Saudi construction sector revitalized by Vision 2030 — Report

Saudi construction sector revitalized by Vision 2030 — Report
The eighth edition of The Big 5 Saudi will run from March 5-8 at the Jeddah Center. for Forums & Events.
Updated 21 November 2017

Saudi construction sector revitalized by Vision 2030 — Report

Saudi construction sector revitalized by Vision 2030 — Report

Nineteen months after its announcement, Saudi Vision 2030 is proving effective, with the Kingdom’s construction sector showing increased growth potential.
Thanks to recent reforms and renewed spending, construction activities are picking up after the slowdown that affected the industry over the past two years. This was revealed recently by a report titled “Saudi Arabia’s Construction Market Overview 2018 and Beyond.”
Prepared by BNC Network for The Big 5 Saudi, the region’s premier construction event, the report indicates that the Saudi construction market has tremendous growth potential in the near future. Currently, there are $284.3 billion worth of projects in the early stages of development in the Kingdom, with over 700 projects scheduled to begin work in the next few months and due by or before 2022.
“Saudi Arabia has more than 4,700 construction projects that are active today, with a combined estimated value of $852.3 billion; around 170 of these projects are worth $1 billion or more,” said Nathan Waugh, portfolio event director of The Big 5 Saudi.
According to the report, the ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 plan to move the economy away from oil profits is driving construction activities in both residential and non-residential segments. Reforms aimed at increasing the private sector’s contribution in growth industries such as mining, manufacturing, and health care, are offering new investment opportunities in the form of joint ventures or public-sector partnerships.
Moreover, the rapid growth of the Saudi population and strong urbanization trends are fueling the urban construction sector.
“Today, there are over 3,300 projects in the urban construction sector, which represent approximately 70 percent of all construction activities in Saudi Arabia,” said Waugh. “Housing is indeed the most significant area of expenditure under the Saudi plan, aiming to grow the real estate sector contribution to GDP from 5 percent to 10 percent by 2030.”
Saudi Vision 2030 is driving demand for construction products in the country. “We see a rejuvenated interest in the Saudi construction market by international players this year,” said Waugh ahead of the eighth edition of The Big 5 Saudi. Running from March 5-8 at the Jeddah Center for Forums & Events, the exhibition will bring under one roof over 500 manufacturers of construction products from around the world.
The three-day event is expected to attract 15,000 visitors.

‘Call My TV’ takes digital communication to a whole new level

Huawei recently launched its new TV, the Huawei Vision S, which is now available for pre-order in the Kingdom. (Supplied)
Huawei recently launched its new TV, the Huawei Vision S, which is now available for pre-order in the Kingdom. (Supplied)
Updated 09 June 2021

‘Call My TV’ takes digital communication to a whole new level

Huawei recently launched its new TV, the Huawei Vision S, which is now available for pre-order in the Kingdom. (Supplied)

RIYADH: Every year we come across new and interesting pieces of technology and every year we are tempted to grab them all to set up at home. Sure, we have the constant run of smartphones, tablets, laptops, wearables and a whole lot more, but one type of product that does not really see many upgrades is the TV.

Since the transition from traditional TVs to smart TVs took place, the role of what a TV plays at home has changed from just playing available content to becoming another Internet hub with access to a wide range of features.

However, not everyone changes their TVs as frequently as smartphones or tablets and to be honest, there never really is a reason to. Well, until now that is.

Huawei recently launched its new TV, the Huawei Vision S, which is now available for pre-order in the Kingdom, and which boasts a wide range of features that steps it up to become the next-generation TV in the market. 

Shifts in lifestyles and world views have driven the innovative features in Huawei Vision, as much as technological progress has. Following in the footsteps of texting, voice calling, and video calling, smart TV calling will help usher in an era of intimate distance-proof communications. It’s an outstanding example of how technology can bring people closer together, rather than driving them apart.

The Huawei Vision S can do a lot more than just any other smart TV; it can seamlessly interact with all of the other pieces of tech lying around at home. Here are a few reasons why the Huawei Vision S is one of the perfect solutions for all your TV needs, making it the must-have tech upgrade this season:

Video calls, now from your TV

Did you ever think that one day you would be able to make video calls from your TV? And we are talking about actually making and receiving video calls on your TV itself. With the Huawei Vision S, it is possible.

