MEA Q4 2022

Q4 2022 Italian Building Materials and Natural Stones Fuelling the Robust UAE Construction Market

As 2022 draws to a close, we are taking the opportunity to shine the light on some of the most remarkable firms, whether problem-solving mortgage broker, innovative marketing and SEO agency, cutting-edge workspace provider, or tenacious ship construction company. We are showcasing those businesses who have gone above and beyond to show their customers and industries the high standards they are capable of, with passion for their craft, complete client-centricity, endless resilience, and ground-breaking technology across the board. The festive season and new year are a time for joy and recuperation, but also reflection. It is a time for firms to review what went well, what didn’t go so well, and how they can keep exceeding expectations. It is a time to celebrate the successes and to make plans for the bright future ahead. We are feeling truly inspired by the triumphant stories of our award-winning businesses and we hope you are, too. Everyone at MEA Markets magazine hopes you have a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the next quarter. Rebecca Scotland, Editor Welcome to the Q4 issue of MEA Markets Magazine. As always, we are dedicated to providing our readers with all of the latest news and features from across the Middle East and Africa. AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility.

4. News: - Saudi prince seeks Mideast leadership, independence with Xi’s visit - Qatar 2022 witnesses highest attendance in FIFA World Cup history 6. Capricorn Marine Group: Best Shipping Construction Company 2022 - Nigeria 8. Kofisi: Best Shared Workspace Provider - East Africa 10. Prime Homeloans: Home Loans Experts of the Year - South Africa 11. Mickey Llew: Best Specialist Performance Marketing & SEO Agency – Gauteng 12. UAE Patients to Benefit From World’s Best Clinical Practice Through Use of Virtually Connected Operating Rooms 13. Over 100 Startups Set to Pitch Their Businesses to Leading Investors During Sef 2022 14. Italian Building Materials and Natural Stones Fuelling the Robust UAE Construction Market 16. Winners’ Listings Contents 8. 12. 14.

News Saudi prince seeks Mideast leadership, independence with Xi’s visit In a show of strength as an aspiring leader of the Arab world, Prince Mohammed will gather rulers from across the Middle East and North Africa for a Chinese-Arab summit during the visit by President Xi Jinping expected to start on Tuesday. “Riyadh is working according to strategic calculations that it must accommodate Beijing, as it is now an indispensable economic partner,” said Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa at Eurasia Group. Though the United States remains partner of choice for Gulf states reliant on it for their security, Riyadh is charting a foreign policy that serves its national economic transformation as the world pivots away from hydrocarbons, Saudi’s lifeblood, the analysts said. “There is certainly a risk that expanding relations with China backfires and lead to a (further) split in the U.S.-Saudi relationship... but MBS is certainly not pursuing this out of spite,” Kamel said. Xi’s visit comes at a time when U.S.-Saudi ties are at a nadir, uncertainty weighs on global energy markets with the West imposing a price cap on Russian oil and as Washington warily eyes China’s growing influence in the Middle East. The Saudi government did not respond to requests for comment on Xi’s visit and its agenda. In a sign of irritation with U.S. criticism of Riyadh’s human rights record, Prince Mohammed told The Atlantic magazine in March that he did not care whether U.S. President Joe Biden misunderstood things about him, saying Biden should be focusing on America’s interests. He also suggested in remarks carried by Saudi state news agency SPA that same month that while Riyadh aimed to boost its ties to Washington it could also choose to reduce “our interests” -- Saudi investments -- in the United States. Saudi Arabia is deepening economies ties to China. It is China’s top oil supplier, although fellow OPEC+ producer Russia has increased its Chinese market share with lower-priced fuel. Beijing has also been lobbying for use of its yuan currency in trade instead of the U.S. dollar. Riyadh had previously threatened to ditch some dollar oil trades to confront possible U.S. legislation exposing OPEC members to antitrust lawsuits. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hosts China’s leader this week at a delicate moment in U.S.-Saudi ties, signalling Riyadh’s resolve to navigate a polarised global order, analysts said. By Reuters News

