RTA unveils finalists for self-driving challenge

Mattar Al-Tayer with Dr. Arif Al-Hammadi and Laila Faridoon at a press conference held to announce the finalists of the challenge
Updated 31 October 2018
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RTA unveils finalists for self-driving challenge

Mattar Al-Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), announced that the participation in the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport had exceeded the target by 30 percent, by the end of the registration phase. 

Companies, universities, colleges and institutions submitted applications globally. Attendees of the event included Dr. Arif Al-Hammadi, executive vice president of Khalifa University; Laila Faridoon, chairperson of the organizing committee of the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport; Dr. Steve Shladover, the international jury head of Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport; and Adel Shakri, head of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport Committee. 

The leader’s category finalists included: Navya and EasyMile from France, Drive.ai from the US, Westfield from the UK, Baidu from China, and 2getthere from the Netherlands. 

The list of startup finalists included: Sensible from Finland, Derq from the UAE, and IAuto from Taiwan. 

As for the local universities, the announced finalists were: Dubai University, UAE University, Al-Ain University of Science and Technology, and Abu Dhabi University. Among the international universities were Friee Berlin University in Germany, CMU in the US, Intelligent Systems Lab at Universidad Carlos lll de Madrid in Spain, and UTS in Australia.

“The challenge awards amount to more than $5 million; $3 million will be allocated to leader’s category, $1.5 million to the startups category, and $600,000 to local and foreign universities ($300,000 each). A team of international experts in the field of smart mobility will assess the finalists by several technical criteria,” said Al-Tayer.

Finalists will be subjected to intensive tests in Dubai in 2019, and an international jury panel will review all submissions to select the winners of the inaugural edition of the challenge. Winners will be honored during the first edition of the Dubai World Conference for Self-Driving Transport scheduled to be held in October 2019.


Bahri promotes gender balance in workplace

Updated 21 May 2019
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Bahri promotes gender balance in workplace

Saudi logistics and transportation company Bahri recently participated in the 13th Annual Maritime HR Conference in London. The company’s chief support officer Hisham Alkhaldi was invited as a guest speaker at the largest worldwide gathering of maritime HR professionals. 

Held at Leonardo Royal Hotel in London from May 9 to 10, the annual event discussed key issues facing HR teams in the maritime industry. The conference brought together regulators, industry-renowned speakers, business leaders, and nearly 200 delegates representing shipowners, ship managers, oil companies, and other maritime employers such as classification societies and P&I clubs. 

Speaking on the “Diversity and Inclusion in the Maritime Industry” panel at the conference, Alkhaldi put a spotlight on the under-representation of women in the workplace across industries, particularly in the maritime sector. Highlighting that only 2 percent of seafarers worldwide are women and less than 1 percent occupy leadership roles in the industry, he said that it has become imperative for various stakeholders in the maritime industry to step up both concerted and individual efforts to address these challenges effectively and swiftly. 

“As a result of constant and deliberate efforts to raise awareness about the importance and benefits of gender balance in the workplace, policymakers and businesses in the maritime industry increasingly identify equal opportunities as a top priority today. Promoting women’s participation at work is critical not only for accelerating economic growth and sustainable development but also for driving stronger bottom-line results for businesses,” Alkhaldi said.

“Similarly, a diverse workforce will lead to higher productivity and customer loyalty, and catalyze innovation, leveraging the perspectives and experiences of employees of different nationalities, and ethnicities. As an employee-centric organization, Bahri has incorporated diversity and inclusion in its human resources policies and processes.” 

Alkhaldi also shed light on Bahri’s initiatives aimed at embracing diversity and inclusion across all aspects of its business. The company has been striving to boost the participation of women in its operations, which reached 18 percent this year. Bahri has also teamed up with universities to develop programs that will help introduce students to the maritime sector and its services. 

At the heart of Bahri’s diverse and inclusive workforce is its “Talent Management Framework,” which provides a clear direction for strategically attracting, sourcing, managing, developing and retaining talents in the company. The framework was recently named the “Best Recruitment & Talent Management Strategy” at the inaugural CIPD Middle East People Conference & Awards. The company had also won in the “Best Talent Development Strategy” category at the Future Workplace Awards 2018.