Tejar Dubai hosts inaugural event to support SMEs

Tejar Dubai hosts inaugural event to support SMEs
Updated 19 May 2013

Tejar Dubai hosts inaugural event to support SMEs

Tejar Dubai hosts inaugural event to support SMEs

Tejar Dubai's first event to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) was held on Thursday, with the participation of local talents who exhibited their skills in different fields like graphic designs, perfumes, lifestyle magazines, handmade chocolates and architecture.
The event was held with the support of Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation with the Private Office of Sheikh Majid.
"Our contribution is mainly to inspire young entrepreneurs and upcoming ones in their projects, where we share our business plans and how we have developed our branding and how we created our product," Meitha Al-Mazrooei, a WTD team member, told Arab News.
"Obviously we were more than happy when we were invited to be part of this event because we faced a lot of difficulties starting up and we realize how beneficial it would be to share both our mistakes and successes with other young entrepreneurs," Al-Mazrooei said.
"WTD is an architecture and design publication that was founded a year ago based on the lack of documentation of spaces and buildings of the region. So, we thought of initiating this for preservation of design thoughts and discussion in this area of the world," Al-Mazrooei added.
The teams members of WTD consists of seven multinational graduates from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and other countries. They all graduated from the American University of Sharjah, with architecture major.
"During our studies, we could not find a reference to go back to in terms of learning our context for the region and that is how it all started. We thought of collecting information and documenting in buildings that work for our region in terms climate and sustainability, whichcan be referred to when thinking of design," she said.
On the growth of WTD, Al-Mazrooei said: "Our team is growing because we have an interactive aspect to the publication, we are not limited to in-house contributors rather we interact with our readers to participate and even criticize our content and add to it. Hence, we have created a two-way dialogue to engage and inspire our readers as well as to win their loyalty."
She added: "We are looking for potentials to design furniture and spaces that we wish to go live from print to reality in Dubai as we would like to utilize our acquired knowledge and capabilities to implement that."
Moving from architecture to a mix of graphic design, fashion and style, Fatma Al-Mulla, a young Emirati graphic designer, shared her colorful experience with Arab News.
"FMM is a pop-culture brand, which I started by placing my illustrations on a blog through which I received great feedback and inquiries of how to use my designs in a clothing style.”

Fatma Al-Mull said: “So, after going through an extensive research and broad readings, I decided to put my designs on t-shirts but in a way that would differentiate my brand from other designers. Now, my brand is known for its peplum cut T-shirts; and picking up from there, I thought to diversify my product to reach a wider segment of audience. So, I decided to do brand extensions via an accessories line such notebooks as well as bags and pouches. I would not call myself a fashion designer as my label is a mix of pop art and culture, which is my signature touch of illustrations with a touch of sense of humor that expressed in Arabic wording but Emirati dialect," she added.
Al-Mulla said: "This is to encourage expatriates and visitors of Dubai, an English-oriented city, to discover more about the culture of Dubai in a modern and funny way." On how it all began, she explains: "It all started when I could not find a job that suited me. As I looked for a job in graphic design, I went to private and governmental sectors, however, most of them needed graphic designers but within the marketing department and in very long working hours."
Al-Mulla's struggle to find a suitable job ended when she started working on her humorous illustrations and from there it was developed into a growing business and FMM has become a known young brand in the region with a promising future and great potential.
She added: "My products are now available in 13 boutiques around the Gulf, six in Dubai and others in Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and two in Saudi Arabia — a Cream boutique in Jeddah and a LEO's boutique opening soon in Alkhobar. I was also part of an activity for Oasis magazine in Harvey Nichols, Riyadh."
"Tola is an Emirati perfume brand, it is a niche brand that is inspired by luxury perfumes. Our brand had a strong start as it sold out internationally in London as we are finalizing with Selfridge's department store and in Paris in a specialized niche perfume store," Dhaher bin Dhaher, founder of Tola Perfumes, said.
"Our brand is part of Links investments; we needed to carefully plan the idea before introducing it to the world. So, the long process of creating the brand came actually before launching it. We have spent 3 years developing the concept, packaging, juices, perfumes, all in-house." Tola perfumes are available locally in our boutique in Jumeirah as well as Le Jardin De Perfume boutique in Abu Dhabi mall.
Mohammad Al-Banna, one of the founders of Emirates Diaries that focuses on young Emirati talents, spoke about the concept of the magazine. Al-Banna said: "The issue you are holding in your hands is our first issue. It highlights the culture of UAE which is also resembled in the logo that is shaped as the UAE map outline with a twist."
On the content, Al-Banna said: "Our writers are usually Emirati students from various universities who note down short stories, their views on different aspects or interviews with people whom they have met. In Emirates Diaries you would find about small and medium entrepreneurs as well as different talents in poetry, photography and more. In the meantime our magazine is distributed in UAE cafes, universities and boutiques and we are planning to go for hotels as well. However, our main goal is to distribute it either in Etihad Airways or Emirates Airline."
Overall, Tejar Dubai is accomplishing its stated mission — fostering the development of a more diverse, knowledge-based economy to enhance Dubai’s position in the global economic landscape. This program will work to create a supportive environment in which knowledge activities can be cultivated, gestate and mature.


