Uber app gets lighter for UAE and Saudi riders

Uber Lite has many of its existing features like the ability to share your trip with friends and family and driver and vehicle details.
Updated 18 March 2019
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Uber app gets lighter for UAE and Saudi riders

Uber, the global smartphone app that connects riders with partner drivers, has launched Uber Lite, a redesigned, simplified version of the Uber app in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Uber Lite is being launched across the region to give consumers the opportunity to book a ride irrespective of the quality of their network connection.

Tino Abdellatif Waked, general manager, Middle East and North Africa for Uber, said: “Uber is all about providing reliable transport solutions to our riders, and it stands to reason that the quality of the network connection should not pose a hurdle to achieving that goal. With Uber Lite it’s possible to book a ride even in low connectivity areas, and the data usage while doing so is also limited. We have made the app easier and more convenient, but without compromising on any of the Uber’s hallmark features.”

At less than 5MB download size and available in both English and Arabic, Uber Lite enables those with basic smartphones operating in spotty network conditions to book a ride and start their journey. The lighter version of the app reduces data consumption without sacrificing on any of its main functionalities. In fact, some of its features work even when the app is not connected to the internet.

“Uber Lite makes picking your destination as easy as a tap of a button. Instead of typing where you are, you can choose a nearby point of interest. Additionally, the app stores the city’s top places so that even when you are offline, no network is needed for them to appear. And with a 300-millisecond response time (literally the blink of the eye), the booking process is fast even in low connectivity,” the company said in a statement.

Uber Lite was specifically developed to cut down on mobile data consumption, as well as work in areas with limited network connectivity.

It has many of its existing features like the ability to share your trip with friends and family and driver and vehicle details. The app went live in the UAE and Saudi Arabia on Monday, before which it had already been launched in Pakistan, Qatar, Lebanon, Bahrain and Tanzania.


Top CEO Conference & Awards wraps up in Bahrain

Updated 17 April 2019
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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.