Real Estate U.S

Wealthy Gulf Nationals Snapping Up Luxury Properties in New York: Market Poised to See Substantial Growth

New York’s luxury property market is gearing up for a pivotal 2023, with the most exclusive enclaves of the city witnessing a significant uptick in property viewings. Ultra-rich Gulf investors are reportedly snapping up properties in New York, according to Middle East Eye.

NYC Luxury Property Market Is Expanding

Wealthy GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) investors are vying for luxury properties, with New York and London the standout cities in high demand for prime and super-prime sales.

However, over the last few years, the worldwide border restriction due to COVID-19 caused a slowdown in the US property market.

Case in point: International buyers invested $59bn on US residences in the last 12 months ended March 31, 2023, which is the second-lowest home sale since 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors

On top of that, the hefty hikes in interest and mortgage rates, soaring inflation, and a high risk of the recession induced as the after-effect of the Russian invasion of Ukraine further exacerbated the crisis.  

However, with easing border restrictions and the country trying to eke out growth, the USA’s luxury property market is poised for a tremendous comeback.

For example, the upscale property market of Manhattan is reportedly on firm ground. The borough alone witnessed a 35.6% increase in luxury residence transactions through last August compared to the same period in 2021 and from the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

Overall, the city racked up around 244 home sales valued at $10M or more—higher than any other city in the world.

It means: despite soaring economic headwinds and geopolitical uncertainties worldwide, the luxury market in New York City remains robust.

The Economies of Gulf Nations Are Booming

Even though the soaring energy prices stemming from the Ukraine conflict have caused higher monetary conditions and rising global inflation, it has buoyed the economies of the Gulf nations.

Inflated oil prices have bolstered GDP growth prospects in Saudi Arabia. The country reported real GDP growth of an eye-watering 8.7% in 2022, the highest among the G-20 countries.

UAE is also radiating optimism, chalking up economic growth of 7.6% in 2022. As a result, Gulf nationals have had their wealth increase.

Again, Dubai has been ranked as the world’s fourth most active luxury residential market last year, with property prices rising roughly 44%.

On the other hand, Riyadh ranked third, with prices surging around 25%.

Again, international investors are splurging money into the Gulf stock market.

UAE’s ADX and Saudi’s Tadawul have been ranked as the best-performing stock markets in the world, while the Initial Public Offering (IPO) in a stock market seems to be paralysed elsewhere.

GCC residents usually have high exposure to the equities of their countries.

Retail investors’ share of total equities trading volume on Tadawul is now around 67%, whereas, for US markets, it’s only 25%. Gulf stocks may seem down this year, but historically, it’s still high.

Gulf Nationals Looking at NYC Properties with Fresh Interest

The strength of the US dollar compared to the Pound Sterling has been underscored as a key player in buoying NYC’s luxury property market.

The US dollar has long been considered a safe-haven asset during political tensions, prompting investors to devise active strategies based on geopolitical shocks.

Ultra-rich GCC nationals already invested in Europe are now turning to the US luxury market as a long-term investment and as part of their effort to maximise their portfolio. 

One leading benefit they enjoy over other foreign investors is that the currencies of the Gulf nations are pegged to the US dollar.

That said, with a massive influx of Gulf nationals preferring contemporary-style interior architecture for their luxury NYC homes, the demand for high-end interior design services like Accouter is ballooning.

By blurring the line between interior design and architecture, a class-leading interior service company can transform exclusive spaces into exquisite homes. 

Wrapping Up

With a substantial number of Gulf nationals flocking to the city, NYC’s luxury property market is poised to grow this year. 

Energy & Environment Technology World

China to Dominate Upcoming Oil and Gas Projects Commencing Operations in Asia-Pacific by 2027

China is poised to dominate the landscape of the upcoming oil and gas (O&G) project in Asia-Pacific, accounting for 33% of the total projects anticipated to go into operation by 2027, reported Offshore Technology, which cited “Petrochemicals New Build and Expansion Projects Analysis by Type, Development Stage, Key Countries, Region and Forecasts, 2023-2027.”

