online shopping concept, businessman use smartphones and credit cards to purchase products from online stores and shop on the internet, ecommerce store, online business, convenience, competitive price

Payments Security: The Key to Winning Consumer Loyalty in MENA

online shopping concept, businessman use smartphones and credit cards to purchase products from online stores and shop on the internet, ecommerce store, online business, convenience, competitive price

The adoption of digital commerce in MENA has skyrocketed over the past few years. Countries that were once deeply attached to cash and physical transactions have shot to digital maturity in just a few years. According to’s 4th annual MENA e-commerce report, The State of Digital Commerce in MENA 2024, 91% of the region’s consumers have reported shopping e-commerce in the past two years. The number of people who shop online in MENA at least once per day has grown by 80% since 2020, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia leading the way with a staggering 90% increase.  

In response to evolving consumer demands, merchants across MENA are embarking on ambitious digitization journeys and adopting innovative payment strategies. As digital commerce moves beyond the early-adoption phase, the focus is shifting toward fine tuning performance. In doing so, strengthening payment security has become a top priority.

As innovation stimulates advancements in the payment industry, fraudsters don’t rest on laurels, further sophisticating their own scam methods and tricks. Furthermore, the very aspects of e-commerce that make it an enticing prospect for consumers – speed, convenience, and anonymity – also work in cybercriminals’ favor. Because the e-commerce ecosystem includes multiple stakeholders, the retailer, the customer, the processor, and the networks, fraudsters have multiple potential access points that they can exploit.

According to Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, General Manager – MENA at, ecommerce fraud can take many forms, such as criminals using stolen credit card numbers to make purchases, transaction replays, and chargeback fraud. The diverse and complex nature of e-commerce fraud emphasizes the importance of vigilance and secure practices merchants must adopt to avoid such incidents.  

But it’s not just the initial financial loss that merchants need to be concerned about. Falling prey to ecommerce fraud can damage customer trust and the company’s reputation. Alarmingly, 33% of MENA consumers say they have been a victim of payments fraud. According to The State of Digital Commerce in MENA 2024 report, safe and secure checkout is now a priority for 39% of MENA consumers. In contrast, in 2020, survey respondents placed the highest value on speedy delivery.

Furthermore, up to 30% of shoppers have said a single falsely declined payment- when a payment is declined despite the payee having sufficient funds in the account, would lead them to shop from a competitor’s website. With the cost of customer acquisition for e-commerce merchants having increased, a rise in falsely declined payments adds insult to injury. This makes high-performing acceptance solutions a matter of huge competitive importance in MENA.

To this point, it’s important to mention that the region also continues to see a relatively high number of false declined payments. According to’s latest report, 23% of respondents experienced a falsely declined payment in recent months. In today’s fast-paced digital economy, consumers are also less patient, less loyal, and more savvy than before.

Shoppers want to know their payment is being handled by a safe and reliable partner. The good news for merchants is that fortifying payments security is a much simpler task than dealing with widespread data breaches.

In this context, Abbondandolo outlines effective strategies that merchants in MENA can adopt to minimize payment fraud and false declines, thereby enhancing consumer trust and loyalty.

Choose a trusted partner

Partnering with a regulated payments service provider (PSP) that offers acquiring capabilities, advanced technology support, and comprehensive regional regulatory expertise can significantly bolster a business’s security measures against fraud. Regulated PSPs provide acceptance solutions that enhance payment processes through optimized messaging, routing, and retries, ensuring robust security and seamless transactions throughout. Furthermore, because fraudsters have no boundaries, partnering with a regulated global PSPs with local experience offers advanced technology solutions that include real-time fraud detection systems that are trained on detecting the most advanced global fraud scams and techniques. By analyzing transactional data in milliseconds, identifying suspicious patterns and behaviors that may indicate fraudulent activity.

By partnering with a regulated PSP that offers acquiring capabilities and advanced technology support, businesses can benefit from a holistic approach to fraud prevention and payment security.

Harness the power of embedded AI

Regional merchants are increasingly safeguarding their businesses from fraud by leveraging a combination of tools and machine learning. Advanced payment technology empower merchants to seamlessly integrate fraud detection solutions into their platforms, without requiring additional set up. Meanwhile, AI is now trained on billions of global transactions, with merchants benefitting from a global network effect that allows them to analyze vast amounts of data to detect patterns, anomalies and emerging fraud like never before.

Minimizing fraud and improving performance in payment processing are closely intertwined goals that can significantly impact a business’s bottom line and customer satisfaction. When a business effectively reduces fraud, it tends to experience several concurrent benefits that contribute to overall performance enhancement.

Our merchants in the region have been benefiting from a whole new level of payment performance with Intelligent Acceptance. This product combines advanced Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, vast network data, and deep payment expertise to increase conversion and unlock untapped revenue. We have already recovered $1.1 billion of revenue, and increased acceptance rates on average by 2% for globally.

Make data work for you

Research conducted by alongside Oxford Economics found that $50.7 billion was lost due to false declines in recent years. Large data sets can empower merchants to track and respond to customer payment trends with laser accuracy in real-time. Here we have seen the great benefit from Intelligent Acceptance that draws on insights from these data sets to deliver a whole new level of payment performance, increasing conversion and unlocking untapped revenue, as well as Network Tokens that have helped our merchants achieve higher authorization rates, reduced fraud and allow businesses to offer an improved customer experience, while keeping customers data

Looking ahead, half of all shoppers in MENA anticipate an increase in their online spending over the next 12 months. Abbondandolo believes that MENA merchants still have significant untapped opportunity to combat fraud, reduce false declines and their overall payments costs, while increasing their revenue. As consumers increasingly embrace digital shopping and payments, optimizing every aspect of the ecommerce experience remains crucial for merchants to capitalize on this growing trend.

Saudi Arabia, Modern, international, Urban skyline and modern architecture

How Saudi Infrastructure Development Can Match the Tourism Boom

Saudi Arabia, Modern, international, Urban skyline and modern architecture

Whilst the pace of transformation in Saudi is evident, the tourism boom has upped the ante on the need for speed in developing giga projects and tourism destinations in Saudi

With Saudi Arabia setting a new goal to attract 150 million visitors over the next six years, having achieved ahead of schedule the target of ‘100 million visitors by 2030’, there is a need to increase the pace of developing giga projects and tourism destinations in the kingdom, a top official of Serco Middle East, has said.

The kingdom’s tourism sector is accelerating, and the announcement of major events like the Riyadh Expo 2030 and the bid to host the FIFA 2034 World Cup are just some of the examples that underscore how seriously Saudi is taking its commitment to opening its doors to international visitors, said Daniel MacGregor, Chief Growth Officer, Serco Middle East.

Serco provides services in areas of asset management, facilities maintenance and operations as well as core operational services such as security, cleaning, pest control and waste management.

The crux of the work that needs to be done is being ready for international tourists coming from new markets, with varied backgrounds and en masse to such events, must be completed ahead of the events themselves, said MacGregor.

MacGregor says why there is an urgent need for Saudi to accelerate the pace of infrastructure development, and how to cater for the tourism boom that lies ahead.

Preparations will need to include, for example, transformations to the airport infrastructure, which will function as the ‘shop window’ as it were, working as the gateway and delivering a vital first impression to millions of people as they first enter the country.

Whilst the pace of transformation in Saudi is evident, the tourism boom has upped the ante on the need for speed in developing giga projects and tourism destinations in Saudi.

