Business

Muscat, the Sultanate of Oman, 20 March 2019, (AETOSWire): The company that produces and markets Al Shifa honey explained that the decision by the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) to suspend the circulation of Al Shifa Natural honey pertains to two specific batches and not the company’s full products line. The withdrawal decision is applicable for the batches that were produced in 2/1/2016 and will expire on 2/1/2021 and the product packaged on 1/9/2018 that will expire on 31/8/2023, with a total weight of 3 kgs, for “non-compliance with the standard specifications of honey”.

 

In a statement released today, the company indicated that it has contacted the Omani authorities to inquire as to the reasons for the withdrawal of these products from all markets of the Sultanate.

 

Commenting on the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) decision, the company said that the preliminary analysis of the two batches under consideration prove that packaging was made in accordance with the requirements of the Saudi StandardsMetrology and Quality Organization (SASO) and GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) No. 147/2008 (honey), noting that it has been scientifically proven that honey specifications may be exposed to some changes due to time or improper storage conditions.

 

The company reiterated its leading position in the food industry with its wide variety of brands and products, in particular the "Al Shifa" honey brand, which, like its other product lines, has managed to earn customers’ confidence as a high quality, 100% pure natural honey and has received the Food Safety Management System certification 22000 and the ISO22000.

 

The company further indicated that it will be providing its customers, consumers and interested customers with a detailed statement upon issuance of the full results, in order to reassure its customers in Oman, Saudi Arabia and abroad.

 

Moreover, the company says that Al Shifa honey is highly acclaimed by consumers in more than 40 countries and is regarded as one of the leading international brands. The company also prides itself with the wide variety of ISO certification and other quality certificates, which guarantee the highest quality of its honey products according to the GCC and international specifications. All of the company's honey products, in particular the "Al Shifa" brand, are produced based on the highest quality standards and undergo a myriad of tests during the different production stages to ensure their full compliance with the required standards.

 

In conclusion, the company reiterated its commitment, as it has always done, to comply with the highest quality standards and highly values its customers’ confidence, acquired over the years and continuously strives to win consumers’ confidence.

 

*Source: AETOSWire

 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 26 February 2019, (AETOSWire): Please replace the release with the following corrected version, the quote of Bruno Bianchini, Head of Global Partnerships at Google MENA was added to the press release.

                                                                                            

The release reads:

DMS and Google Co-Host a Specialized Programmatic Event for MENA Advertisers

 Digital Media Services (DMS) - the digital arm of Choueiri Group collaborated with Google on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 to host a specialized half-day (3 - 6:30 pm) event at the DMS offices in Dubai.

 As a leading programmatic player in MENA, DMS’ portfolio brings together high quality inventory from Arabic and international broadcasters, publishers, video and audio platforms, all supported by a fully integrated programmatic approach and market leading technology and expertise. 

 

Given the strong opportunity for further growth of the programmatic advertising market in the MENA region, DMS and Google came together to extend their expertise and leadership to MENA advertisers, while shedding additional light on the capabilities of programmatic and detail one of the fastest growing areas of the programmatic universe, “Programmatic Guaranteed”.

 

The by-invitation-only event was aimed at educating key regional advertisers on the value of programmatic advertising, discussing the benefits of media buying consolidation and breaking misconceptions around programmatic in general. During the event, the DMS team shared successful case studies (high impact deliveries) and highlighted new solutions which brands can avail. They also revealed DMS’ exclusive access to leverage Google Data within Programmatic Guaranteed for the MENA market, making them one of only a handful of global publishers with that capability.

 

Additionally, attendees were also treated to insightful and informative sessions that included creativity, data and audiences, as well as inventory and formats.

 

Speaking at the event, Bruno Bianchini, Head of Global Partnerships at Google MENA said that "The adoption of programmatic has grown over the past few years. Today, publishers have access to insights on buyer needs and campaign performance, leading to better sales optimization. We will continue to support both the media buyers and sellers to maximize their revenue and create sustainable businesses using innovative tech solutions."

 

DMS’ Chief Operating Officer, Michel Malkoun also expressed his views on the growing significance of Programmatic and stated that “Today, it would be safe to say that Programmatic is a cornerstone of DMS’ offering, as well as our general strategy. Programmatic enables efficiencies in both process and operations, along with transparency in reporting. This in turn provides valuable clarity and time savings that enable a more forward thinking approach. It is nothing short of the future of how more media channels will be transacted”.

