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Monday, September 25, 2017

Lifestyle Expo Promotes Chinese Mainland-Hong Kong-UAE Cooperation

  • Belt and Road Hubs Create Synergy for Interregional Business Initiative to Connect 60+ Countries, 4.6 billion Potential Consumers
  • UAE Economy Ministry Undersecretary Officiates at Expo Opening

The Lifestyle Expo in Dubai is being held to foster business collaboration between Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as the rest of the Middle East-Africa (MEA) region, helping companies seize the enormous business opportunities emerging from China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Expo 2020 Dubai.

Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Trade Development Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, the fifth edition of the Lifestyle Expo opened today (25 September) and continues through tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency Dubai.

The two-day event showcases a wide selection of trendy products from about 110 Hong Kong and mainland companies to an expected 1,300 buyers from the UAE, Iran and Africa. Exhibits include consumer electronics, information and communications technology (ICT) products, household products and electrical appliances, fashion and fashion accessories, gifts and premiums, as well as watches and clocks.

Mainland-Hong Kong-UAE collaboration on Belt and Road Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Stephen Liang highlighted the cooperation between Hong Kong, the mainland and the UAE to unlock opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative, a key global economic driver for the 21stCentury.

“The Lifestyle Expo in Dubai serves as an ideal platform for suppliers from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland and buyers from the Middle East and Africa to forge business partnerships,” said Mr Liang. “This cooperation between Hong Kong, the mainland and the UAE creates synergy to our mutual benefit.”

He said such collaboration is especially important in view of the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to connect markets in more than 60 countries spanning Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, including Hong Kong and the UAE. These economies represent about 4.6 billion potential consumers and accounting for over 30 per cent of global merchandise trade.

“Hong Kong is Asia’s business hub and the ideal gateway to the region, especially the Chinese mainland, a huge market with buoyant growth,” said Mr Liang. “Meanwhile, we at the HKTDC

have long recognised the importance of the UAE, not just as a market, but also as a springboard to the promising Middle East and Africa markets.”

“Both Hong Kong and the UAE have what it takes to be a key commercial hub for the Belt and Road Initiative. Working together, we can build new business-to-business links along the Belt and Road and gain access to new markets” Mr Liang added.

Business ties The Belt and Road, together with the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai, is expected to boost demand for trade, logistics, infrastructure, real estate and financial services in the UAE. Hong Kong and mainland companies can help fill the need by providing services and investment.

The UAE is Hong Kong’s largest trading partner and export market in the Middle East. Bilateral trade between the two places grew at an average annual rate of 14 per cent from US$4.80 billion in 2010 to US$10.6 billion in 2016.

Hong Kong’s exports to the UAE grew 13 per cent to US$6.8 billion last year, led by exports of pearls, precious and semi-precious stones (40.6% of total, up 32.1%), telecom equipment and parts (32.3% of total, up 23.8%), and jewellery (5% of total, up 36.5%).

Business matching and networking The Lifestyle Expo in Dubai 2017 features various networking events and activities, including the third Hub-to-Hub Business Meeting with business leaders from Hong Kong, the UAE and Africa discussing ways to capitalise on the latest market developments. Customised one-to-one business-matching services are being arranged to connect exhibitors and buyers.

Products from 11 exhibitors are spotlighted at the hktdc.com Small Orders showcase, where buyers can place orders of between five and 1,000 pieces. The HKTDC Frequent Buyer Awards 2017 were presented yesterday to UAE companies that frequently visit the Council’s trade fairs in Hong Kong and Dubai.

Business mission to explore opportunities Mr Liang is in Dubai with a Hong Kong business mission representing a range of sectors, including electronics, fashion, housewares, gifts, stationery, packaging, toys and wellness products. The delegates are exploring collaboration opportunities with UAE companies, and will make a day trip to Sharjah and Ajman in the North Emirates region tomorrow.

Highlighting Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s lifestyle trendsetter, the Lifestyle Expo is among the HKTDC’s signature international promotion events with a successful track record in fostering trade between companies from Hong Kong and emerging markets worldwide, including Russia, Poland, Turkey, India and Indonesia.