The good news is that these areas, while set to cater to a diverse set of tourists needs – be that sport, entertainment or cultural experiences, also have their own distinct contributions to make to the kingdom’s economy and society.

NEOM, promises to be a hub for innovation; the Red Sea Development project is expected to contribute significantly to the kingdom’s GDP, creating thousands of jobs, and positioning Saudi Arabia as a top-tier sustainable travel destination.

Whilst the creation of King Salman Park highlights the 360-view that Saudi is taking towards its Vision 2030 progress, there needs to be a focus on creating green liveable spaces that contribute to the overall happiness of those who both live in Saudi and of course those who pass through as visitors.

To accelerate progress, the collaboration between the public and private sectors is vital. The government’s commitment to forging these partnerships is evident enough through the substantial investments and regulatory reforms that are being implemented, which are designed to facilitate business operations.

These collaborations are essential for injecting innovation, efficiency, and both global and local expertise into the tourism sector, ensuring that the developments are not only world-class but also sustainable and economically viable.

By working hand in hand, business has a major role to play in supporting the government to not only achieve their already ambitious tourism targets, but they can help the government set up Saudi for long-term future success on the tourism stage.

These developments are backed by reports from the Ministry of Interior at the recent UK Saudi Sustainable Infrastructure Summit that the kingdom is ‘more than halfway through’ the delivery of Vision 2030, with statements indicating that it is ‘ahead of schedule in all aspects of implementation.’  

Woman, grocery shopping and fruits choice, discount and sale or wholesale promotion for healthy food and basket. African customer in convenience store or supermarket

How South African Retailers Can Capitalise on the Cold Season

Woman, grocery shopping and fruits choice, discount and sale or wholesale promotion for healthy food and basket. African customer in convenience store or supermarket

For many retailers, winter is one of the weakest periods for retail trading in South Africa, however, a big data analysis commission by Capital Connect shows that retail sales tend to pick up in winter after the quiet autumn months.

Research conducted by the Bureau of Market Research (BMR) finds that retailers can profit by stocking up on pharmaceutical goods, winter clothing and certain foods and beverages.

This analysis breaks down performance of retail subsectors for winter 2024 as follows:

General dealers historically see a rise in winter sales compared to earlier parts of the year. They benefit from customers buying hot beverages like coffee, tea and hot chocolate; vegetables and meats for soups, stews and other hearty meals; clothing items like sleepwear, winter wear and warm children’s clothes; blankets and fleeces; cold and flu medicines and over-the-counter treatments; vitamins and immune boosters; and certain small appliances like heaters and toasters.

Food, beverage and tobacco specialised stores also generally experience some growth in the winter months compared to the first quarter of the year. Like general dealers, they benefit from sales of ingredients for hot beverages and nutritious, affordable winter meals.

Pharmaceutical, medical goods, cosmetics and toiletries dealers profit from the cold and flu season. Products that sell well include prescription medicines, cold and flu medicines, throat lozenges, skin creams and lotions, moisturisers, cough syrup, pain relievers, nasal spray, immune system boosters, clinic services and hair dryers.

Textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods dealers tend to underperform in winter months compared to other times of the year. Sales tend to pick up for thick socks, winter boots, hoodies, jerseys, sweatshirts, tick cloth trousers, long sleeve shirts, slippers, warm sleepwear, as well as ladies and children’s winter clothing. However, local retailers are losing out on sales to international brands.

Household furniture, appliances and equipment dealers experience little growth in the winter months compared to the first quarter of the year. But there are opportunities to drive sales of heaters, carpets, cookers, ovens, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, small kitchen appliances, toasters, grills, roasters and coffee machines.

Hardware, paint and glass dealers generally experience low growth in the winter months. The only products that are standing out as strong winter sellers are firewood, heaters, grillers and some DIY products.

Steven Heilbron, CEO of Capital Connect, says that retailers that want to grow and thrive need to maximise their opportunities during every season, even those that are traditionally quieter trading periods.

But to win market share at a time of the year when there aren’t many big holidays and when people are staying indoors, they’ll need to be innovative to move the needle.

Creative promotions and strategic stock purchases can give retailers an edge during winter.

Some ideas they can consider include:

Host winter-themed events such as cooking classes for winter recipes or wine tastings featuring robust red wines to boost sales within the supermarket and liquor verticals.

Develop winter-themed promotions with attractive deals on seasonal essentials like winter woollies and soup mixes.

Create bundles such as soup ingredients or flu-fighting kits to increase basket sizes.

Offer a warm refuge and create an enticing space for customers to linger by offering soups, hot chocolate and a fire or heater in your coffee shop or bistro.

Commercial jet plane flying above Dubai city

UAE Committed to Reducing Carbon Emissions in Aviation Sector

Commercial jet plane flying above Dubai city

In the path of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, sustainable aviation fuel and alternative fuels have risen to prominence as central topics in discussions, meetings, and international conferences concerning the future of the aviation industry.

Recognised as key solutions for reducing carbon emissions in the sector, it has garnered significant attention and debate.

The 80th Annual General Meeting (AGM) & World Air Transport Summit 2024, hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Dubai last week, addressed ways to promote, accelerate, and incentivize the global increase in sustainable aviation fuel production.

Estimates by IATA suggest that the anticipated traffic of the industry in 2050 would likely generate 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon emissions if fueled by traditional jet kerosene. To achieve net-zero emissions, it is projected that 65 percent of the total emissions reductions will need to be accomplished using Sustainable Aviation Fuel, or SAF. This would equate to more than 360 million tonness (450 billion liters) of SAF annually by 2050, sourced from every available sustainable feedstock.

During its participation in the AGM, the General Civil Aviation Authority ((GCAA) affirmed the UAE’s commitment to supporting international cooperation efforts in this field to ensure tangible progress.

Maryam Ali AlBalooshi, Environment Manager at GCAA and Vice Chair of the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), explained that alternative aviation fuel has become a key priority on the government agenda of the UAE. She noted that the country has taken several serious and deliberate steps to develop an enabling environment for the production of clean, sustainable, and low-carbon fuels for aviation.

The UAE is keen on adopting and supporting all initiatives that serve this direction internationally, believing that international cooperation is essential to achieve a real turning point in the production and operation curve of the civil aviation sector globally.

In this context, Al Balooshi elaborated on the UAE’s adoption of the Sustainable Aviation Market (SAM 2025) initiative, which the country plans to organise next year in conjunction with hosting the 4th ICAO Global Implementation Support Symposium in 2025. This market will function as a pivotal accelerator for increasing global production of sustainable aviation fuel and low-carbon fuels. Its primary objective is to provide an environmental platform facilitating communication among project developers, funders, banks, small and medium-sized enterprises, and other stakeholders.

According to figures published on the ICAO website, international efforts to enhance the production of SAF are making continuous progress, as shown in the data below:

  • 122 airports distributing SAF
  • 53 billion litres under offtake agreements
  • 313 Announced Facilities for SAF and LCAF
  • 42 feedstocks recognized under ICAO CORSIA
  • 23 Stakeholder Action Groups

Best Capital Market Fintech Company – EMEA


Delivering unparalleled fintech solutions for capital market industries, SYPEX introduces its software to a plethora of clients withing to invest, and manage their investments, with ease. Here we learn more from Co-founder and Associate Director Hicham Benyahya in the wake of SYPEX’s prestigious award win.

