ArabBrains MENA Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Tue, 30 Jun 2015 07:10:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 70% of Arab Satellite TV channels have online sites Tue, 30 Jun 2015 07:10:21 +0000 aagDuring April and May 2015, the Arab Advisors Group examined 724 fully operational FTA satellite TV channels targeting the Arab World to research their online presence. Of the analyzed stations, 70% (505 channels) have an online presence.

Spurred by the increasing uptake of the Internet service in the Arab World, many channels in the Arab TV industry have established an online presence. The Arab Advisors Group analysis reveals that 91% of TV channels with an online presence have an enhanced presence. An enhanced online presence includes channels that have corresponding portals. The portals portray the channels’ services and the integration between the satellite channel and its online presence is strong. Moreover, a number of satellite channels with basic online presence (where the integration between the satellite channel and its content and service availability is relatively weak) demonstrate their intention of enhancing their online services.

A new report, “Online Presence of FTA Satellite Channels in the Arab World 2015″ was released to the Arab Advisors Group’s Media Strategic Research Service subscribers on May 27, 2015. This report can be purchased from the Arab Advisors Group for only US$ 1,850. The 64-page report, which has 26 detailed exhibits, provides a detailed analysis of the online presence of FTA Satellite Channels in the Arab World. The report includes analysis and categorization of the online presence of 724 FTA satellite TV channels.

Please contact the Arab Advisors Group to get a copy of the report’s Table of Contents.

“The analysis reveals that a majority of the 505 channels that have an online site choose to have an enhanced online presence. Furthermore, 24.6% of channels with an online presence generate online revenues from their supporting online presence, such as: online advertisement and online shopping.” Mrs. Hind Qweider, Arab Advisors Senior Research Analyst wrote in the report.

“Almost 42.5% of the satellite channels have online presence for promotional purposes only and do not aim at generating online revenues. 23.5% of the channels that have online revenue generating features have an enhanced online presence.” Ms. Dalia Haddad, Arab Advisors Senior Research Analyst added.

The Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region has produced close to 4,200 reports on the Arab World’s communications and media markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group’s ( Strategic Research Services (Media and Telecom).

To date, Arab Advisors Group has served 720 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients. Some of our clients can be viewed on

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ADIB launches Tamkeen Women in Leadership Program Tue, 30 Jun 2015 05:01:41 +0000 adibAbu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) a top tier financial services institution has today announced the launch of the Tamkeen Women in Leadership Program, a leadership training program dedicated to female bankers.

The aim of the program is to encourage more women to progress to senior leadership roles within the bank by further developing the skills needed for senior management levels.
The program is open to all ADIB’s UAE National female employees. Each participant will be given a comprehensive leadership training program, and will be paired with an executive coach for the duration of the program.

Those accepted into the program will receive international certification upon completion of the portfolio of evidence and the course, and will be evaluated for placement into management positions within ADIB.

Commenting on the creation of the program, at ADIB said, Waheeb Khazraji, Head of Human Resources at ADIB “Women in the UAE are increasingly becoming major players in the country’s economic leadership. As one of the leading banking institutions in the UAE, we believe that it is essential that we play a role in developing the immense talent the UAE holds. At ADIB we have a pool of talented Emirati female professionals with innovative ideas and want to encourage them to develop into leaders across all divisions of the bank.”

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank has been recently named Employer of the Year by The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT).

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Mobile Technology Creating a “Desk- Independent” Workforce in the Middle East, say Industry Experts Tue, 30 Jun 2015 02:51:48 +0000 Nitin Sood, Managing Director, Fly MEA
Nitin Sood, Managing Director, Fly MEA

Almost 50% of Survey Respondents Would Choose Flexible Hours Over Salary Increase; Aruba Networks.

Increased mobile technology usage at work is revolutionizing the Middle East workforce, creating a generation of more efficient ‘Desk-Independent’ employees, according to industry experts.

Figures from the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) study on the growing mobile workforce across Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) show that mobile workers will reach 244.6 million this year in the region, as a result of the corporate shift towards the BYOD model. IDC also forecasted that smart connected devices will reach 513 million in the same region, and that the global mobile worker population will reach over 37% of the total workforce, representing a 30 percent increase from 2010.

“Today’s workforce is increasingly on the move, and mobile technology has become a necessity for both employees, and employers, with smartphones in prominent demand,” said Nitin Sood, Managing Director, Fly MEA.

“More corporations, across a growing number of industries, in the Middle East are recognizing the benefits of the BYOD model, allowing for mobile working, and continuous accessibility, and as a result, are encouraging employees to utilize their chosen mobile device. This trend is accelerated by the constant developments in mobile technology, such as 4G and LTE data networks, which are allowing professionals access to information quickly, and on-the-move.”

