Umm Al-Qura chooses Oracle Autonomous Database

Umm Al-Qura University is based in the holy city of Makkah.
Updated 12 February 2019

Umm Al-Qura chooses Oracle Autonomous Database

Umm Al-Qura University will implement Oracle’s Autonomous Database to create an integrated digital platform that will help the university deliver seamless and paperless educational services to more than 100,000 students across its 36 colleges on five campuses. 

The new implementation will also enable the university to introduce programs in digital skills across emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence for students to help prepare the country’s next generation workforce.

“As part of the Vision 2030 initiative, Saudi Arabia is focused on developing at least five universities in the country to be featured among the world’s top educational institutions, Umm Al-Qura University being one of them,” said Dr. Atif Al-Hijali, vice dean of e-services.

“At Umm Al-Qura University, we are fully aligned with the national aspirations and have thus been investing in creating a modern IT infrastructure that will help us deliver a truly digital experience across all our colleges. The Oracle Autonomous Database is helping us create this platform, as the solution enables us to scale efficiently while also integrating vital data with other relevant government ministries,” he added.

“In 2018, only 40 of our services were online — our aim is for everyone including tutors, researchers and students to complete all tasks from their home or office and come to the university only for in-person classes or to write exams. With the Oracle Autonomous Database, we will now offer 200 subsites with personalized editors and publishers with their own workflows, without any intervention from the IT department,” said Dr. Hijali.

Based in the holy city of Makkah, the university receives nearly 35,000 applications for its bachelors’ degree program and over 50,000 applications overall across all degree programs. With the implementation of Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, the university aims to enhance the user experience of the automated registration, admissions, administration and many other processes, especially for the university’s top management. 

“Umm Al-Qura University is a pioneering educational institution that has always prioritized technological advancement to deliver high-quality education to Saudi students. The adoption of Oracle’s self-driving, self-securing and self-repairing autonomous database will help the university deliver ‘future ready’ education to Saudi students, to equip them with the required skills for succeeding in the digital economy,” said Fahad Al-Turief, country manager — Saudi Arabia, Oracle.

Top CEO Conference & Awards wraps up in Bahrain

Updated 17 April 2019

Top CEO Conference & Awards wraps up in Bahrain

The Top CEO Conference & Awards 2019, organized by TRENDS magazine — Mediaquest and international business school INSEAD, has concluded at the Al-Areen Palace and Spa in Bahrain. The event, held on Thursday, included seven key panel discussions under the theme “Growth in a Volatile Future” as well as the Top CEO Awards 2019 ceremony, which recognized the region’s most successful and trendsetting CEOs from more than 700 companies listed on GCC stock exchanges.

Top business leaders and more than 30 speakers from across the GCC shed light on the Middle East’s dynamic but volatile region and the burning issues facing the corporate world today. This year’s theme focused on a score of relevant issues, such as oil price fluctuations, tech disruptions, armed and political schisms that pose new risks, and opportunities. Speakers such as renowned economist Professor Nouriel Roubini provided growth solutions and road maps for businesses in the GCC region.

Alexandre Hawari, CEO of Mediaquest, said: “In its fifth edition, the Top CEO Conference & Awards fully encapsulated the theme of ‘Growth in a Volatile Future’ by acknowledging and exploring the growth transformation that the region is undergoing through digitalization and the fourth industrial revolution amid geopolitical tensions, looming trade wars and a rapidly evolving business environment. Building on the huge success of the previous years, the Top CEO Awards 2019 recognized CEOs and companies who have raised the bar by navigating challenges, implementing new strategies, and have demonstrated unquestionable growth, profitability and excellence in corporate governance.”

The conference kicked off with an opening keynote from Jassim Al-Seddiqi, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Financial Group and chairman of GFH Financial Group, who delved into the potential of transforming the region into a fintech hub and the importance of jumping on the digital bandwagon. 

The prime panel discussion on the “Future of Growth Amid Volatility” brought together five CEOs who explored methods to create future-proof strategies that can not only tackle challenges but also boost growth in a tough geopolitical and economic climate. 

Hisham Al-Rayes, CEO and board member of the GFH Financial Group, said: “Investing in the future in areas such as fintech, education and technology, the foundations for strong, enduring knowledge-based economies, is a priority for the group and the governments of the region in which we invest.”

“The Blockchain Opportunity” and “The Human Factor and Tech Innovation” panels brought together industry experts from Facebook, the Bahrain FinTech Bay and King Abdul Aziz University. 

“The Future of Women’s Business Leadership” panel discussed positive strides taken by GCC governments and businesses in leveling the playing field for women professionals.