Further elaborating on the significance of Programmatic Guaranteed, DMS’ Head of Programmatic, Daniel Young said that “Combining creativity while ensuring delivery is one way that Programmatic Guaranteed is able to drive growth. Custom creatives within Programmatic Guaranteed unlock a publisher’s high impact inventory that may have been missing from non-guaranteed offerings. Consolidating spend and using both Programmatic Guaranteed and non-guaranteed deals in parallel, provides an elevated level of clarity and optimization capabilities”.

  

*Source: AETOSWire

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 25 February 2019, (AETOSWire):  Thomas Cook India Group, the leading integrated travel services group, has announced its acquisition of a 51% stake in Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI), one of the world’s leading imaging solutions and services providers at an enterprise value of US $40.6 Million (Rs 289 crores). The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

The acquisition marks the Thomas Cook India Group’s entry into an adjacent sector, complementary to its travel & travel related services portfolio and is both PAT and free cash accretive from day one.

Established in 2004, Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging is a technology driven company with offices in Dubai, Singapore, Mumbai, Orlando, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. DEI focuses on imaging solutions for the attractions industry with a robust end-to-end turnkey model by providing equipment, software, talent and operational expertise consultation to its business partners.  

With a strong network of over 120 partners, DEI is present at more than 250 venues spanning over 14 countries (UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, China, USA, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mauritius, Maldives, Egypt, India and Kuwait), and has completed 3.6 million transactions in 2018.

DEI’s partner attractions encompass waterparks, theme parks, aquariums, towers and resorts, including iconic attractions in the UAE (At The Top Burj Khalifa, Ski Dubai, Wild Wadi Waterpark, Warner Brothers, Ferrari World), Singapore (Universal Studios Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Zoo), Hong Kong (Ngong Ping 360),  Macau (Macau Tower, The Venetian), Malaysia (Petronas Twin Towers, Resorts World Genting), China (Atlantis Sanya, Chimelong Safari Park), India (Ramoji Film City, Imagica, Wonderla Holidays Ltd.), Maldives (Taj Exotica, W Retreat & Spa, Shangri-La Villingili), Mauritius (St. Regis Mauritius Resort, Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa), Indonesia (Waterbom Bali, Bali Zoo, Trans Studio), Egypt (Ski Egypt, KidZania), Thailand (Ramayana Water Park, Vana Nava Water Jungle), USA (Hard Rock Café New York, Mango’s Tropical Café and Gaylord), to name a few.

In 2017, DEI launched KlassAkt, its school photography arm, and has already partnered with more than 90 schools across the UAE and India, including the prestigious GEMS group of schools in the UAE, the Oberoi International School, Jamnabai Narsee International School and Aditya Birla World Academy in Mumbai, India.

Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “Our acquisition of DEI, a global imaging solutions and services giant, presents the Thomas Cook India Group an opportunity to participate in an exciting new business space, adjacent to our core travel services portfolio that is both PAT and free cash  accretive from day one. DEI is an entrepreneurial success story with an impressive and proven track record of leadership, growth and profitability.”

He elaborated, “With several key markets in common, the addition of Ram and his team at DEI to our family, also presents new synergistic opportunities leveraging our travel services across 25 countries. We see an immediate opportunity for our outbound customers from India and Hong Kong, as well as our inbound and DMS customers across our global network. With the growing demand for experiential travel and social sharing, DEI’s partnerships with iconic attractions, theme parks, water parks and resorts will further enhance our travel services portfolio in line with our philosophy of creating long term shareholder value.”

K.S. Ramakrishnan, founder CEO and President of Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging said, “Our synergy with Thomas Cook India Group in the travel and tourism ecosystem strengthens DEI’s position in our existing markets whilst giving us immense reach to expand. DEI is leading the digital transformation of the guest photo journey through NFC, facial recognition and other state of the art proprietary technology enabling the guest to receive and share their memories in real time. We are proud to be part of a globally renowned travel and tourism leader, the Thomas Cook India Group. Innovation being key to DEI’s core entrepreneurial spirit with focus on long-term partnerships aligns us perfectly with the vision and ethos of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.

About Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI): DEI is the global leader in capturing guests’ memorable experiences by providing the highest quality imaging services and solutions. In 15 years of retail operations, DEI has expanded from a single location to over 250  venues across 14 countries. DEI proposed solution is built on ‘enterprise-wide’ technology, focused on aggregating images across attractions, and for every individual guest. This allows for efficient archiving and swift retrieval of images on demand. Continuous innovation has allowed us to deliver the guests’ images from multiple retail points as well as personal consumer devices through our online and mobile app solutions.