Established in 2017 in Casablanca, Morocco, SYPEX is an unshakeable fintech solutions provider with a range of services to support clients from around the MEA region. Hicham Benyahya tells us more about the firm’s clientele, “Our clients are financial market players such as trading rooms and treasury, asset management, UCITS, REIM, stock exchange brokers, custodians, asset servicers, insurance and pension funds, private banking and wealth management.”

Of course, working in such a fast-paced and ever-evolving industry, with various client needs, SYPEX has to be flexible. With its client-oriented platform for service management, the company ensures it can respond to changing needs “while respecting the Service Level Agreements initially defined with them”. Its platform, as a multi-entity software suite, is ideal for OnPremise or Cloud management of business workflows front-to-back and in real time.

SYPEX is built on the core values of commitment, innovation, excellence, respect, and sharing, which makes its connections even stronger regardless of what its clients require. These qualities also stand out as its USPs, separating the company from its competitors within the industry.

Furthermore, Hicham shares, “Our competitive intelligence unit collects and analyzes data relating to competitor strategies, market developments, regulatory developments, technological developments, etc.” By staying up to date with industry developments, as well as forming beneficial partnerships with its clients, SYPEX’s software offers in-depth solutions which ultimately improve outcomes for the capital market as a whole.

Raising the bar for what is expected of the integral industry, SYPEX enriches the surrounding region’s sectors. Hicham continues, “In recent years, we have seen the emergence of several African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Morocco where we are based. Even the maturity of some Middle East countries. There have been several developments in our market in Morocco such as the introduction of the REIM portfolio management, Wealth management regulation as well as the ongoing futures markets project. At the regional level, we see the development of UEMOA and CEMAC markets with evolution of UCITS. During market developments, we always follow the industry by adapting in order to integrate new functionalities into our solutions.”

“Our solutions are adapted to the specificities of regional markets and integrating the best technology innovations.”

SYPEX’s services covers market data, simulation, analysis, portfolios and asset management, contribution and performance attribution, private banking and wealth management, and so much more, to ensure its clients can actively monitor and manage risks and activities – all for a better future in business.

Offering its team all the support needed to thrive, the company is poised and ready to embark on a new journey. As the industry continues to change, SYPEX has plans to consolidate its positioning in its region “while supporting clients in new developments for future markets”. With a large number of satisfied clients over the years, SYPEX endeavours to adapt to even more challenges which will inevitably approach the industry.

Recently awarded with the title of Best Capital Market Fintech Company – EMEA, SYPEX has gained recognition for its excellence in the field of fintech solutions. Its fervent dedication to providing the best software solutions to its clients makes this firm an excellent choice for any business partnership. We wish the company the best as it continues to improve the sphere, and we’re sure to see it flourish further for the years to come.

For further information, please contact Hicham Benyahya or visit

Women in tech

UN Tourism Launches Women in Tech Startup Competition: Middle East

Women in tech

UN Tourism has launched the second edition of its Women in Tech Startup Competition: Middle East. The initiative aims to highlight and support women entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of sustainable tourism and technology across the region.

Applications now Open

The competition targets startups that are led by women and based in the Middle East. Enterprises must be operating within the tourism sector and related industries, and offer sustainable solutions for people, the planet, and prosperity. They must also be an entrepreneurial project at an early stage, idea stage, or Series A stage of their journey. Applications are open for the following three categories:

• People and Skills: this category calls for startups with environmental and sustainable

approaches in education tech, social connectivity, wellness or health, with cross-cutting

benefits with tourism.

• Green Travel Solutions: for startups that use environmentally friendly and sustainable

approaches in green tech, green infrastructure, travel and logistics, urban development or

rural development, with cross-cutting benefits with tourism.

• Market Innovators: for startups working with emergent technologies applied to tourism.

UN Tourism has welcomed key global and regional partners and ecosystem collaborators to support the winning startups. Almosafer, Plug and Play, AIM, The Bench, Impulse4Women and Bilakatu will be providing visibility, personalized mentorship, consultancy and access to potential investment to the best entrepreneurial solutions. This year’s applications will be processed through Plug and Play’s open innovation platform, the largest in the world, and the finalists will also be invited to join the global UN Tourism Innovation Network.

The launch was announced at the AIM Congress, a leading investment platform, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, during a special UN Tourism Investment Forum session on “Investing in Innovation and Enabling Women Entrepreneurs”.

The second edition follows on from the success of the inaugural initiative, with over 140 startups and SMEs applying from 11 countries. The four winners, Fosha (Egypt), Sparkle Haze (UAE), Plastus Biotech (Saudi Arabia), Xenios Academy (UAE) were announced last year during the celebrations for World Tourism Day on 27 September in Riyadh.

UN Tourism and Women Empowerment

UN Tourism is committed to advancing the positive impact of tourism on women’s lives, thereby contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Gender Equality. The organization has been actively supporting women entrepreneurs, working to propel the tourism sector forward and to foster inclusivity.

UN Tourism Executive Director Natalia Bayona says: “It is crucial to empower female entrepreneurs in the Middle East with innovative business proposals that have a component of positive social impact and respect for the environment to support the sustainable development of the growing tourism sector in the region.”

UN Tourism and Innovation

Since 2018, UN Tourism has launched more than 25 startup competitions and innovation challenges, covering over 150 countries around the world. With over 20,000 participants and more than 350 top startups mapped with USD 2+ billion in funding, UN Tourism continues its efforts to support digitalization and innovation to advance the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Tourism is a tool for positive transformation and inclusive economic development.

Medical services

Dubai Health Authority Collaborates with Knight Frank MEA’s Healthcare Division

Medical services

Knight Frank MEA’s Healthcare division is proud to announce its collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in releasing the latest edition the Dubai Health Investment Guide 2024. Serving as dedicated research partners, Knight Frank MENA’s Healthcare division has contributed to the creation of this comprehensive guide, specifically designed to cater to the requirements of healthcare investors and operators. The guide offers a detailed roadmap for navigating Dubai’s thriving healthcare landscape.

Dubai has emerged as a global healthcare hub, recognised for its outstanding healthcare services and infrastructure. The Dubai Health Investment Guide 2024 aims to align investment priorities with the ever-evolving healthcare demands of Dubai’s diverse and growing population. This invaluable resource offers in-depth data, strategic insights, and a thorough understanding of the investment ecosystem, governance, and regulatory framework within Dubai’s healthcare sector.

According to Joint Commission International, UAE is ranked 1 in the number of internationally accredited establishments with 196 healthcare facilities. Globally, Dubai was ranked 6 and 1 in GCC, among attractive medical travel destinations in the Medical Tourism Index 2020-2021.

Dr Ibtesam Al Bastaki – Director of Investment & Partnership, Dubai Health Authority says: “At the heart of our healthcare investment strategy is a commitment to fostering innovation, collaboration, and partnerships that will help us achieve our goals. We believe that by working together with leading healthcare providers, researchers, and innovators from around the world, we can create a healthcare ecosystem that delivers exceptional patient care, drives medical innovation, and contributes to the overall well-being of our society.

By focusing on startup innovation, collaboration and partnership, we can ensure that Dubai continues to be a leading destination for healthcare investment and innovation, and that we provide our citizens and residents with the best possible healthcare services.”

