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IFP Group launches “Beirut Boat 2018” under the patronage of His Excellency President Michel AOUN, at Beirut Marina

IFP Group (International Fairs and Promotions) hosted a press conference today at Le Yacht Club, to announce the launching of the 11th edition of Beirut Boat, the International Boat and Super Yacht Show. Held under the high patronage of His Excellency President Michel AOUN, Beirut Boat 2018 will take place from 9 to 13 May 2018 at Beirut Marina (Zaitunay Bay), from 3:30 to 9 pm.

Speaking at the press conference were Mr. Albert Aoun, Chairman of IFP Group, Mr. Alain Maaraoui, President of Sea Pros sarl, Mr. Mounir Douaidy, General Manager of Solidere, and Mr. Mohammad Chehab, CEO of Chehab Marine ltd., in the presence of partners, sponsors and media representatives.

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“Since its inception, Beirut Boat has been an added value to Lebanon’s tourism sector given that marine leisure is one of the cornerstones of the tourism industry, and a major source of tourism receipts.  Lebanese beaches attract large numbers of boating and maritime enthusiasts, particularly those from Arab countries that spend their seasonal or annual holidays in Lebanese marinas”, commented Mr. Aoun.

The West Yacht Harbor in Beirut receives around 216 yachts and boats of all sizes. The completion of the project of the Eastern Marina on the waterfront is in line with the master plan, which will be completed by the end of 2020 to accommodate more than 135 yachts of 16 to 30 meters and will have a positive impact on both tourism and economic sectors in Beirut.

Beirut Boat is Lebanon’s most luxurious event that captures the essence of high living from every angle. This year, with the support of the Lebanese Boat Dealers Association, the show is bringing forward cutting‐edge boats, yachts and super yachts of world‐renowned brands. Beirut Boat will also showcase the finest of luxury cars, watches, accessories, and other high‐end products, not to mention water sports gear and equipment that complement the marine lifestyle.

Beirut Boat’s visitors will be treated to a unique and engaging experience that includes a rich entertainment program featuring live music, performances, and an exceptional flyboarding show. Visitors can enjoy mingling at the lounges, and explore boats, yachts and various products on display at both Le Yacht Club area and the Pier area that will be connected by a floating bridge to ensure easy and smooth access. The show is expected to attract thousands of maritime enthusiasts, elite society figures, lifestyle gurus, VIPs, and high‐earning individuals.

Beirut Boat 2018 is supported by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and is held in association with Solidere and the Lebanese Boat Dealers Association. The show is sponsored by Mercedes; The Official Car Partner, Alfa; Exclusive Telecom Partner, Ulysse Nardin; Official Watch, Casino Du Liban; Gala Dinner Sponsor, Benetti; Official VIP Partner, Beluga; Official Vodka Partner, Medyar; Official Real Estate Sponsor, Muse; Official Wine Sponsor, Lustica Bay; Sunset Lounge Sponsor, World of Yachts; Official Magazine, LBC; Official TV and Ramada Plaza; Official Hotel.

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THAT’S A WRAP! MIDDLE EAST FILM & COMIC CON 2018 IS OFFICIALLY OVER!

The Middle East Film and Comic Con is the largest pop-culture festival across the region. It brings together comic lovers, movie fans, artists, creators and creative souls from a variety of realms.

This year’s edition was held from 5th till 7th of April at Dubai World Trade Center and witnessed the tidal wave of thousands of fans hitting the doors of Dubai World Trade Center since early hours and throughout the three days of the show.

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Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) Her Excellency Mona Ghanem Al Marri officially opened the event. Peter Hall, President of Informa Global Exhibitions, EMEA and Suzy Pallett, Consumer Group Director of Informa led a VIP tour, which was attended by HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, HE Saif Saeed Ghobas, Director General of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, and representatives from the Japan Consulate.

