Piotr Wnuk joins SPI Publishing

Piotr Wnuk, who previously worked as Social Media and Communications Coordinator for Towers Watson in the United Kingdom, has joined the SPI Publishing team in Dubai as Assistant Editor.

“I am extremely excited about my new position and exploring journalism in the Middle East,” says Piotr. “I cannot wait to explore all the interesting topics in the region and share my passion with readers.”

Rana Al Jamal joins Yahoo! Middle East

Rana Al Jamal has joined the Yahoo! Middle East team as Managing Editor. Rana, whose previous position was Editor-In-Chief of Arabia.com, will be handling entertainment and lifestyle news for the site.

“I have been working in the media industry for 14 years with the top titles in the region,” says Rana. “Moving to Yahoo was the right move for me to further grow, and where all my experience can be used and challenged. Yahoo provides readers with the best online experience and the most up-to-date news and I am very excited to be part of the team as Arabic Managing Editor of entertainment and lifestyle news that best fit the GCC needs.”

Amey Borkar joins SPI Publishing

Amey Borkar has joined the SPI Publishing team as Assistant Editor. Amey, who previously worked as Copy Editor and Features Writer at Gomantak Times in Goa, India, will be reporting and editing for three magazines, Intelligent SME, Robust RAK and Apps Middle East.
“I am delighted to be here and extremely excited to kick-start this new innings of my career,” says Amey. “I am really looking forward the UAE experience.”


Europe’s Transform Awards to debut in Middle East

Europe’s revered Transform Awards Programme is launching its inaugural Transform Awards MENA, to be held in Dubai in June 2014. The event, which until now has been held exclusively in London, is Europe’s only awards dedicated to creative agencies’ rebranding work. But, with the expanding number of prestigious ad and branding agencies in the Middle East, Cravenhill Publishing, the awards organisers, has broadened its reach to the MENA region.

“There is obviously an immense amount of rebranding, repositioning and brand transformation talent in the Middle East and North Africa and Transform Awards MENA is an excellent platform to celebrate that,” says Andrew Thomas, Founder of Transform, and Managing Director, Cravenhill Publishing.“The European Transform Awards are seen as a very real assessment of best practice, creativity, strategy, implementation and effectiveness and I’m sure the event here in Dubai will carry equal kudos. It is an award every agency will want to have in their cabinet.”

Winners announced for Arab Woman Awards KSA

The Arab Woman Awards KSA 2014 winners were honoured at a red carpet gala reception held at the Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh. The awards ceremony was attended by over 300 women from the Kingdom. This ceremony marks the first ever Arab Woman Awards to be held in KSA, however the awards have been held in three other GCC countries in the past five years including; the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar. The awards taking place in Saudi Arabia this year, aim to provide a culturally acceptable platform to recognise sixteen inspirational winners from diverse industries including Business, Education, Literature, Entrepreneurship, Humanitarian, Art and Fashion.

“Since launching in the UAE in 2009, the Arab Woman Awards have recognised some of the region’s most outstanding women and provided a platform for further achievements,” says HRH Princess Reema Bandar Al Saud, patron of the Arab Woman Awards KSA 2014. “Accordingly, it was an honour to be asked to be the patron of the inaugural Arab Woman Awards in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am pleased to see these awards highlighting the endeavors of many hardworking Saudi women in their various fields, and also providing inspiration for the next generation of young Saudi women.’’

Established in 2009 by ITP Consumer, the Arab Woman Awards are now held annually in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait now Saudi Arabia.

MediaCom appoints new Bid Media Manager

MediaCom MENA has appointed Clare Thornton as its new Regional Bid Media Manager to head up its search and bid media product. Clare joins MediaCom MENA from MEC London, where she played a pivotal role as a lead on accounts such as Johnson & Johnson and Lloyds Banking Group and was responsible for several award-winning projects including the Lloyds Torchview campaign.

“It’s a very exciting time to be joining MediaCom MENA,” says Clare. “The digital side of the agency is growing at an incredible pace and I’m looking forward to being part of the successful future of the agency.”

Dan Chapman, Regional Head of Digital adds: “It took a while for us to find Clare, acquiring the right talent and charisma in the office is sometimes very hard and with Clare we have struck gold. Clare has joined us to head up our search and bid media product and comes with a wealth of experience ranging from the banking sector through to FMCGs across multiple markets in Europe, providing a full spectrum of knowledge and insight across the search landscape and how to implement across multiple markets”


Team TMN caught up with Dubai-based artist, Jim Wheat, to find out what’s in store for his upcoming INTERGALACTIC$ exhibition, that launches at Media One Hotel on March 2, 2014… 

Last year’s exhibition caused quite a stir by addressing day-to-day experiences in Dubai, as well as questioning what money means to people. Can we expect something similar with INTERGALACTIC$?
INTERGALACTIC$ is more of a celebration of the UAE’s achievements, such as the Khalifa Sat project to send a rocket into space in 2017. One piece that is an example of these achievements, celebrates the Dubai 2020 Expo bid alongside a retro 2000 A.D. annual, 20 pence pieces from the U.K, and an original 1980 VIC 20 computer.