The UAE, with its world-renowned healthcare system, has experienced substantial growth in the number of healthcare facilities and professionals, demonstrating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3% in healthcare professionals from 2018 to 2023. This growth can be attributed to the increase in population and the implementation of mandatory insurance.

Shehzad Jamal – Partner, Strategy & Consultancy, MEA says: “Dubai has witnessed an increase in population across all age groups between 2005-2022. The population between the ages of 20-39 years grew by 2X and between 0-19 years and 40-59 years grew by 3X indicating demand for services such as primary care, obstetrics & gynaecology, and paediatrics. This has led to leading healthcare providers shifting their focus from traditional multi-specialty hospitals and develop Center of Excellence concepts within these specialties.

Dubai’s private sector has been a driving force behind the development of the city’s healthcare infrastructure, transforming it into a regional medical tourism hub. In 2022, 98% of Dubai’s population was covered by medical insurance, with healthcare expenses reaching approximately AED 21.4 billion. The volume of insured population is expected to witness further growth as the population increases, owing to the mandatory healthcare insurance in Dubai. This will create a strain on the existing healthcare infrastructure and also indicates the demand for additional inpatient and outpatient facilities.

While Dubai’s healthcare sector has seen significant growth in primary and secondary care to meet the demands of its dynamic population, there remains substantial growth potential, particularly in addressing non-communicable diseases. Bloomberg’s Health Efficiency Index 2020 ranks the UAE among the top 15 economies with the most efficient healthcare sector, and it holds the highest ranking in the Middle East.

Drivers in Healthcare and Health Investment Opportunities

Dubai Healthcare Investments and Partnerships play a pivotal role in fostering economic vitality within the sector by attracting foreign direct investment, addressing current gaps, and providing a sustainable public/private investment model to facilitate future investments.

Key drivers in healthcare investment include increasing utilisation of private healthcare services, Dubai’s position as a health tourism hub, population growth, the prevalence of chronic diseases, and mandatory health insurance.

The population above the age of 60 is expected to triple by 2030, driving the demand for elderly care services, including homecare, long-term care, and rehabilitation facilities.

Private sector utilisation has also witnessed significant growth, with 83% of inpatients and 73% of outpatients choosing private healthcare facilities in 2022. Additionally, the private sector has seen a CAGR of 15.6% in the number of inpatient beds between 2020 to 2022, while the public sector has grown at a CAGR of 6.8% during the same time frame.

The Dubai Health Investment Guide highlights the importance of healthcare facilities for High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) and their consideration when choosing a residential community. This presents a compelling case for outpatient and inpatient facilities within various sectors.

Investment areas that address the continuum of care needs include long-term care and rehabilitation, specialised centres, home health, telehealth services, and chronic disease management. Urgent care walk-in clinics can help reduce pressure on emergency rooms, and mental and behavioural health services have witnessed significant growth in both the private and public sectors.

Wellness and anti-aging are also emerging as a rapidly growing sector, with domestic wellness tourists spending significantly more than average tourists. Precision medicine is a key focus in the UAE, with the launch of the National Genome Strategy in March 2023, making Dubai a hub for personalised healthcare.

Jamal continues: “In 2022, Dubai welcomed over 674,000 health tourists, generating approximately AED 992 million in revenue. The Health Tourism Department in DHA supports Dubai as a global tourism destination, offering access to premier healthcare facilities and experts. Dubai now offers a range of healthcare facilities, including medical spas, integrated health centres, and alternative treatment centres such as homeopathy and ayurveda.”

Dr Gireesh Kumar – Associate Partner in Strategy & Consultancy, Healthcare, MEA says: “The city has witnessed expansion towards the south and east (sector 6 and 3), which indicates demand for additional healthcare facilities to be able to cater to the new residents in these districts. In addition, the older districts in the city will also witness demand for healthcare services but predominantly towards specialty care creating demand for Center of Excellence concepts. It is important to plan healthcare facilities based on the demands and positioning of the catchment area or target segment of patients.”

Health Tourism in Dubai

The Health Tourism Department in DHA supports Dubai as a global health tourism destination and a gateway to the finest medical experts and premier accredited healthcare facilities. As part of Dubai Health Experience (DXH), launched by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, a continuation of ‘Dubai, a Global Destination for Medical Tourism’, DXH is focused on building strong ties with Dubai’s finest healthcare providers to create an unmatched experience for health tourists. DXH today embraces 111 of Dubai’s leading healthcare providers. The primary nationalities of health tourists are as follows: 39% from Asia, 22% from European and CIS countries, and 21% from GCC and Arab nations.

Leadership roles

Deloitte Launches Kiyadat to Advance GCC National Talent Into Leadership Roles

Leadership roles

In Arabic, “Kiyadat” translates to “Leaders”, symbolizing the commitment to fostering national talent and paving their way towards leadership roles

Deloitte Middle East announced the launch of Kiyadat, a center of excellence designed to empower national talent across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. In Arabic, “Kiyadat” translates to “Leaders”, symbolizing the commitment to fostering national talent and paving their way towards leadership roles.

Mutasem Dajani, CEO of Deloitte Middle East, commented on the launch, “The Deloitte Kiyadat Center of Excellence is an exciting element of our business and talent strategy, contributing to the advancement of the region. Our commitment is to support the development of national youth and professional leaders across the GCC, offering sustainable career paths within and beyond Deloitte. Our aim is to foster, empower, and advocate for the growth of national talent, shaping meaningful and impactful careers.”

Kiyadat will serve as a platform for current and future Deloitte programs aimed at nurturing and empowering talent. These initiatives span a multitude of purposes, including people development, mentoring and sponsorship to empower talent to build careers made for the future.

A Deloitte Kiyadat Advisory Council whose members are senior multi-disciplinary partners from across the region will govern the center providing their expertise and deep experience. The council members include Rana Ghandour Salhab, the regional Deloitte ME People & Purpose managing partner,  Jazala  Hamad, Audit & Assurance Partner and UAE nationalization leader; Nasser AlSagga, KSA Head of Tax Controversy, and Riyadh Office Managing Partner; Ali AlWazzan, Kuwait Office Managing Partner; Ahmed AlQassabi, Oman Office Managing Partner; and Nasma Abbas, Deloitte ME Director of the Empowerment & Performance CoE and Nationalization Lead.

The Advisory Council members in their inaugural meeting reiterated that Kiyadat reflects Deloitte’s dedication to growing and advancing men and women in the GCC to assume professional leadership positions in line with their countries vision of the future. Through leveraging strategic initiatives and forging impactful partnerships, the council aims to provide a differentiated strategy to empower national talent and foster an ecosystem conducive to their long-term success.

The Kiyadat initiatives will include establishing the Deloitte National Youth Councils in each GCC country. In addition to professional development programs like Mustaqbaly, designed for young audit and tax professionals, Itqan, for those pursuing careers in financial advisory, and the BrightStart and BrightStar pioneering programs which offer education-to-employment pathways for aspiring and highly skilled national university students in consulting, digital disciplines, cyber and risk advisory. Participants are hired at Deloitte while still pursuing their university studies and are given the chance to gain a long-term competitive advantage from an early stage.

Kiyadat will also include innovative programs such as “Kiyadat Tadarab” internships, “Ahlan Kiyadat” onboarding, “Najahi” specialized mentoring, “Kiyadat Alliances” as part of the external engagement strategy to strengthen ties with universities and government entities, as well as “Kiyadat @ Deloitte,” a dedicated portal for nationalization initiatives.

