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1. Artists designed and built eight race tracks for the film: Los Angeles International Speedway, Copper Canyon Speedway (Arizona), Heartland Motor Speedway (Iowa), Motor Speedway of the South, Thunder Hollow Dirt Track, Thomasville Speedway, Georgia Super Speedway, Florida International Super Speedway.
2. Lightning McQueen made his rookie debut in “Cars” in 2006; more than a decade has passed since he was a young superstar.
3. Artists, designers and technicians at Pixar Animation Studios were able to install 30,000 lights at the Florida Speedway for the final race of the film. They all work.
4. Artists created more than 80,000 storyboards during the production of the movie. Just 10,102 made it into the final sequences.
5. Junior Johnson, NASCAR driver from the 1950s-60s who inspired “Cars 3” character Junior “Midnight” Moon, won 50 NASCAR races before retiring in 1966.
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Women in media and creative industries are excelling in their industries and at the helm of the industry in Dubai is the Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Dubai Media Incorporated.
Sara Al Sayegh is a young and dynamic professional who is a role model to young women interested to have a career in communications and media. Below are some insights from Sara on what makes her successful in her field and what her job entails.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into Media & Marketing and your present role at DMI?
I have long had a passion for media and marketing, which started whilst studying Marketing and Communication at the American University of Sharjah. My Father is a very established and respected financial advisor and banker who wanted me to pursue a career in the financial sector. However I found myself drawn to the media world, due to a fascination and interest in the sector. This great love for the industry led me to start my career at the Marketing Department at Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) in 2004, only a few months after its official inception.
I now have 16 years of combined academic and enriching practical experience across the media field. I feel very blessed to have fulfilled my passion through the launch of some of the greatest and most exciting media brands and channels in the Middle East.
All of this has brought me to today’s point, as Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI). This role affords me the opportunity to enjoy working on a series of strategic and operational aspects, which relate to growing and developing the range of brands and channels that was launched over a decade ago. I am now leading all of these aspects of the organisation through a whole new phase of media evolution, the digital era.
What inspires you most and what keeps you inspired?
On a personal and professional level I aspire to be an active part of the ongoing evolution of Dubai, both the city and the brand. This is an exciting time for both of these elements, with the Emirate soon to welcome the world to Expo 2020 Dubai.
Expo 2020 Dubai is just one example of a bigger than life idea and it is these kind of grand ideas and concepts that truly inspire me. We are fortunate in Dubai to be part of one of the largest and most momentous city projects in the world, and I am thankful to have been provided with the opportunity to be involved in some of the exciting plans and projects such as those I have worked on with DMI. The team I work with to deliver these projects keeps me inspired through their strength, creativity and dedication, and our collective efforts are the key driver behind the success of the organisation’s brand. The projects we work on together are what get me out of bed in the morning, and planning, managing and executing a good campaign provides me with a great deal of satisfaction and keeps me going.
Is there a specific area that you focus on at DMI?
My role at DMI comprises of a broad range of activities, and on a day-to-day basis I formulate and execute the research, marketing and commercial strategies of the network. The research component is fundamental to our business, as what we find in each research project provides us with the information we need to create carefully targeted campaigns, which is crucial to distinguish us within an increasingly crowded media and broadcasting landscape.
I’m a big believer of the power of tailor-made research as it helps in setting a solid fact-based foundation for our business, marketing and commercial initiatives. This component of DMI’s work is front and central to the organisation’s overarching strategy, and it affords me the opportunity to work in partnership with a number of different departments all across the network. All of these different aspects make my work extremely challenging and fascinating. I have a great deal of passion for what I do.
Which is your favourite piece of content/work (both within DMI and outside), something that you take great pride in, and why?
It is actually impossible to choose a favourite, as each launch and event has its own story and distinct personality. We take great pride and joy in every project we do and treat each piece of work as if it is our one and only, giving it all the love and attention it needs. This dedicated, tailored approach is what makes each of our projects a stand out success. Our team’s hard work has paid off significantly and I am proud of the contribution it has made to where we are today, with exciting projects ahead of us and a string of memorable success stories behind us.
Externally I would choose the successful global Expo 2020 Dubai bid. Even to be involved with the bid was an honour and a positive and challenging process, however winning the bid was a whole other level. Not least because of the considerable positive effects this significant event will produce for our country.
What do you see are the biggest challenges that traditional broadcasters per se face given the current context of content generation and new media invasion?