Vitamin D deficiency a strong factor in failed pregnancies, warn doctors

Bourn Hall Fertility Centre Dubai bring happiness in the lives of a young Filipino couple suffering from infertility for six years

  • An increasing number of young couples facing infertility
  • Almost 30 to 40 percent of infertility cases are unexplained, showing no obvious signs of health issues
  • Low vitamin D level, PCOS, among the biggest contributing factors; couples opting for IVF need to be in an optimal state of vitamin D, advises doctors
  • In the UAE, more than 90 percent of residents are vitamin D deficient

When 25-year-old Josephine Peralta and her 28-year-old husband started planning a family, they never imagined that it would take them six years of continuous struggle to achieve their dream. On the outset, the young couple had no reason to doubt their fertility health; however, they soon found out that Josephine had low Vitamin D levels and PCOS, along with hypothyroidism. After various failed treatments – which included herbal medicines, acupuncture and IUI – they eventually decided to opt for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) at Bourn Hall Fertility Centre, Dubai. First IVF later at the age of 31, Josephine gave birth to a baby girl.

“Infertility in young couples has become a growing phenomenon, and we’re seeing many people below the age of 30, who are opting for Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ARTs)” said, Dr Shazia Magray, Specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology at Bourn Hall Fertility Centre, Dubai, who treated the Peraltas. “Almost 30 to 40 percent of infertility cases are unexplained, since there is no obvious cause. But among the causes that can be diagnosed, we’ve found Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS) to be quite significant, since it has a direct impact on the quality of eggs.”

Dr Shazia added: “However, another big contributing player that most people are unaware of is vitamin D deficiency, which results in poor reproductive forecast both in cases of natural conception and assisted reproductive technology.”

Several studies have forged a strong relationship between vitamin D deficiency and infertility, particularly with respect to IVF failure. The active form of Vitamin D – calcitriol – not just controls the oestrogen content in a woman, but many other genes that are involved in embryo implantation. Moreover, the vitamin helps in fighting infections during pregnancy. Vitamin D supplementation also contributes to egg cell maturation in women affected by PCOS while its deficiency worsens the hormonal imbalance, making them prone to miscarriage. Lack of vitamin D can result in complications, such as gestational hypertension and diabetes. Further, research data presented last year suggests links between poor semen quality, testosterone levels and vitamin D deficiency.

“Couples looking to start a family need to be in an optimal state of vitamin D, including those who are opting for IVF. Higher vitamin D levels in couples significantly improve the IVF rate of success compared to those with lower levels. Sufficient intake also helps produce high-quality eggs during IVF” stressed Dr Shazia.

In the UAE, more than 90 percent of residents are vitamin D deficient, as per International Osteoporosis Federation (IOF).

Dr Shazia also warned young couples to be on guard regarding their fertility health. If a woman is unable to get pregnant within a year of trying, she should consult a specialist, the doctor advised, adding that those who plan to delay starting their families should also take precautionary measures, such as egg freezing.

Appreciating the Bourn Hall staff, the Josephine Peralta thanked them for their care, personal approach and the bonding they created with her and her husband.

“The first time I cried happy tears was when I heard I was pregnant, and then again when I heard the sound of my baby’s cry,” she said.

First major cotton yarn plant in region comes to SOHAR Freezone

  • Indian market leaders to invest US$300 million on a 27-hectare site
  • Bank Sohar to provide syndicated project financing to SVP in Oman
  • Cotton yarn plant to create 1,500 jobs as basis for a new textile hub

His Excellency Sultan Bin Salim Bin Said Al Habsi, Chairman of SOHAR Port and Freezone, led a high-level delegation from Oman to Jaipur, India yesterday. They met with ShriVallabh Pittie Group (SVP), one of the largest manufacturers of cotton yarn in India and a global leader in the sector.

A land lease agreement was signed to establish a new US$300 million plant in SOHAR Freezone to manufacture a wide range of cotton yarn, to be operated as SV Pittie Sohar Textiles FZC-LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bombay listed SVP Global Ventures Ltd. The facility will eventually provide over 1,500 jobs and is expected to start commercial operations in late 2019.

