New launch of Hanover office in the Middle East

Independent consulting firm, Hanover has launched its operations in the Middle East. Founded in 1998 with offices in London, Brussels and most recently in Dublin, Hanover’s new office in Dubai will offer strategic communications services and integrated programs to clients across the Middle East requiring access to other regional markets. The new office will also see Jonty Summers with over 20 years of experience and previously Regional Director at Edelman appointed to the role of Managing Director, where he will oversee and develop strategies to expand Hanover’s operations across the region. Also joining the Dubai team is Keri Sutherland, Associate Director of Hanson London with experience in reputation and crises management, to work towards establishing the agency’s presence across the Middle East.

“As Dubai grows in standing as a global centre for business, organisations increasingly require specialist advisers who can support them in protecting their reputations and promoting their market proposition as they take advantage of the cross-border market dynamics that characterises the modern world of business,” says Charles Lewington, Founder and Chief Executive, Hanover Group.

Ahlan! welcomes Andre Neveling

Ahlan! magazine, part of ITP Media Group, has appointed Andre Neveling to the role of Editor. With over ten years of regional and international experience in the media industry, Andre previously worked in South Africa with Media24 and in the UK with Northern and Shell Media Group, before joining ITP Media Group in 2015, where he worked as Online Editor of Ahlan! and then Editor of Time Out Abu Dhabi. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing the magazine and its website as well as leading news, interviewing celebrities for features and deciding on cover lines on a weekly basis.

Shortlist announced for Seamless Awards

Seamless Awards, an upcoming awards ceremony for the finance, retail and ecommerce industries, due to take place on May 1, 2017, at The Armani Hotel Dubai, has announced the shortlist.

Nominees include Butcher and Still, Ding, el Grocer, insydo and Zomato for ‘Best Design and User Experience’; Bin Hindi Motors, Emirates NBD, and Xpress Money for ‘Best Viral or Social Campaign’; First Gulf Bank, Global Processing Services for Monzo and Qatar Airways for ‘Best Customer Insight Campaign’; and, Bebuzzd, el Grocer, Gemalto, HPS, ICICI Bank and Mahindra Comviva,, Radius Group, RAKBank, STC and Sprii for ‘Digital Transformation and Innovation of the Year’, among the rest. View the full shortlist here:



In The Hot Seat – Deveekaa Nijhawan

We catch up with Deveeka Nijhawan, Complex PR and Marketing Communications Manager at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre and Le Meridien Fairway, who tells Team TMN what she thinks about the PR and marketing industry…

Name: Deveekaa Nijhawan

Age: 27

From: India

Current job title: Complex PR and Marketing Communications Manager at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre and Le Meridien Fairway

When did you first arrive in Dubai?

November 2009

Where did you work prior?

I previously worked with Dun and Bradstreet as Business Development Consultant, which gave me a good platform to understand the market, cultures and norms. Prior to that, I interned at Standard Chartered Bank and once worked part-time as a bouncer…that was definitely interesting and fun.

What were your first impressions of the PR and marketing industry in the Middle East?

I happen to join the industry by chance and it didn’t take long for me to realise how much I loved it and wanted to continue pursuing it. The industry seems to be very glamorous and fun from the outside and don’t get me wrong it is – and that’s why I love it so much, but it is a lot of hard work as it’s a 24/7 job and basically your social life is non-existent. However, I have managed to make it work for me, as my friends are all in the industry so work doesn’t seem like work!

Has your opinion changed much?

The industry has evolved over time and with the current economic climate, we need to be more aggressive to attain a greater share of wallet. However, this makes it more interesting as I am always trying to find ways to be more creative, effective and efficient. I definitely work better under pressure and when I am told this is challenging to achieve, I am even more determined to deliver results and rise to the challenge.

Tell us about your current role…

I manage the PR and marketing strategy for the hotel, which includes promoting the hotel’s 579 rooms and suites, 24 conference and meeting facilities such as the Great Ballroom and 18 restaurants and bars. I also work very closely with local and international media publications, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) as well as influencers to ensure the hotel is provided with exposure in relevant strategic markets aligned with the brand’s image. My role also includes working closely with the revenue optimisation and F&B team to develop concepts and campaigns to increase loyalty and share of wallet as well as leveraging insights shared by my media friends on customer trends and opportunities. I also work very closely with leading banks, airlines, event management companies and media houses in the industry to foster and maintain partnerships that will ensure the hotel remains as the customers’ preferred event hosting, dining and hospitality partner.

What challenges do you face?

My main challenge is time as there truly isn’t enough hours in a day – between attending several strategic meetings, maintaining regular dialogues with the media, briefing agencies, attending events and so much more, my days are always very packed.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Meeting people from different walks of life and building lifelong relationships

How would you rather be contacted at work?

I love meeting people in person and I am available 24/7 by phone, though I do try to get some sleep in between.

Is traditional marketing still efficient in the UAE today?

In today’s environment, social media and online marketing are very efficient tools in generating immediate results, which can be effectively tracked. However one needs to leverage a mix of communication tools to achieve short-term and long-term strategies. Traditional marketing is still a very effective tool of generating brand awareness and long-term brand equity.

What role has digital media played in the hospitality industry in the UAE?

