RedFest DXB forms new partnership

Two-day music festival Virgin Radio RedFestDXB has confirmed its return to Dubai Media City Amphitheatre on February 2 and 3, 2017, as well as a new strategic partnership with Live Nation. The new partnership will bring together RedFest organiser Done Events’ and Live Nation’s access to sought-after artists as well as knowledge and best practices in production, operations, marketing and ticketing.

“Live Nation is committed to furthering the growth of the UAE and GCC music industry,” says James Craven, Managing Director, Live Nation Middle East. “We believe this can be achieved by working together with the most passionate and dedicated organisations who share our mission to make the Middle East a key destination for local, regional and global music acts and fans alike.”

Girish Anil Bhat, Managing Director, Done Events, adds ” Virign Radio RedFestDXB has attracted over 50,000 fans to the event and in its fourth year, we are proud to welcome Live Nation as a partner to strengthen the event and attract even bigger international artists to perform at the festival.”

Q Communications and PRCA MENA launch Qcademy

Q Communications, in partnership with PRCA MENA, has launched Qcademy, a training academy that will provide each member of Q Communications‘ 18-strong team with access to PRCA MENA events alongside a rigorous, tailored programme of both internal and external training. PR and Communications professionals will be allocated a training budget as well as a bespoke guide and staff will be able to learn new skills, develop best practice and stay abreast of the latest developments in areas that they already operate in. The CPD-acredited programme includes both face-to-face training in the region as well as webinars and will be overseen from PRCA MENA’s office in Dubai.

“We are delighted to launch Qcademy, the first of its kind in-house training academy in the region,” says Katie Harvey MPRCA, Managing Partner, Q Communications. “In collaboration with PRCA MENA, the Qcademy initiative has been in the works for several months and we have designed a programme tailored for the UAE market and our team. At Q Communications, our team is the most important component of the agency; so developing a training academy is high priority for Elsa and myself.”

Leanne Foy MPRCA, General Manager, PRCA MENA, adds “I am thrilled that Q Communications have put together a comprehensive training plan and are investing in their staff with both internal and external training, developing talented PR and communications professionals.”

Ooredoo partners with MBC Group

Ooredoo has signed a seven year partnership with the MBC Group, granting the communications company the exclusive rights in Qatar to selected High Definition channels. Signed by Waleed Mohamed Ebrahim Al Sayed, Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Qatar and Sam Barnett, CEO, MBC Group, the agreement will allow Ooredoo TV customers in Qatar to enjoy coverage of a range of MBC premium content. The company will now become the sole distributor for MBC HD in the country and the first stage of the new partnership will launch on September 1, 2016.
“This agreement will provide Ooredoo TV with exclusive HD coverage in Qatar of some of the most popular TV programmes across the MENA region,” says Waleed Mohamed Ebrahim Al Sayed, Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Qatar. “This is a milestone for our entertainment portfolio, as we continue to strive to provide the content our customers want, with the highest quality picture and widest choice of channels. But this is just the beginning and more exciting offerings will be revealed soon.”
Sam Barnett, CEO, MBC Group, adds “MBC is proud of its leading position in producing the MENA region’s best available content and in offering flagship shows enjoyed by millions of viewers and browsers across the Middle East. Today’s partnership brings together MBC’s content with Ooredoo’s platform in Qatar to provide an even better service for the target audience.”

PGt Advertising and Grayling sign affiliation deal

Iranian advertising and marketing solutions agency PGt Advertising has signed an affiliation agreement with Grayling to provide integrated communications, public affairs, design and market development services to businesses, non-profit organisations and government authorities in Iran. The agreement will see both agencies working together to provide a full range of communications services to current mutual clients, whilst extending PGt Advertising’s global network and allowing Grayling to offer their clients premium PR and communications services in Iran. PGt will also be granted access to Grayling’s global resources and specifically designed suite of proprietary tools, designed to help their clients build brand resilience on and offline.
“The signing of this affiliation agreement between PGt Advertising and Grayling is another step in the right direction for us and we are extraordinarily excited to be accepted into such a successful global communications network,” says Sam Cordier, Managing Director, PGt Advertising. “As Iran opens up its arms to the world, we are proud to be able to offer our clients a truly integrated international communications reach and quality of service.”
Jonathan Shillington, Managing Director, Middle East, Grayling, adds “We welcome PGt Advertising into the Grayling network as Iran is an increasingly important market for many of our internationally focussed clients. It is vital to have a partner that we can trust and PGt Advertising has a proven track record of delivering quality communications.”

Dubai Opera and ARN form partnership

 Dubai Opera and the Arabian Radio Network (ARN) have formed a strategic partnership with the aim of developing a community of performing arts fans in the UAE. The multi-year agreement will see the development of new programming on talk radio station Dubai Eye 103.8, which will become the official radio channel for Dubai Opera, playing host to  interviews with talent visiting the new venue, located in Dubai’s Opera District.
“With some of the world’s greatest artists and productions announced for Dubai Opera it is fantastic to have the support of Dubai Eye 103.8, part of Arabian Radio Network, to help develop a strong community of audiences to enjoy the very best in live entertainment in the heart of Dubai,” says Jasper Hope, Chief Executive, Dubai Opera.
Mahmoud Al Rasheed, General Manager, ARN, adds “We see this as an investment in the development of arts and culture in the UAE and as the largest radio multi media company we have a responsibility to ensure we support a diverse range of genres that reflect the makeup of the UAE population.”

