Xpanse Honored for Technical Achievement in Abu Dhabi

The Nomination

A few months ago Xpanse CGI, was approached by Abu Dhabi University to submit Xero Error for the “Made in UAE” Competition. This event focused on projects, based on technology and innovations, that were made in UAE.

From the many submissions to Abu Dhabi University, Xero Error was one of the shortlisted entries to present for the “Made in UAE” competition. Various heads of Universities and other dignitaries were present on the judging panel for the pitching session on the 2nd of January 2011.

The attendees were impressed and showed admiration for the work that was presented by Xero Error Director Ashraf Ghori who was joined by resident Xpanse Publicist / photographer Aqeel Fikree, who was also a voice over talent in the film.


The Awards Ceremony

Our gracious host Rima Shaban introduced the awards ceremony which was held at the Fairmont Hotel in Abu Dhabi on January 24th. She explained the need for promoting the intellectuals based in the region by showcasing their work and encouraging them through platforms such as ‘Made in UAE’ & ‘Made in the Arab World’ Awards. She mentioned that although short notice, the Award received several submissions from all over the UAE and it was no easy task to shortlist the winners.

‘Levity – Xero Error Minus1′ got a special mention & award as a distinguished achievement from the UAE. Incidentally, the certificate presented to the director was made out to ‘Doctor’ Ashraf Ghori : )

Other innovations from the region included – an application which made your phone behave as a remote to control PowerPoint presentations, a mobile application which monitored your speed while driving and advised on safety, self-cleaning solar panels and a wireless pipeline leak detection system.

Photos: @AqeelFikree


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Xpanse CGI in Guinness World Records



Xpanse CGI made its way to the Most brands advertised on a single billboard in the Guinness Book of World Records. It was one of the 1233 brands featured from the UAE. Xpanse’s associated partners Playback Lounge & Sixteen By Nine Motion Pictures were also among the featured logos. Congratulations to the Xpanse team for making it to the world records.

[ Source : ]

With 1,233 logos on a single wall, Dubai has made it to the record books yet again.
The Most brands advertised on a single billboard were officially unveiled at Dubai Festival City after being certified as a world record by Guinness World Records, on Sunday. Measuring over 10 metres high and 100 metres wide, the massive billboard is Dubai’s latest entry in the record books.

Dubai is synonymous with the world’s largest, world’s biggest and the world’s most expensive. This is the 78th world record in the UAE and the country is certainly among some of the top record-breakers in the world” said Adam Wide, Creative Director, Guinness World Records who presented the official certificate to Discovery Exhibition Organisers.

Working for over a year, a team of 70 staff from Discovery Exhibition Organisers set out to persuade brands to advertise on the billboard and make UAE Logos a successful project. “This record is particularly significant because it’s not just about the number of logos on display but it is about the co-operation between thousands of companies who made the feat possible. The scale is absolutely phenomenal and there are a lot of logistics involved in making such a record possible,” said Wide.

Salim Al Khayyal, CEO, Discovery Exhibiton Organisers attributed the success of UAE Logos to his team. “It took a lot of hard work and persuasion to bring together all the brands and make them part of such a record. There had to be no repetitions and every logo present on the billboard belongs to a brand in the UAE” said Salim.

A representative from Guinness World Records individually verified each of the 1,233 logos on the billboard as the official verification took over four hours to complete.

The advertising billboard is open for public viewing outside the Festival Centre concert arena.


Photos by @AqeelFikree


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Mind Your Business – An Entrepreneur’s Perspective

Excerpt from the article published by SME Advisor Middle East on:

The SME Business Summit, held in January 2011, was an event that helped forge relationships, exchange knowledge, and open doors for business. Attendees ranged from entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts to directors and C-level executives. 

Entrepreneur’s Perspective:

Featured Speaker: Ashraf Ghori, Dubai based filmmaker and Founder, Xpanse CGI.  

Ashraf Ghori is an Indian-born artist and filmmaker based in Dubai since 1975. At age 14, Ashraf gained early recognition in the UAE as a regular illustrator for Young Times. In 1993 he created original comic characters Shane & Talia and UAE’s first English superhero comic strip Voyager X.

As a student of Graphic Design in Houston, Texas, Ashraf worked as an artist for Six Flags Astroworld and co-founded Tempest Comics. He produced artwork for independent national comic publications in the US, such as London Night Studios and Titus Press. Ashraf was regularly featured at comic book conventions in Texas as well as the prestigious Dallas Fantasy Fair in 1994.

Returning to the UAE, in late 1994, Ashraf worked as a laser shows animator in Abu Dhabi before moving on to independent 3D animation work. In 2007, he launched Xpanse CGI, a specialist design and animation studio producing films, TV commercials, branding and online presence.

Ashraf’s message from the outset was to keep the faith and keep believing. He noted that throughout his journey he had many rejections, knock downs but kept going with the belief that his hard work and ideas would pay dividends. “One thing that marks entrepreneurs out from a crowd is their inability in accept no for an answer and to give up after initial rejection. I started off my journey back in 1987 when I was a student. The little mountains of expectation I had were quashed on several occasions; I was told by one editor of a newspaper during a job interview to come back when I got better! I was a little annoyed but not disillusioned and didn’t give up hope.”

One of the recurring ideas circulating in the business community in the region is the return to customer satisfaction. Ashraf reiterated this when he talked about the reasons for setting up his own company in 2007. “One of my main motives for forming this company was because I recognised that the industry here was very restrictive – there was no flexibility with other design companies and for me the quality of work was not personal – no-one was willing to go that extra bit. At the time I was working with a lot of people who wouldn’t really go beyond the remit of their basic duties – wouldn’t go out of their way for the client. With Xpanse I wanted to give it the personal attention with an ambition to concentrate more on the quality of my work and the satisfaction of customers. I wanted to keep the work very small and manageable and not go out of bounds. For me the most important thing is that you have a happy client.”