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Emirates Crowned As 2024 APEX World Class Airline, With Additional Award For Economy Class Amenity Kit

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Emirates Crowned As 2024 APEX World Class Airline, With Additional Award For Economy Class Amenity Kit

Emirates has recently been crowned as a 2024 Apex World Class Airline winner for mastering guest experience and delivering outstanding customer service, at the 2024 APEX/IFSA Awards held in Long Beach, California. Evaluated through a comprehensive audit of quality of service, safety, and health control initiatives, Emirates is one of just eight airlines globally to achieve this accolade. Emirates also received a 2024 IFSA award for ‘Best Onboard Amenity,’ in recognition of Emirates Sustainable Economy Class amenity kit – filled with useful amenities to enhance passenger comfort whilst being composed of more sustainable materials designed for reusability.

Recognising Emirates commitment to ensuring passengers ‘Fly Better,’ Emirates was awarded the World Class accolade for demonstrating the highest global standards of safety and well-being, sustainability, and service-guest experience. Celebrating a year of record profits, a successful first year of Premium Economy Class, sizeable investments into enhancing onboard services , and notable steps in the journey towards a more sustainable future, Emirates was lauded by the aviation industry for its innovation and commitment to excellence.

APEX CEO Dr Joe Leader commented;

“Tonight, we did more than merely acknowledge the prowess and passion of the airline industry, we paid tribute to 2024 APEX World Class trailblazers like Emirates, who have unequivocally etched a golden chapter in the annals of air travel beyond five stars. I had the privilege of spending invaluable moments with President Sir Tim Clark at APEX’s FTE EMEA event in Dublin earlier this year. The insights, the vision, the sheer audacity of Emirates’ approach to revolutionizing the skies carried in every word he shared. Emirates is not just an airline; it’s a symphony of innovation, ambition, and undying commitment to excellence.”

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About Emirates Economy Class Amenity Kits

Emirates’ Economy Class range of amenity kits are complimentary for customers on long-haul flights, and feature designs that represent the four essential elements of nature – fire, water, earth, and air. The pouches are reusable and made from washable kraft paper with bespoke art printed in non-toxic soy-based ink. The contents include a selection of durable travel essentials made from materials that are more environmentally friendly than single use plastic. The toothbrush is made from a combination of wheat straw and plastic, and the socks and eyeshades are made from recycled plastic, in this case, rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate).

To compliment the reusable amenity kits onboard, Emirates has several other initiatives in Economy Class which focus on using sustainable materials where possible, including cosy blankets made from recycled plastic bottles, where each blanket is made from 28 recycled plastic bottles – an initiative which has prevented over 95 million plastic bottles from going to landfill over the last 6 years.

Single use plastic has been reduced with the introduction of wooden tea and coffee stirrers onboard, while paper straws and inflight retail bags are made using wood and paper from responsibly managed forests. For Emirates’ youngest customers, the airline’s complimentary toy bags, baby amenity kits and plush toys are also made from recycled plastic bottles and other sustainable materials. Emirates also recycles plastic and glass onboard when flights land in Dubai, diverting thousands of kilograms of glass and plastic away from landfill each year.

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About the APEX World Class Awards

APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), the largest international airline association dedicated to passengers and advancing their experience, is the official ratings body that issues the new WORLD CLASS award and accreditation. The APEX Official Airline Ratings™ were the industry’s first validated, verified, and certified industry award where the airline’s passengers rate their overall experience on a scale of 1-5, with Five Star being the highest honour. To be awarded WORLD CLASS airlines must qualify by audit. Audits are conducted by industry professionals from Yates and Partners, aviation’s premier guest experience consultancy. Each audit is peer reviewed and validated by Associate Professor Dr Maxwell Winchester of Victoria University and Copenhagen Business School, an expert in qualitative and quantitative customer research methodology. Then further scrutinized by the governing board of APEX. WORLD CLASS is awarded to the qualified few. APEX is the airline association run by the airlines for the airlines. APEX is the official ratings body that issues the WORLD CLASS award and accreditation.

People & Lifestyle

Virgin Hotels to open its first London hotel

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Virgin Hotels to open its first London hotel

Virgin Hotels, the luxury lifestyle hospitality brand by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, has announced its first London hotel to open on 1st August 2024 in the heart of Shoreditch.

