Business Management

UAE Businesses Outpaces Asian Counterparts in Last-Mile Excellence, Sustainability & Customer Experience

Business Management
  • The report captures a comprehensive analysis of responses from businesses from India, the UAE, Indonesia, and other Asian countries across key last-mile logistics metrics

Locus, a market-leading dispatch management SaaS company, released a new research report, Decoding Asia’s Last-Mile Maturity, uncovering valuable insights about the current state of last-mile logistics in India, Indonesia, the UAE, and other Asian countries. It also shows progress and gaps in the ecosystem and the pivotal role of technology in driving business success.

The report reveals that 79% of businesses across Asia are harnessing the technology to enhance their last-mile efficiency, but a staggering 84% lack confidence in their processes to drive growth and enhance customer experiences. These findings underscore that there’s widespread adoption of technology in the industry however, a majority of businesses are not able to leverage it to its full potential.

“Solving deep-seated last-mile challenges requires a deep understanding of your business’s last-mile maturity. Therefore, to help businesses across sectors gauge their maturity and supercharge their last-mile growth, we recently launched the Last-Mile Maturity Assessment. Data from these responses has shown that today only 40% of businesses in Asia have scratched the surface of tech-driven last-mile prowess, showing that there is an untapped opportunity for businesses to achieve success. We want this report to reflect key trends and opportunities for businesses, so can they get inspired to optimize their logistics and achieve greater revenues and superior customer experiences”, says, Mehul Kapadia, Chief Revenue Officer, Locus.

The report unveils the performance of the businesses across five key logistics metrics, including Last-Mile Excellence, Customer Experience, Workforce Empowerment, Advanced Analytics, and Sustainability.

Some key findings:

  • India emerges as a leader in Advanced Analytics with a score of 3.59 out of 5, pointing to the growing reliance of businesses on big data analytics and other new-age technologies to optimize and transform their last-mile into revenue-generating machinery.
  • India excels in Workforce Empowerment in last-mile logistics with 3.42 out of 5, indicating that the businesses are investing in and leveraging robust tech solutions such as advanced route planning, geocoding, etc., to make the lives of the delivery drivers better.
  • The UAE leads in Last-mile Excellence with an impressive score of 3 out of 5. In fact, a whopping 70% of the UAE businesses are embracing multiple last-mile technologies, reshaping customer expectations in the booming e-commerce landscape in the region.
  • In Customer Experience scores, the UAE leads with an average of 3.73 out of 5, surpassing the industry average of 3.53, followed by India, Indonesia, and others.
  • The UAE again leads in Sustainability with a score of 4.16 out of 5, followed by India at 3.78, while Indonesia falls below the global average at 2.55.

Furthermore, the report offers vital industry insights into 3PL & CEP, e-commerce, retail, manufacturing, and other sectors. For instance, it highlights a common trend where sustainability, though considered strategically important, often lacks comprehensive follow-through. Specifically, carbon emissions tracking is overlooked in 3 out of 5 industries. Overall, the analysis shows that 49% of global organizations lack confidence in tracking sustainability metrics to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.


From City to Seasine: Saudi Arabia’s Top Travel Destinations


IHG Hotels & Resorts reveals a line-up of must-visit spots throughout the Kingdom, with strategically located properties available to travellers at each destination

Life Sciences

Saudi Arabia Strongly Positioned to Become a Global Biotech Hub Following $3.9bln R&D Funding

Life Sciences

Saudi Arabia has invested USD3.9 billion in research and development since 2021 and established state-of-the-art biotech clusters

EU - Kenya

New IFAD Initiative with EU Funding to Boost Rural Development in Kenya Through Digital Remittances

EU - Kenya

The UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the European Union unveiled two new initiatives in Kenya, that aim to boost rural development by making the use of digital remittance flows faster, safer and cheaper. The collaboration will focus on reducing transaction costs, promoting financial inclusion in rural areas, and will work closely with Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs).

Under the EU-funded PRIME Africa initiative, IFAD has allocated two grants to Credit Bank and Financial Sector Deepening Kenya (FSD Kenya), leading institutions in the financial sector, and operating within Kenya’s remittance ecosystem. The grant projects aim to empower rural communities and stimulate economic growth, while they complement the ongoing regional project, which is carried out in collaboration with MFS Africa.

“Digital technologies are driving transformative change and opening avenues towards economic growth and efficiency, but they do not automatically benefit all in the same way. As Team Europe in Kenya, we want to offer the means to create a digital future where technology truly serves the people. This action, co-funded by the EU under the PRIME Africa initiative, is a great example of leveraging partnerships between SACCOs, Fintech and Banks to deliver better financial inclusion and cheaper remittances in line with our SDG commitments,” said Henriette Geiger, EU ambassador to Kenya.

Remittances sent by migrant workers are a lifeline and a vital asset for millions of families in low and middle-income countries, especially in countries like Kenya that face vulnerabilities such as climate-related crises and economic downturns. According to recent data from Kenya’s Central Bank, the country stands as the third-largest recipient of remittances in sub-Saharan Africa. Remittances serve as a stable source of income and a means of resilience for households. In 2022, international remittance flows to Kenya reached a record-breaking US$4.02 billion, representing 3 percent of the nation’s GDP.

“We are committed to promote faster, safer and cheaper transfer of remittances. Digital remittances are key to foster financial inclusion while they pave the way for migrants and diasporas to fully contribute to the sustainable development in their countries of origin,” said Pedro de Vasconcelos, Manager of the Financing Facility for Remittances at IFAD.

