Arab News makes global structural changes

Saudi Arabian-based newspaper, Arab News has launched two new bureaus in Europe and Asia as a part of its global, digital expansion plan. The new launch has been followed by the appointment of Baker Atyani to the role of Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, who brings with him experience in journalism, having covered stories on conflict zones in the region and previously worked with Al Arabiya as Bureau Chief – Asia, and most recently as its Senior International Correspondent. In his new role, he will spearhead Arab News’ coverage of Asia across print, online and video with a particular focus on India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Arab News’ digital expansion will also see the promotion of Ben Flanagan to the role of London Bureau Chief. With 16 years of experience working on national newspapers and news portals, Ben most recently held the position of Senior Editor at Arab News. He will now take on his new role to lead the operations of the new bureau in London and cover the UK and Europe from an Arab perspective, with a particular focus on politics, business and investment to serve as a digital hub for the newspaper.

“The new bureaus support the newspaper’s ‘more digital, more global’ strategy,” says Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief, Arab News. “It is a great pleasure for us to have these two exceptionally experienced and incredibly capable journalists heading up our crucial Asia and UK operations. This inevitably adds much value to our readers who will be sure to get the best relevant content and stories from across these regions.”

Architectural Digest ME appoints new Editor-in-Chief

Architectural Digest Middle East, part of APP Media Group has appointed Talib Choudhry to the role of Editor-in-Chief starting September 2017. With extensive knowledge in the magazine industry, Talib started out in the UK with ELLE’s features team and moved on to Sunday Times Style as Interior Editor. He also worked with Arena as Associate Editor and with ELLE Decoration as Deputy Editor, after which he most recently worked with Telegraph Media Group as Design and Interior Editor, and with ELLE Decoration as Editor-at-Large. In his new role, he will oversee all of Architectural Digest Middle East’s editorial content and contribute to its strategic development across the region.

“It is an honour to become part of the global Architectural Digest Middle East family and there has never been a better time to celebrate creative excellence in the Arab region,” says Talib. “The GCC is at the cutting edge of the international design scene and confidently establishing a unique visual signature, which Architectural Digest Middle East will showcase in suitably innovative ways, both in print and online.”

New appointment at PRCA

Georgia Ramm joins the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) as International Relations Officer. Currently completing her masters in public relations and corporate communications, Georgia will be responsible for increasing international engagement for the PRCA (UK and MENA) as well as developing initiatives for the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO).

“Georgia’s appointment as the new PRCA International Relations Officer will allow us to increase our international work even further,” says Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA UK and PRCA MENA. “We already manage ICCO, operating in 55 countries around the world and have an office in Dubai. We will now ramp up our activity, exploring other markets where the PRCA can usefully establish itself, and increasing the range of services we provide to members in the UK, MENA and elsewhere.”

In The Hot Seat – Dave Cleary

Team TMN sit down with Dave Cleary, Host of his own show, Loud and Cleary on 97.8 Dance FM, who talks about how he started out in the broadcasting industry in the Middle East and what he thinks of it now…

Name: Dave Cleary

Age: I forgot, need to check my passport

From: United Kingdom

Current job title: Host of Loud and Cleary on 97.8 Dance FM

When did you first arrive in Dubai?


Where did you work prior?

I started out in the region as a part of 104.8 Channel 4 FM when it launched in 1997, and other roles that followed includes Emirates Radio, Nile FM, Radio 1 and Radio 2.

What were your first impressions of the broadcasting industry in the Middle East?

It seemed in a bit of a time warp, I was part of 104.8 Channel 4FM’s launch in 1997, Dubai was in need of a new station. At the time the only other station was Dubai FM. I remember going back to the UK and people had not really heard that much about Dubai – how things have changed, as now everyone knows Dubai. It’s a big global player now.

Has your opinion changed much?

Very much so, I think radio here has really developed and can now rival any major city such as Sydney or Vancouver.

Tell us about your current role…

I present Loud And Cleary weekdays from 4pm until 8pm on the only dance station in the region, Dance FM

What challenges do you face?

Trying to do a good radio show!

What do you think of the quality of radio stations in the region?

I think there are many good stations and presenters on air now in this country. Radio here has really developed to a standard I consider to be as good as markets in Australia and Canada. When I first arrived it was just British nationals on air – it’s great to hear so many different accents these days.