News Qatar 2022 witnesses highest attendance in FIFA World Cup history This 2.45-million figure equals an average of 96% occupancy and is higher than the corresponding 2.17-million figure for the 2018 edition After 13 days and 48 matches, the first edition of the FIFA World Cup to be hosted in the Middle East and Arab world has presented an array of facts and figures, starting with a cumulative stadium attendance of 2.45 million spectators, according to a report published by FIFA on its Qatar 2022 portal. This 2.45-million figure equals an average of 96 percent occupancy and is higher than the corresponding 2.17-million figure for the 2018 edition. The highest attendance in the history of the FIFA World Cup since the 1994 final was seen at Lusail Stadium, where 88,966 fans witnessed the Argentina v. Mexico match. On the pitch, the FIFA World Cup has faithfully reflected football’s increased competitiveness, as for the first time ever, teams from all continents have advanced to the round of 16. Likewise, three teams from the AFC (Australia, Japan and Korea Republic) have reached the knockout stages – a competition record for the Asian confederation, which previously only had two, in 2002 and 2010. Equally remarkably, for the second time, two African teams (Senegal and Morocco) have reached the knockout stages – the last occasion being in 2014. History was also made by Stéphanie Frappart, who not only became the first woman to officiate a FIFA World Cup match, but also, together with Neuza Back and Karen Díaz Medina, formed the first all-female trio to take charge. Against Ghana, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo achieved another incredible milestone by becoming the first player to score at five editions of the tournament. Many matches have attracted the best audiences of the year in their respective countries, with England v. USA becoming the most watched men’s football match on US television ever. “The outcome of the group stage shows the extent to which more countries have acquired the tools to compete at the highest level,” said FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsène Wenger. “This is the result of better preparation and analysis of the opponents, which is also a reflection of a more equal access to technology. It is very much in line with FIFA’s efforts to increase football’s competitiveness on a global scale.” As the group stage wrapped up last night, the FIFA Fan Festival welcomed its one millionth visitor. Besides the official tournament venues, Doha’s seaside promenade – the Corniche – has attracted more than two million people since the start of the tournament, with the traditional Souq Waqif market becoming another hotspot for fans from around the world. Uruguayan and Korean fans can be proud of having reached a mighty 131 decibels at their match at Education City Stadium – a noise akin to that heard at a live rock concert. The most compact FIFA World Cup since the inaugural edition in 1930 is also benefiting fans, teams and media representatives, with the option of attending several matches and entertainment activities per day, while operations continue to run smoothly. During the group stage, the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram networks notched up 9.19 million trips, with a daily average of 707,032 passengers. The two international airports are comfortably accommodating the influx of fans and teams – so far, 2 million Hayyas (Fan IDs) applications have been received, with fans from Saudi Arabia, India, the USA, the United Kingdom and Mexico at the top of the list for tournament attendance to date. In spite of the unprecedented condensed footprint, with 24 teams staying within a 10km radius of each other, players and officials have also smoothly transferred 3,321 times in and around Doha. “It’s been a fantastic World Cup, with groundbreaking figures and memorable moments both on and off the pitch. Fans are having an amazing time in Doha, and the whole world is following with excitement on TV as new records as set every day,” said FIFA COO World Cup, Colin Smith. “What some saw as a challenge, we saw as an opportunity. Teams, media and spectators are enjoying more matches, more festivals, more football, more fun – the compact footprint is comfortably addressing the influx of visitors through state-of-the-art infrastructure and thorough operational plans.” “Together with the host country, we are constantly monitoring and addressing any situation that arises, but the figures already achieved and the fans celebrating together in a joyful and peaceful way throughout this group stage speak for themselves – we are on track to deliver a successful and unforgettable FIFA World Cup.” By WAM (Emirates News Agency)

