Instinctif Partners Middle East makes new appointments

International business communications consultancy, Instinctif Partners Middle East has made new appointments following its expansion. Rima Ali will take on the role of Senior Consultant having most recently worked with Hanover Middle East across clients such as Du, S&P Global and Dar Properties. In her new role, she will deliver strategic advice, manage content generation and provide media training for Instinctif Partners’ client network across the Middle East.

Also joining the team are Aashti Bawa and Rami Fahmi as Consultants. Aashti most recently worked with FTI Consulting, where she worked across a multifaceted communications offering for clients such as Bloomberg and Takaful Emarat. Rami, also worked with FTI Consulting, where he supported clients such as Manazel Real Estate and CFA Institute with corporate and financial services. In their new roles, they will work across Instinctif Partners’ portfolio of clients and manage the content as well as the media relations for the regional and international press.

“We’re proud of our achievements in 2017, having built a first-class client portfolio, for which we delivered exceptional results,” says Samantha Bartel, Managing Partner, Instinctif Partners Middle East. “We’re looking ahead to 2018 with a strong new business pipeline and a number of important and exciting projects planned for our existing clients. This is the perfect moment to grow and diversify our team, so we’re very pleased to welcome Rima, Aashti and Rami on board.”

Alex Bowen joins TishTash

Dubai-based marketing and PR agency, TishTash has appointed Alex Bowen to the role of Senior PR Account Manager. With over eight years of experience, Alex previously worked in the UK before moving to the UAE and working across brands such as Ralph Lauren, Jaeger and In her new role, she will manage a number of accounts under TishTash and family focused division, TishTashTots such as Rossano Ferretti Hair Spas, Mums and Bumps and Champion Cleaners.

“I am thrilled to be joining the TishTash team, they have a fantastic reputation within the industry and a strong, exciting client portfolio that really aligns with my interests and experience,” says Alex.

MCG& Founder Justin McGuire to lead expansion in APAC

Founder and CEO of MCG&, Justin Mcguire is set to lead the group’s expansion in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Founded in 2010, MCG& now consists of four companies across four countries; MCG&Co, which is a specialist recruitment business in the communications, digital and technology sectors globally, Kemistry, which focuses on HR, finance and operations, Hopscotch, a women’s career platform, and the newly launched Ampersand, which is a marketing and talent consultancy providing L&D, search, strategic advisory and M&A services in Dubai, London, Hong Kong and now Singapore.

Due to this growth and further expansion plans in the APAC region including a Shanghai office, McGuire is now leaving Dubai for Singapore.

The Dubai operations, which serve as the headquarters for the group, will continue to be led by Nick Clements, group COO and founder and CEO of Ampersand, Chris Quy, managing director of Ampersand and Rahman Risilia, EMEA managing director for MCG&Co and Kemistry.

“In 18 months, we have built the Asia business to become a significant player in the region. We already have two offices open (Hong Kong and Singapore) with a third set to open in 2019 when we will have team on the ground in Shanghai, and more planned to follow,” he says.

While McGuire’s decision to move makes strategic business sense, it’s not necessarily an easy one. “I arrived in Dubai nine years ago as a single guy who lost his job in the financial crisis and I am leaving Dubai nine years later with a beautiful young family, a successful group of companies and a hunger and passion to continue growing the business. The decision to leave Dubai was not an easy one for many emotional reasons, but having such a solid senior management team in place has made it possible. Strategically, for us, this is a logical decision to make.”

As the company focuses on growth in the APAC region, the MENA region has its own developments with six new hires in the Dubai office in the last six months with recruitment in the tech domain growing strongly. And although growth in the traditional agency-client base has been slow, McGuire expects it to pick up through 2018. “We’re big believers in the region and Dubai will always be our HQ and feel like my home,” he says.

BNC Publishing makes new appointment

Dubai-based publishing agency, BNC Publishing has appointed Mahak Mannan to the role of Editor of Catering News Middle East. With over six years of experience in the publishing industry, Mahak previously worked with 7DAYS as News and Features Writer and The National as News Reporter. She most recently took on the role of PR Manager at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre. In her new role, she will cover everything related to the F&B industry and oversee the end-to-end content as well as design of the magazine. She will also assist with organising the magazine’s two annual events – The Big F&B Forum and Leaders in F&B Awards.

“The F&B and hospitality industry in the UAE is at a very strong point right now with a lot to explore and I look forward to working on a title that highlights the best of the industry,” says Mahak. “The combination of my past experience in publishing and hospitality will certainly benefit as I start my new role as Editor for Catering News ME.”