Sash & Company

Best Regional Communications Consulting Firm – Middle East

Sash & Company

The communications industry is responsible for how each business shares and conveys information – whether on a regional or global scale. As we know, our methods of sharing information are made possible by telephone, internet, airwaves, and cables, meaning that we can connect with anyone – anywhere in the world – at any time. We introduce SASH & Company: a highly skilled PR agency which acts as a one-stop shop for all our strategic communications needs. Here we talk to CEO, Tarek Sakik to find out more as the business wins its prestigious award in our MEA Business Awards 2023.

The communications industry is so much more than how we communicate – it’s also about what we want to say. Raising and running a business in this industry is no small feat as the industry is extremely competitive and ever evolving.

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) have faced a lot of challenges over the years, from cybersecurity issues to the introduction of 5G, building brand trust to public interest rates, corporate social responsibility to wading through the world of Artificial Intelligence.

This is where regional communications consultancy, SASH & Company makes a clear distinction between itself and its competitors. SASH & Company introduces a plethora of services and solutions which inevitably alter the way we see the communications industry, in the Middle East and beyond.

SASH & Company was set up in 2007 to alleviate issues within the communications industry in the Middle East – and, ultimately, have an impact on the industry across the globe. Once it began in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the company decided to expand to Dubai with its strategic and creative hub, then a second KSA base in Riyadh.

Led and managed by an exceptional team of individuals, SASH & Company exceeds all expectations for its clients across the Middle East. The individuals which make up the very fabric of the business deeply believe in SASH & Company’s philosophy to exceed expectations every time with extremely elevated standards and the delivery of unparalleled services and solutions for public affairs, media relations, strategic advisory, and social media to a diverse range of clients, including government entities and multinational corporations.

Introducing Tarek Sakik, SASH & Company’s seasoned CEO, who has had a vital role in the accomplishments of the business. Tarek Sakik has over 20 years of experience in the field of communications. Working in the industry since 2003, and having been SASH & Company’s CEO since 2017, Tarek has a wealth of knowledge which helps him to lead the agency further into success. Holding the torch for almost eight years at SASH & Company, he has worked tirelessly to ensure the business’ strategic communication advisory, crisis management, and leadership development and profiling is carried out exactly as needed.

Tarek starts by telling us more about the establishment’s commitment to its clients’ high expectations: “Our commitment to client satisfaction is embedded in our company culture, ensuring consistency across all facets of our operations.”

SASH & Company’s strategic communications services help organizations of all sizes to convey integral messages to their audience. SASH & Company’s approach to this is to communicate effectively with its own clients so that it can find out exactly what they want to put across to engage customers and stakeholders. Analyzing its clients’ specific needs and desired target audience, SASH & Company finds the most efficient, customized ways of raising its clients’ impact and impressions on the world.

Winning Best Regional Communications Consulting Firm, Middle East, SASH & Company has been recognized for its ability to organize and enrich communications on a regional basis. However, there’s so much more to SASH & Company than what meets the eye.

The business’ fruitful selection of services doesn’t stop there: it also covers strategic advisory, monitoring and reporting, Build – Operate – Transfer (BOT) services, content development, crisis management, social media solutions, digital diplomacy, media training, and outreach services.

Of course, with an emphasis on strategic communications, SASH & Company focuses on its clients’ needs and requirements for solutions to their communication issues – large or small. However, the wide range of services offered are not an afterthought – they tie into everything that SASH & Company does for communications across its clients’ projects. Tarek enthuses, “Research based communication lies at the heart of our offerings, empowering clients to deliver their message effectively and persuasively while maintaining their credibility among the masses. We prioritize ongoing education and technological integration. Regular training programs, industry collaborations, and keeping ahead of emerging trends allow us to adapt swiftly to evolving market landscapes.”

With its finger steadily resting on the pulse of the communications industry, SASH & Company’s expansive offerings react and respond to any and all trends which may arise over time. Its ability to adapt and stay flexible to trends, no matter how complex they may be, has enabled the company to continue building on its solid reputation since its inception all those years ago.

SASH & Company’s content development services aid other businesses in creating and implementing complete and compelling content which targets their desired audience. SASH & Company knows the importance of putting one’s best foot forward – in order to present a brand in the best possible way right from the beginning.

Attracting and influencing customers is half the battle when it comes to building a business. Keeping customers is the other half. Ultimately, delivering impactful information is key to sparking initial relationships, then keeping a consistent conversation helps to forge partnerships that are made to last.

Helping all kinds of businesses, across every sector, SASH & Company’s strategic advisory services enable an open channel of dialogue which leads them to triumph in their area of expertise. With its professional analysis, the firm is able to extend its foresight for any one of its clients’ industries. As this requires accurate foresight and actionable insights for each sector, SASH & Company has exercised its skills for reading the corporate landscape in relation to the needs of its clients.

With many other services on offer, SASH & Company offers the chance to partner with a collection of wise individuals within its team. They can help each other to identify challenges, opportunities, and potential risks – giving them the insights they need to proceed with confidence rather than caution.

In relation to the communications landscape across the Middle East, the future looks bright and full of life. This is especially due to the fact that SASH & Company contributes to the overall success of the industry within the region. Tarek elaborates, “On the cusp of a major transformation from resource-rich economies to innovation-driven hubs, the GCC landscape offers a goldmine of high-growth opportunities in the emerging industries of technology, energy, tourism, sports, manufacturing, healthcare, real estate, and many more. However, successfully navigating in these lucrative waters comes with its own set of cultural curveballs and regulatory rigmarole that require local adaptability, stakeholder buy-in, and alignment with national visions.”

He adds, “Governments across the region are hard at work to accelerate regulation of digital content as they seek to provide a safe and attractive environment for local and global content creators while enforcing guardrails that ensure compliance with cultural values.”

SASH & Company strives to always respond to the rapid changes of the local ecosystem and varied dynamics of the regional market – in order to help its clients and influence other businesses around the world. A lot can be learned from this remarkable agency as we react to rising industry trends across the map.

Tarek explains, “Artificial Intelligence has undoubtedly been the biggest game changer in the communications realm, revolutionizing content creation, distribution, and consumption through increased automation, personalization, and efficiency. On the other hand, immersive technologies like the Metaverse, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality are gaining foothold for their immense potential in delivering a unique and memorable journey for audiences, enabling them to connect and engage at a deeper level. Finally, sustainability has evolved into a major imperative for entities across the spectrum to act on, having existed all this while as a social initiative with no real impact in the global fight against climate change.”

Artificial Intelligence’s foothold across many industries – if not all – has meant that we’re all adapting to a new age of business. The industry has had to adapt for many younger generations, and SASH & Company is no stranger to this. Tarek shares, “As global experts, we have strived to incorporate the best of trends and practices followed globally in shaping our clients’ strategies to target a young, enterprising, and digitally-savvy local audience less dazzled by style and dwelling more into substance.”

The agency’s prowess lies in its dedication to satisfying its clients and their audiences, so that communications and public relations can run like clockwork, with no interruptions or issues. Working on a regional scale, in line with all requirements for delivering important messages, SASH & Company has earned its spot at the top as a sensational communications agency in the Middle East.

“Our company stands out through its dedicated team which truly understands the local ecosystem and the dynamics of the regional market. This sets us apart from competitors, positioning us as leaders in the communications and PR sector. In short, we are global experts with local knowledge.”