MEA / Q4 2022 Jul22571 Best Shipping Construction Company 2022 - Nigeria Having been incorporated in July of 1998, Capricorn Marine Group celebrated the turn of the century by hitting the ground running in its industry. Indeed, with a singular dedication to its sector and the professionals therein, it has since made itself one of the foremost voices in marine craft construction and repair, cultivating a vast list of clients who trust it implicitly. This has been made possible by the tenacity, dedication, and reliability that it infuses every project with, delivering an outstanding service to each customer based on their individual needs. Specialists in ship and boat construction services out of Nigeria, Capricorn Marine Group handles building and repairs for its customers, helping their fleets of marine vehicles remain afloat for longer. Additionally, it is a key player in the transport and sale of ship and marine equipment supply inside and outside of the region of Nigeria – its home base – allowing it to maintain a reputation that spans borders and has secured it international repute. As ship builders, boat builders, and watercraft repair experts, the repair and refurbishment of all manner of marine craft is something it has developed an evidence-proven pride in, each person within its ranks boasting and displaying vast amounts of knowledge in their fields. Able to service tugs, barges, and marine infrastructures as well as the import, manufacture, and distribution of ship spares, stores, and parts, maritime trade is the name of the game for Capricorn Marine Group. The belief that it holds within itself is that training and manpower development are both pre-requisites for safe marine operations. Therefore, it has worked hard to gather a staff around it that will allow it to achieve the goals its clients wish it to, operating with the utmost safety, rigour, and compliance in order to succeed in all manner of maintenance and construction projects, resulting in reliable crafts. Training, for Capricorn Marine Group, is an invaluable element of the business; each professional within its ranks receives the highest levels of development and education, enhancing high morale and productivity, and providing employees with the skills, education, and experiences they require to serve clients holistically. Indeed, Capricorn Marine Group also provides them with the experience that teaches them how best to thrive in the world of marine construction. The professionals it works for each have different stories and different challenges to face, after all, but by knowing the due process like the back of their hand, the staff at Capricorn Marine Group can address each one of these in turn with intuition and a driving ambition. Its staff also openly each contribute to mentoring, coaching, and assistance schemes through its training programmes in order to educate and inspire the next generation. With a motto of ‘excellence in water transportation’, a mission statement of being the best of the best in the distribution and maintenance of marine products in Nigeria, and a commitment to best and loftiest of moral and ethical standards in business and engineering, its reputation in its industry is now, ostensibly, watertight. Moreover, the vision it foresees for both itself and its industry is one that each of its staff members have a staunch belief in; this ensures that throughout an interaction and project with Capricorn Marine Group, a client will be able to experience the excellence of a company whose staff are all on the same page. Developing, building, distributing, managing, and servicing the marine arts in and out of Nigeria proper, its integrity, resilience, professionalism, and timeliness each serve to set it apart from the others in its industry. Moreover, Capricorn Marine Group has established itself as a leader in more than just the standards of its work, although this is something that consistently earns it accreditation and awards. The other elements of this business that have completely secured it as a household name for Nigeria and further afield include, as a first point, its scrupulous compliance with local and international law is demonstrably flawless at every turn, something it is proud to say is visible in the results of its projects and their long marine life. The respect that it has for its staff and their talents is also something that is indicative of how people-centric this company is in the macro scale. The working environment it has created internally is one of safety, respect, and diligence, one in which diversity in both skills and backgrounds are given their due respect; after all, by having so many perspectives working together, one can often get a much more comprehensive view of the task at hand. Therefore, the respect for human rights and dignity is something it assures its clients that each of its customers benefit from, and something that will make Capricorn Marine Group a true pleasure to work with for their own staff, boasting a working environment that is incredibly healthy and effective. Its environmental considerations are also worth noting, in this way. Understanding the role that the marine industry has to play in environmental degradation in the macro scale, it wants to work in such a way that does not exacerbate this problem, instead championing the ‘tread lightly’ attitude when conceptualising and working on its projects. Company: Capricorn Marine Group Contact: Ema Inyangudo Web:

7 Best Shipping Construction Company 2022 - Nigeria

MEA / Q4 2022 Best Shared Workspace Provider – East Africa What does it mean to be in the office in the 21st Century? To ten different organisations, you’ll find ten different answers. The team at KOFISI, however, have made it their mission to deliver truly incredible results to their clients. In MEA Markets’ African Excellence Awards 2022, the firm was recognised for their incredible achievements. We take a closer look at how they’ve risen through the ranks to such heights of success. With eight centres strategically positioned across the continent, in Nairobi, Lagos and Dar Es Salaam, the team at KOFISI have been able to support businesses from every corner of industry. Whether developing a bespoke solution for large teams to congregate within or a fully furnished private office for teams of three or more staff members, they excel at delivering something special. The support of KOFISI has made an enormous difference to lots of enterprises. Within each KOFISI Centre, there is a host of workspaces where teams are able to collaborate and connect. These include flexible desk areas, private booths, phone booths, meeting rooms, a media and podcasting studio as well as communal kitchens, cafes, a restaurant, outdoor terraces and large event and conference facilities. Since opening their doors, the team have put world class interior design at the heart of how they operate, but that’s not the only important factor. Office space plays such an important role in any business that the KOFISI design and build team are always determined to get in on the ground level of what is required from them within their space. Do they need special facilities? Can their brand be captured in the space? Do they need their own meeting rooms or a private kitchen? Will they need breakout rooms or phone booths? How many people will be working from the office on a regular basis? The list goes on and on, and only once these details have been settled can progress be made. Since starting in this exciting industry, the team have built large spaces and complex facilities that have satisfied every single requirement that their clients have presented them with, even perfecting a laboratory for one of their clients. The team’s ability to deliver these stunning results, however, is realised once all of the information has been gathered. After this, it’s time to make a comprehensive creative brief and to hand that over to the KOFISI in-house interior designers to create something unique for their client. With more and more people wanting to work with KOFISI, it’s clear that African multinationals have begun to think about space more clearly. The arrival of Fortune 500 companies in the continent’s cities and towns means that more people are demanding services of an ever-higher standard. Working with landlords, the KOFISI team has been able to educate enterprise in how to make the most out of its square footage, evolving businesses ready for the future. The team is particularly proud of its efforts in disrupting the serviced office Jun22081

9 Best Shared Workspace Provider – East Africa model. These once drab and very boring offerings have blossomed into a very exciting and colourful growth industry. There was previous resistance to shared workspaces from landlords, with many not seeing the benefit of “space as a service”. As time has gone on, however, the realisation of what KOFISI offers has been seen as a major benefit to many. 10% of commercial office space in developed cities is shared, roughly one in ten floors of any new building. The potential of this new space is clear, offering strong footfall as a building establishes itself, creating “tenant tow” and offering substantial commercial upsides to landlords who partner with providers like KOFISI in the building. There has been an increase in those who have wanted to work alongside established brands like KOFISI over the years, as it gives them an extra value proposition to take to potential tenants. With a changing approach at the heart of the firm, it’s little wonder that over the last year, the KOFISI team have been busier than ever before. Now the worst of the pandemic is over, businesses are returning to Africa and need office solutions. They can see that this is a region where there are enormous opportunities. In many ways, the pandemic has presented the team with a host of exciting new prospects, as more and more companies start to embrace alternative ways of working. Whilst previously, it would have been unthinkable not to have a specific office space, the flexibility of shared workspaces has allowed companies to match the flexibility demanded by their employees. As companies have returned to the office, they’ve also seen the need to ensure that they are better suited to the needs of their employees in other ways. By consulting space experts such as those who work for the team at KOFISI, office space has become an investment in itself, designed to act as a more stimulating location to work with a higher quality than ever before. By scaling back on space and removing the capital investment of licensing space, corporate organisations have been able to achieve wonderful things. Working with KOFISI massively increases the flexibility of how a business can operate too. The firm’s events service provides clients with incredible outdoor and indoor event spaces for members to hold bespoke and unforgettable conferences and seminars. The team take the strain of offering the whole range of event services that might be required, from planning the event in detail to executing it with aplomb. Catering, marketing and hospitality are all taken care of, provided to a standard which will delight and astound even the most particular of guests. Looking forward to the future, the team at KOFISI have big plans for the rest of 2022. These plans will see them expanding their reach in Nairobi, Lagos and Dar Es Salaam, as well as in other gateway cities across Africa. The incredible demand for the team’s unique efforts has seen them being approached by some of the largest multi-national corporations who want to expand across the continent. The team at KOFISI see this as a sign that they’re doing something right! KOFISI is an example of a business which is inherently disruptive. The work that the team undertakes has been transformative for many in these transformative times. Office space is a concept which cannot stay still, and the companies and landlords that are aware and able to keep up with these changes are the ones which will continue to thrive in the years to come. For many, it’s clear that KOFISI is going to be a core part of this change, providing the knowledge and expertise to design an office unlike any other and then to maintain it to the highest possible standards. We celebrate the team’s tremendous success in the African Excellence Awards, and cannot wait to see what they do next! Company: KOFISI Name: Georgia Webber Email: [email protected]