Fans from across the region attended MEFCC, the Middle East’s largest popular culture and entertainment festival, to meet their heroes, put on their superhero outfits for the Huawei Nove 3e Cosplay contest and compete for cash prizes, and learn how to jump start their careers in the industry with a series of workshops from the best in the business. Hundreds of exhibitors wowed with their unique collections, including items that aren’t available anywhere else in the Middle East, while performances from The Boxtones, DJ Trina, and the Party Monsters Superhero Rave for little superheroes entertained the crowd.

With new categories added this year to celebrate 10 years of the Marvel Universe, contestants pitted their skills against heroes and villains of all kinds in the ultimate battle to be crowned cosplay king or queen and other categories such as Best Comic Book or Movie Character, Best Gaming Character, Best Manga / Anime Character and more.  The competition was fierce with contestants putting an incredible effort into their costumes, and the contest was judged by Alodia Gosiengfiao, a renowned Filipina cosplayer, model, TV presenter, singer, and actress.

An astonishing array of celebrities are in attendance at MEFCC over the three days covering sci-fi, fantasy, TV, cinema, gaming, animation and more. The first day of the festival introduced fans to the likes of Jenna Coleman, Christian Howard, Jason David Frank, Robbie Daymond, Adam Savage, Alodia Gosiengfiao, Ray Chase, Gaku Space and Max Mittelman, while some of the biggest names in the industry made their first MEFCC appearance on day two.

Ezra Miller, who starred in blockbusters “The Flash,” “Justice League,” “Batman Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” amongst others, joined “Game of Thrones” star Kristian Nairn, and actor Karl Urban, best known for his performances in “Star Trek,” “Lord of the Rings,” and “Thor: Ragnarok.”

Fans also had the chance to get to know Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins, Taylor Russell and Mina Sundwall at the Roxy Cineclub’s Q&A session prior to the hotly anticipated Virgin Mobile Meet the Stars.

In addition to workshops that included some amazing opportunities to “Learn the Hilarious Art of the Simpsons with Maestro Phil Ortiz” and “How To Commercialize Your Creativity By Ismat Abidy” as well as animation with Tom Cook, “Creating Manga and Comics” with Stu Levy, and dive into “The Wonderful World of Disney” with James C Mulligan, amongst others.

Our personal favorite was Warner Bros. World stand where we got the chance to meet our superheroes from the justice league: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

Can’t wait till next year to geek up again.

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Dubai International Boat Show 2018 another Great accomplishment

This year marks the 26th Anniversary of the Dubai International Boat Show and was celebrated out of ordinary with the move to a new location at Dubai Canal in Jumeirah.

UAE citizens and visitors got the chance to immerse themselves in a luxury experience for a duration of five days from the 28th of February till the 3rd of March.

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The 26th edition of Dubai International Boat Show was inaugurated by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and showcased Superyachts, Marine related exhibits and water sport demonstrations

Being away from its home, the new venue at the Dubai Canal was a challenge for the organizers. The complete retransformation of the location to cater for such as massive event has undergone successfully in record time especially the marina and all its various section that were used to embark impressive and super large yacht and boats in an unpreceded on-water display

Among the most impressive boats on display were the 86m charter yacht CHAKRA and the 72m charter yacht SERENITY from Austal.

More than 450 exhibitors representing more than 800 marine industry brands were present onsite with more than 60 boats, dinghies and personal watercraft were on display.

If you think this was it for the boat, you are wrong as the event included several activations that cater for every taste and reflects the Marine lifestyle in its best ways such as Nikki Beach Lounge, sailing experiences, water sports stunts and taster sessions, live entertainment and food and drink stalls.

This year’s DIBS is even bigger than the past 26th editions and is the main factor behind placing UAE as the main hub for Middle Eat boating industry.

See you in 2019 at the Dubai Canal for another great Dubai International Boat Show Experience.

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CASIO kicks off with G-SHOCK’s 35th Anniversary MENA Tour in UAE

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CASIO to convey ‘real toughness’ in shock-resistant timepieces to young Arab consumers and brand fans

Globally, Casio is celebrating the 35th anniversary of G-SHOCK brand that was first introduced in Japan back in 1983 and since then relentlessly delivered real toughness to G-Shock enthusiasts around the world. In commemoration, Casio Middle East had kicked-off with a long road-show style tour in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) covering major Arab countries starting from the UAE as a kick-off market. From the Emirates, the tour will make a stop in other markets in the GCC, Levant, and North Africa to highlight the ‘’real toughness’’ of shock-resistant timepieces to all young Arabs, and to G-Shock fans and enthusiasts.