SASH & Company prides itself on its ability to adjust to what is needed from its clients. The agency has an unbreakable network of team members who all bring something irreplaceable to the table. Tarek says, “Our vibrant and family-like work environment has provided the ideal breeding ground for innovation and collaboration, making it a highly desirable employer in its own right. As an organization that places a high premium on skills such as emotional intelligence, open-mindedness, and critical thinking, we continue to build a team that pushes every limit and looks beyond the obvious to help our clients deliver their message in a way that not just brings results, but resonates.”

Over the years, SASH & Company has always been a professional, intelligent, and well-versed PR agency which has helped others to achieve their goals. Building a comprehensive media plan – and managing internal communications activities – for King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC), the agency has “enriched the district’s media presence in the local, regional, and global market”. This is just one superb example of SASH & Company’s excellence. The firm has also worked alongside ilmi Science Discovery and Innovation Center, Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani), Sela, FII Institute, Saudi Arabia’s Health Sector Transformation Programme (HSTP), Saudi Ministry of Culture, and many more.

Building and managing internal and external communications, organizing press events, monitoring media coverage, implementing innovative ideas, and developing strategies are just some of the ways SASH & Company has exceeded all expectations amongst its rich pool of clients. For the future, Tarek gives us an opportunity to learn more about the agency’s plans: “Taking off into global horizons will remain a key goal for us as we step into the new year. We plan to fulfil this through a hybrid model, which involves setting up bases in strategic markets across the world, in addition to exploring growth opportunities through acquisitions of boutique agencies.”

Bestowed with its title in our MEA Business Awards 2023, SASH & Company has truly established itself as an award-winning business to connect with if you have specific and unique needs for your communications, internal or external, and public relations as a whole.

By introducing a bespoke approach to its clients’ wishes and requests, the business is expertly acting as a buttress for industries across the Middle East. With a strong sense of community, SASH & Company will always find ways to respond to its clients’ requirements for all solutions and services, whether that’s general communications, trends such as AI, VR/AR, or CSR, and its many other areas of expertise. Its unwavering strength in delivering comprehensive answers to complex questions means that SASH & Company has propelled itself to the forefront of the industry and, standing head and shoulders above the rest, the business is set to accelerate even further and faster than ever before.

For futher information, please contact Maha Staiti or visit


Best Eco-Friendly Waste Food Disposal Solution (MEA): LFC Biodigester


Over the past 15 years, Power Knot has proven itself to be at the forefront of the organic waste management solutions marketplace. This is bolstered by an ongoing mission to provide products that are environmentally friendly that can help to simultaneously reduce a company’s costs and carbon footprint. At the frontline of this is Power Knot’s multi-award-winning flagship product, the LFC biodigester. This has already proven to be demonstrably effective through its utilisation across the commercial, industrial, and military spheres, aiding those customers who are seeking to improve their operations and foster a positive impact on the environment.

Designed, developed, and assembled in the USA, Power Knot’s multi-award-winning food waste management system is renowned globally for helping to change businesses for the better. With nine different sizes available than can digest from 9 kg to 6,600 kg of food waste per day, the company’s well-established track record with the solution highlights its safety, reliability, and cost-effective nature. There are three notable case studies that truly highlight the effectiveness of the LFC biodigester in settings across the Middle East.

The first of these involves the company’s implementation of the technology at H Dubai, a luxury five-star hotel situated in the very heart of the city, that this innovative solution helped to attain Green Key Certification in January 2023. Since this luxury hotel comprises 230 rooms and suites, 11 dining outlets, and a nightclub, it garners a considerable amount of waste, something previously at odds with its view that environmental impact is a cornerstone of its core business functions.

However, since installing Power Knot’s LFC-100 biodigester, the hotel has significantly improved its food management and waste disposal. It was late in October 2022 when the biodigester was first installed, and just over three months later, news of the Green Key Certification from the Emirates Green Building Council came through. Impressively, in a little over two months, the machine had digested a whopping 1,830 kg of food waste, resulting in a total of just under four tonnes of carbon emissions being diverted from the atmosphere.

In a similar vein, Anantara Palm Dubai Resort’s 294 rooms and seven restaurants and bars make it a hub for waste, while its sister hotel, Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort, holds the proud title of being the only hotel in the country to offer over-water villas. This makes traditional waste management services either incredibly costly and time-consuming, or not possible at all. In the back half of 2022, Power Knot’s exemplary LFC-500 biodigesters were installed in both of these hotels. As a result, Anantara World Islands now no longer needs to hire barge ships to carry its waste back to the mainland, a method that was not sustainable in the long-term and drew a substantial cost.

The effectiveness of the technology in significantly reducing both cost and environmental threats is primarily due to the unique microorganisms in the machine, which digest waste and turn it into grey water. The grey water is then filtered through the hotel’s sewage treatment plant system and reused in the watering of plants in the immediate landscape. It is thanks to such methods that the Anantara hotels would both receive the coveted Green Key Certification last year, given for their implementation of this waste management method within an existing circular economy solution. Further streamlining is planned, with the teams at both hotels seeking to install solar panels to operate the machine, taking after Microsoft Dubai.

Finally, the concluding case study revolves around IKEA Jebel Ali, one of the largest stores the chain owns in the UAE at 35,000 square metres. IKEA has made significant leaps in demonstrating its commitment to sound environmental customs by leveraging Power Knot’s LFC-300 biodigester. An endeavour undertaken with a sister store in the country’s capital of Abu Dhabi, the biodigester has been integrated expertly across the many elements that make up these stores, from the bakery and café through to play area and warehouse. Combined, more than 66 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalency has been diverted from our atmosphere in a little over two months.

Since IKEA is a trailblazer on the world stage, seeing it adopt such a positive and proactive approach is sure to pave the way for other organisations to do the same at their facilities across the globe. Of course, the common thread linking all of this is Power Knot’s superb range of LFC biodigesters, which have demonstrable results through an all-in-one organic waste management system that is not only kind to the planet, but an incredibly cost-effective solution.

For further information, please visit


Trakhees Processes More Than 50,000 Transactions During 2023

  • Abdullah Belhoul: To uphold the advancement of the world’s finest business environment in accordance with the guidance of wise leadership

The Department of Planning and Development – Trakhees, the regulatory arm of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), completed more than 50,000 transactions carried out by the Trakhees’ Licensing Department during 2023, with a growth rate of (3%) compared to last year at the level of Federal Licenses, Free Zone Licenses, and Government Transactions in development areas. Private companies that fall under the supervision of the PCFC.

In this context, H.E. Engineer Abdullah Belhoul, CEO of the Department of Planning and Development – Trakhees, confirmed that this success is due to the mechanism adopted by the Licensing Department regarding facilitating commercial licensing work in the Emirate of Dubai, in addition to the continuous focus on providing high-quality and efficient services, which has contributed to enhancing customer trust by providing a distinctive experience across various channels.

The CEO of the Trakhees Department commented on this achievement, saying: “We are proud of the growth we have achieved over the past year, as it is evidence of the growing confidence on the part of our individual and corporate customers to benefit from all the services offered through our digital channels, available through the PCFC website ( or the smart application (Trakhees), which contributes to reducing the customer’s journey time to obtain services, and achieves their happiness and satisfaction”.

Abdullah Belhoul explained that the department is keen to implement the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which aims to bolster the economy and elevate Dubai’s standing as a premier global destination, renowned for its appeal to investments and entrepreneurial ventures.

