Online innovations shine in Middle East awards

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Four companies took 25 awards in WAN-Ifra's Middle East Digital Media Awards, ten of them going to Hia publisher Saudi Research & Publishing.

Presentations on Monday during the 12th Middle East Conference also saw Times of Oman publisher Muscat Media, and UAE-based Al Bayan and Galadari Printing and Publishing - which publishes the Khaleej Times - come away with five awards each.

Some 27 winners from nine categories were named in the competition - now in its second year - which recognises best practice innovation in digital publishing.

Best news website was for Khaleej Times, described as "visually appealing, easy navigation, integrates social media and the articles are well written".

In the lifestyle, sports or entertainment website category, the winner was Saudi Research & Publishing's Hia Magazine, noted for its great synergy of design, content and technology: "Due to 'trendy' content, elegant design and ease of navigation, the user seems well engaged and entertained," judges said.

Al Bayan TV was honoured for best use of online video, and the Times of Oman's Frankincense project microsite won a "Wow" from judges for its clean design and ability to navigate and engage the user. Times of Oman won this category last year and went on to be among the winners of the World Digital Media Awards, into which all regional winners are entered. This year's presentations will be during WAN-Ifra's Digital Content Expo in Berlin from October 10-12.

Some 300 industry delegates attended the two-day Middle East Conference, co-organised by Dubai Production City.

CATEGORIES AND WINNERS

Best News Website: 1, Galadari Printing & Publishing, UAE, for Khaleej Times website; 2, Muscat Media Group, Oman, for Timesofoman.com; 3, Dar Al-Sharq Newspaper, Qatar, for The Peninsula Qatar News Portal.

Best in Lifestyle, Sports or Entertainment Website: 1, Saudi Research & Publishing, UAE, for Hiamag.com; 2, Saudi Research & Publishing, UAE, for Sayidy.net; 3, Saudi Research & Publishing, UAE, for Sayidaty.net.

Best Use of Online Video: 1, Al Bayan, UAE, for Al Bayan TV; 2, Muscat Media Group, Oman, for Times TV; 3, Al Bayan, UAE, for The House of Sheikhs.

Best Data Visualization: 1, Muscat Media Group, Oman, for Timesofoman.com/extra/frankincense; 2, Al Bayan, UAE, for The House of Sheikhs; 3, Al Bayan, UAE, for HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed initiatives.

Best News Mobile Service: 1, Dar Al-Sharq Newspaper, Qatar, for Al Sharq Newspaper Mobile Application (Augmented Reality); 2, Galadari Printing & Publishing, UAE, for Khaleej Times Mobile news; 3, Muscat Media Group, Oman, for timesofoman.com mobile.

Best Lifestyle, Sports or Entertainment Mobile Service: 1, Saudi Research & Publishing, UAE, for Aljamila.com fashion and beauty website; 2, Galadari Printing & Publishing, UAE, for Khaleej Times interactive Sports; 3, Saudi Research & Publishing, UAE, for Sayidaty new Mobile Applications.

Best Innovation New Product: 1, Saudi Research & Publishing, UAE, for Hia Boutique; 2, Saudi Research & Publishing, UAE, for Sayidaty Mall, https://mall.sayidaty.net/sa/en, 3, Al Bayan, UAE, for "refkat kotob" (with the company of books), http://www.albayan.ae/year-of-reading/

Best in Social Media Engagement: 1, Saudi Research & Publishing, UAE, for Sayidaty.net on Snapchat; 2, Saudi Research & Publishing, UAE, for "Feed them right" - Sayidaty Kitchen Social Awareness campaign; 3, Muscat Media Group, Oman, for timesofoman.com social media.

Best Digital Advertising Campaign: 1, Galadari Printing & Publishing, UAE, for Khaleej Times Digital Campaign Glow Garden; 2, Saudi Research & Publishing, UAE, for Project Muse-Estee Lauder and Sayidaty women empowerment campaign; 3, Galadari Printing & Publishing, UAE, for Khaleej Times Digital Campaign for Aseel.

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