Media figures dominate Arabian Business Brit List

Media leaders have dominated the second edition of the Arabian Business Brits List – a study that lists the top 50 most influential British expatriates in the UAE.

While MBC Group’s CEO Sam Barnett has landed the top media spot, ranked 4th most influential Brit, Starcom MediaVest Group’s CEO John Antoniades isn’t far behind in 5th place. John Brash, owner of Brash Brands has also made the cut, ranked 17, Motivate Publishing’s Managing Partner Ian Fairservice comes in at number 27, while BBC Middle East Correspondent Mark Lobel snagged the 30th spot. Other notable media influencers who have made the top 50 include television and radio personality Tom Urquhart, DABO & CO Managing Partners Camilla and Lucy D’Abo, Face to Face agency owner Chris Bell and Francis Matthew, Editor at Large, Gulf News.

To see the full Arabian Business Brits List, click here

ITP announces Harper’s Interior Design Awards

ITP Consumer group, publishers of Harper’s Bazaar Interiors has announced the planning for the inaugural Harper’s Bazaar Interiors Design Awards 2014. The event will be held in October 2014, and forms part of Downtown Design Dubai’s official programme.

The event will feature 12 award categories, ranging from statement lighting and textiles, to fashion-inspired furniture and hot new technology. The entries for each category will be shortlisted by an impartial judging panel that will include an internationally renowned designer, an accomplished creative director and the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief. Further voting will be conducted online, where readers will be able to vote for their favourites in each category.

“The awards will recognise the most successful commercial players in the marketplace, while also celebrating the most promising emerging talent from the region and beyond,” says Rue Kothari, Editor-in-Chief, Harper’s Bazaar Interiors. “We’ll seek to highlight the best and most innovative products, furniture brands, retail brands and designers.”

Talking about the Best Emerging Designer category, Rue adds, “As the leading consumer interiors title in the region, we understand the importance of supporting and incubating new talent, as well as to be a vocal advocate of the local design industry. So we’ll be putting out a call for new talent from all over the world to submit original designs based on a Middle Eastern theme; giving the winner a unique opportunity to be mentored by an event partner and to see their winning designs put into production.”

Transform Awards announces MENA finalists

The MENA edition of Europe’s annual Transform Awards has revealed the names of the regional finalists. Those shortlisted for the 2014 Transform Awards MENA include Commercial Bank of Qatar and Industry, du, Mey (Diageo) and Landor Associates and Toyota Al-Futtain and Bellwether Brands in the ‘Best brand evolution’ category. In addition to this, entries shortlisted for ‘Best strategic/creative development of a new brand’ are; Abu Dhabi Technology Department Committee and Brand Union, Al Mutawakelah and Omnia, ARN and Brash Brands, Fundo Soberano de Angola and Grayling, Mubadala Petroleum and Omnia and The Supreme Council of Health and Agency222.

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner for the inaugural awards, which will take place on June 2, 2014 at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The awards will bring together professionals from the regional branding, advertising, digital and communications sector to celebrate the most successful rebranding, repositioning and brand transformation projects in the Middle East and North Africa. The event also includes a full day conference where industry experts will talk about the implications of multi-marketing branding, the effect of Gen-Y on employer branding and the challenges and opportunities of building brands in the Middle East.

3 days left to vote for VIVA Beauty Awards 2014

Voting for the 7th annual VIVA Beauty Awards will close May 10, 2014. This year there are 21 VIVA Beauty awards, which will be presented across 12 overall categories in the prestige and mass market respectively. These include – Best Foundation, Best Perfume, Best Mascara, Best Nail Polish, Best Hair Salon, Best Nail Spa, Best Anti-Ageing Product, Best Hair Product, Best Face Moisturiser, Best Lipstick, Best Body Product and the Editor’s Choice Cult Classic. The shortlist for each category was handpicked by the VIVA team, along with a beauty panel that included make-up artist Sophie Leach, presenter Gabriela Miloda and blogger Zahra Lyla Pedram.

The VIVA Beauty Awards will be held on May 22 at the JW Marriot Marquis Dubai, and the winners will be picked by readers who can see the shortlist and cast their vote at

OMG wins at MENA Digital Awards 2014

Omnicom Media Group MENA has announced wins for its agencies OMD, PHD and Resolution at the inaugural MENA Digital Awards 2014. The awards were held on April 23 as part of the Digital Media Forum 2014, and were located at the One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai. The MENA Digital Awards are fully dedicated to excellence in the digital sector, and judged by an independent panel recognising achievements in planning, creativity, innovation and effectiveness.

Together, the three agencies received 16 of the 36 awards, which were categorised gold, silver and bronze. OMD’s work won gold in the ‘Best Use of Video’, ‘Best Use of Social Media’ and ‘Best Integrated Digital Campaign’ categories for work with Pepsi, along with a further three silver and two bronze trophies for 7UP, Pepsi and Persil.

Resolution won a total of seven awards, including gold in the ‘Best Integrated Digital Campaign’ for The X Factor Arabia and ‘Best Use of Mobile’ for HTC, jointly with OMD. The digital marketing agency was also awarded silver in the ‘Best Application (mobile/tablet)’ category for The X Factor Arabia, and bronze in ‘The Best Use of Social Media’, ‘Best Search Marketing Campaign’ and ‘Best Performance Campaign’ categories for MasterChef Arabia, beIN Sports (joint with OMD) and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts (jointly with PHD).

PHD received gold in the ‘Best Use of Mobile’ for its work on Sony’s Xperia Z.

“Credible specialist digital awards were long overdue in the region, and we applaud the creation of the MENA Digital Awards to recognise the best in digital marketing across all facets,” says Elie Khouri, CEO, Omnicom Media Group MENA. “Digital has never been a side show for us and the performance of our group in this field has been comprehensively demonstrated. I congratulate all our awarded teams and clients on this achievement and look forward to continuing this trend in the coming years.”

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.

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.”

Winners of Dubai Lynx Awards 2014 announced

The winners of the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity 2014 have been announced, following last night’s lavish gala awards ceremony. With eight international juries judging from a total of 2,279 entries in 15 Awards categories, 503 were shortlisted with a total of 207 awards presented. Sponsored by Motivate Publishing and Choeiri Group, the Dubai Lynx Awards ceremony was held at the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah.

Memac Ogilvy Dubai was awarded the Agency of the Year title, with Starcom Mediavest Group winning Media Agency of the Year, and the Network of the Year was awarded to Ogilvy & Mather.

Kairo, Cairo were given the title of Independent Agency of the Year, while Land Rover was presented with the Advertiser of the Year award. The Lynx Palm Award, given to the most awarded Production Company in the Film or Film Craft sections, was won by Dé Ja Vu, Dubai.

The individual award for Dubai Lynx Advertising Person 2014, was awarded to Eddie Moutran, Chairman and CEO of Memac Ogilvy Group MENA.

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.”

BBC Good Food winners announced

The fourth annual BBC Good Food Middle East Awards took place on Wednesday evening at The Address, Dubai Marina. New category winners included Best New Restaurant, Doha, which was awarded to Market by Jean Georges, W Doha Hotel & Residences, Best Seafood Restaurant, which went to Bice Mare, and Best Experiential Dining, which was awarded to The Act Dubai.

“This year’s awards were a resounding success, with everyone who attended – not just the winners – having had a great time,” says Sudeshna Ghosh, Editor of BBC Good Food Middle East magazine. “The results were a mix of some surprise winners as well as some long-time favourites coming out on top.”

For a full list of winners, visit