 

Continuing its global expansion, London will be the eighth Virgin Hotels location as it brings the brand home to its birthplace and where it all started for Sir Richard and the Virgin Group. It will become the 17th property for the wider Virgin Hotels Collection, having just announced a new property in Kenya and following the successful launches of Virgin Hotels Edinburgh and Virgin Hotels New York in 2023.

 

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The hotel will form part of a long-term agreement between Virgin Hotels and Reuben Brothers – global leaders in real estate investment and development. It will bring Virgin’s iconic trademark and unrivalled personalised hotel experience to one of London’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, known for its tech, fashion, culture and creative arts scene.

 

The 120-bedroom hotel, located at 45 Curtain Road in the heart of Shoreditch, is one of the most striking buildings in London’s East End landscape, making it the perfect fit with Virgin Hotels’ ethos and philosophy.  Its seven other luxury lifestyle hotels are also located in iconic urban locations across key cities in the US and UK.

 

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, commented: “We’re all absolutely delighted that Virgin Hotels Collection will be opening a Virgin hotel in London. Since the inception of Virgin Hotels, we’ve had our sights set on London; a place that so many of our customers either call home, or name as one of their favourite destinations – and of course where Virgin’s story started.

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“At Virgin, we’ve been disrupting the travel industry for more than 40 years, from land to air to sea – even to space. Our success comes from identifying where we can make a difference.

 

“Virgin Atlantic customers have always said to me that we give them a wonderful experience in the sky, but they don’t have the same Virgin experience when they land.  Well, we’ve sorted that in Las Vegas, New York, Edinburgh and now London too.”

 

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The hotel will open on 1 August 2024, which will mark the start of a gradual transformation to transition the hotel to a fully-fledged Virgin hotel with all the magic the brand is renowned for.

 

Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch will continue to offer one of the most diverse selections of elevated experiences across the luxury lifestyle hospitality space from its showcase Spanish restaurant BiBo in association with world-famous chef, Dani Garcia; to a glittering rooftop bar, pool, restaurant, private members club, gym, and treatment rooms, managed by the one and only, Ibiza’s Blue Marlin.  All of which Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch resident guests will have access to.

 

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“This year will mark 10 years of Virgin Hotels and what a way to start the early celebrations as we announce our newest hotel in one of the world’s most famous cities,” said James Bermingham, CEO of Virgin Hotels Collection.

 

“We are all truly delighted Shoreditch, London will be home to the next location for Virgin Hotels and what an extraordinary one it will be.  We pride ourselves in having hotels in the very best locations across our key cities and Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch will be in the epicentre of one of London’s most cultured, and creative areas.

 

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“We are thankful to Reuben Brothers for entrusting us to bring the Virgin Hotels brand to life in this incredible building and to bring a splash of red to Shoreditch by showcasing our innovative, heartfelt and personal hotel experience, led by our wonderful people, to our future London guests.”

 

Jamie Reuben, Principal, Reuben Brothers added: “Over the past decade, I have been closely following the smart, strategic expansion of Virgin Hotels – with its significant openings in key US and UK cities – from Chicago and Las Vegas to Edinburgh and New York. I am therefore incredibly excited to be partnering with Virgin Hotels in London of all places – the city that both Sir Richard Branson and I are proud to be from. Richard and his team’s entrepreneurial spirit and constant quest for excellence make them the ideal partner for our property in Shoreditch, and I look forward to seeing Virgin’s vision come to life.”

 

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The announcement of a London hotel will see Virgin Hotels’ The Know loyalty programme and Virgin Red, the rewards club from Virgin, have a home in London for their members to stay and earn Virgin Points, with more details to be announced later this year.

 

Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch bookings will be open in early July for reservations starting 1 August 2024. For more information about Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch, visit virginhotels.com/london-shoreditch or visit www.virginhotels.com for more on the portfolio. To learn more about future developments visit development.virginhotels.com.

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People & Lifestyle

Nana Affum Mireku Foundation Supports Maternal Healthcare with Donation to Kwahu Government Hospital

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The Nana Affum Mireku Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to positively impacting lives and communities, has demonstrated its commitment to giving back through a donation to the maternal unit of the Atibie Kwahu Government Hospital in the Eastern Region. 

