Initiative MENA appoints new Regional Business Director 

Global media agency, Initiative MENA has appointed Ghayath Sioufi to the role of Regional Business Director. With over 18 years of experience working across various MENA markets, Ghayath worked with companies such as Starcom, du, Nawras and Mindshare. In his new role, Ghayath will serve key accounts and be responsible for driving the agency’s regional programmes across the MENA region.

“I am excited to have joined Initiative MENA in these interesting times of transformational changes in our industry,” says Ghayath. “I am sure that together with the team we will be able to lead this change in the market and confirm our role as key business and growth partner to our clients.”

Discovery Network extends agreement with du

Discovery Networks has selected du as its preferred partner for official playout and distribution services in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This extends the existing partnership between the network and the UAE-based mobile communications and technology provider and means that du will now offer its expertise to manage the transmission of Discovery Network’s latest channels, including; DKids HD, DLife HD and DMAX HD.

“We are incredibly pleased to extend our partnership with du as our preferred playout service provider for DKids, DLife and DMAX,” says Amanda Turnbull, VP and Country Manager, Discovery Networks, MENA. “du has been our trusted partner for several years, having broadcast Fatafeat since 2006. Thanks to their unparalleled expertise, we can now expand our regional presence even further, with a portfolio of truly localised channels, curated for and to be enjoyed by our MENA audiences.”

Hany Fahmy Aly, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Business, du, adds “We are excited to continue being a trusted partner of Discovery in their regional expansion plans. This demonstrates our position as a top provider of broadcast services in the region and we are committed to continue providing Discovery with world-class and award-winning facilities, manned by best-in-class talent from du.”

Ahlan! on Dubai Life goes live

Top selling celebrity magazine, Ahlan! – part of ITP Publishing – has launched a new weekly TV show, Ahlan! on Dubai Life. Hosted by Deputy Editor JJ Anisobi and TV presenter cum vlogger Anika Morjaria, the show airs every Saturday at 9pm, on Du Channel 423. Giving an insider overview on the latest celebrity gossip, fashion mishaps and must-see videos, Ahlan! on Dubai Life will complement the print title and online platform, while also giving a more in-depth look into VIP events and happenings in the UAE.

Ahlan! on Dubai Life can also be streamed live on

Leo Burnett wins at ADC Awards

Leo Burnett was the most awarded agency at the 94th Art Directors Club (ADC) of New York Awards in Miami last night. The agency won a total of 32 awards including: The Tomorrow Award, The Designism Cube, 10 Silver, two Bronze and six Merit awards for its work from its global network of offices. Notably, Leo Burnett won the Network of the Year award, with Leo Burnett Dubai being named Agency of the Year, making it the first agency in the MENA region to have claimed the honour.

Leo Burnett Dubai was also presented with the prestigious Black Cube for Advertising, the best in show award, for it’s ‘Two for one’ campaign for du in the United Arab Emirates, headed up by Saad Yusuf, Group Communication Director, Leo Burnett, Dubai. This was the first time in the awards’ 94-year history that an agency from the region won the award, presented to entries in the Design, Digital and Advertising categories at the discretion of an unanimous jury.

“The ADC awards not only represent a great achievement for us but also represents many ‘firsts’ for us” says Saad. “The UAE’s first home-grown creative campaign, ‘du Tuesday’s’ global recognition over the past two years at international awards shows is reflective of a maturing UAE creative industry. These accolades couldn’t have been possible without the partnership of du, Ali Ali, Maged Nassar, DejaVu and our team at Leo Burnett Dubai.”