 

About Thomas Cook (India) Limited: Set-up in 1881, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. (TCIL) is the leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company in the country offering a broad spectrum of services that include Foreign Exchange, Corporate Travel, MICE, Leisure Travel, Insurance, Visa and Passport services and E-Business. It operates leading B2C and B2B brands including Thomas Cook, SOTC, TCI, SITA, Asian Trails, Allied T Pro, Australian Tours Management, Desert Adventures, Travel Circle International Limited, Private Safaris East & South Africa.

 

As one of the largest travel service provider networks headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region, The Thomas Cook India Group spans 25 countries across 5 continents, a team of over 8226 and a combined revenue in excess of Rs. 11,411.6 Cr. (over $ 1.75 Bn).

                                                                                           

TCIL has been felicitated with The Best Outbound Tour Operator and Leading Company with Cutting Edge Travel Innovation at the Times Travel Awards 2018, Excellence in Domestic Tour Operations at the SATTE Awards 2018, Best Travel Entrepreneur of The Year at TTG Travel Awards 2017, The French Ambassador’s Diamond Award for Exemplary Achievements in Visa Insurance– 2015 to 2018 and the Condé Nast Traveller – Readers’ Travel Awards from 2011 to 2018.

CRISIL has removed its rating from ‘rating watch with developing implications’ and reaffirmed the rating of ‘CRISIL AA–’ on the long-term bank facilities of TCIL, while reaffirming its ‘CRISIL A1+’ rating on the short-term bank facilities and short- term debt of the Company.

 

Fairbridge Capital (Mauritius) Limited, a subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited promotes TCIL by holding 66.94% of its paid up capital and is responsible for the execution of acquisition and investment opportunities.

 

About Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited: Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited is a holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management. Founded in 1985 by the present Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prem Watsa, the company is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Its common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol FFH and in U.S. dollars under the symbol FFH.U.

 

About Quess Corp Limited: TCIL owns 49.02% of Quess Corp Limited, a provider of integrated business services.

 

About Subsidiaries of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.: Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited, wholly owned subsidiary of TCIL is engaged in time share and resort business.

 

SOTC Travel Limited (Formerly known as SOTC Travel Private Limited) wholly owned subsidiary of TCIL is a leading travel and tourism company active across various travel segments including Leisure Travel, Incentive Travel and Business Travel.

 

TCIL owns 100% of TC Forex Services Limited (Formerly known as Tata Capital Forex Limited) (TC Forex) and TC Travel Services Limited (Formerly known as TC Travel and Services Limited) (TC Travel). TC Forex offers travel related foreign exchange products including Currency notes, Travel Cards and Traveller’s cheques and TC Travel offers a wide range of services including Airline ticketing, Booking Hotel accommodation, Visa and Passport facilitation, Travel insurance and more.

 

*Source: AETOSWire

Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, February 25, 2019, (AETOSWire): The American University of Ras Al Khaimah’s (AURAK), in collaboration with Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), organized “Hackathon 2.0 UAE” to develop innovative solutions and ideas to contribute to lifestyle development in UAE communities.

The UAE Hackathon is comprised of a number of hackathons, taking place in locations throughout the seven emirates, and reflects the efforts of TRA to disseminate the culture of digital transformation, providing an opportunity for different community members to use open data for finding solutions to specific challenges. The challenges center around trending technology, environment, sustainability data, security and safety, health,  employment, education, social development, justice, and enhancement of lifestyle and social relations in the UAE.

The AURAK Hackathon 2.0 UAE event lasted for three days. The event commenced with speeches from TRA’s Deputy General Manager for Smart Government Sector, Salem Al Housani, AURAK’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Success and Provost, Professor Stephen Wilhite, RAK eGovernment’s Lead of Innovation and Future Shaping, Amna Al Shehhi, and Senior Data Analyst, Latifa Al Shehhi. Trainings were conducted for participants by Microsoft, RAK Government, and FCSA, over topics such as Intellectual Property, The Autonomous World, Knowledge and Business Modeling, and Idea Pitch and Team Building. On the second day, the teams hacked away at their challenges, and on day three, the teams pitched their solutions to judges. The top ten teams were selected, one among them from AURAK. The top three teams will be announced at the Hackathon 2.0 event held on March 3, in Dubai.

AURAK collaborations with TRA began in June 2012 when they provided a large number of full scholarships to Emiarti students in the fields of Electronics and Communication, Computer Engineering and Computer Science. In June 2016 they sponsored the Center of Information, Communication and Networking Education and Innovation |(ICONET) and the School of Engineering through the funding of infrastructure development and state-of-the-art equipment. They continually provide financial support towards the university’s technological research.