Commenting on the donation exercise, Sandra Mireku, Executive Director of the Foundation, said, “The donation, made in honour of the late Nana Mireku, aims to enhance the hospital’s capabilities in providing quality healthcare services to expectant mothers and newborns in the region. The foundation presented assorted items, including toiletries, disinfectants, face masks, baby diapers, sanitary pads, baby oil, and baby powder etc. 

Dr. Kobena Awotwe Wiredu, Medical Superintendent at the Atibie Government Hospital, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Nana Affum Mireku Foundation for their generous support to the Maternal Unit. He commended the Foundation for their kindness and dedication to improving maternal healthcare in the region.

“These items we have received today are a testament to your commitment to the well-being of our patients,” Dr. Awotwe Wiredu said. “The toiletries, disinfectants, face masks, baby diapers, sanitary pads, baby oil, and baby powder will go a long way in supporting our efforts to provide quality care to new mothers and their babies. Your selflessness and compassion have made a significant impact on our work, and we are deeply grateful.”

Dr Nana Osei, Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Atibie Government Hospital also thanked the team for the donation. He encouraged the Foundation to continue their support, saying, “We urge you to make this a regular event, as your contributions will have a lasting impact on the lives of many families in our community.”

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Following the donation, the team from the Nana Affum Mireku Foundation visited the Maternity Ward of Atibie Government Hospital, presenting baby hampers to new mothers and covering some hospital bills for those unable to pay. 

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People & Lifestyle

Ebne Hakim Breaks New Ground as Apple Music’s Latest Up Next Artist in East Africa Following Release of debut EP ‘Brana’

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Ebne Hakim Breaks New Ground as Apple Music’s Latest Up Next Artist in East Africa Following Release of debut EP ‘Brana’

Apple Music today announced the latest artist to be featured in its new Up Next artist development program in East Africa, is Ethiopian pop singer-songwriter, Ebne Hakim (real name Mikyas Mengistu).

“It feels amazing that East Africa is being noticed on the music scene,” he tells Apple Music. “And having a project made in Ethiopia by an Ethiopian artist reach this milestone is unreal. I’m extremely grateful that artists from this generation and the music they produce can travel globally and make a difference. I’m proud of everyone who made this possible—thank you!”

Born and raised in Ethiopia’s bustling capital of Addis Ababa, Ebne Hakim’s (ዕብነ ሐኪም) musical consciousness was shaped by the rhythmic pulse of traditional Ethiopian melodies and influenced by artists like pop icon Michael Jackson and multi-award winning singer Bruno Mars, as well as Ethiopian greats like Teddy Afro, Theodros Tadesse, and Ejigayehu Shibabaw (Gigi).

His debut single “Gela” (2024), a blend of alternative R&B, pop, and electronic elements and sung in Amharic, introduced his signature Ethio-Fusion style, showcasing his innovative approach and ability to captivate and inspire a growing audience.

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On his debut EP Brana (2024), available to stream on Apple Music, Hakim fuses traditional sounds with R&B, funk, soul, and electronic elements to create six sweeping arrangements within a sound that he’s dubbed “Ethio-fusion”. This coming-of-age EP balances the past and the present, while Hakim journeys towards fulfilment and self-determination.

As the next Up Next act to be spotlighted in East Africa after Polaris Pauline, Ebene Hakim will be featured across Apple Music’s Up Next playlist https://apple.co/3eITdJd. The curated Up Next playlist features a dynamic class of new and emerging artists, thoughtfully hand-picked by Apple Music editors from around the world. The playlist is genre agnostic and represents a line-up of artists our global editors are passionate about and eager to expose to a larger audience.

The vast global Up Next roster of past talent includes Grammy-nominated and critically lauded talent like 6lack, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., Greta Van Fleet, Khalid, Amy Shark, Billie Eilish, Sabrina Claudio, Sigrid, Mr Eazi, Stefflon Don, Bad Bunny, Juice WLRD, Bazzi, Jax Jones, NCT 127, Summer Walker, Tierra Whack, Dean Lewis, Pink Sweat$, Koffee, Megan Thee Stallion, Burna Boy, Clairo, Lunay, Jessie Reyez, Orville Peck, Victoria Monét, Ingrid Andress, Conan Gray, Don Toliver, Rema, BENEE, Holly Humberstone, Natanael Cano, Givēon, beabadoobee, Arlo Parks, Tate McRae, Foushee and Tems.

