Against the backdrop of robust growth outlook for the regional leisure and entertainment industry, the MENALAC Awards ceremony is set to return for its fifth edition on March 15, at the Address Skyview Hotel, Downtown Dubai. Like every year, the awards ceremony will bring together leaders and innovators from the regional leisure and entertainment industry.
As the governing body for the MENA leisure, entertainment and amusement industry, the MENALAC Awards have come to be recognized as a platform built to celebrate excellence in the industry. The awards ceremony sets new benchmarks for the industry by shining the spotlight on achievements of participants whilst also challenging them to constantly strive for excellence by implementing best practices, innovating offerings and delighting visitors.
Ghassan Assi, chairperson of the MENALAC Awards Committee and chief operating officer of Trampo Extreme, said: “The growth of the leisure and entertainment industry in the MENA region is remarkable. From the world’s tallest to the fastest, snow park in the middle of desert to building world-class entertainment in futuristic cities, the MENA region has it all. Importantly, the industry has stayed resilient through the last couple of difficult years and is now on a clear growth path with regional leisure spending to touch the $609 million mark this year. And the MENALAC Awards program aims at recognizing excellence in this exceptionally dynamic, creative, and competitive industry.”
From people, processes, and products to design and tech transformation as well as safety and sustainability, in 2023 the MENALAC Awards will recognize excellence across 29 categories including: Best Theme Park, Best Waterpark, Best Family Entertainment Center, Most Unique Visitor Attraction, Best Edutainment/ Playscape, Best Cinema Experience, and others.
Cameron Mitchell, founder, Consult Middle East, said: “The Middle East has set international standards in out of home entertainment and experiences for decades. Wild Wadi, Ski Dubai, The Dubai Fountain and Sega Republic are but a few of the countless examples that helped establish the region as a global entertainment hotspot. More recently, the Museum of the Future, Ferrari World, Takenda and Brass Monkey have proudly innovated and evolved the entertainment experience regionally. Given the entertainment revolution that is exploding across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and regionally, the Middle East looks assured to set the same world-class standard for decades to come. And the MENALAC Awards play a pivotal role in recognizing industry successes and celebrates industry leaders who have reached new heights, either in calibre of experience, innovation, CSR or health and safety.”
Arabian Automobiles, the flagship company of the AW Rostamani Group and the exclusive dealer for Nissan in Dubai, Sharjah and the northern emirates, is using cutting-edge digital technologies to improve services, increase levels of customer interaction, and alter the customer journey for car owners.
To ensure exceptional customer service and happiness, Arabian Automobiles employed digital best practices to measure customer satisfaction across a variety of touchpoints. The company issued a survey that addressed the overall purchase or service journeys, the handover experience, the quality and efficiency of the service, and the transparency of information.
Arabian Automobiles continuously innovates based on customer feedback. One such innovation is [email protected], which lets customers shop, configure and compare their desired Nissan model against the full lineup and find out more about available offers, prices, financing, leasing and warranty options. It also grants them more flexibility in selecting the right maintenance service packages that best suit their needs.
Nissan Service, which was introduced earlier this year and adds an innovative integrated after-sales customer experience across online and offline channels, is intended to enhance the customer journey. With convenient digitized options for customers, such as online booking, express service, and pickup/drop-off services to speed up the process, Nissan Service covers various touchpoints during the customer journey, including transparent pricing models and the use of genuine Nissan parts.
Arabian Automobiles is currently the holder of Nissan Motor Company’s “Global Nissan After-sales Award” and is the only Nissan distributor to have won the award for a total of 21 times with 10 consecutive wins between 2007 and 2016.
Students from the UAE will take center stage at Arab Health, a leading healthcare exhibition in the Middle East, which takes place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 at Dubai World Trade Centre, with the launch of the inaugural Future Doctor Program.
As part of the new initiative, students from the region have developed research addressing key topics within the UAE healthcare industry, including radiology, surgery, emergency medicine, pain management, sustainability and innovation in healthcare, among others.
The top 15 research papers will be showcased in poster format at the show, where students will have the opportunity to discuss their findings and engage in scientific discussion with experts speaking at the Arab Health Congress.