As of 2021, nearly 80 percent of Kenyans possess a mobile money account, according to a report issued by FSD Kenya. Mobile money and digital financial services have driven up Kenya’s financial inclusion rate to 84 per cent, one of the highest in Africa. However, 30 per cent of international remittances are still paid in cash, and most mobile money remittances are instantly withdrawn in cash. Enhancing financial intermediation of migrant’s earnings abroad is key to unlocking their potential to invest back home, generate wealth, and build their return strategy.

The impact of money sent home from migrant workers abroad on rural areas in Kenya is hindered by high remittance costs, inadequate financial inclusion and digitalization, limited data availability, and a scarcity of SACCOs engaged in remittance services. To address these challenges, Credit Bank plans to onboard rural SACCOs as sub-agents, enabling their members to access international remittances. Additionally, a customized financial literacy curriculum will empower rural residents by imparting knowledge about budgeting, financial tools, payments, remittances, and savings. Unbanked remittance recipients will have the opportunity to open entry-level accounts with Credit Bank, facilitating easy savings.

FSD Kenya, in collaboration with SASRA, will undertake extensive research to evaluate the capabilities of SACCOs in catering to remittance users in rural Kenya. The findings of this research will play a crucial role in shaping public policies and identifying innovative models that enable SACCOs, alongside their financial partners such as banks and fintech companies, to facilitate greater access to digital remittances for rural SACCO members. These efforts align with the objectives outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 10c), which strives to achieve remittance fees of no more than 3 per cent by 2030, as also identified in the goals established by the Global Compact on Migration (Objectives 19 and 20).

Engineering Hubs

Careem Grows Engineering Hubs Across Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt

Engineering Hubs
  • More than 600 tech professionals already work in Careem’s engineering hubs, with 55 percent of Careem’s total engineering organisation based in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt
  • Universities in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt graduate around 90,000 software engineers annually

Careem, the region’s leading everything app, invests in its engineering hubs in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt, with dozens of open engineering roles across Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Amman, Cairo and Alexandria. 

More than 600 tech professionals already work in Careem’s engineering hubs to build technology to power Careem’s Super App services across the region, with 55 percent of Careem’s total engineering organisation based in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt. Careem also has engineers in the UAE and Germany. 

The open roles in Careem’s Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt engineering hubs include front-end, back-end, and full stack engineering, web engineering, mobile engineering (IOS and android), data & AI and infrastructure engineering. Since the start of 2023, Careem has hired nearly 80 tech-focused roles in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt.

Careem’s engineering leaders apply experience from leading global technology companies to solve real-life regional problems and build innovative products across the Super App platform services, including Careem Rides, Careem Food, Careem Quik, Careem Pay, and partner services.

Stephen Kruger, Chief Technology Officer at Careem, commented: ‘Since Careem’s inception, hundreds of technology professionals have played a role in building the region’s first marketplace platform and leapfrogging the region into the digital future. Universities in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt graduate around 90,000 software engineers annually but there are only a few regional mid-size tech companies for these graduates to join. This lack of opportunity can lead to a ‘brain drain’ from the region and Careem is trying to prevent and reverse this brain drain. We feel we have a responsibility to drive progress for the region by building a lasting institution that can provide meaningful opportunities for the region’s most talented minds.” 

Selim Turki, Senior Director of Engineering at Careem, said: “Our engineering team is  growing rapidly and there are multiple exciting opportunities for tech talent in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt to join Careem’s ambitious journey. Our first line of code was written in Pakistan, and Careem has shown for over a decade that globally-competitive technology can be built in our region. Now we’re creating even more opportunities for talented engineers in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt to help us build the next generation of technology. We’re looking for candidates that feel passionate about our purpose of simplifying and improving the lives of people and driving progress across the region.”

Careem partners with regional and global academic institutions to conduct research on previously unsolved regional challenges to aid in the acceleration of the economic development of the region. Recently, Careem partnered with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) to introduce STEF-DHNet, a demand prediction model that combines a convolutional neural network (CNN) and long short-term memory (LSTM) to integrate external features as spatiotemporal information and capture their influence on ride-hailing demand.

Careem’s ‘Next Gen’ programme offers valuable learning and employment prospects for young, ambitious engineers throughout the region. Next Gen engineers collaborate with the most senior technical experts in the organisation and gain hands-on experience in tackling real-world challenges through an embedded technical training programme that utilises state-of-the-art resources and cutting edge technologies. ‘Next Gen’ learning opportunities are available in all of Careem’s engineering hubs.


Leading Global Oil & Gas Services Provider 2023 – Sharjah


Operating out of two UAE sites, Oil & Gas International (OGI) has a great scope for providing equipment and solutions to operating companies, drilling contractors, and services companies across the world. We profile the firm following it being named in the UAE Business Awards 2023 and bestowed with a prestigious accolade for its endeavours.

As a major oil and gas supplier and solutions provider, Oil & Gas International was established in the year 2011 by a group of experts from the oil and gas sector with the aim of providing excellent products and reliable services.

Its core offerings and services include tubular running services, API-certified machine shop services, pressure control and BOP rental, redress and grinding of stabilisers, drilling/BHA tools, and fishing tools and rental services, amongst others.

Ideally located in Sharjah, OGI comprises a yard area of 500,000sqft which includes a fully equipped warehouse, workshop, and service centre, and it has an additional corporate office expanding over 5,000sqft in Dubai Silicon Oasis.