Mr. Salem Al Housani, Acting Deputy Director General of the mGovernment Sector, said: Countries in today's world are progressing due to including all segments of society in the building and development process and in providing insights, ideas and future solutions. This is exactly the objective of UAE Hackathon 2019 (Data for Happiness and Quality of Life), where it aims to attract the interested and experts in data analysis, to come up with ideas and solutions to specific challenges through the data provided by government entities. The Hackathon strives to generate as many constructive ideas as possible to visualize the decisions and strategies upon which.

This year's UAE Hackathon covered many topics related to trending technologies, health, environment, sustainability, security and safety, employment, education, social development, justice, and lifestyle enhancement in the UAE.

 

“Progress is expedited through competition,” remarked AURAK President Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim. “Events like Hackathon 2.0 allow students to apply skills learned in the classroom to real-word problems, with the opportunity to enhance the world around them, solidifying concepts they’ve learned and taking ownership of their learning.”

 

AURAK is a nonprofit, government-owned institution of higher education which provides the local, regional and international communities with a North American-style education integrated with Arabic customs and traditions. AURAK is licensed by the Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates and has been accredited in the United States of America by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) since December 2018. AURAK offers a total of 22 accredited undergraduate and graduate programs across a wide range of disciplines.

 

TRA strives to be a leading organization in the ICT sector in United Arab Emirates, committed to maintaining positive competition to protect the interests of the subscribers and promoting electronic transformation of the federal agencies and their services by relying on national competencies to apply the best international standards and practices in supervision of the sector´s and to encourage innovation and investment.

*Source: AETOSWire

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE/AETOSWire)-- Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) is pleased to announce it will build the first oilfield chemical manufacturing reaction plant in Saudi Arabia. The Company held a ground-breaking ceremony on Monday, Feb. 18, at the plant’s PlasChem Park location in Jubail. Upon the plant’s completion in 2020, Halliburton will begin local manufacturing of specialty chemicals to help customers achieve production and reliability goals in applications from the reservoir to the refinery.

“This is a strategic, targeted expansion to accelerate our fast-growing specialty chemicals business. We are excited to house this premiere facility in Saudi Arabia while continuing to strengthen our commitment to the In Kingdom Total Value Add program,” said Jeff Miller, Halliburton chairman, president, and CEO. “We chose Saudi Arabia for this plant because it provides an advantaged location for us to deliver our value proposition of superior service and chemical applications expertise to Eastern Hemisphere customers, and because of our strong 80-year history of success in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The plant will have capabilities to manufacture a broad slate of chemicals for stimulation, production, midstream, and downstream engineered treatment programs. Halliburton’s global laboratory and team in Dhahran Techno Valley and local manufacturing uniquely position the Company to accelerate the production of next generation specialty chemical solutions while developing local employees and capabilities.

ABOUT HALLIBURTON

Founded in 1919, Halliburton celebrates its 100 years of service as one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. With 60,000 employees, representing 140 nationalities in more than 80 countries, the company helps its customers maximize value throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir — from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production throughout the life of the asset. Visit the company’s website at www.halliburton.com. Connect with Halliburton on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram and YouTube.

*Source: AETOSWire

 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 21 February 2019, (AETOSWire): Neffos, TP-Link's sub-brand for smartphones, will be exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, on February 25. The theme for the year's biggest technology convention for mobile products and innovations is intelligent connectivity, which is in line with TP-Link's slogan of "Faster Wi-Fi, Better Signal Phone, Smarter Home."

TP-Link has been recognized as the industry's best-selling brand for home Wi-Fi devices for eight years in its two decades of operations. Its products are distributed in more than 170 countries and used by hundreds of millions of customers worldwide.

At the MWC 2019 tech show, Neffos will display Neffos P1 as well with a built-in projector feature for beaming HD content onto a large wall. Neffos P1, which adds a laser projector that can throw a picture as large as 200 inches wide onto a wall or any flat surface in high resolution.

 

For the first time, the company will also showcase its new Neffos X20 and X20 Pro flagship phones. The two models are expected to hit the market sometime in June, along with Neffos' own NFUI 9.0 software based on the Android 9.0 Pie operating system. As NFUI 9.0 hasn't launched yet, the X20 and X20 Pro will be the first devices to run the latest user interface out of the box.

 

Both phones feature immersive screens with dewdrop-style display notches, gradient designs, and dual back-facing cameras enhanced by artificial intelligence or AI, so it's fitting that they'll launch under the campaign slogan "See the Beauty."

