SMG launches SPORTS at SMG

Following launches in the US, Russia and Africa, Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) is rolling out its sports marketing capability, SPORTS at SMG, in the MENA region. SPORTS at SMG will be headquartered in Dubai and offer fully integrated sports marketing capabilities for brands. Leveraging SMG’s market position, the division’s capabilities will include audience insights, strategic development, investment, management and evaluation.

“In an increasingly fragmented landscape, sports is still the number one driver of audiences in big numbers across multiple platforms, devices and multiple markets,” says Robin Clarke, Managing Director, EMEA, SPORTS at SMG. “New technologies are enabling rights holders and sports media vendors alike to evolve their offering to brands significantly. Helping our clients understand and invest in optimal ways in those spaces can deliver far greater effectiveness in investment and ROI. This is a key strength of our company.”

Raed Kablawi, Head of MENA, SPORTS at SMG, adds “SPORTS at SMG in the MENA region will ensure our clients understand the landscape, the opportunities and the routes to high value ROI from investing in sports at local, regional and global levels. As part of a world class media network, we are armed with the best supporting capabilities in digital, content, social, data and media planning/buying to do just that.”

Cheil unveils new global identity

Cheil Global Network is rolling out a new ‘The Network Built for Now’ identity across its entire network of agencies. Developed by London-based design consultancy johnson banks, Cheil’s new identity was designed to reflect its growth as a network of specialist agencies, embodying both the entrepreneurial spirit of its origins in Seoul and its place in the Asian tech revolution. The global positioning of Cheil as The Network Built for Now is also intended to strengthen the network’s reputation for specialism in brand communications, retail, innovation, social and design.

“We’re lucky enough to be building the first network built for now,” says Aaron Lau, President of International, Cheil Global Network. “That means we’re not encumbered by where the industry has been or sustaining hundreds of traditional offices. Instead, we can focus on what clients need in this day and age.”

Chris Chalk, Global Chief Strategy Officer, Cheil Global Network adds “The ability to create, embrace and exploit change will define success, or failure, for all brands and businesses in the future. Our business is no different and we are purpose built for change.”

UAE Minister of Tolerance to speak at Stylist Event

The new UAE Minister of Tolerance, HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khaled al Qasimi, is to make a keynote speech at the Stylist Arabia International Women’s Day event to be held on March 7, 2016 at the Beach Lounge, Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Sheikha Lubna will unveil the magazine’s first ever Stylist 50 list of the UAE’s Most Inspirational Women and will present awards to five specially selected women for outstanding achievement. Drawn from various sectors, including business, finance, arts, science, philanthropy, entertainment and sport, The Stylist 50 list features both Arab and expatriate women living in the UAE.

“Sheikha Lubna is without doubt one of the UAE’s most inspirational women of the past few decades, with a truly outstanding career at the highest levels of both business and government,” says Kerry McDermott, Editor, Stylist Arabia. “Her presence at the event is a huge honour for all the women who will be attending and will be all the more significant as it is on the even of International Women’s Day.”

OSN welcomes new PR Editor


Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) has welcomed Benita Adesuyan to the role of PR Editor. Previously the Sports and Outdoors, Community and Film Editor at Time Out Dubai, part of ITP Publishing, Benita has over eight years of experience in journalism. In her new role, she will be working with OSN’s in-house PR team and PR agency to promote the network, its channels, entertainment services content and talent. Benita will also work on OSN publicity events, media enquiries and new partnerships.

“I’ve had a great two years at Time Out Dubai and now I’m excited to start a new chapter of my career with a promising role and fresh opportunities as PR Editor at OSN,” says Benita. “OSN is innovative, progressive and offers the best in film and TV shows to the MENA region and I’m delighted to be part of this company.”


BBC Good Food ME winners announced

The sixth annual BBC Good Food Middle East Awards 2015 took place on Monday, February 15, 2016 at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa, Dubai Marina. With over 350 people from the industry in attendance, the awards were voted for by consumers and recognised restaurants and culinary brands across a range of categories, with winners including Ripe Market for Favourite Health Food Store/Market, Samantha Wood of Foodiva for Best Food Blogger and Marina Social for Best New Restaurant – Dubai.

“Our awards are all about celebrating the best in food from across the region and recognising the tremendous growth seen in the Middle East’s F&B sector over the past year,” says Sophie McCarrick, Editor, BBC Good Food Middle East. “I’d like to congratulate not only the winners, but also all of our finalists, for making the event a great success! I’m really looking forward to another exciting year of development ahead.”

The full list of winners can be viewed at


Quest Arabiya sports series goes into production

Quest Arabiya’s new flagship adventure-travel show Nabd Al Moghamara – Arabic for ‘Pulse for Adventure’ – is now being shot in locations across the region, from the Maghreb to the Levant. The show will be hosted by extreme sports enthusiasts, Hussein Gazzazz and Ghida Arnaout, and is scheduled to air for the first time on March 13, 2016. Quest Arabiya, a division of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, is a free-to-air, factual entertainment Arabic TV channel, launched in December, 2015 in association with Discovery Communications.

“The launch of Nabd Al Moghamara, our first of many regionally-produced, long-form flagship series, will take the channel – that has already been embraced by viewers in 22 countries – to an exciting new level and demonstrate our commitment to creating original Arabic content,” says Carl Von Doussa, General Manager, Quest Arabiya. “We are looking forward to highlighting the incredible, natural landscapes throughout the Middle East and North Africa and showcasing the region’s diversity and talent.”

Sheen El Meligi, Programming Director, Quest Aribiya, adds “Nabd Al Moghamara is set to showcase some great stories of personal endeavour and achievement, but it is also an example of our commitment to providing opportunities for the production industry in the region. We are happy to be working with regional producers, crew and talent on this exciting show.”


PRCA MENA launches

The Public Relations Consultants Association Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA) has launched in Dubai. The new professional body will cover the entire MENA region, providing PR practitioners with an association to share best practice as well as network and work to raise standards of PR. The organisation will provide training, networking, market intelligence and an international network through the International Communications Consultancy Organisation.
PRCA MENA will be co-chaired by MENA PR industry leaders Loretta Ahmed, CEO Middle East, Grayling and Mohamed Al Ayed, CEO, TRACCS. Founding members include MENA consultancies Golin MENA, Memac Ogilvy, Fleishman Europe, Q Communications, MCS Action, Sept PR, Active and Instinctif.