Transform announces awards nominees

The Transform Awards Middle East North Africa (MENA) 2015, a showcase of exceptional new and evolving brand and rebranding campaigns, has revealed the organisations who have made its shortlist.

The awards recognise and share brand development work in the MENA region that is well thought-out, effective, innovative and creative. This will be the second time the event takes place in the region, having begun in Europe six years ago.

This year, Transform saw entries from a greater number of regional countries, including: the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Lebanon. Shortlisted companies include Careem and North 55, GGICO Properties and MBLM, and National Bank of Oman and Bellwether, for ‘Best Rebrand of a Digital Property’ as well as Abdul Latif Jameel and Siegel+Gale, Al Yuam and Bellwether, Asser Investments and Bellwether, Batelco and Unisono, GO Telecommunications and Bellwether, and Horizon & Co and Bellwether, for ‘Best Brand Evolution’. The most inspired and innovative project, as voted for by the Transform MENA judges, will receive the most prestigious award of the evening, the Grand Prix.

“We are proud to bring the Transform Awards to the MENA region once again to celebrate the growing brand industry and the superb work being done,” says Liz Foggitt, Publishing and Events Manager, Transform. “It’s always a pleasure learning about the nuances of branding and communications in different cultures and some of the work is of an exceptionally high standard.”

Grayling Dubai welcomes Nicola Gregson

Global communications consultancy Grayling has appointed Nicola Gregson as Managing Director of its Dubai office. Nicola brings over 20 years of global PR experience, as well as her extensive industry knowledge, especially in relation to corporate communications, consumer, business-to-business as well as issues and crisis communications.

Having moved to the UAE from the UK in 2007, Nicola most recently worked as Managing Director (Middle East) for Ketchum Public Relations. She is also a board member of the Middle East Public Relations Association.

“As with most industry observers, I’ve been a huge admirer of Grayling’s growth across the Middle East region over the past two years,” says Nicola. “I’m very much looking forward to working with the team to build on the great work they have been doing and to continue to deliver world-class, client focused campaigns.”

Grayling launches flagship African office

Global communications consultancy Grayling has announced the launch of its new office in Nairobi, Kenya. The establishment of this office will cement Grayling’s presence in Africa and act as a regional hub for East Africa.

Grayling has developed a strong base of clients across the African continent, which until now it has represented through international offices and African affiliate networks. Part of Grayling’s Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region, the new Nairobi office will coordinate with Grayling’s consultancy teams in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul and Muscat and will be overseen by Loretta Ahmed, Grayling’s Chief Executive Officer, META.

“We are thrilled to expand our international network into Kenya and East Africa,” says Loretta. “We start with a 12-strong team that is 70 percent Kenyan and with a firm commitment to nurture and grow local talent.”

“Our clients are increasingly focussed on Africa – and its fastest-growing sub-region, East Africa, has been firmly on our emerging markets radar,” adds Paul Taaffe, Chief Executive Officer, Huntsworth, Grayling’s parent company. “With a highly-talented, Nairobi-based team and the experience of its global network, Grayling will be an important partner for local and international businesses throughout East Africa.”

Transform MENA awards now accepting entries

The Transform MENA awards – for new and evolving brand and rebrand campaigns – is now accepting entries from companies, agencies and organisations in the Middle East and North Africa region. Returning to Dubai for the second time this June, Transform aims to recognise brand development work that is well thought-out, innovative and creative.

“2014 was an incredible year for Transform – with the launch of the magazine and the awards programmes in both the MENA and Asia-Pacific regions,” says Liz Foggitt, Publishing and Event Manager, Transform magazine. “We’ve had an extremely positive reaction to our publication and events, so we’re excited to launch the 2015 MENA programme. This year, we’re expecting to see the events grow and commend the most outstanding and inspiring branding work done in the past 18 months.”

For discounted entry to the awards, entries must be placed before February 24, 2015, with the final deadline set for March 10, 2015. Full entry details and applications can be found on