Abdullah Humaid Al Mamary, Chairman of Bank Sohar, together with Acting-CEO Sasi Kumar and other senior officials from the bank, were also part of the delegation. Bank Sohar has been awarded the syndication mandate to fund the entire project in two phases. An agreement to this effect was entered into with SVP Group. The bank has currently underwritten phase-one debt, to achieve financial closure. On successful completion of phase-one, the bank plans to syndicate a term debt for phase-two, along with a share of phase-one debt, to interested lenders.

Commenting on the agreement, Sasi Kumar said: “We are honoured to be the finance partner for a project of this magnitude that is expected to have a significant impact on the development of the region. It demonstrates our commitment to collaborate as a one-stop financial services provider catering to the diverse needs of individuals and large corporate customers.”

The plant will import 100,000 metric tons of cotton fibre annually through SOHAR Port, with around 50% coming from the United States and the remainder split between Australia and India. The plant will produce around 75,000 tons of finished yarn each year, which will be exported back through the Port to China and other global markets including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Portugal and Turkey.

Chirag Pittie, SVP Group’s Managing Director said: “With over two-hundred years experience in the textile business, our company has a highly skilled and experienced management team with a strong focus on automation and technology. We source best-in-class machinery from leading global companies to ensure the highest levels of productivity and efficiency.”

The new SVP facility will be the first step in establishing a fully-fledged textile cluster in SOHAR Freezone. Downstream investments in knitting, weaving, spinning and fabric manufacturing could create a thriving industrial cluster providing thousands of new jobs for local households.

SOHAR Freezone CEO, Jamal Aziz, summed up when he said: “Today’s agreements showcase the great things we can offer to investors in SOHAR Freezone: the safest haven in the Middle East for foreign direct investment combined with high levels of government support; project financing with an Omani bank; 100% foreign ownership; our optimal location and seamless connectivity to key global markets through our adjacent port; highly competitive land and energy rates; and a young, well educated local workforce. Taken together, this is a sure fire recipe for business success.”

SWSF Explores Ways to Forge Partnerships with Russia

  • SWSF visit the Russian Ministry of Sports and the National Olympic Committee
  • Gain valuable insights on latest practices and expertise in women’s sports

A delegation from the Sharjah Women’s Sport Foundation (SWSF) led by their Director General, HE Nada Askar Al Naqbi, recently visited the Russian Federation – one of the most celebrated nations in the world of sports – to pick up valuable lessons from their world-class sporting entities. Keeping with SWSF’s vision to nurture local women in Sharjah and the UAE in different sports, the trip focused on the aspects of collaboration with Russian institutions as well as benefiting from best practices in women’s sport.

Outlining the realities of women in sports in the UAE, the delegation identified areas of improvement by analysing the efforts and strategies of the Russian Ministry of Sports (MoS) and the Russian National Olympic Committee (NOC). They also explored avenues of potential future partnerships with Russia.

In a meeting with a representative of the Russian MoS, Boris Grishin, the delegation shared the scope of SWSF’s programmes and activities, listed their efforts and shared areas of expertise. The biannual Arab Women Sport Tournament (AWST) was introduced at the meeting – a unique sporting event in the Arab world. The Russian representatives were also made aware about other tournaments held at regional and international levels, like the AWST and continental championships.  The delegation also visited the MoS’s State Museum of Sport.

In another meeting with the Russian Olympic Committee, SWSF showcased its future plans and projects with respect to developing women’s sport in the UAE, particularly in Sharjah. The delegation threw light on key areas of SWSF’s expertise, and shared the organisational models of the various sport courses and tournaments it holds periodically.

SWSF was recently part of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority’s participation at the Leisure Moscow Fair, where the organisation promoted among the exhibition visitors all women’s sport tournaments organised in Sharjah every year. This was shared with the Russian entities.