Fly has also observed a recent growth towards the phablet as a device of choice among workers in the Middle East, as they provide a sufficient balance between the performance of tablets, and the convenience of smartphones.

With mobile technology, employees and employers are now able to access emails and important working documents while commuting,at remote work destinations, and even at home. The introduction of high-speed 4G LTE devices will further increase productivity levels across industries by allowing workers to manage their time more efficiently, and will improve the quality of life for workers in the region,as they are able to reduce the time spent at work.

A recent study by Google’s Our Mobile Planet Survey revealed that the Middle East has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world. The survey further revealed that the smartphone penetration rates in the region were highest in the UAE at 73.8 percent, and KSA at 72.8 percent. With an ever-expanding portfolio of mobile devices, Fly constantly strives to meet the diverse demands of the market with high-end technology at affordable prices.

Aruba Networks have reported that the increase in mobile working demand has resulted in a new generation, dubbed #GenMobile, whose lives now revolve around mobile devices, especially in work settings. This new generation, identified in the UAE and KSA, as well as in Europe, the US and South Africa, are strong believers in the notion of mobile working, in any location, at any time.

The 2014 report revealed that 86 percent of survey respondents owned at least two mobile devices that are able to connect to the internet, and that 45 percent work most efficiently outside of typical working hours. The report further suggested that almost 50 percent of the respondents would opt for more flexible working hours over a 10 percent increase in salary.

“While security is a top priority for many workers in the region, the ability to switch seamlessly between devices, and access important documents is equally important,” said Sood. “There are countless apps emerging on the market to ensure both demands are met. In addition to the Google Drive app that securely backs up user documents, the 1U security app, for example, allows users to access private information and websites by simply requesting authorized users to glance at their device, while Evernote synchronizes data across various devices allowing users to work effortlessly anywhere at any time.”

The utility of mobile devices at work has been proven to benefit workers across all industries in many ways. Engineers can access important technical information when involved in fieldwork, salespeople can incorporate innovated and interactive sales material when pitching to potential clients, teachers can increase student engagement and retention level with the use of dedicated apps, healthcare professionals can access records across hospital departments, and employees across industries will have constant access to their emails and important documents wherever they are.

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DEWA launches its smart app on Apple watches Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:51:49 +0000 dewa appDubai Electricity and Water Authority ( DEWA ) has launched its mobile app on Apple smart watches, offering its customers a new experience that helps them access its services easily. The move supports the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the smartest city in the world. It also complements the Dubai Plan 2021 for Dubai Government to be proactive and creative in meeting the needs of individuals and society as a whole.

DEWA ‘s initiative to launch its smart app on Apple watches supports its strategy to keep up with the latest technologies and smart transformation developments. It also supports DEWA ‘s continuous pursuit to achieve leadership and excellence in various technological areas. This is done by developing state-of-the-art applications that meet the latest technological requirements and are available across different smart devices to ensure DEWA ‘s services are accessible by all customers. Customers can install DEWA ‘s app from the App store and take advantage of the services and features it provides. These include bill enquiries, contact information, news, and receiving notifications.

“At DEWA , we work to achieve the Smart Dubai initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. We also work to fulfil the vision of His Highness that, “A successful government is one that goes to the people and does not wait for them to come to it.” DEWA has made major achievements in its smart transformation. It has transformed all its services into smart services in less than a year after the Smart Dubai initiative was launched,” said Al Tayer.

“By transforming our services into smart services, we enhance the happiness of society and provide seamless instant services that makes the lives of our customers easier. Launching DEWA ‘s smart app on Apple watches provides a new channel for users of these watches that enables them to access our services easily round the clock. DEWA seeks to provide high-quality services that keep up with the latest technological developments to achieve its vision to become a sustainable innovative world class utility,” added Al Tayer.

“We have developed DEWA ‘s smart app to be compatible with different platforms and smart devices to reach all customers through their preferred channels and provide our services, anytime, anywhere. DEWA was the first government organisation to develop a smart app for Samsung Galaxy Gear 1 and 2 smart watches. It is also a leader in enabling bill payment using the smart app,” said Moza Al Akraf, Acting CIO of DEWA .

DEWA ‘s smart app provides over 150 services and features that meet the needs of all customers, consultants, suppliers, job seekers, government organisations, and job seekers. Visitors can review quotes by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, conservation tips, Inform Us service to report issues, and other features that the app provides.