OGI’s comprehensive range of quality-driven products and world-class services meet the challenging and dynamic requirements of oil field operating companies, drilling contractors, and service providers. The firm’s operations now extend from the Middle East to Iraq, Africa, India, and other Asia Pacific regions.

As distributor and service agent for major European brands, OGI now also caters to the marine sector, vessel operators, offshore and onshore constructions, refurbishment industries, and rigs, and it has an API licensed machine and fabrication shop which operates under stringent quality standards as per drilling industry requirements.

OGI’s solution orientated trade house enables it to source any unique requirement from all around the world to serve its valuable clients in a short period of time. It also has multiple rigs in its inventory which enables it to be a major player in the industry.

The company trades a wide array of equipment, including rigs, top drives, fishing tools, drill pipes, heavy weight drill pipes, mud tanks, mud pumps, mud motors, shock tools, various kinds of drilling tools, machineries such as breakout units, BHA tools, pressure control equipment, safety equipment, dopes and consumables, raw materials, and much more.

In 2022, OGI successfully acquired ownership of Certified Oil Field Equipment Rental LLC (COR), a company located on a 120,000sqft base in Abu Dhabi and which is fully integral to an extensive network and reach of companies in the Middle East region and beyond. COR takes great pride in operating as a one-stop facility with an excellent capability to provide rental services for all requirements and, through this acquisition, OGI’s capabilities are further increased and diversified.

Recently, in recognition of its dedication and hard work to the sector, OGI was named Leading Global Oil & Gas Services Provider 2023 – Sharjah in the UAE Business Awards. A very worthy accolade that is testament to the commitment of the firm to both the sector and its country of residence.

For further information, please visit

Smart Trucking – How the Digital World Changed the Trucking Industry

The trucking and logistics sectors are constantly evolving across the globe. Modern technology and the digital world have played significant roles in this evolution, as have consumer behavior and the internet. 

From driver monitoring and smart communications to safety technology and stability control, technology is making impressive in-roads. Here is how the digital world is changing and improving the trucking industry with every passing year.

Streamlined Communications

Internal communication networks for logistics businesses have improved considerably over the past decade. Modern technology allows every member of a trucking business, including office staff, managers, warehouse employees, and drivers, to communicate instantly and effectively in real-time. 

Even the simple smartphone has revolutionised the way truck drivers perform their daily responsibilities. Drivers can now keep in touch with their managers and each other using hands-free communication technology and instant messaging. This ensures that their superiors stay up to date without posing any safety risks on the road.

The internet of things (IoT) has also improved the trucking sector’s communications. The IoT has allowed for the extensive monitoring and reporting of truck routes, in-cabin temperatures, and vibrations. It’s also capable of monitoring many other elements that affect the conditions and safety of each route and the driver. This technology tracks and streamlines deliveries on the roads. This ensures that customers and clients receive their orders in good time, and it minimises the incidence of lost, stolen, and damaged shipments.

Driver Monitoring

Modern driver monitoring technology gives trucking businesses the power to monitor driver progress, distance, routes, road conditions, and many other factors remotely. These tools improve trucking operations and the choosing of safe and time-efficient routes. They help to keep drivers on schedule without them taking unnecessary detours during delivery times.

Real-time traffic reports are another way in which technology is assisting trucking companies in improving and coordinating their delivery processes. Real-time traffic updates enable drivers and managers to select unobstructed routes, avoid potentially dangerous collision scenes, and keep to schedules as far as possible.

Innovative On-Vehicle Systems

The digital world has produced dozens of cost-effective and reliable technologies that can improve drivers’ performances on the road. This ensures both their safety and the safe delivery of their shipments.

For example, stability control technology can reduce driveline maintenance and prevent on-route collisions and accidents. Stability sensors measure steering inputs and side-to-side truck rotation and provide insights into how drivers can steer and drive vehicles more safely.

Anti-lock brake systems stop truck wheels from locking to prevent uncontrollable skidding during times when hard braking is necessary. Collision avoidance systems can reduce the severity of accidents by using radar and camera image recognition to detect risks of collision before they happen.

Lane departure warning systems warn truck drivers if their trucks have started to veer outside of their lanes. This phenomenon causes thousands of collisions on the roads each year. However, digital technology can minimise this risk and alert drivers of their errors and distractions to further eliminate risk. IoT-connected interior and rear view cameras help companies to train their drivers and prevent collisions. While blind-spot warning devices improve blind spot visibility and help drivers to avoid accidents on the road.

Streamlined Recruitment Processes

Trucking companies can now use digital recruitment systems to streamline the hiring and training process. This helps them to hire only skilled and certified employees for their businesses. 

Automated recruitment systems streamline the hiring process by screening candidates and resumes, and automatically scheduling initial interviews. This frees up your company’s HR department to focus on hiring the right people for the role.

Fleet Management and Telematics

GPS fleet management systems boast more functionalities and features today than ever before. These features improve driver routes and track data related to fuel tax reporting. They also manage how drivers use vehicles within a fleet to minimise environmental impact, lower maintenance and repair costs, and potentially avoid expensive breakdowns on route.

Fitting drivers’ devices with GPS systems has helped many trucking companies to improve their fleets’ productivity and limit the unauthorised use of vehicles. As a result, they’ve slashed labor- and fuel-related costs. Fleet managers can now access real-time information gathered by GPS systems about the movement and statuses of their vehicles. This encourages drivers to stick to allocated routes without diversion. 

