Sunday, November 27, 2022

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Samsung Mena to launch Roblox ‘space cup’ football

In celebration of the much-anticipated football season, Samsung is set to give the Mena region its first-ever Roblox Space Cup tournament in December.    Samsung released Space Tycoon, a virtual playground built inside the global Metaverse platform Roblox earlier this year, targeting primarily Gen Z customers to create, play games and share experiences using Samsung Electronics devices.   The exclusive closed-door Space Cup tournament will be led by eight regional gaming influencers from different countries across the Mena region. As captains of their teams, they will each form a team of three comprising of gamers who had registered to take part in the tournament. The eight teams will compete over the two-day Roblox tournament to win the coveted trophy.    Football spirit Mohammed Al Azzawe, Head of Brand Marketing and Digital - Mena Regional HQ at Samsung Electronics said: “The football spirit has continuously witnessed tremendous popularity in the Mena region. As Samsung continuously strives to integrate innovation with exhilarating experiences, our newly launched Space Cup tournament in the metaverse will enable Gen Z players to experience Samsung products and their favourite sport, football. Our goal is to provide meaningful and entertaining experiences that enable our Gen Z audience to compete and engage with the regional gaming community. We’re excited to be bringing unique and personalised experiences that cater to audience interests, hobbies and trends.”-- TradeArabia News Service  

Philippine leader hopes court will reconsider Manila power deal

MANILA - Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. hopes the country's Court of Appeals will reconsider a decision that raises the possibility of electricity rate hikes in the capital, the Office of the Press Secretary said in a statement on Sunday.The court allowed South Premiere Power Corp., a unit of San Miguel Corp to suspend a power supply agreement with Manila Electric Company (Meralco) after the companies were prevented from raising tariffs by the regulator."We hope that the CA (Court of Appeals) will reconsider and include in their deliberations the extremely deleterious effect this will have on power prices for ordinary Filipinos," Marcos was quoted as saying, describing the decision as "unfortunate".South Premiere and Meralco had sought to raise prices amid higher costs of coal, which the Energy Regulatory Commission rejected in September citing fixed prices set under power supply agreements.Marcos, who began his six-year term in June, has promised lower electricity rates, which are among the highest in Asia. Higher electricity prices would put further pressure on Philippine inflation, which hit the fastest pace in nearly 14 years last month.San Miguel, the Southeast Asian nation's largest conglomerate and one of its major power producers, has said it needs "temporary relief" to allow it "to sustainably provide for the increasing power needs of our country while meeting our obligations to our various stakeholders".It told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday it had received a copy of the court's resolution.Meralco, the country's biggest power distributor whose franchise covers metropolitan Manila and nearby provinces, said it was "reviewing the resolution in consultation with our counsel to determine the next steps".(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

Japan PM Kishida’s approval hits new low after ministers resign

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's public support slipped to a new low in a poll published on Sunday, as a series of cabinet resignations has compounded anger over the ruling party's ties to a controversial religious group.Support for Kishida's cabinet fell to 33.1% from 37.6% a month ago in the Kyodo news poll, his lowest in the agency's surveys since he took office in October 2021. It found disapproval at 51.6%, exceeding 50% for the first time.Kishida's support has been sliding since the July assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed deep and longstanding ties between ruling Liberal Democratic Party politicians and the Unification Church, a group that critics say is a cult.Exacerbating the government's problems, scandals have forced three cabinet members from office since last month.The Kyodo poll found 62.4% of respondents disapproving of how Kishida had handled the resignations of Economic Revitalisation Minister Daishiro Yamagiwa, Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi and Internal Affairs Minister Minoru Terada.Kishida's approval failed to get a boost from a $200 billion economic support package to ease inflationary pains fuelled by the yen's plunge to 32-year-lows.On the government's push to boost Japan's defence capabilities, 60.8% in the Kyodo survey said they would support the country acquiring counterattack capabilities - controversial under the pacifist constitution - to boosting deterrence, while 35% opposed it.(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by William Mallard)

