Production Company

Best Film Production Company 2022 – Abu Dhabi

Production Company

With deeply ingrained values of respect, creativity, and boldness, Al Kalema Productions is one of the most well-renowned and well-respected production companies in the Middle East. Having made a name for itself both within its region and in the international market, this company sets itself apart with its creative integrity and team spirit, creating each piece of film and media with an unparalleled passion that pushes the envelope of what is possible in modern cinematography.

A United Arab Emirates company with an international pedigree, Al Kalema Productions has managed to gain accreditation across a wide cross section of heavy hitters in its market. With an office in the United States, partnerships all over the world, and the title of the most prominent independent production house in the MENA region, Al Kalema Productions boasts an in-house roster of talent that has secured its place at the top. From producers to directors, screenwriters, camera operators, video editors, animators, and sound mixers, its team are well-educated, well-trained, and enthusiastic, each with their own individual artistic flair that breathes life into any project.

Nominally, with one of the largest in-house production inventories in the country at its fingertips, Al Kalema Productions puts some of the greatest innovations in film to use. By putting this equipment in the hands of the people who can make the best use of it – its team – it is able to create some of the most beautiful and well executed artistry made possible by the medium of film. Thus, it appreciates its clients, stakeholders, and audience, each of whom put their faith in its creative and logistical acumen at every stage of the process, and who appreciate its proven ability to deliver the best results on a reliable basis.

Furthermore, this company is one that admires nature. By capturing the natural beauty of landscapes and people, it hopes to bring an audience a greater appreciation of the world they live in by showing them it through a variety of different perspectives, both in terms of character and creative context. In this manner, it lets its products speak for itself, the message it shares being one of ambition and diligence; with each film it creates, it gets one step closer to its goal of making the United Arab Emirates a media hub not just for the Middle East, but for the entire world.

From development to post-production, Al Kalema Productions provides a well-fleshed out and comprehensive pipeline that will take a project from start to finish. Always paying attention to the details as well as remaining cognizant of the bigger picture, its diverse and dynamic team are experts in finding the synergy between ideas, pulling them together to form a beautiful tapestry of world-class media, infused with a variety of opinions and experiences. Fundamentally, this infusion of such a myriad of different viewpoints into a work ensures that each project leaves as the best version of itself it can be, a version that is respectful to all and meets a client’s vision.

Critically, in the past, this attitude to film making has allowed it to create some of the best works in major events, film, TV production, and even marketing campaigns for high-end clientele. Further to this, with an upcoming pivot towards VFX, it promises that its distinctive style will only be developing further as it moves forward towards the bright future that its surely in store. Moreover, this future will be built atop the deeply integral principles and values that Al Kalema Productions has infused into the very foundation of the business.

These values speak to opening the door for new creatives, to delivering new content and pushing the envelope when it comes to what is possible for film, media, and visual content creation. Its expert team work hard to listen to the client at every turn, incorporating their voice, ideas, and commentary into the media itself so that the final product is truly reflective of what the customer wanted; moreover, when it receives feedback, this is something it addresses with the utmost seriousness. Crucially, when it receives a review from its clients – no matter the issues raised – it will always seek to try and analyse and learn from the comments, concerns, and critiques.

It thrives by receiving and responding sensitively to constructive criticism, using it to construct the pillars that will allow it to reach greater heights of success. Although – due to changes in its industry and in the world at large – it has had to change elements of its processes or ways of working time and again, its core value of listening to and valuing customer feedback has remained ever-consistent. This, its other values of fostering new ideas, and pushing for further innovation, has created a company that will never rest on its laurels, instead dedication itself to always finding out how it can be better, create something more hard hitting, or reach new audiences.

Its independent feature films, documentaries, and TV shows have therefore become examples of some of the best of modern film making. Able to create both Hollywood style movies and regional Arab content, its corporate videos, TV commercials, and promotional content isn’t restrained by borders; indeed, it is able to create content that appeals to the global market, with a history of taking initiative in the production of its own content. By not waiting for the market to come to it, it creates the new content that will satisfy the market’s hankerings for the uncharted and unexplored, developing a reputation for originality, pizzaz, and a singularly prestigious flair.

Stylistically, its relentlessly ambitious and front-running ability to develop the latest and greatest hits is made possible through its incredible team. Each of them is talented, dedicated, and hardworking, with an ethos of family that follows them throughout their career right from day one. No matter the department, each person will find themselves fully ingrained in the business as an integral part of the greater whole, an indispensable element of the production process with their own highly valued talents, passions, and experience. The energy and ambition of these people is what has put wings on the feet of Al Kalema Productions’s success.

Having developed a project called ‘people of determination’, a three-part TV mini-series and drama, with a crew of people with special needs and disabilities from all over the world, this series has been made by the people it is about, allowing Al Kalema Productions to tell the stories of people who are seldom seen in media. It looks forward to developing many projects like this going forward, and is excited to see where it can takes its clients – and its industry – in the future.

For further information, please visit https://alkalemaproductions.com/ 

Jumeirah Resort

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts Dining Destinations Recognised In Gault&Millau Guide 2022

Jumeirah Resort

Ten signature Jumeirah restaurants included in the prestigious Gault&Millau UAE 2022 guide, with the highest number of toques awarded to Burj Al Arab Jumeirah’s Al Muntaha

Dubai Homebuyer

25% of Dubai Homebuyers Seek Living Spaces That Bolster Mental Health

Dubai Homebuyer

A quarter of homebuyers in Dubai are on the hunt for living spaces that provide mental health benefits, according to real estate brokerage Union Square House (USH).

Living spaces and amenities that bolster mental health include spa-inspired bathrooms, freestanding bathtubs, meditation corners, indoor plants and fixtures, outdoor spaces, layouts that let in more natural light and fit-for-purpose residential communities.

