Ahlan! Hot 100 to celebrate 10th anniversary

It has been announced that the annual coffee table book Ahlan! Hot 100 will be published on March 6, 2014, with 100,000 copies distributed across the UAE with Ahlan! and Ahlan! Arabia, and as a stand-alone publication in all leading bookstores throughout the month. Ahlan! Hot 100 celebrates the most talked-about people in the UAE and features entrepreneurs, style icons and personalities who are shaping the landscape of the Emirates.

The Ahlan! Hot 100 has its own dedicated microsite at and will have its own App and digital edition available for download.

This year sees ITP’s proudest product celebrating its 10-year anniversary, which will be marked with a lavish party on Wednesday 5th March, for an exclusive VVIP guest list. The event will be held at Warldorf Astoria, Palm Jumeirah.

ITP Consumer launch Arab Woman Awards KSA

ITP Consumer has announced the launch of the Arab Woman Awards KSA 2014, which is set to take place on January 29, 2014.  Following the success of the Arab Woman Awards UAE, Qatar and Kuwait for five consecutive years, the organisers have introduced the first Arab Woman Awards KSA which will take place at a prestigious ladies-only ceremony at the Al Faisaliah Hotel Riyadh under the guidance of HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud.

Launched in 2009, the Arab Woman Awards aim to provide a platform to raise public awareness of the significant achievements of Arab women. Since its inception, the awards have recognised over 170 accomplished females from sectors including business, education, art, literature, sport, fashion, health, humanitarian, media and entrepreneurship.

‘The launch of the Arab Woman Awards KSA is another exciting chapter in these awards,” says Sue Holt, ITP Consumer Deputy Manager Director. “Having visited the country for the first time recently I have already met highly educated, determined and successful women so am looking forward to working with the judges to showcase the wealth of talented women that Saudi Arabia has to offer.”

The Arab Woman Awards KSA 2014 is being hosted in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Sayidaty, Zahra Breast Cancer Association and Rawaj International.

Conde Nast Traveller ME revealed at launch party

The first issue of Condé Nast Traveller Middle East was revealed at the magazine’s launch event, held at the Conrad Dubai last night. The event was attended by over 500 VIPs, including CEOs, Managing Directors, and heads from leading travel, tourism and public sector organisations in the Middle East. The winners of the inaugural Condé Nast Traveller Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards were also revealed and awarded at the event.

“The Middle East edition of Condé Nast Traveller is the eighth in the world, and will stand out as being uniquely curated to speak to this audience,” says Rhea Saran, Editor in Chief of Condé Nast Traveller Middle East. “The launch cover works as a sneak peek of what to expect: Condé Nast Traveller Middle East will be luxurious, glamorous and fashion forward while still being the ultimate authority on travel lifestyle.”

Arab Publishing Partners (APP), part of the ITP Group, the Gulf region’s largest consumer and business magazine publisher, and Condé Nast International, launched the international luxury travel title Condé Nast Traveller Middle East. The magazine is APP’s first publication under licence agreement with Condé Nast International.

Winners of the Condé Nast Traveller Middle East Reader’s Choice Awards were also announced at the launch event on December 4, 2013. The best brands and personalities from Middle East and International travel were awarded in 14 readers’ choice categories, including Best City, Best Country, Best Airline (leisure and business), Best Hotel (leisure and business), Best Spa, amongst others. The readers’ choice awards were voted for online by audiences from the Middle East and the results were audited by BPA Worldwide. Emirates Airlines won both the award categories for Best Airline – Business and Best Airline – Leisure, while the Burj Khalifa was voted as the Best Tourist Attraction in the Middle East. Dubai won the Best City – Middle East award while the French capital, Paris, was voted as the Best City – International by travellers from the Middle East. Dusit Thani, Maldives was voted as the Best Hotel – International, and Atlantis The Palm, Dubai won the award for the Best Hotel in the Middle East.

Congratulating the winners, Rhea Saran said, “For over 25 years, the Readers’ Choice Awards have been setting the standard for the tourism and hospitality industries around the world, and tonight we added important votes from the Middle East into the mix. I’d like to congratulate all the winners of tonight’s awards – the first for and by the region.”

DABO & CO continues winning streak at MEPRAs

Integrated communications agency DABO & CO added three further MEPRA awards to its already impressive tally at last night’s fifth Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Awards. The latest awards sweep takes the company’s total MEPRA awards tally to 15 since the annual event was launched in 2009. Past awards include ‘Agency of the Year’ in 2010 and ‘Mid-Sized Agency of the Year’ in 2012.

DABO & CO triumphed with three awards out of the four categories entered picking up Best Integrated Campaign – DABO & CO & Marriott International: ‘The Launch of the JW Marriott Marquis’, Best Use of Media Relations Consumer or Trade: ‘Canon at Gulf Print 2013’ and Best Practice Consumer Goods: ‘kate spade new york’.

