Arabian Business announces Power 100 2014

For the tenth consecutive year, Arabian Business has compiled the names of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arabs. Unlike previous years, the 2014 list has been broken down into nine categories – Leaders; Pioneers; Legends; Heroes; Geniuses; Creatives; Entertainers; Thinkers and Generation Next.

With a shortlist of over 1200 candidates, some of the names include Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum in the Legends category; Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation & Development as one of the top Arab Leaders; Elie Khouri, CEO of Omnicom Media Group (MENA) in the Pioneers category; Maryam Matar, Founder of the UAE Genetic Diseases Association is named as one of the leading Arab women in the Geniuses category; Mo Farah, the Olympic winning athlete is assigned to the Heroes category; Elie Saab, the Syrian fashion designer for the Creatives category; Somayya Jabarti, in the Thinkers category, is the first female Editor-in-Chief of English newspaper Saudi Gazette; Fairouz, the renowned Lebanese singer takes proud place in the Entertainers category; and in Generation Next, Lina Ben Mhenni the Tunisian Blogger and Activist.

Mohammed Halawi promoted at PHD Abu Dhabi

Mohammed Halawi has been promoted to the position of General Manager at PHD Abu Dhabi, the media agency network division of the Omnicom Media Group. Previously in the role of Planning Director and employed at PHD since 2003, Mohammed will now lead the PHD Abu Dhabi office,  spurring further growth by actively contributing to both clients and teams’ performance.

“It’s a tremendous honour but also a great responsibility to have been promoted to this role,” says Mohammed.”Based on the journey so far, I can only look forward to what is ahead of us. My ambition is to continue to create an environment that will stimulate the growth and performance of our clients, our teams, as well as all our business partners.”

Elda Choucair, Managing Director of PHD UAE adds, “Mohammed has developed an in-depth understanding of the unique features and challenges of the Abu Dhabi market and is ideally prepared to lead our operation in the capital. With his passion, dedication and commitment to drive business forward, I am confident he will sustain the virtuous circle we have seen in Abu Dhabi. On a more personal note, I am thrilled to see someone as talented as Mohammed rise through the ranks to ultimately assume leadership. It’s hugely gratifying and a vivid expression of our focus on talent.”

Frankie Rozwadowska joins Gulf News

Frankie Rozwadowska has joined the Gulf News team as Group Beauty Editor. Previously based in London, Frankie was Beauty Editor for fashion-focused, luxury magazine 1883, and Beauty Editor for online wellness magazine Hip and Healthy. In her new position, she will be working across the AquariusFriday, and Alpha magazines.
“I am delighted to be party of the beauty team at Gulf News, working across a range of exciting and unique titles that enjoy the diverse readership Dubai has to offer,” says Frankie. “I am excited to discover new beauty brands and to explore the possibilities of the region, as well as embarking on a new adventure here in the Middle east. The sunshine is an added bonus of course!”

Transform Awards extends entry deadline

Due to the extensive response from agencies, the inaugural Transform Awards MENA, which is to be held at the JW Mariott Marquis Hotel Dubai on June 2, 2014, has extended the deadline for entries to April 3, 2014. This announcement comes at the same time as the international lineup of guest speakers for the Transform Conference is revealed.
The lineup of key speakers include Steve Ridgway, former CEO of Virgin Atlantic, who will discuss his experience with a company that became one of the world’s best-loved brands, Wael Allahou, from petrochemical company EQUATE, who will give a talk on employee engagement and change management, and Bruno Maag and Ahmed Kandil, who will go head-to-head offering insights on calligraphy vs. typography, how fonts can bring brands to life and how typographical issues spell trouble for companies that ignore cultural differences.
“The response we have had to the Transform Awards MENA and the interest from agencies who want to be a part of it has been phenomenal,” says Andrew Thomas, Founder of Transform and Managing Director, Cravenhill Publishing. “We’re absolutely delighted with the enthusiasm and the energy, which makes it very easy for us to say ‘yes’ to an extended deadline of April 3rd. It speaks volumes about the depth of branding and positioning in this part of the world when you realise that the interest has been across the entire region, rather than just focused on the GCC, which is exactly what we were hoping for.”
Liz Foggitt, Publishing and Events Manager, Cravenhill Publishing adds, “The Transform Conferences have always been hugely successful, thanks to the guest speakers and the delegates whose experiences contribute just as much to the sessions. At this year’s MENA event, we have some great industry gurus as well as some slightly off the wall workshops, which will make people think twice about what they may already take for granted. As well as the deep industry insights, its also going to be a real eye opener and a lot of fun.”

Shaheena Abbas joins house of comms

Shaheena Abbas has joined the team at PR and communications agency house of comms as Senior Account Manager. Shaheena brings with her extensive PR and marketing experience from the UK and Dubai, having worked previously in a number of consumer, technology, F&B, healthcare, fashion and retail brands. In her new position, Shaheena will play a key role in supporting the growing portfolio of house of comms clients.
“house of comms represents everything that I love about this industry,” says Shaheena. “Their fresh approach, dynamic and growing team, and a real focus on client delivery makes me very excited to be a part of the team. With such a diverse and interesting portfolio of clients, this is an excellent opportunity for me to work on some very exciting and creative campaigns across the region.”
Kaja Weller, Founding Partner of house of comms adds, “It’s been an excellent start to the year for the business. We are continuing to develop our client base and focus on delivering results for our clients, across the Middle East. We are very pleased to bring Shaheena on board to further strengthen our existing talent pool and to support the agencies continued expansion.”

Jayne O’Brien joins InterContinental Hotels Group

Jayne O’Brien has joined the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) as Senior Vice President of Global Brands. Prior to this, Jayne served as Chief Marketing Officer for Dubai Properties Group, where she was responsible for all group marketing, including brand management, public relations and customer relations. In her new role, Jayne will be responsible for overseeing brand vision and strategy across IHG’s global portfolio of nine brands.

“I am inspired by the journey ahead and the chance to work alongside such a talented group of people,” says Jayne. “The breadth of IHG’s portfolio of nine brands – from the largest and most recognised global hotel brand, Holiday Inn®, to the innovative and insights-driven EVEN™ and HUALUXE® brands – provides a wealth of opportunities to focus on brand building and the strategic global expansion of the portfolio.”

Keith Barr, Chief Commercial Officer of IHG adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Jayne to the IHG family. Her extensive knowledge in leading brands and marketing strategy across varied industries, her innovative approach rooted in insights, as well as her strong international experience, makes her an ideal addition to our global brand team.”

APO opens office in Dubai

African Press Organization (APO), the sole press release wire in Africa, opens its first office in Dubai today, in response to the growing demand for AMO media relations services dedicated to Africa in the Middle East. The Dubai office, located in Dubai Airport Freezone, becomes APO’s fifth regional office after Dakar (Senegal), Lausanne (Switzerland), Mumbai (India) and Victoria (Seychelles).

“Over the last 12 months we have experienced an increasing level of interest from clients operating from the Middle East, and we are looking forward to strengthening existing relationships with clients, while building new partnerships,” says Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, CEO and Founder, APO. “APO meets all communication requirements concerning Africa. The offer includes any activities related to PR, ranging from press release distribution and monitoring, to online press conferences, interactive webcasts and op-ed placements, and expert advice on African PR practices can also be provided.”