Automated Business Analytics and Cloud-Based Computing

These two technologies have enabled businesses across the greater logistics sector to use the vast amounts of traceable data they produce to their advantage. 

Business analytics tools can assist companies in improving the efficiencies of their fleets and adjust how resources are utilised within their companies. They assist in identifying and addressing issues before they turn into costly problems that can disrupt their operations and their schedules.

Piloted Drones

Major retailers like Amazon are already piloting programs to use drones to make truckless deliveries. Driverless vehicles are expected to become more commonplace in the future too. 

These technologies are still in their infancy, yet they have significant potential to boost the productivity of the logistics industry. This gives trucking businesses even more options when it comes to delivering customer shipments in good time. It also allows for urgent supplies to reach remote areas, and creates new opportunities for delivering aid to areas that are unreachable due to socio-economic issues or natural disasters. 

Platooning Technology

Many trucking businesses in first world countries are already trialing self-driving trucks and partially autonomous vehicles with great success. Some are also adopting platooning technology, which manages fleets of vehicles using remote driving support systems. This could potentially help to alleviate the ongoing driver shortage that the global trucking industry is currently facing.

Automation in Warehouses

Automation streamlines workplace operations, and it’s especially evident in the trucking industry.  Previously, warehouse employees handled the full picking, packing and loading process manually.  But the development of automated supply chain management systems changed this. 

Today, these systems can automate warehouse staff’s responsibilities. Additionally, they ensure that goods get loaded onto trucks as rapidly, efficiently, and accurately as possible with a minimal margin of error.

A Tech-Driven Trucking Industry

The trucking sector has advanced rapidly over the past few years as new automated technologies have changed how deliveries are made for good. When trucking businesses can locate, manage, and deliver shipments with ease and speed, they’re better able to cover fuel, insurance, and payroll expenses. In doing so, they can also work out how to calculate profit margin to preserve their current and future revenue stream.

As technology progresses further, the sector may become even more streamlined. Especially as the adoption of driverless vehicles, automated route management systems, drones, and other autonomous tools increases.


Cybersecurity Thought Leaders Across Middle East and Central Asia Gather at High-Level Media Roundtable


Huawei joins other regional and global stakeholders to discuss latest cybersecurity trends and threats, expand future opportunities and deepen multi-stakeholder engagement

Huawei Middle East and Central Asia joined a high-level media roundtable on day two of the GSMA M360 EURASIA 2023 conference in Baku, Azerbaijan, to discuss the latest telecom cybersecurity trends, innovations, and contribute methods to tackle the associated threats among industry actors together. The open discussion aimed at aligning strategic priorities for the region, deepening engagement and steering collaborative efforts in the industry to advance collective action for cyber stability in the telecom industry.

Under the theme of “Build more secure and resilient telecom networks to efficiently support the future digital economy,” participants in the panel discussed various topics, including collaborations among network operators and their partners, suppliers and customers in defending against telecom cybersecurity, how regulators could promote local telecom industry’s cybersecurity development, and the role that cybersecurity plays in safeguarding critical information infrastructure and the digital economy, among other topics.

Dr. Tural Mammadov, Director of Director of the Azerbaijan Computer Emergency Response Center (CERT), was joined in the panel by Dr. Mohammad Khaled, Director, Business Development and Strategic projects, e& enterprise, Dr. Haitham Hilal Al Hajri, Sr. Executive – Cyber Security Projects, Oman National CERT, Dr. Elvin Balajanov, Chairman of the Board, Azerbaijan Cybersecurity Organization Association and Dr. Aloysius Cheang, Chief Security Officer, Huawei Middle East & Central Asia.

The telecom industry has become an integral part of modern society and is recognized as a critical infrastructure industry (CII). It plays a vital role in connecting people, businesses and governments, facilitating communication, information sharing and commerce on a global scale.

However, as telecom networks become more complex and interconnected, they become more vulnerable to cyber threats. Cybersecurity of telecoms is a critical component of national security, and therefore, it is essential to bring together telecom stakeholders to promote the development and optimization of telecom cybersecurity. This includes working closely with telecom service providers, equipment manufacturers, government agencies, and other stakeholders to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks, develop and implement best practices, and raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity in telecom.

Dr. Tural Mammadov thanked the organizers, participants and sponsors for arranging the event in Baku while reiterating the country’s commitment to the highest cybersecurity standards. “We join the international community in highlighting the risks posed by cybercrime. Likewise, we want to work with our global partners towards joint actions in defending telecom networks, which is critical in leveraging all the digital economy opportunities.”   

Dr. Mohammad Khaled said, “As an operator, securing our networks against cyber threats and creating safe digital cyberspace remains one of our most important tasks, especially as we enter a new era of connectivity and cognitive technologies. We realize that cyber threats are global in nature – and solutions must be as well. We are therefore proud to be here, joining other partners and stakeholders in finding joint outcomes to a common threat.”

Dr. Haitham Hilal Al Hajri said, “Today, the progression towards an interconnected cyber world has become a reality. Unfortunately, this has increased the threats from malicious actors and protecting our digital assets is a concern for all countries. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and national security agencies, telecom providers and ICT industry players should work together to achieve a more robust cybersecurity posture, so telecom providers can continue to deliver cutting-edge digital services unimpeded by cyber threats.”     

