Alfa Romeo Giulia named to Car and Driver 10 Best for 2018


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  • The most awarded sedan of the year, the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia reinvents the premium mid-size sedan segment with an unprecedented level of Italian craftsmanship, class-leading performance, state-of-the-art technology and a true passion for driving
  • Nominees include all-new or significantly updated vehicles that fall under the base-price cap of $80,000 and have an on-sale date in January 2018


The editors of Car and Driver today named the Alfa Romeo Giulia – including the record-breaking Giulia Quadrifoglio – to its annual “10 Best Cars” list for 2018, which recognises the best cars on the market under $80,000.

The 10 Best nomination process has three official rules: the vehicle cannot exceed an $80,000 price tag; a sample vehicle must be available for testing by mid-September of the current calendar year; and the vehicle must be on sale to the public by January of the following calendar year.

“Every year, we gather all the new sub-$80,000 cars for a meta test of automotive virtue,” said Car and Driver. “Sixty-five cars, ten days, 26,000 miles, 58 ballots, 502 doughnuts, one rainstorm, zero traffic citations. We crunched the numbers and here you have it: the 10 Best Cars for 2018.”

Rather than limiting entries to only all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles, Car and Driver invites returning winners as eligible for its 10 Best awards, making the pool of candidates much larger and more competitive.

“High-fidelity steering and innately easy response define the Giulia as it comes to life in your hands. The efforts are never high, but a deliberate grip on the wheel is required as the Alfa shifts and pulls, subtly but faithfully exposing where there’s grip and where there’s none,” said Car and Driver. “Acceleration comes earlier and earlier as confidence builds. And even with iron rotors, our car’s brakes never fatigued”

Alfa Romeo Giulia models feature an all-new, all-aluminium, 2.0-litre, direct-injection turbo engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers a class-leading, standard 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing it to launch from 0-60 mph (0-100 kmh) in 5.1 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 149 mph (240 kmh).

As the lineup’s “halo” model, the Giulia Quadrifoglio highlights Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport knowhow with its twin-turbocharged V6 engine featuring best-in-class 505 horsepower, 0-60 mph (0-100 kmh) in 3.8 seconds and a record-setting 7:32 lap time around the legendary Nürburgring – the fastest ever by a four-door production sedan.



The Doner Deli Flavours great for teen meets


Natasha Dury (Teen Guest Blogger)

Last weekend we headed out to the Barsha Branch of Doner Deli and ate heartily what every teenager craves at each meal. The good stuff, in the form of burgers, fries and brownies of course.

I tried the authentic Doner kebab made with fresh and natural ingredients but the sauce was what made it super delicious. The kebabs came in pita type bread but loaded with both meat and vegetables.

Being a teen I love my French fries so I ordered a side meal, which came with a big portion of doner meat slices. We also ordered doner sliders which came in threes (chicken, meat and falafel). I took the chicken one and it was delish.

The drinks were healthy yet delicious. I tried 3 different types from my meal companions but indulged in the Oreo Shake, which is of course the teen thing to do.

The place was not crowded so easy to get seats and get served quick. What I loved bout the venue is that it is just next door to Seven Eleven where I go often for my slushy drinks. A visit to Doner Deli before my frozen indulgence makes the whole going out experience fun and rewarding.

There are 4 branches of Doner Deli in Dubai and two in Abu Dhabi.


‘EZ Move’ for Second Audi Innovation Award


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  • Dubai based Jamal Alsharkas is announced as the winner of the second Audi Innovation Award for his design ‘EZ Move’.
  • Second place winner is Benjamin Piper for ‘iLuminating Space’ and Ricardas Blazukas from Kuwait achieved third place for his design ‘Monumental Shadow’.
  • The theme for the third Audi Innovation Award will be announced on in January 2018.

