Zain KSA, Huawei announce new network strategy in KSA

The two companies will also pool together their market knowledge, sharing insights and business strategies with one another.
Updated 03 March 2018
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Zain KSA, Huawei announce new network strategy in KSA

Huawei, a leading global ICT solutions provider, and Zain, a leading telecommunications provider in the Middle East and Africa, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a new network strategy in Saudi Arabia. The aim of the MoU is to accelerate the realization of 5G networks in the Kingdom and assist Zain in building the most advanced end-to-end networks in the region in order to deliver outstanding user experience to customers and improve operational efficiency for organizations.
Under the terms of the agreement, Huawei and Zain will strengthen their existing collaboration to further the progress of a number of innovative technologies. The two companies will work together to accelerate the deployment of 4.5 to 5G networks, make further advances toward full cloudification, and produce additional strategy and planning in the field of ICT synergy cloud. The two companies will also pool together their market knowledge, sharing insights and business strategies with one another. The ultimate goal is to deliver better user experience and services to their customers in Saudi Arabia.
Sultan Abdulaziz Al-Deghaither, chief operations officer at Zain Saudi Arabia, said: “Zain Saudi Arabia is pleased to strengthen our existing relationship with Huawei, a powerful partner in the region. Our goal is to always ensure that our customers have access to the latest technology in order to serve them in the best possible way, and we believe that this collaboration will be beneficial to that aim. We are also excited to make further inroads in the cutting-edge field of 5G, an exciting technology with the potential to be a driving force in the digitalization of the Kingdom.”
Dennis Zhang, CEO of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia, said: “A core pillar of the Huawei way is our belief in the open sharing of information, and this MoU is another step on the path to creating a collaborative ICT ecosystem in the Middle East.”


Positive impact of Vision 2030 on hospitality: Report

Ascott has reported a decrease of 10 percent in expat families within the Kingdom.
Updated 16 December 2018
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Positive impact of Vision 2030 on hospitality: Report

The Ascott Limited has drawn up a report into the changing dynamics of guest profiles in Saudi Arabia. 

As the government’s Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy proves to have a positive effect on the hospitality industry, Ascott is witnessing a notable change in its guests across the Kingdom. This has been influenced by the swift introduction of various initiatives from the removal of ban on women driving, to the introduction of cinemas, concerts with mixed-gender admission and major events such as the Formula E that was held last week in Riyadh.

“Our guest profiles are changing in line with the changing dynamics of the country. We have seen a spike in female guests of 7 percent from 2017, influenced by guests traveling for both work and leisure,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. 

Female guests have increased considerably this year, as properties across Jeddah averaged a 9 percent growth, while Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh experienced a growth rate of 5 percent. 

“It means there is an opportunity for the serviced residence industry to tap in to the growing number of female travelers and provide tailored services specifically for women,” explained Miccolis.

Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh has a women’s only leisure floor consisting of an outdoor pool, gymnasium, lounge, children’s playroom and day spa. The property is receiving positive feedback from female business travelers about the facilities.

Ascott has reported a decrease of 10 percent in expat families within the Kingdom, attributed to the introduction of expat levies on dependents. Family occupants taking two and three-bedroom apartments have moved to single occupants in a one-bedroom apartment. Miccolis said: “If the announcement made last week on Bloomberg regarding a review of the expat levies being restructured comes to fruition, it will provide a positive outcome for our industry.” 

International guests have maintained a consistent average over the last two years of 25 percent across the Kingdom, however Jeddah and Riyadh are on opposite scales. Fifty-five percent of Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh’s guests are international, which is a growth of 15 percent from 2017. While the four properties in Jeddah have 15 percent international guests, this is a decline of 10 percent from 2017.

“With these changing dynamics of our guests in the Kingdom, a key focus is customer service training, with the goal of exceeding guest expectations. 

This year posed a credible 92 percent customer satisfaction score, a testament to the staff in the region,” said Miccolis.