Emperor open office in Dubai

Leading UK-based corporate communications, brand and digital design agency, Emperor has opened an office in Dubai. This will be the agency’s first on-the-ground presence in the UAE and is a continuation of its expansion, following the creation of a new Emperor partnership in Moscow last year. The Dubai office was created as a direct response to increasing demand for Emperors services from Middle Eastern companies and international operators with a GCC presence.

“We continue to pitch for, and win, significant corporate communications projects in the Middle East,” says Steven Kemp, Founder and CEO of Emperor. “Investing in a locally-based office provides a great opportunity to partner with local companies and to develop long-term, mutually rewarding relationships in the region.”

“We’re very much looking forward to being ‘on the ground’ in the GCC in order to help service our important existing clients,” adds Neil Reynolds, International Director, Emperor. “Sharing our knowledge and advice with prospective clients and partners will be a key focus.”


Chethan Gowda joins Motivate Publishing

Motivate Publishing has welcomed Chethan Gowda as a Web Trafficker. Having worked in media in Mumbai and Dubai for the past three years, Chethan’s most recent role was as Media Trafficker, Ad Operation Specialist and Campaign Manager at AdinTop, Dubai.

In his new role, Chethan will work closely with sales, marketing and editorial staff to provide support for advertising campaigns across the Motivate website network, email database and digital editions. Chethan, a graduate in Computer Science and Engineering, will also bring his online media expertise to help optimise the presence of Motivate’s digital properties online.

Yasser Al Amir joins Hello! Arabia

Hello! Arabia, a new Arabic monthly magazine, has welcomed Yasser Al Amir as Deputy Editor. In his new role, Yasser will be contributing to local news, features and interviews for the magazine, published by Arab Publishing Partners (APP), part of ITP Publishing Group.

Yasser joins Hello! Arabia from Mediaquest where he worked for almost three years, most recently as a journalist for Saneou Al Hadath, a monthly Arabic business publication. In this role, Yasser organised and chaired editorial meetings for content and feature ideas as well as conducting interviews with high profile individuals and CEOs.

“Joining APP is a good to move for me and is part of my career progression plan,” says Yasser. “I have always said love what you do, and I am fortunate enough to do a job where that very much applies.”

Motivate Publishing welcomes Katie Sadler

Katie Sadler has joined Motivate Publishing as Sponsorship Sales Manager. Bringing with her a wealth of experience including established relationships with clients, PRs and media agencies in the UAE, Katie will be working with the events team to drive sponsorship and creative solutions sales for company events, both new and established. She will also be assisting the Motivate marketing team in managing existing business relationships, as well as establishing new ones.

Boasting over 10 years of experience in media sales, working for IPC Media in London before her move to Dubai, Katie has most recently held the position of Senior Advertising Manager for Stylist Arabia, part of APP.

“I have joined Motivate as Sponsorship Sales Manager to work alongside the event teams on their prestigious portfolio of activations,” says Katie. “I am very excited to be part of the Motivate family, and look forward to the challenges my new role will bring.”

Gulf News appoints new Personal Finance Editor

Gulf News has appointed David George as Personal Finance Editor. In his new role, David will be editing a range of financial supplements under the Gulf News Focus brand of Gulf News. He will be managing all editorial output across these titles, together with any associated multi-platform activity.

David previously worked as part of the launch team at Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East, where he joined as Deputy editor in August 2013. In this role, he was responsible for editing and contributing to the fortnightly magazine. David also helped to launch the online and Arabic editions of Businessweek Middle East as well as the Focus On reports, which are industry-specific reports on key themes. Prior to this, he worked at the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) for over three years.

“It’s an exciting time to join Gulf News and I hope to capitalise on my experience over the past years to support the supplements division in order to create great titles that appeal to our readers and extensive client base,” says David. “A key part of the role will be developing digital and live events around our existing print titles.”


Digital Ink launches in Dubai

Content services agency Digital Ink have launched in Dubai. Covering a network of freelance journalists, editors, photographers and producers based in the region, Digital Ink supply social media content, features, interviews, copy-editing, translation and video services to media outlets and brands.

