UL, STC to set up center of excellence in Riyadh

UL’s wire and cable division signed the MoU with STC at the world’s largest wireless industry event, Mobile World Congress 2019 held in Barcelona.
Updated 11 March 2019
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UL, STC to set up center of excellence in Riyadh

UL and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) have announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a testing facility in Saudi Arabia.

The center of excellence (CoE) will be set up in Riyadh inside STC labs and will offer testing for various products across the “fiber to the home” (FTTH) ecosystem.

UL’s wire and cable division signed the MoU with STC at the world’s largest wireless industry event, Mobile World Congress 2019 held in Barcelona. The collaboration is aimed at ensuring a robust network for telecom operators in Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries.

UL recognizes the increasing need for Saudi Arabia’s wire and cable industry to accelerate the “time to market” for products and to meet the challenges of the growing complexity of global technological and business environment. 

With the support from UL’s engineering expertise, this new facility in Saudi Arabia will help all critical stakeholders along the global supply chain to design, manufacture, specify and procure compliant products in the marketplace.

Steven A. Galan, director of UL’s wire and cable division, said: “We are collaborating with STC to provide our testing services locally here in Saudi Arabia with a view to shortening the turnaround time for submitting samples, testing and certification.

“Additionally, suppliers of the telecommunications industry can conduct UL research testing at this facility to validate their product design during the product development stage, which will help enhance market competitiveness of the product.” 

Hamid Syed, vice president and general manager for UL in the Middle East, said: “Through this testing facility, we will be able to support the Kingdom’s digital transformation by ensuring only compliant products enter the marketplace.”

Bader A. Allhieb, vice president of operations at STC, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with a globally renowned industry leader such as UL, whose mission and expertise perfectly complement our goal to transform the telecom industry in the Kingdom and the region.

“This collaboration will not only benefit STC and UL but would also further support the growth of telecom sector of Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries.”


Marriott hotel, apartments open in Riyadh’s DQ

Updated 21 March 2019
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Marriott hotel, apartments open in Riyadh’s DQ

Marriott International and Dur Hospitality this week celebrated the opening of the Riyadh Marriott Hotel Diplomatic Quarter and Marriott Executive Apartments Riyadh, Diplomatic Quarter. The complex is strategically located in the heart of one of the most sought-after areas in the city with easy access to key embassies and major corporate headquarters, and a 30-minute drive from King Khalid International Airport. 

“We are delighted to enhance our footprint in Saudi Arabia with the opening of two strategically important hotels that not only complement each other but also deliver very distinct brand experiences. Saudi Arabia continues to be one of our key markets and we are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with Dur Hospitality,” said Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International.

The hotel is inspired by Wadi Hanifa, a beautiful desert oasis running through Riyadh. The low-rise hotel resembles the smooth, dry canyon walls that make for a dramatic arrival experience. Once you step inside, the waterways guide the way into the building, ushering guests through the arrival court into the palm-dotted oasis in the hotel’s courtyard. Planted cacti, flowering vines, plentiful blooming desert flora and native date palm trees create a calming ambiance, providing shade from the desert sun. 

The complex is the first five-star full service hotel in the Diplomatic Quarter and features 80 spacious modern rooms, and 140 fully equipped apartments. The deluxe rooms feature modern décor and ample work space, allowing guests to stay connected with in-room technology, including high-speed WiFi and bedside USB outlets. Guests staying in one of the six Premium Suites or the Presidential Suite can enrich their experience in the M Club Lounge offering an international buffet, hors d’oeuvre and local specialties 24 hours a day. 

The Riyadh Marriott Hotel Diplomatic Quarter houses three dining venues, Goji Kitchen — an all-day dining destination, a la carte restaurant Mesquite and Agave Café located in the lobby. The hotel offers multiple recreational areas surrounded by lush greenery. 

Muin Serhan, general manager of Marriott Hotels in Riyadh, said: “The opening of Marriott Riyadh and Marriott Executive Apartments Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter is considered an important milestone in our developing journey in the hospitality field; we are keen to provide a very special experience to our valuable guests whatever they are traveling for — business or leisure.”

He added: “And we are very proud to be part of the new Marriott travel program ‘Marriott Bonvoy,’ built on the belief that travel enriches its members and the world around them. Launching in February 2019, Marriott Bonvoy replaces Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).”