Can you give us a hint of what will be included in the new collection?
The collection largely includes science fiction and technology, and how they have all been affected and challenged by commercialisation. I aim to reveal elements of my personal journey from a world where little was known of technology or space travel, to today, where technology has made the dreams of yesteryear a reality.

The influence of the dollar remains prevalent after the success of your last exhibition ‘The Money Collection’ in 2013 – what was the inspiration for your new collection?
The inspiration for my new collection came from an exploration into the influences I had growing up, from Star Wars and Star Trek, to my first gaming experience on the Atari 2600 and owning my first computer – a ZX spectrum, 48 k no less. I hope it speaks to a lot of people about the ‘throw-away’ society we live in, but will also bring some nostalgic memories whilst showcasing the latest technology.

What crowd are you expecting to attract?
From tech enthusiasts to nostalgic expatriates, those who work in and around Media City to tourists passing through Dubai, as well as families at weekends, everyone is welcome.

What do you hope that people will take away from the exhibition?
Putting together collectable items from the 1970s and 80s really hit home to me about how times and technology have changed – what astounded us a decade or two ago is taken for granted now. Art is all about getting a reaction, and hopefully inspiring others to follow their passion.

Apart from viewing the collection, what else can we expect from the INTERGALACTIC$ exhibition this year?
For one thing, there is a chance of winning up to $64,000 of art in prizes. Hand-embellished unique variations of the 28 original art works on display are up for grabs, including the masterpiece of the original ‘UAE $pace Raiders’ (valued at US $20,000), featuring Alienware gaming software (valued at US $8,000) which someone will win for $1!

Augmented reality will also feature strongly to add an interactive digital element to the exhibition and form part of the competition linking each piece with a clue. A sensory Oud-based experience by Dollarsandart partners, Fragrance Du Bois, will also feature – another first for an art exhibition in the region.

This is the second time you have exhibited at Dubai Media City’s Media One Hotel. How did this partnership develop?
It was down to a chance meeting at a Facebook social media course at International House, Dubai. I was introduced to Sally Meech, Director of Marketing and Communication at Media One Hotel, and two days later we had a coffee in Café M; four weeks later we opened The Dubai Dollar Project 2013.

With every piece of Dollarsandart sold, a donation is made to Joining Jack, a charity working to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Do you feel this shows how art should go beyond unappreciated consumption?
Yes I think it definitely helps, and supporting GCC charities such as Gulf4Good enables me to give back to Dubai. This charity aspect gives Dollarsandart more of a purpose and makes it all the more rewarding when works are sold at auction.

Do you have any tips for aspiring local artists?
To enjoy the artistic process, and express yourself with your heart without worrying about what others might think. Believe in your own ability and accept that every day is a learning opportunity from which to grow. Working with traditional local media and embracing social media are powerful forms of validation in the early days, both of which I’m grateful for.

Do you have any plans to expand within the Middle East in the future?
Yes, I’m very open to holding a Dollarsandart exhibition elsewhere. I’m in the process of learning more about the various sands in the region (no two grains are alike!

Are you working on anything else at the moment?
As well as creating new art pieces for private commissions and special occasions, I’ve been working on a number of collaborations for individuals and venues in Dubai and the UK. I am even creating a unique piece in collaboration with former WBO Heavyweight Boxing Champion, David Haye, to mark the opening of the sports star’s new gym in Downtown Dubai. I’m also planning The Dubai Dollar Project 2015 – $UPERHEROE$, which I’m looking forward to.


For further information, visit http://www.dollarsandart.com/

Somayya Jabarti new Editor-In-Chief of Saudi Gazette

Somayya Jabarti has been promoted to Editor-In-Chief of the Saudi Gazette, becoming the first female journalist to be appointed Editor-In-Chief of a national newspaper in Saudi Arabia. Somayya previously held the position of Deputy Editor-In-Chief of the newspaper, and takes over the position after more than thirteen years in the industry.

“While there already are Saudi women who are Editor-In-Chiefs of magazines, such as Halah Al-Nassir of Rotana Magazine and Enas Hashani of Jeddah Destination, this is a first time appointment of a Saudi woman as Editor-In-Chief of a daily Saudi newspaper,” says Somayya. “It is important that my appointment not be treated as singular or exceptional but as a starting point for the advancement of all fellow Saudi women in the media industry in the Kingdom.”