The technological revolution which has swept the globe has had a hugely significant impact primarily on how people engage with media – you can see from your own usage how this has become a lot more active rather than passive following consumer empowerment. Modern technology has provided consumers with advanced and easy to operate tools including state-of-the-art media software and applications, which have had the effect of altering media habits.
In turn, at DMI we dedicate a lot of resources towards conducting research into how customers use digital platforms and research in general; media organisations such as ours require reliable information on how these platforms are used. Although such materials are widely available, the tracking data in this respect tends to be unregulated and has a questionable level of credibility.
I believe that the good news is that an overly saturated media market provides an opportunity for experienced broadcasters, who have the tools and the know-how to provide their viewers with what they want, considering the unique and diverse mix of cultures in Dubai.
As a broadcaster in an extremely segmented market like the UAE, what do reckon are your biggest marketing, branding & content related challenges and how are you going about addressing them?
The modern media landscape is constantly evolving and changing, with new technologies coming in leaps and bounds. DMI works in tandem with these technologies, employing digital, social media and advanced interactive platforms to reach its audience where they consume media.
This new media utilises segmented and on-demand content, personalised to what the viewer wants and prefers to watch. Customers’ smart devices are having an increasingly significant impact on the viewer experience and are creating what we are now calling ‘smart viewing’, where users can watch at their leisure and their convenience, even extending to advanced media such as virtual reality. Furthermore, ‘Geomapping’ technologies undertake careful study of viewer information, to learn about target audiences with a view to creating content that is tailored to their preferences.
Do you see Dubai/UAE becoming a hub for Television content conceptualisation and production?
From what I can see this is already happening – Dubai has long been an innovative media centre and has created whole zones which are dedicated to different media. These include hubs scattered across the city such as Dubai Media City, Studio City and International Media Production Zone.
Through the combined efforts of all of these different zones, Dubai is positioning itself as the new capital of media production in the MENA region. The UAE has for many years been a regional and global media innovator and our organisation has been a fundamental part of this. Much of our work is based out of the Emirate’s specialist media zones, along with many of our partners. From a personal perspective I am proud to be a part of this wave, and I believe that much of the groundwork that has already been laid in the Emirate’s media development will soon bear fruit with output of increased regional and global significance.
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Epson announces new business projectors to offer impactful presentations around the office and on the move. Designed for SMEs and corporates, the EB-1795F and EB-2265U deliver effective, high-quality Full HD presentations with large display sizes. They also take advantage of interactive and smart presenting features, such as gesture control and screen mirroring. Set-up is hassle free thanks to focus help, Auto Power On, copy OSD settings, auto keystone correction and screen fit, as well as a variety of connectivity options such as HDBaseT and Wireless LAN, dual HDMI and screen mirroring. An increased lamp life of up to 10,000 hours in eco mode reduces maintenance times and servicing.
The Montblanc Augmented Paper Writing is a Gift Edition consists of an elegant leather envelope organizer in indigo blue, and contains a notebook and a StarWalker writing instrument featuring custom-made technology to be exclusively used for this new product. Made of elegant Italian leather with a soft tactile feel and a sophisticated matt effect, the Augmented paper organizer is a sleek and stylish object thanks to the highest level of craftsmanship nurtured at the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence, where century-old traditions and skills bring the spirit of innovation to life. The innovative technology of Augmented Paper offers best-in-class handwriting recognition in 12 languages so that notes written by hand can be seamlessly transferred to a mobile device and translated into digital text for searching, editing and sharing.
By Shereen Shabnam
One of the take home messages from the recent VeemON 2017 conference in New Orleans was understanding how Veeam enables its resellers and service providers to help customers move to and manage data in a Multi-Cloud or Hybrid Cloud environment, while greatly expanding the total addressable market to manage and protect public cloud and physical workloads.
With a number of key announcements, we learnt how the new Veeam Accredited Service Partner (VASP) program drives partner services revenue and engagement, with award-winning support as well as how Veeam is strengthening its leadership position with two models – Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster recovery as a Service (DRaaS) market. We bring you highlights from each day of the conference in New Orleans.
DAY 1 Highlights
The day started with a keynote by Peter McKay, Co-CEO and President of Veeam on the need for availability, which was the theme of this year’s VeemOn event. He touched on Veeam’s growth, market share, and why Availability is a requirement for Digital Transformation.