Dr. Elvin Balajanov said, “We are proud to host our partners and friends here in Azerbaijan as we address the cyber risks that threaten the health of our networks and, by extension, our socioeconomic growth. Safeguarding our critical information infrastructure is a key government priority in Azerbaijan as these critical systems possess functionality that, if disrupted, can pose significant harm to the interests of the state, society, and citizens. Therefore, it is crucial that telecommunications providers implement appropriate safeguards, protocols, and technologies to mitigate risks and protect our critical information infrastructure.”  

Dr. Aloysius Cheang said, “We need to consider how to meet the increasingly strict compliance requirements of regulators on the one hand and how to provide secure and trustworthy products and services that fulfill our commitments to customers on the other. We must also embrace a defense-in-depth approach to provide better security, ensure business continuity, resiliency, improve efficiency and customer experience while always protecting user privacy.”

Global standards, internationally agreed processes and industry best practices are critical in addressing cyber threats effectively. As such, building and implementing an end-to-end global cybersecurity and privacy protection assurance system is one of Huawei’s key strategies. In compliance with applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates and international standards, Huawei has created an effective, sustainable, and reliable cybersecurity and privacy protection assurance system by referring to the requirements of regulators and customers and industry best practices.

NESAS/SCAS is an ideal example of global collaborative efforts in addressing cybersecurity. It offers a standardized cybersecurity assessment mechanism jointly defined by GSMA and 3GPP, the telecom industry’s leading standards-setting organizations) and GSMA 5G Cybersecurity Knowledge Base to provide useful guidance on 5G security risks and mitigation measures. Huawei has been proactively involved in the telecom cyber security standardization activities led by GSMA ITU-T, 3GPP, and IETF etc., and has joined security organizations such as OIC-CERT, FIRST and partnered with mainstream security companies to ensure the cyber security of its customers and promote the healthy development of industries.

Huawei believes cybersecurity and privacy are common challenges that all stakeholders – including governments, industry and standards organizations, enterprises, technology suppliers, and consumers – have a shared responsibility to confront. Huawei actively works with governments, customers, and industry partners to address cybersecurity and privacy challenges, thereby reinforcing the need to treat cybersecurity as a team sport and maintaining an open and collaborative environment that encourages innovation and transparency. Through these efforts, Huawei advocates for cybersecurity to be viewed as the key to protecting our digital assets and leveraging it to support business.

Huawei is committed to fostering a better life for all in the future digital world by offering secure and trustworthy products, solutions, and services where personal data is lawfully used and always protected. The company has in-depth experience collaborating with its customers on advanced tech and industry 4.0 solutions for major industry verticals. Its products and solutions are developed and delivered by observing security-by-design and privacy-by-design principles that will allow its customers to safeguard their digital future.


There Are 50,000 Cyber-Attacks Daily in the UAE; Here’s How You Can Help


The UAE aims to be the data hub for the Middle East by 2031, but the acceleration towards a digital transformation has its challenges.

On a daily basis, the country is forced to deter 50,000 cyber-attacks, ranging from ransomware to cyber terrorism.

“And that number is only rising,” said Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, Government of the UAE. “This is why we launched the Cyber Pulse initiative as a first line of defence in our fight against such attacks.”

Cyber Pulse is an initiative that was launched by the authorities, which aims to encourage community members in the UAE to play a part in cybersecurity efforts. According to the mission statement, “It seeks to enhance public awareness on suspicious online activities and the necessary steps to be taken from becoming a victim of ePhishing.”

The initiative provides training courses, workshops and lectures about cybersecurity, and information on how community members could protect themselves in the digital world.

The first phase of the initiative targeted women and families. The second phase targeted students.

“Security isn’t the responsibility of one entity; it is the responsibility of everyone today,” said Dr Al Kuwaiti. “Cyber Pulse is the solution, from the perspective of prevention measures.”

Speaking about the daily threats that the country’s digital landscape has to face, Dr Al Kuwaiti continued: “We face more than 50,000 attacks on a daily basis. We respond to them with great protection, zero attack penetration. Our threshold is very high. Yet, everyday attacks increase because we continue to adapt to new technologies.”


Cyber warfare – war on data

According to a 2021 report by cybersecurity company Cybereason, companies in the UAE have paid more than 5.1 million UAE dirhams ($1.4 million) in ransomware to regain access to their systems after cyberattacks in the past two years and 42% of had to close down operations after the ransomware attack.

“Data breaches have cost entities here between 4 to 5 million in recent times,” Dr Al Kuwaiti stated. “We recently had ransomware ask for $2 million and they [the financial institution] did not pay the amount. We usually tell entities not to entertain such attackers.”

Dr Al Kuwaiti cited a recent ransomware attack on a bank in the UAE that was thwarted because of the measures in place, allowing them to return to operations in under three hours.

“The three types of attacks we are usually faced with are cybercrimes, which can be described as hacking, fraud, scams or impersonation,” he continued.

“Cyber terrorism is the second, which attacks infrastructures, while spreading misinformation and disinformation.”

The third, he described, was cyber warfare, which was the war on data.

Yes, even as the UAE ensures the cyber security and safety of its citizens and residents, challenges remain.

“A lack of resources and the lack of awareness in people are the main reasons why attacks happen,” he said. “People are coming to the digital transformation quickly without doing it safely.”

Even as the UAE creates awareness on a grassroots level, the country’s National Cyber Security Strategy has a long-term plan in place to maintain checks and balances.