He added: “Trakhees Department seeks to develop and expand the services it provides for the benefit of individuals and companies, such as issuing commercial licenses, issuing employment visas, and others, with the aim of keeping pace with the aspirations of entrepreneurs in the Emirate to ensure the promotion of the best business environment in the world and to make Dubai a global capital of trade and economy.”

He stated that the results related to Federal Licenses transactions indicate a high rate of demand for renewing Federal Licenses, reaching about 7,000 transactions, in addition to the reservation of more than 3,000 Trade Names, with 2,650 Trade Names for Federal Licenses and 646 Trade Names for Free Zone Licenses, during the year 2023 in Special development areas that fall under the supervision of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, which reflects the growing confidence of entrepreneurs in the services provided and encourages further development and growth in the future, as International City ranked first in the list of sites obtaining local license transactions with 571 licenses. Then Jumeirah Village Circle came in second place, followed by Palm Jumeirah and Dragon Mart.”

The final statistics issued by the Licensing Department of the “Trakhees” Department regarding free zone license transactions during the year 2023 indicated that more than 1,300 free zone licenses were renewed by the department’s clients, both individuals and companies.

Regarding government services transactions, reports indicated that the number of government transactions during the year 2023 reached 31,804 transactions, which was accompanied by a growth in the number of work permits issued by the department, reaching the approval of 7,417 work permits and the renewal of 2,045 work visas in Dubai, and progress was also made on the service of issuing a card. Facility to reach 1926 transactions.

Commenting on these results, the CEO of the “Trakhees” Department praised the efforts of the work team in the Licensing Department and its relevant departments, expressing his optimism for continuing to provide high-quality services and achieving sustainable growth in the coming years in accordance with the highest standards and practices, appreciating the tireless efforts made by the Licensing Department in The field of sustainable economy with the aim of enhancing the process of economic growth and achieving the corporation’s vision of strengthening Dubai’s position as a leading sustainable center to support the economic sector at the global level.


Most Visionary Healthcare Diversification CEO 2023: Dr. Mohannad Al-Ghazo

INNOVIA Biobank: Charting Uncharted Territories in the Biobanking Industry


In the vast continuum of medical breakthroughs, the world stands poised on the precipice of a transformative era. This epoch is being shaped by the groundbreaking feats of stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine. INNOVIA Biobank is pioneering such a monumental shift in the MENA region.

INNOVIA Biobank, the parent company of BabyCord and subsidiaries, is Jordan’s first biobank and a symbol of relentless innovation, dedication, and foresight. Starting out as an umbilical cord blood and tissue storage facility, it grew to become a leading medical and research facility.

In 2016, in order to expand prospects for cutting-edge medical applications and treatments utilizing stem cells isolated from umbilical cord blood and tissue in the MENA region, Dr. Maher Sarraf founded BabyCord, a subsidiary of INNOVIA Biobank, in Jordan. This came about after more than 11 years of serving as agents on behalf of a stem cell bank in Boston.

Now, the company’s CEO, Dr. Mohannad Al-Ghazo has seen well-deserved success within the Middle East CEO of the Year Awards 2023, so we learn more about the company and the important work it does.

Babycord Stemcell Bank: The Elixir of Life

Venturing into the labyrinth of stem cell research is Babycord stem cell bank. Its focus on preserving stem cells from cord blood and dental pulp is not merely scientific—it’s revolutionary.

Stem cells, especially embryonic ones, are significant because they are unspecialized cells with the rare ability to differentiate into 200 types of specialized cells including blood, brain, muscle, and bone cells, which can be induced naturally or experimentally to regenerate and repair damaged tissues.

These robust stem cells are not just inscriptions in medical journals. They are transformative agents capable of remedying a vast array of blood disorders, metabolic challenges, immune insufficiencies, and some cancers like leukemia. Additionally, they provide tremendous therapeutic potential for conditions like cerebral palsy and autism that are still undergoing clinical trials.

While stem cells can be obtained from a donor’s bone marrow, the sample must be a perfect match, unlike stem cells extracted from cord blood. What is more, bone marrow collection is a painful and invasive procedure that requires the use of anesthesia. In contrast, the process of collecting umbilical cord blood and tissue during normal and caesarean deliveries is non-intrusive and painless for both mother and child.

“It is one of the most life-affirming developments, because what used to be discarded as clinical waste —the placenta and umbilical cord — is now harvested as a reservoir for highly effective, regenerative medicine,” Dr. Maher Sarraf says.

If a parent misses the chance to preserve a child’s stem cells at birth, it is not as catastrophic as one might believe. Stem cells can also be extracted from other sources such as milk teeth. So if your child has a wiggly tooth that eventually falls out — you can keep it for advantages even the tooth fairy can’t.

“The versatility of dental pulp stem cells, especially their potential in nerve and tissue repair, paints a future not limited by medical constraints,” Sarraf adds.

Cord blood can be used as a treatment for not just the child, but the entire family — including parents, siblings, and maternal and paternal grandparents — for a lifetime. The extracted cord blood contains genetic receptors specific to each person, called Human Leukocyt Antigen (HLA). Usually, these receptors are identical to the child’s and match first-degree relatives: siblings, father, and mother, at a percentage of 25 to 100 percent. 

For a family that includes the child, siblings, parents, and grandparents, there is a high probability — 40 percent — that at least one family member will be diagnosed with a condition that can use stem cells for treatment.

The process

So where does BabyCord come in? The company supplies customers with a cord blood collection kit prior to a baby’s due date. The assigned BabyCord on-call nurse will bring an additional collection kit and help the physician with the collection once the delivery starts. After the baby’s delivery and after the clamping and separation of the umbilical cord, a needle attached to the collection bag is inserted into the center of cord and the placenta, causing the blood to flow into it. The bag gets packaged in specialized padded boxes and transported to the lab less than an hour from the time of collection to optimize the number of viable stem cells recovered.

Each cord blood unit is assigned a unique barcode identifier number that is traceable throughout the processing and preservation procedure to prevent any cross-contamination. Once the stem cells are separated from whole blood, they are collected into a specialized biocompatible multi-segmented cryogenic storage blood bag in preparation for cryopreservation (the process of freeze-storing cells at very low temperatures) and storage.

The cryopreservation rates of cooling vary depending on its stage, resulting in positive effects on stem cell recovery after thawing. The initial freezing process is computer-controlled at a pre-set rate followed by storage in -196°C high-capacity liquid nitrogen tanks.

INNOVIA Tissue Bank: The Vanguard of Reproductive Evolution

However, INNOVIA is not only limited to cord blood and stem cells. 2019 witnessed INNOVIA’s ambitious foray into tissue banking — a testament to its drive to diversify and amplify its global footprint. INNOVIA’s tenet as a tissue bank comes from ‘patients stay, tissue moves’.

Collaborations with prestigious entities like the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University Hospital of Dusseldorf speak volumes. The crown jewel? Its groundbreaking Fertility Preservation Program, with a keen emphasis on preserving ovarian tissue. This isn’t just a medical procedure; it’s a beacon of hope for cancer-afflicted women worldwide, gifting them agency over their reproductive destinies.

INNOVIA Genetics: Deciphering the Code of Life

Venturing deeper into the genetic matrix, INNOVIA Genetics emerges as a pioneer. Through advanced technology, it unravels the intricate dance of genes, offering diagnostic testing and invaluable consultations. The stellar offering of NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing) stands as a beacon of our ceaseless dedication to healthcare excellence.