MEA / Q4 2022 10 Jun22608 Home Loans Experts of the Year - South Africa With its one-on-one service and assurance that it can attain a home loan with an amazing repayment plan for any client, Prime Homeloans has built its expertise on a foundation of holistic customer service and comprehensive negotiations that keep the client as the priority. Assisting them through each stage of the process from first application all the way through to final signature, they ensure that all obstacles they face will be worked through with ease. ith several free services that span application assistance and home loan problem solving, Prime Homeloans has made itself a critical partner and friend to its clients over the time it has been in operation, making itself the key to unlocking its clients dream homes, helping them to secure their perfect loan repayment plan with empathy and sensitivity. Nominally, offering pre-approval and home loans alike, it drives a hard bargain with banks when it comes to helping clients form the structure of their applications and loans, negotiating the best possible interest rates for its customers and never settling for second best. Indeed, through the in-depth efforts and focus on relationship building it champions, it has achieved several close working relationships with the home loans departments of South Africa’s banks as a result of its hard work and tenacity, understanding the bank’s credit criteria and risk appetite as well as the client’s needs. This allows it to achieve a perfect balance wherein everyone walks away satisfied. Its in-depth assessment, application submission, and standardized processes ensure that each detail is given its due diligence, and the banks have an easier time approving the loan, boasting a way of working with no apps, online applications, call centres, or queues. In order to be able to promise this, it has built a team of empathic and people-focused staff who handle the applications. Critically, this person will always get to know a client on an empathic and inter-personal level, understanding their unique circumstances and keeping up to date with the progress of their application, feeding all information back to the client and making themselves the client’s personal home loan expert. By allowing each client to work one-onone with the same person, it ensures that they can always expect to see and work with the same friendly face. Thus, despite Covid-19, the trust and faith its clients have in it and its work have allowed Prime Homeloans to continually prevail in the face of challenge. The South African housing market has remained buoyant, and Prime Homeloans has even been able to open its own estate agency in Eazy Homes, with a committed marketing team of professionals who attract well-qualified potential buyers. Setting itself apart from its peers with prompt, capable, and tailored advice and services, Prime Homeloans and Eazy Homes promises clients that they are in the best hands when they come to it for home loan and property ownership, and it looks forward to continuing this for years to come. Company: Prime Homeloans Contact: Ezekiel Prosper Website: W Indeed, through the in-depth efforts and focus on relationship building it champions, it has achieved several close working relationships with the home loans departments of South Africa’s banks as a result of its hard work and tenacity, understanding the bank’s credit criteria and risk appetite as well as the client’s needs.