Abu Dhabi’s GDP expands 11.2% in first half of 2022: SCAD

ABU DHABI - Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) has announced statistical data that show expansion of Abu Dhabi's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first half of 2022, reaching 11.2 percent compared to the same period last year. The growth reflects the Emirate's robust performance and the ability of the economy to maintain competitiveness and sustain growth despite global economic challenges.According to estimates announced by SCAD, the quarterly GDP growth rate reached its highest value in six years during the second quarter of 2022 which hit 11.7 percent compared to the same quarter last year.At the end of the first half of 2022, the real GDP value (at constant prices) exceeded AED543 billion, and the value of the non-oil sectors' GDP increased AED28.4 billion compared to the same period last year to reach AED273 billion in total.Key Economic Activities that Grew at Constant PricesThe statistical estimates show that all non-oil economic activities and sectors showed positive growth rates at constant prices during the first half of 2022, most notably, the health and social work activity rising at a rate of 29.9 percent, followed by accommodation and food services at a rate of 29.3 percent, and professional, scientific and support services at a rate of 27.2 percent, wholesale and retail trade activity at a rate of 23.7 percent, real estate activities at a rate of 19.1 percent, and electricity, gas, water, and waste management at 18.0 percent, followed by 13.8 percent for transportation and storage.Economic activities' contribution to GDPAccording to the results, the leading economic activities that contributed to the GDP of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi at constant prices during the first half of 2022 included manufacturing activities with the contribution of 8.1 percent, while showing a growth rate of 10.2 percent. In addition, the construction and building activity contributed to the real GDP with 7.7 percent, and achieved a growth rate of 6.9 percent, followed by the wholesale and retail trade activity that contributed 5.9 percent to the GDP. The financial and insurance activities contributed 5.5 percent to the GDP, with a growth rate of 9.1 percent during the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year.Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said, “Economy’s positive growth rates in Abu Dhabi reflect the profound strength and success of the economic diversification policy, which contributed to the economy's resilience and ability to address global changes posed by geopolitical and economic factors that directly affected strategic sectors such as energy and international trade.”“The Abu Dhabi economy continues to reap the benefits of the effective policies guided by the wise leadership to strengthen the pillars and foundations of the economy, maintaining a competitive performance while attracting investments with more initiatives to achieve the strategic objectives of Abu Dhabi,” he added.Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, said, “The vital performance of the Emirate's economy over the last few years resulted in remarkable growth rates in the non-oil sectors during the first half of 2022, reflecting a competitive outlook of Abu Dhabi's business ecosystem. Abu Dhabi implemented economic programmes in recent years to facilitate the establishment and operation of new businesses across the Emirate giving the necessary factors that can stimulate growth in various sectors."Ahmed Mahmoud Fikri, Director General of the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, said, "Statistical estimates reflect the ability of Abu Dhabi’s economy to sustain rapid growth and respond quickly to plans and efforts to diversify the economic base and stimulus packages. The strategic plans and stimulus packages have produced huge growth, as most economic activities continue to expand with full alignment of economic sectors at the emirate level.”Contribution of oil and non-oil sectors to GDPAccording to data released by SCAD, the mining and quarrying activities (including crude oil and natural gas) contributed 49.7 percent to the real GDP of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the first half of 2022, which means non-oil activities contributed 50.3 percent at constant prices defying the noticeable increases of global oil prices during the same period. The increase in the non-oil sector's contribution to the real GDP proves the success of the ambitious strategic plans for diversifying the economic base in Abu Dhabi.SCAD produces regular estimates of the GDP based on several statistical indicators and administrative records according to international standards and scientific methodologies to measure the effectiveness of economic programmes and strategic plans to assist decision-makers in meeting the requirements for sustainability and economic growth.

