Cairo360.com Announces Editor’s Choice Award Winners for 2014Read More

10 June 2014, Cairo, Egypt. Leading online city guide, Cairo 360, has today announced the winners of the annual Cairo 360 Editor’s Choice Awards – a stamp of appreciation reserved for only the best venues Egypt’s capital has to offer.

After sifting through over 3000 restaurants and cafes, 50 bars and clubs, 3000 shops and over 30 hotels in a rigorous selection process conducted by Cairo 360 editors and writers, only 100 winners were chosen across 30 categories, including fine and casual dining, bakeries and confectioners, hospitality, nightlife, high-end fashion, home stores and specialist retailers amongst others.

Since its launch in 2010, www.cairo360.com has been the trailblazer in lifestyle journalism, bringing thousands of discerning Cairenes reviews and features covering everything from dining and nightlife, to shopping and culture.

Through over 5000 reviews and features, Cairenes have come to rely on Cairo 360 as a credible and dependable source of information and opinion when it comes to restaurants, bars, shops and more. It’s this standing that has led to the Cairo 360 Editor’s Choice Awards; an exclusive seal of approval to recognize the best of the best in Cairo. For a full list of the winners, visit www.cairo360.com/awards2014

Cairo360.com Gets a Slick New LookRead More

13 November 2012, Cairo, Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of users of www.Cairo360.com, the leading guide to living in Cairo, would have today seen a slick new look and feel to the multi-award winning website. Originally launched to huge fanfare in 2010, Cairo360.com is the leading online resource for millions in Cairo, Egypt, looking to get the best out of this great city.

For over two years, Cairo360.com has been committed to being the ultimate one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about living in Cairo, connecting the public with information on the thousands of restaurants, shops, art galleries, events, nightlife, cinema and a whole lot more. And after months of hard work and anticipation at Cairo360.com and the brains at Bright Creations, their sister company who handles the development, their efforts have paid off with a sleeker, easier to use interface and a host of new features.

New features include online reservations for hundreds of top Cairo restaurants enabling users to make reservations at a restaurant immediately after reading its review. Online ticketing is now also available allowing users to quickly and easily book or make reservations for any number of events happening every week in Egypt’s capital and receive tickets at their door.

In addition to thousands of bug fixes, technical upgrades and a new filter-based intelligent search function, Cairo360.com have also introduced a ‘My Cairo 360’ feature, allowing users sign in using Facebook and Twitter to keep track of all their favourite restaurants, cinema showing times, events and other venues, in a personalized page on the site, which acts as a personal calendar. With the new sign in feature, readers can now also rate and write reviews of their own which will be visible for all others to see. Other new features include the introduction of maps for every single venue and a “Cairo by Area” section for newcomers to the city looking for a quick summary of the different neighbourhoods.

“The new look Cairo360.com is part of our commitment to making life in Cairo more intriguing and exciting. All the new features are designed to make discovering new places in Cairo, and indeed Egypt, easier.” says Waseem El Tanahi, publisher of Cairo360.com. “Much of what we’ve included in the makeover is a direct result of user feedback which we prize above all else, and we’re confident that many of the new features will come as a pleasant surprise to some as well” he added.

For more information, go to www.Cairo360.com or stay up to date on www.facebook.com/Cairo360 and www.twitter.com/Cairo360

CitJo.com– The Hub for Citizen Journalists in the Middle EastRead More

9 April 2012, Cairo, Egypt. CitJo officially launches their online platform, www.citjo.com, a citizen journalism portal which connects citizen journalists with media agencies worldwide. The first of its kind in Egypt, CitJo provides an innovative local news source in addition tothe ability for citizen journalists to sell their photos and videos.

Citizen Journalists, freelance journalists, activists and other contributors can upload their photos and videos to www.citjo.com, set a price, and if they are picked up my news agencies, get paidfor their content. Uniquely to make life easier for the user, they can also connect to their twitter account and from then on, if they upload a photo/video to twitter, hashtag their tweet with #CitJo to be able to index and sell it on www.citjo.com. The price and license for which is set in their account settings.

Contributors can also choose to share their citizen journalism photos or videos using a Creative Commons license or share for viewing only (using the “All Rights Reserved” license)

Local, regional and international news and media agencies, looking for the next big story or trying to find pictures or videos for a past event, can search our archives and purchase the photos and videos at the price set by contributors.

As one of the top 20 finalists in the Google Ebda2 competition, the founders, Mahamad El Tanahy & Sarah Wali are looking to change the news cycle and transform this by merging with social media.

“Our aim is to provide an easy way for citizen journalists to get the word out, and generate revenue for the journalist. We’re looking to provide all the features necessary to make citizen journalists lives easier. Starting with a migration of the service to Arabic, launch of the online payment service and much more to come…News agencies will themselves be able to utilize our service to filter through citizen journalism content easily and purchase content for the price set by citizens.” – says Mahamad El Tanahy, Managing Director of CitJo.

The platform can be accessed at www.citjo.com.

Heineken’s Star World Tour Winners Live it Up in the CaribbeanRead More

2nd March 2012. Heineken, the beer of choice in Egypt and across the globe, scoured the country to find two lucky Heineken Star World VIP winners to send to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Sailing Festival. The annual three-day event brings together over 180 boating entries from all over the world, as well as a host of top international DJs and musicians.

Drinkers up and down Egypt flipped the lids of their ice cold Heineken cans and received special VIP passes in the country’s top venues to find a code to enter on www.heineken.com and through their phones. Contestants either immediately won fun products like iPhone cases, headphones and tote bags, or chose to rack up their VIP pass codes for a shot to win the ultimate trip to the music festival. With up to 100 winners a day, there were plenty of prizes to go around.

The winners of the grand prize were Youssef El Boghdady and Ziad Shawky. The lucky two were sent on March 2nd 2012 to St. Maarten for four luxurious days in the Caribbean. The lucky winners soaked up tropical rays during the race days and were pampered with exquisite dining by nightfall before enjoying hours of VIP treatment and front-row seats to incredible live music in the island’s finest clubs- a trip of a lifetime.

Look out for more exciting Heineken activities in the best venues across the country in 2012.

For more information visit www.heineken.com.

Zeitouna Lebanese Bistro brings the fare and flair of Lebanon to CairoRead More

6th of December, Cairo Egypt. Introducing the zest of Beirut to the shores of the Nile, International Restaurants Group (IRG) proudly announces the opening of its in-house developed concept Zeitouna Lebanese Bistro. The company that brought you Cairo’s favorite restaurant-café, Casper & Gambini’s, will now be serving up the best of Lebanese fare and flair in the heart of the capital.

Authentic Lebanese cuisine with a twist has found a home away from home at the Nile City Towers on Corniche El Nile this November. A true Bistro atmosphere and savory dishes keep guests on the edge of their seats with bursts of color and culinary treats straight from the gastronomical imagination of Lebanon’s top chefs.