Headed up by Managing Director Rachel McArthur, Digital Ink is currently responsible for editing T Emirates – the UAE version of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and Executive Series – a lifestyle print publication that is a supplement to Bloomberg Businessweek ME. Rachel brings a wealth of knowledge to her new role having worked across various publications for the past decade including Emirates Business 24/7, Explorer and Yahoo! Middle East.

“When it comes to UAE media, we’ve found that more and more publishers and digital companies are looking for freelancers to cover full-time staff on holiday, as well as perhaps cover events they cannot attend or work one-off projects,” says Rachel. “Approaching us saves editors the time of having to look for contributors, and they trust that we will pair them with the right people. We also work with brands – providing everything from web content to more creative campaigns.”

LIGHTBLUE expands its UK presence

Dubai-based independent experiential agency LIGHTBLUE will open a new London office in Shoreditch. The new office will serve existing LIGHTBLUE clients, such as Gruppo Campari, and will offer a strategic base for new business opportunities as the agency continues to grow.

The new Shoreditch office will be LIGHTBLUE’s second in the UK – their first, in Glasgow, was opened in 2013. The creative outfit also has offices in Cape Town, Melbourne and Dubai, with the latter serving as its head office where the company started over seven years ago. LIGHTBLUE’s portfolio of active clients includes Reebok, Adidas, Perrier, Sony PlayStation and Costa Coffee. Outside of Dubai, the agency works with Heineken, Budweiser and Tiger beer brands as well.

The expansion comes at the same time as LIGHTBLUE celebrates its continued experiential work with Gruppo Campari on its Italian brands in the UK.

“LIGHTBLUE’s growth into other markets has been steady and while it is common for companies with large networks to move to places like Dubai from London, it is quite rare to see an independent outfit like ours move in the opposite direction,” says David Balfour, Managing and Creative Partner, LIGHTBLUE. “I think it shows our ambitious intent and it’s a move that we’re all very excited about.”

Middle East Brand Summit to be held in Dubai

The Middle East Brand Summit is to be held in Dubai on June 2 2015. The summit will debate a range of topics including brand experience in the financial services sector, social enterprises and how aligning brand values with corporate social responsibility strategy can pay off.

Organised by Transform magazine, the second edition of the summit will bring industry leaders together for a programme that includes case studies, best practice examples and discussion around the industry’s pressing issues. Transform will also share the findings of its latest research, in association with YouGov, on the attitudes towards brands in the Middle East. Highlights of the summit will include a panel with Wael Bittar, Manager of branding agency Tonic Internaional, and Altaf Ladakm, COO of Roshan, an Afghani telecommunications provider, discussing ‘Social business: Putting social purpose at the centre of an overall business strategy’.

“The Middle East region has seen a positive transformation in branding and advertising over the last five years or so,” says Liz Foggitt, Publishing and Events Manager, Transform. “The region is not only breaking new ground in terms of international benchmarks for advertising and communication, but it is also home to some of the world’s best advertising and branding communities.”

Andrew Cecil joins Burson-Marsteller

Global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller has appointed Andrew Cecil as Chairman of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Public Affairs practice. In this role, Andrew will be based in Brussels leading the agency’s practice throughout the EMEA region.

Andrew has over 20 years of international experience in senior government relations and corporate affairs. He joins Burson-Marsteller from Amazon in Brussels, where he was Director of Public Policy, leading public policy strategy and execution across Europe. A graduate of Law from the University of Bristol, Andrew holds an MBA from INSEAD Business School and has previously worked for the European Digital Media Association and Yahoo!

“I’m delighted that Andrew is joining us at a time when our business has significant momentum and opportunities for growth,” says Jeremy Galbraith, CEO, Burson-Marsteller EMEA and Global Chief Strategy Officer. “Andrew’s experience operating across Europe and his leadership of public policy at high profile companies, such as Amazon and Yahoo!, are a perfect fit for our client’s evolving needs and our business strategy of integrated communications.”