Over 180 registrations from throughout the Middle East and Levant regions were received for the second Audi Innovation Award. A respected panel of designers, architects, professors and experts from throughout the region judged the 2017 theme ‘Autonomy’ to select the top three submissions. At Design Week Dubai, Jamal Asharkas was victorious for his ‘EZ Move’ innovation and is rewarded with $25,000 worth of consultancy to protect and develop his design. In addition, his award includes a visit to the Audi factory in Germany to meet with the company’s automotive designers. Second and third places were won by Dubai based Benjamin Piper and Ricardas Blazukas, from Kuwait with ‘iLuminating Space’ and ‘Monumental Shadow’ design projects .

For the 2017 Audi Innovation Award, the theme ‘Autonomy’ is inspired by the leadership that Audi has in the field of autonomous driving. The challenge for designers who took part in the competition, was to explore design solutions that are capable of regulating themselves in response to changing environmental circumstances and different user requirements, with minimal human intervention.

Commenting on the theme for 2017, Enrico Atanasio, Brand Director of Audi Middle East said “With everything we do, we strive to improve the daily life of our customers: Giving back to them the most valuable thing in these days: time – we call this the 25th hour. Keeping our customers connected to the world and surprising them with sustainable solutions and unique experiences. It has been fascinating to see how the designers would interpret the theme of Autonomy into self-sustaining innovative ideas, and we congratulate Jamal for ‘EZ Move’ as a product that could change people lives in the future, giving them the freedom to move around cities.

‘EZ Move’ is the first innovation of its kind to give those with mobility challenges and visually impaired people, the freedom of movement, freedom of choice and the dignity of being in control of their own destination.

On receiving the trophy, a thrilled Jamal Asharkas enthused “My idea for ‘EZ Move’ came from an injury I experienced in 2016 and the doctor advised me to keep active but the difficult part was depending on others for assistance. It was from here I thought it is necessary to design a product that can give personal freedom. My product also has the potential to explore different applications, such as, visual impairment, navigation for tourism, physical injury and personal training. The Audi Innovation Award has given me a fantastic opportunity to showcase my idea. For me, it could help a lot of people and Audi Middle East are supporting me to reach that achievement.”

The winner of the first Audi Innovation Award was Jordanian designer Sahar Madanat, who perfectly demonstrated the 2016 theme ‘Alternative’ by interpreting a seemingly resolved everyday object and redefining it for a new use. Her innovative multifunctional tableware set enables one-handed users to cut food and navigate between courses while concealing the limitations imposed by their disability. She is now in the process of finding a partner to commercialize the product in both local and international markets.

William Knight, Managing Director and Head of Design of Art Dubai Group said “We were very excited to see what the second year of the Audi Innovation Award would bring in terms of talented creativity in the region and showcasing the shortlisted projects to Dubai Design Week audiences. Audi has always represented progressiveness and stylish design so this award perfectly expresses our partnership. It is fantastic to see how successful the award is becoming in inspiring a new generation of designers.” 

The three shortlisted candidates were each awarded up to $2,500 towards the presentation of their concept model at Dubai Design Week and the prizes for the overall winner of the Audi Innovation Award include a trophy and a trip to the Audi factory in Ingolstadt, Germany to experience the automotive design journey at Audi headquarters. In addition to this, Audi Middle East awards $25,000 worth of consultancy to cover items such as IP registration, legal counselling and business development.

The third Audi Innovation award will be announced on the website in January 2018.


Line Investments & Property LLC honored with Professional accolades


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Two shopping malls of LIP win at the 2017 RECon MENA Shopping Centre and Retailer Awards

Renowned in the Retail industry for steady growth and promoting excellence, Line Investments & Property L.L.C (LIP), the region’s leading shopping mall development and management specialists across the Middle East won two awards at the recent RECon ME & North Africa convention’s Shopping Centre and Retailer Awards.

At a gala evening held at the Ritz Carlton DIFC for retailers, shopping centre leaders and related industry stakeholders, the mall management of Avenues Mall, Oman walked away with a gold award for Marketing Excellence Cause Related Marketing while the mall management of Al Wahda Mall won a Silver Award for NOI (Net Operating Income) Enhancement Excellence Marketing and Sponsorship.

Prior to the Awards evening, Line Investments & Property (LIP) management team showcased their upcoming projects, including Mall of Umm AL Quwain, and the malls in Sharjah and Silicon Oasis to trade and industry visitors.