HE Nada Al Naqbi expressed her delight about the visit and commended the huge efforts of the Russian sport organisations on organising meetings and visits that aim to create the ideal environment to boost the development in the field of Women’s sport.

“SWSF’s efforts align with the wise directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) and Chairperson of SWSF. Her Highness constant guidance is for us to keep up to date with the best practices in women’s sports globally, and incorporate them into Sharjah’s and the UAE sports landscape to nurture a generation of professional sportswomen in the nation,” said Al Naqbi.

“During this visit, we explored the rich expertise of one of the leading countries in the field of women’s sport. Russia prides itself in women’s achievements in all fields and celebrates them. This is why we were keen to explore the Russian expertise that comes into play while nurturing the talent of female athletes because it will help us expand our horizons in trying to elevate the realities of women’s sport in UAE,” she added.

Al Naqbi has extended an official invitation to world fencing champion, Lana Zadonskaya, to visit Sharjah and share her journey in the game of fencing with Emirati athletes.

For his part, Boris Grishin, Representative of Russia’s Ministry of Sport and Chairperson of the Department of International Cooperation, expressed his appreciation for SWSF’s visit and commended its efforts, saying: “The visit of the Emirati delegation reinforces the strong relationship between the two countries, especially in sports. We have many agreements and partnerships with UAE’s General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare. The UAE represents the region’s most valuable sporting expertise. This is reflected in the way Emirati sportswomen have competed with their counterparts at Russian tournaments and championships.”

“In Russia, we have four female deputies, and one Chancellor of a sport collage, and our vision aligns with the vision of the SWSF in terms of reinforcing the presence of women athletes and nurture women’s sport. We also organise a biannual International Sport Forum, which highlights women’s achievements. This visit will expand potential opportunities for yet more collaboration in favour of women’s sport globally,” he added.

Vladimir Sengleev, Director General of the Russian Olympic Committee, welcomed the SWSF delegation, and commended the foundation for playing an instrumental role in the field of women’s sport not just in the Arab world, but globally. He also spoke about the achievements of 70 Russian women athletes, especially in previous Olympics.

“We are delighted with the visit of the Emirati delegation from a leading sports women’s organisation in the Arab world. It is one of the state entities that make considerable efforts to reinforce the local sport realities. We were also delighted to hear them speak about their achievements, especially after exploring SWSF’s leading plans and programmes in the field of empowering women in UAE and enabling them to express themselves, develop their career in sports and fulfil their ambitions and aspirations,” he said.

The two organisations discussed enhancing partnerships in future, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) focused on facilitating and improving women’s sport in the two countries. The Emirati delegation focused on absorbing all the Russian expertise they could to bring them back to the UAE to be applied to local sports.

SWSF was established under an Emiri decree in November 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Dr Muhammas bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah. Chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, the foundation strives to empower national athlete women and develop human capital in the field of women sport. It also seeks to create a talented generation of women leaders in the field of sport, encourage women participation in different sports, promote sports culture and provide a stimulating environment that contributes to levitating women sports.

LAURENT A. VOIVENEL – SVP MEA & INDIA FOR SWISS-BELHOTEL INTERNATIONAL – SPEAKS ON DIGITALIZATION IN HOTELS AT TOP HOTELS PROJECT WORLD TOUR DUBAI

Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International, addressed delegates at Top Hotels Project World Tour Dubai on Digitalization in Hotels yesterday. The conference presented a unique mix of critical industry insights and power networking in an interactive and inspirational programme.

Speaking on whether digitalisation is a disruptor or experience enhancer, Laurent said, “The hotel industry is no doubt being reshaped by the latest innovations and technological advancements. Digitalization is affecting the entire value chain of the travel and tourism industry; from influencing traveling decisions, to collecting feedback and improving the delivery of products and services. This is revolutionizing the complete customer lifecycle – right from booking to hotel-stay experience, and beyond. The disruption that digitization is bringing to today’s travel and tourism industry requires new skills and a shift in strategies. So instead of becoming digitally disrupted, hotels should take advantage of the digital age.”