Developers and facilities management firms play a key role through the upkeep of common areas, which represent essential convening venues for the community to celebrate gatherings and engage in fun activities.

According to a recent study about work-life balance conducted by mobile tech company Kisi, Dubai residents are among the most overworked in the world. As a result, stress levels among residents tend to be higher, and therefore finding a healing place in a home becomes a necessity.

Gaurav Aidasani, Founder & Managing Director, Union Square House, said: “The last two years have been tough on all of us. Apart from work-related challenges, our living spaces may have a direct impact on our mental health. In the wake of the pandemic, the correlation between a home and stress levels can’t be overlooked.”

Homebuyers in Dubai are increasingly pursuing thoughtful layouts and wellness-focused designs. Over the past couple of years, a new form of demand for living spaces that aim to enhance positive emotions and reduce depression emerged. Developers are now taking note of this trend to optimize living space for health and mental wellness.

“Finding the right home to ease the mental health burden extends beyond the living space itself. Homebuyers need to find the right community first. Many of us envisage owning a home in a friendly, serene community with parks, play areas, gyms and pools. Being part of a lively neighbourhood has moved up the homebuyer’s agenda thanks to a prevailing work-from-home lifestyle calling for greener communities where people can spend their times joyfully,” Gaurav continued.

“However, singles or couples may prefer living in the bustling city centre. Therefore, it is important to pick a community that suits you based on what a perfect home personally means to you. You must live in a community where you feel a sense of belonging,” Gaurav concluded.

When identifying the right community, homebuyers should also consider ease of access. Some communities in Dubai suffer from traffic congestion. Time spent coming in and going out of a residence can have an impact on mental health.

Factoring in proximity of a home to key facilities is also important. Short distances to points of interest such as schools, hospitals, retail outlets, leisure facilities, beauty centres and restaurants can make life easier, hence reducing stress levels.

In 2021, USH achieved AED 3 billion in real estate transactions, expanded its customer-base from six to 30 nationalities, saw a threefold growth in business performance and a twofold growth in team members. The real estate brokerage also focused on new markets, capitalizing on demand for luxury homes from European, American and Canadian customers.

USH has recently claimed the number one spot as the most awarded real estate agency in Dubai. The company has received the “Top Real Estate Agency” award from Emaar Properties for the past 10 years in a row, Dubai Properties (seven consecutive years), Meraas Properties (two consecutive years), Majid Al Futtaim (No.1 Performing Partner 2021), District One Meydan (No.1 Agency 2021), Nakheel (No.2 Agency 2021), RERA (2021), Dubai Holding (2021), and DAMAC Properties (2021).

Emirates Transport

Emirates Transport and China’s NEV Investment Establish a Joint Venture

Emirates Transport

On May 24th 2022, during the Electric Vehicle Innovation Summit (EVIS), Emirates Transport and NEV Investment have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center to officially establish a Joint Venture for the development, construction, marketing, operation, and management of the New Energy Vehicle Project in the UAE.

The Joint Venture is a product byway of the acceleration of the New Energy Vehicles Project in the UAE, which has four key components: trading, infrastructure, research, and development, as well as manufacturing.

The project was initiated to pave the way to produce electrics in the UAE. The project is in alignment with the Make it in the Emirates drive and Operation 300bn, the UAE’s industrial strategy aiming to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the economic output of the country, while also being expected to create employment opportunities and provide a strong boost to local SMEs.

Emirates Transport and NEV Investment have jointly attended the Electric Vehicle Innovation Summit (EVIS) as an exhibitor, with BYD Han (TBC) and Henrey Mini Tiger as the key New Energy Vehicles for the debut of Chinese New Energy Vehicles to the UAE.

During the event, Emirates Transport, along with NEV Investment networked across the value chains and exploited new opportunities at the intersection of EV technologies with influential EV-related institutions, companies, and government officials from around the world at the EVIS booth. Discussions surrounding not only New Energy Vehicles but also NEV Infrastructure components such as fast charging stations, aftersales service and spare parts logistics centers establishment, IoT, electrical cables, and more were actualized.

EVIS is the launchpad for NEV Investment and potential Chinese New Energy Vehicles which can be introduced to the UAE. The UAE’s NEV Future is optimistic, and this is the first step to a long-term sustainable partnership between the UAE and China as the two countries have a shared goal in raising NEV Industrial innovation.

Emirates Transport is a public joint stock company established in 1981 and now operates under the umbrella of the Emirates Investment Authority.

Despite making its name in the field of school transport, ET achieved significant investment growth and service diversification over its 40-year history. Today, the company can offer its customers, both establishments and individuals, an array of services including, but not limited to transport, vehicle leasing and auto maintenance.

NEV Investment LLC is a New Energy Vehicle investment company among strategic international investors and stakeholders in UAE, aiming to establish a comprehensive New Energy Vehicle ecosystem in the UAE and MENA region, through the introduction of Chinese New Energy Vehicles including trading, R&D, infrastructure, and manufacturing.

Faryal Tawakul, Acting CEO of Emirates Transport, stated that the company was proud to be part of this exciting development in the UAE’s automotive and transport industries. She said: “Emirates Transport has been a leader in the transport industry in the UAE for over four decades and as an industry leader it’s fitting that we are now at the forefront of this new dawn of electric vehicles.

“We are proud to share this journey with our partners from the private and public sectors and we look forward to playing a vital role in ensuring the UAE is again a leading light, both regionally and at the international level, when it comes to new technology”, added Tawakul.