Lulu Group International Director, Mr. Salim M.A., said, “Our team across the region continuously engage with brands and retailers to understand their needs based on current industry trends. Both awards symbolise the hard work of our colleagues and is a honored recognition by our industry peers.”

According to Marcello Larizza, the General Manager at Line Investments & Property LLC in Dubai, Sharjah & Northern Emirates, the awards are a testament of the commitment to professional enhancement and to CSR initiatives for the communities around projects. He reiterated the importance of recognising industry trends while bringing in new innovations to offer unique opportunities to brands and retailers.

Line Investments & Property LLC see value in events such as RECon MENA to meet developers, brands and retailers to collaborate on new and existing projects.

MENA Effies Announces Shortlist of 2017’s Greatest Marketing Efforts in the Run-Up to its Awards Ceremony

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The winners will be selected from a total of 293 shortlisted entries across 24 categories and announced on 15th November

The ninth edition of the MENA Effie Awards (Effies) has announced its shortlist in the run-up to its highly anticipated awards ceremony, which is expected to attract 2,000 attendees and will take place on 15th November at the Armani/Pavilion in Downtown Dubai under a ‘Great Gatsby’ theme. This year’s MENA Effie Award winners will be decided on 12th and 13th November, when an expert panel of judges will assess a total of 293 shortlisted entries across 24 categories.

Alexandre Hawari, Co-CEO of Mediaquest – the organiser of the MENA Effie Awards – commented: “We are delighted with the high calibre of entries this year, which have demonstrated the exceptional level of innovation and creativity that we look for in our award-winners. For marketers in the MENA region 2017 turned out to be challenging in many ways, especially in terms of tighter budgets, but the entries also demonstrate that marketing professionals have faced this challenge successfully by rebalancing their media mix.”

Jihad Al Houwayek, Head of Marketing at Damas UAE, said: “In 2017, companies needed to ensure their marketing budgets were in sync with the ever-increasing pressure on revenue. This forced them to optimise every dollar spent by focusing on the core audiences. To do so and be as targeted as possible, companies had to be more data-driven in identifying and reaching their niche target audience.”

Julian Redman, Head of Digital at Aldar Properties, added: “The challenge is not how much we can spend, but how we can justify the expenditure; we are having to demonstrate more and more that every dirham spent is being spent wisely. The media choice should be based on a scientific approach rather than ‘gut feeling’ and we have to prove that there is a return on marketing investment through lead generation.”

To reflect this ever-broadening marketing landscape, the MENA Effie Awards 2017 programme included a new category this year – ‘Renaissance’ – alongside a wide range of industry-specific categories including ‘Automotive’, ‘Banking, Finance & Insurance’, ‘Electronics’, ‘Entertainment & Sports, ‘Food & Beverage – FMCG’, ‘Non-Food FMCG’, ‘Healthcare Services’, ‘Personal Care Products’, ‘Retail & Luxury’, ‘Telecommunications, Mobiles & Internet’, and ‘Travel, Tourism & Transportation’.

It also included a dedicated ‘Shopper Marketing’ category, two ‘Youth Marketing’ categories – one for children and one for teenagers and adults – and two ‘Social Good’ categories for corporate brands and non-profit organisations. Entrants were encouraged to showcase their marketing and branding innovation in categories such as ‘New Products & Services’, ‘Media Idea’, ‘Brand Experience’, ‘Branded Content’, ‘Media Partnership Activation’ and ‘Seasonal Marketing’.

Alexandre Hawari concluded: “From hundreds of entries we have carefully whittled down our shortlist to encompass only the very best efforts in the region, and the challenging task of selecting the final winners now remains to our expert panel of judges. We look forward to welcoming our industry peers at the awards ceremony to share the results and celebrate the winners in style.”

Winning an Effie has become a global symbol of achievement and participants will be battling it out for the ‘Grand Prix’, as well other prestigious accolades including ‘Marketer of the Year’, ‘Most Effective Advertising Office of the Year’, ‘Most Effective Media Office of the Year’ and ‘Most Effective Agency Network of the Year’.