Zeitouna Lebanese Bistro’s passion for unrivaled dining is embodied in the creativity of each colorful dish presented. The whole range of Lebanese cuisine is cooked from scratch, starting with ingredients picked straight from the soil of Lebanon. Transformed by the talent and ingenuity of its chefs, it ends in an explosion of color and taste; each mezze, entrée, sandwich, dessert and drink is as Lebanese as it gets: soft bread melting on your tongue, fresh spices tingling your taste buds, and textures and flavors that allow you to fully experience the genius, subtlety, and decadence of Lebanese dishes.
With this new brand of fun Lebanese fare, IRG is looking to continue a tradition of acquiring and creating the best of global cuisine to Egypt. Zeitouna Lebanese Bistro’s opening builds on the award-winning success of IRG’s unique trend-setting concepts.

To enjoy the delights Zeitouna Lebanese Bistro has to offer, head to the 1st floor at Nile City Mall, 2005 Corniche El Nil, and to find out more about the restaurant, and IRG visit www.irg-egypt.com.

Sawtak (‘Your Voice’) To Help Egyptians Cast Their VoteRead More

November 2011, Cairo, Egypt. Bright Creations, the Cairo-based software house for online products and services, in partnership with Etisalat Egypt, today announced the release of Sawtak, an online and mobile application that gives Egyptian citizens the information they need to understand the Egypt electionary process and how they can go about voting in the upcoming landmark parliamentary elections. The application will be accessible on www.sawtak.me, and available for download for iPhone, Blackberry and Android Smart phones, and critically, available as a WAP site for more basic handsets.

The application provides comprehensive and impartial information on all parts of the election process. Information such as registration processes, which constituency a voter belongs to, which contests a voter can cast their ballot for, the complete lists of parties and candidates, and the locations to vote are all available on Sawtak.Using an Egyptian ID number, any Egyptian citizen can find out everything they need to know to be prepared for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Egypt.

Sawtak is objective in nature and provides no candidate or party profiles, restricting itself to only the candidate name, party name, constituency and link to their website. The information is sourced from the Ministry of State for Administrative Development (www.elections2011.eg). Features of the application include the ability to add candidates and political parties to a favorites list for a user to return to in more detail later. The personal privacy of each voter is ensured by storing the information only on the user’s handset.

“We’re delighted to launch an application that will help Egyptians understand how the upcoming parliamentary elections will work,” said Mahamad El Tanahy, managing director of Bright Creations. “Many have taken an interest in voting for the very first time, and we’re proud to be a part of helping this process become a more informed one.”

“We’ve focused on mobile for the role it played in Egypt’s recent revolution, and by providing WAP mobile site access, alongside Smartphone applications, we feel we’ll reach the widest audience possible” he added.

The Sawtak WAP version can be accessed at www.sawtak.me, where there are links to all the various Smartphone applications include iPhone, Android, and the soon to be announced Blackberry application.

New Bites Food Co. Venues Treat the Region to the Best of Global CuisineRead More

15th November 2011. Cairo, Egypt. Bites Food Co. will continue spicing up the MENA region dining experience with the introduction of several new, on-trend restaurants and innovative casual dining franchise concepts soon to hit Egypt and the region.

The rapidly growing food & beverage company is excited to build on the success of its new acclaimed franchises, which have diners flocking back for more heaping helpings of quality international cuisine at affordable prices. Franchises introduced to Egypt by Bites Food Co. include Asha’s, offering the much sought-after, secret recipes of Indian diva Asha Bhosle, and Chop Chop, which serves an eclectic assortment of East Asian dishes. We are also proud to offer catering services with our corporate and private catering brand Bites Catering, which offers a wide variety of menus available to be served at the desired location.

Following the success of our innovative dining concepts, Bites Food Co. is happy to announce the opening of several highly-anticipated venues in the coming months, serving up the best of international cuisine and atmosphere.
With the opening of these latest venues, Bites Food Co. continues to pursue its mission of excellence and passion for quality dining. Their restaurants and catering service are staffed with enthusiastic, hardworking professionals with the sole goal of offering warm, genuine hospitality and courteous service. They Strive to create memorable dining experiences that captivate the senses of their guests with fresh ingredients, great food and charming atmosphere.
Bites Food Co. aims to exceed expectations with every guest they seat and every meal they deliver, while offering the best product and service at the best price. Even as they improve their business performance to keep prices low, they are committed to never compromising the quality of their products.

The restaurant industry is their passion, and as such Bites Food Co. holds every employee to the highest standard of excellence. Bites Food Co.’s success comes thanks to the loyalty of its highly valued employees, a loyalty cultivated through integrity, commitment, and dedication to excellence. They take great pride in they restaurants and they cordially invite you to be their guests at their soon-to-be opened venues.
To experience the contemporary Indian cuisine at Asha’s, or the pan-Asian delights of Chop Chop, head to 4 Ibn Katheer Street, Suez Canal Tower, Giza or make a reservation by calling +202 3761 7363.

Goethe-Institut Announces Opening of 2011 Arab Shorts Short Film FestivalRead More

27th October 2011. The Goethe-Institut Kairo announced today the opening of the third consecutive Arab Shorts Festival Event. The five-day festival will be opened on 27th October at 7:30pm and will last until 31 th October. The Festival will screen selected short films and video works from around the Arab world in order to promote the independent Arab cinema.

Although independent Arab cinema and media art has come a long way in a short period of time, it remains unfamiliar to many, including distributors, festival organizers and the mainstream media. The project Arab Shorts aims to support professional exchange and provide opportunities of watching Arab short films for broad audiences. Over three years, from 2009 to 2011, ‘Arab Shorts’ festival events have offered film-screenings, presentations and discussions.

In this year’s festival, 11 curators chosen from around the MENA region will present eight programs comprising a total of 48 films at the Goethe-Institut in Downtown Cairo. The event will host filmmakers and experts from the MENA region and Europe as special guests, as well as ‘Re-Moving Images’ a German guest program of the Arsenal-Institute for Film and Media Art Berlin/ Berlinale Forum. The opening ceremony will be attended by the Egyptian Minister of Culture Dr. Emad Abo Ghazi.
The event will also present opportunities for the public, film experts and journalists to discuss the films and the progress of the independent Arab cinema with industry professionals. A presentation by Alain Bieber of Strasbourg will introduce ‘arte CREATIVE’, a new network for contemporary culture.

In addition, ‘Lunchtime Talks’ will be held with four cinema professionals from Germany and the Arab region, who will speak on their work and the institutions they represent. The talks will be held in the ‘White Box’, set up in the courtyard, and will provide opportunities for individual discussions with the various speakers. Meanwhile, the films will be presented in the ‘Black Box’, the auditorium. Journalists and film professionals will also have the opportunity to view works from a selection of about 200 Arab short films by signing up individually or in a group for the ‘Viewing Lounge’.

The ‘Arab Shorts’ Festival Event is part of the Goethe-Institut’s ‘Arab Shorts’ project which seeks to support the independent film and media arts communities in the Arab countries. The goal of the project is to promote cultural production, dissemination and networking both within the region and with Europe.

The ‘Arab Shorts’ project as a whole includes commissioned, curated programs of short film and video art, an annual festival event featuring guests from both Arab and European countries, a web resource where films from Arab Shorts programs can be viewed from any computer anywhere, visits of Arab film experts to German film festivals and institutions and publications such as journals and catalogues.

