Saudia named world’s ‘Most Improved Airline’

Saudi Arabian Airlines Director General Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser received the award at the Skytrax ceremony.
Updated 25 June 2017

Saudia named world’s ‘Most Improved Airline’

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has been named the “Most Improved Airline” at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2017 ceremony. The event took place on Tuesday at the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace at Le Bourget Airport in Paris, France.
The airline achieved the highest upward rating improvement across the different survey categories.
In the main survey, Saudia moved close to the top-50 airlines, and the airline was placed fifth in the Middle East staff service category.
Saudia’s global ranking now stands at 51st worldwide, an improvement of 40 percent in a single year (the airline was ranked 82nd and 84th in 2016 and 2015, respectively).
Saudi Arabian Airlines Dir. Gen. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser received the award at the Skytrax ceremony.
He said: “It is an honor to be here to receive this award on behalf of the entire Saudia team which has demonstrated exceptional commitment to build on Saudia’s strong aviation history as one of the founding air transport carriers in the Middle East. “As part of the airline’s SV2020 Strategy & Transformation Plan, Saudia has invested in new aircraft, product innovation and service enhancements with a single purpose — to provide all of our guests with the highest level of hospitality and comfort in the skies,” Al-Jasser added.
Previously, Saudia was awarded the “World’s Best Economy Class Seat,” along with the “World’s Best First Class Amenity Kit” at the 2014 Skytrax World Airline Awards. In that same year, Skytrax upgraded Saudia’s rating from a three-star to a four-star carrier.
Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, said: “Saudia had an extremely good year in the 2017 awards survey and improved its global standing across several different survey areas. Whether first, business or economy class, passengers clearly saw tangible upgrades to the product and service quality, and staff at Saudia should be very proud of this fantastic achievement.”

Gaming giant Tencent Games picks Dubai for MENA headquarters

Updated 32 min 59 sec ago

Gaming giant Tencent Games picks Dubai for MENA headquarters

DUBAI: China’s Tencent Games has chosen Dubai as regional headquarters for its Middle East and North Africa operations, with Dubai Internet City housing the gaming giant’s office.

Tencent Games was launched in 2003 and has since grown into a global platform for game development, publishing and operation. Its ownership stakes and alliances with many major video game companies includes Fornite, Ubisoft, Activision-Blizzard, Riot Games, Supercell and Take-Two Interactive Software.

The opening of Tencent Games’ regional headquarter is an indication of increased activities in the local and regional games industry which covers digital entertainment, education and cultural experiences, a statement said.

According to market research firm Newzoo, the revenue of the UAE games sector is estimated at $324 million (1.2 billion dirhams) in 2019. Furthermore, over 80 percent of smartphone users in the UAE play mobile games, it said.

The UAE has the highest mobile penetration rate in the world at 173 per cent – nearly double the country’s population, according to a report by Statista released in late 2018. This is a considerable figure and represents a wealth of opportunities for game developers, with revenues from mobile games representing more than half the income generated in the entire industry.

“Gaming moves beyond entertainment and is increasingly used to engage and educate, and as more gamers and creative enthusiasts enter the industry, we can certainly expect the market to develop rapidly in the coming years,” Ammar Al-Malik, managing director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City said.

Vincent Wang, general manager of the Global Publishing Department at Tencent Games, said: “The UAE’s high mobile and internet penetration is an extremely encouraging indicator for tech firms across the world, and is especially relevant to the global games industry.”