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Clarity Connections: Meeting Active DMC, our Clarity digital marketing and communications partner in the Middle East

At Clarity, we’re proud to be able to fearlessly drive results for our clients, wherever they - or their audiences - are in the world. We have teams on the ground in the UK, Benelux, East and West Coast U.S., and Australia, alongside a fantastic network of partners, our Clarity Connections, that allow us to have a footprint in every continent.

In this blog we’ll be boarding a flight to the Middle East, specifically to Dubai in the UAE, to meet with Louay Al Samarrai, Joint Managing Director of Active DMC, to learn more about what the company has to offer our clients.

What’s your elevator pitch for what Active DMC does?

Active DMC (Digital Marketing Communications) is an integrated marketing communications consultancy, established twenty years ago, based in the Middle East. We cover key markets like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar plus seven other countries in the region. We are a B2B technology-focused consultancy with a specialized gaming division. We’re a team of twelve consultants and our focus is to deliver added value, combined with insight into the region, for clients primarily based in the U.S., Europe and Asia looking to establish their presence here, or promote themselves once they’ve arrived.

Check out this video to get a better idea of the team and opportunity available to businesses un the UAE.

What is the biggest trend or innovation that Active DMC is championing in 2023?

With 2023 being our twentieth year in business, our focus this year is to champion our credentials in the region alongside illustrating how much we’ve evolved in terms of the services and value we offer. Something we’re especially proud of is that we've pioneered the four-day work week in our region and sector, making this move in September 2021 and receiving a great deal of positive attention for doing so. 

Do you have a case study of some truly innovative work you’ve done recently that you’d like to share? 

You can see a few recent examples below. Please reach out to the Clarity team for our full creds and to find out more about how we can help expand your footprint in the Middle East.

Why should companies be looking to work in the Middle East?

The Middle East is seeing huge investment and growth from governments eager to build a world beyond oil. This means countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar are spending billions on their various visions of the future. Technology – AI, Quantum Computing, HealthTech, FinTech and Robotics – are seen as key to this. Each country is looking to compete with other markets, but also each other ,and we see examples of this at every level, from Qataris trying to buy football teams, to Saudi Arabia spending US$9 billion in technology with companies like Meta, Oracle, NVIDIA, Zoom, Dell and Microsoft, to the UAE sending people into space. 

Our region also has a very vibrant start-up culture, from Morocco to Manama, and Dubai to Dammam. According to a recent PwC report, we may even soon beat Silicon Valley for funding and supporting startup culture. We’re excited to see that our region is looking at growth when so many are not at this challenging time for individuals and enterprises alike. 

Tell me about your team - who is who in the zoo and what’s your culture like?

The Active DMC team

Active is first and foremost a multi-cultural set of great people – we pride ourselves on being inclusive and our team reflects that! 

Our team is split into two account groups.

The first is headed up by Varun Joshi who is a calm, incisive thinker who comes across as very ‘unperturbed’ but has a great deal of tech knowledge and experience which he imparts to his team. He is supported by Ahmad Khalloudi, one of our longest serving team members and an individual who is multi-talented, very knowledgeable about tech (he qualified as a technical engineer), and has a great sense of humour and pride in what he does. Chloe Carre is the ‘baby of the bunch’, but a very conscientious and driven lady who has a very determined spirit which we hugely admire. 

Our other team is presently headed-up by Krisha Doshi who is a quietly confident lady and a real asset to the agency with her knowledge and calm approach. Supporting her is Windalyn Goma who loves media relations and is passionate about delivery, and May Hajouj who has recently moved to Dubai from Syria. May is new to PR but a very determined person with the appetite and the attitude to learn and learn fast – she is a force of nature!

Our gaming and social media team is headed by Tarek Hakim, also from Syria. Tarek is the quintessential gamer and there are few in the region that have the knowledge and experience he has in this sector! Tarek is a good-humored person and someone that gets the agency laughing with his thought-provoking comments which prompt discussion and lighthearted banter. He is supported by Ragid Hallak, who is also Syrian but based in Turkey where he works remotely on gaming but visits Dubai regularily to discuss plans and clients with the team. Ragid is an ex-gaming journalist and a lighthearted person with a real passion for gaming. Finally, Samer Hassoun is our social media expert who is contributing to our growing strength in the social and digital area.

Mechelle Manuelle deserves a special mention as there is nothing she can’t do! Mechelle joined us six plus years ago as our Office Manager covering finance, HR, IT, and so on. As we expanded our services, she taught herself videography, editing, graphic design and production, and now heads up our content division, transforming this into a separate and growing revenue centre in just two years. Under Mechelle’s direction, we’ve also recently set up an in-house recording studio for video and podcasts.

Finally, Sawsan Ghanem is my wife and business partner. She brings a great deal of strategic thinking and creativity to the business and authored all our agency processes, compiling them into a manual that is updated and refreshed regularly, and is the basis of our success as an agency.

We have a culture that is supportive, transparent, and focused on professional and personal growth. We’ve designed the agency to operate through processes that empower our team, setting us apart from our competitors which have a more top-down hierarchy.  

Our values are fearless, global, and positive - could you share any examples of what Active DMC is doing that also fits under those themes?

Our move towards embracing a four-day work week before anyone else in our region, and keeping staff salaries the same, is something we’re extremely proud of and shows our ability to be fearless and positive.

We work with clients all over the globe, and as we pass our twentieth year look forward to working with many more to share our cultures and experiences. The Middle East is a fascinating region with so much variety which many do not see or understand, preferring to believe in media stereotypes.

Positivity is built into our DNA. Like all agencies we have suffered setbacks, including losing clients for many different reasons, but we don’t hang our heads or blame everything but ourselves. We take a long hard look at ourselves, we pick ourselves up and we look forwards and do what we do best – add value and deliver insight.

Want to learn more about Active DMC or our other Clarity Connections around the world? Contact us here.



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