GN Media closes broadcasting division

Following strategic review of internal operations, Gulf News Media has today announced that it will be closing its broadcasting division effective September 30, 2016. Having come to an agreement, all operations will be managed by Umm Al Quwain Broadcasting including Josh on Frequency 97.8 and Hayat on Frequency 95.6.

APP Media Group to host Young Arab Awards

APP Media Group is set to host the first Young Arab Awards on December 6, 2016 in the UAE. The awards aims to recognise young Arabs for their outstanding achievements in a number of fields including business, science and social media. They will also announce a winner for the Young Arab of the Year Award 2016. Nominees will be shortlisted by a panel of judges, including renowned author, Caher Khazaal, former UK Ambassador to Lebanon, Tom Fletcher and CEO, OMG MENA, Elie Khouri, as well as special guest of honour, Roger Waters from Pink Floyd. Nominations for the awards are currently open and can be made through

“The achievements of young Arabs in the UAE is nothing short of incredible in so many different sectors,” says Caher Khazaal, Author, Confessions of a War Child trilogy.  “Choosing the winners will be no easy task, but we hope this event will give them the recognition they deserve. It is also a huge thrill for us to have Roger Waters on board. He is not just one of the world’s greatest ever musicians but a great philanthropist who has always been a strong supporter of the many regional issues we face.”

KBW Investments welcomes Fida Chaaban

Fida Chaaban has joined KBW Investments as the Group’s Chief Communications Officer. Formerly the Founding Editor-In-Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East, where she worked for over two and a half years, Fida will now work with KBW Investments to oversee all of its marketing communications and digital platforms. She will also be liaising with media and stakeholders on behalf of the Dubai-based portfolio group which was founded in 2013 by HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal.

“I’m really looking forward to my new role with KBW Investments as the Group’s Chief Communications Officer,” says Fida. “My appointment comes as the Group rapidly expands its operations and makes strategic advancements in the MENA region and beyond. I’m hoping to help communicate and articulate the company’s vision as it navigates this exciting new phase of its business. In addition, KBW’s Chairman, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal has a keen interest in startups both in the Middle East and further afield, hence this new role will allow me to continue to remain closely involved with the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which was a key factor in my decision to join the company.”

Socialize welcomes Sireesha Ventaka

Socialize has appointed Sireesha Ventaka to the role of Finance Director. With over 13 years of experience, Sireesha most recently worked with Flip Media as the Chief Financial Officer. In her new role, she will be responsible for enhancing corporate governance and overseeing Socialize’s financial operations.

“Sireesha’s experience of supporting another regional digital agency through its growth and life cycle makes her perfect for the job as we transform our business operations and prepare for an exciting 2017,” says Akanksha Goel, Managing Director, Socialize.

7Days to go weekly

7Days is to become a weekly publication starting from January 1, 2017. The Dubai based newspaper will now focus on its digital presence and be published as a bumper weekly edition every Thursday.

“The time has arrived for us to take bold decisions that enable us firstly to continue to operate profitably and then continue to build on the core competencies that have been developed over the past 13 years in first-class content creation, distribution and customer engagement,” says Mark Rix, Chief Executive Officer, 7 Days.

Claire Sharrock, Managing Editor, 7days adds “Our 7DAYS print title will reflect its new status as a quality, free, weekly newspaper. The Thursday edition will see an increased focus on community issues and lifestyle as well as analysis. Our unique personality and reporting style much loved by our readers will continue as normal.”

Motivate and Motivate Val Morgan hosts UAE Cannes Awards

Motivate and Motivate Val Morgan, the official representatives of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the UAE, hosted this year’s Cannes Lions Awards in the Motivate offices located in Dubai Media City. The awards were presented by Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner and Group Editor in Chief at Motivate as well as Avinash Udeshi, Chief Operating Officer at Motivate Val Morgan. This year’s winning agencies included; Memac Oligvy Dubai, Y&R Dubai and The Classic Partnership Advertising Dubai.

“Over the years, media and creative agencies have worked hard to bring home more and more awards across a range of categories at the Cannes Lions Festival in France,” says Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner and Group Editor, Motivate. As the official representative of the festival in the UAE, we would like to commend this year’s winning agencies and we look forward to see many more wins at next year’s festival.”

Simon Bower joins Socialize

Socialize has appointed Simon Bower to the role of Media Strategy Director. Previously Digital Director at OMD London, Simon has over seven years of experience in media and will now head Socialize’s media businesses as well as oversee strategies for key regional clients. He will also be working alongside Managing Director Akanksha Goel to evolve the agency’s performance-media offering across the region.

“I’m looking forward to exploring the media dynamics in this exciting, evolving region and bringing my experience to bear at an agency where I can make real-impact to the business.” Says Simon.

Akanksha Goel, Managing Director, Socialize, adds “We are extremely excited to have Simon on the team. His combination of experience with network agencies and mature European markets will help bring a different point of view that drives further growth for our clients. We will be able to leverage his skills across programmatic, data and analytics to provide a comprehensive media offering that further bridges the gap between creative and technology.”