The MENA Effie Awards aims to establish a gold standard of creative marketing brilliance in the region and is being generously supported this year by Choueiri, Main Sponsor; Al Aan TV and Dubai Media City, Strategic Sponsors; ATL, Group Plus, Hills Advertising, Insydo, IPSOS, Kwanko, and MMP, Category Sponsors; LMTD, Creative & Digital Partner; MadHouse, Media Audit & Consultancy Partner; IBM, Marketing Technology Partner; IABC, The Marketing Society and Warc, Association Partners; Communicate, Gulf Marketing Review and The Media Network, Media Partners; Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, Official PR Partner; UPP, Official Print Partner; and KMPG, Independent Observer.

The full 2017 shortlist can be accessed via the awards website at:

The Phenomenal Mastering Memory Roadshow Arrived in South Africa: Preserving Memories with Toshiba


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Toshiba recently launched a new initiative, the Mastering Memory Roadshow. Toshiba Middle East and Africa kick-started the roadshow in Dubai, before bringing it all the way to South Africa, and then back to the Gulf. For the event, they’ve invited world renowned Memory Master, David Thomas

A Sunday Time’s best-selling author, David Thomas has broken Guinness® and world memory records in the past. David has successfully harnessed his unique talents to become sought after motivational speaker, memory master and media personality. In the last 20 years, he has spoken in 21 countries, been in the media over 500 times in the media and appeared on television in 150 countries.

David flew in to conduct a Masterclass on how to improve memory by discovering new ways to upgrade memory skills, which is especially useful in an information-driven society where good memory can be a strong advantage; helping us become more organized and increasing our learning abilities. David’s masterclass actually boasts of an 80% increase in memory retention rates for delegates.

A first-of-its-kind initiative by Toshiba MEA, the roadshow prioritizes students and the youth as they are the future generation. In this regard, Toshiba has partnered with universities in Johannesburg and Cape Town for this interactive and highly enlightening event – namely, University of Witwatersrand-Johannesburg and University of the Western Cape this October 2017.

Toshiba Middle East and Africa’s General Manager, Santosh Varghese shares “We are truly excited about this initiative. We have been working hard to bringing the Mastering Memory Roadshow to life, and making it available in South Africa. In line with Toshiba’s ongoing campaign, we want to help students preserve their memories not only in Toshiba’s acclaimed storage solutions, but also in their own minds. Hence, the roadshow gives attendees the power to master their analogue memories as well as their digital ones.”

The range of storage solutions from Toshiba suit a variety of specific data storage requirements with smart and easy backup solutions. Always at the forefront of innovation, Toshiba storage devices work with the latest technologies and gadgets, including the newest mobile phones, tablets, laptops and cameras. In today’s world where our memories are stored as digital documents, photos and videos, Toshiba gives users peace of mind through fast, simple and reliable backup of data.

The roadshow commenced in Dubai, followed by Johannesburg and Cape Town capping off the trip in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia towards the end of October. Toshiba hopes this roadshow would be the first of many, and are looking forward to bringing it to schools and universities around the region.