The team also announced that Veeam Software, the innovative provider of solutions that delivers Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™, is unveiling several partner-centric initiatives and offerings to help them drive revenue growth and leverage business opportunities as customers move to a Multi-Cloud or Hybrid Cloud environment.
The new offerings in Veeam ‘Always-On Cloud’ Availability Platform enable service providers and resellers to help customers migrate to and manage data in a Multi-Cloud environment while greatly expanding revenue opportunities to manage and protect public cloud and physical workloads.
The new offerings and programs, specifically designed and priced for service delivery model, include and support:
To understand the brand’s reach, we learn that Veeam has 47,000 Veeam ProPartners and 15,000 VCSPs offering backup and disaster recovery services, including 2,900 partners who use Veeam Cloud Connect to offer backup and disaster recovery in the Cloud.
During the different sessions through the day and with endorsements from partners, customers and resellers, it was evident that Veeam is a preferred and an indispensable partner for innovative cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions to help global customers protect critical business applications and data.
DAY 2 Highlights
Day 2 revealed how Veeam brings powerful innovations designed to deliver to consumers a seamless Digital Life experience. Users want the confidence of knowing that their information is available whenever and wherever they need it. The key take home messages from the second day that the NEW Veeam Availability Suite v10 drives non-stop business continuity, digital transformation agility and analytics & visibility to new levels.
We also learnt how NEW Veeam CDP helps customers to protect and recover Tier-1 and mission-critical applications and that the NEW Veeam Availability for AWS offers industry’s first cloud-native, agentless backup and Availability solution to protect AWS apps and data. The NEW Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows provides ‘Always-On Cloud’ Availability for Windows-based physical servers and endpoints, as well as applications running in Microsoft Azure, AWS and other public clouds.
It was also announced that the NEW Extending Veeam ‘Always-On Cloud’ Availability Platform with new Universal Storage API framework; IBM, Lenovo and Infididat join Veeam’s storage partner ecosystem.
Veeam helps businesses across the globe enable seamless Digital Life experiences with Veeam Availability Suite for the ‘Always on Cloud’ and Veeam Availability Suite delivers a fundamentally new kind of solution by providing the following:
According to Peter McKay, co-CEO and President at Veeam. “As enterprises move to the Cloud, Veeam ensures Availability of services, applications and data in Multi-Cloud and Hybrid-Cloud environments.
He added, “Over the last 10 years Veeam has been the primary innovator in the space, with many industry first capabilities and highly differentiated solutions for private, managed, public and SaaS clouds, and at VeeamON we’re raising the bar even further. With these new innovations across the Platform and ecosystem, Veeam is once again pioneering the market.”
DAY 3 Highlights
Day 3 saw us doing more interviews with key Veeam management and we learnt how Veeam and Microsoft Extend Storage Alliance will Deliver Unprecedented Availability for the Always-On Cloud.
Veeam enables businesses to deliver the Digital Life experience users expectation by protecting applications and data running in Hybrid Cloud and leveraging cloud backup and disaster recovery based on Microsoft Azure and Veeam ‘Always-On Cloud’ Availability Platform for non-stop business continuity, agility and lower costs.
Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™ has new capabilities protecting applications and data running in Hybrid Cloud, leveraging backup and disaster recovery based on Microsoft Azure and Veeam “Always-On Cloud” Availability Platform.
When a disaster strikes, businesses of all sizes need a reliable solution for on-demand DR in the cloud. Day 3 highlighted the long-standing alliance between Veeam and Microsoft that allows customers to benefit from the following:
The cloud makes disaster recovery affordable for businesses of any size, but many of them still struggle to properly manage the complex disaster recovery process, including data restore and network setup and configuration for seamless user experience.
The NEW Veeam Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Azure simplifies and automates a disaster recovery in Azure, helping businesses maintain business continuity and availability of critical workloads with all-encompassing on-demand DR in Azure. Veeam DR in Azure combines Veeam Direct Restore and NEW Veeam PN (Veeam Powered Network).
The NEW Veeam PN for Microsoft Azure is a powerful solution designed to simplify and automate the setup of a DR site in Azure using lightweight software-defined networking (SDN). It helps maintain business continuity and availability by eliminating the complexity of VPN deployments and is designed for businesses of all sizes and service providers.
Veeam also announced a new Scale Out Backup Repository (SOBR) support for cloud object storage as an Archive Tier extent. This new functionality, arriving with Veeam Availability Suite v10, enables customers to archive Veeam backups to Azure Blob storage. This native support helps customers to leverage Azure to reduce long-term data archival, retention and compliance costs.