“We have three pillars that we abide by, the first being governance,” Dr Al Kuwait revealed. “There are policies, procedures and standards that are updated on a quarterly basis keeping in mind that there are so many technologies that are constantly developing and changing.”

The second, according to him, is the human factor. “Humans need to be trained to adapt to new technologies. We teach on a grassroots level targeting student, by working with the Ministry of Education. That’s where it starts,” he added.

According to the cyber security expert, web users should not click on any unknown links sent by text messages or on email, download any apps from unknown sources or publish private contact information on unreliable online platforms.

The third is technology and innovation that the country needs to be abreast with. “It is imperative we follow this to be resilient in five, 10, 20 years to come,” he concluded.

Waste Management

Best On-Site Food Waste System Provider 2023

Waste Management

Power Knot LLC is a market leading management company when it comes to disposing of organic waste. It markets environmentally advantageous products that help businesses save money and reduce their carbon footprint. Its Middle East division provides and installs the LFC® biodigester machines to major companies throughout the United Arab Emirates. 

In this day and age, any food that can be diverted from landfill sites is a commendable venture deserving of praise. Food waste that ends up at landfill creates methane, a hazardous air pollutant and greenhouse gas responsible for more than 25% of the global warming experienced by the planet today. Power Knot’s LFC biodigester is a machine that digests food waste, and they are often installed in commercial kitchens where they reduce expense, inconvenience and mess. Most importantly, they also lower the carbon footprint of the business by disposing of food waste that would otherwise go to landfill.

As the market leader for onsite organic waste management solutions in the Middle East, Power Knot is transforming the region’s environmental health. It has installed LFC biodigesters in many major hotels, shopping centres, and food service outlets such as H Hotel Dubai, Legoland Dubai, and the Dubai Municipality. Power Knot has now won a prestigious award for the work it is doing, with its Middle East division being honoured as the Best On-Site Food Waste System Provider 2023.

Regional Director of Sales and Marketing Shakeel Ahmed has shared his delight at the win with us.

“The UAE business award affirms that the LFC Biodigester is the best-in-class solution for onsite food waste management. We are proud to serve and support Power Knot solutions to companies that desire a reliable and sustainable food waste solution.”

Power Knot is the provider of safe and economically sensible solutions for commercial, industrial, and military customers seeking to reduce their carbon footprints. Its technologies are proven, having been in use for many years. The machines also offer a payback period of typically less than 2 years. This means within a comparatively short period of time the biodigesters are effectively paying for themselves.

Power Knot designs, develops, and manufactures its products at its headquarters in Silicon Valley, California. The way the LFC Biodigester works is it takes the discarded food waste collected from commercial environments and transforms it into grey water. This is safe to dispose of via water treatment facilities. The food waste digester machine uses a series of processes, including microorganisms, to break down the food waste and transform it into liquid. This leaves no remaining solids requiring emptying from the machine.

Currently on its seventh generation build, the LFC Biodigester is so convenient that it can digest food waste on site in just 24 hours with no odours or noise to contend with. It provides cost savings as it significantly reduces the costs of otherwise disposing of and managing the waste materials. The machines are safe to use, and help businesses to meet environmental compliance and ESG goals by diverting waste from landfills. This in turn helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions – a win-win for the planet by all accounts.

With its recent award assured, Power Knot Middle East is a company fully worthy of acclaim. It’s working hard to provide products benefitting the environmental health of the whole planet, and saves customers money along the way. It deserves all the kudos it can get!

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Gate Capital: Best Corporate Finance Advisory Firm 2023 – MENA

Independent and trusted corporate finance and strategic advisory firm, Gate Capital Limited, offers unique expertise in deal making, financial restructuring, and opportunity investing by blending extensive experiences across multiple industry sectors. We find out more from Munther Hilal as the firm celebrates a win in the UAE Business Awards.

With over 20 years’ worth of experience in complex corporate finance and M&A challenges, Gate Capital Limited (Gate Capital) serves as a trusted advisor to leading middle market companies.

The firm has over $1.5bn worth of transaction experience, which provides it with a deep industry insight and a holistic industry coverage. The knowledgeable and highly skilled team at Gate Capital team backed by a solid track record, a wide network of investors and companies, and supported with thorough technical, industrial, and investment banking skills. The seasoned professionals focus on businesses in the mid-market space with deal value ranging between $20M to $200M+ in enterprise value.

“Our approach delivers exceptional results and adds value at every step of the process,” explains Munther Hilal, the firm’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “In Gate Capital we work in close synergy with our clients to ensure that their business and growth strategies are supported by efficient financial solutions. We are a strategic advisory firm dedicated to unlocking value through high quality services and innovative solutions.”

Home to a thriving financial services industry, the UAE has many local and international banks, investment firms, and insurance companies operating in the country. Some of the challenges that financial companies in the UAE may face include intense competition, regulatory compliance, and economic volatility. Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the economy, and many businesses have faced financial difficulties as a result. However, the economy has been swiftly recovering and Gate Capital has, once again, been able to engage in high-quality deals. There are also many opportunities for financial companies in the UAE, particularly in Dubai which is a global financial hub. The country’s strategic location, growing population, and strong infrastructure make it an attractive destination for businesses.

“The UAE offers a range of advantages for corporate finance advisors, including a strategic location, business-friendly environment, robust regulatory framework, world-class infrastructure, and diversification opportunities,” Munther elaborates. “The UAE is a strategic location for transaction and investment activity in the Asia, Europe, and MENA regions while simultaneously offering a favourable business environment and strong and transparent regulatory framework that enables business setup and economic activity in the country. We, as Gate Capital believe that there are tremendous growth opportunities within the country over the next few years that we could mobilise.”