“The annual MEPRA Awards is a major highlight for us as an agency and we are thrilled to have walked away with three awards in recognition of our integrated and results-driven approach to communications,” says Managing Partner, Camilla d’Abo. “Yesterday’s MEPRA awards were the perfect celebration of an industry that has come of age. In light of yesterday’s Dubai Expo 2020 win, the Middle East’s PR industry is on the threshold of an amazing period in its evolution and I am confident that this will bring further opportunities to showcase world-class campaigns emerging from the region.”

Jason Leavy, Managing Director, added: “The 2013 MEPRA wins are the perfect way to round off another exceptional year for the agency. Not only have we recently moved to new state-of-the-art offices to accommodate our continued growth, but we have a stronger than ever talent pool combining exceptional local talent alongside international industry heavy weights, and we are looking forward to an even better 2014.”

Ketchum dominates Healthcare at MEPRA Awards

For the second consecutive year, Ketchum Raad dominated the healthcare sector at the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Awards held last night. The event recognised the Ketchum Raad ME team as Best Practice in Healthcare & Services for their partnership with AstraZeneca Gulf on the Safe@Heart campaign.

The campaign, targeted at Gulf Nationals who are at risk of heart disease, those who have been diagnosed with a heart condition or those who have had a heart attack, has resulted in over 5400 people taking part in heart health screenings and hundreds signing up for a 12 week programme that encourages them to make easy yet impactful changes in their daily habits to benefit their health.

“Healthcare is a packed space with a lot of important messages vying for an opportunity to be heard,” says Nicola Gregson, Managing Director Ketchum Raad Middle East. “Campaigns need to be intelligent, strategic and extremely well executed to capture the media’s attention and reach their target audience. I couldn’t be more proud of my team for their success with Safe@Heart. We are expanding our healthcare offering in 2014 and look forward to partnering with our existing and future clients to deliver even more impactful and effective communications across the sector.”

Abigail Dawson, Account Director and Regional Healthcare Lead at Ketchum Raad Middle East added, “This is the second year in a row we have received the Best Practice Healthcare and Services award and we are truly proud to be taking it home again. Projects like Safe@Heart are the reason we are in communications. As a healthcare team, we are genuinely passionate about working with our clients to help them achieve their business goals as well as communicate with patients and customers and empower them to change their lives positively.”

What’s On Dubai 2013 Awards winners announced

There was a lot to celebrate last night at What’s On Magazine‘s twelfth annual What’s On Awards held at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Not only was the magazine celebrating its 35th birthday, but it was also announced during the glamorous event that Dubai was indeed successful in its bid for the Expo 2020.

And the winners were…

British – Above Dhs400 Rivington Bar & Grill, Souk Al Bahar

British – Below 400 London Fish & Chips, Independent

Brunch – Above 400 Bubbalicious, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina

Brunch – Below 400 The Grand Grill, Habtoor Grand Hotel

Café Pantry Café , Independent

Chinese – Above 400 Shang Palace, Shangri-la Hotel, Dubai

Chinese – Below 400 Chopstix, Marco Polo Hotel

French – Above 400 La Petite Maison, Independent

French – Below 400 Oscar’s Vine Society, Crowne Plaza Dubai

Indian – Above 400 Indego by Vineet, Grosvenor House Dubai

Indian – Below 400 Qureshi’s Kebab & Kurry, The Country Club Hotel

International – Above 400 Kitchen 6, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel

International – Below 400 Horizon, Amwaj Rotana  – Jumeirah Beach Residence

Italian – Above 400 BiCE, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah

Italian – Below 400 Da Vinci’s, Millennium Airport Hotel

Japanese – Above 400 Okku, The H Hotel

Japanese – Below 400 Benihana-Steakhouse, Sushi and Seafood, Amwaj Rotana – Jumeirah Beach Residence

Middle Eastern – Above 400 Levantine, Atlantis The Palm Hotel

Middle Eastern – Below 400 The Courtyard, Al Manzil Hotel

Modern European – Above 400 Table 9 By Nick And Scott, Hilton Dubai Creek

Modern European – Below 400 The Farm, Independent

Pakistani – Below 400 Karachi Darbar, Independent

Pub Grub The Irish Village, Independent

Pan Asian – Above 400 Karma Kafé, Independent

Pan Asian – Below 400 Kitakits Kafe & Klubb, Marco Polo Hotel

Seafood – Above 400 BiCE Mare, Independent

Seafood – Below 400 Fish Market, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek