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Top executives from Casio Middle East and Casio Japan, led by Managing Director Koji Naka, graced the kick-off celebration held at On42 in Media One Hotel on February 28, 2018 alongside influencers, personalities and rappers, namely, Moh Flow, Freek, Majeed and Menon; DJ’s AY and DJ Liutik; MC Big Hass; BMX rider Muhammad Abdulmajeed and Calligraphy artist Diaa Alam. Timepiece Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Mohammed Deiki and Timepiece Deputy General Manager Mahmoud Jabsheh also joined Naka as two distinguished speakers who emphasized the evolution of the brand over the years and its legacy during the event.

Naka said, “Casio is all geared up for its MENA celebration, which will be highlighted by tours from our team to throw the spotlight on G-SHOCK’s shock-resistant structure based on the ‘real toughness’ concept and how this suits the fast-paced and dynamic lifestyle of many young Arabs today. The tour will start here in the UAE, which is our kick-off market, followed by other markets in the GCC, Levant Arabia and North Africa. This roadshow aims to drive up awareness on why G-SHOCK has maintained industry leadership over the last three decades and a half—showcasing how each timepiece is packed with Casio innovations and technologies, the iconic timepiece consists of fundamental elements that the MENA region will find highly functional and essential.”

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The UAE event came on the heels of a memorable anniversary festivity in New York City where G-SHOCK executives and friends honored the brand’s legacy. Celebrities, actors, and influencers were present during the New York gathering.

Since the launch of its very first model, G-SHOCK has continued to raise the bar high by leveraging Casio’s commitment to innovations and modern technologies. It has evolved over decades with improved functions and performance in keeping with the needs of contemporary times. The shock-resistant watch enjoys a wide and loyal following in the UAE and different parts of the globe and the number is growing steadily mainly thanks to its absolute toughness and innovative features.

The development of G-SHOCK began in 1981 with an engineer’s passion to create a rugged watch that would not break even if dropped. Two years and over 200 prototypes later, the first G-SHOCK model, the DW-5000C, featuring an all-new shock-resistant construction, was released in April 1983. It overturned the accepted notion that wrist-watches were inherently fragile and susceptible to shocks, paving the way for a new product category called the “tough watch.”

The G-SHOCK Red Out Limited edition watches are available at Virgin Megastore, Mall of the Emirates.

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Casio G-Shock successfully launches a Limited Edition Mudmaster timepiece

Casio’s initiative aims to boost achievements of local Emirati sports talent

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Casio G-Shock, in collaboration with Emirati Motocross champion Mohammed Al Balooshi, has launched a Limited Edition Al Balooshi Mudmaster timepiece that comes in a special Collector’s Box. The special Mudmaster Watch Box is produced in limited quantity for discerning local watch aficionados, as part of a Casio initiative to promote Al Balooshi in the UAE and support other local sports talents.

The professional motorcycle rider with the largest awards, Al Balooshi and his team members were present at the launch event, which was held recently in partnership with the Concepts Store in City Walk in the presence of senior officials from Casio Middle East. The event was highlighted with a special Meet & Greet and an autograph signing session for Al Balooshi fans, followed by the announcement of winners of the social media competition that was conducted on the brand’s social media pages prior to the launch.

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G-Shock Mudmaster is mud and shock resistant, built to prevent intrusion by sand, mud or dust to ensure reliable operation even in harsh environments. It has triple-sensors that provide quick and precise direction and measurement of atmospheric pressure, temperatures and altitudes.

Koji Naka, Managing Director, Casio Middle East, announced: “Featuring Mohammed Al Balooshi in our limited edition G-Shock Mudmaster and the special Collector’s Box is part of Casio’s efforts to support Emirati champions and highlight their achievements particularly in the field of sports. The collaboration is a natural partnership that reflects our shared values in excellence, precision, toughness and shock resistance.

