Grayling makes key leadership appointments

Grayling’s Middle East creative arm, GCreative has appointed Arian Hashemi to the role of Creative Director and Khalid AlAtrash to the role of Client Service Director. With 15 years of experience, Arian previously worked with All About Brands as Design Director before establishing his agency, Arian Hashemi and working across clients such as Yas Marina Circuit and Abu Dhabi Media. In his new role, he will work on building innovative strategies to develop the agency’s projects, branding and production activities across the region.

Khalid also joins the team with ten years of experience, having previously worked with M&C Saatchi as Senior Account Manager and most recently with You:Experience as Account Director, where he managed clients such as Etihad Airways and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. In his new role, he will work on building strong client relationships to drive GCreative’s vision and growth across the region.

“Arian’s innovative and strategic experience in executing award winning projects, branding and production, coupled with Khalid’s expertise in building strong client relationships will drive GCreative’s vision forward,” says Loretta Ahmed, CEO, Grayling MEA.

Men’s Health Urbanathlon to debut in the UAE

The Men’s Health Urbanathlon, presented by Daman’s ActiveLife, has announced its first ever event to be held in the region, coinciding with the launch of Men’s Health Middle East earlier this month. With the Urbanathlon already held in over 25 countries across six continents, the 10km obstacle race is set to be held at Yas Marina Circuit on October 24, and will be a test for elite athletes and weekend joggers alike.

“I’m delighted that we’re able to kick off Men’s Health in the region with such a flagship event as the Urbanathlon,” says Andrew Nagy, Editor, Men’s Health Middle East. “The thing to remember though, is that this isn’t just for elite athletes, it’s a test thrown out to people of all fitness levels and I’m certain that it’s set to become a firm fixture in our annual fitness calendar.”

Nick McElwee, Sales and Marketing Director of Yas Marina Circuit adds, “We are very pleased to add the Urbanathlon to our extensive health and fitness calendar at Yas Marina Circuit. It is exciting to be part of the first Urbanathlon held within the UAE and it adds a new dimension for our health and fitness community to engage with. In particular, we are keen to encourage corporates to take up this challenge and see if they are tough enough, we think company engagement in health programmes is key to a healthier Abu Dhabi.”

With a dedicated website – – participants can register for AED250 per person or AED800 for a team of four to undertake the fitness challenge.

Yas Marina Circuit launches YasHUB app

Yas Marina Circuit has launched the YasHUB smartphone and tablet app. In partnership with SMG Mobility – the mobile division of Starcom MediaVest Group – and Flip Media, the app was developed to provide the latest news and information during the build up to the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as provide a seamless end-user experience for visitors to the circuit on race weekend. Yas Marina Circuit commissioned the app as part of its wider strategy on providing digital solutions to improve customer engagement experiences, as well as reinforcing its position in driving online motorsports content creation in the region. The app is available for free download at the Apple and Google Play Android stores and offers a range of features to users.

“This app really does enhance visitors’ experiences massively in the build up to and during the race weekend,” says Nick McElwee, Director of Sales and Marketing, Yas Marina Circuit. “But more importantly, its development signifies Yas Marina Circuit’s evolution away from our previous incarnation as a traditional advertiser for our first Grand Prix in 2009, and towards our new reality as a content publisher and media brand.”

Dimitri Papadimitriou, Director of Mobile at Starcom MediaVest Group adds, “This is a testament to SMG Mobility’s support for our clients’ leap into the mobile arena. Mobile is integral for our clients’ businesses, and we have created a suite of in-house digital capabilities to build mobile creative and develop apps.”

Clive Primrose, Client Services Director at Flip Media concludes, “This is a pioneering moment for apps in the Middle East. The focus on digital customer experience and bringing the pillars of the event to life through creativity and technology are what place it at the forefront.”