Steakhouse and Grill – Above 400 West 14th, Oceana Beach Club, Palm Jumeirah

Steakhouse and Grill – Below 400 Butcher’s Shop and Grill, Independent

Thai- Above 400 Thai Kitchen, Park Hyatt Dubai

Thai – Below 400 Royal Orchid, Independent

The Americas Above 400 Claw BBQ Crabshack & Grill, Souk Al Bahar, Independent

The Americas – Below 400 Fatburger, Independent

Bar Barasti, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina

Club Night Audio Tonic, 360

Ladies’ Night Aquara Lounge, Dubai Marina Yacht Club

NightClub Mahiki, Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Concert Bruno Mars

DJ Marco Smokingroove

Festival Sandance

Sporting Events Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens

Fitness Clubs United Pro Sports

Hair Salon JetSet

Nails N Bar

Spa Beauty Connection Spa

MEPRA Awards 2013 set to be biggest yet

Tonight’s Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Awards are set to be the biggest yet with a record 150 entries received – a marked increase on previous years. The Awards, which are to be held at The Westin Dubai, recognise and reward excellence in the PR industry.

“We were greatly encouraged to see the increase in the number of companies and individuals submitting entries this year,” says MEPRA’s General Manager, Carine Duvignaud. “More impressive though was the quality of the submissions. As a consequence the judging panel had a hard task to narrow down the finalists.”

Agency Finalists include: DABO &CO; Golin Harris; Leocomm PR; GMASCO: Four Communications; ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller; Ketchum RAAD Middle East: Edelman: Memac Ogilvy PR: Weber Shandwick MENA; Leocomm PR; Limelight PR;  Action Global Communications: Capital MS&L: Mojo PR: TishTash PR: Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

The full list of MEPRA Awards Finalists is detailed below:

Best Practice -Sectors & Services

Consumer Goods

  • DABO &CO: “Kate Spade New York”
  • Golin Harris: “Kraft Original Treasures of Arabia”
  • Leocomm PR: “The Launch of HTC One”
  • GMASCO: “LEXUS Passion Pioneers”
  • GMASCO: “Your Opinion Counts”

Consumer Services

  • Troon Golf and Four Communications: “The Dhabi that Roared!”
  • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller: “McDonald’s Nutrition Labelling Launch”

Healthcare & Services

  • Ketchum RAAD Middle East: “Safe @ Heart”
  • Edelman: “Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Employee Engagement”
  • Memac Ogilvy PR Algeria: “Hidden Faces of Diabetes”

Business to Business

  • State Government of Victoria and Four Communications: “On a Mission”
  • NATS and Four Communications: “Going Up a Level”
  • Weber Shandwick MENA: “Hot Commodity”
  • Leocomm PR: “du Enterprise PR Strategy -Answers for Tomorrow’s Business”
  • Limelight PR: “Launching CCS in the Middle East”

Government Communications

  • Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development and Four Communications: “Bright Sparks”
  • Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and Four Communications: “Unlocking the UAE’s Natural Energy”
  • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller: “Government Summit 2013”

Corporate Reputation & Image

  • Weber Shandwick MENA: “Standard and Poor’s -Reclaiming Leadership”
  • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller: “Arab Aviation and Media Summit 2013”
  • London Business School and Four Communications: “London Business School”

Internal Communications

  • TAQA: “One TAQA Day”
  • Ketchum RAAD Middle East: “Hello Hakawati!”
  • Action Global Communications: “Above & Beyond”

Corporate Responsibility

  • Glasspoint and Four Communications / Antenna Group: “Focus!”
  • Capital MS&L: “Sustainable Bathroom in the UAE Competition”
  • Weber Shandwick MENA: “Awareness of Fire Safety Risks in the Gulf”
  • Mojo PR: “Summertown Interiors”


Best Practice -Techniques

Best Use of Sponsorship

  • Weber Shandwick MENA: “Jaguar Style Stakes at Dubai World Cup 2013”
  • Ketchum RAAD Middle East: “Unlock the Race with Infiniti”
  • Mojo PR: “Hong Kong Tourism Board”

Best Product/Service Launch

  • DABO & CO: “The Launch of Nokia Lumia”
  • JW Marriott Marquis: “Vault”
  • Mojo PR: “Eureeca”

Best Use of Media Relations – Consumer or Trade

  • Weber Shandwick MENA: “Gulf Business Machines – 2013 IT Security”
  • Weber Shandwick MENA: “Stars of Science Season 4”
  • DABO & CO: “Canon at Gulf Print 2013”
  • Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and Four Communications: “Selling Ras
  • Al Khaimah”
  • British Council and Four Communications: “Going Global”
  • Victoria International School of Sharjah and Four Communications: “Leading the Way”
  • Mojo PR: “Tiffany & Co”
  • TishTash PR: “Summer Celebrity GlamBox”