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Al Balooshi, who is the first Emirati to take part in the Dakar Rally in the motorcycles category, commented: “It is a wonderful opportunity to be part of a noble initiative with the aim of inspiring the younger generation of Emirati sports talents and I am proud to represent the local sports community to the world. It is very important for every local talent to gain the support of world-class brands and I thank Casio Middle East and the management for their trust and cooperation, and for helping me accomplish my mission along the way. G-Shock is a very powerful brand which has many cool features that have stayed with me all throughout my trainings. My Casio G-Shock Mudmaster is a companion that truly meets me at the performance level.”

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Casio Middle East declared that it will continue to promote activities and collaboration initiatives that highlight the remarkable accomplishments of local Emirati sports talents with the objective of inspiring the younger generation in further pursuing their goals, with the support of the sports community in the UAE.

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Middle East Games Con a Smash Hit as 3-Day Event Draws to a Close

Packed with tournaments, unreleased games, entertainment, workshops, and gaming celebrities, the inaugural Games Con got underway at ADNEC as the ultimate gaming festival in the Middle East, spanning three days from November 23 to 25 and hosting 10,233 visitors.

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Games Con attendees lined-up to meet their heroes including YouTube sensations Vikkstar, Zerkaa and Ali A, one of the most popular YouTubers of all time with over 13.2 billion views. Voice over actors Chloe Hollings (Overwatch’s Widowmaker), Brina Palencia (a.k.a) Mad Moxxi, and DC Douglas, voice of Albert Wesker from ‘Resident Evil’ also proved very popular, along with teams from Nasr and Yalla eSports.

Unreleased games were unveiled to the crowd and lucky participants got a chance to test them before they hit the shelves in the new year. Even Ali A tried the hotly anticipated, and as yet unreleased ‘Dissidia NT – Final Fantasy’ live on the Entertainment Stage, powered by HP Omen. In addition, Facebook joined forces with Games Con to demonstrate its new virtual reality technology, Facebook Spaces, while GamerTech built a gaming PC out of a Corvette engine-block live on their stand during the show, and Alienware showcased their new unreleased Area 51 Gaming Desktop.

The Entertainment Stage, powered by HP Omen played host to many of Games Con’s biggest attractions over the course of the weekend including the “Beat the FIFA Video Game Ambassador” Ahmed Al Nasheet, and Pokken Tournament, as well as panel discussions, YouTube gamer showdowns, live performances, and gaming advice. The cosplay competition, where the winners take home a portion of the AED 31,000 prize fund, also drew the crowds. Rhegel Aliling as Timbersaw won Best RPG; Alistair Vowles as Reinheart took home Best FPS; and Andrea Hearn dressed as Zelda received Best Group Award.

Hundreds participated in various competitions and tournaments throughout Games Con, and fans were delighted by the huge quantity of prize give-aways including Hyper X Gaming accessories and a limited-edition Grand Turismo Sport Playstation 4. Competitions like the FIFA Fanta Masters were hotly contested, as players battled for the honour of representing the UAE in the international tournament, and a chance to take home AED 100,000.

Virtual Reality competition VIVE Vs MSI saw teams compete for the HTC VIVE worth AED 2,599 each, while players who took the top spots in the Tekken 7 and Injustice 2 competitions were awarded with their share of the $20,000 on offer across both events which took place on Friday and Saturday, and the MSI Dota 2 Tournament finals were a buzzing hive of activity as visitors stayed late into the evening to watch the Colligate eSports Final on Saturday. It wasn’t all new-age technical wizardry however there were also tabletop tournaments in Magic: The Gathering, Catan, and Splendor.

Finally, there was also a full schedule of workshops throughout the weekend aimed at budding game developers, as well as those who have an interest in what it takes to put some of these incredible experiences together. Here, the National Media Council (NMC) invited all video-game developers to a national contest, where amateur and professional developers pitched their ideas for video games to a jury of professional developers and production studios.