Leo, chairman of NEV Investment, expressed his delight at the official premiere of Chinese New Energy Vehicles at EVIS and the event on a whole. He said: “As the UAE continues to make significant progress towards becoming a global leader in the renewable energy sector, we are delighted to be a key player in creating future industries by leveraging existing Chinese NEV technologies and introducing them to the local as well as regional markets, jointly with Emirates Transport.

Sharjah

Sharjah Tourism Highlights Progress in Major Tourism Projects and Future Plans for a Sustainable Tourism Industry

Sharjah

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has unveiled the latest developments taking place in the Emirate of Sharjah’s tourism projects and future plans at a press conference it held on day two of Arab Travel Market (ATM) 2022, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 9 to 12.

ATM aims to shed light on the future of the global travel and tourism industry, in addition to exploring ways to address existing challenges and capitalise on available opportunities.

Held at the Sharjah Pavilion at ATM 2022, the press conference brought together His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA; Her Excellency Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA); H.E. Ali Salem Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah International Airport Authority, and Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), along with officials from various government entities and representatives of local and international media outlets.

Speaking at the conference, H.E. Al Midfa said: “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to advance the emirate’s position as a prominent family tourism destination on the global tourism map, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority works closely and continuously with its strategic partners in the government and private sectors to implement projects and initiatives that allow the emirate to offer innovative, one-of-a-kind and diverse tourism experiences to visitors from around the world.”

“Our leadership’s constant support paved the way for Sharjah to make immense progress in recent years in terms of major tourism projects across cities and villages in the emirate, including major infrastructure projects to connect the Heart of Sharjah to the Central and Eastern regions,” H.E. Al Midfa continued. “The emirate’s strategic location is an added value for its tourism sector, playing a key role in the development of the tourism industry and its diversity, and offering an array of experiences to meet all interests and cater to every age group. The emirate boasts world-class tourism capacities, offering an annual agenda full of events, exhibitions, and major festivals – all of which work together to meet the aspirations of visitors from all categories.”

The SCTDA Chairman explained that Sharjah has significantly developed its hotel sector to include more than 100 facilities with over 10,000 rooms and apartments. “These include beach hotels, city-centre hotels, and other facilities with more of an authentic Emirati feel, in addition to hotels in the Central Region in Mleiha and Al Badayer, which offer unique accommodation experiences, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, where guests can immerse themselves in natural landscapes from mountains to sand dunes,” he said.

“Over the course of the past few years, the emirate made tremendous efforts towards developing the eco-tourism sector to offer exceptional experiences to all visitors. The various destinations offer a range of experiences for adventure lovers, as well as those looking to go camping, visit parks, and do water, desert, or mountain activities, in addition to experiences catering to lovers of heritage, arts, history, and archaeology,” H.E. noted. “The Emirate of Sharjah supports development plans that are designed to ensure the sustainability of its key sectors, including tourism – one of the pillars of the national economy.”

The total number of guests in hotel establishments in the Emirate of Sharjah during the first quarter of 2022 exceeded 350,000, marking a growth rate of 26% compared to the same period last year. The UAE ranked as the first source market for hotel establishment guests in Q1 2022, followed by India, Russia, and Oman, respectively, underlining Sharjah’s appeal to both tourists and visitors from around the UAE.

For her part, EPAA Chairperson H.E. Hana Saif Al Suwaidi shed light on the Sharjah Safari project – the largest safari outside the African continent, which includes 12 different environments representing Africa’s terrain and the animals and birds that live there. “Sharjah Safari places the Emirate of Sharjah and the UAE at the forefront of attractive destinations for nature and wildlife tourists, and contributes to promoting various other sectors, from aviation to hospitality,” H.E. said.

“During its participation at ATM, the EPAA will meet with representatives of tourism and hotel companies to organise visits to Sharjah Safari, in addition to discussing ways to cooperate with the authorities concerned with eco-tourism to set up joint events and programmes that serve the emirate’s vision for both tourism and the environment,” H.E. Al Suwaidi asserted.

Meanwhile, H.E. Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Airport Authority, said: “Our participation in the Arabian Travel Market 2022 reiterates Sharjah Airport’s commitment to strengthening communication with its international counterparts from the aviation sector. We are also utilising this opportunity to seek potential partnerships that would result in mutual growth, and further enhance the distinguished position that Sharjah Airport currently enjoys as one of the most prominent airports in the region.”

“The exhibition will serve as a platform for us to showcase the services and facilities we provide to our partners in the tourism and travel sectors,” H.E. Al Midfa added. “We also look forward to highlighting the services and smart solution features that we have recently launched, in addition to demonstrating the quality of our safety standards and operational efficiency, which has been enhanced to provide customers and travellers with a more comfortable experience. We take this opportunity to reaffirm our dedication to enhancing Sharjah’s image and maintaining the emirate’s lead as a distinguished financial and cultural hub for tourism investment in the Middle East.”

Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Acting CEO of Shurooq, lauded the unparalleled efforts of SCTDA and its collaboration with other public entities to continue developing Sharjah’s tourism sector and create new opportunities to elevate its position as a leading hub for experiential travel. He also asserted that SCTDA’s objectives are perfectly aligned with Shurooq’s belief that this complementarity of roles established by different entities entrusted with Sharjah’s sustainable development is a key accelerator of development.

Announcing Shurooq’s two new luxury hospitality projects, namely, Najd Al Meqsar Retreat and The Serai Wing, Bait Khalid bin Ibrahim, Al Qaseer added: “These projects offer residents and travellers more choices in the ways they wish to explore Sharjah and complement the other eco- and heritage-inspired hospitality projects developed by Shurooq in the emirate. Through these new undertakings, we reiterate our commitment to enhancing Sharjah’s tourist landscape, encouraging diversified investments through local and global partnerships, and developing projects all across Sharjah as part of an inclusive, community-focused development plan, in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.”