The Huawei Vision S has made TV calling a new social style that involves a trendy form of digital communication, which is poised to fundamentally change the way we communicate. The next-generation TV makes this possible via housing the distinctive 1080p MeeTime Full HD Video Calls, which was designed to take video calls to a completely new level from the comfort of your home, whilst using not a smart phone — but rather a smart TV.

Thanks to the magnetically attached 13 MP camera, you can make 1080p MeeTime Full HD Video Calls on the Huawei Vision S. However, this extends beyond just any video call.

Because of the unique video calling transfer feature, you can seamlessly transfer a call from any of your devices, such as a smartphone, to the TV without breaking the flow of the call. This means that if you are on a video call on your smartphone or laptop, you can easily transfer that call to the Huawei Vision S and use the camera, display and audio on the TV itself, freeing up your device for other use.

Increased connectivity

Worried about network bandwidth issues during video calls? The Huawei Vision S has thought of that too!

With its unique automatic network bandwidth adjustment feature, the Huawei Vision S and MeeTime can detect a drop in network strength and will automatically reduce the quality of the call instead of dropping the call entirely.

Sharing and streaming with ease thanks to the distributed multi-device collaboration

Another cool feature is how the Huawei Vision S fits in the structure with all the other connected devices at home. This enables a next-generation interaction between all devices paving the way for seamless sharing between devices. For instance, with OneHop projection, you simply have to tap your smartphone on the TV remote to instantly stream the display without any complex screen mirror steps! Do not worry about any private messages popping
up either, because the privacy features ensure all of that personal stuff stays on your smartphone alone, not being displayed on the TV.

Gamers can also enjoy the distributed gaming feature, which allows using the smartphone as a wireless controller, giving them a console-like experience with immersive gaming.

Stunning picture and impeccable sound

With any TV, the picture and sound quality is a key factor, especially since it becomes the hub for home entertainment. Keeping this in mind, it is evident that Huawei has pulled out all the stops with the Huawei Vision S. In terms of display quality, you get full 4K resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate that covers up to 92 percent of the DCI-P3 wide color gamut, while a Honghu Picture Engine works with motion estimation and motion compensation resulting in smooth images and videos.

Viewers’ eyes protection is also made possible by TÜV Rheinland-certified low blue light and flicker-free technologies.

When it comes to audio, the Huawei Vision S comes with four 10 W horn speakers, including two 10 full-frequency speakers, and two 10 W high-frequency speakers. This is complemented by a massive 1L sound cavity, all of which works together to provide high quality sound with strong bass and soft edges. Additionally, the Huawei Histen algorithm brings out sharp details in texture and timbre, isolating human voices and enhancing them, even in the noisiest environments.

Price and availability

The Huawei Vision S is now available for pre-order through the online Huawei Store, eXtra Stores and across selected retailers. It is available in two different sizes — the 55-inch model priced at SR3,499 ($933) and the 65-inch model priced at SR4,499 — with gifts worth SR2,042 that include a Huawei MatePad, a three-month Huawei Video subscription, a three-month Starzplay subscription, a three-year warranty and a special entertainment gift.

Indeed, if you are looking for a new smart TV that truly crosses all the boundaries set by traditional smart TVs, then the Huawei Vision S is the way to go.

Post-pandemic retail: Will malls thrive again in KSA?

Post-pandemic retail: Will malls thrive again in KSA?
Updated 09 June 2021

Post-pandemic retail: Will malls thrive again in KSA?

Post-pandemic retail: Will malls thrive again in KSA?

The global COVID-19 pandemic has shaken nearly all industries, but the retail sector was hit particularly hard by the measures put in place by governments to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

While the grave economic crisis that ensued gave rise to a fear of losing revenue, occupancy, and cash flow, the sudden uptick in e-commerce has induced some to worry or even project that customers have settled on online shopping, forever. 

As a cyclical industry, retail is no stranger to periods of boom and recession resulting from economic expansion or contraction. 

Retailers around the world have seen a rebound in consumer spending after they reopened after weeks or months of store closures. Retail sales surged 10.7 percent in the US in March this year, although partly driven by stimulus checks. In Saudi Arabia, malls have witnessed a promising recovery with a steady increase in in-store purchases.

