Mae Cabigas joins Read magazine

Mae Cabigas has been promoted to Editor of Read magazine. Prior to joining the publication, Mae was Coordinating Officer for Continental Multimedia (CMM), in charge of distributing material coming in from PRs to all sections of the magazine, as well as overseeing the distribution of complimentary copies received by agencies. In her new role as Editor, Mae will handle all editorial content for the weekly publication, brainstorming original ideas for each issue.

“This is a really great opportunity for me,” says Mae. “I have worked as the Coordinating Officer for the same publishing house, and did not expect to be given the chance to enhance my skills and move up. I am thankful foremost to my Editor-in-Chief Danielle Hosri, and of course to my colleagues for showing a great deal of support.”

Saif Haddad to leave UMEN magazine

Saif Haddad is stepping down as Editor of UMEN magazine. Having been with Amman-based magazine since 2009, Saif has overseen all editorial content for the publication and managed a team of 10 contributors, editors and designers, as well as helping to create and approve the promotional campaigns for UMEN magazine’s clients, including photo shoots, special production ads and paid promotional content. He moves on to a new and more international chapter in his career, and will remain based in Amman, Jordan.

UMEN was and always will be my second home,” says Saif. “The wonderful team and management have made my experience an unforgettable one and I wish them an even greater success. They will be truly missed.”

DPQ welcomes new Communications Director

Andrew Chupeau has joined DPQ Communications as Communications Director. Andrew brings both in-house and agency side corporate communications experience, having worked across various industry sectors including Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Novartis, Ernst & Young and Singapore Tourism Board. As Communications Director, Andrew will be responsible for the overall strategic direction of DPQ’s clients, as well as the business development of new corporate communications business.

“DPQ Communications is in an exciting growth period,” says Andrew. “So, coming on board at this time to help contribute further and play a part in directing the agency’s new stage of development is a challenge I am looking forward to.”

Koji Watanabe joins newly launched Dentsu MEA

Dentsu Aegis Network has appointed Koji Watanabe as Managing Director of newly launched advertising agency, Dentsu MEA. Reporting to Michael Nederlof, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network MENA, Koji will take charge of account and product management for Dentsu’s clients in all 54 MEA markets and aim to employ the global network’s synergies within the region. Having been with the network for over 20 years, Koji joins Dentsu Aegis Network MENA from Japan after spending extensive time in Dentsu Alpha in Vietnam, as well as in the Phillipines. As Managing Director, Koji will look to expand and build Dentsu MEA’s client base, significantly with Japanese clients looking to expand into the Middle East and Africa, as well as with local brands in the region.

The launch of Dentsu MEA takes Dentsu Aegis Network MENA’s tally of brands up to six, along with Carat, iProspect, Isobar, Posteroscope and Vizeum.

“With the Middle East and Africa outpacing other regions of the world in terms of growth, it presents a fantastic opportunity for Dentsu to capitalise on both Japanese and international brands wanting to move into the region,” says Koji. “This, coupled with our unique business methods, will ensure that we deliver unparalleled results for our clients.”

Michael Nederlof, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network MENA adds, “It was always earmarked to introduce Dentsu into the region and the agency’s offering to our clients as part of our suite of brands in the network. With Dubai’s geographical location, Dentsu Aegis Network MENA will offer Dentsu the opportunity to access Western and European markets alike. The appointment of Koji allows us to move forward in this delivery, as he brings an abundance of experience from within our network to add tremendous value to both new and existing clients.”

Avantgarde Dubai appoints new Managing Director

Avantgarde, the international communications agency, has appointed Elena Maralskaya as the new Managing Director of its Dubai-based branch. Elena joins the team with over 25 years of business experience in the Middle East as well as Eastern and Central Europe, bringing to her new position a successful background in brand marketing and automotive industries.

“Avantgarde is a forward-thinking agency with a strong focus on experiential marketing,” says Elena. “I am honoured that I have been chosen to lead its experienced and knowledgeable team in Dubai. I am confident that Avantgarde can continue to grow its client base and provide outstanding services to new and existing clients in the Middle East.”

Markus Pflitsch, Avantgarde board member, responsible for the agency’s Middle East operations adds, “Elena is a highly experienced marketing and communications specialist. Her knowledge of the Middle Eastern market and her large network of business contacts will be a great asset to Avantgarde Dubai, enabling her to drive our business forward, both in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.”

