Arab News launches Research and Studies Unit

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Updated 13 October 2020

Arab News launches Research and Studies Unit

  • New department will commission papers and host expert debates and policy briefings by high-level officials

RIYADH: Arab News, the Middle East’s leading English-language daily, has announced the establishment of a new Research and Studies Unit (RSU). 

Based at the newspaper’s headquarters in Riyadh, the new unit will deliver thought-provoking studies written by a team of acclaimed resident and non-resident experts on a number of regional affairs. It will also arrange several by-invitation-only roundtable discussions and policy briefings by high-ranking officials. The RSU will also manage Deep Dive, the newspaper’s research-based, long-form journalism department.  

In addition, the newly formed unit will be responsible for the exclusive regional media partnership that the newspaper has established with globally acclaimed online polling firm YouGov. 

Since their inauguration in 2016, Arab News / YouGov polls have helped shed light on regional sentiment toward international events, as well as produce credible research on international opinion on Arab affairs. Some of the most recent polls include “Mosque and State: How Arabs See the Future”, “How US Views the Qatar Crisis”, “How Brits View the Arab World” and “How Arabs View Japan.”

Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas said: “Quoted by a large number of media outlets, academic institutions and foreign diplomats, our exclusive YouGov polls have become a staple of the quality, credible content Arab News produces to help get the Middle East better explained.” 

He added: “Our new Research and Studies Unit will manage our YouGov partnership and ensure we produce more of these valuable polls more frequently. In addition, the unit will also be commissioning independent research papers on various issues, and host experts for talks on the topics of the hour, be it over video conferencing or in person at our Riyadh headquarters whenever COVID-19 travel restrictions are removed.

“Despite living in a region of the world rich in natural resources, we suffer from scarcity when it comes to reliable data and research that help decision makers and business executives form informed views. This is the gap we hope to fill with this unit.”

The RSU’s website is now live and can be visited at here. Its next big study will be published on Oct. 26, and will be titled “US Elections 2020: What Do Arabs Want?” It will be accompanied by a high-level panel discussion in the US hosted via Zoom on Oct. 30. 

Founded in 1975, Arab News has established itself as the newspaper of record of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. It offers regional news and views via its multiplatform, multilingual network that includes a print edition, its main English website and its Pakistan, Japan and French digital editions.

Publicis Groupe veteran Kamal Dimachkie leaves as new successor is named

Updated 20 October 2020

Publicis Groupe veteran Kamal Dimachkie leaves as new successor is named

  • Dimachkie’s career spans three decades of leadership and accomplishment in international and regional markets
  • Shoueiry founded the agency’s Social Content Lab and played a key role in cultivating digital design thinking across the region

RIYADH: Publicis Groupe MEA today announced the departure of Kamal Dimachkie, chief operating officer, Publicis Communications, UAE and Lower Gulf. Dimachkie is a senior executive who joined Leo Burnett in February 1985. The company has appointed Samer Shoueiry to assume the role in conjunction with his current responsibilities as chief digital officer, Publicis Communications, Middle East from Dec. 1. Dimachkie’s decision to leave comes after 33 years with the company. He will leave his current position on Dec. 31 and continue to act in a consultative capacity until June 2021 in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Dimachkie’s career spans three decades of leadership and accomplishment in international and regional markets including the US, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.

Raja Trad, executive chairman at Publicis Groupe MEA said: “I respect Kamal’s decision. He has been a friend and a colleague for over three decades, and not just I but the entire Publicis Groupe family will miss him. His tenure at the Groupe has been characterized by a clear commitment to values that are central to our philosophy. Kamal’s adept leadership propelled the agency to new heights — we won more than 250 accolades and added numerous international and local clients to our roster. I want to thank him for his immeasurable contribution to the Groupe and wish him all the best for his professional future.”

Dimachkie added: “Leo Burnett and Publicis Groupe have been my life for the past 33 years, and I am proud to have been a part of a glorious journey during which I have had the opportunity to serve the company in different roles in six countries, to have contributed to numerous clients and raised the bar internally and within the industry. Part of this has been the joy of working with a wonderful team and leadership, whom I have partnered with, learnt from and shall forever call my friends and brothers in arms. I am grateful to have lived the glory days of advertising with one of the best agencies in the world and to have worked with some of the most inspiring and creative people. I look forward to working with Samer on the upcoming transition and wish him success in his new role.”

Shoueiry, who will take on Dimachkie’s role, has over 21 years of experience across business, design and innovation. He has consistently delivered a robust performance in Publicis’ Experience Design and Experience Strategy, founded the agency’s Social Content Lab and played a key role in cultivating digital design thinking across the region.

Commenting on his appointment, Trad said: “Samer has a record of leadership and value creation, deep experience in generating groundbreaking brand experiences, as well as a focus on strategic design, innovation excellence and a strong technological footing. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him to drive our digital transformation in the region and support the spread of innovation through investments in our people, technology, platforms and tools. Together, we will ensure that we continue to move our business forward in the Connected Age through a data-led, digital-first approach.”

Shoueiry further added: “Kamal has built a strong foundation for future growth, including strengthening our team and expanding our scope of work. The current climate has accelerated digital transformation globally, and we are looking at a future where online and offline coexist to augment consumer experience in an interconnected brand universe. E-commerce is a necessity, digital equities are your flagship stores, search and social your new outdoor. With this new beginning, I will focus on further strengthening our creative strategy-to-results development to offer the best consumer-centric experiences and build brand value.”