Upcoming Oil & Gas Projects in Asia-Pacific Region

The O&G industry in the Asia-pacific region is forecasted to see a boom in the coming years, with the region’s economy resuming growth and driving demand for consumer goods and fuels.

Roughly 2,040 oil and gas projects are set to start operation during the forecast period of 2023–27, with petrochemical leading with 1,024 projects. Of the project total, 230 are expected to be upstream, 564 downstream, and 343 refinery projects.

The trunk/transmission pipelines sector accounts for 37% of all projects whilst LNG and oil storage respectively constitute 30% and 24% of the midstream project segment.

Among these 2,040 oil and gas projects, the construction of about 43% is underway and are expected to be in operation by 2027. 

Thirty-one percent of the undertakings have been sanctioned by the governing authority or waiting for approval while the remaining projects are still in the planning phase.

China Leading the Oil & Gas Industry in Asia-Pacific

GlobalData forecasts China to lead the midstream projects. Around 89 midstream projects accounting for 22% of the total midstream projects in Asia-Pacific are anticipated to start operation between 2023 and 2027.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification projects top the list of midstream projects accounting for 46% of the total as the country steps up imports of natural gas as part of its effort to curb carbon emissions. 

Himani Pant Pandey, Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Being one of the leading importers and consumers of oil and gas in the world, China is witnessing a strong midstream infrastructure development, particularly in the LNG regasification, pipelines, and storage segments.”

Again, China is forecast to dominate the petrochemical projects accounting for about half of the total projects commencing operation in Asia through 2027. 

Out of 410 petrochemical projects starting in the country, the number of polypropylene and propylene projects are expected to be 48 and 42 respectively. 

Optimising Oil & Gas Production Requires Efficient Reservoir Lifecycle Monitoring

With the demand for energy soaring worldwide, companies are striving to develop new oil and gas fields.

Case in point: New-built projects make up more than 78% of the total O&G projects starting in Asia-Pacific during the forecast period of 2023-27.

For oil and gas companies looking to optimise production and strengthen their decision-making, using high-resolution borehole seismic services manufactured by leading companies like Silixa is a sensible business investment.

High-end DAS seismic services can offer a cost-effective solution for monitoring the life cycle of a reservoir, including exploration, development, production, and abandonment.

Wrapping Up

By rolling out a significant number of oil and gas projects, China is committed to meeting the growing industrial, domestic, and consumer energy demand while also becoming self-sufficient in energy.

Computers & Software Technology

Google Announces Supercharged Search With Generative AI at the I/O Conference

In the last few months, there was talk going on about how AI-powered chatbots, like ChatGPT, were going to make Google search redundant. 

The point was, why would people search for a topic and then scroll through multiple results to find the right answer? Especially when ChatGPT could give them a comprehensive reply without having to scroll through pages of information.

There was a bit of panic about it in the Google headquarters, but then the search giant came out with its own AI chatbot, Bard.

Then, on 10th May, Google announced it is “Supercharging Search with Generative AI” at Google I/O.

What Is Generative AI?

Generative AI is a technology that uses Machine Learning (ML) to produce (or generate) content in the form of text, images, audio, or synthetic data.

So, instead of passively offering searchers a list of pages, Google is offering to search through existing content and answer questions. 

Whilst this is still in its nascent stage, people can participate in this experiment that the search giant is calling Search Generative Experience (SGE) in Google’s Search Labs.

But, how is Google using generative AI in search?

Search Made Better

One of the key points people were making when arguing that ChatGPT was better than search engines was that it gave a “well-researched” and “comprehensive” answer. 

In contrast, search engines provided searchers with a list of links, from which they would have to find the most relevant one. 

Of course, one did have the featured snippet that would instantly answer the question. But, it wasn’t comprehensive enough.

Using generative AI, however, Google would now offer smarter answers after comparing and processing information.

For example, here is the question the Google blog uses: “what’s better for a family with kids under 3 and a dog, bryce canyon or arches?”

The old search would not be able to provide a good answer, without having to rely on a page that specifically addressed this query. The new generative AI format, however, would be able to offer this as a result.