The brands exhibiting at the event considered it a resounding success, including Febronia Armia, from GKD who brought four unreleased games to the show including Monster Hunter: World, Gravel, Attack on Titan 2 and Dynasty Warriors 9, who said, “Wonderful management from the entire team behind the event. Best organized gaming event in the region in the last few years.”

Suzy Pallett, Group Director Trade & Consumer, Informa Exhibitions added: “With over 10,000 gamers joining us this weekend, it has been a great pleasure to launch Games Con. We want to thank the industry, the consumers and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority for supporting us in this hugely successful launch. We are already in planning for an even bigger event in 2018 where we will create a hub for gamers in the MENA region to Game Together!”

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Canon highlights its ‘Explore, Inspire, Improve’ concept in Lebanon

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Canon Middle East, a leader in imaging solutions, unveiled its new business value proposition ‘Explore, Inspire, Improve’ to further expand the ‘Canon for Business’ offering in Lebanon. The new business proposition was launched during a two-day event held at Hilton Metropolitan Hotel in Beirut, and is part of a series of ‘Canon for Business’ events in the Middle East which fall under Canon’s strategy of working closely with its customers.

Canon is exploring the changing world of business and data, and is helping customers address their challenges and improve their business. ‘Explore, Inspire, Improve’ provides business process consultancy, with Canon working alongside its customers to build the best solution for their organisation based on business priorities. The initiative primarily supports businesses in Lebanon strengthen overall productivity, efficiency and sustainable development.

“Lebanon continues to be important market for Canon Middle East. Over the last few years we have been privileged to showcase our business solutions and applications that cater to the direct needs of the local companies. This has resulted in underlining Canon’s position as a ‘Partner of Choice’ for customers. Through our local partnerships with Imagesystems and Prinktom, we aim to contribute to the economic development of the industry, and progress by supporting local businesses and other entities.” said Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East.

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“We remain committed to our corporate philosophy of ‘Kyosei’ and always drive sustainable growth and strengthen our core business by being a partner that helps solve the challenges of our customers,” Agrawal added.

Imagesystems is one of the oldest and an important partner of Canon in Lebanon dealing with the entire Canon’s product portfolio largely focusing on Corporate and Government sectors. Image Systems, an ITG company, is the official distributor of Canon in Lebanon, providing the latest in office, MFP solutions, engineering & graphics plotters, digital imaging archiving scanners, and production print solutions. Image Systems has a qualified sales and technical workforce fully trained by Canon engineers.

Printkom continues to be an old partner of Canon in the region which has been serving the Graphic Art and Printing Industry in Lebanon since 1956. Printkom is the official distributor of Canon Professional Digital Solutions for the graphic art, publishing and creative advertising sectors in Lebanon along with other major suppliers in the printing industry.

Shadi Bakhour, B2B Business Unit Director, Canon Middle East, said: “With a sizable market of over USD 432 million which is expected to grow to USD 543 million by 2019 the ICT sector has been a pillar of Lebanon’s economy and a key driver of job creation over the past decade. The Lebanese market over the years is increasingly evolving into an innovation and content generation. With Canon’s expertise and product solutions, we continue to be the right partner to manage these essential business elements cost-effectively”.

At the event in Beirut, Canon highlighted its B2B strategy and showcased an innovative range of products that cater to sectors including healthcare, hospitality, construction, education and government.

Canon is committed to innovation, agility and a solutions-driven approach. The company works collaboratively to pioneer transformational approaches to address the biggest social and environmental challenges.

At the recently concluded GITEX Technology Week, Canon Middle East showcased its business solutions and applications that cater to the direct needs of companies and organisations; underlining Canon’s position as a ‘Partner of Choice’ for customers.

The five key domains identified by Canon are Differentiate, Accelerate, Transform, Evolve and Simply, with each pillar targeting a business process through a series of applications. These applications are in the form of a software developed to addresses a specific issue or challenge supported by Canon’s imaging and printing products.