MEA / Q4 2022 11 Nov22048 Best Specialist Performance Marketing & SEO Agency – Gauteng Smart digital trafficking is one of the best things to truly invest in for the future of business. And what better place to find it than with award-winning Mickey Llew? Based in South Africa, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, Mickey Llew is a small, yet powerful, integrated search agency that knows how to help. Here we talk to its Co-Founder, David Jenkins, as it finds its way to the top. Built on the core belief that solutions must be unique, pertinent, and straightforward, Mickey Llew is a trailblazer in its industry. Co-Founder, David Jenkins shares, “Mickey Llew was founded on a very simple principle: Create and implement original, relevant solutions that work. We use a combination of highly targeted paid media and organic search strategies to direct quality traffic to your digital properties, drive conversions, and ultimately grow your brand/business.” From organic to paid solutions, we must all find something that sits right with our brand and what we truly desire. Mickey Llew has all of the tricks up its sleeve to guarantee your business gains the following you wish for. It doesn’t just offer services that are proven to work, but it offers the services that will work better for us. It reimagines our future, and delivers the greatest fit just on time. Mickey Llew doesn’t simply make promises, it follows through and supports from every angle. Levelling up every business it touches is made easier with each passing day, due to its team’s tenacious attitude towards being bigger and better than before. Servicing a huge variety of clients, Mickey Llew takes its deep grooves of wisdom and experience in finance, FMCG, and manufacturing to new heights for them – bridging any gaps the client may have in their knowledge, and resulting in more streamlined business. David tells us, “Our ability to add value in any industry is down to our approach and methodology. We take a one size fits none approach and ensure each client receives a complete immersion from Mickey Llew. Their strategy and workflow will be unique to their business and its needs. That combined with the fact we genuinely care for our craft has led to really positive results.” As the industry became more globalised, the world has become a marketplace for all. We can all reach one another via digital means, and Mickey Llew has branched out itself – spreading around the world by creating hubs around the globe. Having collaborated with a plethora of leading innovators in the digital realm, such as Rank Ranger, SEO Testing, Content King, and more, Mickey Llew has contributed to a variety of technical services and optimisation tools – for the masses! For 2023, Mickey Llew aims to double its business operationally and financially, through its hard work and passion for Google Search. Mickey Llew encourages all to reach out to it in times of need. It has now won Best Specialist Performance Marketing & SEO Agency, Gauteng, and we are sure to see it pull in even more traffic for its clients around the world. Contact: David Jenkins Company: Mickey Llew Web Address: “Like a falling tree in a forest, you could ask: “If a piece of content is published without any SEO, does it even exist?” And our content marketing experts could convincingly argue that it doesn’t.” “We are a niche focussed by nature and experts in Google Search and have been since our inception. Mastery has always and will always be a core focus of ours.”

MEA / Q4 2022 12 Mar22629 UAE Patients to Benefit From World’s Best Clinical Practice Through Use of Virtually Connected Operating Rooms UAE Performs More Than 20,000 Surgeries Each Year, According to Emirates Health Services Proximie, a global health tech company, has been implementing its solutions in the nation’s capital this month and sharing its vision for the future of medicine. London-headquartered Proximie provides a software platform that allows physicians to virtually “scrub in” to any operating room from anywhere, effectively enabling the world’s very best surgeons to be present in real time for complex surgeries in clinics and hospitals across the country’s seven emirates, meaning that the more than 20,000 patients who undergo surgery each year in the country could benefit from the international treatment best practices delivered via virtual operating room technology. “Proximie in the operating room improves patient safety by transferring best practices into new surgical environments through a different and more efficient means than previous ways of transferring skills and knowledge to surgeons. This can be done with a reduced need for the teaching physicians to travel, and in theory can mean that any given operating theatre can receive input from a teaching surgeon anywhere in the world. Through this platform, the UAE’s expert surgeons can share their expertise with the wider world as teaching surgeons. Also, any UAE surgeon wishing to expand their knowledge and skills can engage with teaching surgeons to enhance their surgical capabilities. For health systems, this saves time and money to achieve the best practices. And, in the end, this means patients in every therapeutic area stand to benefit from the very latest international best practices which will deliver heightened levels of safety and efficacy,” said Marc Tompkins, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon currently based in Abu Dhabi and who is an experienced surgeon using this technology both to proctor cases internationally as well as allow international observers into his operating room for educational purposes. “The UAE is already an established regional leader in the provision of world-class healthcare solutions, and it has demonstrated that it is committed to significant investment to maintain that international standing,” said Proximie Founder and CEO, Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram. “As a practising surgeon, I know how variations in surgical care can drive up cost and result in poor patient outcomes. Deploying the world’s latest virtual operating room technology will be a key differentiator for the UAE in its quest to maintain its clinical leadership status,” added Dr. Hachach-Haram. The growing health tech company recently closed its Series C funding round, raising around USD 80 million. The financing was led by Advent Life Sciences, with new investors joining in, including Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund Mubadala, as well as SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Proximie’s solutions have been used at more than 500 hospitals worldwide and supported more than tens of thousands. The company currently operates in more than 50 countries on five continents. Proximie, a global health tech company, has been implementing its solutions in the nation’s capital this month and sharing its vision for the future of medicine.

