Compareit4ME See Huge Growth In Applications During First Half Of Ramadan

Just two weeks into Ramadan, compareit4me.com, the largest financial comparison site in the Middle East, has seen a 70% increase in user applications in the UAE. compareit4me is expected to generate more than 300,000 applications in 2015, boosted by regional expansion and continuous growth in the finance comparison industry as a whole.

After enjoying stellar success in 2014, being named Best Finance Comparison Site in the UAE by IFM Awards, and Best Comparison Site in the Middle East by the Global Banking and Finance Review, the company which is now live in 6 countries has seen huge growth in its platform, which now generates over 45,000 live finance applications each month. They are poised to dominate the market with over 300,000 applications in 2015 – a big increase on its already impressive feat of 200,000 applications in 2014, more than any other comparison platform in the region.

“In past years we have seen a huge increase in the number of people applying during Ramadan, said Jon Richards, CEO of the compareit4me group. “ The first few weeks of Ramadan 2015 achieved even greater numbers and have exceeded our expectations, which can be largely attributed to the earlier arrival of the holy month and the fact that children were still in school”. He added, noting that car loans are one of the most popular products for UAE consumers, with most car dealers dropping prices and adding benefits such as free insurance or servicing.

compareit4me have no doubt benefitted from the wider economy which remains buoyant, with current foreign currency reserves standing at AED12.121 billion (USD33 billion). As rising liquidity and capital adequacy in the region bolsters regional banks’ confidence, financial powerhouses such as ADIB, CBD and Doha Bank in the GCC, a region widely considered to be a key market for facilitating the global growth of Islamic finance, are also taking advantage of the Ramadan shopping craze and aiming to increase customer numbers by offering low rates on financial products such as loans, credit cards, and personal lines of credit.

Though many banks and finance providers see this month as an opportunity to offer discounts and promotions, Richards cautions consumers to consider their commitments and finances carefully before committing to additional finance. He added “It’s easy to get carried away and purchase a new car or take out additional debt because it’s a good deal. Consumers need to think about the long term impact of the debt and most importantly, ensure they can afford the additional commitment should their personal circumstances change”.

“We want to democratize consumer finance in the Middle East and the first step towards achieving that is facilitating accurate product comparisons,” added Richards.  With its services in strong demand from UAE customers, this Ramadan is turning out to be the perfect opportunity to cement compareit4me as a market leader in 2015.

 

Get Emirates Collectibles Delivered To Your Door

Emirates Official Store, the home of Emirates collectibles, makes it easier for fans of the airline to ‘Fly Emirates’ no matter where they are in the world.

Emirates merchandise brings aviation, travel and sport fans togetherconnecting people and their passions around the globe. With a few clicks on www.emiratesofficialstore.com, shoppers can now choose from the full range of Emirates merchandise and complete their transaction using MasterCard and Visa debit/credit cards.

The enhanced feature on the Emirates Official Store’s website offers delivery to UAE and international customers with a flat fee US$5 and US$25 respectively.

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“As Emirates continues on our journey to becoming a global lifestyle brand, we regularly look at new and interesting ways to reach people around the globe and outside of an airport or aircraft. Emirates Official Store has something for everyone – from football jerseys for fans of Emirates-sponsored clubs, aircraft models for aviation enthusiasts, apparel for all ages, children’s products and travel accessories for the frequent flyer. The list does not end there and we are continually adding new products and redesigning them,” said David Staff, Manager of Emirates Merchandise.

For the Sports Fan

Fans of football clubs and sports events sponsored by Emirates can buy the latest football shirts (http://bit.ly/eos-footballkit) on the website and at its official store at The Dubai Mall (Ground Floor, ‘The Village’).

The new Paris Saint-Germain football shirts are now available and the new season’s shirts for AC Milan, Arsenal and Real Madrid will coincide with the clubs’ global launch dates this Summer.

Following the recent sponsorship agreement with Portugal’s Lisboa e Benfica, the football club’s new season kit will also be available later this year.

Rugby enthusiasts are not left behind as the official store website is selling the Rugby World Cup memorabilia (http://bit.ly/eos-rugbyworldcup) ahead of the tournament in September.

For the Frequent Flyer

The latest travel essential for this summer is the Emirates’ Urban Travellers (http://bit.ly/eos-urbantravellers) range which consists of various mini bags for swim gear, laundry, and gadgets to keep the items neat in a luggage.

The Store also offers basic travel essentials such luggage tags of various designs and sophisticated passport wallets made of leather.

For the Young and the Young at Heart

Another latest addition is the Emirates’ Cabin Crew and Pilot uniforms (http://bit.ly/dressupuniform) for children aged 3 to 8 years old retailing at AED 210 ($US 57). To complete the crew and pilot look, shoppers can buy the iconic Emirates red hat and pilot hat which cost from AED 95 ($US 26).

For the Aviation Enthusiast

Aircraft models (http://bit.ly/eos-aircraftmodel) of varying sizes are the all-time best-sellers for the Store. These detailed replicas of the Emirates Airline fleet are either made of plastic or die-cast metal. When Emirates specially dresses an aircraft in conjunction with some of its famous sports sponsorships, the miniature version of the same aircraft are sold as well.