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The Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens is around the corner and fans can expect three-days of non-stop action and entertainment with a crazy party atmosphere all weekend long which will make The Sevens Stadium the place to be from 30 November to 2 December.
The on-pitch entertainment is sure to get everyone dancing in the stands as the Robbie Williams tribute act will be one of the main attractions on pitch 1 and Rugby Rock will entertain the wildest of fans well into the night with The Boxtones and The Distillers on stage.
The Tournament dancers will be leading the fans with the latest dance moves to their favourite rugby songs, the What’s On Ball will be surfing the crowd and the Emirates Cannon will shoot prizes in the stands. Fans will also have the chance to enjoy the action in style with prizes from the dnata VIP Couch. The Airbus 92 Songs of the Sevens will have everyone cheering for their favourite songs and this year fans must keep an eye out for the HSBC Bongo drums as well as be on Pitch 1 for the National Day Celebration on Friday afternoon.
As always, the Dubai Sevens is the perfect place to enjoy a family fun weekend and this year the event will boast five different F&B Zones, meaning there will be something for everyone when it comes to eats and treats. Fans can choose between the Family Zone, Party Zone, Relax Zone or head to the Street Food Zone or Food of the Nations Zone to keep themselves fueled throughout the day. This year also sees the return of FastPay, sponsored by HSBC, the easy way to pay onsite.
Kids under 12 can experience the stadium and the Rugby Village free with plenty to keep them entertained. The popular Sabaa 7s Club will be even bigger and better with brand new interactive games, challenges, remote control car competitions, a huge bouncy slide, face painting and much more with added attractions by Hallmark and The Toy Store.
For the older kids, the Virgin Radio Dubai Teen Zone returns where teenagers can listen to their favourite music and get involved in popular gaming stations while they hang out with friends, and parents can enroll the littlest fans in the dedicated tournament crèche, The Cardinal Valley Nursery – so that they can go and enjoy the party atmosphere of the event.
 Entertainment at the Dubai Sevens (4)
Tickets for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens are now on sale and fans can save AED100 buying them in advance. Tickets can be purchased online at or at selected outlets including Costa, The Toy Store, Hallmark, Prosport, Virgin MegaStores, Park n Shop and Go Sports.
Ticket Prices for General Admission are:
  • Thursday, 30 November – free admission
  • Friday, 1 December – in advance AED300, on the day AED400
  • Saturday, 2 December – in advance AED300, on the day AED400
  • Season Tickets (Friday and Saturday) – in advance AED500, on the day AED600
  • Children under 12 admitted free
  • Special Reserved Seating and Corporate Hospitality packages are available –  please visit:
  • Emirates Skywards Members can redeem tickets for the event using their Miles; members should visit the Sports and Culture section of Skywards at to avail this offer

Davide Padoa to speak at RECon Mena

Davide Design International_new

Davide Padoa, CEO of Design International, will give an address on the key trends in retail architecture at the RECon MENA next week. Well known for its ability to anticipate market shifts and integrate them into highly creative designs, Design International has an established reputation as an innovative architectural and design practice.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Davide said: Shopping centres are no longer simply about making a purchase. People want to buy into something that is surprising and stimulating and has an authentic value for them and their community. It is our role as designers to understand and articulate this; we must design spaces that educate, entertain and support creativity.”

Recent examples of Design International’s work include Il Centro in Arese, which skilfully integrates the use of interior and external space through its city street concept; and the Lulu Group’s Mall in Silicon Oasis Dubai, which creates a sustainable, dynamic sanctuary where people can meet and share a wealth of different experiences. Both centres embody the firm’s philosophy of shaping stories to create transformative experiences.

To find out more about Design International, visit us during RECon MENA, South Hall, stand 29 – 36.


Issued on behalf of Design International. For more information please contact Shereen Dury on or 0507690087. Website is

About Design International

Design International is an innovative architectural firm with vast experience on a global scale. Regarded as one of the industry’s leaders in retail architecture, the firm’s unique and diverse designs have seen the practice win many awards, and build a strong presence worldwide.

Originally founded in Toronto, Canada, in 1965, Design International is headquartered in London, with offices in Milan and Shanghai. It works across 7 integrated divisions: Architecture, Master planning, Interior Design, Lighting Design, Landscape Design, Signage & Wayfinding, Branding & Marketing.

Design International’s philosophy is rooted in the belief that every design has its own individual story; these bespoke spaces are created with the aim to trigger a unique experience for guests. The success lies in its ability to shape stories to transform experiences.

Jacob & Co introduces Astronomia Sky

Jacob and co watchWhen Jacob & Co. brand-new version of the crowd-pleasing Astronomia mega-watch called the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Sky Celestial Panorama Gravitational Triple Axis Tourbillon, it was viewed as a feat of watchmaking, design and engineering, taking the celestial display integral to seafarers, astronomers and ancient horologers and placing it on our wrist.

Never before seen in watchmaking, the Astronomia Sky introduces a three-dimensional sidereal display and even though it adds a few complications, it actually has a smaller case size. Down from the 50mm-wide size of the standard Astronomia, the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Sky is “just” 47mm wide and 25mm thick.