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Red Bull Athlete Connecting Beirut’s Rocks In Historic 40 Meter Slack Line

Red Bull recently flew in Alex Mason, a 20-year-old American daredevil to Beirut to tightrope-walk the city’s iconic “Pigeon Rock” in Raouché. Linking the two sides of Raouché at 40m above the sea, Mason chose Beirut to break his own highline record, both in terms of length (36m) and altitude.

Mason was assisted by his fellow citizen and one of the most prominent extreme sports experts, Andy Lewis who himself has earned international awards and worldwide notoriety in the field.

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After having studied the wind speed and safety logistics for the gravity-defying endeavor between the two rocks, Mason took his position and started the small steps towards the other side. One step after the other, Mason took the surrounding onlooker’s breath away as he became the first person to cross from one rock to the other in this historic moment in slack lining.

This initiative, launched and implemented by Red Bull, was adopted by the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, helping to bring one of Beirut’s most wonderful sites to the limelight, and to promote tourism in Lebanon, a country rich in outstanding sites, monuments and locations.

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Middle East Film & Comic Con Sixth Edition

The Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) powered by Rani for 2017 has packed a punch with a host of star appearances and exciting new additions such as the International Artist’s Alley. The event revived its successful run at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from April 6 to 8 for its sixth edition.

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The MEFCC has gained a solid reputation of showcasing the best regional and international talent, celebrity guests, pop culture exhibitors, thrilling activities and more for a wide global audience.

Here’s a lineup of what was happening at Comic Con this year:

  • Captain America’s Falcon actor Anthony Mackie
  • From WWE The American professional wrestler and actor Glenn Thomas Jacobs, best known by his ring name Kane.
  • Multi-talented filmmaker, actor and comic book writer, Kevin Smith
  • Greg Grunberg from the NBC TV series Heroes and Star Wars
  • Award-winning actor Cas Anvar , Pooja Batra the leading actress of Hollywood sci-fi film One Under the Sun and Mohammad Al Aribi music composer, singer and song writer for Spacetoon TV channel

Three international cosplayers poised to grace MEFCC.

Fans at this year’s edition received the exclusive opportunity to meet international cosplayers Linda Le, Nicole Marie Jean and Madeleine “Zhiana” Rose.

The cosplay competition was a great way to end the evening! Crowds witnessed massive comic con fans dressed up as their favorite cosplayers in various categories and genres including ‘Best play-station cosplay’ and ‘Best Manga/Anime character’ to name a few.

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Dubai International Boat Show Reaches 25-Year Milestone

Photos By Elena Chepak

Dubai’s position as one of the world’s most dynamic and innovative leisure marine destinations is brought sharply into focus the Dubai International Boat Show, the region’s showcase for boat manufacturers, owners, and water sports enthusiasts, reaches a 25-year milestone.

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Since its inception in 1992, Dubai International Boat Show has grown exponentially, expanding from a split venue in both the Dubai Creek and Dubai World Trade Centre to its current home at Dubai International Marine Club. Now one of the top events of its kind, the show has propelled the regional marine community into a new era of innovation and global recognition with the recently announced Dubai Harbour. This project brought 1400 new berths to Dubai and allowed superyacht owners to berth with ease in the region’s largest marina.

Dubai International Boat Show took place from February 28 to March 4 at Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi and featured 450 boats and watercrafts at an estimated AED 1.5 billion in value. The 25th edition of Dubai International Boat Show welcomed 87 new companies and brands including Fairline Yachts, 3M Marine, Seabob, Overblue Yachts, DEPA Yacht Interiors Ortega Submersibles and more. From around the world 60 countries exhibited at Dubai International Boat Show this year, with Morocco, Latvia, Belgium and Bulgaria bringing exhibitors to the show for the first time this year.

The 2017 edition of the Dubai International Boat Show saw an outstanding showing of 38 global and regional launches and featured 19 superyachts including the 77-metre Silverfast by Silver Yachts, the 70-metre Joy by Feadship and the 47 metre Majesty 155 by local manufacturer Gulf Craft.

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