No substitute for in-person retail 

There is no denying that COVID-19 has altered consumer behaviors substantially with emerging economies witnessing substantial growth in online shopping. However, online shopping is not an alternative to in-person retail yet. There are many elements of brick-and-mortar shopping that cannot be replaced by online — spontaneous purchases, the ability to evoke experiences and sensations, meaningful engagements, and of course, being able to physically handle the products.

Brick-and-mortar businesses can create greater and even more engaging retail experiences if they incorporate digital technology into their physical store environments and serve the customers’ need for convenience.

Digitization not a threat but an opportunity

Both online and offline marketplaces can meaningfully and coherently exist. Kinan, a Saudi closed joint stock company that develops residential communities and operates malls in the Kingdom, partnered with the region’s leading e-commerce player Noon to provide pickup services for its shopping centers’ online clients. “With this new feature, we are presenting them new possibilities of retailing by linking digital and physical shopping, while continuing to offer in-store experiences enriched by a strong human connection,” said Konrad K., chief operating officer, malls, Kinan.

New future demands better

The post-pandemic consumer’s appetites and behaviors mean that malls have to be elevated further into experience centers and multi-purpose destinations. They can bring back their customers by introducing diverse and extensive retail, leisure and food and beverage offerings. 

“In 2020, we made it a priority to identify gaps in the offerings at Kinan Malls. In line with our exclusive insights into the future of retail, we developed strategies and executed projects that would create the best possible retail presence and value for our shareholders, visitors and partners. We have long identified that the redevelopment of our assets would eventually result in higher footfall and spending,” said Konrad.

“Realizing that proximity to home continues to positively influence people’s decision when choosing a mall, we have built a strong footprint in Saudi Arabia. With 10 malls across six different locations, Kinan Malls is currently one of the largest mall operators in the Kingdom.”

He added: “Despite mobility restrictions, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortage, we have managed to deliver a positive financial year in 2020 with a net profit.”

Bahri named ‘Ship Operator of the Year’ at ShipTek Awards

Bahri named ‘Ship Operator of the Year’ at ShipTek Awards
Updated 09 June 2021

Bahri named ‘Ship Operator of the Year’ at ShipTek Awards

Bahri named ‘Ship Operator of the Year’ at ShipTek Awards

Bahri, a global leader in logistics and transportation, was named the “Ship Operator of the Year” at the ShipTek Awards 2021 held recently in Dubai. 

The recognition, which is the latest of several awards won by Bahri this year, reflects the company’s consistently high performance, exceptional service standards, and extraordinary resilience, and further strengthens its position as a global leader in the maritime industry. 

Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO of Bahri, said: “By winning the ‘Ship Operator of the Year’ award at ShipTek 2021, Bahri has once again demonstrated our capability to deliver sustained excellence. We are proud of this achievement and are pleased that the award recognizes our ability to work creatively and address challenges effectively to achieve our short- and long-term objectives.” 

Aldubaikhi added: “This recognition also highlights the value we deliver to our customers in terms of expertise and quality. We are grateful to our customers for their constant trust and support, helping us grow and achieve our objectives despite the increasingly challenging business environment worldwide.” 

The “Ship Operator of the Year” award was received on behalf of Bahri by Abdulaziz Sabri, president of Bahri Ship Management. 

Some of the recent recognitions won by Bahri include the “Excellence in Logistics” and “Excellence in Sustainable Practices” awards at the 6th Global Good Governance Awards 2021, held virtually on May 25. 

Bahri has been leading innovation and excellence in the region’s logistics and transportation industry through the use of advanced technology, new and improved service offerings, market expansion, and fleet strengthening, helping the company to win various regional and international recognition. 

Early this year, Bahri won the “Best Treasury Management Company” and “Best Logistics Solutions Provider” awards presented by the International Business Magazine, and the Bronze Award for “Best Visual Identity” for the transport and logistics sector category at the Transform Awards MEA 2021. 

The 11th edition of the ShipTek Awards was held in conjunction with an international conference on the marine, offshore, and oil and gas sector. Several industry leaders, top executives and representatives of regional and international maritime companies were present at the event.

Arab National Bank launches TeleMoney app for international remittances

Arab National Bank launches TeleMoney app for international remittances
Updated 09 June 2021

Arab National Bank launches TeleMoney app for international remittances

Arab National Bank launches TeleMoney app for international remittances

Arab National Bank (ANB) has rolled out a smart app for its TeleMoney service to empower customers to execute international money transfers instantly online at any time, anywhere in an easy and convenient manner, using their smart devices. 