MEA / Q4 2022 13 The Sheraa teamwill facilitate the exhibiting and pitching of startups to potential investors including entities such as Shorooq Ventures, Crescent Enterprises Ventures, Emirates Development Bank, and Dtech Ventures. Apr22183 Over 100 Startups Set to Pitch Their Businesses to Leading Investors During Sef 2022 Budding entrepreneurs showcase their ideas to investors during the 6th Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival organised by Sheraa he Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), has announced two exciting opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs and startups to pitch their ideas to investors from a range of sectors during the 6th Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF). SEF 2022 will be held at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park from December 17th to 18th under the inviting theme of “Where we belong”. SEF 2022 will host a diverse range of activities, workshops and talks as well as a myriad of other incentives to provide entrepreneurs the tools and resources to take their ideas to the next level. In this spirit Sheraa will facilitate the pitching from 100 startup companies to share their vision with leading investors from various sectors in the region, followed by a chance to compete for monetary prizes to provide valuable funding for their ideas. Investor Matching The Sheraa team will facilitate the exhibiting and pitching of startups to potential investors including entities such as Shorooq Ventures, Crescent Enterprises Ventures, Emirates Development Bank, and Dtech Ventures. This process will enable participants to gain the knowledge and expertise to strategise, develop, and steer their businesses towards success, utilising the wealth of real-life experience of participating investors and funders. Pitch Competition Sheraa will organise an exclusive ‘Pitch Competition’ in partnership with Sharjah Business Women Council, Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) and Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), and the event will focus on four main tracks: Tech Startups, WomenLed Startups, Creative & Media Startups, and Tourism Startups, giving a range of industries for entrants to showcase their ideas, this aligns with the diversity that SEF has to offer at the festival this year. Fifteen startups will get the chance to pitch their idea to a panel of judges comprising industry experts and heavyweights. The shortlist for the competition will comprise the top three businesses competing in the Women-Led Startups track; the most promising three startups in the Creative & Media Startups track; the leading three businesses in the Tourism Startups track, and six of the best in the Tech Startups track. Monetary prizes The competing startups will additionally have an opportunity to win a cash prize to fast track their success through Sheraa’s direct support, access and introductions to investors and potential partners as well as many more perks. The shortlist criteria for startups include innovative solutions in their respective markets, their unique technology or innovation, overall originality and ingenuity, the ability to present a viable and scalable business model, and the potential impact the product or service could have in the market. The official application criteria dictates that the startup must be incorporated in the UAE and be able to attend and pitch their idea in person at SEF 2022 happening on the 17th and 18th of December 2022. T

MEA / Q4 2022 Mar22253 Nov21612 Italian Building Materials and Natural Stones Fuelling the Robust UAE Construction Market Italy attending The Big 5 and Middle East Stone exhibitions with two dedicated national pavilions lmost 80 Italian companies are showcasing their latest products, technologies and machineries for the building and construction sector at The Big 5 and at Middle East Stone exhibitions from today until 8th December at the Dubai World Trade Centre. ‘Made in Italy’ construction materials and natural stones are in high demand in the UAE, with 6.5 million Euros and 30 million Euros worth of products respectively exported to the UAE between January and June 2022. Organized by the Italian Trade Agency – Silver Sponsor of The Big 5 exhibition – with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italy Pavilion in the Trade Centre Arena is hosting 35 manufacturers specializing in doors, windows, shutters and related accessories, as well as construction materials for every type of civil and industrial application. The participation of the Italian companies at The Big 5 is part of the “Caseitaly” project and realized in collaboration with the associations ACMI (Assocostruttori Chiusure and Meccanismi Italia), ANFIT (Associazione Nazionale per la tutela della Finestra Made in Italy), ASSITES (Associazione Italiana Tende, Schermature Solari e Chiusure Tecniche), FINCO (Federazione Industrie Prodotti Impianti Servizi ed Opere Specialistiche per le Costruzioni ) and PILE (Produttori e Installatori Lattoneria Edile). Taking place alongside The Big 5 and focusing on a product segment that is gaining more interest in the market, Middle East Stone brings together industry players from around the world. Located in Za’abeel Hall 5 and 6, the Italy Pavilion at ME Stone is hosting 44 suppliers of stone products and related machineries and is organized in collaboration with Confindustria Marmomacchine, the Italian Association of Producers and Processors of Marbles, Granites and Natural Stones in general, and of Manufacturers of Machinery, Complete Plants, Tools and Complementary Products to quarry and processing natural stones. Lorenzo Fanara, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, said ““The impressive participation of Italian companies in The BIG5 and MIDDLE EAST STONE A