Microsoft announced that it will enable all Azure customers to access and use disks in Azure up to 4TB in size (previously 1TB). This enhancement means Veeam customers can fully realize a more cost-effective solution using a Veeam virtual appliance to back up four times as much data in Azure Storage. This feature will be available mid 2017.
Veeam then announced an update to its SaaS Availability solution, Veeam Backup for Office 365, which more than 11,000 organizations are already using, just four months after release. In this update, a multi-tenant architecture enables protecting larger Office 365 deployments with a single installation, while empowering Veeam Cloud and Service Providers (VCSPs) to deliver Office 365 backup services.
Furthemore, Veeam has introduced enhanced automation options via RESTful API and PowerShell SDK to minimize management overheads, improve recovery times and reduce costs. And looking ahead, the next version of Veeam Backup for Office 365 is already in development, which will include much-requested support for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
Michael Kors is pleased to announce a new capsule of Kaftans and handbags designed especially for the Middle East.
Capturing the brand’s relaxed glamour, and polished aesthetic, the capsule collection showcases three unique Kaftans in varying designs, including graphic leaf-print and floral-embellished versions. Floral studded updates to the Ava, Selma and Ginny handbag groups complement the luxe Kaftans, creating the perfect elegant pairing for any Iftar gathering.
These special styles will be available in May 2017 in Michael Kors retail stores in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has scooped two prestigious awards on the sidelines of this year’s ITB, further highlighting the destination’s appeal on the global stage.
Ras Al Khaimah was recognised as the association’s ‘Emerging Tourism Destination of 2017’. The UAE’s most northern emirate was named ‘best emerging destination’ during a ceremony which honours individuals and organisations across the global travel trade sector that have excelled in the promotion of tourism.
Additionally, RAKTDA’s award-winning ‘Beyond A Journey’ destination video has added another string to its bow by picking up the coveted Five Star Award at The 16th GOLDEN CITYGATE Awards – the international film, print, multimedia competition for cities, hotels and the tourism industry.
Saturday 18th March 2017: British Polo Day, presented by RJI Capital, returned to Abu Dhabi for the first of its 2017 events. Some 200 guests and VIPs including HH Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, HE Philip Parham, the British Ambassador, the Earl of Tyrone and Bear Grylls came together to celebrate the best of UAE and British traditions.
The UK/UAE Year of Creative Collaboration was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and HRH The Prince of Wales in October 2016, with HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan giving a stirring speech stating the aims of increasing the visibility of the UK in the UAE and vice versa in order to give greater focus, depth and contemporary relevance to the long-standing relationship between the two nations. The unique cultural programme has been initiated to strengthen existing relationships and broker new ones between people, institutions and businesses. The British Polo Days in the UAE provide such a platform, with the best of British and the UAE on display, with Harrods, Bentley, Royal Salute and Hackett all supporting. There was also a chance to introduce our new global partner, Chelsea Barracks, the exceptional new neighborhood development incorporating 5 new garden squares in Belgravia, London, to the guests. Other new partners included VistaJet and YPI Luxury Yachts, further cementing the British Polo Day community.
This spectacular event took place, for the 7th year, at Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, the private royal polo ground of HH Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. The glamorous black-tie evening kicked off with a bicycle polo demonstration, a sport played in the Olympics over 100 years ago, with players from the regiments of Cavalry and Guards competing in Bentley and Intercontinental Hotel Abu Dhabi Teams respectively for The Thesiger Trophy.
Next Stuart Wrigley captained the Oxbridge team, sponsored by Chelsea Barracks, against the Abu Dhabi team, sponsored by Vista Jet, who were victorious.
The highlight exhibition polo match of the evening – The British Polo Day Plate –saw the home team RJI Capital Ghantoot Polo Team play the visiting Royal Salute British Exiles, with both sides led onto the field of play by the first two Bentley Bentaygas in the UAE the opening ceremony. The RJI Capital Ghantoot Polo Team rode to victory.
British Polo Day Abu Dhabi’s official prize giving ceremony saw the winning teams collecting the bespoke-commissioned British Silverware British Polo Day trophies presented by HH Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan bin Muburak Al Nahyan and Ron Wahid, Chairman and CEO of RJI Capital. The agile Curacho, ridden by Sami Al Namsi, was named Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ‘Best Playing Pony’ by Marc de Panafieu, Brand Director for Middle East.