DEWA provides all its services on its smart app, which supports most platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry. It is also accessible on Samsung home entertainment systems, Samsung Smart Gear, and Etisalat’s eLife.

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du customers can now charge games and applications from Google Play direct to their phone bill Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:51:25 +0000 duBuy online through Google Play without using a credit card.

Dubai – Starting today, du ‘s customers can charge purchases from Google Play™ direct to their du bill without having to use their bank cards online. The process known as direct operator billing, brings greater convenience for consumers making online purchases on their mobile devices.

Jawad Shaikh, Executive Vice President, Digital Business, du , said: “As part of our commitment to finding smarter digital solutions that simplify our customers’ lives, we are offering our customers a more convenient way to pay on Google Play.

With some of the most popular mobile apps and games available, direct billing with du will make it easier than ever for our customers to download the Google Play apps they want and make in-app purchases, without the need for credit cards.

Customers will enjoy secure credit card-free online transactions. The introduction of this payment method means customers can shop from anywhere in the world within seconds, whenever and wherever they want. Purchased applications can either be charged as part of a du customer’s monthly bill for post-paid accounts, or through their prepaid credit balance.

*Google Play is a registered trademark of Google Inc.

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Dubai Chamber strengthens its leadership in IT Mon, 29 Jun 2015 05:30:29 +0000 dubai chamberAwarded ISO 20000 from Bureau Veritas for delivering smart services.

Demonstrating its commitment to offering a reliable IT service and infrastructure to employees and customers, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been awarded ISO/IEC 20000 -1:2011 certification from French classification organisation Bureau Veritas this month.

After a successful completion of a certification audit, Dubai Chamber has been awarded the ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 for its effective overall IT service level management standards including reporting, budgeting and accounting for IT services as well as information security, supplier, incident, change and release management.

H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber , said: “The Certificate endorses the Chamber ‘s commitment to upholding a reliable IT service and infrastructure, enhancing employee satisfaction and performance while boosting its corporate image by offering world-class services based on a proven set of best practices to its internal and external customers.

“This certification is also a recognition of our dedication and hard work and highlights the quality of IT services that we provide to our stakeholders in line with the Dubai Government’s directives to offer smart services to all customers while keeping in step with latest technological changes as well as to promote IT Service Management System good practices within the business community in the emirate,” he said.

The President and CEO of Dubai Chamber added that the application of the IT Service Management Standard contributes to reducing cost through increased productivity while saving precious time and effort besides helping the Chamber to integrate the standard in providing a highly enriching experience to all its stakeholders.

The certificate reaffirms that the services offered by Dubai Chamber is of the highest accepted global standards in the IT industry as the end-users of the organisation’s services are assured of a comprehensive, consistent and integrated approach to IT Service Management processes as defined in the ISO/IEC 20000 -1:2011 standards, which also emphasize on continuous improvement initiatives in the service life cycle.

Established in 1965, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry is a non-profit public entity, whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai by creating a favourable business environment, supporting the development of business, and by promoting Dubai as an international business hub. For more information visit

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Logicom extends partnership with Autodesk to Qatar Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:08:38 +0000 logicomLogicom, the leading regional Distributor of Technology Solutions and Services, has extended its distribution agreement with Autodesk to include Qatar, following a successful partnership in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Pakistan and recently Kuwait.

Autodesk is a world leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment creation software. As of this month , Logicom will distribute in Qatar Autodesk product lines for the following industries: Architecture, Engineering & Construction; Infrastructure; Media & Entertainment; Product Design & Manufacturing; and Natural Resources including Oil & Gas.

Logicom’s Autodesk Product Manager for the region, Zaher Saliba, said: “Following our successful partnership with Autodesk which began on November 1st 2014, we are proud to have extended this distribution agreement to include Qatar. Autodesk is a software-industry leader of great impact in all the verticals that it covers.

With this agreement, we are complementing our existing offerings across an even wider partner-network, in more than eight territories, thus adding even greater value to our partners business.’

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Gulf English School wins ‘The Most Active Eco School’ Award Fri, 26 Jun 2015 05:27:31 +0000 Gulf English SchoolGES receives Award at annual Green Programme for Schools ceremony.

GES’s ‘Save the Earth’ initiative teaches students about global warming and pollution.

Gulf English School (GES) received ‘The Most Active Eco School’ Award at the annual award ceremony for the ‘Green Programme for Schools’. Having first joined the Green Programme in February of this year, GES students have worked hard to promote a greener school as part of the school’s ‘Save the Earth’ initiative. Students have been learning about global warming and pollution and been made aware of the changes needed to protect the Earth.