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People & Lifestyle

Maximize Your Music Production Workflow with Sample and MIDI Packs

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Efficiency is key in today’s fast-paced music industry. Whether you’re a seasoned producer or just starting out, finding ways to streamline your workflow can make a significant difference in your productivity and creativity. One of the most effective ways to enhance your workflow is by using sample and MIDI packs. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of these packs and how you can integrate them into your production process.

Understanding Sample and MIDI Packs

Before we dive into the benefits, let’s clarify what sample and MIDI packs are. Sample packs are collections of audio samples, usually in WAV format, that contain sounds such as drum loops, basslines, and melodies. These samples are often created by professional producers and musicians and can range from individual drum hits to complex musical phrases.

 

MIDI packs, on the other hand, contain MIDI files, which are sequences of musical notes and instructions that can be used to control virtual instruments and hardware synthesizers. MIDI packs often include chord progressions, melodies, and basslines, providing you with a solid foundation for your tracks.

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Benefits of Using Sample and MIDI Packs

Time-Saving

One of the biggest advantages of using sample and MIDI packs is the time they can save you. Instead of spending hours programming drum patterns or crafting melodies, you can quickly drag and drop pre-made loops and MIDI files into your project. This allows you to focus more on the creative aspects of your music and less on the technical details.

Inspiration

Another significant benefit of sample and MIDI packs is the inspiration they can provide. Sometimes, all it takes is a unique drum loop or a catchy melody to spark a new idea. These packs are filled with professionally crafted sounds and musical phrases that can help you break through creative blocks and take your music in new directions.

Quality

When you use sample and MIDI packs created by reputable companies like Unison, you can be confident in the quality of the sounds. These packs are often recorded and processed using high-end equipment and techniques, ensuring that your tracks sound professional and polished.

Incorporating Sample and MIDI Packs into Your Workflow

Organization

To make the most of sample and MIDI packs, it’s essential to keep them organized. Create a folder structure that makes sense to you and label your packs accordingly. This will make it easier to find the sounds you need when you need them.

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Integration

Integrating sample and MIDI packs into your workflow is easy. Most DAWs allow you to simply drag and drop samples and MIDI files into your project. Experiment with different combinations and arrangements to find the perfect sound for your track.

Customization

While sample and MIDI packs are great for speeding up your workflow, don’t be afraid to customize the sounds to fit your style. Add effects, adjust parameters, and tweak settings to make the sounds your own.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Sample and MIDI Packs

Mixing and Mastering

When using samples and MIDI files in your tracks, it’s essential to pay attention to mixing and mastering. Ensure that the levels are balanced, and the sounds sit well together in the mix. Use effects and processing to enhance the sound and make it sound cohesive.

Creative Use

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when using sample and MIDI packs. Experiment with different sounds and arrangements to create unique and innovative tracks. The beauty of these packs is that they provide you with a starting point, but the possibilities are endless.

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In conclusion, sample and MIDI packs are powerful tools that can help you maximize your music production workflow. Whether you’re looking to save time, find inspiration, or enhance the quality of your tracks, these packs have you covered. By incorporating them into your production process and following the tips outlined in this article, you can take your music to the next level.

MIDI Packs by Unison

One notable provider of high-quality MIDI packs is Unison. Their MIDI packs are renowned for their versatility and quality, offering a wide range of chord progressions, melodies, and basslines that can elevate your tracks. With Unison’s MIDI packs, you can access professionally crafted MIDI files that are ready to use in your productions, saving you time and effort.

 

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Unison’s MIDI packs are organized by key and tempo, making it easy to find the right MIDI file for your track. Whether you’re producing EDM, hip-hop, or pop, Unison has a MIDI pack that will suit your needs. Their packs are designed to inspire creativity and help you overcome creative blocks, making them a valuable addition to any producer’s toolkit.