Saudi Aramco denies plan to embark on bitcoin mining activities

Saudi Aramco denies plan to embark on bitcoin mining activities
Updated 51 min 3 sec ago

Saudi Aramco denies plan to embark on bitcoin mining activities

Saudi Aramco denies plan to embark on bitcoin mining activities

DAHRAN: "With reference to recent reports claiming that the Company will embark on Bitcoin mining activities, Aramco confirms that these claims are completely false and inaccurate," Saudi Aramco said in a statement.


Kuwait plans region’s first city for electric carmakers

Kuwait plans region’s first city for electric carmakers
Updated 01 August 2021

Kuwait plans region’s first city for electric carmakers

Kuwait plans region’s first city for electric carmakers
  • Kuwait Ports Authority noted that electric carmakers do not use local distributors or dealers

DUBAI: Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA) has approved a proposal to build the Middle East’s first city to serve electric vehicle manufacturers, the authority said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement does not make clear where the project, called EV City, will be located.

The design and construction tendering process will be during the 2011/22 fiscal year, said KPA General Manager Yousef Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah.

KPA noted that electric carmakers do not use local distributors or dealers and sell their vehicles directly to consumers, adding that it was common for ports to provide certain infrastructure to manufacturers.

“KPA is able to provide all port and logistics services to the biggest global companies manufacturing electric cars,” Sabah said, adding that the project was in line with Kuwait’s Vision 2035 economic diversification plan.

The Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, has made huge gains after it invested more than $1 billion in electric carmaker Lucid in 2018.

Lucid Group listed last month after a merger with a blank check company, Churchill Capital Corp IV, in February in a deal that gave the combined company a pro-forma equity value of $24 billion. PIF owns 62.7 percent
of Lucid.


Saudi budget airline expands flights to Bisha

Saudi budget airline expands flights to Bisha
Updated 01 August 2021

Saudi budget airline expands flights to Bisha

Saudi budget airline expands flights to Bisha

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s budget airline flyadeal on Sunday launched operations from Dammam to Bisha.

The addition of the new destination to the company’s flight network is part of its expansion plans.

It is a pure low-cost airline, with passengers charged for meals and checked luggage, a model that has so far not had major success in the Middle East beyond UAE-headquartered Air Arabia. The Saudi government owns the airline through state carrier Saudia.

Ahmed Al-Barahim, executive vice president for commercial and customer affairs, vowed to ensure good service for passengers.

He said the airline will continue to expand its fleet and flight network.

Fahd Al-Harbi, CEO of Dammam Airports Co., said healthy competition between airlines will support the Kingdom’s drive to boost domestic tourism.


Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets rebound from 10-year low on higher oil sales

Saudi Arabia’s proceeds from sales of crude oil increased with the global oil industry gradually recovering from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (Reuters/File Photo)
Saudi Arabia’s proceeds from sales of crude oil increased with the global oil industry gradually recovering from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 01 August 2021

Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets rebound from 10-year low on higher oil sales

Saudi Arabia’s proceeds from sales of crude oil increased with the global oil industry gradually recovering from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (Reuters/File Photo)
  • The value of Saudi Arabia’s oil exports in May increased by 147 percent to just over SR60 billion from a year earlier

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets rose 2 percent in June, recovering slightly from their lowest level in more than a decade as the Kingdom’s proceeds from sales of crude oil increased with the global oil industry gradually recovering from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Data from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) showed the foreign assets — a measure of its ability to support its dollar-pegged currency — rose by SR34 billion ($9.1 billion) to SR1.65 trillion from May to June. Total assets increased by SR16.18 billion to SR1.842 trillion, the central bank said on Saturday.

The value of Saudi Arabia’s oil exports in May increased by 147 percent to just over SR60 billion from a year earlier, while non-oil exports rose by 70 percent, the General Authority for Statistics showed last month.