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority is heading the Sharjah Pavilion at Arabian Travel Market 2022, bringing together 24 entities from the emirate: seven government departments and 17 private entities from tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors. The Authority aims to shed light on its achievements in driving growth and development in the tourism sector in the Emirate of Sharjah in the post-pandemic period, raising awareness of the tourism services and products it provides, in collaboration with its strategic partners, to build a sustainable tourism sector.

Recruitment

Shaping the Future of the Events Industry

Recruitment

ESMOS Recruitment, the company lauded as the ‘Event’s Recruitment Specialists of the Year’ in 2022 for Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, has secured notoriety as a partner to its clients’ businesses and careers over the past year. Despite being a relatively young company, it is no stranger to operating in times of turmoil and has been a critical touchstone in helping professionals in events management and creation to adapt to the changing modern paradigm, guiding new talent and experienced industry heavyweights alike.

A distinctive, highly targeted consultancy service, ESMOS Recruitment specialises in recruitment for the events industry focusing on the three core pillars that make up any good event. Aiding a client in securing good sales, marketing, and operations, this relatively young company – having only found its feet in March of 2021 – has been making waves amongst the events planning industry, leading recruitment across these verticals in order to provide exemplary permanent placements. Nominally, by doing this, it maintains the talent pool of new and passionate people coming into its industry, delivering effective solutions through personalised and professional services that go hand in hand with a transparent, proactive, ethical, and client centric approach.

It fosters human connection between an employee and their prospective placement in this manner. Fundamentally, by drilling down into this relationship development as a core tenant of its business, it promotes healthy, sustainable, and compatible teams that will work together exceedingly well to make an event run swimmingly, ensuring that the person fits the placement and vice versa. Over the past year of recruiting specifically for the events sector, ESMOS has built solid foundations and a robust reputation amongst candidates, placing them in key leadership positions across the industry and setting it in good stead with professionals across its relevant verticals.

Additionally, working with key, high-profile clients within the local and regional exhibition markets, as well as the conference markets, it serves the world’s leading B2B exhibition organisers and government owned entities, making the recruitment experience smooth, seamless, and transitional for all involved. It regularly engages with all its clients for a quarterly headcount and talent sourcing purpose, maintaining an open dialogue built on mutual trust. This, in essence, has all contributed to making it a lifelong business and career partner for many, ESMOS appreciating and respecting the trust its clients put in it to be a guiding hand in their professional life.

ESMOS appreciates the importance of building relationships with the people and businesses it represents. Critically, from screening to placement, it believes in a transactional approach to recruitment that suits all parties, putting the development of a positive dynamic between the company and candidate back at the forefront of concerns when it comes to hiring fresh talent. Having launched shortly after returning from lockdown, ESMOS and its staff are undaunted by challenge, as it has been working throughout one of the toughest times yet to face the modern world. Helping the events industry move into the new modern epoch that is starting to take shape, it has joined its clients at the start of a journey through uncharted waters and is dedicated to helping them rebuilt in a way that will prepare them for the changes and opportunities ahead.

For further information, please contact Mark Benaicha or visit esmosrecruitment.com

Nigeria Landscape

Nigeria Takes the Lead in Exploration, Production and Regulation in 2022

Nigeria Landscape

Nigeria represents one of Africa’s heavyweights when it comes to hydrocarbon exploration and production. With over 36 billion barrels of oil (bbl) and 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the country has managed to position itself as both an attractive upstream market and competitive producer. In its Q1 2022 outlook, The State of African Energy, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) (www.EnergyChamber.org) contends that Nigeria will maintain its position as one of Africa’s leading crude oil producers as well as one of the continent’s top three gas suppliers between 2022 and 2025, providing an opportunity for the west African country to leverage its energy resources for economic growth while addressing global energy demand.

According to the outlook, Nigeria will produce 1.46 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil out of the 6.35 million bpd that Africa as a whole will produce during the year, reaffirming the country’s position as a continental energy hub as production in the west African state peaks in 2023. Production declines in mature oilfields coupled with the country’s reliance on offshore basins – approximately 65% of the crude oil Nigeria currently produces sourced from offshore projects – has highlighted the need for Nigeria to increase oil exploration and production to maintain a secure supply as legacy projects diminish and thereby shrink the country’s production capacity from 2023 onwards. Out of the 36 bbl of oil reserves Nigeria holds, just over 25% is currently produced from deep water projects, underlining a huge opportunity for Nigeria to expand partnerships and investment to ramp up production and increase its role in both the continental and global energy landscape.

“The recent $1.2 billion deal between Nigeria’s Seplat Energy and American energy firm ExxonMobil, in which the multinational will continue with its deep-water projects whilst handing over onshore projects, is an indication of the huge potential the country’s offshore projects have in the near future in addressing energy needs as energy consumption increases. By increasing focus on these projects, accelerating exploration and production in key basins, Nigeria has the ability to unleash its full energy potential,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.

In order to consolidate its position as a global producer, the Nigerian government needs to fast-forward the approval process for deep-water projects and put in place policies that reduce taxes for operators, the majority of which are international majors that have partnered with national oil companies, to ensure more projects come online through 2025 for a continued stable supply of crude oil.

More investments are also required within the country’s downstream sector with inadequate infrastructure slowing down oil production and increasing Nigeria’s reliance on fuel imports. Nigeria imports up to 1.25 million metric tons per month of gasoline due to inadequate domestic refining capacity. Accordingly, the $12 billion Dangote refinery project in Lagos, slated to kickstart operations during Q4 of 2022 with a processing capacity of 540,000 barrels per day and partly owned by state-company the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, is an example of the willingness of Nigeria to set itself as an oil heavyweight while expanding its oil and gas capabilities to meet domestic, regional and global energy needs.

