Argaam News welcomes new Editor

Saudi Arabia-based news portal, Argaam News has appointed Paromita Dey to the role of Editor in the UAE. With over eight years of experience in journalism, Paromita previously worked with Construction Week at ITP Media Group as Reporter and most recently as Editor of Construction Business News at BNC Publishing. In her new role, she will be responsible for all content that gets published on the platform while liaising with freelancers and translators as well as generating exciting story ideas.

“I am really excited to join Argaam as an Editor,” says Paromita. “It’s a completely new challenge for me and I definitely look forward to it. These are exciting times for Saudi Arabia with so much activity happening. And it surely will present me a vibrant opportunity to tap into areas to create something engaging out of it.”

GQ Middle East launches inaugural issue

GQ Middle East’s debut issue hits newsstands on 4th October, marking the 21st global edition of the brand. The October issue launches together with its bilingual online platform, and will offer a fresh and dynamic take on fashion, style and features that GQ is famed for in a new region, The Arabian Gulf. GQ Middle East will be published by Condé Nast International, under licence agreement with ITP Media Group.

The dual-cover launch edition features Emmy-Award winning Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek, who plays the iconic Freddie Mercury in the upcoming Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody,and is recognised for his role on Mr. Robot. The cover story was shot by former creative director of American GQ Jim Moore and world-renowned photographer Peggy Sirota, and is accompanied by a full inside feature.

Abu Dhabi-born, Adam Baidawi will oversee the editorial direction of GQ Middle East as the youngest Editor-in-Chief of the brand. Baidawi commented, Our vision for this GQ is to bring the world to the Middle East and the Middle East to the world. We’re exploring this region with fresh eyes to both inspire and reflect our reader: the modern, accomplished man.”

The launch issue is full of original editorial content, including a previously unseen photo essay from 1960s Afghanistan, a fashion shoot with Saudi film producer Mohammed Al Turki, essays from across the Arab world, a guest fashion column from Tan France, and an expansive interview with award-winning Lebanese director Nadine Labaki.

Baidawi continued, The multimedia content created for GQ Middle East reflects the region itself: smart, stylish, challenging, familiar and always, always evolving.”

The launch will be accompanied by a 12-week series of experiential events covering the key pillars of the brand – style, watches, sports, culture and fine dining.  As part of the celebrations, GQ Middle East will host a launch event on 17th October as well as an exclusive dinner at a secret location on a private island off the coast of Dubai.

Karina Dobrotvorskaya, Executive Director Editorial Development at Condé Nast International remarked, “Condé Nast International is thrilled about the launch of a new GQ. As one of our leading brands, GQ helps define the role of a modern man in a fast-changing world. The Middle East is an incredibly dynamic and vibrant region, full of passion, curiosity and an appetite for fashion and luxury, but also full of different lifestyle standards. GQ Middle East will combine international fashion and publishing expertise with the local tastes and aspirations.”

GQ Middle East is the twenty-first edition of the multimedia brand worldwide.  GQ is published in the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Russia, Japan, China, Taiwan, Mexico & Latin America, India, Korea, Brazil, Australia, Portugal, Turkey and Thailand.

GQ Middle East will be available to purchase on newsstands on 4th October in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Lebanon.

ITP Media Group launches B2B beauty brand 

ITP Media Group has launched new B2B magazine, Middle East Beauty. Middle East Beauty will include a monthly magazine, a website and social media platforms. The new brand will target owners and operators of salons, spas and aesthetic medical service providers while connecting industry figures, artists, stylists, spa managers and product manufacturers. The magazine and website will feature exclusive interviews with beauty players across the region as well as product releases, events, innovations and industry trends. The new launch will also see the appointment of Claudia de Brito to the role of Editor. Claudia most recently worked with Caterer Middle East where she held the role of Editor. In her new role, she will oversee all content for the print and digital platforms.

“We are pleased to announce the launch of Middle East Beauty. Changing social dynamics and growing audience of both men and women with high disposable incomes have transformed the Middle East into the fastest growing beauty market in the world,” says Alex Reeve, Managing Director, ITP Business, ITP Customer. “Led by an experienced and creative team, our new launch will provide its readers with an in-depth analysis of this booming industry. ”

GQ Middle East announces launch Editor

With GQ Middle East due to launch this September, ITP Media Group has announced the appointment of Adam Baidawi to the role of Editor-in-Chief. With a wealth of experience, Adam previously worked with GQ Australia as a writer and photographer, where he profiled celebrities, athletes and politicians, and wrote feature stories from Colombia, Iraq, the United States and North Korea for the magazine. He most recently worked with the New York Times where he held the role of Australia correspondent.

Born in Abu Dhabi but raised in Australia, at the age of 28 Adam joins GQ Middle East as the youngest Editor of the global brand. In his new role, he will oversee the editorial direction of the brand across various platforms including a bi-lingual website, social media platforms and a monthly magazine.