The Green Programme for Schools raises global eco awareness by providing schools with tools to remind students to turn off lights when not using them, not to waste water and to reuse plastic bottles.

Sarah Dickins, Deputy Head Pastoral for GES Juniors, said: “At GES by reducing the amount of electricity we use, reusing our plastic bottles and thinking more carefully about what we throw away, we have become a more eco-friendly school – and this is just the start. We are delighted to have received the Green Programme for Schools Award for being the most active eco school and our students are already thinking of new and innovative ways to help our school become even greener.”

Sarah added: “The Green Programme initiative chimes with the school’s vision and mission to provide a well-rounded education to our students so they achieve their personal best and become responsible global citizens.”

The student council, made up of students aged between 7 and 11, brought their enthusiasm and energy to bear to set up the Green Programme at the school. They placed green awareness stickers around the school and delivered an assembly address to the whole school to explain the programme. They also spoke to the classes they represented to set up recycling areas and introduced a suggestions box in reception to collect ideas about going green from students and staff.

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T-PayTM grows its business in the region 62-fold, led by growth in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt Fri, 26 Jun 2015 03:41:09 +0000 sahar
Sahar Salama-General Manager of T-Pay

– Offers over 200 million mobile subscribers in the Arab region the ability to pay for their purchases through their mobiles
– T-PayTM has recorded 238- fold traffic growth in the region year-on-year

Cairo/Dubai – T-PayTM, the first open mobile payment platform in the Arab region launched by ArpuPlus, revealed today that its business has seen an amazing 62-fold growth in revenue last year. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been leading the pack, currently generating over half of the regional revenue. Already recognised as the leading home-grown integrated and secure Direct Operator Billing (DOB), T-PayTM expands the mobile payment ecosystem and accelerates an easier, more efficient transition towards a stronger regional digital economy. The platform is one of the newest ventures of ArpuPlus, launched in January 2014 as the First Direct Billing service in MENA. It aims to enable online business monetisation in the region. ArpuPlus, an OTVentures company, has built this unique ecosystem for mobile payment, connecting consumers, businesses and mobile operators through one simple integration, a one-time registration followed by a one- step and click-to-buy button. today enjoys the biggest regional DOB footprint. The payment platform has partnered with 21 mobile operators from 10 countries to provide DOB to over 200 million mobile subscribers, giving international and regional digital businesses tremendous opportunities toreach out to new consumers and grow in new markets. Customers can also benefit by charging their purchases directly to their mobile accounts and gain access to T-PayTM’s wide network of merchants.

Fadi Antaki, CEO of OTVentures, a pioneering digital and technology solutions provider for both online and mobile platforms, said: “Consumer appetite for mobile technology is on the rise. Users want quick, easy-to-use and secure channels to address their day-to-day needs. This is also reflected in the accelerating smartphone penetration rates with an estimate of seven billion mobile subscriptions globally. The mobile phone, as a payment technology in particular, is expected to register significant growth over the next five years. This solution is rapidly revolutionising the way the digital world works. Businesses can tap into new markets with the use of T-PayTMand grow exponentially by reaching new consumers and markets.”

As per industry estimates, mobile payments are expected to grow between 350 and 900 million users globally, generating anywhere between US$430 billion and US$1 trillion in transaction value by 2015. The Middle East’s share of mobile payments is still minimal but is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80 per cent until 2017, when it will be worth US$27.6 billion. Almost half of that, or US$13 billion, will be generated from DOB. With the region recording one of the highest Internet traffic growth annually at 51% until 2016, emerging markets like MENA present a huge potential for DOB. T-PayTM is working together with merchants and operators to lead the DOB growth and help mobile developers and aggregators reach a wide range of consumers.

Medhat Karam, CEO of ArpuPlus, said: “T-PayTM has built significant partnerships with market leaders since its launch. The payment platform allows operators and merchants to work seamlessly together to offer consumers a convenient, secure and efficient method of mobile payment. These partnerships are the key to attaining the real potential of online and digital business. The Arab region has a huge unaddressed market for digital payments. This is primarily dominated by young, unbanked population which has no access to making online payments for digital goods and services. We, at T-PayTM, are filling this gap by offering a solution that caters to all the members of the value chain- buyers, merchants and mobile operators.”

Currently 40% of internet users in the Arab region are buying goods online. Only 22% use credit cards, which has a penetration of as low as 1.5% to 8% in most of the countries. Five out of six users prefer DOB over credit cards, 14 out of 20 prefer DOB over all other payment methods.