Meanwhile on the gas front, the AEC outlook shows that Nigeria has also retained its spot amongst Africa’s main gas producers in 2022. An annual production capacity of 1,450 billion cubic feet is expected as the country recovers from 2020 low production levels. Existing gas producing fields, as well as those currently under development, are expected to sustain the country’s gas production through to 2025. Despite factors such as vandalism of infrastructure which are restraining optimal gas and oil exportation, as well as the high costs and emission rates associated with deep-water projects driving majors to diversify their portfolios, greenfield investments in Nigeria and its African counterparts will increase capital expenditure across the continent to $30 billion in 2022, providing an opportunity for new projects to come online and for leading hydrocarbon producers such as Nigeria to modernize and build new infrastructure as well as expand exploration and production.

Nigeria is positioned to lead African investment with proven oil and gas reserves as well as a reformed regulatory landscape making the sector increasingly attractive for foreign capital. The implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in 2021 by the Nigerian government, for example, provides regulatory clarity on royalties and other issues that have previously made it difficult for oil and gas E&P companies and downstream market players to expand investments within the country’s market. Now, with the implementation of the PIB, Nigeria is better positioned, now more than ever, to attract investments and accelerate development in 2022 and beyond.

The AEC’s annual conference, African Energy Week (AEW), taking place from October 18-21, 2022, in Cape Town, will not only highlight post-PIB opportunities in Nigeria, but will make a strong case for the role the country plays in both the African and global energy landscape. Through a range of investor-specific forums, market-driven panel discussions, and ministerial summits, AEW 2022 will discuss exploration, production and regulation, with dialogue centered around how Africa’s oil and gas sector can make energy poverty history by 2030.

Saudi Arabia - Riyadh

Saudi Arabia Announces 60 Water Projects Worth SR35bln at MENA Desalination Projects Forum 2022

Saudi Arabia - Riyadh
  • The Forum examines the depth of the situation in water scarcity and desalination projects and discuss way forward – in line with the climate change target and reduction in emissions by 2030 and 2050
  • Saudi Arabia announced more than 60 water projects, worth SR35 billion (US$9.33 billion), that will cement the Kingdom’s position as the world’s largest water desalination market;
  • In 2020, Saudi Arabia approved 11 Independent Water Projects (IWPs) and 9 Independent Sewage Treatment Projects (ISTPs);
  • In 2021, the country approved 8 IWPPS, 14 Independent Strategic Water Reservoir (ISWR) projects and 7 Small Sewerage Treatment Plant (SSTP) project clusters;
  • There are more than $5.5 billion of water projects currently under construction. Saudi Arabia has adopted Public-Private-Partnerships as a procurement strategy, with 70 per cent of its water processing infrastructure projects procured on this basis.

Saudi Arabia announced more than 60 water projects, worth SR35 billion (US$9.33 billion), that will cement the Kingdom’s position as the world’s largest water desalination market, a top official told delegates at the 3rd MENA Desalination Projects Forum 2022 that got underway at the Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers Hotel.

“Saudi Arabia has been increasing its investment in clean energy, power and water. In the water sector, we have integrated the water desalination and wastewater treatment and have been expanding our capacities across the industry,” Engineer Khaled Al Qureshi, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC), said in his keynote address.

“We have been increasing the number of water projects over the last few years. In 2020, our organisation approved 11 Independent Water Projects (IWPs) and 9 Independent Sewage Treatment Projects (ISTPs), while last year we approved 8 IWPPS, 14 Independent Strategic Water Reservoir (ISWR) projects and 7 Small Sewerage Treatment Plant (SSTP) project clusters.

“However, I am happy to announce that this year, we have approved more than 60 water and sewerage projects, worth more than SR35 billion, that will increase water desalination capacity as well as increase strategic water reserves and the capacity to treat more wastewater in the coming years.”

Once completed, these projects will increase the desalination capacity to 7.5 million cubic metres of water per day by 2027, from 2.54 cubic metres per day in 2021 – nearly tripling the capacity in just six years.

Saudi Arabia’s National Water Strategy published in 2018, adopted a sustainable approach to the water sector, committing to safeguarding the natural resources and the environment of the Kingdom and providing cost-effective supply and high-quality services

“We are developing strategic water reserves that should supply enough water to Saudi consumers in case of emergency. By 2029, we plan to raise the capacity to hold 45.7 million cubic metres of water – that will serve the entire country for a few days, if the water supply stops for some reason, he said.

“We are developing a network of 147 SSTPs with 14,925 kilometres of wastewater collection network that will recycle a large amount of wastewater across the country.”

SWPC, one of the leaders in public-private partnership projects in the GCC, has successfully achieved financial close of US$2.5 billion (SR9.4 billion) during the last two years.

Saudi Arabia’s population is expected to grow from 35 million in 2021 to around 40 million by 2026. This growth in the population will put pressure on basic infrastructure. Being an arid country, Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in its water infrastructure.

There are more than $5.5 billion of water projects currently under construction. Saudi Arabia has adopted Public-Private-Partnerships as a procurement strategy, with 70 per cent of its water processing infrastructure projects procured on this basis.

Investment in the desalination projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has increased substantially in recent years and accounts 48 percent of global desalination projects, with further investments expected to spur the market to $4.3 billion by 2022, according to the MENA Desalination Market report by Ventures Onsite, which tracks construction projects in the region.

Seawater desalination now contributes to more than 90 percent of all daily water requirements in the GCC region, according to a report. Desalination capacity of GCC countries is expected to grow further by approximately 37 percent during the next five years, with investments of up to $100 billion, according to reports. The global desalination market is predicted to grow from $17.7 billion in 2020 to $32.1 billion by 2027.

