Helen Gaskell joins Telecom Review

Telecom Review welcomes Helen Gaskell as Senior Journalist. Having previously worked as a staff writer for ITP.net at ITP Publishing Group, Helen has over two years of writing experience and has made contributions to magazines such as Arabian Business, Arabian Computer News and Network Middle East. Her new role as Senior Journalist at Telecom Review will see her writing articles and features for the monthly magazine, published by Trace Media, targeting telecom industry leaders and executives in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

ShortList UAE now live

ShortList UAE officially launched its online platforms today, shortlistdubai.com and shortlistabudhabi.com, with its print publication to follow in September. Falling under the umbrella of Arab Publishing Partners (APP), part of ITP Publishing Group, the websites are headed up by Shortlist UAE Editor-in-Chief Eddie Taylor and Digital Editor Sarah Garden.

The websites include features on restaurants and cafes, bars and clubs, film and TV, events and attractions, as well as shopping and style – all relevant to their respective cities. Differing from Shortlist’s UK website, the UAE counterparts will be aimed at both women and men. Both websites will be updated regularly and will include searchable entertainment listings for each city.


Spark* appoints new Creative Director

Regional communications agency Spark* has appointed Alaa Demachkie as its new Creative Director. Before joining Spark*, Alaa was freelancing in creative roles, and previously worked for Fortune Promoseven as Associate Creative Director, and Senior Art Director.

Alaa will bring over 11 years of experience in media to his new role, where he will be responsible for leading design teams in the creation, conception and implementation of projects to strengthen the agency’s creative output and contribute to a superior level of client servicing. He will also work with account leads and project management to ensure that deliverables satisfy the client, go out as scheduled and remain on budget.

“Spark* is excited to have Alaa on board as the agency’s Creative Head – his wealth of experience in the advertising industry will be a major asset to the organisation,” says Yusuf Pingar, Managing Director, Spark*. “We are confident that his high level of expertise, excellent industry knowledge and strong creative background will be a driving force in ensuring that the quality of our creative campaigns exceeds client expectations.”

Alaa adds “Creativity is a subject I feel strongly about. I’ve seen how an idea can change everything and Spark* understands this and audiences like no other. I want to make brilliant work – ideas that resonate and pop, and I want my new team to push creative boundaries, challenge the norm and run with their concepts.”

Sarah Garden joins ShortList UAE

ShortList UAE has welcomed Sarah Garden as Digital Editor. Sarah will bring with her extensive editorial experience, both online and in print, as well a first-class honours degree in Journalism from Napier University in the UK. Prior to moving to ShortList, she worked at Motivate Publishing as a Features Editor for magazines including Emirates Woman, Emirates Bride and Harvey Nichols.

In her new role, Sarah will be editing ShortList’s soon-to-be-launched UAE websites, shortlistdubai.com and shortlistabudhabi.comShortList UAE will be published by Arab Publishing Partners and will differ from its UK counterpart as it will be aimed at both men and women, covering a variety of subjects including new restaurants and bars, events and attractions, and shopping and style.

MCG Associates welcomes Tom Watterson

Tom Watterson has joined MCG Associates as Senior Consultant for Digital and Traditional PR, Communications and Marketing. Tom joins the agency, which connects people to careers in advertising, PR, marketing and events, with over seven years of experience in the PR and marketing industry.

Prior to joining MCG he worked as Senior Account Manager at Sept PR, heading up the Food and Beverage and Hospitality divisions, finding creative ways to make hotel and restaurant brands stand out in the market place. In his new position, Tom will be utilising his wealth of experience to connect people to the right roles, as well as helping large films find new recruits.

“People aren’t a commodity and I was attracted to the position at MCG Associates, as the company understands the market and takes the time to get to know the candidates and ensure they are right for the role, rather than just blasting out a CV and hoping for the best,” says Tom.


Hello! Middle East welcomes Sarah Jimaa

Sarah Jimaa has joined the Hello! Middle East team as Fashion & Beauty Editor. Having moved across from NPI Media, Sarah previously worked as Fashion & Beauty Writer on The Dubai Mall Magazine, Concierge Magazine, and contributed to the launch of myconcierge.com.

Handling all things fashion and beauty related, Sarah will now be covering trend reports, features and photo-shoots, across all three editions of Hello!Hello! Middle East, Hello! Indo-Arabia and Hello! Arabia – published by Arab Publishing Partners.

BNC Network appoints new Area Manager

Muhammad Melhem has joined BNC Network, a part of Industry Networks, as an Area Manager. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Muhammad has over three years experience in media and over ten years of experience in sales. In his most recent role, Muhammad worked with ITP Publishing on Mechanical Electrical Plumbing (MEP) Middle East where he was Advertising and Sponsorship Sales Manager, managing a portfolio of media sales. In his new role at BNC Network, Muhammad will cover sales and managing client accounts.

“I am excited to join such a fast-growing business as Industry Networks,” says Muhammad. “I am also glad to have moved into the business intelligence field – something that I am familiar with and truly confident in. BNC Network is a promising venture that is focussed on client service and quality of information and research. I look forward to participating in the future growth of the Industry Networks business in the region.”

House of Comms welcomes Charlotte Smith

Dubai-based PR agency House of Comms has welcomed Charlotte Smith as a Senior Account Executive. Having been in the Middle East for over three years, Charlotte was most recently with Ketchum Raad, working across consumer and corporate teams with both national and international brands. In her new role, Charlotte will be working across multiple sectors for House of Comms, in consumer, food and beverage, and corporate brands, such as Spa Cordon, BOUNCE ME, Butcha Steakhouse & Grill and Ashridge business school.

“I have been watching the House of Comms team go from strength to strength as they continue to expand their client portfolio across the region and I couldn’t be more excited to join the dynamic and expert team of PR professionals,” says Charlotte. “Being part of one of the UAE’s most successful independent PR agencies is something I am extremely proud of and I am looking forward to immersing myself in both my new clients and the agency as a whole.”

“Charlotte shows real drive, passion and ambition and these are exactly the qualities we look for in our people,” adds Abby Wilks, Founding Partner at House of Comms. “She brings with her some great experience, knowledge and insight and we feel she will be a fantastic addition to the team.”

Grayling launches flagship African office

Global communications consultancy Grayling has announced the launch of its new office in Nairobi, Kenya. The establishment of this office will cement Grayling’s presence in Africa and act as a regional hub for East Africa.

Grayling has developed a strong base of clients across the African continent, which until now it has represented through international offices and African affiliate networks. Part of Grayling’s Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region, the new Nairobi office will coordinate with Grayling’s consultancy teams in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul and Muscat and will be overseen by Loretta Ahmed, Grayling’s Chief Executive Officer, META.

“We are thrilled to expand our international network into Kenya and East Africa,” says Loretta. “We start with a 12-strong team that is 70 percent Kenyan and with a firm commitment to nurture and grow local talent.”

“Our clients are increasingly focussed on Africa – and its fastest-growing sub-region, East Africa, has been firmly on our emerging markets radar,” adds Paul Taaffe, Chief Executive Officer, Huntsworth, Grayling’s parent company. “With a highly-talented, Nairobi-based team and the experience of its global network, Grayling will be an important partner for local and international businesses throughout East Africa.”