15 Italian Building Materials and Natural Stones Fuelling the Robust UAE Construction Market 2022 confirms the strong will of our companies to reconnect in person with the global building and construction. Our construction companies never stopped working on research and innovation, in order to further improve their products and solutions in terms of efficiency and resilience meeting the highest standards of sustainable construction. We are proud to support them in presenting their innovation capabilities in Dubai.” Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE said, “The UAE construction industry is enjoying a very buoyant period and the outlook continues to look positive for the upcoming years, with the industry expected to reach a value of USD 133.53 billion by 2027. We have already witnessed a positive impact in the trade between Italy and the UAE in the first half of 2022 with exports of Italian stone and stone technologies to the UAE amounted to nearly 30 million Euros (+24.5% from 2021); Also, the Made in Italy construction products and materials had a positive trend with Euro 6.5 million worth of products purchased in the UAE between January and June 2022 (+18% from 2021).” “Environmental sustainability has become a priority for the Italian building and construction sector and stakeholders along the whole construction value chain are becoming more responsible and are developing solutions and technologies to reduce their environmental impact. The Italian green construction market is increasing very quickly; it is on track to reach a value of $187.4 billion US Dollars by 2027 with an annual increase rate of 8.6%. “The Italian manufactures that are representing Italy at The Big 5 and at ME Stone are transitioning towards a more sustainable approach and for this reason we are presenting Italy with the motto: Sustainability is Sustainab-ITALY !” added Mr. Scarpa. Flavio Marabelli, Honorary President of Confindustria Marmomacchine, said: “Italy, with the best of what it offers as natural stone and technology for working them, is represented at Middle East Stone with 44 of the best known producers of marble, granite and natural stone so that manufacturers of machines and equipment for transformation of raw blocks into finished products, demonstrating aside from anything else our appreciation of UAE as a leading country in the natural stone sector” “So that Italian companies can continue to be leaders on this and other markets, our association, through the PIETRA NATURALE AUTENTICA network, has also begun a path of defining the sustainability characteristics of natural stone, which recently led to the writing of the Sustainability Manifesto https://www.” Focusing on the export of Italian construction materials, Angelo Artale, General Director FINCO (Italian Federation Construction Materials and Systems) said, “The contribution of small and medium-sized Italian companies to export is exceptional, especially when compared to the closest and most comparable European nations. Even just increasing the export of these quality products by 20% would have an extremely positive effect on the balance of our country, not only from an economic point of view but also in terms of employment and the Made in Italy value.” Commenting on the participation in The Big5, Nicola Fornarelli, President of ACMI - Italian Association of Door and Shutter Manufacturers said, “For more than ten years, Italian manufacturers of industrial and residential doors and docking systems have significantly increased their export activities to the Middle East and, in particular, to the Gulf region. The winning factors of this growth have been the quality of the products, the tailor-made solutions and, last but not least, the Made in Italy design promise. “In addition to this, in recent years, Italian manufacturers have developed products with improved energy efficiency and continued with the ongoing investment of many of our companies for the voluntary EPD certification (Environmental Product Declaration). Our goal is to continue to grow in this market of which The Big 5 remains a privileged gateway.”

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