 

The Neffos X20 will be available in Black, Blue, Red, and Aurora Purple colors, while the Neffos X20 Pro is going to be offered in Obsidian Black, Sapphire Blue, Malachite Green, and Sunset Purple.

 

The color gradient effect on the back is achieved by using a nanocrystalline multilayer coating technique which not only looks eye-catching and distinct, but also feels nice and comfortable to the touch. Not to mention it adds some flair and draws attention to the phones' 3D curved panels.

 

The Neffos X20 and X20 Pro pack 6.26-inch screens with a taller 19:9 aspect ratio for a great viewing experience while on the go. Another highlight is NFUI 9.0, which is layered on top of Android 9.0 Pie.

 

NFUI 9.0 introduces several camera-app improvements, such as an improved Bokeh Portrait, which is available on both rear and front cameras and adds background blur to an image.

 

There's also AI Beauty mode for better selfies. It uses deep learning and AI to identify and enhance a person's facial features. Enabling AI Scene Recognition allows the camera to detect up to 17 different scenes and objects to automatically select the best settings for the best photos.

 

Market data for 2018 reveals that global shipments of Neffos smartphones grew by 300 percent year-over-year. With wider distribution and more impressive devices slated for this year, the company is confident more remarkable gains will be achieved this year.

 

About neffos:

neffos, created by TP-Link, a global provider of networking products, signifies the entrance into the smartphone market in 2016. neffos is a brand that is fully committed to developing products, services and consumer relations through extensive R&D, implementing strict Quality Assurance practices and effective outreach initiatives. The brand aims to strike a perfect balance between smart technology and stylish designs. Now, Neffos smartphone is available over 30 countries all over the world.

About TP-Link:

TP-Link, a premier global manufacturer and provider of networking products, World's No.1 provider of WLAN products, with products available in over 120 countries to millions of customers. Committed to intensive R&D, efficient production and strict quality management, TP-Link continues to provide award-winning products includes SOHO, SMB, Neffos (Smartphone), Smart Home, Smart Accessories and Service Provider (SP) solutions for Global end-users.

 

*Source: AETOSWire

Qatar Defeated Japan 3-1 for the Country’s First Major Tournament Win

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE/AETOSWire)-- STATS, the worldwide leader in sports data and intelligence, congratulates the Qatar National Team on a remarkable win at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

A tune-up to their position as hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar won all three group-play matches with 10 goals for and zero against. They advanced through the knockout stage with 1-0 wins against Iraq and South Korea, and a 4-0 semifinal win against host United Arab Emirates. Qatar solidified their first-ever AFC Asian Cup championship with a 3-1 win against Japan, marking their only goal against in the entire tournament.

Qatar utilize several STATS products and solutions for team performance and development, including STATS SportVU and STATS Tier 6+ data. STATS products also support development levels throughout the Qatar Football Association to grow the next stars of the national team.

“It has been thrilling to watch Qatar make history in the run to their first-ever AFC Asian Cup win,” said Martin Bland, Middle East General Manager at STATS. “In the lead up to hosting the World Cup, the QFA has been committed to improving its output on the pitch through innovative solutions. Since the AFC Asian Cup in 2011, STATS has provided performance solutions to all three organisations tasked with the development of the National Team—the QFA, QSL and Aspire Academy. We have enjoyed watching the team’s long-term development leading up to this historic win.”

“The Qatar National Team’s fantastic achievement at The Asian Cup 2019 is vindication of our commitment to innovation and using the best player performance data,” said Ahmed Abassi, Director of Operations for QFA National Teams. “QFA’s vision of working closely with partners that share our commitment to innovation continues to help develop the game of football in Qatar. That is why QFA has partnered with STATS since 2011. It’s been a long-term plan, but the hard work has paid off. Using innovation to develop how we effectively use STATS’ data has achieved unprecedented success.”

Qatar will next prepare to host and compete in the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup. For more information on STATS performance solutions, visit: https://www.stats.com/football/.

About STATS

STATS is the global leader in sports intelligence, operating at the intersection of sports and technology. The world’s most innovative brands, technology companies, leagues and dozens of world championship teams trust STATS to find their winning edge. STATS combines the industry’s fastest and most accurate data platform with video analysis, sports content and research, player tracking, and the latest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide unparalleled media and team performance solutions. The pioneer of live sports data, STATS continues to speed innovation in the industry with STATS Edge™, the first-ever team performance solution powered by AI. For more information, go to www.stats.com and follow STATS on Twitter @STATSInsightsUK.

*Source: AETOSWire

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