The research covers a broad spectrum of healthcare factors, including the growing prominence of telehealth, where healthcare is carried out virtually through information and telecommunication technology. According to research carried out by students from the American University in Dubai, there is a growing acceptance of this mode of healthcare, and it is becoming a fundamental feature of health plans in the UAE. According to data, 54 percent of expats are likely to use it, which is 14 percent higher than the global average.
Research conducted by students from the College of Medicine-University of Sharjah has revealed a lack of knowledge and understanding among adults in the UAE surrounding kidney stones and their causes. The study revealed that Gulf countries showed an increased incidence of kidney stones due to socioeconomic, environmental and nutritional factors, underscoring the importance of measuring levels of awareness, prevention, early detection and management.
Meanwhile, students from the Gulf Medical University Ajman have compiled research to assess the predictors of the understanding of complementary and alternative medicine among adults in Ajman. The research revealed that age, gender, nationality, and marital and employment status were significant sociodemographic variables in determining complementary and alternative medicine literacy.
Elsewhere, RAK Medical and Health Sciences University students addressed growing concerns around vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency and the skeletal and extra skeletal effects on the human body.
Other research investigated radiographers’ perceptions and attitudes toward AI implementation in radiology.
Cynthia Makarutse, conference director for Informa Markets, said: “We want to establish Arab Health as the place to launch careers for the UAE’s next generation of medical professionals. The Future Doctors Program recognizes and encourages young talent to showcase their latest research and inspires them to pursue their specialized education.”
“This fits well with Arab Health’s mission to support industry transformation and sustainability objectives.”
A total of nine continuing medical education conferences will take place at Arab Health 2023, welcoming an anticipated 3,200 delegates and more than 300 international speakers.
In addition, the exhibition will feature over 3,000 exhibitor companies from 70 countries and include nine product sectors, showcasing the latest technology and innovations in disposables, orthopedics, healthcare and general services, imaging, medical devices, IT, wellness and prevention, and infrastructure and assets.
Following the successful operation of the first manufacturer in China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone, the Chinese Industrial Products Exhibition will be held in Abu Dhabi from March 7-9. The event will be organized by the Chinese Jiangsu Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company, which undertakes the process of investing, developing and operating the Demonstration Zone in the Khalifa Economic Zone, in cooperation with Motion International Exhibitions and Events.
The exhibition provides an opportunity for Emirati nationals, businessmen, and others from the UAE and Arab region to get to know the major Chinese companies that offer the latest and best industrial products. The exhibition will also be an opportunity to conclude agreements with Chinese companies directly, which is the best guarantee of quality, prices and costs.
Zou Yonggang, CEO of JOCIC, highlighted the importance of the exhibition in building economic and business partnerships, and enhancing the role of the UAE as a distribution center and a main starting point for Chinese products going to other countries of the region. “The event provides major support to our investors, promoting trade growth, and promoting foreign direct investment in the region during the post-pandemic era, with China opening its doors to the whole world and the rapid economic recovery of the Middle East,” he said.
“The exhibition provides a great opportunity for suppliers to meet potential companies face-to-face for the first time in the past three years and discover the latest products and trends from Chinese suppliers,” Yonggang added.
The exhibition covers wide sectors of industries and products of interest to industrialists, traders and businessmen. These include a variety of highly efficient Chinese services and products, such as building and architecture services, minerals and advanced manufacturing, petroleum equipment and technical services, electric vehicles and heavy machinery, in addition to products of the renewable energy sector, environmental technology and 3D printing.
Saudi National Bank has announced a strategic partnership agreement with Mastercard and the Saudi Esports Federation during the SEF Awards to accelerate the Kingdom’s digital transformation and enhance its gaming and esports infrastructure.
The collaboration will build on Mastercard’s ongoing relationship with SEF to promote the Kingdom’s billion-dollar gaming industry.
Together, the three entities will explore and develop innovative financial products and offerings that create added value and enhance gamers’ experience. The agreement will leverage the resources, expertise and networks of all three partners to cater to Saudi Arabia’s youth and gaming community.
Saud Abdulaziz Bajbair, head of retail business group at SNB, said: ”This partnership confirms the importance of the private sector’s role in supporting the overall development movement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under Vision 2030. This agreement is an important step in the dissemination of new digital technologies that will contribute to making the Kingdom a leading hub for gaming and esports.”
