no anti-competitive effect with the telecoms industry and so concessions are rendered unnecessary. The deadline for the decision has been confirmed as October 3, 2014.

Men’s Health Urbanathlon to debut in the UAE

The Men’s Health Urbanathlon, presented by Daman’s ActiveLife, has announced its first ever event to be held in the region, coinciding with the launch of Men’s Health Middle East earlier this month. With the Urbanathlon already held in over 25 countries across six continents, the 10km obstacle race is set to be held at Yas Marina Circuit on October 24, and will be a test for elite athletes and weekend joggers alike.

“I’m delighted that we’re able to kick off Men’s Health in the region with such a flagship event as the Urbanathlon,” says Andrew Nagy, Editor, Men’s Health Middle East. “The thing to remember though, is that this isn’t just for elite athletes, it’s a test thrown out to people of all fitness levels and I’m certain that it’s set to become a firm fixture in our annual fitness calendar.”

Nick McElwee, Sales and Marketing Director of Yas Marina Circuit adds, “We are very pleased to add the Urbanathlon to our extensive health and fitness calendar at Yas Marina Circuit. It is exciting to be part of the first Urbanathlon held within the UAE and it adds a new dimension for our health and fitness community to engage with. In particular, we are keen to encourage corporates to take up this challenge and see if they are tough enough, we think company engagement in health programmes is key to a healthier Abu Dhabi.”

With a dedicated website – – participants can register for AED250 per person or AED800 for a team of four to undertake the fitness challenge.

Mike Orlov joins SteppingStone Global

Bahrain-based training and consultancy firm, SteppingStone Global (SSG), has appointed Mike Orlov as a Partner. With over 35 years of experience in the industry, Mike has had a diverse set of roles, including Publisher of magazines in the UK and UAE, running a national newspaper advertisement sales team, holding a Board Director position at the London Evening Standard and most recently as Chief Executive Officer at Primedia International.

“We are delighted to have Mike join the company, given his experience, skills and the alignment of his values with those of SSG,” says Jean Nicolai, Founder and President, SSG. “With over 70 recommendations and hundreds of endorsements on his LinkedIn site, Mike not only has an enviable career, but has been recognised as an exceptional operator by the people who have worked with him.”

Mike adds, “With SSG committed to consulting, coaching and training where the individual is at the core of the work, it operates on a value-system which ensures success for any company using its services; I am looking forward to being part of the company’s continued success. SSG is more than a classic consulting firm, more than a coaching service and so much more than a training company.”

ShortList to launch in the UAE

Arab Publishing Partners (APP), part of the ITP Publishing Group, has announced that a UAE version of ShortList – the UK’s largest circulation lifestyle and entertainment title – will launch in March 2015. ShortList UAE is the region’s second ‘freemium’ publication to launch in the UAE, and targeting both residents and tourists, it will be an authority on the best in shopping, fashion, entertainment, lifestyle, technology, dining and sport.

ShortList UAE will be published every Wednesday, reaching men and women aged 20-50 in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Complimentary copies of the magazine will be widely available, with the website and app to follow in 2015 including searchable and bookable entertainment listings.

“We live in a fast-paced country with endless entertainment choices – from the world’s largest malls and top restaurants to world-class music and theatrical events,” says Ali Akawi, Managing Director, APP. “ShortList readers are busy people so the magazine will be their definitive guide to what they should be doing to make the best of their valuable leisure time.”

Tim Ewington, International Development Director of ShortList Media adds, “We’re delighted to be launching ShortList’s first international edition in such fast growing, vibrant cities as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. ShortList has the proven ability to connect powerfully with millions of affluent urban consumers both in print and digital forms. I am sure that the brand will be a potent and popular edition to the region’s media mix.”