The news comes as 3rd MENA Desalination Projects Forum takes off today at the Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers Hotel, UAE, that examines the depth of the situation in water scarcity and desalination projects and discuss way forward – in line with the climate change target and reduction in emissions by 2030 and 2050.

More than 150 C-Suite Executives (CEOs and MDs) including more than 30 speakers, panelists are participating at the conference and exhibition where more than 30 exhibitors and sponsors display the latest innovation and technologies at the two-day event.

The MENA region contains more than 6.3 percent of the world’s population, but less than 1 percent of global water resources. Making up the predicted MENA water deficit in 2025 will require the production of an additional 237 billion cubic metres of potable water. By 2050, water scarcity could cost MENA between 6-14 percent of the entire region’s GDP each year.

In Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) has announced that commercial operations on the Jubail 3A independent water producer (IWP) project will commence in the last quarter of 2022.

Countries within the MENA region will add an estimated 20GW of solar capacity and 5-6GW of wind by 2025. The global desalination market is predicted to grow from $17.7 billion in 2020 to $32.1 billion by 2027.

Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner, Great Mind Events Management and organizer of the 3rd MENA Desalination Projects Forum, says, “The depth of the water scarcity is getting from bad to worse. The governments of the MENA countries are seeking alternative ways to generate clean water, without harming the environment. Although there are new sustainable sources of generating water, such as from air, desalination still now remains one of the most viable sources to feed large communities. That way, the Middle East Desalination Projects Forum is one of the most important industry conferences that highlights the challenges as well as opportunities.

“We are happy to curate such an important industry conference and bring all the major stakeholders in this important event where senior government officials, private businesses, contracting companies, project consultants and water experts will discuss key issues such as new technology, reducing the cost of desalination, sustainability and energy efficiency at the two-day conference.

“Great Minds Event Management brings some of the strategically important industry events that are crucial for the future development of economy and society of the MENA region.”

Exhibitors, partners and sponsors were seen networking with key government utilities to participate in the new projects, which is going to help the industry expand in the next few years.

Rory Weaver, Marketing Director, FEDCO, said, “The Middle East is leading the way for the desalination industry in delivering larger projects than ever, at water tariffs that were unimaginable just a few years ago. The MENA Desal Forum is a crucial space to share the expertise and experience necessary to drive further innovation for the industry.”

The 3rd MENA Desalination Projects Forum is supported by Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure – UAE, Department of Energy – Abu Dhabi, Saudi Water Partnership Company – KSA, Saudi Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) – KSA, Water Authority of Jordan, Emirates Water and Electricity Co (EWEC) – Abu Dhabi, Moroccan National Company of Drinking Water and Sanitation, RAK Municipality, Palestinian Water Authority, Water Alliance, International Water Management Institute, Sustainable Water Power Consultants, among others.

Muslim Entrepreneur

The Vibrant Lifestyle Destination Is Driven By Some of the Region’s Greatest Female Entrepreneurs

Muslim Entrepreneur

Introducing the inspiring women of Al Seef Village Abu Dhabi

With it being International Women’s Day today, Al Seef Village Abu Dhabi is honouring the achievements of the many brilliant women who have helped make the destination the vibrant, exciting and entertaining place it is today.

Home to multiple restaurants, cafes, boutiques and lifestyle brands, numerous innovative and ground-breaking venues at the family-friendly mall are led by powerful, intelligent and inspiring women.

From Rima Zanoun, the creative founder of MAKAW Fine Chocolate, to Marjon Andesha, Executive Chef and founder of Nolu’s, the city’s favourite homegrown healthy eating restaurant, the women of Al Seef are proud to #BreakTheBias and build towards a world that is free from stereotypes and discrimination.

 

Marjon Andesha, Executive Chef and Founder of Nolu’s

Raised in Afghanistan and California, Marjon’s diverse upbringing led to her develop a unique and eclectic approach to cooking and cuisine. After relocating to Abu Dhabi from California in 2004, she launched her first Nolu’s restaurant in 2010. 

Combining laid-back Californian dishes with the authentic smoky flavours of Afghani cuisine, the concept was an instant hit and she now manages seven locations within Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including Raw by Nolu’s at Al Seef Village Mall, and there are another six more in the pipeline, too.

Boasting a casual and approachable ambiance and offering traditional recipes served with a modern and contemporary twist, Marjon’s extensive menus encompass everything from healthy salad bowls to traditional kabobs. 

An abbreviation of her children’s names, Noah and Lujayn, Nolu’s is a passion project that Marjon is proud to nurture every day. 

To find out more, please visit www.nolusrestaurants.com.

 

Salama Khalifa, founder of Soil

At just 30 years old, Emirati Salama Khalifa is the proud owner of organic and healthy food brand Soil. Designed to help people adopt a clean-living lifestyle and embrace the joy of healthy eating, she launched her business as a small kiosk back in 2016. Now, she operates two locations in Abu Dhabi, at Al Seef Village Mall and New York University, as well as a comprehensive online store. Her offerings encompass over 300 natural retail grocery products, a menu of healthy food and drinks, and cold-pressed juices that are available to be bought in bulk.

Passionate about health and wellbeing from a young age, her family were often forced to import basic supplies such as dairy-free milk and gluten free crackers from overseas. So, frustrated by the lack of organic options available locally and inspired by her own struggles to find clean, allergen-free food products in the UAE, she decided to launch her own health-food company, Soil.

To find out more please email [email protected] or visit www.soilstore.com.

 

Rima Zanoun, founder of MAKAW Chocolate

Rima is a creative and passionate entrepreneur with a vast array of experience in business, life coaching and mentorship. 

On a mission to spread happiness to the people of Abu Dhabi and help them gain uplifting new experiences, the powerful business lady has poured all her creativity and skills into creating the world of MAKAW Fine Chocolate.