ShortList launches initiative to support Dubai Autism Center

ShortList UAE, an Arab Publishing Partners (APP) publication, has launched an ongoing initiative to support the Dubai Autism Center. A selected number of the magazine’s 75,000 copies in weekly circulation will now be sold for AED 1, beginning July 5, 2016 and all of the proceeds will go towards supporting the centre’s mission to educate and nurture children with Autism. The special copies of ShortList will be available from Spinneys, Carrefour, Geant, Choithram, Borders, Park N Shop and Kinokuniya.

Vice and Moby partner in the Middle East

Youth media and content creation studio, VICE Media has partnered with media and communications group, MOBY Group to launch VICE’s digital and mobile programming in the MENA region. The partnership will give the company access to MOBY’s knowledge in the local markets and will bring with it the opening of local production studios across the region, the hiring of journalists and filmmakers as well as the airing of tailored local news and lifestyle programming.

“There’s no question that the Middle East is one of the promising emerging digital markets in the world right now,” says Saad Mohseni, Chairman and Group CEO, MOBY Group. “There’s a massive young audience in the Middle East and North Africa that’s intensely engaged in the debates and stories happening around them—but no one is focused on offering them the immersive, locally produced content that they want. VICE, under visionary leadership of Shane, has successfully captured the mind and heart of the youth across the globe. We have been collaborating with VICE for many years, and now through MOBY’s formal partnership with VICE we look forward to filling a vital void and reaching the digitally savvy young generation with content that matters to them.”

BR Communications joins PR World Network

BR Communications, a PR consultancy operating in the Middle East, has signed with Lou Hammond’s PR World Network. Lou Hammond & Associates is a North American communications agency, founded in 1984 has offices in New York, Miami, Charleston SC and Los Angeles. The world network was founded in 2009 and consists of 21 PR companies offering services in over 50 countries, who will pool their competencies in their respective parts of the world to offer members of the network an expanded reach beyond national and regional borders as needed.

“We already have a Middle East regional reach and can now offer our clients global services regardless of geographic location,” says Bahaa Fatairy, Managing Director and Founder, BR Communications.

C&B partner with Y&D Communications

Cicero & Bernay Public Relations (C&B) has partnered with Saudi-based public relations and social media agency Y&D Communications, as part of a GCC expansion plan. The collaboration will see C&B enhance its suite of capabilities in order to develop in the communications industry across the MENA region. Both agencies will combine their capabilities and expertise in strategic planning, public relations and technical proficiency, as well as benefit from mutual insights and tactical abilities.

“This partnership agreement is part of our long-term strategy of building a communications network spanning across the region,” says Ahmad Itani, COO, Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. “Public relations is becoming an increasingly important and valuable asset for organisations across all four corners of our region. We are pleased to be part of the current wave of growth and we are confident that our affliation with Y&D will provide even more expertise and geographical reach for our clients.”

Younus Inayat, COO, Y&D Coommunications, adds “We are confident that our alliance with C&B will prove to be a highly valuable and complementary collaboration for both companies. Our agency has a long-established reputation and significant presence within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s modern communications landscape and this new cooperation with C&B will ensure we are extremely well placed to take advantage of the sterling growth that the public relations industry is seeing across the region.”

Twitter and Sky News Arabia sign understanding

Twitter and Sky News Arabia have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch an interactive panel discussion on the social media platform – Twitter’s first partnership with an Arab media organisation. A panel discussion program featuring some of the top influencers on Twitter from different fields and industries will hold monthly discussions, each dedicated to certain regionally or globally trending issues, with each discussion running between 60 and 90 minutes. Participants will Tweet their input in forms of text or video, while a Sky News Arabia representative will moderate the whole discussion in accordance with a set of rules. Followers will then be invited to Tweet their opinions and questions using the program hashtag announced ahead of each session.

“In partnership with Twitter, I am happy to announce the launch of the Niqash Tag program in a bid to cope with the rapid advancements of our audience’s interactive communication patterns, while using innovative methods of content development,” says Nart Bouran, Head, Sky News Arabia. “Sky News Arabia is a media organisation that has always adopted a multi-channel content delivery workflow, whereby we broadcast live stories across all platforms simultaneously, and interact with the audience all along.”

Kinda Ibrahim, Director of Media Partnerships, Middle East and North Africa, Twitter, adds “Our partnership with Sky News Arabia represents a pioneering initiative to engage our users on important topics currently being discussed across the region. Twitter’s increasing popularity has given users a powerful medium through which they can express themselves. Our aim with the Niqash Tag program is to promote dialogue between users and raise awareness of the Twitter tool as a communication platform between individuals, companies and a variety of other users.”