Sahar Salama, T-PayTMGeneral Manager, said: “T-PayTM has recorded 238-fold traffic growth since its inception. The local digital and e-commerce market is excited about this new payment gateway and the added value it brings to businesses. T-Pay has already attracted a large number of international and regional merchants who are looking at exponential growth throughout the MENA region, by reaching cross-border customers who have not been accessible before. These merchants operate in diversified sectors, like gaming, classifieds, entertainment Video-on-Demand (VOD) and Over-the-Top-Content (OTT) platforms, social learning and education, pre-paid cards stores, as well as professional consulting services, and connected them to their customers through a comprehensive network of mobile operators. These digital merchants are feeling the positive impacton their businesses generated by the repeated daily use of the system.”

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Huawei Builds Greener Supply Chain Thu, 25 Jun 2015 07:50:04 +0000 huawei2014 Sustainability Report Shows Marked Progress.

Middle East – Huawei reduced its global carbon emissions in 2014 after membership in its green supplier program expanded five-fold last year, according to the company’s 2014 Sustainability Report. Released at a conference on the future of sustainable supply chains, the report sets out Huawei ‘s philosophy and describes its achievements in bridging the digital divide, supporting stable and secure network operations, promoting environmental protection, and seeking win-win development.

“In 2014, Huawei made considerable progress in its sustainability strategy,” said Alex Deng, Chairman of Huawei ‘s Corporate Sustainable Development (CSD) Committee, speaking at an event that brought together 150 representatives from European institutions and industry. “We released the Global Connectivity Index, the industry’s first comprehensive and quantitative evaluation of the connectivity levels of countries and industries. We also acted aggressively to reduce not only our own emissions, but those of our suppliers.”

Twenty suppliers took part in Huawei ‘s energy conservation and emissions reduction programme last year, up from four in 2013, helping to more than double the quantity of carbon dioxide emissions reduced, to 53,652 tonnes from 23,839 tonnes in 2013. Huawei also re-used or recycled more than 97% of its waste in 2014.

” Huawei has incorporated sustainability requirements into our supplier qualification and audit processes,” Mr. Deng said. “We have also created a platform for suppliers to learn from and share experience with each other. By promoting cooperation on green initiatives between upstream and downstream industry players, we have contributed greatly to a greener supply chain. In addition, we have linked procurement quotas and business opportunities with suppliers’ sustainability performance. Suppliers that perform well are given higher procurement quotas and more business opportunities, while the reverse is true for low-performing suppliers. Depending on the situation, Huawei may even terminate business relationships with suppliers that have an exceptionally poor performance.”

He added, “Of course, terminating business relationships is only done as a last resort, since Huawei believes it is better to continue working with suppliers to drive sustainable improvement, rather than leaving the suppliers, which does not address the problem. This cooperative approach has effectively encouraged suppliers to proactively manage their sustainability performance and increase competitiveness in a green supply chain.”

“The approach outlined in Huawei ‘s latest sustainability report is in line with our view that businesses need to look beyond compliance,” said Stefan Crets, Executive Director at CSR Europe, the co-organizer of the conference. “Companies must make sustainable supply chain management an innovation-based business strategy, working with suppliers throughout the value chain to develop broad collaboration, thereby enhancing end-to-end sustainability. We hope to foster collaboration and innovative action among businesses across global supply chains to maximise their contribution to the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth.”

In addition to greening its supply chain, Huawei is moving forward to improve sustainability in various aspects of its business. As part of an initiative to promote the circular economy in the device sector, the company launched a Green Recycling Programme for used mobile phones. Also, the Huawei Honor 6 Plus became the world’s first mobile phone to be issued with a Product Water Footprint Verification Statement, issued by TUV SUD, a testing and certification organization based in Europe, indicating the company’s leadership position in eco-design.

Over the last decade Huawei has led an ambitious agenda of CSR and Sustainability programs within the Middle East across the ICT sector and beyond. The company’s Sustainability strategy focuses on pillars such as bridging the digital divide, ensuring stable & secure network operations, promoting environmental sustainability, and seeking win-win development with its industry partners. Throughout the years, Huawei has advanced a number of local initiatives including its support for “Clean Up UAE” environmental campaign in 2014 and “Gift of Knowledge” CSR campaign with ARAMCO and STC in Saudi Arabia.

Huawei deployed a campus-wide WiFi network for Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs which connected teachers and students with the center’s digital learning platforms. The program was subsidized as part of a mutual corporate responsibility program. Huawei was also honored by the Arabia CSR Network for its strong contribution and support of the organization’s annual Arabia CSR Forum & Awards Ceremony 2014.

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