Films presented at the ‘Arab Shorts 2009/10’ are accessible online (free of charge), while the films of “Arab Shorts 2011” are scheduled to be online soon. Please visit: www.arabshorts.net.

Shobra Bars are Newest Addition to Stella Baladi Bar CircuitRead More

21st September 2011. Famous for their efforts to renovate downtown bars, Stella, Egypt’s traditional and iconic beer, has now ventured further afield and undergone the restoration of nine new bars; four bars in Shobra, as well as five more Downtown.

Since the inception of the Downtown Renovation Project in 2009, Stella has refurbished a total of 18 baladi bars in a bid to restore the history, and heritage of their former years. Upon completion of the first round of renovations, the now familiar baladi bar hop, a cornerstone of traditional Egyptian nightlife, was born.

The newly re-opened bars located on the busy Shari’ Shobra include Aliasbond, Taverna, Baron, and Ciao. They live up to their Downtown neighbours reputation for a traditional Egyptian experience and are surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Shobra where many shops still have original signage several decades old carrying French names reminiscent of Egypt’s glory days. The bars are abundant with usual fare of traditional baladi furniture, termis, patrons with a penchant for “unique” conversation, and the guarantee of an authentic Egyptian night out.

This year, Stella has also unveiled an additional five new baladi bars downtown which include Metrobol, Jamaica, El Count, Port Tawfik and Chino which has Stella lovers equally excited about a visit.

For more information visit www.stella1ofus.com.

Taya IT Announce Yahki.com Public BetaRead More

27th July 2011. Cairo, Egypt. Taya IT, a leading developer of online products and smartphone-based applications, today announced the launch of its highly anticipated public beta for Yahki.com, the curation and storytelling platform that is the first of its kind, allowing users in MENA to create stories by seamlessly threading together different multimedia content from the web.

Yahki.com allows users to search for related topics within general online news articles, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and Flikr, and pull them together by simply dragging and dropping these different elements into a new stream. In this process of content curation, users can also add their narratives on the topic, thus creating a new story from existing content on the web with their personal viewpoints. The site, which has been in private beta since January 2011, is available in both Arabic and English interfaces, and has already seen private beta users generate and share tens of thousands of unique stories online.

“Providing users with a versatile tool that allows them to consume and curate online content in this way has yielded some very interesting stories; as everyone has a different view on what they watch, read and engage with online,” said Ashraf Tawakkol, CEO of Taya IT. “We’re delighted to be opening Yahki.com up to the public, and are very excited to see how online audiences will be using it over the coming weeks.”

Yahki.com is easy to use, and can work just as well as a means for compiling links to favourite related news stories, videos and images in one place, or as a journalistic platform that allows users to filter for the best content relating to a topic, and reuse it in a different way.

“Yahki.com could not have come at a better time. Online users in MENA have traditionally been forced to look westwards for quality content,” added Tawakkol. “However, with the recent socio-political developments in the region, people’s social media behaviour is changing. Yahki.com gives these users the ability to curate, or collect different web content from local or international social media and others sources, and put an Arab ‘spin’ on it in a way that allows audiences to digitally engage with Arab culture.”

The www.yahki.com beta release is now live, and the official launch date is expected to be announced later in the year.

16 grants from Goethe Institut to train professors of universities to teach the German Language.Read More

9th July 2011. Goethe Institut organizes a training course entitled as “summer school … and the language of the country’s culture and customs” for the faculty members of Egyptian universities including teachers and assistant professors of German departments teaching Germany as a Foreign Language.

The participants of this year program are 16 teachers and assistant professor of many Egyptian universities and universities of Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and Sudan as part of an intensive training course of 3 weeks duration in Alexandria.
The Goethe-Institut held a panel discussion with the ambassador Michael Bock, Mrs. Köster, director of language department in the middle east and north Africa, Mrs. Mona Ayoub vice director of DAAD and Dr. Lars Geiser, political scientist to discuss the current political transitions in the region and their effect of the teachers role in the future.
These Sessions will make participants gain advanced teaching skills to support the process of learning the German language and also allows the exchange of experiences and skills between students from different countries in the Middle East and North Africa, making the process of learning the German language experience interesting and enjoyable.

Sessions will be dealing with social and political issues in these countries and other German-speaking countries, and will define the culture of those countries and identify their skills and also the means of modern educational methods for teaching using the Internet network.

Goethe Institut will be responsible for all the expenses of the training course as a full grants to support the education programs of Egypt in the time which has sought to increase these grants to the Egyptian teachers Among 160 grant from the Institut each year form a range of the institut programs in Egypt , South Africa and the Middle East to study the techniques and teaching methods of foreign languages in Germany as well as 50 training courses in Egypt in major cities and regions annually.

Goethe Institut expects the result of these courses will enrich the knowledge of teaching methods and curricula to support the educational process in general and specifically teaching the German language, as well as exchange of cultural and information between students from different countries.

Goethe-Institut Hosts Camp for Winners of “German in Action” Sports ProgramRead More

Cairo, Egypt, 26th June 2011– The Goethe-Institut Cairo today announced it is hosting a sports camp in Cairo for the winning teams of the German cultural center’s “German in Action” program. The initiative saw students from partner schools across Egypt competing in a series of sports days organized by the institute in April and May 2011 to promote health and fitness amongst children and expand their knowledge of German culture.

Inspired by Germany’s hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011, the German in Action program aims to promote an active lifestyle, particularly amongst young girls, who often participate less in athletic activities in comparison to boys. 15 Egyptian partner schools from the Goethe-Insitut’s worldwide “Schools: Partners for the Future” initiative participated in the program. The Goethe-Institut provided all the necessary equipment for the matches which consisted of 5 events held in Cairo, Alexandria, , Damanhour, and Sohag. In each event, 96 children ages 8 to 10 split up into teams of two boys and two girls competing in various sports and physical activities with one winning team chosen from each competition.

“The enthusiastic response to this initiative by our partner schools is a great success for our efforts to provide children with exciting cultural experiences that will foster their love for team sports, physical fitness, and German culture.,” says Simone Jore, Project Manager of “Schools: Partners for the Future” at the Goethe-Institut Cairo. “The children were excited about competing with surrounding schools, and despite the hot temperatures they demonstrated team spirit and impressive skills,” she added.

Students participating in the matches squared off against teams from other schools; the winners(winners ?) are now attending a camp in Cairo hosted by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the Egyptian Football association and conducted by professional ladies’ coaches. . The highlight of the camp will be a screening of the opening match of the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup in the Goethe-Institut garden attended by representatives of the institute, partner schools, and the German Ambassador to Egypt H.E. Michael Bock.

“Through the Goethe-Institut, Germany hopes to organize more such programs in the future to strengthen cultural ties between Germany and Egypt” said H.E Michael Bock, the German Ambassador in Cairo.