Patronage confirmed for Arab Woman Awards UAE

His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, has confirmed his patronage and attendance at the Arab Woman Awards UAE 2014. The awards aim to raise public awareness of significant achievements by Arab women in the region and to provide young women with inspirational role models.

Established in 2009 by ITP Publishing, the Arab Woman Awards has awarded over 220 inspirational women from the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia across a diversity of fields that include business, fashion, entrepreneurship, charity, media, government and literature. The Arab Woman Awards UAE 2014 will be presented on November 25, 2014, at a red carpet gala dinner, and will be attended by His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, over 400 female VIP guests, as well as members of the royal family.

“The Arab Woman Awards play an important role in recognising the contribution of women across all walks of life to this nation,” says Her Excellency Ameera Bin Karam, Chairperson of the Sharjah Businesswoman Council and honorary Chairperson of the Arab Woman Awards UAE Judges Board. “I am pleased to be involved with the Awards, and am impressed with the strength of the nominations we have received this year. It is also an honour to have His Excellency Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan offer his support and patronage to the 2014 Awards.”

Other members for this year’s Judges Board include Dr Manal Taryam, CEO of Health Care Services & Noor Dubai Foundation; Manal Atayal, Director General at Sharjah Museums Department; Nada Al Lawati, Founder of S.E.E.D Group and Board member SBWC; Alia Mazrouei, COO of Mazrouei Holdings and Co-Founder of Just Falafel; Nadine El Chaer, Editor-in-Chief of Ahlan! Arabia and Nadine Y. Maalouf, Owner of the SME Advisory Group.

Sue Holt, Deputy Managing Director of ITP Consumer and Founder of the Arab Woman Awards adds, “We are delighted that the Awards yet again fall under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, and that he will be present at the actual awards ceremony at the end of November. His Excellency has been actively involved in encouraging and supporting women’s education and contribution to the growth of the UAE and so he is an ideal patron for our awards.”

Orient Planet and Irish Academy launch PR venture

The Irish Academy of Public Relations is partnering with Dubai-based Orient Planet to create the first online PR and communications academy in the Middle East. Orient Planet Academy – – will provide the Irish Academy’s courses to students exclusively across the Middle East, Levant and North Africa regions.

Orient Planet Academy will facilitate internationally recognised certificate courses in public relations, journalism, event management and English grammar. Offering a wide degree of flexibility to its prospective students, Orient Planet Academy’s courses can be completed in a time span of 10 to 20 weeks. All courses offered by Orient Planet Academy have been designed by The Irish Academy of Public Relations and will be tutored by communications professionals in the Middle East.

“The Irish Academy has an ever-growing footprint across Europe, the United States, Latin America and Africa,” says Ellen Gunning, Director, The Irish Academy of Public Relations. “Over the years, we have seen the immense potential of the online education market in the Arab world, and we believe now is the ideal time to establish our presence in the rapidly expanding industry. We entered into a joint venture with Orient Planet to mark our expansion in the Middle East and serve a market of more than 314 million people through our comprehensive courses; Orient Planet Academy will be an added value to the growing industry. Initially, the courses will be taught in English, with a view of offering them in Arabic in the coming weeks.

Nidal Abou Zaki, Managing Director of Orient Planet adds, “Although the Arab region’s PR and communications industry has been continuously growing, we realised that there was no online platform in the region that provides professionals and students alike the chance to further develop their skills in PR, communications, marketing and social media. Orient Planet Academy not only aims to provide flexibility but it also offers employed individuals and young students an opportunity to earn an internationally recognised certificate. We have localised all courses to address the cultural requirements of the region, and will offer a modern educational platform for a new generation of communications experts, capable of meeting the needs of Arab and global markets.”

Ibrahim Ahmed joins Edelman

Ibrahim Ahmed has joined Edelman UAE’s technology division as Account Manager. Having lived and worked in the UAE for five years, Ibrahim brings to his new role a solid understanding of the technology landscape in the region as he joins the Edelman team from DABO & CO, where he worked across a variety of B2B and B2C technology brands.

“I am thrilled to be joining the technology division at Edelman,” says Ibrahim. “My experience in PR so far includes working on tech brands such as Canon, Nokia and Linksys. Having previously worked on other sectors such as interiors, e-commerce, oil & gas and education, I am excited to see what my future holds at Edelman.”