Following the prize-giving ceremony, guests sat down to a delicious three-course dinner prepared by the InterContinental Abu Dhabi followed by a live charity auction raising a total of $20,000 for Women And Health Alliance International (WAHA) launched by Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al-Nahyan, the Sumba Foundation and Sentebale, a charity founded by Prince Harry of the United Kingdom, together with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, that helps the most vulnerable children in Lesotho and Botswana get the support they need to lead healthy and productive lives.
Guests bid fiercely for lots including a safari of a lifetime to Kenya with The Safari Collection, a stay at the beautiful Cape View Clifton, a special Dinner at Wiltons and a trip to the amazing Nihiwatu on Sumba Island in Indonesia for the British Polo Day held there later this year.
The next event is British Polo Day Dubai held on Friday 24th March at the Al Habtoor Polo Club & Resort where the British teams will play against Habtoor Polo and the Gulf Team.
*British Polo Day Abu Dhabi took place on
Saturday 18th March at Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club
The event is presented by RJI Capital, and partnered with Royal Salute, Harrods, Bentley, Chelsea Barracks, VistaJet, YPI Yachts, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Hackett London, Justerini & Brooks, Charles Russell Speechlys, Nyetimber, British Silverware, True Luxury Travel, InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Clinova, Taylor Morris Eyewear, DR Harris, Floris, Cassabo and Brompton.
Regional Designers, Architects and Construction Professionals Experience the Future of Making Things at Autodesk University Middle East
Venturing into the fifth edition of Autodesk University Middle East (AU Middle East) at the Dubai World Trade Center recently, I had some exciting hands on experience that involved cutting edge innovation with 3D printing technologies, Virtual Reality and brought me up close to Engineering and Entertainment software that left me and the other visitors enthralled.
As promised, the event provided a platform for Autodesk users across the region to learn, connect, and explore, showcasing new ways that buildings, products and more are being designed, made and used, and the effect revolutionary new technology will have on this region.
Speaking to numerous exhibitors, organisers and spokespeople, we found that this year’s event provided an inspiring platform for everyone in the industry to get insights into the future of design; whether that is architectural, technological or fashion.
According to Callan Carpenter, VP, Global Named Accounts at Autodesk, “Technology is radically disrupting the way buildings and infrastructure are designed, built, and used. As a result, the implication for the future of making things is huge. Our aim was to inspire the regional design community via insightful keynotes, specialized industry classes, Autodesk Certification exams, and premium networking opportunities.”
Autodesk delegates were engaged with a number of keynote sessions by industry experts to learn what the future of making things in the region has to offer. Sessions included Tom Wujec and Callan Carpenter’s opening keynote on The Future of Making Things, the accessibility of Autodesk Cloud Services, a 4D simulation workshop, and many more.
Louay Dahmash, Head of Autodesk Middle East and Turkey said, “AU Middle East was created to enable industry professionals to engage with global speakers like Tom Wujec and take a peek into the latest technology innovations that have continually disrupted the way buildings are designed and constructed in our region. It was also a great platform for attendees to understand what technologies are going to shape the manufacturing and entertainment industries and discover how these inventions are changing the future of making things in the Middle East.”
During the walkthrough of the exhibition, I explored the Autodesk Gallery to came across stories of exceptional design and engineering from across the globe that gave an in-depth look as to how Autodesk has helped talented individuals imagine, design, and create a better world.
Autodesk showcased how VR and real-time technologies are bringing architectural designs to life all while exploring insights in the Gulf region on the value of BIM (Building Information Modeling), and what factors are holding back entities from adopting it.
It was an experience packed with elements of innovation including 3D printing technologies, advances in Virtual Reality, and the latest technology available to designers and engineers.
Autodesk University (AU) is a series of conferences and an online learning destination focused on inspiring and energizing Autodesk software users, partners, and industry leaders about the future of design and engineering.
Formerly the event was hosted as Autodesk University Extension Dubai. With the growth of the event over the last four years, Autodesk Middle East transformed the event into a full-fledged Autodesk University event to inspire more people in the region to design, build and create a better world.
Now in its 24th year, the AU conferences bring together more than 25,000 participants at live events in 15 countries through classes, forums, and keynotes with product experts and thought leaders. Hundreds of thousands more participate through AU online, which offers free year-round access to learning content and inspirational industry talks from the AU conference events.
The annual event has become a magnet for the regional design community and acts as a catalyst to further accelerate innovation and growth across diverse sectors in the Middle East.
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