DIFC opens the first Perrotin gallery in Middle East – Trade Arabia

Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC) has welcomed the first Perrotin gallery in the Middle East with a celebratory gallery tour and gala dinner at DIFC’s Michelin-starred and Gault & Milau-awarded, Japanese fusion restaurant – Clap.Besides renowned Japanese contemporary artist, Takashi Murakami and Canadian sculptor and painter, Jason Boyd Kinsella, the evening had some of Dubai’s and Paris' most prominent business tycoons, art collectors, directors of museums, top bankers, members of the media and cultural authority in attendance.Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, welcomed, among the other VIPs and dignitaries, Emmanuel Perrotin, Founder of Perrotin gallery; Tom-David Bastok and Dylan Lessel, co-founders of Perrotin, at Gate Village.For its grand opening in Dubai, Perrotin gallery is showcasing the works of some of the world’s most iconic and renowned artists, including Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Donna Huanca, Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitomo Nara and Lee Ufan, among others. The gallery is also presenting works by Murakami and Kinsella.The inaugural exhibition of Murakami’s works in Dubai is a celebration of the artist’s distinctive ‘Superflat’ style, influenced by manga and anime. The exhibition builds on Murakami’s reputation of challenging the contemporary art world’s definition of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, blurring the lines between the two.Spanning over 400 sq m, Murakami’s solo show, at ICD Brookfield Place, brings together a selection of paintings, sculptures and installations of various sizes and mediums, with a focus on Mr. DOB, the iconic character created by the artist in 1993.The exhibition, ‘Mentalverse’ by Kinsella is a new body of sculptures and paintings presented by the artist, displaying his unique reductive portraiture style that explores the commonality of human archetypes. The artist breaks down the personality traits of his characters into distinct geometric units whose shape, colour and size define their individuality. This is based on the Myers-Briggs personality test, anchoring his subjects in the essence of their psychological attributes.The exhibits are open until January 28, 2023 at Perrotin gallery in Gate Village 5 and ICD Brookfield Place in DIFC. – TradeArabia News Service

UK public sector pay won’t keep up with inflation: transport minister

LONDON - British public-sector pay will not be able to keep up with soaring inflation, transport minister Mark Harper said on Sunday, as the country faces a wave of industrial disputes.Industrial action is becoming more widespread across Britain's transport network and last week Britain's Royal College of Nursing trade union announced dates for its members' first strike in more than 100 years.British consumer price inflation hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in October, but the latest official wage data, for July-September, showed public sector pay rose by an annual 2.4%, while average private sector wages increased by 6.8%."I think inflation-matching and inflation-busting pay rises are unaffordable," Harper said."We want to try and give all the workers in the public sector who work very hard decent pay rises. But they can't be inflation-busting pay rises. There isn't the money to pay for those. We haven't seen those in the private sector either," Harper told Sky News.Finance minister Jeremy Hunt said state pensions and most benefits would rise in line with inflation in a budget statement on Nov. 17, but announced a longer-term plan for 55 billion pounds ($67 billion) a year of spending cuts and tax rises.These plans leave little scope for government ministers to approve major pay rises.Harper said a meeting last week with the heads of Britain's National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) had been productive."We had very sensible discussions, very constructive (discussions)," Harper said.Transport unions have said Britain's government - which heavily subsidises rail operators - has effectively blocked rail companies from reaching a pay deal with workers.Harper said he wanted to see reforms to working practices in the rail sector - where Sunday working is optional - before agreeing more public funding.($1 = 0.8269 pounds)(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

Iran and U.S. clash in winner-takes-all contest

Doha - The United States and Iran, diplomatic rivals for more than 40 years, clash on the soccer pitch on Tuesday, their places at the World Cup on the line in a fitting finale for the most politically charged group at this year's tournament.The national team coaches sidestepped the icy bilateral relations, saying they were focused on the tournament and its ability to bring people together.Washington and Tehran severed diplomatic relations in 1980 after the Islamic revolution. Ties have been strained in recent years when then-President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of an Iran nuclear deal. The United States killed a top Iranian general in 2020 and Tehran responded with missile strikes at U.S. forces based in Iraq."I envision the game being hotly contested for the fact that both teams want to advance to the next round, not because of politics or because of relations between our countries," said U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter."The thing about soccer is you meet so many different people from all around the world, and you're united by a common love of the sport. We're soccer players and we're going to compete and they're going to compete and that's it."Iran's dramatic 2-0 win over Wales and the U.S. team's tense goalless stalemate against England on Friday set up a tantalising final round of Group B matches.England, sitting top with four points, face bottom side Wales, meaning the Iran-United States contest will decide which team goes through to the round of 16.The eagerly awaited meeting is a rematch of the 1998 World Cup group stage contest, dubbed the "mother of all games", which Iran won 2-1. In a symbolic moment before that match at Lyon's Stade Gerland, the Iranian players gave white roses, a symbol of peace in the country, to their American opponents.Overshadowing Iran's World Cup build-up this year has been civil unrest at home over the September death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, arrested for flouting the country's strict Islamic dress code.Team Melli declined to sing Iran's national anthem in their first game against England in an apparent show of solidarity with protesters. They sang quietly on Friday at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, where boos and jeers were heard from Iran supporters.Amid growing public pressure on players to take a stand over a deadly crackdown on protests, Iran rallied late against Wales to rescue a World Cup campaign that seemed to have flatlined following their 6-2 thrashing by England.Berhalter, whose exuberant side drew 1-1 with Wales in their group opener, described the match as his team's "first knockout game" of the World Cup and was wary of the threat posed by Iran after their second-half assault against Wales."Now we need to be sure that we are good enough to go to the second round," Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said after his team kept alive their hopes of a first ever trip to the knockout stage."The U.S. is a brilliant team as well, as we saw them against Wales."Our preparation starts with a good rest, refresh the minds and put all the complementary and garbage things outside of our minds and focus on our goal, because what we want to do is to give this gift to Iranian fans."(Reporting by Hritika Sharma; Editing by William Mallard)