Goethe-Institut Photo Exhibition to Highlight Struggle of Female FootballersRead More

Cairo, Egypt, 25th June 2011 – The Goethe-Institut announced today that it will host a photography exhibit by German photojournalist Claudia Wiens. The official opening of the exhibition, entitled “Shoe Size 37 – Women’s Football in Egypt, Palestine, Turkey and Germany”, will take place at 7pm onJune 25at the El Sawy Culture wheel. The exposition will highlight the struggle of women footballers in the Middle East and will be on display until July 5.

As Germany gears up to host the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup from June 26 to July 17,female athletes of the Middle East are looking to the event for inspiration. These dedicated young women must overcome obstacles particular to their countriesin addition to those typically faced byfemale athletes in other parts of the world.

Stereotypes, sexism, and a lack of material support have always stood between female footballers and their dreams. Middle Eastern women encounter the same challenges that German women faced since the ban on women playing football in Germany was lifted in 1970. Even after the ban was lifted, German women footballers were degraded by special handicaps andthe taunts of men. Over a century later, women’s football is the fastest growing sport in Germany.

Not to be outdone by their German counterparts, young women from Turkey, Egypt, and the Palestinian Territories are facing similar discouraging attitudes with enthusiasm and determination. Middle Eastern lady footballers also face a lack of material and financial support, often relying on volunteer coaches and second-rate facilities. In addition to these challenges, women footballers in Palestine are also impeded by the political situation. Players miss games after being stopped at checkpoints and athletes from Gaza are not allowed to travel to the West Bank. However, thanks to the vision and courage of these women,Turkey, Egypt and the Palestinian Territorieshaveallseen the establishment of national women’s football leagues.

“The road to their successes has been difficult,” says internationally acclaimed photojournalist Claudia Wiens.“These courageous young women struggle to obtain acceptance, appreciation, and material support. My work aims to show the determination, frustrations, victories, and joys of these inspiring young women.”

“It is a privilege to host the work of Ms. Wiens,” says Dr. Ingrid Koester, Head of Language Department and Regional Language Coordinator for North Africa and the Middle East, Goethe-Institut. “Just as it is the Goethe-Institut’s privilege to promote a spirit of athleticism and gender equality among the inspirational female athletes of Egypt, Turkey, and the Palestinian Territories.”

Claudia Wiens is a German photojournalist based in Istanbul and Cairo. Her expertise and knowledge from over 10 years of living in the region and her fluency in Arabic has allowed her to develop a style of intimacy and rare insight into Middle Eastern culture that has grown into a signature of her work.

Cairo360.com Now in ArabicRead More

2nd May 2011. Cairo, Egypt. Media Republic, the mass media and marketing specialists, announced today that Cairo360.com, their multi-award-winning online guide to Cairo, Egypt, will begin publishing Arabic content aimed at Arabic speaking internet audiences looking to discover more about the city of Cairo. Since launching in March 2010, Cairo360.com has grown to become the leading English language guide to living in Cairo with hundreds of thousands of users visiting the site regularly to find the best of what Cairo has to offer.

Arabic content on the site closely mirrors the English content, and consists mostly of reviews covering the capital’s top restaurants and cafés, lively nightlife and shopping options, as well as the best in Cairo’s diverse arts and culture scene, and an endless roster of events. Critically, the entertainment section on the Arabic version of the site will also include reviews and features on the latest Arab musicians and film stars, and other localised content that is expected to be massively popular.

“Arabic content on Cairo360.com has been long overdue. It’s been top of the list from most of our users’ feedback and I’m delighted to finally start publishing articles in Arabic on Cairo360.com,” said Waseem El Tanahi, publisher of Cairo360.com. “We’ve had a year to develop our offering for English internet audiences in Egypt, and are very excited at the prospect of opening up the site to a much broader audience that uses Arabic as a primary language on the web,” he added.

In addition to reviews and features on eateries, shopping, arts and culture, music and film, the site also carries thousands of listings of Cairo’s top venues. The beta is live now, and can be visited at www.cairo360.com/arabic.

Cobone.com Launch in Cairo, EgyptRead More

8th May 2011. Cairo, Egypt. Cobone.com, the leading group buying website that is sweeping across the Middle East, today announced the launch of its online service in Cairo, Egypt. The highly anticipated site, allows users to buy deal-of-the-day coupons or “cobones” for discounts starting at 50%, and reaching up to 90%, off goods and services from leading hotels, dining, fashion, health, beauty and other outlets.

Cobone.com is one of the fastest growing sites in the region with over 300,000 registered members. It is part of the Al Jabbar Internet Group, the industry leader in e-commerce ventures who recently launched Souq.com in Egypt. Cobone.com relies on a business model which provides large groups of buyers, massive savings of between 50% and 90%, over a short period time by featuring a new deal every day that can be purchased online by credit card, CashU, PayPal, One Card, or cash on delivery.

Cobone.com also incorporates a social aspect to online shopping. Once a deal appears on the site, a countdown timer starts and the race to achieve a target number of purchases to activate the deal begins. This unique part of the buyer experience brings fun and excitement to the process, by encouraging shoppers to invite their friends and family to take part. If a friend or family buys the deal as a result of a referral from a user, that user is rewarded extra credit which can be used for their next purchase on the site..

In addition to the huge savings for users, Cobone.com provides retailers with a marketing tool that poses no risk, or set up cost. Cobone promotes it’s deals heavily to create an online buzz for their products, gaining greater exposure for their brand, and increasing footfall to their outlets in the process.

“We’re delighted to be launching Cobone in Cairo. We expect to mirror the regional successes of site in Egypt, and provide a new, fun, online shopping experience, saving our users millions of pounds in the process every year” said Paul Kenny, CEO of Cobone.com. “Cobone also offers retailers the unprecedented opportunity to market their brands on the web to one of the biggest online audiences in the Middle East without the need for hefty advertising budgets” he added.

The site is available in both Arabic and English, and you can visit it here: www.cobone.com.

66% of Cairenes Use Twitter to Follow the Latest News of the Egyptian RevolutionRead More

March 9th 2011. Cairo, Egypt. Media Republic, the mass media and marketing specialists, today announced the results of an online survey conducted on www.Cairo360.com, their multi-award-winning website, which showed that 66% of Egyptian social media users living in Cairo prefer to use Twitter for updates on the latest news on Egypt after January 25th rather than official news websites. The survey also shows that 25% of Twitter users only signed up for the micro-blogging service after the revolution had started to stay up-to-date with the events.

The survey shows that 89% of respondents now have a Twitter account, against a near perfect 99% who have a Facebook account. Despite Twitter lagging behind in terms of online penetration, 64% of respondents thought Twitter was a much better source for information than Facebook. And while television broadcasts were the primary source for up-to-date information specifically pertaining to news-based material, Twitter was the second most important source, according to respondents.

Factual and concise, the survey compiled responses from 300 users of Cairo360.com, and found that 80% of respondents’ social media browsing habits shifted after January 25th. Out of those, 66% began focusing more on Twitter for tweets from news websites rather than checking the actual websites themselves. Although Facebook was considered the most popular social media before the revolution, the survey results show that 53% of respondents began checking Twitter first before Facebook.