What’s more, the results page would also offer the next steps, which, again, it would be able to answer in a conversational tone.

Shopping Made Better

Generative AI, according to Google, will also make online shopping easier and more pleasant. 

When making a product search, users will be shown factors one would need to make a decision in addition to a list of products that fit the bill.

The search result would also show recent (and relevant) reviews, ratings, prices, and images of the products.

Perspective: Human Insights 

Certain questions can’t just be answered in a standard format. They might require insights from people—their experiences and opinions. 

For such questions, generative AI would allow the search giant to provide a Perspective filter, which would show videos, images, and text-based posts from forums, discussion boards, social media platforms, and Q&A sites.


Whilst companies are making massive strides in AI and large language modelling (LLM) technologies, Google recognises that there’s still a long way to go. 

Due to the current limitations of generative AI and LLM, the company is limiting the search queries for which these features will appear, among other guardrails designed to protect the quality of search results.

Does this mean AI will kill SEO? No. On the other hand, SEO and content quality might even need to improve. So, technical SEO companies like Geeky Tech will still be in demand. 

However, generative AI might become a tool to deliver better optimisation for better results.

Computers & Software Technology Telecom

Are Honeypots and Honeytokens the Future of Proactive Cybersecurity and Threat Detection?

The world’s largest cybersecurity event, the RSA Conference, took place in San Fransisco in April and played host to some of the worlds leading cybersecurity professionals as they shared their expertise, innovations in cybersecurity, and best practices.

This author covered some of the issues that were discussed at the conference in an earlier article. But, of course, the conference also offered some innovative solutions to cybersecurity problems.

One of the strategies offered to protect business data was building honeypots.

What Are Honeypots?

Honeypots are a security strategy where the actual target is hidden behind a fake target, which is a virtual trap that collects information about the attack. Such a system is useful for detecting, deflecting, or studying attacks.

When a cyber attacker attempts to access a network or resource, they hit the fake system. This system can then alert system administrators of the attack. It may also collect valuable information about the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of the attacker.

This strategy is a form of proactive defence against digital threats, which can be used to ‘target the targeter’.

So, Why Aren’t Honeypots More Popular?

The problem with honeypots is that they need to look convincing in order to fool threat actors. They have to look more attractive than the real system, so the attack comes towards them instead.

Unfortunately, the fact that they have to seem legitimate makes them difficult to set up and even harder to maintain.

Also, modern systems rely heavily on a complex software chain, made up of third-party tools, APIs, and libraries. These come from different vendors and sources. Since these are controlled by an external company, they can be a bit of a challenge when designing a honeypot.

If implementing this strategy is so challenging, how can one use it effectively in today’s cyber environment?

The answer might be in honeytokens.

What Are Honeytokens?

Where honeypots are fake systems, designed to mimic the real network, honeytokens are fake bits of information that mimic credentials or secrets.

As it is with honeypots, an attack on a honeytoken immediately triggers an alert.

That alert, in itself, can be a useful tool to have, since a data breach takes an average of 327 days to detect. That is more than enough time to steal important information and cause a lot of damage.

With a honeytoken alert, the company can be alerted as the attack is happening.

However, honeytokens can help with more than that. Since they alert administrators whilst an attack is underway, it is possible to take action based on the indicator of compromise. 

That, in turn, allows defenders to find out whether the attack originated internally or externally, along with other useful information based on the action taken upon the honeytoken.

Plus, since they replicate small bits of information, they are easier to create and deploy.

Making Cybersecurity Proactive

When it comes to protecting one’s data from threat actors, it is important to be proactive rather than reactive. 

Cyber threats continue to evolve, with threat actors using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to design more sophisticated attacks. 

At the same time, cybersecurity professionals are using the same technology to design better methods of detecting threats. 

As such, honeytokens can be a useful arsenal in one’s defence—which also needs to include internal and external penetration testing conducted by a reliable company, like DigitalXRAID.

Whilst the latter can be useful in identifying and patching security weaknesses, honeytokens can be extremely useful in quicker detection and response during a cyber attack. That, in turn, can drastically reduce the impact of the attack.

