Dubai Expo 2020 sparks hope

Updated 17 April 2018
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Dubai Expo 2020 sparks hope

The upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 has sparked fresh optimism in the UAE automotive aftermarket, with international manufacturers gearing up for new business opportunities as final preparations fall in place ahead of the global mega event. 

The Middle East’s first ever World Expo is expected to attract more than 25 million people from across the globe, while a price tag of at least $9 billion suggests the host emirate is pulling out all the stops to create state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure.

With $3 billion worth of venue-related construction contracts awarded in 2017 alone, the increase of commercial and heavy-duty vehicles along with cars is expected to effect a corresponding rise in demand for spare parts and accessories, tires and batteries as well as a host of maintenance and upkeep-related infrastructure and services. 

The business potential has injected new impetus for international players in the auto services industry, with more than 1,900 from 57 countries preparing to showcase their latest products and services at the 16th edition of Automechanika Dubai in 2018.

Companies exhibiting at the three-day event, which takes place from May 1-3 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center, are targeting large-scale business growth up to, and beyond the six-month global showcase.

UFI Filters from Italy is a debut exhibitor at Automechanika Dubai 2018, and will shine the spotlight on its full range of air, oil, fuel, cabin, hydraulic and coolant filters for the automotive sector.

Luca Betti, group aftermarket business unit director at UFI Filters, said the company recently reinforced its Dubai office to boost customer service support as business ramps up in the UAE, and regionally. 

“UFI Filters expects a big boost in the automotive industry deriving from the large investments in infrastructure not only related to the Dubai Expo 2020, but in other areas as well,” said Betti, whose UFI Filters can be found everywhere, from Ferrari Formula 1 racing cars and other top F1 teams to the European ExoMars spacecraft.

Autopumps from the UK is another first-time exhibitor at Automechanika Dubai 2018, and will introduce its aftermarket commercial and industrial pumps range. Bill Cotton, owner and managing director of Autopumps, said: “The Dubai Expo 2020 will act as a global hub for innovation and collaboration, and as such, will have a highly positive impact on the regional automotive aftermarket.

“Through bringing industry leaders, decision makers and great minds together, these events facilitate conversations that enable development and forward thinking in our industry both regionally and globally.” 


Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

Updated 18 June 2019
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Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

The Ascott Limited is developing its training program across the group’s properties in Jeddah, whereby high-achieving Saudi nationals are trained in the array of skills needed to succeed in top managerial positions within the Kingdom’s burgeoning hospitality sector. 

To be eligible to join Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program, Saudi graduates must have at least a bachelor’s degree with honors and be willing to learn and develop their career within an international group. The program comprises theory and practical training across all departments and is followed by overseas training in one of Ascott’s properties.

“We’re in the midst of an exciting period of growth in Saudi Arabia,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India. “The Kingdom’s tourism industry is growing at an exponential rate and is creating many new jobs within the hospitality sector. We launched Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program in line with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to promote, nurture and develop this valuable homegrown pool of young talent and offer successful individuals a dynamic career path within the Ascott group.

“In just a short amount of time the program has made a significant impact. Our turnover ratio of Saudi colleagues has fallen from 58 percent in 2016 to less than 15 percent to date in 2019; staff loyalty has been positively affected and guest satisfaction levels have increased. What’s more, Ascott Sari Jeddah was recently named as Saudi Arabia’s Leading Serviced Apartments 2019 for the second consecutive year in the annual World Travel Awards.

“We are also proud to announce that one of our current trainees who will shortly take on the running of a property, is female. A key element of Saudi Vision 2030 is job diversification and women’s access to the employment market, and at Ascott we are committed to playing an active role in making this a reality,” added Miccolis.

From on-the-job training in housekeeping, handling reservations, checking-in and checking-out procedures and managing VIP guests, Ascott’s graduates must master the day-to-day facets of how to run an international-standard serviced residence, in addition to behind-the-scenes essentials such as HR, sales and marketing, finance and procurement. 

While the Saudi Graduate Program is currently available only within Ascott’s Jeddah cluster of properties, plans are in the pipeline to roll out the scheme to all of the group’s residences in the Kingdom, including Riyadh, Alkhobar and Abha.

Ascott’s Jeddah properties include Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Ascott Sari Jeddah, Citadines Al-Salamah Jeddah and Spectrums Residence Jeddah.

The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. It has more than 58,000 operating units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as over 42,000 units, which are under development, making a total of more than 100,000 units in over 660 properties.