“The general consensus on social media in Egypt prior to the events on January 25th was that Facebook was far more popular than Twitter,” said Waseem El Tanahi, Managing Director of Media Republic. “With Twitter having received so much exposure in mainstream media during the revolution as a social platform for up-to-date news, it’s understandable that there has since been a surge in Twitter users in Egypt.”

“It’s no surprise that the micro-blogging formula worked so well as a communications platform for sending and receiving messages from revolution hotspots,” he added, “Particularly considering that during the four-day internet and telephone blackout it seemed to be the only method of getting on-the-ground accounts from the more determined and tech-savvy protesters.”

The section of the survey pertaining to the language through which information is shared showed that 99% of respondents used a single language for the majority of time spent on the web. At the same time, 85% browsed and searched their chosen social media platforms in both Arabic and English, to be as well informed as possible.

Goethe-Institute Hosts Regional Partner School Conference in CairoRead More

Cairo, Egypt, 15 December 2010 – The Goethe-Institute Cairo today announced it hosted its regional partner school conference in Cairo from Monday to Wednesday, as part of the German government initiative “Schools: Partners for the Future”. The objective of this initiative is to establish a global network of schools to widen the understanding of the German language and culture. The conference was attended by directors of partner schools throughout the Middle East and North Africa region including Egypt, Tunisia, Oman, Lebanon, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq and Morocco. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of quality management in education, and facilitates networking opportunities for partner schools.

At the conference, the participants from different Arab countries had the opportunity to attend presentations and workshops focusing on recent developments in education in Germany with regards to quality management, best practice examples for school networking initiatives and ideas for networking with partner schools across the Middle East, as well as schools in Germany and other countries.

“Learning a new language enables children to broaden their horizons. Not only is being multilingual an asset in later life, it promotes interest and understanding of other cultures”, says H.E. Michael Bock, the German Ambassador in Cairo.

“We are very pleased with the successful development of the “Schools: Partners for the Future” network in the region and particularly in Egypt over the past two years. It shows that there is an increasing interest in Germany and the German language in the Middle East and that the transfer of knowledge in the form of high-quality programs for schools is a success” says Simone Jore, Project Manager of Schools: Partners for the Future, at the Goethe-Institute in Cairo.  “Our main focus now is to consolidate the network and make sure it is sustainable. To achieve this, we are looking to improve the quality of teaching and foster the networking of partner schools amongst each other and with schools in Germany. We strive to improve the quality of teaching German as a foreign language at our partner schools and contribute positively to the schools’ overall development,” she added.

Currently, there are a total of 52 partner schools in the Middle East and North Africa.  These schools are part of the national education system in their respective countries and are in the process of establishing or expanding programs to teach German as a foreign language. With 15 schools, Egypt boasts the biggest number of schools per country in the region. All of these schools are supported the Goethe-Institute Egypt.

Media Republic Launches Cairo360.com MobileRead More

November 24th, 2010. Cairo, Egypt. Media Republic, the mass media and marketing specialists, announced today the beta release of www.cairo360.com for mobile handsets.  Since launching online in March 2010, the multi-award-winning guide now allows mobile users to access a wealth of reviews, event listings and information on Cairo360.com while on the go.

‘In the nine months since the launch of Cairo360.com, we’ve managed to create a prolific amount of relevant and engaging local content for Cairenes that was never available online before,’ said Waseem El Tanahi, Managing Director of Media Republic. ‘With the launch of our mobile version, we are providing access to the same comprehensive content through a simple, quick and easy-to-navigate version of the site, which is far better suited to the mobile user’s experience’ he added.

Since its inception, the pioneering English language site has rapidly grown to become the leading guide to Cairo, with reviews of the latest restaurants and nightspots, and guides to shopping, as well as in-depth features on the burgeoning art scene and a relentless roster of events.  The site also carries detailed guides to travelling within and around Egypt, an extensive directory of over 5,000 venues and up-to-date cinema listings, film reviews and other entertainment such as locally available music, DVDs and books.

The site is optimised for all mobile browsers, and can be viewed at http://m.cairo360.com via any handset.

Cairo360.com Supports Operation Smile with Ramadan Charity Fundraiser at Fairmont Nile CityRead More

24th August 2010, Cairo, Egypt. Cairo 360, the multi-award winning online magazine from Media Republic which serves as the definitive guide to living in Cairo, today announced plans to host a charity fundraiser at the Fairmont Nile City on Wednesday 1st September 2010.  The event, held at the exclusive Bab El Nil Ramadan terrace is one of three events held during the holy month in support of Operation Smile, the worldwide organization which provides safe, free, and efficient cleft palate surgery for children across the globe.

Bab El Nil is a venue specifically set up by the Fairmont Nile City during Ramadan, for a month long celebration of Egyptian culture through art, fashion and music.  Cairo 360 will be hosting the third and final event centred around live performances from several bands including Eftekasat, The Percussion Show, and Masar Egbari; three leading Egyptian bands at the forefront of modern Arabic music.

“We’re delighted to have been given the opportunity by the Fairmont Nile City, and Operation Smile to help organize one of their fundraisers during the holy month. It is been a very exciting project for us, and we are pleased to have big local artists such as Eftekasat, The Percussion Show, and Masar Egbari on board, all of whom are showing their support by performing pro bono”  said Waseem El Tanahi, Publisher of Cairo 360. “The highly anticipated evening of celebrations is bound to be a calendar event for Cairenes looking for entertainment during Ramadan which remains true to the spirit of the holy month by giving something back to those that are less fortunate” he added.

The fundraising events will be previewed regularly throughout Ramadan on www.Cairo360.com which also provides a comprehensive list of Ramadan events in Egypt, and more information on how to make a donation before the 1st September 2010.  For more information on the charity and other Operation Smile initiatives visit www.operationsmile.org.

Taya IT Announce Islamic and Women’s Domains on Yajeel.comRead More

18th July 2010. Riyadh, KSA. Taya IT, the regional enterprise and internet search applications specialists today announced the launch of Yajeel Islam (islam.yajeel.com) and Yajeel Hawaa (hawaa.yajeel.com); two new domains appearing for the first time on the Yajeel search network.  Released in beta on 10th January 2010 to critical acclaim, www.Yajeel.com has attracted thousands of users from across the region as the Arab world’s first domain specific search network allowing Arabic speakers to search popular topics for the Arabic web  simply, easily, and in one place, with the highest possible relevancy

The addition of Yajeel Islam to existing domains allows users to search all the leading sites containing reputable Islamic content including Quranic verses and interpretations, fatwas, ahadeeth, and religious stories quickly and easily using a single search bar.  Up to date prayer times, and a Quranic verse of the day section will also be displayed alongside the search bar.

The inclusion of Yajeel Hawaa brings women’s interest topics to the fore, by allowing Arabic speaking women of all ages to search popular content relating to the latest fashion trends, beauty tips, women’s health and fitness as well as recipes which prove particularly popular during Ramadan.  This domain, which is designed to appeal to women from all walks of life covering topics of interest to adolescent girls, to lifestyle choices, mothers and more, will also display trending topics from the region’s top web publishers, as well as the most popular searches within the last 24 hours.