Best Use of Social Media/ Digital PR

  • Memac Ogilvy PR Dubai: “Sprite Min Al Akhir”
  • JW Marriott Marquis: “Izakaya at JW Marriott Marquis”
  • Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and Four Communications: “Unlocking the UAE’s Natural Energy”

Best Live Event/Stunt

  • Etisalat: “mHealth Grand Tour”
  • Edelman: “Building the Next Generation of Emirati Leaders”
  • Edelman: “Blackberry 10 Global Launch”
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies: “Hammam Shami”
  • Ketchum RAAD Middle East: “Launch and Sustain Campaign of the 2013 Infiniti JX in the Middle East”
  • Tourism Ireland and Four Communications: “The Gathering Greening”

Best Integrated Campaign

  • Tourism Ireland and Four Communications: “St Patrick’s Week”
  • Edelman: “Qasr Al Hosn Festival”
  • DABO & CO & Marriott International: “The Launch of the JW Marriott Marquis”
  • Mojo PR: ” A Taste of Singapore”

Overall Best Campaign of the Year

  • Category NOT opened for entries. Winner will be announced at the Gala Event

Agency of the year

  • Seven Media
  • Four Communications
  • Edelman
  • Weber Shandwick MENA
  • Ketchum RAAD Middle East
  • Mojo PR

In-house Team of the Year (Sponsored by Edelman)

  • Mubadala
  • Etihad Airways

FP7 does the double at 2013 Effie MENA Awards

FP7 won a historic double at the Effies 2013, sweeping Network of the Year and the FP7 Dubai office winning Agency of the Year.

Tarek Miknas, CEO of FP7 MENA was ecstatic at the huge metal tally and the crowning achievements. In an emotional mail to all FP7 staff he wrote, “I thank everyone in this network for contributing to our transformation. I travel from market to market, and I see how hard we are all working to turn our agency into the one we’ve always wanted. You are all stars and I am seriously proud to be among you everyday. Please do take your new title of The Most Effective Agency very seriously as we intend to hold onto this position beyond 2014!”

Sasan Saeidi, who spearheads the FP7 UAE operation added: “Effies is the future of our industry and all our clients are demanding more accountability and responsibility for our communication ideas, every day. Effies, is creativity with purpose. An award that celebrates the creation of ideas that create impact and results. This is what we should all be doing every day. Nothing is more important.”


Shortlist announced for Effie Mena Awards 2013

Today, GMR formally announced the finalists in the Effie Mena Awards 2013. The final winners, drawn from every corner of the region, will be announced during the awards ceremony on November 20 in Dubai. There are 17 award categories and the shortlist is decided by a mix of votes and judged decisions. This year’s judging panel is made up of leading figures across the marketing industry.

The number of entries for the sell-out event has doubled from last year and builds on the 47 per cent increase registered in 2012. Wider geographical participation is also at its highest with the Netherlands, the UK and Singapore submitting entries for the first time. The UAE, however, leads, submitting 60 per cent of all entries followed by Saudi Arabia – which increased its participation from last year – Egypt and Lebanon. Qatar, Iraq, Tunisia and Oman also increased their participation.

These awards, in their various incarnations from the original GEMAS in 2003 through to The Effie Mena Awards, are celebrating their tenth anniversary, so we’re delighted that it has also turned into a record-breaking occasion,” says Alexandre Hawari, co-CEO of organisers, Mediaquest Events and publisher of GMR. “We’re delighted not only to attract more such a large number of entries, but that they come from all across the Mena region and beyond. This is a testament to the credibility and prestige of the awards.”

The winners can go onto be cited in the Effie Effectiveness Index, which ranks the most effective agencies and advertisers points based on finalist and winner data from 40 worldwide Effie Award competitions.

The awards presentation ceremony takes place at Music Hall, Zabeel Saray Dubai, on November 20. Choueiri Group sponsors the after party. To view the complete Effie Mena Awards 2013 shortlist, visit

Details announced for Dubai Lynx 2014

The new website for Dubai Lynx 2014 Festival and Awards is now live and details the Dubai International Festival of Creativity, which will take place from March 9-11, 2014, and the Dubai Lynx Awards Ceremony and Dinner, scheduled for March 12, 2014. The Madinat Jumeirah Arena will once again play host to the event, which last year drew over 1,300 delegates from the Middle East and North Africa’s creative communications industries to the Festival and over 1,800 to the awards.

“Both the Festival and Awards have continued to grow over the last seven years and as organisers we are committed to ensuring that the event stays fresh and relevant to the industry,” says Emma Lancaster Farmer, Festival Director of Dubai Lynx. “There are a lot of innovations planned and we are hoping to make the 2014 edition the biggest and best to date.”

Over the coming months the website will be updated with the latest additions to Dubai Lynx 2014, along with information on the programme, details of how to enter work, as well as be a part of the Festival. Delegate passes and tables will be available from October 20, 2013, through online registration at