A multi-sensory destination that invites guests to indulge in decadent, heart-warming chocolates and confectionary, MAKAW specializes in imaginative and magical French chocolates that are filled with subtle creative flavours and luxurious little touches.

Inspired by the vibrant and majestic nature of Makaw parrots, Rima believes that “all businesses sell feelings through the stories they tell”. Above all else, she wants to make customers feel happy and content and show them what amazing taste sensations can be crafted out of quality cocoa beans.  

To find out more about MAKAW Fine Chocolate, visit www.makaw.ae

Arcade Centre

African Amusement Industry Operators Must Visit DEAL 2022 for Latest Concepts In Entertainment

Arcade Centre

African family entertainment centers, theme parks, and waterparks operators will stand to gain from the upcoming DEAL 2022 as it will showcase some of the most innovative and creative entertainment concepts. The 28th edition of the show is scheduled to take place at the prestigious Dubai World Trade Centre, during March 28th-30th. For more information on DEAL please log on to www.DEALmiddleeastshow.com.

“Africa as a continent is evolving and so are the economies within it. The millennials are looking for the latest entertainment concepts and they want to have the best entertainment destinations within their countries.  Their tastes and preferences are changing each day and they want to be at the forefront of the latest immersive entertainment concepts. With this change in behaviour they also need engaging and immersive experiences to support their entertainment appetite.  This has given rise to new gaming concepts such as VR and now they are further engaged by robots who can serve them food and beverages. DEAL 2022 is one such trade show that will help the African operators to meet with this burgeoning demand,” stated Sharif Rahman, CEO of International Expo Consults (IEC).

With 300 plus exhibitors from across 45 plus countries, DEAL 2022 is all set to bring the industry leaders and showcase concepts that are developed with the current requirements of the fast-paced generation.

“Africa’s population is set to grow to 2.3 billion by 2050. In contrast to the rest of the world, however, its booming population is getting younger. Experts believe that the next big thing for the entertainment and leisure industry especially in the African region would be driven by virtual reality technology.  Several DEAL 2022 exhibitors from across the globe would be showcasing a plethora of concepts that the African FECs and Amusement operators to choose from. Soon theme park enthusiasts strapped with VR paraphernalia, will enter worlds that were literally impossible to recreate,” added Mr.Rahman.

IEC CEO further stated that, “This is a great business opportunity for mall owners, real estate developers and other stakeholders in Africa, planning to launch or grow their unique projects embedded with a gaming / entertainment zone.  DEAL 2022 will provide the right platform to create a win-win-win situation for the exhibitors, visitors and the end consumers who will experience these amazing concepts.”

On the growth of the virtual reality concepts, Mr. Rahman, stated that,“ Today, the entertainment aspect is an integral part of any retail megamall. The key reason is to increase the footfall of people and eventually increase sales. The African stakeholders who visit DEAL can also visit the VR Parks in UAE to know the potential and also to know how they are growing their revenues. The facility can remain the same, however, the software and the games need to be upgraded and changed which is not as expensive as changing the whole interiors of the facility. In Dubai, there are many options for VR based rides in Virtual Worlds, Magic Planet among others, an exclusive VR Park in Dubai Mall has changed the face of entertainment in the city”.

DEAL 2022 will take place within the mega World EXPO 2020 Dubai calendar months which is scheduled between 1st of October 2021 and 31st March 2022. The DEAL show organisers urge the participating exhibitors to plan their trip in advance to also witness this multi-billion-dollar event.

Food for Future

UAE to Fortify World’s Food Security and Climate Change Drive with the Opening of Food for Future Summit and Global Agtech Expo

Food for Future
  • Ministers from Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Europe to feature in the speaker line-up
  • Event propels UAE into global challenge leadership role

Dubai will be front and centre of the global food security and climate change drive when the first-of-its kind Food for Future Summit and Global Agtech Expo open at Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) at Expo 2020 Dubai on Wednesday 23 February.

Hosted by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as strategic partner, the inaugural summit and expo have attracted scores of world leaders and food and agriculture innovators for a timely and vital gathering designed to facilitate action for tackling food security and its climate impact.

The summit comes as governments and the global food ecosystem look to address an impending agricultural shortfall in feeding a growing global population, anticipated to cross 10 billion by 2050.

With over 100 global leaders, policymakers, 50 start-up innovators and over 140 exhibitors from more than 60 countries, to share trends and solutions, the ‘Food for Future’ Global Leadership Symposium, featuring a keynote address by H.E. Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, will strongly reinforce the country’s status as an industry enabler.

The partnership with FAO – the first time in the MENA region a government ministry has come together with the UN organisation in an issues-focused think tank – underlines the UAE’s leadership in addressing global food security and the climate change agenda by bringing local and international ministerial delegations and leading NGO executives under one roof.

The powerful speaker line-up includes Ban Ki-moon, 8th UN Secretary-General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the City of Milan, who will address the gathering virtually. On stage, ministers and ministerial representatives from Nigeria, Ghana, Lebanon, Spain, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom and Ukraine, amongst others, will be joined by leading officials from the UN, FAO, the World Bank, World Food Programme, AGRA, CGIAR, Irish Food Board, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Singapore Food Agency, as well as C-suite from multi-national food producers.

With over 130 hours of empowering content featuring more than 200 speakers and 14 ministers, the summit will include FAO MENA Agrifood Innovation Days to foster public-private sector engagement in transforming the region’s agrifood systems. The FAO will hold two high-level sessions on Committee on World Food Security Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, and Trade, Innovation and Technology as Enablers for Food Security.

FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East, and North Africa, Abdulhakim Elwaer, said the Innovation Days will bring cities and municipalities, academia, and civil society together in a common goal. He said: ‘Innovation is a key driver — it helps in transforming our agrifood systems to be more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life for all.’