Digital marketing has become a cornerstone of a robust marketing strategy. In the hospitality industry, online reviews can make or break a brand’s reputation, as consumer-generated content is trusted to be more reliable than the traditional marketing tools. Social media, mobile and web marketing have provided us with access to a range of demographic and socio-economic segments, opening up new revenue streams. Google analytics and programmatic marketing tools can now provide us with extensive real time consumer insight and knowledge which helps in optimising our marketing efforts by being more relevant and personalised.

Describe yourself in five words…

Fun, lovable, passionate, problem-solver and efficient

What’s your most overused saying?

Darling and Sweetheart.

Five things you can’t live without?

Family, friends, food, phone and entertainment

What’s the most exciting thing that has happened to you in your career?

I would say one of the most exciting aspects of my career was winning the Hotelier Middle East Award for the Best PR and Marketing in 2016, where being chosen out of 500 nominees in the MENA region was definitely surreal and a dream come true. It was a great validation for all my hard work and passion.

During my tenure I have had the privilege of meeting celebrities like Lionel Richie, Tom Cruise, Shah Rukh Khan, John Abraham, as well as attended fun events, launches and pre-openings where I met very interesting people from all walks of life.

If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?

I would be a travel blogger, as I love exploring new places, meeting people from different cultures and sharing stories and my experiences.

What is your favourite form of media (i.e; TV, radio, print, social media)?

I am still old school in this aspect and love the feeling of going through a magazine cover-by-cover learning about the latest trends, news and gossip. So it’s print for me!

How do you see the PR and marketing industry changing in the UAE in the coming years?

The industry is at a very interesting juncture whereby digital technology in the UAE is becoming increasingly popular with penetration of smart phone technology increasing at a rapid speed and people becoming more open to share their lives on an open platform. The use of social media in the industry would help in getting access to more people in more efficient and meaningful ways, especially in the hospitality industry which is a very visual and experiential one. It’s definitely an opportunity, but at the same time with information sharing becoming viral it will also be challenging from a PR perspective to ensure protection of the brand image as one poor experience can have devastating long-term repercussions if not managed effectively and swiftly.


Lottie Communications launches in the UAE

PR professional Scarlett Sykes has launched new communications consultancy, Lottie Communications, in the UAE. With over ten years of experience in publishing, e-commerce, marketing, PR and digital communications, Scarlett previously worked with The Grooming Company as PR and Marketing Executive in-house, as Fashion and Beauty Writer at Emirates Woman and Hello! magazines, and most recently with COPIA Group as Director, where she worked across international and regional brands as well as concepts. The new Dubai-based agency will offer services that include campaign and concept development, media relations, strategic partnerships, digital communication management, copywriting and content creation to clients across the UAE.

“Giving up your job to go out alone is a very daunting thought, but I have had so much support since I made the decision and following the launch announcement, it has made the leap much easier,” says Scarlett. “I am very excited to see what the future holds.”

Farooq Salik goes freelance

Farooq Salik, former Senior Photographer and Studio Manager at Motivate Publishing has gone freelance. Having joined Motivate Publishing in 2005, Farooq has over 15 years of experience and has worked across a number of consumer and customer publications including Hello!, Emirates Woman, What’s On, Golf Digest, Emirates Man, Dubai Voyager, good, Gulf Business and Campaign. He will continue to work as a professional photographer for studio, on location and for events as well as offer creative social media content and services.

“I had a fantastic time working at Motivate, but I felt like the time was right to move on and make use of the experience I gained from working for a period of over 11 years at Motivate,” says Farooq. “I’m really excited about taking this next step and seeing what challenges lie ahead. I want to establish a reliable and efficient image and work as a social media content provider in the market which I feel is very rare here in Dubai.”

Millennium Airport Hotel makes new appointment

Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai has appointed Sheryl Aquiatan to the role of Assistant Marketing Manager. With over ten years of experience in the hospitality industry, Sheryl previously worked with Ramada Hotel Bur Dubai, Millennium Plaza Hotel and most recently with Wyndham Hotel group for Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach and Ramada Sharjah. In her new role, she will manage the new and upcoming initiatives following the launch of the hotel’s new facilities and develop new marketing strategies to contribute to the growth of the hotel’s reputation across the region.

“Rejoining the Millennium group is really exciting,” says Sheryl. “I am proud to be part of the growing team and thankful for this opportunity. I look forward to building on the fantastic reputation of Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai.”

YogaLife launches revamped website

Health and wellness publication, YogaLife has re-launched its website with new features that offer visitors a more user-friendly interface and navigation. The revamped website hosts a modern, clean and practical design as well as new features every week that will not be replicated in the print issue, allowing for more content and engagement with the site’s readers and viewers. The re-launch will also focus on having competitions and giveaways across YogaLife’s social media platforms to drive traffic to the website.

FP7 appoints new Account Manager

FP7 Dubai welcomes Sagar Patel to the role of Account Manager. Previously Senior Regional Communication Executive at Leo Burnett, Dubai, Sagar will now handle the advertising account for Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment.

“FP7 is a new blank book, and I’m the author – I’m here to make a difference,” says Sagar.  “I look forward to developing an adored sense of love amongst the millions out there for the entertainment and leisure industry.”