Pinkberry Introduces Mint Lemonade Frozen Yogurt For Ramadan

Pinkberry, the world’s leading frozen yogurt retailer, has unveiled the new Mint Lemonade frozen yogurt flavor, exclusively during Ramadan in all stores across Kuwait, UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt.

Developed locally, this flavor is inspired by the refreshing taste of the region’s popular Mint Lemonade drink. The blend of lemons and fresh aromatic mint leaves provides a welcome relief from the summer heat. The Mint Lemonade frozen yogurt can be paired with fresh cut fruits to enhance the flavours, and premium dry toppings like almonds and granola to add some crunch.

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Pinkberry is committed to providing customers with a delicious culinary experience in every cup. All Pinkberry frozen yogurt is made with real milk and yogurt packed with live and active cultures. It is loaded with calcium and protein, which help support a healthy immune system and may help regulate digestion.

Visit our stores and try this cool and refreshing frozen yogurt flavor. Available for a limited time only.

Mental Health

In issue close to my heart is that of the psychological stigma in Dubai communities. Mental health in many parts of the world is a topic lesser discussed and as a result, poorly understood by the society at large. This causes a lot of stigmatization of disorders due to the cultural taboo surrounding the topic. A potentially harmful phenomenon, psychological stigma must be tackled head on with education and awareness programs for the benefit of those suffering in silence.

In the UAE, Muslim culture often promotes religious and spiritual healing over medical care. This is understandable and supported in certain cases, nonetheless, mental health issues beyond the realm of alternative medicine must be met proper treatment. Dubai residents need to open their horizons towards issues in mental health and de-stigmatize treatment for mental health through therapy.  Regular therapy for improved mental health in private and professional spheres can reap endless benefits from increased productivity, and higher motivation levels, to better team working and cooperation, etc.

Mental disorders are increasingly prevalent in the world today with almost 25% of Adults suffering from any mental illness ranging in level of seriousness. 1 in 4 people will experience anxiety or depression at some stage of life and for 1 in 10 this could lead to more serious medical consequences. Anxiety and depression also have social, economic and non-mental health related effects, which can be a lot worse if left untreated. Most people shy away from mental health treatment due to adverse effects of medications, and a multitude of complications that arise, however, medicine isn’t the only form of dealing with mental health issues. Scheduled targeted therapy can be hugely advantageous and healing for sufferers and if not professional therapy, then even online programs, or self-help options are prime considerations.

Emaar Marks Ramadan With Authentic ‘Downtown’ Tent Amid Spectacular Views

Global property developer Emaar Properties PJSC is marking the Holy Month of Ramadan at its elegantly designed ‘Downtown’ tent, serving traditional Arabian and contemporary cuisine as well as offering outstanding hospitality and ambiance for an evening to remember.

Located at ‘The Venue’ on Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, the bustling thoroughfare in Downtown Dubai, ‘Downtown’ is defined by the spectacular views it offers of Burj Khalifa. Guests can choose to dine under its magnificently-lit tent ceiling or in the glorious garden, enclosed in a glass façade that provides a truly starry evening. The tent’s aesthetic design enables the accommodation of large gatherings and private groups.

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director of Emaar Properties, said: “‘Downtown’ serves as an ideal destination in the heart of the city where families, friends and colleagues can get together and revel in Arabian traditions. Its elegant design, authentic cuisine and vibrant atmosphere assure visitors of memorable Iftar and Suhoor experiences.”

At ‘Downtown’, guests can discover the warm Arabian hospitality with the entire services managed by The Address Hotels + Resorts, the flagship hotel brand of Emaar Hospitality Group. Seasoned chefs of The Address Hotels + Resorts prepare authentic delicacies from across the world. The Iftar and Suhoor spreads feature sumptuous buffets and soft drink choices as well as diverse flavours of shisha.

Downtown Ramadan Tent by Emaar Properties 1

Titled ‘Reflections’ and organised in collaboration with Art Dubai, patrons can also peruse an art exhibition in both ‘Downtown’ and nearby ‘The Gallery’ at Emaar Pavilion. Exploring the important notion of reflection during Ramadan, the exhibition is one of the many avant-garde exhibitions planned as part of the art calendar of ‘The Gallery’  which defines its space credentials as a dynaamic exhibition hub in the heart of the city’s most vibrant cultural destination. ‘Reflections’ includes artworks by UAE-based artists JZ Aamir, Rand Abdul Jabbar, Zeinab Al Hashimi, Khalid Mezaina, Latifa Saeed, Saher Oliver Samman, Mohamed Somji, Maitha Abdalla and Reem Falaknaz.

Apart from individual, family and group reservations, ‘Downtown’ also serves as the definitive destination for corporate events. A section of the tent can be reserved for corporate Iftars and Suhoors. Live oud music and other Arabian music performances further add to the exclusive experience.

‘Downtown’ is open daily for Iftar and Suhoor. For reservations, please call 04 4238883, email: downtown@emaar.ae or visit www.mydowntowndubai.com.