“With Ramadan less than a month away, we are in a unique position to launch these new domains which surge in popularity during the holy month” said Ashraf Tawakkol, CEO of Taya IT.  “.  As an Arab company with strong regional roots, we value our  culture and identity.  We strongly believe this should be reflected in our products and shall continue to provide relevant search services for popular topics on the Arabic web ” he added.

Other domains on Yajeel include Yajeel Kora (kora.yajeel.com) which was hugely popular during the FIFA World Cup 2010 as a search engine which enables users to search for the latest worldwide football news and fixtures in Arabic, as well as Yajeel Ekhtar (ekhtar.yajeel.com), the world’s first Arabic social media search engine.  Several more domains are expected to be announced before the end of 2010.

Taya IT Announces Second Beta Version of Yajeel.comRead More

25 May 2010. Dubai, UAE. Taya IT, a regional specialist in enterprise and internet search applications announced today the latest beta release of Yajeel.com, a specialised Arabic search network which aims to improve search for Arabic information online by providing highly relevant results and a simple, social way to discover content.

With over 1 trillion pages on the World Wide Web, and ever increasing consumer expectations in the search for relevant information, Yajeel is approaching the problem of search from a different perspective.  Yajeel’s web crawlers first categorize the web, and then allow users to search in the specific category or vertical they are interested in.  Searching in this way removes much of the noise that plagues traditional search engines.

“Following previous beta releases, feedback and focus testing from acclaimed technology focused bloggers in the region all pointed in the same direction: to provide a simple, and more focused search experience yielding highly relevant results, and a means for navigational discovery for online content in Arabic” said Ashraf Tawakkol, CEO of Taya IT.  “While enhancing Yajeel’s offering and feature set it became apparent that incorporating a social element was critical to adding value to the user experience in a way which has yet to be introduced to the Arabian web.”

The beta release comprises a host of continuously evolving features and functionality which currently includes: a trending tag cloud that determines what’s being discussed and written on the Arabic web, the most trending and popular stories from today, and the ability to share individual search results on your social network of choice.

This enhanced beta launch is comprised of two distinct verticals or ‘search categories’.  The first, Yajeel Kora, allows users to access the latest Arabic information from the world of football – whether local, regional or international.  Yajeel Ekhtar, the second vertical, has been completely overhauled to become the first social media search engine in the Middle East, allowing users to search multiple social networks such as Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube; with Facebook and others to be added soon.

Users can now preview the new beta release of Yajeel at www.yajeel.com. The company expects to announce many more features and search categories over the coming months.

Cairo360.com Encourages Safe Late-Night Driving with 360 Everywhere CampaignRead More

1 April 2010.  Cairo, Egypt. Since launching in March 2010, Cairo 360, the new online guide from Media Republic, has taken Egypt’s capital by storm. Cairo360 celebrates its launch by giving back to the Cairene community via a CSR campaign across Cairo called ‘360 Everywhere’ to encourage safe late-night driving.

Cairo 360 has a range of branded taxi cabs that provide free rides to Cairene night owls from various Cairo nightspots, in a bid to encourage people to get home safely after a late night out on the town.  All partygoers at these venues are given a 360 Everywhere pin to show their support for the cause, as well as a Cairo 360 bracelet, which they can show to any of the 360 cab drivers waiting outside to claim their free ride to anywhere in Cairo.

The ‘360 Everywhere’ campaign took place throughout March and April 2010 and at various locations including The 2nd Annual School Disco: Student Aid, the Cairo Jazz Club, Tamarai and other popular nightspots.  The taxi cabs also made a surprise appearance at various locations during the day, including Villa 55 and Lucille’s in Maadi to help raise awareness of ‘360 Everywhere’ and Cairo 360’s goal in encouraging responsible, safe driving.

To visit the site, go to www.Cairo360.com.

Media Republic Announce Cairo360.com Beta ReleaseRead More

24th March 2010, Cairo, Egypt. Media Republic, the mass media and marketing specialists, today announced the beta release of Cairo 360, the highly anticipated critical guide to living in Egypt’s capital.  The pioneering English language site is Egypt’s first comprehensive online guide, and is designed to specifically target high value local audiences.  The site aims to provide independent reviews and features of Cairo’s top venues with valuable local insight, driving Cairenes to extensively discover everything Africa’s biggest capital has to offer.

Cairenes visiting www.Cairo360.com for the first time will have access to reviews and in-depth features of the latest eateries and nightspots on offer in the capital, as well as a guide to shopping, its burgeoning art scene, and a relentless roster of events.  The site will also carry detailed articles on travelling within Egypt, and an extensive directory of over 5,000 venues.

“The English speaking audience in Egypt is huge, and so far this high value market has been largely untapped through online media.  By providing a content rich online guide we’re giving this audience a source for relevant local information on one of the biggest and busiest cities in the Middle East” says Waseem El Tanahi, Founder and Managing Director of Media Republic.  “Venue owners will also benefit from Cairo 360 as every restaurant, cafe, shop, art gallery or outlet of any kind can request to be featured on the site, thus becoming accessible to an audience that is hungry for information on Cairo and excited about discovering places they may have never visited before” he added.

Users will also have access to up to date cinema listings and film reviews where they will get the inside scoop on upcoming movies.  Other entertainment categories featured include locally available music, DVD’s, and books.

In addition, expansive new categories which include guides to hotels, spas, fitness and health centers, are expected to be announced later this year.

To visit the site, or for more information, go to www.Cairo360.com.

Taya IT Appoints New CEORead More

1st March 2010. Dubai, UAE. Taya IT, the regional specialist in enterprise and internet search applications today announced the recent appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.  Ashraf Tawakkol, formerly Chief Operating Officer at Good News 4 Me – a conglomerate of Cairo-based Good News Group.

Mr. Tawakkol has over 20 years of entrepreneurial and executive experience in designing, developing, managing, and marketing pioneering digital products and services.  Before joining Taya IT, he founded Integrated Groups, a regional market leader in interactive mobile solutions which was later acquired by Orascom Telecom.  Mr. Tawakol also co-founded Zawaya Digital Media where he held the position of CEO till 2008.

As CEO of Taya IT, Mr. Tawakkol will be responsible for heading up the company’s two divisions: Taya Enterprise and Taya Online, which provide totally integrated IT solutions to regional companies, and cutting edge search applications for internet users respectively.

“We’re delighted to have Ashraf on board.  He brings a wealth of expertise to the company from his years in senior executive roles across the Middle East and Asia.  He joins us at a very exciting time where he will have a direct impact on our enterprise business and Yajeel, our first regional online product announced in February this year” said Wafik Shammaa, Chairman of Taya IT.

“I’m very excited to have joined Taya IT.  The company is at a critical stage in its history where big changes are taking place” said Ashraf Tawakkol.  “We are in an excellent position to take advantage of our partner and proprietary search technologies to become a major player in the region, and I’m looking forward to helping steer the company in that direction” he added.

Taya IT was founded in 2006 with the aim of improving access to modern technologies for businesses and individuals who use Arabic as a primary language.  The company has several semantic technologies which address the complexities of languages, and enhance the experience of using Arabic in organizing, searching, and retrieving large amounts of internal or publicly available data.