INNOVIA Lab: Healthcare Beyond Boundaries

For those questing a gamut of healthcare solutions, INNOVIA Lab emerges as the answer, offering an extensive suite of general laboratory services, tailored to address diverse health requirements. The company’s commitment? An unparalleled healthcare journey.

INNOVIA Academy: Shaping the Medical Titans of Tomorrow

INNOVIA doesn’t just embrace today; it shapes tomorrow. Its association with the University of Jordan culminates in INNOVIA Academy — a unique institution specializing in cutting-edge courses on genetics, stem cells, and advanced lab techniques. Its mission? To mold the torchbearers of future medical wonders.

INNOVIA’s state-of-the art facility, strategically located five minutes away from the international airport, is constructed using reinforced steel and concrete, storage areas insulated with specialized bullet-proof glass and concrete walls, automated backup generators, computer networking with remote location data record backup, and on-site and remote audio/video monitoring and recording.

INNOVIA’s precautions ensure protection against natural calamities such as earthquakes, fires, and floodings, and external attacks such as theft or vandalism. The building also has 24-hour security system connected to rapid emergency and protection authority notification and deployment, and 24-hour on-duty guards.

Such meticulous adherence to global standards is mirrored in INNOVIA’s laudable ISO certification, coupled with a full-fledged accreditation from the (Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies, formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB)). This regional and global recognition doesn’t culminate here; its proud registration with the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) accentuates its commitment to global healthcare standards.

INNOVIA Biobank is not merely a laboratory; it’s an institution that envisions and safeguards our collective future health. In the grand tapestry of regenerative medicine, INNOVIA Biobank shines brightly. It is not just an establishment; it is a promise — a vision for a future where medicine isn’t just enhanced; it’s revolutionary. As the company navigates these exciting waters, its beacon remains constant: a relentless pursuit of a brighter, healthier future for all.

INNOVIA Genetics: A World-Class Center of Excellence in Genetic Services

INNOVIA Genetics proudly stands as a beacon in the world of genetic medicine. Having received widespread global acclaim, its reputation as a top-ranking institution is indisputable.

At the heart of this immense success is Dr. Mohammed Raqqad, a distinguished clinical geneticist. As INNOVIA Genetics’ Medical Director, Dr. Raqqad ensures that the entire spectrum of services – from diagnostics to treatments – adheres to the highest benchmarks of excellence. Moreover, his role as the Dean of INNOVIA ACADEMY is a testament to his relentless passion for nurturing and equipping the next cadre of genetic aficionados.

Underpinned by a stellar team of professionals, INNOVIA Genetics is unwavering in its mission: harnessing genetic insights for a brighter, healthier tomorrow.

Key Specializations within the team:

  • An expert consultant in Pediatric Neurology, Epilepsy, and Neurophysiology brings to the table a deep-rooted understanding of intricate neurological challenges faced by its pediatric demographic.
  • A distinguished specialist in Inherited Metabolic Diseases is instrumental in pioneering innovative pathways for the management and treatment of metabolic disorders.
  • A Dermatologist and Venereologist, delving deep into the genetic intricacies of the skin, ensuring patients avail comprehensive dermatological care.
  • A Senior Consultant of Pediatric Cardiology leading its pediatric heart care and offering groundbreaking cardiac care solutions for younger patients.

Comprehensive Genetic Counseling:

Understanding the contemporary needs for adaptability and flexibility, INNOVIA Genetics provides both virtual and in-person genetic counseling sessions. Designed with utmost precision, these sessions aim to demystify the complex realm of genetics for patients. Alongside, INNOVIA Genetics offers an extensive array of genetic tests and services, guaranteeing a holistic genetic solution for each and every person.

Pioneering in Reproductive Genetics:

Its forte in Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidies (PGTA) and Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) places it at the forefront of reproductive genetics. The company is dedicated to offering a seamless and enriching experience for both individuals and families navigating these genetic pathways.

State-of-the-Art Facility:

Its exemplary services are housed in a modern facility designed and customized to meet the rigorous demands of genetic medicine. Its College of American Pathologists (CAP) accreditation is not merely a badge of honor; it’s a testament to its unwavering commitment to quality and excellence. Achieving this accreditation required meeting stringent standards signifies the company’s devotion to best practices and patient safety.

Vision for the Future:

As the landscape of genetic medicine continuously evolves, so does INNOVIA Genetics. Its horizon is brimming with goals and aspirations, including furthering research, introducing avant-garde genetic solutions, and expanding collaborations with global institutions.

 INNOVIA Academy: Bridging the Gap in Genetics and Stem Cells Education

In today’s rapidly evolving medical landscape, genetics and stem cells stand out as two of the most promising and groundbreaking fields. Yet, despite their vast potential, there remains a distinct lack of comprehensive education specifically tailored to these specialized fields. INNOVIA Academy addresses this exact void by equipping the next generation of healthcare professionals with the knowledge and expertise necessary to drive further innovation in these domains.

Why INNOVIA Academy was established?

The idea of INNOVIA Academy was inspired by a simple, yet profound realization: while genetics and stem cells held the key to future medical miracles, there was an acute shortage in institutions offering specialized courses on these subjects.

Traditional medical curricula, though rigorous, frequently merely touches the surface of these topics. As pioneers in the biobank industry, INNOVIA recognized the imperative of a deeper, more thorough and more focused education in genetics and stem cells. As a result, INNOVIA Academy stands as a beacon of specialized knowledge in a sea of generalist medical education and functions as a knowledge hub. It offers an in-depth curriculum on genetics, coupled with hands-on training sessions, workshops, and research projects.

Affiliation with the University of Jordan: A Confluence of Legacy and Innovation
The partnership with the University of Jordan represents more than just a strategic decision; it represents the fusion of historic academic prestige with avant-garde medical education. The University, with its rich history and stellar academic reputation, lends credibility, legitimacy, and depth to the academy. This affiliation ensures that the curriculum is rooted in foundational academic principles as it keeps up with the cutting-edge medical advancements.

CPD Accreditation: A Testament to Excellence

Earning the CPD (Continuing Professional Development) accreditation is no small feat. It stands as a rigorous endorsement of the academy’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing the knowledge and skills of its students and faculty. INNOVIA Academy’s courses aren’t just designed to impart knowledge; they aim to foster continuous learning and professional growth.

Courses Tailored for Tomorrow

Understanding that the realms of genetics and stem cells are vast and multifaceted, INNOVIA Academy offers a range of courses tailored to meet the diverse needs of its students. From foundational courses introducing the basic concepts to advanced modules exploring the latest research and techniques, the academy ensures that its students are always a step ahead, ready to shape the future of Medicine.

A Vision for the Future

Although INNOVIA Academy was established in response to a current need, its vision is firmly set on the future. Beyond merely providing education, the academy’s mission is shaping future thought leaders, innovators, and pioneers in the fields of genetics and stem cells. With the steadfast support of its affiliates and the dedication of its faculty, INNOVIA Academy is not just teaching medicine; it’s redefining it.

INNOVIA Academy is the movement – striving to bridge the knowledge gap in two of the most crucial medical fields. Through its endeavors, the academy ensures that the promise of genetics and stem cells is not just realized but surpassed, heralding a brighter, healthier future for all.

Company: INNOVIA Biobank