Jenna Saunders goes agency side

Jenna Saunders, previously Senior Public Relations and Communications Executive at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray has joined Toh PR as PR Account Manager. In her new role, Jenna will be responsible for handling hospitality and F&B accounts.

Ravi Rao is promoted to CEO of Mindshare MENA

Samir Ayoub has resigned as CEO, Mindshare MENA and has been appointed Delegate of the Board at Mindshare MENA. Current Chief Client Officer, Ravi Rao has been promoted to replace Samir as CEO. Samir will transition from his current role as CEO, on February 1, 2016 and continue to act as a valued advisor and consultant on all agency matters until July 2016.

Samir has led Mindshare MENA since 1999, and previously headed up Ogilvy Media.  In the last 26 years with WPP, Samir has built up world-class media offerings in the region with his in-depth knowledge of the multiple markets and its consumers’ lifestyles, habits and choices, has supported local and international brands in developing their market share across regional geographies.

Ravi Rao joined Mindshare MENA in May 2015 as Chief Client Officer and in October took responsibility for leading the UAE team.  In his previous role, Ravi led Mindshare South Asia as CEO for 3 years and has over nine years’ experience with WPP companies.

“My time with Mindshare has been rewarding and exhilarating,” says Samir. “Much has changed in the consumer and media landscape since I took on the CEO role 17 years ago.  I am delighted that the company will continue to flourish, guided by the experienced and capable hands of my friend and colleague Ravi Rao.  In the coming months and years ahead, I look forward to celebrating its continued achievements.”

Ravi Rao adds,“It is most satisfying that I was one of ‘the Day 1 employees’ when Mindshare was set up in the region way back in 1999.  A real privilege now to lead Mindshare MENA and I really look forward to further building on the success of our strong team and a world-class product so our client partners benefit the most by driving the Adaptive Marketing vision.”

Plus 1 Communications launches in UAE

London-based integrated communications agency, Plus 1 Communications, has taken its first step in the Middle East market with a new office in Dubai. Offering both PR and digital marketing solutions, Plus 1 Communications’ clients include Etihad Airways, The Imaginarium Studios and RainFin (Innovation by Barclays). The Dubai office will be headed up by PR professional Anna Hope.

“This is an exciting time for Dubai with its rapid growth and continuous development,” says Anna Hope, Managing Director, Middle East, Plus 1 Communications. “We believe there is a gap in the market for a boutique integrated communications agency that offers both first class PR and digital marketing solutions with worldwide reach. We look forward to bringing our skills to the emirate.”

Alsayegh Media moves to IMPZ

Emirati full service communications firm, Alsayegh Media, has opened a new creative media production hub. The agency’s Dubai-based workforce will relocate to International Media Production Zone(IMPZ) and the new 12,500 square foot headquarters will accommodate the entire Dubai operation including creative, event management, animation, audio and video as well as social media departments.

“The opening of our new state-of-the-art hub in IMPZ marks a significant step towards achieving some of our future expansion goals,” says Abdullatif Alsayegh, Chairman and Chief Executive, Alsayegh Media. “We were already offering our clients a different kind of fully integrated service – combining global expertise with local and regional insight – but we are now able to do so much more. It’s definitely an exciting time to accelerate the firm’s growth while leveraging the latest industry trends.”