A diversified and highly experienced team, with strong technical expertise and deep market knowledge, enables Gate Capital to drive and support its clients’ goals. This focused approach, with a deep-dive methodology, has provided the company with an edge in the market, which enables it to lead the transactional business in the markets in which it operates.

Having a fast-paced culture, with a real focus on teamwork, innovation, and performance, Gate Capital promotes a respectful and inclusive work environment that truly allows all individuals to grow and contribute.

“Our work can be quite demanding which is why we require our employees to be highly skilled and dedicated,” Munther enthuses. “With a strong leadership team that outlines a clear vision for the company, we instil a positive culture right from the top.”

At Gate Capital, individuals who possess a combination of technical skills, relevant experience, and personal qualities that align with the culture and values of the company are highly sought after to join the growing team. It is traits such as these that Munther tells us can help new employees to integrate into the company by enabling them to quickly understand the business, collaborate effectively with their colleagues, and contribute positively to the success of the organisation.

Recently, the firm was recognised in the UAE Business Awards and crowned with the prestigious title of Best Corporate Finance Advisory Firm 2023 – MENA. This accolade is testament to the firm’s proactive approach and its dedication to its loyal customer base.

Now, regarding the future, the medium to long-term vision is to establish Gate Capital as a leading and preferred corporate finance advisor for clients based in the Middle East, offering a wide range of corporate finance services across in-demand and niche sectors.

The financial year 2023 is budgeted to be the biggest grossing year for the company, with the anticipated closing of a transaction pipeline of over $750m and Munther and the firm’s immediate expansion strategy will focus on cross-border M&A offerings, by supporting clients in the Middle East to transact in the key markets globally, such as the US, Europe, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. Its regional focus is to establish physical offices in Saudi Arabia and expand its clients’ presence with on-ground partners in other key regional markets as well.

“We have added a capable team and successfully expanded into niche sectors such as Telecom, Real Estate, Luxury hospitality, Infrastructure, Specialty Chemicals, AgriTech, High-tech and Venture-as-a-service, and intend to further penetrate these sectors to strengthen Gate’s positioning in the region.”

Company: Gate Capital Limited
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Arab Architecture

Arabian Travel Market to Welcome Over 2,000 Exhibitors, Representatives From More Than 150 Countries

Arab Architecture
  • ATM’s 30th edition to explore how the travel sector is ‘Working Towards Net Zero’
  • Arabian Travel Week 2023 events include ATM, ILTM, GBTA sessions and more
  • ATM 2023 sees 27% YoY rise in exhibitors, with growth across all show sectors
  • Speaker line-up includes industry leaders such as Emirates’ Sir Tim Clark
  • Milestone show will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 1-4 May 2023

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023 is ready to welcome the global travel, tourism and hospitality community to the UAE from Monday 1 to Thursday 4 May. The 30th edition of the show will host over 2,000 exhibitors, representatives from more than 150 countries and an anticipated 34,000 attendees.

Taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) in collaboration with the emirate’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), this year’s conference will once again form a central component of the UAE’s annual Arabian Travel Week.

In line with its theme, ‘Working Towards Net Zero’, ATM 2023 will provide a forum in which participants can forge new connections, share knowledge and showcase innovations with the potential to expedite the global travel sector’s journey towards decarbonisation.

Vasyl Zhygalo, Managing Director of RX Middle East and Portfolio Director of WTM, IBTM and RX, said: “Following the very successful WTM Africa and WTM Latin America earlier this spring it is great to now see the international travel community engage with Arabian Travel Market. We’ve seen a robust increase in exhibitor growth across all show areas and it’s exciting to be able to welcome back our Chinese colleagues after remaining covid restrictions were lifted in the region.”

“With sustainability an ever-increasing consideration for the travel industry, and indeed across the WTM and IBTM event portfolios, it’s never been more important for the sector to interact with ATM 2023’s theme, ‘Working Towards Net Zero’ and explore the vast array of business trends and opportunities showcased around this topic at the show.”

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, added: “ATM 2023 will provide a platform for a diverse array of public and private-sector speakers, all of whom will offer expert insights into sustainable travel trends, responsible tourism and a host of other industry-critical issues.

“Our opening session, for instance, will see policymakers take to the ATM Global Stage for a ministerial debate on how travel can tackle the climate crisis,” Curtis continued. “Moderated by CNN’s Eleni Giokos, this panel will see His Excellency Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy; His Excellency Makram Mustafa Abdul Karim Al-Qaisi, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan; His Excellency Minister of Tourism Eng. Walid Nassar, Minister of Tourism, Lebanon; and Sukit Mohanty, Chief of the UNDRR for Arab States; come together to explore the ways in which our industry is working towards net zero.”

Exhibitor participation in ATM 2023 has risen by 27% compared to last year’s event, with growth registered across all show sectors. These include regional upticks for the Middle East, representation for which will be 24% larger than in 2022, Europe (17% larger), Asia (15% larger) and Africa (8.5% larger). The event’s Travel Tech and hotels sectors have also witnessed sizeable year-on-year growth, expanding by 62% and 37.5%, respectively.