During the discussion at the conference, Laurent highlighted the need for making technology user-friendly. He stressed, “Technology is a plus and enhancer as long as it is simple and user-friendly. It should not be complicated like we hoteliers make it. We are not here to train the customers. As hoteliers we are here to deliver on their expectations and give our customers what they want. Ultimately, technology is for the well-being of people and it should be easy to use.”

Smartphone penetration in the GCC is amongst the highest in the world, reaching 100% in Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE. This is higher than the USA which currently has only 80% smartphone penetration. Over 70% of hotel bookings made by GCC travellers in January 2017 were made via mobile devices, compared to 54% in 2016.

Laurent said, “Speed is perhaps the single most important thing that is necessary at every step of a guest’s journey. Right from the moment he makes the booking to when he steps into a hotel. And this is where technology plays a critical role in enabling seamless connectivity and mobile integration. Technology makes it possible to check-in with Apps, have keyless room entry, control lighting, room temperature, TV, curtains and wake-up call with a single smart device. In addition, intuitive technology is moving fast and will continue to grow in the region. For example it allows us to anticipate the needs and desires of our guests to the extent of monitoring blood pressure, sleep patterns and stress levels and accordingly adjust music and lighting.”

Dine & Win an iPhone 7 At Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai

Dine at Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai and stand a chance to win an iPhone 7. This exciting offer is available across the eight food and beverage outlets at the hotel and is open to all diners. To enter the raffle, guests can simply use their business card or fill up a form at the outlet. There is no minimum spend required. The draw will be held at the end of every month and one lucky winner will walk away with a brand new iPhone 7. This offer cannot be exchanged for cash and the winner would need to present a valid ID to collect the prize.

Binu Varghese, Director of Sale and Marketing, Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai, said, “We are delighted to roll out this fantastic offer for our valued guests. All through the season we have got absolutely irresistible dining promotions at our various award-winning outlets and the possibility to win an iPhone 7 every month makes these even more attractive.

COMPLAINTS OF EXPATRIATES ABOUT HOUSING SCHEMES BEING TREATED ON PRIORITY BASIS

Commissioner Overseas Pakistanis Commission, (OPC), Punjab, Afzaal Bhatti has said that complaints of expatriate Pakistanis regarding housing schemes are being treated on priority basis and interaction has been developed with the management of these schemes to ensure timely handing over of plots and houses to Overseas Pakistanis. He was presiding over a meeting to review the status of development work in a private housing scheme. Afzaal Bhatti instructed the management of the scheme to expedite the development work and report in this regard be sent to OPC head office on weakly basis. He further said that construction of roads,sewerage ,water supply and drainage system be completed before November 30 ,so that handing over of plots to allottees could be ensured in shortest possible time . Afzaal Bhatti further said that earlier as a result of the efforts of OPC, as many as 170 plots and houses in a private housing scheme have been handed over to the long awaited overseas Pakistanis.Commissioner OPC also visited the site and inspected the pace of development work.

The Freakshake Movement Flags Off at Café 302, Abu Dhabi

Had enough of drooling over beautiful shakes on social media? Café 302 brings your freakshake cravings to life. Located within the newly renovated Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana, jars of shakes loaded with nibbles are now available at the chic café in Abu Dhabi.

Café 302 has incorporated one of a kind healthy shakes for the fitness freaks. Yes, you can choose from two mouth-watering concoctions; Bananas over Acai and Passion Story that make the café an island of bliss, while those with a sweet tooth can go all out with four lip-smacking creations; Triple Trouble, Jigsaw, Original Twist and Thunder Wonder.

Eat them, drink them, chat over them only at Café 302.

Date: 19th September onwards

Price: AED 36 onwards

Time: 6 am – 11 pm daily

Venue: Café 302, Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana, Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi

Phone: +971 (0)2 6106666

Email: cafe302.almaha@rotana.com

Website: www.rotanatimes.com/almahaarjaanbyrotana

VFS Global signs 4-year visa processing contract with Embassy of Italy in Kuwait

  • New Italy Visa Application Centre offering enhanced visa services for applicants to be launched in November 2017

In a move aimed at bringing greater efficiency in visa processing services for residents of Kuwait, the Embassy of Italy in the State of Kuwait has signed a contract with VFS Global on 06 September 2017, to launch a proficiently managed and modern Italy Visa Application Centre in Kuwait City.