The recent decline in Saudi Arabia’s foreign reserves to the lowest level in a decade was partly due to a lag between import payments and export receipts, the SAMA’s governor told Reuters last month.

The ratio of SAMA’s total assets at the end of July increased by 0.8 percent over the previous month and amounted to SR1.842 trillion. The rise in total assets is due to the rise in investments in securities abroad, which amounted to SR1.13 trillion, an increase of 0.5 percent over the previous month. The value of foreign exchange amounted to SR271 billion, an increase of 0.2 percent.

Net foreign assets declined significantly in 2020 as lower oil income strained finances and officials transferred $40 billion to the Kingdom’s sovereign fund to fuel an investment spree. The indicator — which topped $700 billion in 2014 after an oil boom increased savings — now stands at SR1.66 trillion.

The state’s general reserve declined during the period 2016 to 2020 from SR640 billion to SR358 billion, due to the increase in projects as a part of the Vision 2030 reform plans. The state is pouring significant funds on projects which will be compensated by future income, Zaed Alfaded, a financial analyst, told Arab News. These income streams are expected to increase with the country diversifying its economy away from oil and its price fluctuations, he added.

The government’s current account dipped from SR89 billion to SR52 billion, and then rose again to SR70 billion, as the government spent on its urgent requirements, Alfaded said.

Central bank data showed on Saturday that the issuance of SAMA bills, an indicator of increased lending to local banks, also declined, which Alfaded attributed to the bank’s plans to contain inflation and direct customers to save and invest. 

This strategy, he said, will reflect positively on the markets for trading in financial assets and other investment assets in the Saudi economy.


Saudi Arabia eyes global tie-ups to tap $20bn in cultural opportunities

In the wake of the G20 meeting last year, Saudi Arabia added culture to the forefront of its investment agenda. (Social media)
In the wake of the G20 meeting last year, Saudi Arabia added culture to the forefront of its investment agenda. (Social media)
Updated 14 min 33 sec ago

Saudi Arabia eyes global tie-ups to tap $20bn in cultural opportunities

In the wake of the G20 meeting last year, Saudi Arabia added culture to the forefront of its investment agenda. (Social media)
  • Public-private partnership seen as a means to increase sector’s contribution to GDP

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is seeking partnership with global partners including leading international museums as it sees its culture sector generating $20 billion in revenues and creating 100,000 jobs, while contributing 3 percent to its gross domestic product (GDP), a senior official said.

In the wake of the G20 meeting last year, Saudi Arabia added culture to the forefront of its investment agenda. The Ministry of Culture, which was established three years ago in the hopes of promoting cultural growth and supporting Vision 2030, sees that the sector has already attracted the interest and engagement of private companies both locally and abroad, Rakan Altouq, general supervisor for culture affairs and international relations, said in an interview on Sunday.

In addition to the public sector, the private sector is a vital contributor to cultural development and Saudi Arabia will benefit from this new strategy, as it will lead to an increase in its economy. As part of the Ministry of Culture, all 16 sectors with 11 dedicated commissions are engaged now to prepare the groundwork for economic activity. 

The Cultural Development Fund, created by the Ministry of Culture last year, is also a vital tool for bridging the financial gap that exists between public and private sector funding for cultural programs. By using the Cultural Development Fund, a bridge of capital will be provided, he said. Through Invest Saudi and the Shareek program that has been announced across the private sector engagement in Saudi Arabia, all of the targets they have developed cannot be achieved without private capital, and they are contributing to creating the right conditions for capital to invest in the culture sector.

Altouq said that the culture sector should not be evaluated in the same way as other more publicly owned sectors. Nonprofit organizations conduct many private activities, such as the visual arts sector, in the country. Further opportunities exist for establishing infrastructure in digital platforms; such investments have already been initiated by media and other regional companies. 

In the museum sector, the ministry has held numerous discussions with its partners around the world. Soon, the dedicated museum of Saudi Arabia will launch its strategy and seek partnerships with other museums around the world. The Museum Commission will launch its own communication strategy in the coming months to further develop that.

In the national cultural strategy, three main aspirations are outlined: Culture as a way of life, culture as an economic growth tool, and culture as an exchange mechanism among cultures.

As a first step, culture has been developed as a lifestyle in Saudi Arabia through connecting local communities to ensure that all citizens and residents have access to an extraordinary range of diverse cultural offerings in the region while preserving the rich cultural heritage. As for the culture for economic growth, culture will be seen in creative industries, which will allow Saudi Arabia to witness an increase in its GDP by 3 percent by 2030. Lastly, culture for global exchange is engaging the Kingdom and participating in international platforms such as the G20 and UNESCO.