KSA gears up for record-breaking retail shopping in Ramadan

Managing Director and Board Member of Alhokair Fashion Retail Faisal Al-Jedaie.
Updated 21 May 2019

KSA gears up for record-breaking retail shopping in Ramadan

Ramadan is traditionally the retailing highlight of the year in Saudi Arabia and this year is no exception as malls across the Kingdom welcome hundreds of thousands of shoppers and visitors everyday.

Sales during the holy month have grown year on year — but within the Kingdom this is also part of a wider trend of increasing footfall, sales and an ever-broader range of retail options for families encouraging a booming domestic market.

Increasingly, retailers enjoy consistent growing sales throughout the month with a surge near the end of the month as families prepare for the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

Saudi Arabia’s young population has a growing engagement with global brands that is driving an increasing demand for fashion retail.

During Ramadan last year, the Nakheel Mall location of Spanish fashion chain Zara was the brand’s second highest selling location worldwide. 

The confidence and optimism of retailers ahead of Ramadan also extends to the future. Alhokair Fashion Retail’s leading brands are opening new flagship stores across Saudi Arabia, and established brands are opening new chains within the Kingdom’s largest three cities — Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam — in addition to smaller towns and cities across the country.

At Alhokair Fashion Retail alone, we are opening 110 new stores this year. The company is focusing its sights on investing in brands and storefronts that matter most to Saudis.

The Saudi market still has the potential to be better served in terms of malls and retail compared to its GCC neighbors, meaning the Kingdom’s population is yearning for variety and ingenuity in the retail experience. This is exactly what lifestyle fashion franchisees hope to achieve. 

At Alhokair Fashion Retail we are encouraged both by what is already becoming a fantastic Ramadan season and the underlying trends of the domestic Saudi market that together bode well for the long-term. 

A mix of new stores opening, new malls under construction and the way our increasingly sophisticated society recognizes the quality and diversity of the retail offering here means the prospects for the retail sector in the Kingdom have never been better.

The writer is the managing director and board member of Alhokair Fashion Retail

SABB becomes ICAEW authorized training employer

Updated 26 June 2019

SABB becomes ICAEW authorized training employer

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has joined forces with Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) to become the first bank in the Kingdom to be an ICAEW authorized training employer. The partnership will help SABB attract and retain talented individuals by offering ICAEW’s ACA qualification.

The new partnership is part of the SABB’s strategy to become a best-in-class international finance organization, but most importantly by supporting the Saudi Vision 2030. By providing Saudi nationals access to internationally recognized qualifications and training, supporting development of their skills and abilities, SABB aims to help them achieve a better future that matches their qualifications and ambitions.

Matthew Pearce, chief financial officer at SABB, said: “By partnering with a world-leading accountancy and finance organization that maintains the highest professional standards, SABB is very proud to become the first bank in the Kingdom to be an authorized training employer with ICAEW. This partnership aligns with SABB’s vision and strategy to be internationally connected while developing Saudi nationals and supporting Vision 2030.”

Completing the ACA qualification enables professionals to use the title “ICAEW Chartered Accountant.” 

Michael Armstrong FCA, ICAEW regional director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, said: “ICAEW works with employers to support the professional development of their teams. In Saudi Arabia, ICAEW works alongside the national profession to complement the important national accountancy qualification and equip finance talent with the broad range of technical knowledge and professional skills they need to make a great contribution to their organizations. 

“As an authorized training employer, SABB will be able to prepare employees for the internationally recognized ACA qualification. Throughout the world, our training partners benefit from being able to attract the best talent and develop the next generation of business leaders. Our partnership with SABB underscores its commitment to remain at the forefront of the fast-paced banking industry and contribute to the growth of Saudi Arabia’s financial services industry.”