VFS Global recently won the 4-year contract after participating in an official tender published by the Embassy of Italy, Kuwait earlier this year. The contract was officially signed by H. E. Mr. Giuseppe Scognamiglio, Ambassador of Italy to the State of Kuwait, and Mr. Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, at a signing ceremony held at the Embassy of Italy in Kuwait, on 6 September 2017.

Also present at the signing was Mr. Patrizio Dell’Arte, Head of the Consular Office of Italy in the State of Kuwait and Ms. Marita Bachhav, Head of Operations – GCC, Lebanon, Jordan & Iraq, VFS Global.

The new centre, scheduled to launch in November 2017 will be located at Level 54, Arraya Tower, Al Shuhada Street, Sharq, Kuwait, and will allow travellers to Italy from Kuwait submit visa applications and enrol biometrics in a comfortable, convenient and professionally managed environment.

At the centre, in addition to their visa application process, applicants will also have access to a dedicated tourism space, which will offer tourism information on a range of hand-picked tours in Italy.

Commenting on the signing, Mr Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, said, “We are privileged to further extend our services on behalf of the client government of Italy in the State of Kuwait. With the steady increase in travel to Italy by the residents of Kuwait, we are confident the new centre will efficiently meet the demand for Italy visas in a seamless and professional manner. ”

Kuwait is the fifth country in the Middle East from where VFS Global will serve the Embassy of Italy. Worldwide, VFS Global has served the Government of Italy since 2004, and currently manages visa processing operations for the client government in 29 countries from 67 visa well-appointed application centres.

When East meets West: Cadillac launches ‘Arabs of New York’ campaign

  • The campaign video challenges perceptions of the contributions that talented Arabs are making in one of the world’s great cities
  • ‘Arabs of New York’ celebrates what it means to ‘Dare Greatly’

Cadillac, as part of its ‘Dare Greatly’ initiative, has launched a new brand campaign in the Middle East, shining a spotlight on entrepreneurial Arabs living in New York and the passions that drive them.

To kick off the campaign, Cadillac has released a thought-provoking  that is set in the heart of one of the world’s cultural centers and home city of the brand. The first in a series of inspirational content connected to the brand’s mission to ‘Dare Greatly,’ the video celebrates the contribution that Arabs make to New York. At a time when the position of Arabs in the US is frequently a topic of discussion, the first video provides a brief insight into the lives of audacious Arabs who are blazing a trail in their respective fields.

Nadim Ghrayeb, Regional Marketing Manager, Cadillac Middle East, said that the creative video is just the beginning of the ‘Arabs of New York’ campaign: “Cadillac is truly passionate about innovations that drive us forward, so we have connected with personalities that originate from the Middle East, who use their talents to do the same.”

“As a brand, New York is at our core and we want to showcase our home and our brand to the Arab world. We decided to do this by celebrating talented Arab individuals who have succeeded, despite social obstacles, in becoming ambassadors of the Arab world. They have reached great heights in their careers and demonstrate what it truly means to ‘Dare Greatly,” he added.

The video features three entrepreneurial Arabs. The first, Mohamed Fairouz, is a New York-based award-winning Emirati composer who has created over 40 compositions which have been widely performed across the US. Fairouz was honored with a national citation for outstanding achievement in artistry and scholarship by the UAE embassy in Washington, D.C. in 2008.

Michel Abboud, a Lebanese-born architect and artist, heads up an international architecture firm based in New York. Abboud is renowned worldwide for his avant-garde portfolio with residential projects in locations ranging from New York to Lebanon to the UAE.

The final professional to cameo in the video, Hala Abdul Malek, a Lebanese-born New Yorker, is a design critic, curator, branding consultant, and Middle East expert. She is a skilled design Strategist and holds an MFA in Design Criticism from School of Visual Arts, New York.

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