Computers & Software Technology Telecom U.K

BT and Five9 Announce Partnership, Enabling Speedier Cloud Adoption For Contact Centres

Recently, BT and Five9 announced a partnership with the intent to accelerate cloud adoption for contact centres globally. 

Through this partnership, BT is offering Five9 intelligent Customer Experience (CX) platform to its customers. 

As a result, customers, both old and new, will be able to enjoy an end-to-end managed service. This service enables them to fully digitalise their workplace “through tighter integration with existing voice, digital channels, unified communications and customer relationship management (CRM) systems”.

The integration with this intelligent CX platform will also provide customers with cloud migration expertise and “extensive experience and capabilities in managing complex technology environments” that BT offers.

BT customers will now also get access to the complete range of services provided by Five9, including digital engagement channels, analytics, workflow automation and optimisation, and practical Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In addition, BT also plans to offer access to AI and automation solutions by Five9, which includes its Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA).

Why Is Cloud Adoption a Big Deal For Contact Centres?

To understand why cloud adoption is relevant, one simply needs to notice how call centres have been replaced by contact centres. 

With the emergence of new communication technologies, customer service is no longer limited to the traditional call-based format. In fact, one could argue that using only voice calls is less efficient—and sometimes, less convenient for customers—when one has access to SMS, IMs, and emails.

In fact, with Contact Centres as a Service (CCaaS) solutions, even voice calls can be routed securely through the internet to agents. These agents could receive calls anywhere, ensuring a seamless experience for the customer.

Plus, CCaaSs have certain benefits over traditional call centres.

Why a CCaaS Might Be Better Than Traditional Call Centres

  1. Quicker scalability, where increasing the number of agents is a matter of quickly getting them to log in from wherever they are, as and when required.
  2. Cost-effectiveness, since clients pay only for the features they use.
  3. More flexibility, as agents can work from anywhere, which means clients can hire from a bigger talent pool and offer more options to employees.
  4. Advanced features, including speech recognition, sentiment analysis, and natural language processing, to improve customer experience.
  5. Enhanced security, because such services would require stricter security measures as well as certifications to prove they’ve done their due diligence.
  6. Improved efficiency, since some of the more mundane and tedious tasks can be automated, leaving agents free to focus on giving customers better service through easily accessible customer information and real-time performance analytics.

Ensuring the Contact Centre Is Providing the Best Possible CX

Whilst contact centres are moving towards automation and using generative AI (like ChatGPT) to provide better service, they still need to ensure that their systems are working properly. That involves monitoring and testing.

That would help these businesses to maintain high customer care ratings, not just by optimising processes—such as mapping IVR call flows—but also ensuring that the infrastructure is configured to manage workloads.

For Five9, the service is provided by its partner, Occam Global, through Occam’s contact centre discovery, testing, and monitoring platform Razor.

Others might need to invest in a similar testing service if they want to stay competitive.

Computers & Software Technology World

Fujitsu Devising Plans to Migrate to a One SAP ERP System based on SAP S/4HANA

Fujitsu, the leading Japanese global information and communication technology company, is reportedly strengthening its coalition with SAP to migrate all its ERP systems to SAP S4/HANA within five years. 

“Our goal with the initiative is to organise and integrate them all at once to standardise and streamline operations in a holistic manner,” stated Shunsuke Baba, the CDPO (Chief Data & Process Officer) at Fujitsu.

Named OneERP+, this plan is devised to deploy one single standardised ERP across its operations globally while enabling Fujitsu to transform digitally, at a repositioning cost of about $760 million, reported The Registered.

More Insights

OneERP+ is expected to recruit more than 1,500 staffers during the peak of the project deployment in addition to the company’s 124,200 existing employees.

As the brainchild of CEO Takahito Tokitaive, this five-year-long digital transformation project is being led by Fujitsu’s EVP and chief data and process officer Shunsuke Baba.

Rolled out in the second half of 2020, this multi-year DX project is aimed at building “a foundation to support purpose-driven and data-driven management.”

This Japanese computing veteran currently operates more than 4,000 systems to run its internal business, multiple instances of SAP-based systems, and in-house ERPs.

