Markaz Knowledge City to open new vistas in education

Work under progress at Markaz Knowledge City in Kerala.
Updated 20 March 2019
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Markaz Knowledge City to open new vistas in education

Non-resident Indians in Saudi Arabia, especially those from the South Indian state of Kerala, are looking forward to the opening of Markaz Knowledge City, an integrated township project in India, which includes education, entrepreneurship, health and culture. It is scheduled to open to the public in 2020. 

According to a statement by Markaz Knowledge City Managing Director Dr. Abdul Hakim Azhari, several world leaders, academics and entrepreneurs will attend the opening ceremonies.

This upcoming city in Kerala contains more than a dozen projects in the educational, commercial, health and cultural sectors, which focus mainly on the developmental potential of the country as well as establishing world-class human capital and infrastructure. The construction work on Markaz Knowledge City began in 2012 and some of its major institutions are already open, including Unani Medical College, the Law College, the School of Islamic Studies and Modern Sciences, the Foundation for Research and Development, the IDEL Leadership School and the Center for the Studies of Commerce and Management.

This year its major health project, Tigris Valley Wellness Center for Traditional Unani Medicine will open in April; the Alif Global School with an international standard curriculum and syllabus opens in June; and a new block for the Center for Islamic Studies will be inaugurated in July. Additionally, the International Exhibition Center will open in September, the FEZ Inn Hotel and Hospitality Project opens in October, and the library and museum in December. One of its most important components, the biggest cultural center in India with a traditional Arab souk, will open in March 2020 and that will mark the grand opening of the Markaz Knowledge City.

The recent visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India saw bilateral agreements in various developmental sectors, which will ensure more productive results in the country’s business and educational sectors. These will increase the connections between Saudi Arabia and India, leading to greater peace-building efforts in the region.


Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

Updated 18 June 2019
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Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

The Ascott Limited is developing its training program across the group’s properties in Jeddah, whereby high-achieving Saudi nationals are trained in the array of skills needed to succeed in top managerial positions within the Kingdom’s burgeoning hospitality sector. 

To be eligible to join Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program, Saudi graduates must have at least a bachelor’s degree with honors and be willing to learn and develop their career within an international group. The program comprises theory and practical training across all departments and is followed by overseas training in one of Ascott’s properties.

“We’re in the midst of an exciting period of growth in Saudi Arabia,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India. “The Kingdom’s tourism industry is growing at an exponential rate and is creating many new jobs within the hospitality sector. We launched Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program in line with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to promote, nurture and develop this valuable homegrown pool of young talent and offer successful individuals a dynamic career path within the Ascott group.

“In just a short amount of time the program has made a significant impact. Our turnover ratio of Saudi colleagues has fallen from 58 percent in 2016 to less than 15 percent to date in 2019; staff loyalty has been positively affected and guest satisfaction levels have increased. What’s more, Ascott Sari Jeddah was recently named as Saudi Arabia’s Leading Serviced Apartments 2019 for the second consecutive year in the annual World Travel Awards.

“We are also proud to announce that one of our current trainees who will shortly take on the running of a property, is female. A key element of Saudi Vision 2030 is job diversification and women’s access to the employment market, and at Ascott we are committed to playing an active role in making this a reality,” added Miccolis.

From on-the-job training in housekeeping, handling reservations, checking-in and checking-out procedures and managing VIP guests, Ascott’s graduates must master the day-to-day facets of how to run an international-standard serviced residence, in addition to behind-the-scenes essentials such as HR, sales and marketing, finance and procurement. 

While the Saudi Graduate Program is currently available only within Ascott’s Jeddah cluster of properties, plans are in the pipeline to roll out the scheme to all of the group’s residences in the Kingdom, including Riyadh, Alkhobar and Abha.

Ascott’s Jeddah properties include Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Ascott Sari Jeddah, Citadines Al-Salamah Jeddah and Spectrums Residence Jeddah.

The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. It has more than 58,000 operating units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as over 42,000 units, which are under development, making a total of more than 100,000 units in over 660 properties.