With the increasing demand of visual content, how has radio managed to stay relevant today?

Radio will always be around, it’s the ‘now’ element, and the ‘friend’ element of it. Radio has had to evolve and has to be more visual such as being able to see live in the studio and being very active on digital platforms and so on. May radio live long and prosper!

Has culture in the Middle East posed a challenge or an advantage in the advancement of radio in the region?

When I first came to Dubai I was a bit shocked at what you can and can’t say or do, but now I really feel things have opened up. Its great to do a radio show knowing that you respect peoples cultures and I think in the end it makes you a better radio presenter.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s happened a few times, I have been out and someone has come up to me and said, “I grew up listening to you thanks for being part of my life”. When you hear that you understand that sometimes you have an impact on people.

How would you rather be contacted at work?

On phone.

Describe yourself in five words…

Hardworking, ambitious, a team worker, creative and none of the above.

What inspires you?


What’s your most overused saying?

It’s going to be ok, and life is too short.

Five things you can’t live without?

Social Media, my passport, radio, air conditioning and traveling.

What’s the most exciting thing that has happened to you in your career?

I think when I won Best Radio DJ in 2014 and 2016 at the Ahlan! People’s Choice Awards – I never expected it at all.

If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?

Traveling the world until I ran out of money.

What is your favourite form of media (i.e; TV, radio, print)?


How do you see radio changing in the Middle East in the coming years?

The digital age is here for sure – listeners like instant access to the host or presenter, but I think the digital and FM platforms can compliment each other. And as for presenters, you need to offer more than just a cool voice with “that was and this is…”.

Sept PR welcomes new Account Manager

Dubai-based lifestyle and communications agency, Sept PR has appointed Karima Karmouzi to the role of Account Manager. With over ten years of experience in marketing and PR, Karima previously worked as Marketing and PR Manager in the UK, Morocco and Oman. In her new role, she will focus on developing strong PR and communications strategies across GCC networks and secure top tier Arab media opportunities for client campaigns.

“Sept PR has an outstanding reputation in the market and looks after an exciting portfolio of clients,” says Karima. “We’re seeing a shift in the PR landscape which incorporates a consolidated digital element to campaigns so it’s exciting to be a part of an agency that recognises this and drives this forward.”

Creative and technology agency launches

Creative and technology agency, Omobono launches in UAE. Established in 2001 in the UK, Omobono delivers global projects across an expanding service offering for a roster of clients including DMCC and Sadara and will now open its first office in the UAE. The agency will also see the appointment of Hadley Newman to role of Managing Director with over ten years of experience to support clients with specialist business expertise.

“I am delighted to have joined Omobono at an exciting period in the company’s growth,” says Hadley Newman, Managing Director, Omobono Middle East. “I was attracted to the agency because it has digital in its DNA, strength in strategic planning and focuses on delivery – not only the deliverable. Omobono has developed fantastic relationships and delivered brilliant work and I look forward to continuing this success for global brands throughout the region.”

New Managing Director at MullenLowe MENA

Dubai-based integrated marketing communications group, MullenLowe MENA has promoted Matthew Butterworth to the role of Managing Director. Having joined MullenLowe MENA in 2016 as Regional Director of Digital and Integration, Matthew has over 20 years of experience and previously worked in the UK with McCann EMEA as Director of Digital Strategy and Publicis as the Digital Strategy Director. In his new role, he will work on creating a stronger integration and consumer driven creativity through data-driven experiences across every touchpoint to produce results.

Edelman makes key appointment

Edelman UAE has appointed Robin Gordon-Farleigh to the role of Regional Director for Government Strategies for the Middle East. With over 23 years of experience, Robin previously worked with the UK Department of Health as the Head of Media Planning and Strategy and is currently with the Prime Ministers office as the Senior Communications Strategist. He will take on his new role in Dubai in March, where he will offer his advice on the Middle East operations in the private and public sectors as well as work across government clients and executing strategies to position Edelman internationally.

“I am really pleased to be joining the Edelman Middle East team at such an exciting time,” says Robin. “They are doing such amazing work there in the space of government communications and I look forward to helping them to build out the business. It has been a great six years at No10 which throughout I have felt truly honoured and humbled to work there at the top of Government and in some small way contributed to deliver its agenda.”