Riyadh to host 2019 MEPRA Leadership Majlis

Jonty Summers
Updated 20 October 2019

Riyadh to host 2019 MEPRA Leadership Majlis

RIYADH: The 2019 MEPRA Leadership Majlis will be held on Oct. 21 in Riyadh and is themed “Impact and Influence.”
Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Chair Jonty Summers said: “It’s our first leadership conference in Saudi Arabia. By bringing together leading figures in communications, both from the Middle East and internationally, we hope to spark a discussion around ideas as we address some of the most pressing topics facing the profession of public relations in the region.”
In an interview with Arab News, Summers said the event has lined up a range of interesting speakers, including a number of international and regional governments and organizations such as The Red Sea Development Company, Center for Government Communication, Saudi Arabian Airlines, YouTube and Page.
Summers, who has been based in the Middle East for the past 10 years, is the managing director of Hanover Middle East, a corporate and health care communications agency. He said MEPRA is the largest public relations industry body in the region serving the needs of communications professionals in the government, corporates and agencies.
“As an industry body we exist to promote professional standards and best practice in public relations and to build the skills of its professionals. I was voted in as chair by members of MEPRA for a two-year term last year,” he added.
According to Summers, the MEPRA Leadership Majlis aims to bring together senior communication leaders from across the region to uncover the industry’s biggest challenges, trends and opportunities.
“It’s a core part of our work to build understanding of public relations in the Middle East, both as a profession and as a driver of organizational reputation and sharing knowledge and thought leadership is one way we do that,” he said.
He said after successfully holding the MEPRA Leadership Majlis in Abu Dhabi for the past five years, it was only natural to create a forum in Riyadh for communicators here to come together and share their thoughts.

Saudi Arabia is on a journey to modernization, socially and economically. There have been a significant number of reforms recently and these domestic changes certainly play a part in how the country is now perceived.

Jonty Summers, MEPRA chair

Summers said the public relations industry in the Middle East is extremely vibrant.
“There are a lot of agencies — large and small, international and local — and there are a lot of specialist agencies, for example, broadcast, digital or measurement specialists. Some countries in the region have a larger and more developed, more competitive agency environment than others. Like any industry, it will cluster where there is interesting work to do,” he said.
According to Summers, Saudi Arabia does not have as many agencies as it needs to achieve its long-term ambitions.
“Saudi Arabia is on a journey to modernization, socially and economically. There have been a significant number of reforms recently and these domestic changes certainly play a part in how the country is now perceived,” he said.
“But the big change from an international perspective is going to be investment in tourism and the opening up of the country for international visitors to experience Saudi Arabia, its people and culture for themselves.”
MEPRA’s monthly podcast — The Brief — is fast gaining popularity in the region.
“We have a really wide range of guests who address key issues, challenges and trends for communications professionals in the region. Last week we had a conversation with Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abbas about the publication and its upcoming launch in Japan and the cultural similarities between Japan and Saudi Arabia,” Summers said.
The podcast is available to download on mepra.org/podcasts/

Hyundai launches new i30 N in South Africa

Updated 19 February 2020

Hyundai launches new i30 N in South Africa

Hyundai Motors has increased its presence in South Africa by launching its first mass-produced high-performance car — i30 N — last week in Cape Town. 

The first model of the N brand, the i30 N is Hyundai’s first high-performance car, which has been developed with a key focus on its race-track capability and its ability to be a fun-to-drive everyday sports car. 

“Advanced technology and a high level of driver customization has been built into the i30 N, which means it can play the role of a comfort-oriented commuter as well as a race-track ready performance car,” the automaker said.

The i30 N has a 1,998 cc, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, with its maximum power output of 202 kW reached at 6,000 r/minute, while maximum torque is achieved from 1,500 to 4 700 r/minute. 

The power is delivered to the front wheels of the i30 N through a six-speed manual gearbox and has five different drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom, which can be accessed through two dedicated buttons on the car’s steering wheel. 

The i30 N has a rev matching function built-in to adjust the engine revolutions when the driver shifts from a higher to a lower gear, thereby ensuring smooth gear shifting. The dual muffler exhaust sounds add to the pleasure of commanding a high-performance vehicle.

Speaking at the launch, Niall Lynch, CEO of Hyundai Automotive South, said: “The i30 N is one of the most exciting cars Hyundai has made in the recent years highlighting Hyundai’s talented designers and engineers who are always setting new standards.

“It is a high-performance car meant to deliver a fun driving experience and I have no doubt there’s a bright future in store for the Hyundai i30 N in South Africa. It has already been described as a ‘game changer’ with more than 20,000 units sold across Europe since we started trading in 2017.”

The i30 N has stylish 19-inch wheels with 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero high-performance tires and red brake callipers featuring the N-logo. Aggressive bumpers with larger air intakes and a red character line, an aerodynamic rear spoiler with a triangular brake light, and a dual muffler exhaust complete the sleek, sporty look.

The i30 N also features the electronically controlled suspension (ECS) and electronically controlled limited-slip differential, which ensures an exhilarating drive with cornering capabilities that befits the i30 N’s hot-hatch character.

Customers can choose from five color options — Polar White, Performance Blue, Micron Grey, Phantom Black and Engine Red.

Hyundai plans to launch the i30 N model in the Middle East toward the end of 2020.