“The program was started in the second half of 2020 in order to build a foundation to support purpose-driven and data-driven management, which represents a core measure in this strategic shift,” stated Shunsuke Baba. “There are many different business processes and systems for each business and region. One of our key challenges is how to thoroughly standardise all business process data and simplify it as a basic system.”

Migrating to One SAP ERP

The OneERP+ program is launched as part of Fujitsu’s effort to efficiently oversee and streamline its key global business operations, such as accounting, sales, project management and procurement, and more. 

With this move, the technology giant is committed to efficiently consolidating its existing ERP services onto the S/4HANA cloud platform hosted in Microsoft Azure. 

The company’s SaaS-based front-end applications are planned to be running in Azure with other SAP systems hosted by AWS. 

The first stage of the migration process is poised to be completed within the 2024 fiscal year.

Successful Transition to the S/4HANA Platform Needs Expert Support

Cloud-based system deployment is gaining momentum among SAP-centric companies looking to drive business agility.

In addition, with SAP ECC mainstream support ending by 2027, migrating to the S/4HANA system has become unavoidable for future-focused businesses. However, assimilating a new system is a complex task that is subject to hefty costs, heavy customisation, and large-scale data migration. As a result, the process may lead to bottom-up disruption unless executed by experts.

For businesses looking to drive down the migration cost while also ensuring minimum business disruption, investing in a high-quality SAP migration service like Protera is a sensible decision.

A high-end service can accelerate the S/4HANA transformation project efficiently and cost-effectively.

Shedding light on the intricacy of this five-year-long OneERP+ project, The EVP and CDPO officer at Fujitsu said, “This is a very challenging project, and although it is actually promoted with the inclusion of add-on development, it is not merely an ERP introduction project but is also promoted as a large-scale reform project at the management level on the premise of a large-scale transformation of business processes,” explained Baba. “The organisation consists of a team that designs business transformation from a business perspective and a team that implements it as an IT system.” 

Business Computers & Software Media & Communications Technology Telecom

Reverse Number Lookup: Revolutionizing Phone Number Search with Advanced Tech

[Global, 05.16.2023] – Today marks the debut of Reverse Number Lookup, an innovative application designed to transform the way people interact with unknown phone numbers. Available for download on the Google Play Store, the app addresses the need for a reliable, easy-to-use platform for identifying unknown callers, preventing scams, and ensuring the security of its users.

The Power of Reverse Number Lookup

The launch of Reverse Number Lookup is a game-changer for anyone who has ever wondered about the identity of an unknown caller. With its intuitive design and user-friendly interface, the app simplifies the process of phone number identification, delivering crucial information about callers quickly and securely.

Key Features of Reverse Number Lookup

  1. Extensive Phone Number Database: Reverse Number Lookup provides a vast database of phone numbers, enabling users to conduct thorough searches and obtain accurate, up-to-date information.
  2. Instant Results: With advanced algorithms at its core, Reverse Number Lookup delivers immediate results upon the input of a phone number. Users can quickly access essential information and make informed decisions in real-time.
  3. Secure Searches: Reverse Number Lookup prioritizes user privacy and security by employing industry-standard measures to protect user data and guarantee secure searches.
  4. User-Friendly Interface: The app features an intuitive design, ensuring ease of navigation and efficient number lookups for users of all experience levels.
  5. Free Download and Usage: Reverse Number Lookup is available for free download on the Google Play Store, offering comprehensive features and services at no cost.

Transforming Phone Number Searches

Reverse Number Lookup aims to revolutionize the process of phone number identification, making it more accessible, secure, and efficient for individuals in need of caller information. It empowers users to make informed decisions about their communication, promoting a safer and more transparent telecommunication environment.

As the need for a reliable and transparent phone number lookup service continues to grow, Reverse Number Lookup is poised to become a significant player in the industry. The development team is committed to continuously improving and expanding the range of services and features offered, ensuring users have access to the most advanced phone number lookup solutions available.

For more information on Reverse Number Lookup or to download the app, visit the Google Play Store or the official website today.

Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact:

Public Relations Manager

Reverse Number Lookup