Chinese exhibitors and travel professionals are making a welcome return to ATM 2023, after the country lifted its Covid-related travel restrictions earlier this year. China became the world’s top source market in 2019, with 155 million tourists spending more than $250 billion overseas, and CNN predicts the nation’s outbound market will recover to around six million travellers per month by the summer of 2023.

Southeast Asia and India will feature prominently at this year’s event too. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Indian nationals spent a record $10 billion on overseas travel during the first nine months of 2022, an increase of nearly 43% compared to pre-Covid figures. Other estimates indicate the number of annual outbound journeys will reach more than 27 million by 2024, with a total value of over $42 billion.

Saudi Arabia will have a considerable presence at ATM 2023. The Kingdom registered more international arrivals than any other Arab nation during the first nine months of last year, welcoming more than 18 million visitors during this period, according to government data. Tourism spending in KSA hit $7.2bn in H1 2022.

To mark its 30th edition, ATM will be unveiling a dedicated sustainability pledge that has been designed to reinforce RX’s commitment to the delivery of sustainable events through the use of environmentally friendly materials, the elimination of single-use plastics and other forward-thinking initiatives. In addition to setting out the show’s journey towards net zero, this pledge will be accompanied by a new playbook, which offers participants a framework within which to mitigate their environmental impact before, during and after the event.

His Excellency, Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, commented: “It is indeed fitting that this year’s ATM theme focusses on sustainability to build a better future for tourism. For us, this theme assumes even greater significance as 2023 is UAE’s Year of Sustainability and Dubai will be hosting COP28, the UN Climate Change Conference. Dubai has made significant strides in this area, with strategies to reduce carbon footprint and create a more environmentally conscious tourism industry, aligned with the ambition of our visionary leadership to make Dubai the best city in the world to visit, live, and work in. As momentum continues to accelerate across the global tourism and MICE segments, we welcome the pursuit of a more evolved, collaborative, inclusive and long-term approach to sustainable growth and practices for the industry.”

This year’s show will also feature the inaugural ‘ATM Sustainable Stand Award’, the results of which will be announced as part of the ATM 2023 Best Stand Awards. Entries will be judged according to an extensive range of sustainable criteria, including supplier choice, material usage, operational efficiency, and even what will happen to stands once the exhibition has concluded.

In addition to sustainability, the ATM Global Stage will host a variety of sessions focused on pivotal industry issues, including, but not limited to: hotels and hospitality; aviation and transport; meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE); business travel; investment; responsible tourism; workforce diversification; and emerging segments such as attractions, cruises, wellness and cultural tourism.

The upcoming edition will see the return of the ATM Travel Tech Stage, which will host discussions on how factors such as artificial intelligence, the metaverse, cryptocurrency and big data are impacting the travel sector, while showcasing cutting-edge innovations and solutions with the potential to drive the next generation of sustainable tourism.

ATM 2023 will also feature a Sustainability Hub for the first time in the show’s history. This space will offer a venue for sessions dedicated to the latest sustainable travel trends and innovations, while providing the backdrop for the ATM 2023 Start-up Competition – an event hosted by conference partner Plug and Play, which will see entrepreneurs go head-to-head in a ‘Sustainable Tech Pitch Battle’.

This year’s show will see the return of International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Arabia, which will explore trends and opportunities within the burgeoning field of high-end tourism. In terms of luxury travel priorities, 25% of those living in the UAE are looking for great entertainment, whereas 19% place the biggest emphasis on premium-quality accommodation when booking trips, according to market research published by YouGov.

There will also be sessions from the International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC), the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

With a wide array of other must-attend events on the agenda, including sessions focused on the key markets of India, China and the GCC, plus a new informal speed networking platform, ATM 2023 will offer something to suit every specialism and interest, not to mention unparalleled networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities.

Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer at Emirates, said: “As we celebrate 30 years of partnership and commitment at ATM, it’s remarkable to see this event’s evolution and growing prominence on the global stage. We are proud of the role we have played in the growth of ATM and strengthening its mindshare as an industry event, as well as the growth of our home city Dubai, which is at the forefront of global tourism. This year, Emirates will be showcasing our latest products, connecting with our industry partners as well as demonstrating our commitment to minimise our environmental impact and sustainable aviation practices.”

Haitham Mattar, Managing Director of IHG Hotels & Resorts, added: “As the official hotel partner for ATM 2023, we look forward to the events’ momentous 30th edition. It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our wide-ranging portfolio of hotels in the region, introduce new and upcoming hotels and delve further into our new ‘IHG One Rewards’ loyalty offering for both leisure and business travellers. Given the theme of this year’s event, “Working towards Net Zero,” we will also be showcasing our commitments to drive environmental and social change across our estate. Most importantly, we will be focussed on connecting with new and existing partners, suppliers and industry peers to ensure we facilitate greater, collective success for the hospitality sector at large.”

The 30th edition of ATM will take place as part of Arabian Travel Week, a festival of events dedicated to enabling industry professionals from all over the world to collaborate and capitalise on market opportunities through exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.

In addition to ATM 2023, the ATM Start-up Competition, ATM Travel Tech, ILTM Arabia, GBTA Business Travel Forums, Buyer Speed Networking, the Influencer Networking Event, the Business Traveller Awards and Dubai Food Festival will all take place under the auspices of Arabian Travel Week 2023, which will run from Monday 1 May to Wednesday 10 May across Dubai.

ATM 2023’s strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as the Destination Partner, Emirates as the Official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as the Official Hotel Partner and Al Rais Travel as the Official DMC Partner.