Mastercard turns dream into reality for Saudi football fan

Basmah Alshnaifi with global footballers in the final match of UEFA Champions League.
Updated 11 June 2019
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Mastercard turns dream into reality for Saudi football fan

Basmah Nawaf Alshnaifi, a 10-year-old girl from Saudi Arabia with a passion for football, was given the opportunity of a lifetime, to become the first female Saudi mascot at the UEFA Champions League. The unique experience was made possible for her thanks to Mastercard. 

As the official sponsor of the sporting tournament, Mastercard provided an opportunity for Alshnaifi to walk the stadium with global footballers in the final match of UEFA Champions League in Madrid. 

The payments technology company offered Saudi cardholders the chance to win a surprise ticket by using their Mastercard debit and credit cards for everyday payments.  

J.K. Khalil, general manager in Mastercard, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, said: “At Mastercard, we are committed to offering cardholders priceless opportunities that allow them to pursue their passions. It is heartening to see such unbridled enthusiasm for football among young Saudi girls today, and we couldn’t be happier to make Basmah’s dream a reality. By innovating in the way we engage with consumers, we will continue to bring unique campaigns to the Kingdom that resonate with the people’s passions and make everyday digital payments simple, secure and rewarding.” 

Alshnaifi was given a ticket to the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham and Liverpool, where she got the chance to be the mascot for football legends. 

“I never thought I would ever have such an experience in my life. I have always had the dream to play in a big stadium and today I am present in the UEFA Champions League Final as a player mascot. I want to thank Mastercard for making this happen. This is the best gift I’ve ever received and I will always remember it, thank you as well to my family and academy for supporting me,” Alshnaifi said.  

Mastercard has been a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League since 1994, and recently added two women’s football clubs, Arsenal Football Club and Olympique Lynonais to its global portfolio, sending a signal for gender equality in sports.


SABB becomes ICAEW authorized training employer

Updated 26 June 2019
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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.”