The initial version of the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Sky Celestial Panorama Gravitational Triple Axis Tourbillon comes in a 18k rose gold case with a large domed sapphire crystal on top and a middle sapphire crystal ring around the side of the case.

It makes viewing the interior of the watch and the movement very simple and striking. Naturally there is a pen to go with it and they go with the Astronomia collection watches overall, produced in collaboration with Jacob & Co. by Italian manufacturer, Visconti.

The entire point of the Astronomia was to offer a “four armed” movement which had a dial for the time (that spins to remain upright as the entire movement structure rotates on its axis), tourbillon (that technically moves on two axis points), a spinning seconds indicator, and a spinning orb opposite the seconds indicator. The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Sky more or less retains this functionality but with additional astronomical complications.

Around the edge of the dial on the side of the case, there is a month indicator that uses a small hand, which follows along the 12-month scale, which goes entirely around the face. And at the center of the four-armed movement structure, there is a small orb designed to look like the earth.

There is of course the 24-hour rotating of the day/night indicator as well as the fact that the earth spins around each 20 minutes, since that is the rotation time of the four-armed movement. The small “globe” is produced from titanium and then hand-lacquered and engraved.

The watch also features a celestial star map with a series of zodiac indicators. This face is produced from blued titanium and has an oval “sky indicator” hand. The entire watch face makes a full rotation once annually. The oval sky indicator hand rotates to show the stars visible from the northern hemisphere.

The movement inside is exclusive to Jacob & Co and made of 395 parts. It operates at 3Hz (21,600bph) with a power reserve of 60 hours. The movement is marvelous to look at with its complexity and focuses on being visually entertaining to view in operation.

Like most of the watches produced by the brand, the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Sky is part of a limited edition of just 18 pieces. Hence it is ideal for watch collectors or watch connoisseurs in positions of power.Jacob and co watch

Expanding 145,502 sqm GLA Retail vistas in the UAE

Line Investments & Property LLC returns to RECon Middle East & North Africa 2017

Line Investments & Property L.L.C (LIP), the region’s leading shopping mall development and management specialists across the Middle East, have confirmed their presence as a Gold Sponsor at the upcoming annual RECon ME & North Africa convention that attracts regional shopping mall owners, developers and industry suppliers.

Held at the Ritz Carlton DIFC from the 29th October to 31st October, the convention acts as a networking platform for retailers, shopping centre leaders and related industry stakeholders.

Line Investments & Property (LIP) management team will showcase their upcoming projects, including Mall of UAQ, and the malls in Sharjah and Silicon Oasis.

Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2018, with 80% of the retail space leased for a variety of retail outlets, the single level 20,000 sqm GLA Mall of UAQ will enhance the city’s retail landscape with its more than 60 retail shops, 9,122sqm Lulu hypermarket, a food court, and 8 screen-cinema that will compliment the 2,313 sqm Family Entertainment Centre and with more than 600 parking spaces.

The construction contract for the mall in Sharjah has been awarded to Al Qabda Global Building Contracting and the work has started this year. The Project spans 43,000sqm GLA with mid-range retail shopping to suits the needs of Sharjah community and enhances the mall visitors dining experience along with the leisure and adventurous entertainment when it opens in 2019.

According to Lulu Group International Director, Mr. Salim M.A. said, all projects feature contemporary designs, a synergised retail mix, seamless accessibility and parking space for visitors and retailers. Sharjah project will feature 10,000sqm Hypermarket, 5,700sqm Department Store, a 4,000sqm cinema, a 3,200sqm Family Entertainment Centre and 1,800 parking spaces plus a unique food street experience to offer visitors a wider choice of cuisine.”

Marcello Larizza, the General Manager at Line Investments & Property LLC in Dubai, Sharjah & Northern Emirates, adds that the 82,502sqm GLA mall in Silicon Oasis will be a one-stop solution meeting the needs of students and residents with a user-friendly layout, a 9,089sqm hypermarket and 3,200 parking spaces and a 4,857sqm of cinema space.

On ground at ReCon exhibition stand 24 and 25 will be key Line Investments team will have a strong presence discussing the new projects and enhancing collaborations within the retail industry.