DIFC welcomes first Perrotin gallery in Middle East, presenting works by Murakami

DIFC welcomed the first Perrotin gallery in the Middle East with a celebratory gallery tour and gala dinner at DIFC’s highly commended, Michelin-starred and Gault & Milau-awarded, Japanese fusion restaurant – Clap.Besides renowned Japanese contemporary artist, Takashi Murakami and Canadian sculptor and painter, Jason Boyd Kinsella, the evening had some of Dubai’s and Paris' most prominent business tycoons, art collectors, directors of museums, top bankers, members of the media and cultural authority in attendance.AdvertisementFor the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, welcomed, among the other VIPs and dignitaries, Emmanuel Perrotin, Founder of Perrotin gallery; Tom-David Bastok and Dylan Lessel, co-founders of Perrotin, at Gate Village.For its grand opening in Dubai, Perrotin gallery is showcasing the works of some of the world’s most iconic and renowned artists, including Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Donna Huanca, Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitomo Nara and Lee Ufan, among others.The gallery is also presenting works by Murakami and Kinsella.The inaugural exhibition of Murakami’s works in Dubai is a celebration of the artist’s distinctive ‘Superflat’ style, influenced by manga and anime. The exhibition builds on Murakami’s reputation of challenging the contemporary art world’s definition of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, blurring the lines between the two. Spanning over 400 sq. meters, Murakami’s solo show, at ICD Brookfield Place, brings together a selection of paintings, sculptures, and installations of various sizes and mediums, with a focus on Mr. DOB, the iconic character created by the artist in 1993.The exhibition, ‘Mentalverse’ by Kinsella is a new body of sculptures and paintings presented by the artist, displaying his unique reductive portraiture style that explores the commonality of human archetypes. The artist breaks down the personality traits of his characters into distinct geometric units whose shape, color and size define their individuality. This is based on the Myers-Briggs personality test, anchoring his subjects in the essence of their psychological attributes.The exhibits are open until January 28, 2023, at Perrotin gallery in Gate Village 5 and ICD Brookfield Place in DIFC. Visitors are invited to come and view the artworks by these extraordinary contemporary artists.Read more: Sustainability, artistic expressions, creativity take centre stage at DIFC Art Nights

Egypt: Regional Investment cuts stake in Naeem Holding to 8.5%

Regional Investment Holding has decreased its stake in Naeem Holding for Investment to 8.59% from 10.56% for a total value of $1.08 million.Regional Investment has sold 6.88 million shares in Naeem Holding at a share price averaging $0.15, according to a stock exchange statement on Sunday.Naeem Brokerage acted as a broker in the transaction.It is worth pointing out that during the first nine months (9M) of 2022, Naeem Holding registered net profits of $2.37 million, up from $1.70 million in the year-ago period. On the other hand, the company's revenues declined to $10.50 million in 9M-22, compared to $11.38 million in 9M-21.All Rights Reserved - Mubasher Info © 2005 - 2022 Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