Taya IT Announce the Beta Release of Yajeel.comRead More

10th January 2010. Dubai, UAE. Taya IT, a leading regional specialist in Enterprise and internet search applications, today announced the beta launch of www.Yajeel.com, a pioneering new content discovery portal which serves as an independent gateway to the best of digital Arabia.  The Arabic-only portal, uses cutting-edge search technologies to provide Arabic internet users with a powerful new tool to easily discover and share Arabic content online.

Arabic internet users will get their first look at the www.Yajeel.com homepage, featuring a new search engine as well as content specific web channels serving as dedicated portals to the most popular topics available from third-party web publishers. Beta launch channels include a football news service containing the latest news and fixtures from Middle Eastern and international football, as well as a seamlessly integrated ranking tool allowing users to rate the content they view and increase or decrease it’s priority on a listing of “most popular” internet pages.

“We’ve been working hard to ensure Yajeel adds value to the Arabian user’s online experience, and we are very excited to have the opportunity to showcase some of its features in the beta release” said Khaled Wahba, Taya IT CEO. “As an independent content discovery portal, we’re providing a means through which Arabic internet users can easily find relevant and engaging content online, and by categorizing content into popular web channels we’re enhancing the usability and functionality of existing Arabic language internet pages” he added.

The technology behind www.Yajeel.com intelligently classifies Arabic internet content, giving users access to a continuously updated stream of relevant web pages categorized according to topics of interest. Users can then customize the stream controlling what they see and how they see it. Innovative sharing features  available on all web channels allow for the sharing of favourite content and customized data streams.

“Yajeel’s sharing features are designed to allow users to interact with one another through content. Once relevant content is discovered on third-party websites, it can be shared, promoting that page or data stream to other users within the Yajeel world or elsewhere,” said Khaled Wahba. “Data streams provide Arabic internet audiences with a valuable content discovery tool and also serve as a promotional platform for the region’s content publishers who benefit from having their content indexed, categorized, and heavily promoted to a high value target market.”

The beta release is now live, and the official launch date is expected to be announced in February 2010 and will include a variety of extra features and additional web channels products.

CONNEX Assistance Middle East Launch CONNEX Corporate HealthcareRead More

18th August 2009. Cairo, EGYPT. CONNEX Assistance Middle East, the leading provider of comprehensive medical, technical, and repatriation assistance in the region, today announced the recent launch of CONNEX Corporate Healthcare, a new division dedicated to providing full-service corporate medical care to clients based in Egypt.

The new division is based in Cairo and headed by an experienced team of healthcare and insurance professionals with over 30 years experience in the field.  The aim of CONNEX Corporate Healthcare is to offer both local and multinational companies cost effective high quality medical solutions that address the healthcare needs of their workforce to improve employee retention and reduce absenteeism.    There are no official figures regarding absenteeism in Egypt, however there is no doubt that absenteeism rates and employee retention is a key obstacle to companies operating in emerging markets like Egypt.

“High quality corporate healthcare services are in high demand in Egypt, and in markets like ours where companies are competing for skilled labour, quality healthcare benefits gives one employer an edge over another” says Helmy El Tanahy, Chairman of CONNEX Assistance Middle East.

CONNEX Corporate Healthcare already has several key Egyptian conglomerates on board and aim to carve out a substantial market share by the mid 2010 using the strength of their extensive medical network, international customer service standards, and advanced facilities like a state-of-the-art 24 hour alarm centre which is a new concept for the local corporate healthcare sector.

Tanahy added: “We have been watching this sector very closely for some time now and recent developments in the Egyptian health insurance and corporate medical services sector have made it attractive for us to enter the market.  Our mission is to apply the 10 years of experience we have gained through our primary assistance division to raise the standard of corporate healthcare services in Egypt.”

CONNEX Corporate Healthcare customers enjoy full medical cover in Egypt across a network which includes over 2000 medical facilities comprised of around 300 hospitals and medical centres, over 1000 private clinics, 300 diagnostic centres and 600 pharmacies.

“Our network has expanded dramatically in the last 2 years to accommodate the larger volume of claims one would expect from extending our services to the local market.  We have, for example, considerably extended our geographical coverage to include commercial and industrial zones as well as more remote suburban areas less frequented by tourists” said Helmy El Tanahi, Managing Director of CONNEX Corporate Healthcare. “We have also diversified our offering to include mobile-unit and on-site clinic set up, on-site medical teams, Third-Party Administration, and travel insurance through selected international partners” he added.

CONNEX Assistance Middle East was founded in 1999 in Cairo, Egypt, and provides full-service medical, technical, and funeral assistance in addition to legal and cost containment services to insurance and assistance companies worldwide.  The company has branch offices in UAE and Sudan, and the CONNEX service provider network currently covers these territories extensively in addition to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Uganda, and Eritrea.

In 2008, the primary medical assistance division of CONNEX Assistance Middle East handled in excess of 9,000 medical claims of foreign visitors in Egypt, and in the first 3 months of operation the new corporate healthcare division handled over 4,000 local claims.

CONNEX Assistance Middle East Launch New Business Unit in United Arab EmiratesRead More

22nd April 2009. Cairo, EGYPT. CONNEX Assistance Middle East, the leading provider of comprehensive medical, technical, and repatriation assistance in the region, today announced the inauguration of a new branch office in Dubai, UAE.

The new office located in the commercial area of Al-Qusais will act as the regional hub for all activity in the Gulf.  It is a 10 minute drive from both Dubai and Sharjah International Airports and will house a state-of-the-art alarm centre, medical consultants, and company executives.

“We have been operating in Dubai for over a year now, and despite the current economic climate, there is growing demand from our clients to handle larger volumes of cases in the UAE” says Lara Helmi, International Network Director.  “Assistance is a relatively new field in the Gulf, and having a team on the ground with over a decade of experience will allow us to fill the gap for full-service assistance that is highly responsive, efficient and cost effective”

“It is of strategic importance for us to gain a solid foothold in the Gulf, and the expansion of our Dubai team and facilities is critical to ensuring the highest standard of service is continued in all our activities” she added.

CONNEX Assistance Middle East provides full-service medical, technical, and funeral assistance in addition to legal and cost containment services to insurance and assistance companies worldwide.  The company is based in Egypt, and has branch offices in UAE, and Sudan.  The CONNEX service provider network currently covers these territories in addition to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Uganda, and Eritrea.

Ayman Youssef Appointed Vice President of Coldwell Banker UAERead More

Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  29th January 2009Coldwell Banker Intercontinental Affiliates, a leading provider of full-service real estate in the region, today announced the appointment of Ayman Youssef as Vice President of Coldwell Banker UAE.

A veteran of the industry and Coldwell Banker®, Youssef will be responsible for the overall operations of Coldwell Banker UAE including management, planning and the strategic development of the company.  Youssef will also head the Commercial department of the company by setting objectives, as well as guiding expansion and overall leadership.

