2018 Gulfwest Food Expo held in Jeddah

US Consul General in Jeddah Ryan Gliha last week inaugurated the 2018 Gulfwest Food Expo at the Park Hyatt hotel in Jeddah.
Updated 03 December 2018
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2018 Gulfwest Food Expo held in Jeddah

US Consul General in Jeddah Ryan Gliha last week inaugurated the 2018 Gulfwest Food Expo at the Park Hyatt hotel in Jeddah. Gulfwest Company Limited is a Jeddah-based Saudi company that imports US beef, which is used by five-star hotels, fine-dining restaurants, upscale casual dining and fast food restaurants, and catering companies.

The company said in a statement that the Gulfwest Food Expo held on Nov.26 is the first-of-its-kind event organized by a food product importer in Saudi Arabia. Twenty-five food products exporters from eight countries participated, including six from the US. Around 400 existing and new customers visited the exhibition to meet with the exhibitors, who received feedback on the products purchased and discussed issues related to new products.

One of the food products that attracted visitors’ attention at the event was the US-certified Angus beef exhibited by the Greater Omaha and United Source One. Both companies showcased high-quality US natural beef. US beef exports to Saudi Arabia are expected to reach $15 million this year and are projected to reach $30 million in 2019. 

Gulfwest is the only licensed US-certified Angus beef importer in Saudi Arabia, according to the press release.

Headquartered in Jeddah, the company is involved in importing chilled, frozen and ambient food products, serving to both food service and retail business segments through distribution centers located in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Madinah.


MCIT, Huawei launch Kingdom’s first IoT Lab

Updated 10 December 2018
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MCIT, Huawei launch Kingdom’s first IoT Lab

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Huawei have announced the launch of the Kingdom’s first Internet of Things (IoT) lab and a fund of $1 million to support Saudi entrepreneurs. The announcement was made during the Huawei Day 2018 event held at The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh.

The event was attended by Dr. Sulaiman Mirdad, minister adviser for IT industry development; Dennis Zhang, CEO of Huawei Saudi Arabia; and other representatives, including senior government officials, IT leaders and professionals.

The new lab will be located at Huawei’s innovation center in Riyadh and aims to provide entrepreneurs with a platform to innovate IoT applications, which will directly target the most important vertical sectors to the Kingdom.

This joint initiative between MCIT and Huawei is expected to boost the development of products and applications and promote an open and participatory IoT ecosystem. The new IoT lab is the first such innovation and development joint lab in Saudi Arabia. 

Under this cooperation, Huawei has also made available $1 million of funding to developers to accelerate the adoption of IoT in the Kingdom.

IoT development and innovation have transformed traditional industries and daily life. As hundreds of millions of IoT devices will be used for innovative services, the technology has a key role to play in digitalization across industries. Yet currently there is not much IoT adoption in Saudi Arabia, and there is a shortage in local skills and funding necessary to drive the sector forward. The lab is intended to bridge this gap, and ultimately to drive forward the Kingdom’s digital transformation forward and assist the leadership in achieving their vision of building a knowledge economy, in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan 2020.

Dr. Ahmed Altheneyan, deputy minister for technology and digital capacities at MCIT, said: “We are proud to launch the Kingdom’s first IoT lab and fund with our partner Huawei, believing as we do that this initiative will help to promote ICT innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, accelerate the adoption of emerging technology within the Kingdom, and support in developing the skillset and technology necessary to enable our vision and national transformation plan.”

Huawei Saudi Arabia CEO Zhang said: “Saudi Vision 2030 calls for the development of the Kingdom into an innovative and globally competitive economy through digital transformation, and our aim at Huawei is to support the success of this vision. 

We are committed to open innovation and collaboration to promote the IoT sector here in Saudi Arabia and we see the launch of this lab as another milestone in our strategic partnership with MCIT.”