Middle East fastest growing film market: META Cinema Forum – GulfToday

Emirati-Moroccan actress Mayssa Maghrebi at the event. Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer The fifth edition of the META Cinema Forum concluded at Atlantis the Palm Island Dubai (Oct. 25 – 26), with renewed optimism, following the opening of some large-format cinema screens a few months after the industry has started operating full capacity. Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner of Great Mind Events Management, organiser of the META Cinema Forum, said: “The cinema industry in the Middle East is outgrowing all other regions in the world, which is reflected in increased industry participation at the fifth META Cinema Forum. It is the only cinema convention for the emerging markets.” Providing statistics and data from Omdia, PwC, Staista.com and META Cinema Forum, the event noted that the Middle East has emerged the fastest growing cinema industry in the world during the last four years due to the massive investment in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, while COVID-19 had wiped off US$66 billion from global box office revenues since 2020. Box office revenue in the Middle East recovered to US$558 million in 2021 - although it was lower than the US$743 million box office revenue recorded in 2019.  Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner of Great Mind Events Management. The UAE was the largest cinema market in the Middle East prior to COVID-19 with US$262 million in 2019 that declined to US$140 million in 2021. Box office revenue in Saudi Arabia was US$112 million in 2019; it now jumped to US$238 million in 2021, due to the opening of the country’s cinema industry in 2018, that prompted investors to inject large amount to build cinema complexes across the Kingdom. Cinema box office revenues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are expected to grow by four per cent to US$1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) by 2024, compared to a 2.4 percent decline worldwide, according to a report by global auditing firm PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC).  French-British actress Emma Mackey plays the role of Emily in the movie screened at the fest. Four Gulf countries are among the top ten ranked countries in the world in terms of the share of premium cinema screens in 2021, as per a research report by Omdia, that shows Saudi Arabia ranked 4th followed by the UAE at 6th position, while Kuwait and Oman secure 8th and 10th positions, respectively. In the UAE and Kuwait, the share of the premium screens is over eight percent, while the global average is way below – around 3.4 percent. This reflects the changing consumer behaviour towards premium cinema experience in the Gulf. “The global cinema industry will lose approximately US$66 billion in box office between 2020 and 2023, not including cinema concessions – the key profit driver – and screen advertising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Distributors will lose around half of the gross box office revenue lost in the COVID-19 gap, or US$33 billion,” Maria Rua Aguete, Senior Research Director, Omdia, told delegates at the packed META Cinema Forum. “While some markets are seeing 2019 levels of attendance in patches but not consistently achieving them, some markets are struggling to recover and need structural refresh. The industry is still in the recovery mode and will perhaps recover to the pre-covid level by 2024, when it starts to grow.” By 2024, there will be 1,400 screens in Saudi Arabia, up from a count of fewer than 300 screens in 2020.  Iranian film Holy Spider was screened at the forum. By 2030, one of the governing authorities to regulate and operate cinemas, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM), expects there to be around 350 cinemas and 2,500 movie screens in the country, and the industry will be worth around US$1 billion. As many as 56 exhibition stands displayed the latest products, services and new technology from a select group of industry suppliers, technology providers and industry stakeholders at the convention and more than 44 industry officials and experts shared their views. Over 500 delegates, visitors, buyers, sellers and other industry stakeholders participated in the event. The two-day mega cinema industry conference was followed by a three-day META Film Fest that screened over 70 shortlisted full feature films, documentaries, and short films, along with premieres of releases of 2022, at the VOX Cinemas at the Nakheel Mall. META Cinema Forum is the largest cinema convention, covering emerging markets. The event has grown over the years to include more regions, more projects, more partners and has become the single most important regional gathering for the cinema sector.  Audience at one of the shows. The Forum strives to boost the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy that aims to transform the emirate of Dubai into an international destination for creativity and the capital of the creative economy by 2025. The Dubai Creative Economy Strategy aims to double the contribution of the creative industries to the GDP of Dubai from 2.6 per cent in 2020 to 5 per cent by 2025. It also seeks to more than double the number of Dubai-based creative companies from 8,300 in 2020 to 15,000 by 2025, and more than double the number of creators based in the emirate, from 70,000 in 2020 to 140,000 by 2025. “META Cinema Forum has successfully re-positioned the region’s cinema industry in the global map, so much so that large-scale investment has widened the theatre facilities across the region,” said Masinaei. The 6th edition will take place 24 – 25 at Grand Hyatt, Dubai, and will bring a diverse set of cinema stakeholders from across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Levant, and CIS region, with studios and solution providers from across the globe. The convention will also host several post-event receptions and parties that will allow for info-filled networking for stakeholders.   

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