“GQ has been an integral part of my life for nearly a decade,” says Adam. “It’s a huge honour to be chosen to launch the brand into the region where I was born. We’re looking forward to creating a magazine that’s relentlessly smart and stylish – and also something that will start and support important conversations in the region.” 

GQ Middle East set to launch in the region

ITP Media Group partners with Condé Nast International to launch GQ Middle East in September, 2018. The new launch will include a website in Arabic and English, social media platforms, a monthly magazine, and a series of events including the GQ Man of the Year. The new title will feature insightful reports on key regional issues and columns sourced from locally influential men as well as interviews with some of the acclaimed figures from across the fashion, sport and entertainment industry in the region. The digital platform of the magazine will focus heavily on video and be predominantly produced locally with an aim to target males between 28 to 45 years who are ambitious, fashionable, and well educated.

“The Arabian men’s fashion market is very dynamic,” says Karina Dobrotvorskaya, President, Condé Nast New Markets and Editorial Director, Brand Development. “We see a growing appetite for luxury products and a real appreciation of craftsmanship, with huge respect for both heritage and contemporary brands. We believe that ITP Media Group has the experience, vision and enthusiasm to deliver GQ Middle East with its own unique voice across all platforms.”

Ali Akawi, CEO, ITP Media Group added “We are pleased to announce the launch of GQ Middle East – our third brand with our partners, Condé Nast International. GQ is without doubt the most recognisable men’s media brand in the world, and our Middle East version will distinguish itself with quality writers and photographers, exclusive interviews, video production and in-depth analysis and commentary. GQ Middle East will not just report on the latest trends but its editorial team, with proven knowledge of the region, will actually set them.”

In The Hot Seat – Peta Ireland Al Akawi

Team TMN catch up with Peta Ireland Al Akawi, Founder of Soho Comms and Events who talks about her role and offers her thoughts on the PR industry in the Middle East…

Name: Peta Ireland Al Akawi

Age: 26

Nationality: British

Current job title: Founder of Soho Comms & Events

When did you first arrive in Dubai?


Where did you work prior?

My first ever role in Dubai was heading up Topshop Personal Shopping in Dubai Mall. I had previously worked in Personal Shopping for Topshop’s flagship store in Oxford Street London, so working for the brand in the Middle East was very exciting. I did a stint in media sales at ITP Media Group, and then worked as Marketing Manager for Praias, a Brazilian multi-branded swimwear boutique in Mall of the Emirates.

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

My first impression was that a lot of brands and companies in this region actually require a lot more than just a traditional PR agency – they require an extension of their team. A lot of SMEs don’t have an appointed Marketing Manager so they need a team or an individual to provide them with a complete 360 degree service from marketing campaigns, event concepts, social media, traditional PR and influencer engagement.

Has your opinion changed much?

Even in the relatively short time that I have lived here I have seen the industry develop, mature and grow exponentially. Business owners and marketing teams are much more educated on what works and what doesn’t work for their businesses. PR agencies work with their clients much more closely now than ever as there’s so many different communication channels that need to work simultaneously to generate results. Gone are the days of just sending out press releases and organising press conferences. The leaders in the PR industry right now are the people offering effective, strategic creative solutions that show a clear ROI for their clients.

Tell us about your current role…

I launched Soho Comms & Events a year ago having freelanced for one and a half years. Soho Comms & Events is a Dubai-based independent consultancy firm that specialises in public relations, social media and event management. My role is to wear many different hats on a daily basis. I have a fantastic Junior Account Executive, and together we work across all areas of the business.

What challenges do you face?

The biggest challenge is that there are not enough hours in the day. The hands on the clock in Dubai seem to go around a lot faster than in the UK! My biggest challenge when first going freelance was managing and utilising my time effectively and this is something you only learn from experience. The other big lesson was managing expectations – always under promise and over deliver. Also learning how to say NO.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is getting results for my lovely clients. I am so lucky to work with the most fantastic people who believe in the service we offer. Whether it’s a great piece of coverage, a successful event or strategic partnership to drive sales, helping my clients promote their businesses and grow is hugely rewarding.

How would you rather be contacted at work?

I am a massive fan of voice notes. Sometimes I find I get answers and solutions from my clients much quicker by sending voice notes. I work directly for business owners so sometimes emails slow down urgent communications, as they’re so busy. WhatsApp groups and WhatsApp is another fantastic way to communicate with my clients effectively and quickly.

How has digital media changed the relationship between the PR and media industry?

One of the biggest changes I have noticed recently is that journalists will often use their personal social media platforms, Facebook groups and other online platforms to seek relevant pitches for features or articles they’re working on. So instead of having to sift through 100s of emails, journalists can quickly connect with PRs and find what they’re looking for at the click of a button. This is beneficial for both parties. I will watch publication’s Instastories and pages to see what they’ve got coming up so that I can pitch more effectively rather than emailing editors over and over again. A journalist’s time is more valuable than ever with such high turnover of content so pitches have to be more targeted and insightful in order to secure more coverage.

How has consumer behavior in today’s digital community influenced PR today?