“Ayman has been instrumental in the success of Coldwell Banker in the region so far.” said Hesham El Far, President of Coldwell Banker UAE. “His new role on the executive team, coupled with his industry expertise and proven leadership will add a lot to our strategic development”

Youssef joined Coldwell Banker Intercontinental Affiliates in 2002 where he obtained several special recognition awards for his role in the success of the residential and commercial departments of Coldwell Banker Egypt. In 2005, Youssef joined the UAE operation where he played a leading role in the commercial department which won “Top Producing Coldwell Banker Commercial® Office” outside the USA in 2006 and 2007.

Coldwell Banker® Ranked Number One in ‘Real Estate Top 200’ by Wall Street Journal, REAL Trends, and lore MagazineRead More

Cairo, Egypt.  2nd December 2008Coldwell Banker, the leading provider of full-service real estate, was ranked number one in the third annual Wall Street Journal, REAL Trends, and lore Magazine ‘Real Estate Top 200’. This is the second time that Coldwell Banker has come out on top, with this announcement coming just over a month after Franchise Times named the company the number one real estate franchise worldwide.

The ‘Real Estate Top 200’ is broken out into four Top 50 categories which comprise: individual agent transaction sides, individual agent volume, team transaction sides, and team volume.  Coldwell Banker claimed the top spot in 3 out of 4 categories, and its figures were so strong that it showed the brand to be more than double as strong as its nearest competitor.

“To win two number one rankings in these challenging times is testament to the strength of the Coldwell Banker brand, and the dedication of its affiliates,” said Mohamed Abdalla, President of Coldwell Banker Intercontinental Affiliates.  “This powerful brand and number one rankings, coupled with Coldwell Banker’s reputation for solid systems and support has meant that we are gaining momentum and tremendous recognition across our new territories in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  Investors in these regions have been showing a huge amount of interest in our affiliate franchise programs, and we are confident that they will mirror the success the franchise has already experienced in the Middle East.”

Established in 1906, Coldwell Banker is one of the world’s oldest and biggest franchises with over 3,600 offices, and over 110,000 Sales Associates worldwide.  Coldwell Banker Intercontinental Affiliates is the International Master Franchisor for Coldwell Banker and Coldwell Banker Commercial® in 35 countries in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.  This includes rights for a large and diversified geographical area including: Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tunis Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

Coldwell Banker Intercontinental Affiliates: ‘Egyptian Real Estate in Strong Position for Coming Years’Read More

Cairo, Egypt.  25th November 2008.  In his address to the delegates of the annual real estate conference held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, Mohamed Abdalla, President of Coldwell Banker Intercontinental Affiliates and Chairman of the Real Estate Committee at the chamber declared Egyptian real estate to be in a uniquely strong position in the face of the global economic crisis.  The conference entitled Real Estate:  Where is it Heading? was organized to gain an insight into the industry from its top executives and researchers on how it will fair in the challenging times ahead.

According to Abdalla, tight measures in place by the government – who experienced a banking crisis at the beginning of the century – coupled with low mortgage penetration and a healthy exports-to-GDP ratio mean that Egyptian real estate will continue to be a strong growth sector in the coming years.  “The country cannot suffer the full effects of the economic crisis if the causes of this crisis do not exist within the local economy.  Loans-to-deposits ratios stand at 55% compared to 150% in some developed countries.  Mortgages comprise less than a quarter of one percent of GDP, and exports are below 32% of GDP; split evenly between developed and emerging markets.  All these factors will play an important role in diluting the effects this crisis will have on the country”

The Egyptian stock exchange, much like other regional markets, has taken a beating in recent months as major overseas investors have suffered the effects of the global crisis and pulled out of the market.  In contrast, the Egyptian property market is still seeing positive gains.  “The Egyptian real estate industry is unique.  Consumers are cash driven and developers build with equity rather than debt meaning neither are in need of immediate sources of cash.   Moreover, the market is still considered to be in its infancy, so while there is the expected slowdown in expensive luxury properties – which eventually happens to young markets – there is in fact clear demand for middle income housing, especially apartments, which are still in short supply” says Abdalla.

Several independent financial bodies have recently classified Egypt as one of the few countries which is a safe haven from the global economic crisis.  Most recently, Merrill Lynch published a report on the 4th November 2008 ranking Egypt in the ten least vulnerable economies worldwide.

Coldwell Banker Named Number One Real Estate FranchiseRead More

Cairo, Egypt.  3rd November 2008Coldwell Banker®, the global provider of full-service real estate, was recently named by Franchise Times magazine as the world’s number 1 real estate franchise.  This is the ninth year running that the premier brand has topped the Franchise Times Top 200, a prestigious index considered to be a franchise industry measuring stick.

The Top 200 is determined after months of compiling sales and unit count data from over 1,000 companies ranging from multinational household names to lesser known franchisors.  Coldwell Banker was awarded the number 1 spot in the real estate sector based on it having the best worldwide sales performance.  Coldwell Banker also landed in 12th place in a list of the world’s biggest and best franchises covering all sectors which included household names like McDonalds, Hilton, and RadioShack.

Mohammed Abdallah, President and Co-Founder of Coldwell Banker Intercontinental Affiliates, the Master Franchisor of 37 countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, said: “The fact that our franchise has consistently stood at the number one real estate spot for the last nine years is testament to our systems being second to none.  Coldwell Banker provides a proven business model that ensures the success of the franchise is replicated in one country after another, and our sales performance reflects this.”

He added:  “From the offset we provide franchisee’s access to Coldwell Banker systems, training, support, and crucially, know-how.  This means that Coldwell Banker affiliates grow smoothly and quickly, giving them the opportunity to focus on their core competency; quality real estate brokerage services. ”

Established in 1906, Coldwell Banker is one of the world’s oldest franchises with over 4,500 offices, and over 130,000 Sales Associates worldwide.  Coldwell Banker’s pioneering website www.coldwellbanker.com has also won a slew of awards for it’s level of consumer service.

President of Coldwell Banker Intercontinental Affiliates Confirms Real Estate is Still a Key Wealth Generator for the RegionRead More

Cairo, Egypt. 21st October 2008.  Speaking at The Euromoney Egypt Conference 2008, Mohammed Abdallah, President and Co-Founder of Coldwell Banker Intercontinental Affiliates confirmed that the continued strength of key regional real estate markets like Egypt is due to strong consumer spending and the diversity in properties on offer.

During the plenary session on Growth, Inflation and the Egyptian Consumer, Abdallah states that “the world economic crisis does affect Egypt in certain respects, however consumer spending still remains strong with the main effect being a change in the way the money is spent.  So while there has been visible slow down in luxury and super luxury property markets, more reasonably priced real estate continues to steam ahead and we expect growth rates to be around 30% in 2009.”

Speaking to the media at the conference he goes on to state that “in a country like Egypt where 60% of the population is under the age of 25 there is huge demand for affordable housing and related credit facilities.  And with emerging markets being tipped as the main contributors to world economic growth in 2009, investors will be looking at diverse realty markets in countries like Egypt as very attractive homes for their money”

Coldwell Banker Intercontinental Affiliates is the leading full-service real estate provider in the region with sub-franchising rights to 36 countries across the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

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