Conclusion

In conclusion, sample and MIDI packs are invaluable tools for maximizing your music production workflow. They can save you time, inspire new ideas, and enhance the quality of your tracks. By incorporating sample and MIDI packs into your production process and following the tips outlined in this article, you can streamline your workflow and take your music to the next level. Consider exploring MIDI packs by Unison to add a professional touch to your productions and unlock new creative possibilities.



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People & Lifestyle

UBA Ghana Welcomes 44 New Staff Through Graduate Management Accelerated Programme

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UBA Ghana has proudly welcomed 44 new staff members through its Graduate Management Accelerated Programme (GMAP) in May 2024. This cohort marks the third batch, following the successful completion of the program by 14 and 40 participants in the first and second cohorts, respectively.

The Head of Human Resources, Evelyn Effie Quansah, extended her heartfelt congratulations to the graduates for their diligence and commitment during the six-month program. 

The rigorous training combined both classroom instruction and on-the-job experiences, designed to hone their skills and prepare them for their roles within the bank. She noted that though 49 people started the programme, 5 could not complete it for various reasons and hence 44 graduated and were on-boarded to join the Bank.

Evelyn emphasized UBA’s ongoing dedication to staff development, stating, “UBA will continue to build the capacity of staff to improve profitability.”

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Uzoechina Molokwu, Managing Director and CEO of UBA Ghana, also congratulated the new employees and urged them to work hard to justify their hiring and enhance the bank’s productivity. He encouraged them to uphold UBA’s high standards by embodying the bank’s core values of Excellence, Enterprise, and Execution. Molokwu also emphasized the importance of adopting the UBA Persona in their daily work. 

He shared valuable guidance with the new staff, urging them to prioritize personal development and invest in their growth to achieve career advancement. 

Uzoechina encouraged them to maintain a focused mind-set, appreciate their current resources, and practice financial discipline. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of adhering to established protocols, stressing the need for discipline and accountability in their professional journey

With eagerness and enthusiasm, the newly inducted staff pledged to bring their utmost dedication and expertise to the team, committed to driving the bank’s continued growth and success. 

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The Graduate Management Accelerated Programme (GMAP) has been introduced by the Bank to train and recruit new hires to fill up critical vacancies, help reduce unemployment, and develop critical human capital for the Bank.

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Radio & TV

MultiChoice nails streaming piracy operation Waka TV

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MultiChoice

Following an arrest, investigations are under way into the “thousands of individuals connected to the Waka TV pirate network”.

MultiChoice Group and its technology security subsidiary Irdeto have succeeded in nailing a pirate internet streaming service with the help of Western Cape police investigators.

In a statement on Wednesday, MultiChoice described the dismantling of the pirate steaming operation, called Waka TV, as “a significant victory in the fight against internet streaming piracy”.

The broadcaster said it was involved in a “meticulously planned raid” on 31 May, which led to the arrest of a “key suspect involved in one of the most extensive pirate operations in Africa”.

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“This operation represents a major milestone in our relentless commitment to protecting MultiChoice Group’s content and the integrity of our broadcasting services,” it said.

It added that Irdeto made a “substantial investment” to investigate and identify the main suspect involved in the piracy network.

“The suspect, who is believed to have managed several pirate customers and resellers, was detained,” it said, adding that Waka TV “illegally distributed live TV channels, including several DStv channels, movies and series. The disruption caused by this raid is a significant blow to the illegal streaming industry in Africa.

“MultiChoice is working actively with the police as investigations continue into the thousands of individuals connected to the Waka TV pirate network. Resellers supporting the pirate operation are also under investigation. This collaborative effort aims to dismantle the entire network and bring all perpetrators to justice.”

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More arrests imminent

It said the arrested suspect – it did not name the individual – appeared in court on 3 June and is facing charges of fraud and contravention of sections 2 to 8 of the Cybercrime Act. “Additional charges are being considered in consultation with the senior public prosecutor.”

The broadcaster said the Western Cape cybercrime unit will thoroughly analyse all the equipment seized during the raid. “This comprehensive analysis is expected to provide additional insights into the extent of the pirate network, and more arrests are imminent,” it said.

“MultiChoice Group would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the cybercrime unit and the Western Cape provincial commercial crime investigation unit for their outstanding support and professionalism throughout this operation. Their efforts have been crucial in achieving this significant breakthrough.”  — © 2024 NewsCentral Media

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