Noon to be launched in Saudi Arabia by year end

Faraz Khalid
Updated 19 November 2017

Noon to be launched in Saudi Arabia by year end

Noon, the digital marketplace created in the region, for the region and powered by the region’s leading retailers, will be launched in Saudi Arabia before the end of this year, said Faraz Khalid, chief executive officer (CEO).
He was addressing a panel discussion titled “The World Next Door: What new Innovations are Reinventing E-Commerce” at the Future Investment Initiative (FII), organized by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) in Riyadh.
Launched earlier this month in the UAE, Noon has an initial capital outlay of $1 billion by the PIF and a group of prominent Gulf investors including Kuwait’s M.H. Alshaya & Co. among others. It is headquartered in Riyadh and has already put in place a dedicated distribution hub, distribution channels and a secure payment gateway for serving Saudi customers.
Noon has a dedicated delivery fleet in Saudi Arabia, with professionals who know the market, and also offers flexible payment solutions, said Khalid. “Noon is working not only with large Saudi retailers but also SMEs and start-ups so that we remain connected with our audience — and deliver the personalized experience they seek.”
Khalid said that the MENA region, specifically, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has the perfect environment for the next era of growth in e-commerce.
“While online sales are just 2 percent of the total retail in the Middle East, the market is fast evolving; an AT Kearney report states that online shopping will grow from $5.3 billion in 2015 to $20 billion by 2020.”
He said the digital savvy youth population, and the high levels of internet and smartphone penetration are the drivers of growth for the e-commerce market. “But this only forms the infrastructural back-up for digital enterprises. The key to leveraging the digital opportunity is to know your consumers and understand their aspirations. Noon is bringing an exciting assortment of brands at a great value, which we believe will be received well by our customers in our key markets – Saudi Arabia and the UAE. With both web and app-based experiences, Noon delivers what our customers need, where they need and how they need.”
Khalid said that Noon has created new jobs for Saudi talents and will focus on building the Kingdom’s SME sector. “The region’s most valuable resource is its digital-native youth. We are working with them, for them and the community to drive our next era of growth.”


Pearson unveils Mideast winners of BTEC Awards

Updated 21 min 36 sec ago

Pearson unveils Mideast winners of BTEC Awards

Outstanding students, tutors and colleges from 25 countries, including from the Middle East, saw their achievements recognized at the BTEC Awards 2020 ceremony, held online for the first time due to coronavirus.

Hosted by presenter of the United Stand, YouTube influencer and BTEC ambassador, Flex, 17 category award winners were celebrated from the UAE and around the Middle East as well as internationally in subjects such as health and social care, performing arts, engineering, IT, business and sport.

Double Olympic gold medalist Max Whitlock and architect, TV presenter and campaigner George Clarke were among those presenting awards. 

They were joined by journalist and TV presenter Steph McGovern who spoke about her passion for vocational education and the BTEC Awards.

Spanning across 21 categories, the awards showcase the exceptional BTEC learners and teachers that have been nominated to win a gold, silver or bronze BTEC award. Accepted in more than 200 universities worldwide, BTEC is a highly regarded, career-focused qualification, studied in over 60 countries.

The Middle East winners are:

• BTEC Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Student of the Year Silver Winner — Finn Page, DESC, UAE

• BTEC Teacher of the Year (schools only) Bronze Winner — James McBlane, British School Al-Khubairat, UAE

• BTEC IT and Computing Student of the Year Bronze Winner — Sangeetha Philip, Cambridge International School, Dubai, UAE

• BTEC Business and Enterprise Student of the Year Bronze Winner — Delma Sharyl D’Silva, The Winchester School — Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE

Cindy Rampersaud, senior vice president, BTEC and apprenticeships at Pearson Education, said: “This year I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of BTEC Award nominations we received, and I am delighted to celebrate this year’s winners and the achievements of all learners who will be awarded a BTEC this year. 

Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve seen how the current pandemic has highlighted the critical role of key workers and individuals who are likely to have followed a vocational educational pathway such as BTEC.”

In the UAE, BTEC qualifications are available in sectors including applied science, art and design, business, childcare, construction, engineering, media, health and social care, hospitality, ICT, performing arts, public services, sport, travel and tourism.

Pearson has been delivering BTEC qualifications worldwide since 1984. A recent study revealed that 90 percent of BTEC students are employed full-time after graduating.

Globally, nearly 1 million students studied toward a BTEC in the past year, via 784 approved BTEC centers in 60 countries.

In response to new careers emerging within industries and ongoing change, Pearson is continually adapting and innovating its BTEC curriculum and learning to ensure it is relevant for young people and adults, supporting progression and career aspirations throughout lives.