To survive as a PR agency or consultant today you have to understand your client’s digital consumers and their behavior. Understanding your clients today involves a deeper knowledge than ever before. Knowing the print and online publications to target is now just the basics. We now need to understand the most effective digital platforms for our clients and how to utilise them to get the best results.

What role does social media play in building a brand’s reputation today?

From my experience, consumers go straight to a Facebook or Instagram page before they visit a website. Your Instagram feed is your business card and the face of your business. Behind every face, there is a personality. Your Instagram theme is that personality. For some brands Instagram is the only tool they use to promote their product. So many enquiries, sales and interest can be driven from engaging social media content. Social media allows anyone to promote their product, services or brand for free. Consumers love to show loyalty to brands through social media so this is extremely valuable for brands trying to build their reputation.

How would you describe yourself at work?

I feel very privileged to have the clients I have and be able to wake up every day and do a job I love. I am very passionate about doing the absolute best I can do to help my clients get the results they want. I work fast and hard and I’m committed to growing and learning every day.

Describe yourself in five words…

I’m a good listener, understanding, resilient, passionate and conscientious.

Who inspires you?

Iyanla Vanzant, Oprah and two of my best girlfriends Laura Collett and Jade Holland Cooper.

What’s your most overused saying?

‘Listen to your gut’, ‘Pick your battles’ and ‘You can only control the controllable.’

Five things you can’t live without?

My two cats, my husband, my girlfriends, my heated rollers and Coco Cola. I can’t really live without my phone and laptop either but I’d like to one day!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

My biggest passion in life is horses and I competed to a high level in Three Day Eventing as a teenager so I wanted to work with horses. As I got older though I wanted to either be a journalist or work in events.

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

I would love to be a therapist.

What’s your most used social media platform?

INSTAGRAM, addicted! To be specific, Instagram Stories.

How do you see the PR industry changing in the Middle East in the coming years?

I think that agencies will have to diversify and offer a wider range of services to their clients. Gone are the days of only offering traditional PR, clients do not understand the return on investment. Yes, we can show them advertising value equivalent, but they want to see this coverage reflect in their sales. Agencies will become a more integrated part of marketing teams and will have to cover digital marketing and events as well as PR services.

Jamie O’Loane joins Motivate

Motivate Publishing has appointed Jamie O’Loane to the role of Senior Sales Manager of Emirates’ inflight magazine, Open Skies. With nine years of experience in sales, Jamie previously worked with ITP Media Group, as Sales Executive of MEP Middle East magazine before being promoted to Regional Sales Manager of the title, where he managed the print and online sales alongside event sponsorship. In his new role, he will manage Open Skies’ accounts across the GCC market as well as on an international scale with target countries including the US, Japan, Thailand, Russia and Australia.

“This new role has given me a new challenge and a chance to utilise my skills within the consumer market on a global scale,” says Jamie. “Emirates airlines is one of the biggest companies within the region and to work on its brand and titles was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. I feel confident about the challenge ahead and working with some of the world’s biggest brands and achieving great things within our inflight division – here at Motivate Publishing.” goes live

Grazia Middle East has launched its new digital platform, The new website aims to deliver a mix of fashion, beauty, celebrity news and luxury content directly to its audience, complementing its print and social media channels for a complete 360 conversation. The new website will also feature a combination of editorial and ecommerce, with Grazia Shop that will enable readers to shop covetable curations by the Grazia team as well as host takeovers by a coterie of Instagram celebrities and selected brands.

The new website will be lead by Olivia Phillips, Deputy Editor of Grazia Middle East. She will oversee the content and contribute strategies for the growth of the digital platform.

“This is an emotional day for Grazia Middle East,” says Alison Tay, Editor-in-Chief, Grazia Middle East. “We’re so excited to offer our readers more ways to connect with and contribute to conversations about how we can all make a difference in the world and to extend the brand’s reach further in the GCC.”

Luxury bridal publication goes live

New bridal magazine, Dubai Wedding Planner – Insider has launched under the domain With a focus on luxury bridal fashion, beauty, lifestyle and culture, as well as travel guides that will feature destinations for weddings and honeymoons, the online platform, will be complemented by an annual print magazine. The magazine’s print issue will be limited to 5,000 copies, which will be hand-delivered to its VIP readers and stocks will also be available in spas, golf and beach clubs, as well as selected first and business class lounges across the GCC.

The new launch sees the appointment of Aishwarya Tyagi to the role of Editor. Aishwarya, who has previously worked across media titles including MOJEH, Grazia Middle East and Masala!, will work across the magazine’s editorial content and contribute towards its development across the region.

Shayan Shakeel joins Arabian Business

Arabian Business, part of ITP Media Group has appointed Shayan Shakeel to the role of Reporter. Having joined ITP Media Group in 2016 as Editor at Aviation Business, Shayan will now cover news on various subjects including technology, finance, aviation and emerging markets from across the GCC and wider Middle East, on the video, print and digital platforms of the weekly business publication.