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens based in Vienna will also be at the Summit to, in the words of its CEO Monika Froehler, represent a ‘wide environmental portfolio.’

‘Climate change affects agriculture, food and the stability of food systems leading to hunger and poverty. Not all communities have the same capacity to adapt to climate change, and those in fragile areas and living in poverty are most vulnerable. As we work together to strengthen global food security and increase agricultural development aid, we must champion climate-resilient agriculture and smallholder farmers,’ said Ms. Froehler.

The summit will also host ‘Making It Happen’ sessions, bringing industry leaders together to focus on regional innovation and technology-enhanced agriculture and supply chain to make farming more efficient and sustainable. The sessions will explore end-to-end IoT solutions to drone and satellite monitoring, robotics, AI and supply chain with Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to optimise food production along the value chain and reduce waste.

 

Empowering Community Change

The summit’s Generation Food stage will host workshops spanning topics related to food for the future global population. The interactive sessions will highlight expert views on how food can be more sustainably and healthily produced, improved, and consumed. The stage will also be home to the ‘Thought for Food MENA Challenge’ start-up showcasing ambitious entrepreneurs will vie for a cash award to progress their innovations.

The ’Food for Future’ and ‘Global Agritech’ shows will see exhibitors display the technology and methodology for future food production and waste reduction, opening rich business opportunities. They will also feature the region’s first FoodWise Challenge for schools and universities and see 170 young food system transformers from 11 countries pitch their solutions in the TFF 2022 MENA Agri-Food-Tech Challenge pitch their innovations for funding support.

‘Food for Future Summit and Global Agtech Expo will be a watershed moment in the evolution of public-private sector commitment to change,’ said Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the event organisers. ‘It will be an empowering event inspiring a radical food security rethink by uniting the industry, governments and NGOs to ensure a food secure world.’

Growth Strategy

Businesses Must Rethink Growth Strategies As People Examine Relationships With Work, Technology, Brands and the Planet

Growth Strategy

Finds Accenture’s Annual Fjord Trends Report 2022, which investigates human behaviors that will affect culture, society and business in the coming year

Nearly two years of disruption to the fabric of society has resulted in a collective shift in people’s relationships with work, consumerism, technology and the planet, pushing companies to design new ways of doing business, according to the annual Fjord Trends report from Accenture.

In its 15th year, Accenture Interactive’s latest Fjord Trends report provides practical guidance as companies look to deliver value and relevance to their customers, employees and society.

According to the report, newly identified behaviors will challenge businesses to rethink their approach to design, innovation and growth as a result of the shifts in employee expectations and mindset, scarcity caused by disrupted supply chains, and new virtual environments such as the metaverse.

“Don’t underestimate the degree of relationship change we are seeing — or the role of business in responding to it,” said Mark Curtis, head of global innovation and thought leadership at Accenture Interactive. “The choices that businesses make next might affect our world and its structure in more ways than we can imagine, and it all points to shifts in people’s relationships — with colleagues, brands, society, places and with those they care about. There are challenging times ahead, but also great opportunities for businesses to stitch together positive relationships to create a fabric of life that is good for people, society and the planet.”

Fjord Trends 2022 investigates human behaviors that will affect culture, society and business in the coming year 

Fjord Trends 2022 dives into five human behaviors and trends bound to affect society, culture and business: 

  • Come as you are: The growing sense of agency that people have over their lives two years into the pandemic is affecting the way they work, relate and consume. People are questioning who they are and what matters to them. The rising individualism underlined by a “me over we” mentality has profound implications for organizations in how they lead their employees, how they shape a new employee value proposition, and how they nurture company-customer relationships.
  • The end of abundance thinking?: Over the past year, many have experienced empty shelves, rising energy bills, and shortages in everyday services. While supply chain shortages might be a temporary challenge, the impact will persist and lead to a shift in ‘abundance thinking’ – built on availability, convenience and speed – to greater consciousness about the environment. Businesses must address the availability anxiety experienced by many around the world.
  • The next frontier: A cultural explosion waiting to happen, the metaverse will be a new frontier of the internet, combining all the existing layers of information, interfaces and spaces with which people interact. It offers a new place to make money, is creating new job types, and offers infinite brand possibilities that people will expect businesses to help build and navigate. And it won’t just exist through screens and headsets — it will also be about real-world experiences and places that interact with the digital world.
  • This much is true: People now expect to ask and have questions answered at the touch of a button or through a brief exchange with a voice assistant. The fact that it’s so easy and immediate means people are asking more questions. For brands, the range of customer questions and the number of channels for asking them is growing constantly. How to answer them is a major design challenge, a critical driver for trust, and a future source of competitive advantage.
  • Handle with care: Care became more prominent this past year in all its forms: self-care, care for others, the service of care, and the channels to deliver care, both digital and physical. This is creating opportunities and challenges for employers and brands, regardless of their health or medical credentials. The responsibilities around caring for ourselves and others will continue to be prioritized in our lives. Designers and businesses alike need to make space for being able to practice care.  

“As consumers overhaul all of their relationships, brands will be faced with two big responsibilities: taking care of the world today while also building its future in a way that’s good for the planet, for business and for society,” said David Droga, CEO and creative chairman of Accenture Interactive. “The key lies within deeply understanding the impacts of those relationships and aspirations and converting them into potent business strategies that drive relevance and growth.”

Each year, Accenture publishes a trilogy of trend reports, offering a comprehensive view into the future of people, technology, and business. Fjord Trends, which is focused on customer behavior and its resulting impact on society, culture and business for the coming year, is crowdsourced from across Accenture Interactive’s global network of 2,000+ designers and innovators in more than 40 locations.