LuLu named ‘Brand of the Year’ at London awards

Ashraf Ali Musliam, executive director of LuLu Group; Adeeb Ahamed, MD of Lulu Financial Group; Shafeena Yusuffali, CEO of Tablez; Mohammed Althaf, director; and V. Nandakumar, CCO of LuLu Group; during the event in London.
Updated 06 November 2018
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LuLu named ‘Brand of the Year’ at London awards

Retail giant LuLu Group International has won the “Brand of the Year” award in the retail category at the World Branding Awards 2018. The annual event evaluates brands from around the world through a three-step procedure including brand evaluation, public online voting and consumer market research.

At a glittering function held at the Kensington Palace in London, Ashraf Ali Musliam, executive director of Lulu Group, received the award from Richard Rowles, chairman of the World Branding Forum, organizers of the event, in the presence of top business leaders and dignitaries from around the world. The World Branding Awards are the top recognition given to an organization or brand for their path-breaking and innovative branding, marketing and communication initiatives over the years and are regarded as the top benchmark in the industry.

“We are obviously very delighted and proud to be chosen as the top global brand and the fact that this award is primarily based on public survey and customer feedback, makes this recognition much more valuable for us,” said Musliam.

Despite heavy competition, LuLu recieved this coveted award primarily because of their sustained brand credibility, brand awareness and brand communication, according to the World Branding Forum.

Other global brands awarded at the ceremony included British Airways, Nescafe, Omantel and Nippon.


New Hyundai Sonata a sportier mid-size sedan

Updated 24 June 2019
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New Hyundai Sonata a sportier mid-size sedan

Hyundai’s new Sonata is ready for showrooms, giving the eighth-generation of the mid-size sedan a sleek four-door-coupe look that highlights the brand’s latest “sensuous sportiness” design language.

Created at Hyundai’s California Design Studio, the redesigned Sonata offers a freshly styled cascading grille framed by distinctive lighting architecture, and an entirely new rear. Chrome accents surround the daylight opening (DLO) and fresh wheel designs complete the look. New bodywork is built on Hyundai’s latest third-generation platform for a re-engineered driving experience.

“For more than three decades, each new generation of Sonata has raised the bar for quality and value among mid-size sedans, and this latest evolution also sets the standard for style, innovation and technology,” said Mike Song, Hyundai’s head of operations for the Middle East and Africa. “In a market increasingly divided into niche segments, the all-new Sonata reconsiders customer expectation in the sedan class and offers something sportier and more exciting than what has gone before.”

A hallmark of the new Sonata’s exterior is its Hyundai-first LED daytime running lights — embedded in a chrome strip. The lighting strip appears as chrome when the engine is turned off, but lights up when the driver starts the car. When night falls, available LED headlamps with dynamic bending light illuminate the path ahead.

Inside, the renewed center stack and instrument panel echo the exterior’s new looks. The trend carries down to the instrument design and a strong three-spoke steering wheel. Piano key buttons for audio and HVAC controls give a premium look and touch. The instrument panel follows a winged shape inspired by stealth aircraft. Visual elements combine to create a levitating effect, while designers have worked to maximize the sense of interior space. One clever application of new technology is a shift-by-wire (SBW) gear selector, which is sleek and technologically advanced, and takes up significantly less space than a traditional gear selector.

Interior fittings include a standard seven-inch color display audio touchscreen with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a Qi wireless charging pad is available to keep smartphones topped up. Sonata now adds a second-row USB charge port. At the heart of the AVN system is a Bose premium sound system equipped with 12 speakers.

“The all-new Hyundai Sonata delivers a premium experience for driver and passengers,” added Song. “We apply a range of new technologies intuitively, with an emphasis on functional convenience, adding features that we know our customers will use and value.”

The new Sonata features six standard airbags and a range of safety systems, including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) as part of Hyundai’s SmartSense technologies.