The collaboration draws on the importance of Saudi Arabia’s e-gaming industry and its rapid growth. It intends to strengthen the presence of e-gaming and capitalize on its potential and capabilities by fostering innovation to drive further advancements in this sector.
This step also underscores SNB’s interest in the development of the e-gaming community and sector in Saudi Arabia by contributing to the creation of an e-gaming industry that is gaining traction among a significant segment of Saudi society.
“We understand just how impactful gaming is and can be. By partnering with Mastercard and SNB, we aim to bring the Kingdom’s gaming potential to bear, enhancing the country’s gaming landscape and spurring even greater innovation. This will benefit so many — for generations to come — setting the Kingdom apart as an attractive investment destination while delivering innovative gaming experiences,” said Ahmed Al-Bishri, chief operations officer of Saudi Esports Federation.
Mete Güney, executive vice president of services, EEMEA at Mastercard, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with SNB and SEF — two like-minded organizations driven by a shared commitment toward accelerating digital transformation, realizing Saudi Arabia’s tech potential, and achieving its Vision 2030.
“The historic agreement is well on its way to help showcase the new technologies that are playing important roles in transforming the Kingdom into a leading hub for gaming and esports, and — more broadly — for business, tourism, leisure and innovation. Together, we seek to build on the efforts of the Saudi leadership to enhance the local gaming industry, bolstering it to deliver truly immersive and memorable experiences for gamers across the Kingdom and bridging these experiences across physical and digital realities.”
Through this partnership SNB, SEF and Mastercard will create and unlock new experiences powered by Web3 that will offer gamers the opportunity to access exclusive benefits and immersive experiences in the physical and digital world.
InterContinental Abu Dhabi has announced a new addition to the capital of the UAE with the launch of its new residences. Boasting a prime location in the affluent neighborhood of Al-Bateen district, the property is just a stone’s throw from some of the central business and leisure facilities in Abu Dhabi, including several government buildings, Marina Mall and Corniche Beach.
The residences feature 130 units comprising studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments, along with a selection of accessible apartments specially designed to cater to the needs of people with determination. Each apartment is fitted out with gorgeous textures and natural oak furniture perfectly complemented by the tasteful, contemporary décor. Panoramic windows saturate the spaces with natural light and offer unparalleled views of the marina and the city’s glittering skyline at night.
The 48-square-meter studios and 101-square-meter one-bedroom residences feature intimate spaces to unwind and switch off, and they are perfect for both solo occupants and couples. More suited for larger families, the 190-square-meter two-bedroom and 217-square-meter three-bedroom residences simply outspread comfort. Fully equipped with kitchenettes, spacious balconies, walk-in wardrobes, ensuites with bathtub and standing showers, guest bathrooms, and a separate dining area, each of these exquisite options offers a healthy balance between size and luxury amidst spectacular views of the sea and city.
Dani Demerjian, general manager of InterContinental Abu Dhabi, said: “Launching the new InterContinental Residences Abu Dhabi is a proud moment for us, and we are delighted that this project is nearing completion. Each residence is breathtaking, with the highest quality amenities and modern furnishings. We are looking forward to welcoming guests for both short-term and long-term stays, and we are sure that these residences will cater to every need of our valued customers.”
Complemented by a range of leisure facilities and diverse culinary experiences encapsulated in one destination, the residences present an exclusive ability to marry the everyday comfort of home with the exceptional five-star service that is synonymous with InterContinental Abu Dhabi.
This exclusive proposition includes housekeeping, 24-hour reception, concierge service, access to the swimming pool and state-of-the-art wellness center, secured underground parking facilities, and a complimentary high-speed internet connection in every room.
An aesthetically designed all-day dining restaurant incorporates live cooking stations, an open kitchen and magnificent views. At the picturesque outdoor dining space, residents can enjoy alfresco dining with a picture-perfect backdrop of the Arabian Gulf. To add even more elegance, The Balcony Lounge, located on the first floor, is the perfect urban hangout spot for both in-house and outside visitors to enjoy some laid back casual time.
With Nesmat Al-Bahar offering a range of delicious bites and a selection of drinks to stay refreshed by the pool, residents will be spoilt for choice. In addition, 24-hour in-room dining will be offered, with an extensive menu to accommodate all dietary preferences.