ANB’s managing director and CEO Obaid Alrasheed said: “The launch of this app is part of a package of quality initiatives and steps we are taking to implement our digital transformation strategy and enrich the customer experience, through the introduction of innovative and smart solutions.”  

The new app comes with many cutting-edge technological features to afford users flexibility, simplicity, speed and enhanced control to transfer funds in an instant and secure manner without going to the TeleMoney centers. 

The app supports fast login with the user’s fingerprint or face ID, while maintaining the highest security standards, augmented by a feature that allows users to enable/disable cards used to transfer funds and change their PINs. The app comes with many built-in features and a user scope improving the level of control, including enabling the user to open a TeleMoney account and sign up for the service, add beneficiaries, make transfers, top up the account with a Mada card, pay invoices and settle government payments easily. The app comes bundled with special offers and incentives. 

ANB is a major provider of international remittance services in Saudi Arabia through TeleMoney, which was launched at the outset of 1992. The service provides customers with multiple transfer options through ANB’s electronic channels including ATM, TeleMoney Express Terminals deployed at its centers, ANB Mobile and ANB Net, in addition to using a TeleMoney Express or salary card. There are 86 dedicated TeleMoney centers spanning the Kingdom.

Beneficiaries can collect the transfer proceeds through either of three convenient options: Credit to the account, cash pickup at the correspondent’s counter or door-to-door delivery. 

MEED summit explores sustainability in KSA projects

MEED summit explores sustainability in KSA projects
Updated 08 June 2021

MEED summit explores sustainability in KSA projects

MEED summit explores sustainability in KSA projects

MEED’s 2021 Smart Construction Virtual Summit, a one-day event held by MEED, will take place on June 16. The virtual summit will explore how digital transformation is shaping capital projects, featuring panelists from The Red Sea Project, Oracle Construction and Engineering, Honeywell, AMAALA, NEOM, Qiddiya, Dubai Municipality, ASGC and more.

Now in its second year, the interactive virtual event, which saw 595 attendees in its 2020 inaugural virtual event, will showcase the importance of smart construction and digitization in achieving the optimal use of energy, labor and finances to ensure quality and affordability while reducing carbon footprint.

The virtual summit will start with a timely construction market update and trends analysis that will provide business-critical insights on the regional project landscape. Six engaging panel discussions will subsequently discuss next-gen construction technologies, data center construction, energy transition and efficiency, the benefits of offsite and modular construction and the new Arabian construction landscape.

“Middle East construction is at a transition point, and everyone involved in the industry needs to understand what is going on,” said MEED editorial director Richard Thompson. “The intense pressure on government finances from uncertain oil prices and the impact of COVID-19 means that we will see fewer new projects in the future, along with greater-than-ever focus on costs. At the same time, a new generation of clients want to minimize the environmental impact of their projects by reducing their carbon footprint, and recycling and reusing construction waste.”        

“MEED’s second MENA Smart Construction Virtual Summit will provide insights, information and connections that will enable you to make the most of the emerging opportunities in Middle East construction,” said Thompson. “Featuring interactive sessions for developers, contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, and technology providers, the summit will help you to understand the changing requirements of the region’s construction clients, and the vital role that digital technology is playing in enabling safe, productive and sustainable development.”

The “Next Gen Construction Tech” panel will discuss the startup tech solutions that can be used to drive efficient, safe, smart and sustainable outcomes in construction projects. Speakers from ASGC, King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology and Dubai municipality will share insights on the most exciting new technology applications in construction to support business outcomes. The “Data Center Construction” panel will bring together experts from ISG, Hill International and Procore Technologies to explore the unique requirements of data center construction projects.

The virtual summit will come to a close with a final panel focusing on mega and giga projects in Saudi Arabia. The session, titled “The New Arabian Landscape: Technological, Social and Environmental Convergence Driving the Next Generation of Saudi Giga Projects,” welcomes experts from Qiddiya, NEOM, The Red Sea Development Company, AMAALA and Oracle Construction and Engineering Global Business Unit. The panelists will talk about how the Kingdom’s various projects are pioneering in innovation, technology, sustainability and efficiency to create transformational new models for projects, communities and cities of the future.

The virtual summit is free to attend for delegates, but pre-registration is required.